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Scholé Sisters: Camaraderie for the Classical Homeschooling Mama

Scholé Sisters is the podcast for the classical homeschooling mama who seeks to learn and grow while she’s helping her children learn and grow. Scholé Sisters is a casual conversation about topics that matter to those of us in the trenches of classical homeschooling who yearn for something more than just checking boxes and getting it all done. In each episode, we cover our Scholé RDA {places to go for inspiration and growth}, a topical discussion relying on principles we find in books by people like David Hicks, James Taylor, and Charlotte Mason, and a Principles Are Practical nitty gritty homeschooling question. Come and join the Sisterhood of the Podcast!
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Jul 12, 2019

In today’s episode, Mystie and Brandy are talking all things Scholé Sisters fall retreat planning with Jenn Discher and Danielle Cyrus. Jenn and Danielle both hosted large retreats last year and have lots of great tips for you.

Jenn Discher and her husband and three kids (ages 9, 7, and 4) live in North Georgia, outside of Atlanta. Jenn was a high school history teacher for six years before her oldest was born and she's homeschooled since the beginning. Regarding homeschool philosophy, Jenn relies heavily on Charlotte Mason’s ideas and the classical tradition, slowly growing in her understanding of both!

Danielle Cyrus has been married to her husband, Grant, for 17 years. She lives in Willamette Valley, Oregon where she homeschools their three kids, ages 12, 10, and 8. Danielle and her family have always homeschooled, growing their understanding of the Classical tradition and the methods of Charlotte Mason as they go, always working out how they weave together.

As you probably noticed, Early Bird Registration is now open for the Laughing Well Scholé Sisters fall online local retreats. Click here to register. Yes, this year’s theme is “laugh.” Please don’t think this means stand up comedy! This is about joy and levity and faith –and the heart of what it means to be at peace while we homeschool.

It’s true: you can register and do the retreat all by yourself. A fair amount of people do that. But the retreat was designed to give local groups the opportunity to have a nice local retreat for themselves – a real all-day getaway – without lots of planning and logistics.

Whether you’ve wanted to put together a local retreat but doubted your ability, or you’ve done one before but are looking for fresh ideas, this episode is for you.

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May 24, 2019

In today’s episode, Mystie, Pam, and Brandy finish up their conversation about Dorothy Sayers' essay, The Lost Tools of Learning, which began in Episode 49. In fact, if you haven’t listened to Episode 49, you really should do that first. Anyhow, in this episode the Scholé Sisters discuss and debate the trivium portion of the essay. It’s great fun you won’t want to miss.

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This episode is sponsored by The Scholé Sisters Sistership. Have you joined the Sistership yet? Our new-and-improved Sistership platform is the place for meaty and humorous conversation together, sharing your Scholé Everyday, and discussing ideas. Premier members get even more, with audio transcripts available for episodes, and, currently, a book club with Cindy Rollins! With four different levels, there is something for everyone at the Sistership. Click here to learn more.

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May 10, 2019

In today’s episode, Mystie and Brandy use part of CS Lewis’ book The Four Loves to discuss friendship – how Lewis defines it, if we womenfolk are capable of it, and how it’s different from other things like companionship and affection. We wrap up by applying this to … yes! … book clubs. We think you’ll love this.

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This episode is sponsored by Scholé Sisters Spring Training Sessions! If you are listening to this episode right when it comes out, one of these sessions already took place on Monday evening. The good news is there is still time to sign up! Eric Hall is leading us in three amazing sessions total that will help YOU get started with classical Christian education by thinking deeply about philosophy. You can easily catch up by simply signing in and watching the replay.

These sessions take place the first three Monday evenings of May 2019 (and, yes, replays will be available). The first session answers the question Why Education? – Why do our children need to be educated in the first place? The second answers the question Why Classical? What makes classical education distinct from modern education? And the third session answers the question Why Christian? This last session will help you think deeply about the integration of faith and learning.

