The Enchanted Education


Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Enchanted Education. This is Julie Bogart from Brave Writer. I’m going to take a moment to just survey my little landscape of fairy friends while people are logging in. I don’t know how many of you know this company Heartsong, but we were huge fans of these little guys, and I’ve saved them all. I snapchatted my kids earlier …so here they are. I hope you’re all joining in. I have a full menu of ideas and things to talk about planned. It’s good to see you. Let’s come on over and see what I’ve got. Gonna turn ourselves around here. ‘Kay. Hi, everyone. Fix the bra straps. Okay. This is my backyard. And we will save landscape view for another time. I’ve seen it create too many problems, and I didn’t want to give you such a, you know, struggle figuring this all out. Hello, Pam. Hi there, Mackenzie. It’s great to see you all. Yes, this is my beautiful backyard. In fact, I can show you over my shoulder here. Yeah. So, this is fun. I am just needing to be outdoors. It’s too beautiful to stay in. Oh, it seems like people are logging in. That’s great. If you would, um, you know, share with your home school friends, that would be fabulous. I would highly appreciate it. Before we start with the topic, I’m going to do this each time, I’ll give you a couple of PSAs, little public service announcements, from me and Brave Writer and then we’ll get right into the topic. The first thing, I just want to remind everyone is that we are planning a Brave Writer Retreat next summer, July 13 to 15 in Cincinnati, and I hope many of you will come. We’ll be announcing the registration and the location and all of that in the next month, so just save the date. Um secondly, if you’re looking for more kinds of–yes, this is where my kids grew up. We’ve been here 16 years. I know. I feel lucky. I’m from California where we were in a shoebox condo forever and then we moved to this like, amazing house for almost no money, right? And this backyard. This is where we grew up. So yes, if you are looking for personal help with your homeschool and you find these kinds of communications helpful and valuable to you, please sign up for the Homeschool Alliance. You can find it at coachjuliebogart.com. We have about 200 members and everyone shares good help and good advice, and literally the kind of thing I’m doing today, we do there but in even more detail and personalized to your family. So, feel free to join us and I’ll tell you more about that at the end. I see you all giving me hearts. Thank you. I so appreciate it. I’ve been tuning in every time any of you invite me to a homeschool snap–I mean, Periscope. So, please do add me and I will add you if you have Scopes. It’s really been an education. First of all, oh my goodness, you’re all so young and beautiful. And it’s really fun for me to be able to get to know you and get to know home schooling from inside your houses. So, we’re going to get to know my homeschool from outside my house. I have all kinds of stuff to share with you from my kids today, so that’ll be fun. Lastly, if you do share this Periscope with anyone, I have started a hashtag for my Scopes and they will be called #bravescopes. What I’m hoping is that we will have, you know, a theme of people who get up the courage to share about their home schools and we can develop this long chain, this thread of people’s Periscopes that show them taking risks to become even more brave in their home education. So, if you feel like your Periscope fits in with that, please add that hashtag so I can see it. I would love to watch what you’re all doing. I learn from all of you. You know, I started homeschooling in the non-digital era, and now it’s like, mushroomed and exploded, and I’m so grateful to be here. So, thanks so much for sharing your lives with me and listening to things I might share with you, and hopefully that intersection will yield rich family lives because that’s what we’re all about. Alright, so, today my topic is the Enchanted Education. I have noticed when people are doing Periscope that a lot of times the comments interfere and it’s hard sometimes to keep your train of thought, you young women seem capable of it but I’m terrible at it. So, I’m going to comment if I see a question–like this one: “Missed the hashtag.” The hashtag is #bravescopes. All one word. #bravescopes, with an ‘s’ on the end. Let’s make it plural, so that it includes lots and lots of people. Gonna pull my little bra strap in. Okay. Here I am. Let’s go. So, what is the Enchanted Education? I love the word “enchantment” and you probably do, too. It seems to cast a spell or create a space where only good can occur or, at least, I want my enchantments to be the good kind, right? I am not looking at enchantment to be, you know, the evil witch from a Disney movie. We’re looking for that space, that magical experience with our kids, where we can tell that there’s something good going on, right? Like, we don’t want to interrupt it, because it looks like they are so engaged with what they’re doing and it’s producing something meaningful in their lives, and we’re all looking to make that