Classical Conversations and Couch Schooling (with Charity Miner)

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Today’s guest is one of my real-life local friends, Charity Miner. She is the mom of 3 teens who’ve enjoyed homeschooling with Classical Conversations, including one who is graduating this year. Charity likes to be your homeschool big sister, and her perspectives on couch schooling, homeschooling a neurodiverse child, and the end goal of Classical education are sure to encourage and inspire you!

Be sure to check out all the other interviews in our Homeschool Conversations series!

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Who is Charity Miner?

Charity Miner and her Mr Bingley raise their 3 vastly different children dangerously near a Homeschool Bookstore. Charity directs Challenge 4 for her local Classical Conversations community, plans her next adventure, and looks at her phone too much. Filled with a passion for encouraging homeschool parents, she shares what God has taught her about parenting, homeschooling, and what’s really real @anotefromthefuture.

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Watch my Homeschool Conversation with Charity Miner

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Amy Sloan: Hello friends. Today I am joined by one of my in real-life, dear friends Charity Miner. I am very excited to get to read to you the bio that Charity gave me and a bio I got from her three children.

Let’s start with the official bio, shall we? Charity Miner and her Mr Bingley raise their 3 vastly different children dangerously near a Homeschool Bookstore. Charity directs Challenge 4 for her local Classical Conversations community, plans her next adventure, and looks at her phone too much. Filled with a passion for encouraging homeschool parents, she shares what God has taught her about parenting, homeschooling, and what’s really real over on Instagram @anotefromthefuture.

Charity’s children had a little bit of a different perspective to share. Well, not different, just a supplementary. They said that their mom is an awesome classical Christian homeschool mom—a genuine, kind adventurer who enjoys sleeping in late, k dramas, pour over coffee and driving her children to all their activities. A serial genre fiction addict, she gives advice she should be following, facilitates big conversations, and eats pumpkin pie for breakfast. Don’t cross her or she’ll scripe you.  Sincerely, her favorite three children. I loved that. I had to share them both.

Charity Miner: Yes. You got the other side of the story there.

Amy: Exactly. Well, Charity, I think that gives us a little bit of a glimpse into you and your family, but could you just tell us a little bit about yourself and your family and how you guys got started homeschooling?

Charity: Sure. Thanks, Amy. One of my very favorite movies describes all of its quirky characters by their likes and dislikes. I thought that’s really very accurate. I like the smell of creosote in the desert after a rain. I like sleeping in, obviously. Burger King Croissan’wiches, and efficiency. I dislike waking up for anything other than an adventure or a beautiful sunrise, inefficiency, and I really don’t like cacophony. My family, I am a shy extrovert army brat. Fairly introspective and principled. My family likes no wimps and no weenies, but we like to have fun and we do that through adventuring, through the wide world and our country, playing games, sharing witty rapport, and just loving the Lord together. That’s who we are.

How the Miner family got interested in homeschooling

Amy: How did you guys first get interested in homeschooling?

Charity: Well, we started with the product. My husband and I were both planners, we’re both firstborn. We like to know what our five-year, one-year, 10-year, 20-year, we could have planned our entire lives except for we know that God is sovereign over everything. You have to know that first.

We joined a church when we were not even married yet. We were fianced and we met all of these wonderful teenagers and they would talk to us like we were their peers. They could play with smaller people and respected them as humans. We just went to their families, to their parents, and said, “What do you do? We don’t have children yet. We’re not even married yet, but what do you do with them?”

They said, “Well, we raise them in the fear and nurture the admonition of the Lord and we pray so hard.” We’re like, check, check. We were planning on doing that anyway.” They said, “Oh, we homeschool.” We said, “Oh that sounds good.” I’m from a long line of teachers but my mom had planned to homeschool us anyway, so that was built into– that was an okay thing.

We thought about it and prayed about it and time passed and we decided that should the Lord bless us with children, that we would want to homeschool them. I even got my degree in elementary education to help that along cause that’s really what we had planned on doing. Then the Lord bless us with children and I graduated six months pregnant and that’s how we started.