Click here to register … unless of course you are a Sistership Premier member. If that is the case, your registration is included in Premier and you should have already received an email that explains how to attend the session. For the rest of you, I repeat: go register for these fabulous Spring Training Sessions before we close the doors!

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Apr 26, 2019

Eric Hall is back on the show with us today. We had rave reviews when he appeared in Episode 29 called I’m Not the Holy Spirit. So many of you wanted to hear more from him, but let us introduce again in case you haven't yet heard that episode.

Eric Hall is an adjunct professor of English at Bakersfield College where he teaches writing and literature. Eric has a B.A. in English from the Master's College followed by graduate studies in theology at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and studies in rhetoric and philosophy at Clemson University. In keeping with his diverse interests in literature, theology, and philosophy, Eric aspires to integrate learning within the humanities to develop a deeper appreciation of how God may be encountered diversely in everything that is. In his spare time, Eric likes to rock climb and read St. Thomas Aquinas.

Today’s conversation with Eric is perfect if you plan to attend his Spring Training Sessions, yes, but also perfect if you ever plan to read a book on educational philosophy. Brandy and Mystie talk with him about what philosophy really is and what are some best practices when it comes to studying it. You’ll love this discussion!

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This episode is sponsored by our very own Spring Training Sessions! Eric Hall will be leading us in these amazing three sessions that will help YOU get started with classical Christian education by thinking deeply about philosophy. These sessions take place the first three Monday evenings of May (yes replays will be available).

The first session answers the question Why Education? Why do our children need to be educated in the first place? The second answers the question Why Classical? What really make classical education distinct from modern education? The third sessions answers the question Why Christian? This last session will help you think deeply about the integration of faith and learning. Registration is now open so click here to sign up unless of course you are a Sistership Premier member. In that case, your registration is included in Premier and you will receive an email that explains how to attend the sessions.

For the rest of you, we repeat: click here to register for these amazing Spring Training Sessions.

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Apr 12, 2019

Our guest on the show is Amanda Gauthier-Parker. Amanda is as a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a homeschooler. Her journey from John Holt unschooling to Charlotte Mason and classical education has taken its twists and turns, while always chasing truth, goodness and beauty, and the path God has set before her. This spring she will graduate her first of five children, and will have 15 more years of homeschooling ahead in which to keep learning and growing. She posts on Instagram as @truthgoodnessandbeauty.

Today’s conversation is a little different from what we normally do, but we think you’ll enjoy hearing about classical education as a philosophical and life journey. How did our guest Amanda Gauthier-Parker move from unschooling to classical and Charlotte Mason? Listen in to find out!

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This episode is sponsored by The Literary Life Conference. Cindy Rollins and Angelina Stanford are veteran homeschool moms and experienced teachers who share a passion for books and a life shaped by books. They also have a heart for homeschool moms! In response to hearing moms express disappointment that they can never travel to hear them speak, Cindy and Angelina decided to bring the conference to the moms!

Join Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins for an Online Conference exploring the Literary Life. Watch the conference from the convenience of your own home! And sessions are recorded and available to everyone who registers, so you can watch anytime -- even during naptime!  At only $29, you will be encouraged and inspired to cultivate a literary life for yourself and your family.

The conference includes a talk from Cindy and a talk from Angelina and caps off with a discussion, where both speakers will respond to each other's talks and develop ideas further. Essentially, you will get to listen in on the conversations that Cindy and Angelina have at conferences behind the scenes.  Angelina says, "I always thought that the best part of a conference was when we would build on each other's talks and make new connections, but no one ever got to hear those moments. We decided in this conference to share that conversation with you."

Click here for more information and to register.

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Mar 29, 2019

This episode is a fantastic conversation we had with Abby Wahl in which we jump off of Neil Postman’s thoughts on the need to not just take in information, but also take action, and apply this to the reading and thinking we do in our scholé time.

Who's Abby?