happen. Well, first I have to tell you something: you can’t make it happen. I’m sorry to blow the whole talk before we could even get started, but you can’t make enchantment happen. It is a kind of spell that gets cast in the family, in the home, and what we’re looking for instead is to create conditions where it may emerge spontaneously. I did a little freewrite on the word enchantment before I got started, because I wanted to make sure I considered all the aspects that I thought were important. For me, enchantment means ease, peace, flow. You know, that feeling where you’re really in it and you forget about time and you’re able to devote a hundred percent of your concentration and energy to what you’re doing. Creativity, heightened awareness. I remember when I was a kid we used to make these Barbie houses out of books. We would turn them, you know, kind of like this, and we would make these houses all around–yes, “in the zone.” Very good, Cliffs and Wings. Um, that’s Jeannette, by the way. I love her. She works for me. She’s my buddy. We would make houses out of books like this, and we would spend hours decorating them, discussing what would take place in these rooms. I always used this big photo album as the dance floor and I had this jewelry box that looked like a piano, and we would play the music and we would talk about all the dances that we would hold in these Barbie houses. Here’s the funny thing; not once did we play with the Barbies in these houses. We were under the spell of the fantasy but we never actually followed through with the play, because the joy was in the creation and the building of this space. It wasn’t in the actual act of acting out this fantasy. I’ve shared before about writing that kids will do this. They will write a piece, and you think, “Where’s the beginning? Where’s the middle? Where’s the end?” Well, they’re just writing out the fantasy that they have in that moment. They’re not actually thinking about the whole story; it’s this one frame, this one piece that totally absorbed them and caught their attention. That’s what we’re looking for when we’re talking about enchantment or flow. This openness to the new, this connection that goes deep, and as parents our tendency is to quickly want to turn this into an educational moment, you know, like somehow manufacture information. We want to download information onto the magical moment. Sshh, don’t do it. Do not disturb. Let that play fort grow, let the Lego set stay out, let the painting be half finished for a month. What we’re looking for with enchantment is space for flow to occur, for engagement, connection to take place. It’s a spell that gets cast and that can only happen if we’re not there cursing it. Casting the counterspell, right? The temptation. Always. My very good friend and home educator buddy, Dotty Christensen, she was truly my mentor. She used to say this, “Whenever my kids are in the house reading a book, I think why aren’t they outside playing? And whenever they’re outside playing, I think when are my kids ever going to come in and read a book?” Right? How many of you live that way? I certainly have. There’s this urging and discontent that is a part of motherhood. We’re never quite satisfied right? You know the stereotype of the Jewish mother. She’s constantly nagging, right? She’s never satisfied. Well, I think you just put a homeschooling mother on steroids and that’s who we are. We feel this burden of responsibility to get it right, to maximize all educational opportunities, but the truth is you can’t grow without peace and space. Education is not about constant urging. Sometimes it’s about resting and seeing and letting be and allowing some things to go fallow or incomplete. That’s part of the enchantment. Guy Kawasaki, who is a pretty well-known blogger and writer and marketer, has a book called Enchantment, which I, you know, have not read, but I love his definition of enchantment and so I want to share it with you. He says enchantment is “voluntary, enduring, and delightful.” Voluntary, enduring and delightful. Think about that for a moment. It can’t be coerced. That’s disappointing news for mothers. Its enduring. It lasts. It’s something that is sustaining. When we built those little doll houses, we did it for hours on end. It was enduring. I used to skip down the back hill behind my house in California and I would sit under a tree and write in my journal for an hour. I made a butterfly net and I actually ran all over the hills catching butterflies and moths, and then letting them go, for hours. What did I learn? What was I learning? What could we quantify from those hours that I spent traipsing around that hill with a butterfly net? I’m going to leave you with that question, because I want you to really think about it. We’re going to come back to what’s happening, can we quantify enchantment? Mmkay? Because I think the reason that we want our kids doing something different than what they’re doing is we’re always trying to measure, always trying to quantify. So let me leave that with you: why are some of our fondest memories from childhood things that no one can quantify? And what did they do for us? Why are we