A New Season…

It is so exciting to see spring unfolding once again and so early this year!  As usual, we are excited to be out in the yard cleaning up and dreaming of things to come, preparing gardens, tidying out the garage (let me tell you: that’s a messy job this year!) and starting little seedlings.  I am not nearly so much a gardening expert as I am an aficionado, a fan, a devotee to mucking in the dirt with hopes that something yummy might spring from it.  Really I am still that kid that makes mud pies and dreams of them really being tasty treats.

In addition to these signs of spring you can also be sure to find me playing with stacks of boxes and leafing through countless books as this is also the beginning of “Conference Season”.  Maple Tree will be at several conferences and sales over the next several months and I will also have the funky privilege of chatting with many of you as I teach several seminars at these gatherings and as I visit in our little corner of the exhibit hall.  

Continue reading A New Season…

Mother Culture: A Charlotte Mason Support Group in Bradford, Ontario *Note date change!*

** Please note the date changes below.  Thank you all for your kind words and support as our family has struggled to find health this fall.  We are pleased to report that hubby is now recovering at home after a week long hospital stay. **

I am so excited to start a new year of Charlotte Mason Support Group!  As many of you know I host this little book club for very selfish reasons as I am so energized and encouraged by the visits of like-minded mamas every 5-6 week.  You give me a boost that helps me to imagine I might survive this crazy game for a few more weeks. 

Continue reading Mother Culture: A Charlotte Mason Support Group in Bradford, Ontario *Note date change!*

Free Newby Workshops for the Summer of 2015

Dear Friends,

This year it seems that there are more parents than ever considering this crazy homeschooling life and so once again this year, in partnership with Henry and Corrinna Kiezebrink, I am offering free workshops to new homeschoolers (and those thinking of homeschooling) at my home in Bradford, Ontario and in the Kiezebrink home near Barrie, Ontario.

Whether you have made a firm decision or are still investigating your options, whether you are doing this based on a conviction you have or because the ability to school in a different way just seems to fit for your family, please feel free to come for a visit. These are interactive (question and answer style) small group workshops. If you, or someone you know, are interested in coming please RSVP directly to me at cori@mapletreepublications.ca as soon as possible as attendance is limited to 15 people (since we do have a very cozy space to meet) and the evenings usually do fill up.

You may come either to the home of the Kiezebrinks near Barrie, Ontario on Tuesday, July 21st or to my home in Bradford, Ontario on Thursday, August 13th. Both evenings will run from 7:30-9:30.

Both Mom and Dad (and Grandma and Grandpa or other adult supports) are welcome to attend though I respectfully ask that only parents and nursing babes attend as a full house and a late evening often make it hard for little ones to allow the adults the opportunity to get the most out of the workshop.

We will cover topics like:

Yikes! Can I do this!?!


Where can I go for support?

What are the legal implications?

Do I have to contact my local school board?

What about curriculum?

What is a “normal” homeschooling day like?

What about socialization!?!

Please come with questions!

And expect some yummy handouts too!

Henry and Corrinna Kiezebrink bring to these workshops 25 years of homeschooling experience while our little homeschool was established only 12 years ago.  While we aren’t experts, we do have a few years under our belts and hope to share the real deal on homeschooling, the good, the bad and the ugly.  We are obviously a bit biased towards homeschooling but will gladly share the truth about the pros and cons of adopting this crazy lifestyle.

Please feel free to share this invitation with friends and family who are new to homeschooling or who are considering it. You are also welcome to forward this information to your church group or other homeschool groups. See you in the summer!

Peace,

Cori

Maple Tree Publications

905.778.9412

A Wild Idea…

Okay Friends,

I am going out on a limb and going to try something different this fall with the kids. I am looking for ideas, help, partners, feedback? (Please, only positive feedback as I am aware that this is a crazy idea!)

My inspirations:1) an amazing old pastor we met that has read his entire Bible every three months… For forty years!2) people who do extreme things to follow their passions like, for example, the authors of The Hundred Mile Diet who were so passionate about healthful eating that they only ate food that was produced within a hundred miles of their home for a whole year, and
3) a sweet homeschooling family that attended a YWAM training week where (university aged) students read the whole Bible in a week. The older children in this family, aged seven and nine, participated in the full week and read the whole Bible with the other, much older students.

So… I have been praying about doing something special with our studies that would embrace our passions as well and have been impressed with this idea: we would like to start our school year by reading the whole Bible together in chronological order. I don’t think we can do it in a week but maybe in two weeks or three. Our hope is to start on September 8th.

We will take turns reading corporately, will use some audio Bible and will also do some of the reading privately (for those old enough) and maybe with other friends for a bit, too.  I think we will try to make a timeline or keep our books of centuries handy as well as maps of the holy land.  I will likely have the girls do some narrative drawings or paintings while they listen daily.  I want to keep it fairly simple though.
My understanding is that it takes about 70 hours to read the Bible in full. That means it would take about 6 hours per day if done in two weeks with lesser readings on the weekend or would take about 4 hours per day if done in three weeks with lesser readings on the weekends.

What I’m looking for:1) Advice, ideas, encouragement?2) Comrades? Would anyone like to join us for encouragement, company and accountability? If you live nearby, we could meet up at a park a few days a week and read together and then take a break and play.

I am fully aware that we may not be able to fully finish this or may end up drawing it out and that we will miss many of the nuances that a slow and thoughtful read would give. On the other hand, I have found a “bird’s eye-view” very refreshing and have learned a lot from more intensive reading on my own lately.  I also realize that my younger kids will likely skip out on some reading and that’s okay, too.  I figure though that we can’t really go wrong by setting aside a special time to read the Bible intensively and that our reading, writing and ‘rithmetic studies can’t be terribly thrown off by starting a few weeks later than usual. I think that this can be a great educational experience as well a spiritual one.