We're glad you asked! Abby Wahl is not only a friend of ours, she’s also one of the hosts on the Sistership. Abby is a country living farmer/rancher, a loving wife and mom of five who homeschools … and reads whenever she can!

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This episode is sponsored by the Sistership. The Sistership is now a hopping place - with an app! - for conversation and camaraderie and even book clubs, both online and local. Our goal with the new-and-improved Sistership is to foster community not only with likeminded women online but also with your local ladies who might not always be so likeminded. We're all better for iron-sharpening-iron, and classical homeschool moms need to seek out dialectic that builds virtue by pushing us toward clarity and commitment. Click here to learn more -- we have membership options from free to premier and we'd love to have you.

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Mar 15, 2019

This is the first of two episodes in which the Sisters say things about Dorothy Sayers -- specifically, they say things about her famous essay, The Lost Tools of Learning. What sort of things, you ask? Today, we're talking good stuff: the good, the true, the beautiful. Join us!

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This episode is sponsored by the Sistership. Have you joined the Sistership yet? On our new-and-improved Sistership platform we not only have meaty and humorous conversation, we also provide a safe and private spot for local groups to coordinate and converse about their meetings. Mystie and Brandy tell you more about the Sistership at the end of this episode. For now, click here to find out more!

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Mar 1, 2019

This episode, Brandy and Mystie discuss the Socratic Method. Is it really classical? Is it progressive? Does it have anything to do with Socrates? Has Socrates been kidnapped and, if so, it is right to hunt him down and steal him back??

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This episode is sponsored by the Scholé Sisters newsletter! I know what you’re thinking: why in the world is our newsletter sponsoring our own podcast episode? Well, it’s because we want you on our newsletter email list! We’ve got some pretty exciting things coming up, and the newsletter is the surest way to find out all the details. So if you don’t get our monthly newsletter (which is pretty good in its own right), go sign up! Just go to scholesisters.com, scroll down to the bottom, and fill out the form.

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Feb 15, 2019

Mystie and Brandy are glad to have Karen Glass back on the show to help us kick off Season 8. Karen is the author of Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition and Know and Tell: The Art of Narration and a member of the Advisory of AmblesideOnline. She has four children, mostly grown and married, who were homeschooled using Charlotte Mason’s methods from beginning to end. Karen has been studying and writing about Charlotte Mason and Classical Education for over twenty years

For this episode, Brandy, Mystie, and Karen discussed division -- what it is, how people do or don’t cause it, and whether it’s always wrong.

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This episode is sponsored by the book In Memoriam: A Tribute to Charlotte Mason. After Charlotte Mason died in 1923, a memorial service resembling an educational conference was held in her honor. Those who had spent years observing her life and work warmly described her impact on their own lives and careers. These sentiments -- some philosophical, some personal -- were recorded in the book In Memoriam. In Memoriam is biography, memoir and philosophical commentary all in one, but more importantly, it’s great February reading -- you’ll find it full of small, inspiring bites that warm your insides and get you philosophically motivated. Grab your copy on Amazon today!

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Dec 7, 2018

Today’s episode features a discussion of Charles Dickens’ famous story A Christmas Carol, which is Brandy's FAVORITE Christmas story. Naturally, Mystie and Pam tried to ruin it for her, but she was undaunted, and thinks you will be, too.

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This episode is sponsored by Mystie’s Brain Dump Guide. Do you have a lot to do and too much to keep track of? Of course you do! Mystie’s all new Brain Dump Guide will help you take the cluttered jumble inside your head and straighten it out so you can step out of your scattered, overwhelmed mode and go into strategic creative mode. Download the guide and get started today. Declutter your head with a brain dump. It’s cheap, fast therapy we can all use.

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Nov 16, 2018

If you have ever smelled smoke at your house and wondered if you were starting to burn out at this homeschooling thing, this episode is for you. Brandy was tempted to burnout early this year and so she and Mystie chatted about homeschooling, minimalism, and why sometimes adding something is a better approach that cutting back even more.