better people because we have those moments? I want you think about that. We’ll come back to it. The other thing Guy Kawasaki says about enchantment that I absolutely love: “It converts hostility into civility, and civility into affinity.” Gonna read that again: “Enchantment converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity.” So, let’s think about that for a minute. You’ve got this huge, nagging, whining, and tired crowd of children living in the middle of your living room, and all you want is two minutes of peace, you know, to watch a Scope, to get online, to make dinner, to throw a load of laundry in, to take a phone call from your girlfriend because you’re at your wits end, right? What works? How do we pull them out of that horrible moment? Well, tell me! You guys are all logged in, we’ve got a whole bunch of you watching. How do you pull them out of that moment? What are the things you’ve tried? …
Oh my goodness, silence on the other end of the Periscope. “Sounds like today.” “Read a book.” Wow, good example, you get in the rocker, you pull out a book. Yes, look at this, “reading aloud,” oh my gosh, it’s winning! Yes. “Art.” Absolutely. If you pull out paintbrushes and canvases, I promise you… “Kick ’em outside to go play.” “Quiet time.” “Music.” Music and dance is great. “Ask them, ‘Is that necessary?'” “Crafts,” “Legos,” “Trampoline,” “Bake,” “Cuddles,” “Blocks.” Okay, no one has put “math pages” yet. Anyone do math pages? Oh yeah Susan Wise Bauer says, “Food, a shower, and a nap.” You know, I think those are true, but I don’t think they’re enchanting. Although food can be. Oh my goodness, I forgot my cookies! I left them in the house. I was going to show you my cute cookies. Yes, reading a book is one of the key ways. “Haha no math pages,” exactly. Almost none of you putting out pages. What about kids that are older? Well, what do you do with older kids? Well here are some ideas. Here are some things that I think help take hostility and convert it to civility. One is to do something with them. It’s really easy to want our kids to manufacture the magic with our urging rather than our modeling. Yes, “engage,” exactly. One of the things I remember really well about my friend Dottie–and I’ll share a lot about her today because I consider her my chief enchantment mentor. We lived in a foreign country together, we were both in Morocco. She had kids and I didn’t quite yet. And during those early years of my adult life, in a foreign country without the internet, can you imagine how lonely I was? You guys can’t even go, you know, a few hours not Periscoping someone. We had no phone, we have no TV, we had no internet, we had no connection with anybody on the outside world, no Instagram, nothing. So my friend Dottie would–was an artist, and one Christmas with–this is a Muslim country, you know, none of us had trees, we didn’t have ornaments, we couldn’t buy lights; there’s nothing that reminded us of home. So, she threw a party and this is what she did; she created stations around her house with supplies she had gotten from Fez Medina, the old city in Morocco, and stolked them with little, you know, Christmas craft things that she had designed, and then we all just freely walked around and made Christmas ornaments, ate food, hung out and chatted. And I remember the house was kind of a mess. Like, she had kids. There were wet towels on the floor in the bathroom, there was food everywhere. She made these little pizzas out of bagels that–let me just tell you, she made the bagels from scratch. She was that kind of woman, right? Like, she dropped the bagels in the boiling water and then cooking them and turning them into pizzas and then, you know, she’s like that. She’s amazing. But what I knew when I was in that context was, “This. This is what I want my family life to be like.” I want my family life to have messy wet towels on the floor while making pizza bagels from scratch and we’re building Christmas ornaments at tables. Like, I want that. I knew that wasn’t about education. I just knew it was about life. I wanted that life. I lucked out. Dotty and I moved to California together and she lived in an apartment across from me so we were in the same apartment in two buildings. We even like, literally would have pie in each other’s apartments with baby monitors. Like, there were no cell phones in those days, so we would, you know, do that just so our kids would sleep and we could actually have adult time. But what I loved about her, we would go over to her house, and she and I would be there to chat, you know, and supervise children because that’s most of parenting when you’re a home schooler; it’s supervising people so they don’t die on your watch. So, I’m in there with her and as she’s talking to me she is drawing things on the faces of my children. She’s talking to me about whatever we’re talking about and she’s drawing tiger stripes, she is hand-sewing capes while my kids are running through the house. They pull out the book Caps for Sale and the next thing you know, five of them are all performing Caps for Sale as a performance, just for me and Dotty. Because it was a space that was permissible to do