We started with the end in mind. During that time, Susan Wise Bauer’s book just jumped out at me from a library bookshelf and I was reading about it and at the time I was learning about how we learn, how we acquire language and it just made so much sense. I was taking this to one of those moms of those fabulous teenagers and I said, “Oh, I just read this book, it’s really awesome. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it, it’s called The Well-trained Mind.” She laughed and she was like, “You mean that thing that’s there on my shelf” I’m like, “Oh, you know more about this than I do. That makes sense.” Just going from there– I don’t know how much history you want. That’s how we decided to homeschool really with the end in mind.

Amy: I love that. I love how you guys were these cute little engaged couple and you’re like, “Let’s plan out our children’s education.”

Charity: It’s all going to go exactly like we plan.

How Charity’s approach to home education has grown over the years

Amy: Exactly. I guess my next question would be, okay, so I know so many of the things you were just saying, I know having known you and your children obviously are playing out now, but I also know the Lord humbles us and teaches us and we have real children in front of us as opposed to the imaginary children in our head. How has your approach to home education grown and changed over the years since?

Charity: Amy, it’s so funny. So many homeschoolers have all this anxiety about, am I doing the right thing. Because I started with that end in mind and two completely different families — Let’s just be very clear. Our mentors that we were looking at, they were very dissimilar. We knew that as long as we had our principles and our goals in mind, and these are children that God has given us, we have no control over that, that we were pretty sure everything was going to turn out okay. Just keep that, that was our top line. No worries.

Ambleside Online and Couch School

We started doing Ambleside Online and we called it Couch School. This was before Morning Basket was really a thing and so it was Couch School, we piled on the couch and we read from Ambleside Online and from the suggestions that The Well-trained Mind had. We really loved that.

Classical Conversations

Then CC came along and that made a lot of sense. The thing that changed was really, I didn’t expect to do Classical Conversations for as long as we have. I really loved what we were doing. I loved Couch School. Classical Conversations was the big surprise for me. I’m so thankful.

I look at what we might have done otherwise and I’m really thankful that God dragged me into CC. I wasn’t like, “Oh, this sounds so much better.” I was like, “Oh, I’ll do this for a year and then not.” Then we really just planned to do it for one year. Then in the course of God’s plan, we were moving from that community and moving to a place where there was not a CC and I was like, great, that’s fine. We’ve only done it for one year. That was really just for fun. We’re social people and we like to go be somewhere once per week.

Our real school was what we were doing in Couch School and table school and things like that. I was looking forward to getting back to that, but the women at CC said, “We’ll pray for you. We’ll pray that a community starts where you are moving to in the Delta of Louisiana.” I said, “Please don’t.” I don’t need this and sure enough, we arrived boots on the ground in Monroe, Louisiana and our pastor’s wife said, “I know a lot of people who are really interested in starting CC, but they’ve never really seen it done and you have, here’s their numbers.” They called me a week later.

I had arrived. I was not there for two weeks and I already was going to tutor for a new community. That was really not my plan.

I’m really so thankful that CC has been there to hold my hand. I mean truly. It’s really a good model, a good method for people who were not homeschooled, who maybe are in an area that is anti-homeschool or non-supportive of homeschool. They really are a great resource for those of us who were public school educated, who this is a complete change of expectation for most of us. That has been just a huge blessing that I was not expecting.

Amy: That first year when you started, what were the ages or grades of your kids, and then what ages and grades are they now?

Charity: Yes. Oh, I haven’t even introduced my children. [chuckles] There’s Lucy. Lucy right now is 17. She’s a senior in high school. Josh is 15. He is a sophomore in high school. Ben is in eighth grade and he is 14. At the time, Lucy was six, Josh was four, and Ben was I think one and a half, something like that. We have been doing Classical Conversations since 2011 and really haven’t really looked back much, past those first two, three years.