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This episode is sponsored by Start Here, the definitive starting place for studying Charlotte Mason. When Charlotte Mason was trying to distill her educational philosophy into its simplest form, she ended up with 20 core principles. These are the 20 most important aspects of her philosophy. Using the book For the Children’s SakeMiss Mason’s volumes, articles from Miss Mason’s magazine The Parents’ Review, the best blog posts on these subjects, and discussion questions meant to help you dig deeply, Start Here is a comprehensive study guide to the big ideas governing Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. It’s perfect for a Scholé Sisters group! Just head on over to the Afterthoughts shop and use the discount code sisters to get 15% off at checkout.

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Click here to get the show notes for today's episode. (This is where you get the booklist download!)

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Nov 2, 2018

Our guest today is Angelina Stanford! Angelina Stanford has a Master's degree in English literature and has been teaching, writing, speaking, and training teachers for over 20 years. She is the co-star of the popular Close Reads podcast, as well as the new Shakespeare podcast, The Play's the Thing. You can find Angelina at her website where she teaches class for middle school, high school, and adults. And look for her upcoming book, How to Understand Every Story: From Greek Gods to Superheroes, coming out next year.

Have you ever wondered why books are such a big deal in classical education? Wouldn’t it be easier to just pop in a movie and be done with all the lesson planning? It’s an interesting question, and Angelina Stanford, true to form, stood on her soapbox while giving Mystie and Brandy her answer. It was great.

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This episode is sponsored by Charlotte Mason Boot Camp. Want to whip those Charlotte Mason muscles into shape? This intense, 6-week Charlotte Mason Boot Camp does just that! It’ll take that philosophical flab and turn it into nothing less than confidence. It’ll give you all the growing, stretching, and strengthening you’ve been looking for. There are three sessions of Charlotte Mason Boot Camp per year: spring, summer, and fall. To get on the interest list, click here and sign up!

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Oct 19, 2018

In this episode, Mystie and Brandy talk with Martin Cothran from Memoria Press. Martin is known for (among other things) his knowledge of forgotten classics – really good books almost no one remembers. It was our pleasure to discuss with Martin the nature of these books and how to find them.

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Click here to get the show notes for today's episode. (This is where you get the booklist download!)

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Sep 21, 2018

If you were bummed that you were unable to attend the Scholé Sisters session at GHC in Cincinatti, and then extra disappointed we were unable to offer you a recording … this is for YOU! Brandy, Mystie, and Pam have redone the whole thing, and you can even get a download of the document handout with all the important details!

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Click here to get the show notes for today's episode. (This is where you get the booklist download!)

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Sep 7, 2018

In this episode, Brandy, Mystie, and Pam kick off Season 7 of Scholé Sisters with a discussion about living books. What are they, what is their significance, and how can you identify them? This is a totally fun discussion about reading -- and how picky should we be anyway? -- that you don't want to miss!

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Click here to get the show notes for today's episode.

Click here to register for the Learning Well Online Local Retreat (with Cindy Rollins)

Click here for more information on planning your local retreat.

***

Don't forget to find us on Facebook!

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Aug 7, 2018

In this special bonus summer season episode, the Scholé Sisters meet up with Cindy Rollins for a special, 2-part podcast. Catch the first part over on The Mason Jar podcast, and then come back here for Part II. In Part I, we discussed Charlotte Mason's views on self-education and how that applies to moms. In Part II, we take it all a step further with discussion of why reading is important, where hobbies fit in, and MORE!

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Click here to get the show notes for today's episode.

Click here to register for the Learning Well Online Local Retreat (with Cindy Rollins)

Click here for more information on planning your local retreat.