all that in and Dotty and I were involved. I can’t tell you how many times I showed up at that house and there was a glue gun out and a pile of sticks and a bunch of pipe cleaners and googly eyes, and we just did that. We just did that together. Enchantment comes from being enticed, not coerced. So, think about that word just for a moment. Enticement. You walk in and it’s like, “Oh, I want that!” This is why Poetry Teatimes work, right? You aren’t saying, “For a robust education, you must read poetry. And if you’re going to appreciate it, you must take part in the British act of tea.” No! You’re like, laying a feast, you’re using magical tools, you’re eating yummy treats. Why wouldn’t you read a poem while you’re doing all that fun stuff? You’re seducing your children into a magical experience. And then the question is, “Are they getting an education?” Well, let’s find out if they are. Enchantment requires enticement. It requires companionship and engagement. I want to read to you for a moment from this book. It’s called the Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life. The author is Thomas Moore. He also wrote the best-seller called Care of the Soul and we actually studied a chapter of this in the Homeschool Alliance last year, okay? So, if you’re interested in the kind of reading I’m doing today, that’s a place where we do this in more depth. So, I want to read to you something he says about the home and how it creates enchantment, okay? A little story time. I’m enticing you. Alright, here we go: “The Imperfect House. A home will never be perfect for perfection is an idea and an ideal, and our home is always an approximation of our dream. I wouldn’t want to live in a perfect home, because enchantment and perfection do not lie in the same order of things. If you’re looking for perfection, you don’t pursue enchantment and vice versa. Enchantment pours out of cracks in shifting walls, tilting rooms, and not quite square corners. An enchanting home is not an ideal home, but is made for the people who live in it. We have small children and our home has to allow noise, breakage, chaos, and much physical use.” Okay, how much more true is that for a homeschooler? “Our children enjoy leaping from couch to couch, running sharp objects across the wood floor, and swinging from banisters. A delicate house would not be home to us now or perhaps ever.” So, if you have a messy house that has not been taken through the steps of the KonMari method, you have a magical house. I am here to confer that on you. When my children were growing up, literally I don’t think we saw the floor of the girls’ room for five years. We had a bed and a trundle that we could never push back under it because there was no way for all of the blankets to be tucked in correctly, so they lived walking on top of a bed and, yet if you’re in that room, they were making outfits, they played with dolls, Johannah famously jotted down Caitrin’s stories she would tell her at bedtime. We could all lay together while I would read to them to sleep or sing them lullabies. This was a space that was not neat but it was magical. It was home. It felt comfortable. So, if you have a cluttered house, that’s where the magic is. Now, if you have a neat house, the magic can be there. I’m currently purging my house. It’s that time in my life, right? My kids are all grown, and I am doing the KonMari method, I’m getting it all shipshape. But you know what? I’m not throwing away my memories. I don’t want it to be sterile. It’s still got, you know, artwork on the walls. Like this! This is Johannah’s painting! You know? This is still on my walls, that’s not going away, that’s home for me. Everything in my house has to mean something to me. So, it’s neater and it’s fun. It’s fun to have a neater house when you’re in your fifties; it’s not necessary when you’re in your thirties and forties. You’ll get to, that day’s coming and then you’re going to miss your children so bad you play with their dolls when they’re gone. That’s what happens. Alright, let’s keep going here. One of the components of enchantment, weirdly, is silence. Oh I love that! “Not neat but magical,” yes, that could be someone’s Not Motto, I love that. So, let’s talk about silence because we all crave it, don’t we? We all wish we had a little more of it, especially if you have like five, six, seven kids. I had five for those who don’t know. And my kids are all grown, 18 up to 28, and I homeschooled for 17 years. I should have said all this at the beginning, but now those of you who don’t know me now you know. Okay, so, “The key to finding enchantment is often through the doorway of silence. Silence is not an absence of sound, but rather a shifting of attention towards sounds that speak to your soul. In a moment of silence, you may feel your heartbeat or hear your breathing. Silence is a positive kind of hearing, which requires turning off the knob that tunes into the active literal life and turning–tuning–” Excuse me. “And turning on the one that amplifies the movements of the soul. Nature can be very loud as you sit quietly on a rock overlooking the ocean. Anyone who has ever meditated knows, too, how