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Charity’s Favorite Parts of Homeschooling

Amy: That was one of the reasons I’m excited to get to chat with you today because I don’t know very many people who have done CC essentially all the way through that whole, so I think your perspective is going to be good. Before we get to some of the questions related to that, I just thought throwing out, what have been some of your favorite parts of homeschooling in general?

Charity: Oh, definitely Couch School. I loved, still do love, except for they don’t do it as much and they don’t fit on my lap as easily. Piling up on the couch reading books together, discussing things. You had Marty, I’m going to say his name wrong because I said it wrong for too many years. Marty Makowski. Marty Machowski. Is that right, Amy?

Amy: I think it’s Machowski.

Charity: It’s Marty Machowski. I know. We had a disagreement about it, “No, it’s Machowski.” Just discussing how all of God’s word is pointing to Jesus. Just so many hours steeping ourselves in great words wonderful ideas. Some of my favorite, I’m not going to speak for my children. They would have completely different things to say, obviously. When we would take a difficult character in history and read many books, as many books as we could get our hands on about that person and see them more clearly for all of those different perspectives on that person. Like Napoleon, Catherine the Great, Saladin, and more. Just see like, okay, this person thinks they’re great and this person thinks they’re terrible, and just comparing what we thought might actually be true about that person. Those truly are my favorite, favorite times homeschooling.

Amy: I think that’s one of my favorite parts as well. I think so often people want to limit what they read about in history out of some misguided protective instinct. I always just think the best answer to having a well-rounded approach to history is read more, read more perspectives, open it up more, read more. Because it gives you that humility to realize the proverb where it says what the man says sounds good until another comes and pleads his case. It’s that idea of approaching with humility, listening well, listening to the author but being willing to hear multiple perspectives. I think we have a unique opportunity just out of time to do that as homeschoolers. Yes, one of my favorite parts too.

Charity: Yes, and we definitely want to train them to be looking for that truth and finding that truth, not on one side or the other but generally somewhere in the middle. I used to say, I don’t anymore, but I used to say I listen to NPR and I read the Wall Street Journal and I figure the truth is somewhere in the middle. The principle remains even if I no longer listen to NPR, but [laughs] I maybe go New York Times or something like that. I wanted my children to be able to ferret out the truth, no matter the source that they were reading or listening to for them to have a more balanced outlook and to really treasure a dissenting opinion.

Challenges of Homeschooling

Amy: Yes, discernment and a love of truth are invaluable. Those are all some really great parts of homeschooling and so far we’ve talked about all these wonderful things, not about challenges, it’s just always so great and perfect and wonderful. What have been some of the challenges that you faced in your homeschooling and how have you sought to overcome those challenges?

Charity: Okay, so my biggest challenge is myself because I’m really dumb. I’m an idiot. You shouldn’t listen to me. [chuckles] My husband and I, we like to be sarcastic and we’re a little less cynical. I think God has worn down our pride enough, probably, still has plenty to do, but we’re a lot more humble, so less cynical. When we were younger we would love to like make shocking statements.

Our second-born first boy, he was beautiful. He was the most beautiful baby and he drooled a lot. He was really, really good-looking in pictures. He didn’t look super smart. We call him the community college kid because we were pretty sure he was not, really, we were just joking around. He didn’t look super smart, let’s just say it that way because he was just beautiful and drooling. Forgive me for being myself, but there I am. I say this because of course God showed me how dumb I am by making him a scarily intelligent human being.

He was probably drooling because he was thinking about everything around him. When he was three, he came down from a nap time and I had already started couch schooling at that point, but really he was only allowed to sit next to me. His sister was on my lap. I was teaching her how to read. He came down from a nap time or quiet time and he had a little like, it was an easy reader, but it was a chapter book. He said, ”Mommy, I just read this book, can I read it to you?” I said, ”Oh, sure honey, yes.”

He read it to me and I went, what? I’m reasonably intelligent. I did do gifted classes in public school. As he grew and matured and we schooled him more and I was in denial very much so about just how intelligent he was. We call it eat your shirt smart because we had a friend in high school who would get so bored in his classes that he would chew on his shirt and eat holes in his shirt. That’s how smart my son is. He’s eat your shirt smart. As the picture of his mind continued to grow for us through Woodcock-Johnson tests and various other in-your-face evidence, I was very scared. I did not know what I was going to do with this child.