***

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Jul 20, 2018

Welcome to our special 2-episode summer season of Scholé Sisters!! (Try saying that three times fast!) Today, we're chatting with Brittany Lindvall, leader of one of our Scholé Sisters Local Retreats last year. She'll tell you what worked, what didn't, and why she's doing it again this year. We hope this gets your creative juices flowing as you start to plan your own retreat for your own local Sisters.

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Click here to get the show notes for today's episode.

Click here to register for the Learning Well Online Local Retreat (with Cindy Rollins)

Click here for more information on planning your local retreat.

***

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May 25, 2018

In today’s episode, Mystie, Pam, and Brandy discuss the power of educational metaphors – are we using the right images to picture our homeschools? Metaphors aren't absolute -- it's what we mean by them and how we apply them that matters. Join the Scholé Sisters as they hash out metaphors and discuss what makes a good one worth using.

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Click here to get the show notes for today's episode.

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This episode is sponsored by In Memoriam. After Charlotte Mason died in 1923, the PNEU held a memorial service in her honor, though (quite appropriately) it more resembled an educational conference. Those who had spent years observing her life and work warmly described her impact on their own lives and careers. These sentiments -- some philosophical, some personal -- were recorded in the book In Memoriam. In Memoriam is biography, memoir and philosophical commentary all in one. It offers the most intimate look at Charlotte Mason from those who knew and loved her best. If you want to study Charlotte Mason, but don’t feel like reading philosophy straight up, In Memoriam is the perfect solution. Grab your copy on Amazon today!

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May 11, 2018

Brandy is talking at length about Latin today with Angela Reed. Angela is a homeschooling mother of 5 in the Sunshine State of Florida. A former classroom teacher, degreed in Classics and Latin and persuaded by Charlotte Mason's educational philosophy, she channels these enthusiasms onto Instagram: building community with friends @charlottemasonirl, researching how Latin fits within a CM paradigm @thecmlatinproject, and documenting family life, homeschooling, and the day-to-day @athena_amidstthereeds.

Brandy asks Angela some of the tough questions we all want answers to: Why Latin first is the New Testament is in Greek? Can I do a modern language instead of Latin? Why Latin at all?? Can I do Latin with my children when I don't know Latin myself? We tackle these, plus Angela helps us decide which pronunciation to you and shares about some of her favorite curricula.

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This episode is sponsored by Plan Your Year. Plan Your Year is the homeschool planner that shows you how. It walks you step-by-step through creating a homeschool plan unique to your home, your kids, your family. There are over 40 printable planning pages plus an 80-page planning guide where Pam walks you through creating your plan. Nothing ever expires and you get free updates every year. It’s the only homeschool planner you will ever need. Click here to check out a free sample pack of planning pages.

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Apr 27, 2018

In today’s episode, Brandy, Pam, and Mystie raise the question of whether scholé is for everyone. Or is it just for the bookish and more academic? They had to begin by defining scholé, of course. This episode is about scholé in real life with our kids and FOR our kids. How do we help them "do scholé"? There are some big questions discussed this time!

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This episode is sponsored by Teaching Reading with Bob Books. Teaching Reading with Bob Books is a line of printable phonics lessons that is 100% gimmick-free. The goal of the TRwBB method is to teach reading as simply as possible -- it aims at that little space in your day where reading muscles are grown -- the key ten to fifteen minutes of instruction that can change a child’s life. Click here and use the discount code sisters to get 15% off at checkout.

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Apr 13, 2018

On today's episode, Mystie, Pam, and Brandy have a rousing discussion on the subject of twaddle. What is it? What isn’t it? Is it ever acceptable? Some of us have unconventional opinions on this subject.

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Click here to get the show notes for today's episode.

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This episode is sponsored by Plan Your Year. Plan Your Year is the homeschool planner that shows you how. It walks you step-by-step through creating a homeschool plan unique to your home, your kids, your family. There are over 40 printable planning pages plus an 80-page planning guide where Pam walks you through creating your plan. Nothing ever expires and you get free updates every year. It’s the only homeschool planner you will ever need. Click here to check out a free sample pack of planning pages.