loud your own thoughts, memories, and wishes can be as you seek a moment of interior stillness.” One of the things we sometimes don’t realize is that when our kids are enchanted they are quiet. They might be in the middle of a video game or painting, they might be playing with legos. And because they’re quiet we might mistake the moment. We might actually think they’re not engaged. quiet is a signal that somebody has dropped down a level. One of the activities that I’d like to suggest to you, because I think it will be fun for you, is something we call a color walk in Brave Writer. You take a walk with your kids– sorry, the sun is hitting me weird now. I had it all set up better earlier– “…or the two year old’s painting the couch.” Yes, silenced with a two-year-old, you know that’s trouble. Anyway, the color walk. What you do is you have each person in the family, including yourself, pick a color before you go on this walk. You put the baby in the stroller, the toddler in the backpack, the three kids ahead of you. You know the drill. You’re schlepping 25 pounds of stuff on your shoulders and in the stroller, right? And you can’t imagine anyone will all get out of the house. I mean, you’ve got to find the shoes before you can tie the shoes, and then the jacket or not the jacket, and it’s exhausting. It’s why we never want to do it. But once you get outside, here’s what can happen. Tell everyone to pick a color. Now everyone is quiet and you say, “No talking. This is a talk free zone.” What we are doing for this walk is we are looking for our individual color. Noah has orange, Johannah has blue, Jacob has read. It’s okay if two people have the same color; they won’t be talking to each other anyway. And the goal is to notice the color. Find it in all the spaces it shows up or doesn’t show up on this walk and observe carefully. And if somebody starts rattling on, there’s always a child who cannot be quiet, it’s okay. Let that bubble up and froth over for a moment. There’s no reason to be punitive. There’s no right way to do this. But then you can hear it, validate the little chatter, and then return them to silence, because we are teaching them how to get quiet. How to hear their own thoughts, how not to need a mirror and an echo every time they have a thought. Which, turns out, is really hard for me. I walk around my big empty house talking, that’s so I can hear myself. Anyone who Periscopes likes to hear themselves. So, this is a skill and it needs to be cultivated and we can help our kids by engaging in that discipline ourselves and supporting them as they’re learning to do it, but part of the value is this quiet observation. It’s like they now have a mission: “I’m looking for yellow.” And their eyes and their minds are engaged and something magical has the opportunity to occur. Will it always? No. But it will sometimes. And then, when you come home, if you have kids who’re writing age, you can all freewrite about your colors. I remember Noah picked orange in the middle of a winter January in Ohio. I mean, the only two colors are white and gray in Ohio in January. So, he wrote a whole interview with orange. Like, “How does it feel to be left out of whole season?” You know? And he did it like a talk show. Um, there’s lots of ways to engage that information. It can be a conversation, it can be drawings, it could be–now with digital age–you can take your phones and let kids take pictures. There are lots of ways to engage it, but the idea is to cultivate space for magic, for introspection, for silence, for connection. So, that’s one idea. We do the color walk in our Nature Journaling class and Write For Fun classes in Brave Writer as a group, and that’s always really fun to read what people write. Um, think about this for a moment. So, silence can help foster it, but aren’t there times when it’s pretty magical and noisy, too? Absolutely. I remember my kids were really excited about Lord of the Rings, who wasn’t? And so they took over the video camera, and we have this hill in my front yard like, on the front yard, and they kept trying to recreate the idea of the army coming up over the top of the hill and then catching it, you know, on the video camera. They were absolutely engaged and noisy and having a fabulous time. What did they learn? Are any of my kids filmmakers today? No. Do any of them have the aspiration of creating, you know, films for a living? No. Are those video cameras even in operation, you know, 15 years later? No. So, it’s not about skill accumulation. There’s something else going on. And I’m teasing you, we haven’t gotten to it yet, but what is it? I want you to keep thinking. Why are these valuable experiences? When you go to the zoo every week, like we did one year, why do we keep going? You know, sometimes when we’re homeschooling, we’ll be on a nature walk and we’re thinking, “This isn’t invaluable yet. We need the field guide, we need the binoculars, we’ve got to do a tree rubbing, we’ve got to make sure that everybody is sitting and drawing.” But do we? Is it okay sometimes just to walk through the woods and be there together and not name a single thing or learn a latin root or figure out