I had my degree in elementary education, so I had been exposed to special education. He’s like the special, special. He wasn’t just regular gifted. He was profoundly gifted and there was some question of is he on the spectrum. Because he had the over-excitability, he had the dysregulation of systems and he had the social delay. Not that he wasn’t interested in people, but he was more interested in what was going on in his mind. Time is passing and these things are occurring to me. I finally had a friend lovingly and with much trepidation say, “Have you considered having him tested for disabilities?” I said, ”I have, but this is making me think harder.”

I really had to dive into uncomfortable research and decide, is this worth going down that path? Is it worth finding a counselor or a testing service that we trust? The more I read about PG, Profoundly Gifted and also 2e, Twice-Exceptional, and about autism, I really thought and sought out some advice from people who know us, know him, is this something that I need to get extra help on? I came to the conclusion that if he was on the spectrum, he was high functioning. The things they would do for a high-functioning kid, not vastly different than what we were already doing, and that there are enough markers of him being profoundly gifted that would resolve with maturity that I decided that I would give it until his seventh-grade year and that we would work on coping skills.

We did coping classes with the local university and we did a lot of discussing and a lot of prep. We figured out his triggers and we talked about those. That was a lot of concerted and concerned work for many years with that trust that my research was leading me in the right direction. The advice that I’d gotten was the correct advice. Fortunately, I’m so relieved when in seventh grade he did show an interest in making friends and in being personable.

He’s always loved people, which was one of those things that made me think that he wasn’t really on the spectrum. He was just so focused on that stuff that was going on in his mind that he couldn’t look outside it just yet. Now he does. That was a challenge.

The other side of that, of course, is that his older sister was right there watching him zoom past her in math and zoom past her in his understanding.

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I joke, but it’s not really a joke. I haven’t taught him a thing academically. Everything that I’ve taught him are the things that you don’t usually have to teach a kid beyond, like, don’t hit, please be kind. Those sorts of things. It’s almost like figuring out the matrix of social interaction that’s been a challenge for him. It’s actually turned into a blessing for our family because now we talk about the ways that each of my vastly different children are intelligent. There’s not just academic and intelligence, quotient intelligence, there’s social, emotional– What’s that fourth one, Amy?

Amy: Adversity.

Charity: Adversity. That’s the one. We’ve had to be really honest with them. “Yes, you know what? Your brother is better at math than you. He just is. That’s an incontrovertible fact, but look at what you’re good at. Look at what gifts God has given to you, and he is preparing you both completely different things here in his kingdom.” Now, once one of them starts saying, “Well, I’m just not good at that,” the others immediately chime in, “Look. Look at this thing that you are good at.”

Instead of being something that is sub– What’s the word I’m looking for? Not subconsciously. Anyway, instead of being the thing that is a hindrance to them in their confidence, they can honestly and straightforwardly look at their faults, at their weaknesses, and say, “Yes, that’s something I’m working on, but look, I’m good at this. Look, I’m made for this.” That’s great.

Amy: I love that homeschooling has given you the ability in particular to know your children so deeply just because you were there with them not just in the social settings or in regular family settings but also academic. Being able to see the whole picture of who they are, both their strengths and weaknesses, and the unique ways that God has made them has been a real gift. I can tell just in how you’re describing it.

Charity: It reminds me of Peter Pan where Jamberry says that the mother goes through her children’s heads at night and that way that we, as homeschool moms who have been with them 24/7, 365, 18 years, we know where their thoughts have come from until they get to a certain age and then you’re like, “Wow.”

Amy: You’re your own person.

Charity: I don’t know where that came from. “Look at you go.” Now they’re surprising me in tons of ways, but you’re right. It’s such a blessing to know them so well and to be able, to be honest together.