***

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Mar 27, 2018

Our guest today is Celeste Cruz. Celeste is the Catholic homeschooling mother of nine children ages 11 and under, blogger at Joyous Lessons, and one of the hostesses of CharlotteMasonIRL on Instagram.

In this episode, Pam, Brandy, and Celeste have an in-depth conversation about transforming the chore of pre-reading for our children’s lessons into a beautiful scholé experience for Mom. They cover the technical aspects of notebooking, letting go of perfectionism, and MORE!

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Click here to get the show notes for today's episode.

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This episode is sponsored by The Simplified Organization Brain Dump Guide. How much crazy do you have rolling around in your head? Before you declutter your closets, you should declutter your head! By writing down all the obligations, responsibilities, reminders, random facts, and expections that keep your mind churning, you'll free up your mental energy so you can use it where you need it. The free Brain Dump Guide at Simply Convivial will walk you through the process with prompts and tips so you can declutter your head and move ahead with clarity and peace. Visit Simply Conivial and download it today!

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Mar 9, 2018

Brandy is pleased to have Karen Glass back on the show today. Karen is the author of Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition, she’s the brain behind Mind to Mind, an abridgment of Charlotte Mason’s sixth volume, and her third book, Know and Tell: The Art of Narration just debuted last month. Karen Glass is part of the Advisory of AmblesideOnline. She has four children, mostly grown and married, who were homeschooled using Charlotte Mason’s methods from beginning to end. She has been studying and writing about Charlotte Mason and Classical Education for over twenty years.

In today’s episode, Brandy and Karen dig deeply into the connection between narration and knowledge. Unfortunately, because Karen is in Poland, the sound is below our normal quality. We guarantee, however, it is still worth listening!

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This episode is sponsored by A Month of Morning Time. Morning Time is a wonderful addition to your homeschool, but sometimes planning it takes way more time and energy than you have to spare. You get overwhelmed trying to choose the best books to read. You have no idea which poems and artwork are the “good ones.” Truth, Goodness, and Beauty are wonderful ideals but the people in your house need clean laundry and three meals a day. Ready-made Morning Time plans can help reduce your decision fatigue, spend less time planning, and still add delight to your homeschool day. Click here to download a free sample.

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Feb 23, 2018

In today’s episode, Mystie Winckler and Brandy Vencel discuss Werner Jaeger’s introduction to his three-volume series, what Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, Jaeger's definition of education, what culture is, why Christians are resistant to honoring the Greeks, and much more. Download to listen, subscribe and be a Sister!

 

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This episode is sponsored by The Afterthinker’s Guide to Charlotte Mason’s Home Education. That's right! Brandy has a NEW Charlotte Mason study guide out for 2018! Home Education, Charlotte Mason’s seminal work on educational philosophy and character development, is a must-read for every homeschooling parent seeking to nurture her children with the rich nutrients of life and literature. The Afterthinker’s Guide to Charlotte Mason’s Home Education is your key to unlocking these nourishing educational truths in your home! Tested and refined through her own research and group leadership, Brandy Vencel has developed a pair of guides for this valuable endeavor: one for group leaders and one for group members. Don't let the different versions fool: these guides can be used for group or individual study. Click here to get your copy!

 

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Feb 9, 2018

Welcome to SEASON FIVE of Scholé Sisters! Mystie and Brandy are kicking this season off right with the one and only Cindy Rollins. Today's discussion centers on the idea of being impervious. We discuss not allowing "things" to get to us, absorbing emotion, self-control, menopause (gulp), and more! This is a conversation you don't want to miss.

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Click here to get the show notes for today's episode.

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This episode is sponsored by Personality Pages. Want to figure out and understand your personality better? Mystie has a free one-page cheat sheet to help you understand each personality type's cognitive functions. Click here to go deeper into personality and apply it to your home and homeschool with this easy-to-understand chart!

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