if it’s a nature journaling moment? Think about that just for a little longer. Okay, I know this is– I don’t have any sense of time, because I’m enchanted, so, you know, if you have to go just watch the rest on replay, and of course you can always tell me, “Eh, Julie, it’s enough; we’re done.” Okay. Sometimes the most sacred moments have no enduring educational value. Let me just say that again: sometimes the most sacred moments have no enduring educational value. You know how I know? Because most of you have been in love. Think back to the romance of dating, of finding that person in your life. You know, that was enchantment and it changed your life. Hopefully, for the best, but it changed your life. And that is what we’re after. We’re after a life. Education is a subset, it’s not the totality, not even really the goal. It has to be a goal and it is a goal and it will be the fruit of a rich life, but it’s not the goal. The goal is to be a part of your life, to actually sink down and be in it; to feel it, to know it, to be conscious of it as its racing by you. Exactly. “We’re there to enjoy each other’s company and create a memory and live in the moment.” And here’s the kicker. Here’s the why. Okay, here’s the why. Because people who are satisfied and whole on the inside are insatiably curious and open to learning. I’m going to say that again: people who are richly satisfied on the inside are insatiably curious about all the aspects of life that make life worth living, which includes an education. You can’t get to education through coercion. This is why you all homeschool. You guys remember school; you didn’t want it for your children. Don’t do that to your kids. Do what you imagined would be better. Be the person that’s in your fantasy–God, I’m gonna get emotional! I just think back, because my kids are grown now mmkay? I just think back to those moments when I woke up in the morning and I got in a rocking chair, we did that first, and we would read and there would be Legos everywhere and there’d be maybe a fire going and someone was knitting and I’m reading the chapter out of the book and all a sudden E.B. White would just rip my freaking heart out and I’d just start crying it, and Johannah would look up at me like, “What are you doing, Mom?” And it’s like, I am so supremely happy right now with my life’s choices. Like, you guys are here, and E.B. White is changing not just your lives but he’s changing mine, and we’re doing this shared thing and other people have to go to work and I don’t even have to. I get to be here. Like, that’s what was going on for me. And it’s, you know, I’ve said it a million times, it’s why I didn’t build Brave Writer very quickly and I didn’t try. I just wanted to do this thing and figure it out. There were days, of course, when I was anything other than enchanting. I was nagging, yelling, pitching a fit, treating my kids like they’re not, you know, the precious people that I was privileged to enjoy. But–and you all can have that huge ‘but,’ I know you can–but I knew at the core there was no place else I wanted to be and the dividends now on this end are so curious to me. I have a daughter who’s a social worker, who’s taking kids from the inner city to art museums and does poetry readings with them. I have another daughter, who just applied in college to be a tutor for inner city children, because they get it. That’s what’s happening. That’s what the magic is. The magic isn’t the academics. You guys are going to nail the academics. You will. I’ll help you, you’re going to help each other; there are books you can use for all that stuff, but only you, the mother and the father, can set the tone for enchantment, for magic, for connection. Only you. So, here’s the thing; soaked tennis shoes from waiting in tide pools, muddy boots from walking in the rain, sitting on a wall eating ice cream together, that’s what you can do with your kids to create a great homeschool. Someone asked where the hearts come from. You tap right above where the number is and a little person and then the hearts will just flutter up, which is so fun to see. They’re beautiful, thank you. You know when enchantment’s happening by feel, by your heart, by the connection; trust it, just trust it. Don’t be afraid of it, don’t doubt it don’t secondguess it. I remember saying last–at the retreat two years ago, any time something gets easy, we try to make it hard. It’s like we throw a hand grenade into the middle of the living room because we don’t really believe homeschool is good unless it’s hard work. And I’m here to tell you the exact opposite. The memories you have, and the success you achieve is in direct relationship to happiness. Okay? So, when things are easy just pause and take it in and be grateful that you achieved an easy, peaceful, magical moment. Take it in. Let it be. Yes, “Hard work can be close to coercion.” There’s hard work that is flow, where you’re really in it, and you’re doing a good job. This painting took some work, right? She didn’t just do that. This little Jot It Down project I did with Liam, here’s his little Rapunzel, here’s his Princess and the Pea mattresses. He was like, you know, five