Thoughts? Thanks.

Peace,

Cori

Maple Tree Publications
www.mapletreepublications.ca

905.778.9412

Free Newby Workshops for the Summer of 2014

Dear Friends,

Once again this year, in partnership with Henry and Corrinna Kiezebrink, I am offering free workshops to new homeschoolers (and those thinking of homeschooling) at my home in Bradford, Ontario. We will also be offering one in the Kiezebrink home near Barrie, Ontario.

If you are new to the homeschooling world or are considering this crazy lifestyle, then please feel free to come for a visit. These are interactive (question and answer style) small group workshops. If you, or someone you know, are interested in coming please RSVP directly to me at mapletreepublications@sympatico.ca as soon as possible as attendance is limited to 15 people (since I do have a very cozy living room) and the evenings usually do fill up.

You may come to my home on either of two dates: Thursday, July 24th or Tuesday, August 12th. Both evenings will run from 7:30-9:30. The Keizebrinks are hosting their workshop on August 7th from 7:30-9:30.

Both Mom and Dad are welcome to attend though I respectfully ask that only parents and nursing babes attend as a full house and a late evening often make it hard for little ones to allow the adults the opportunity to get the most out of the workshop.

We will cover topics like:

Yikes! Can I do this!?!

Where can I go for support?

What are the legal implications?

Do I have to contact my local school board?

What about curriculum?

What is a “normal” homeschooling day like?

What about socialization!?!

Please come with questions!

And expect some yummy handouts too!

Henry and Corrinna Kiezebrink bring to these workshops 24 years of homeschooling experience while our little homeschool was established only 11 years ago.  While we aren’t experts, we do have a few years under our belts and hope to share the real deal on homeschooling, the good, the bad and the ugly.  We are obviously a bit biased towards homeschooling but do hope to share the truth about the pros and cons of adopting this crazy lifestyle.

Please feel free to share this invitation with friends and family who are new to homeschooling or who are considering it. You are also welcome to forward this information to your church group or other homeschool groups. See you in the summer!

Peace,

Cori

Maple Tree Publications

905.778.9412

 

Seeking Discernment

We recently learned that our daughter needs to embrace a gluten free and dairy free lifestyle.  Until now I would’ve been one of the last people to jump on this band wagon that seems to be so prevalent now a days.  However, after seeing my daughter go through several months of pain and suffering and realizing that we had overlooked many symptoms before we started seeking medical and paramedical advice, my experience has changed my own skepticism. I have seen the need to change her diet validated by the evidence that has been presented.  This journey of the sceptic into dietary changes has reminded me of some of the key things that I learned as a student.

When I think back to my university days a few key lessons jump out at me.  One of those lessons was that we need to be very deliberate in our understanding and judgments because there’s often information out there that we don’t know.  I think I learned very well not to ever assume when I was in university when doing research and drawing conclusions. Very quickly I learned that if I didn’t site my sources when making statements of fact I was quickly questioned and my writing lost its credibility. When that happened, I was just a lowly student with an idea that didn’t necessarily stack up against all of the ideas that my professors had catalogued over the years.  I needed to make a conscious effort to find the proof for the idea I was arguing.

A second key lesson that I learned was that no matter what your position is on a particular idea or issue, there’s always going to be someone with an education and a research grant who will substantiate your ideas– and especially more so now that we live in this intensely digitalization world.  So I learned to constantly question not just whether I was arguing well but was I arguing truth: “What is the root of this truth, this idea that I am espousing?  Where does my reasoning find a firm foundation?”

Both of these ideas, of substantiating my claims and using right reasoning, are ones that Charlotte Mason addressed directly nearly 100 years ago and I really appreciate her words when she speaks about the way of the will and the way of reason.

She says,

“There are two guides to moral and intellectual self-management to offer to children, which we may call ‘the way of the will’ and ‘the way of the reason.’

The way of the will: Children should be taught, (a) to distinguish between ‘I want’ and ‘I will.’ (b) That the way to will effectively is to turn our thoughts from that which we desire but do not will. (c) That the best way to turn our thoughts is to think of or do some quite different thing, entertaining or interesting. (d) That after a little rest in this way, the will returns to its work with new vigour….

The way of reason: We teach children, too, not to ‘lean (too confidently) to their own understanding’; because the function of reason is to give logical demonstration (a) of mathematical truth, (b) of an initial idea, accepted by the will. In the former case, reason is, practically, an infallible guide, but in the latter, it is not always a safe one; for, whether that idea be right or wrong, reason will confirm it by irrefragable proofs.

In other words while me must constantly exert an effort to do and think rightly, we must also recognize that our ability to reason is limited by our own understanding and so we can, of our own volition, defend and convince ourselves of ideas that are logically flawed. 

So, there is a need, both intellectually and spiritually, to find a firm foundation.  I love it that she turns us back to our Creator for this reasoning: Proverbs 3:5,6 says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV84). 

The way to guard against leaning to confidently on our own understanding: trust in the LORD with all our hearts! 

As I stumble through this life, there are many times when I will question the ideas that are presented to me and even worse, there will be many times that I embrace, without even realizing it, ideas that are flawed.  My best defense will always be to look to God for truth and knowledge on this crazy journey.  All the rest will fall into line.

Wishing you a peaceful day as you lean on the author of truth.

Blessings, Friends!

Cori

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