or six and totally dysgraphic and a lefty. This was hard. It took some work, but he was into it, he liked it, we had fun, right? It’s a mixture, it’s both things, but the hard work is only worthwhile if you’re invested, otherwise it is like slavery, it is like coercion. So, what do they learn in the Enchanted Life? Mmkay. That life itself is beautiful to behold, that life is worth living, that growing up to be an adult’s… how exciting! I can’t wait. I’ll even have more access to this great big gorgeous globe that we all live on. That’s what we hope our kids take away, that being a human is more than being a student, that we matter, that we take up space on this planet and have something to give to it; that space, nature, and our loved ones create a rich life. Connection is what it’s all about. Now, these are the rails on which education can travel. This is why so many of you love Charlotte Mason. You picked this up intuitively. She knows that the feast of ideas is a varied diet. That’s what that’s all about, you understand? So, we’re not looking to hit these educational pins, we’re looking to create a truly rich life that affords us introductions, as it were, to all the amazing aspects of what it means to be a person. I remember when I started doing the art piece, you know, art appreciation. I literally was addicted. I just said, “Okay, forget homeschool! We’re gonna learn about art!” I was done. And I didn’t care about, you know, Wordly Wise or Miquon Math for months. We just got out Sister Wendy, we watched her every day on the videos in the middle of the day, and then I just started compulsively buying art books at Half Price Books and going to the library and checking out stacks of art books and then we went to the museums and then we moved to Ohio and fortunately our art museum is free. So, what do we do? We freaking haunted that place. My kids know all the wings, they had favorite paintings in every corner, we took pictures of them standing under the big Chihuly chandelier. I don’t know what they’ve retained. I don’t think they’re master class level of art; they just like art. It was just awesome, that’s all. It was awesome is all. So, don’t stop enchantment when its in action. Your only task, the one I’m leaving you with, is to trust it when it shows up. You can’t make it happen. You can create space for it to happen and you can allow the life you’re living to enchant you. That’s what you can do. I wanted to show you all kinds of stuff and I don’t know if I have time to do that because I feel like I’ve taken a really long time today. So, what I think we’ll do instead is I’m going to save this little–I’m going to show you here. I have all these like product-y type things from my years of homeschooling. Let’s do a show-and-tell on Wednesday, mmkay? I’m going to be doing this Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 4PM for the, you know, upcoming future. And as long as everybody keeps coming and I have things to say, we’ll do it. Send me topics if there’s something you specifically would like me to discuss. I’ve already been given a few and I’m making a list, but today I really, really wanted to say like, what my heart is about and what I think homeschooling is all about, and then we’ll look at some products from my kids’ childhood and, ya know, more fun stuff. So, love you all. Any questions before we hang up here? I will um, you know–hoo-hoo-hoo, sing–I need a flute or something. Aw, thank you, Jen, it’s great to have you. Jen is one of our new Brave Writer instructors. Aw, thank you. Yeay, thank you, Emma. Thank you, Land of Lockhart. If you put your names on I’ll definitely say your name, and it’s lovely to get all those hearts, thank you. Yes, this will be in ketch. Um, the beginning, yes, you can see it on replay and Jeannette will post these to the blog, I have a little blog post that goes with this one, and you can find this on ketch for sure; we’re going to build up a little archive. One of the things I’d love to do, and we are saving it for November, is my book, A Gracious Space, for Fall is daily readings to sustain you in your homeschool commitment, so I think in November I’m going to read an essay a day in the morning and we’ll do that as a little month of gratitude and we’ll build up a whole big list of things we’re grateful for in our homeschools and lives. I have a weird relationship with the word “gratitude.” Sometimes I think people use it for denial, so I’m not looking for us to put a layer on top of our truths, but to be open and honest about what’s happening in our lives and find ways to hold it more gently, more graciously. So, we’ll do that in November for sure, but for September and October, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 4PM Eastern, and please tell your friends. And thank you, thank you so much for home educating your children. You are raising amazing human beings. I get to interact with homeschoolers every day and I’m telling you, I’m telling you it all works out. They’re incredible adults, oh my gosh, so amazing, and you’re doing it. Alright, goodbye, everyone. Love you. See you Wednesday.

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