Amy: I’ll just say here too before I move on to ask you the next question that if anyone is listening and like, “Oh my goodness, that sounds familiar.” My friend, Gina, says with her daughter, it was like being stapled to a cheetah homeschooling her. When you have this gifted child, along with some of the challenges too.

I have a whole series of interviews with some really amazing different women who come at it from different perspectives, so I will put those in the show notes.

If you have children with special needs or learning differences or twice exceptionalities, definitely check out some of those links. I’ll put in the show notes because we’re not alone and sometimes just realizing, “Oh, other kids are like this. This is not just my kid,” or, “I haven’t done something wrong.” [chuckles] That was a very helpful encouraging thing for me to realize that I think just knowing we’re not alone is such a gift.

Charity: He’s a racehorse. He’s not a cheater. He’s my racehorse. We’re a bunch of farm horses here and here’s our big beautiful stallion. I don’t know what to do.

Homeschooling with Classical Conversations

Amy: Well, going along with this idea of hearing stories from other people, realizing we’re not alone, learning from those who have gone before us, you have a relatively new Instagram account, A Note from the Future, and you have expressed that your desire is to be the big sister homeschool mama. I am really excited. I love that vision.

Specifically, you’ve been sharing your experiences as a Classical Conversations mama, there on your account, which everyone should go and follow you there, but could you just give us a little bit about your perspective on CC? You’ve talked about it a little how you came to it, but if you think there are any misconceptions folks might have and if there’s been anything that has surprised you about Classical Conversations.

Charity: I would say that most misconceptions within Classical Conversations or about CC stem from inherent issues within a local community. I’ve said that the strength of the curriculum really lies in your local community, and the local community can make or break that curriculum.

There are, of course, biases involved in any curriculum, but I feel like CC leaves it enough, in fact, entirely in the hands of the parent to use the curriculum how they see fit.

It provides lots of training. I truly do think CC is best for people who have come from a traditional schooling environment who really needs a handhold.

They provide training, they provide community, a really excellent curriculum. The thing that is the strongest for me about Classical Conversations and what really convinced me to continue past that one year which is funny because I tutored that first year, I was a foundations tutor for them and I really got involved in the curriculum and the information and maybe studied way too much about Christopher Columbus that my six-year-old definitely didn’t need to know, but I really wanted to do it well. Just thinking like a public school teacher, I had to know everything.

At the end of that, I went to a practicum and I learned that the whole curriculum was written from the top down. It was written from the high school years down to, what do you need in order to do these high school rhetoric stage things? Wow, well, you need to do this, this, and this, and in order to know those things, you need to memorize this, this, and this. The way that it is so thoughtful for getting to that end goal or temporary end goal, I’m not going to call that the end goal, but to graduate students who have been classically educated. Like, “These are what needs to happen for people like us who are–” We call it redeeming our education. We continue to redeem our education.

I can’t think of how many papers I wrote that I completely disagreed with for teachers who wanted to hear their own perspective echoed back to them, and so that lives inside of me and I need to get that out all the time. I need that consistent training and guiding and support both locally in my local community that we’ve been a part of, with the exception of that one year for twelveish years now, and also from the global community that CC provides. I’ve learned a ton, and that is what has convinced me to continue to stay with CC. Unless I’m doing it by myself or I have a really awesome just local co-op, I really can’t think of a better way for people like me to do classical education well, so if you know one please let me know. That’s, I really feel like despite its faults CC is really on the balance of a really great option for many people who need that consistent help and I am one of them.

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Why is it valuable to stick with CC in the high school years?

Amy: I meet a lot of people who use CC with younger children, but I don’t meet very many except for you and some of our mutual friends who are also at your co-op who have continued through those junior high and high school years. I know that’s something that you’re particularly passionate about. Why do you believe it’s valuable to stick with it all the way through and what kind of fruits are you seeing on this end that make all those younger years more meaningful?

Charity: Yes. Let me back up a little to your previous point or your previous question about starting A Note from the Future. I started directing four years ago and there was a particular day, my first year directing, and we had in every single strand, instead of subjects we call them strands, in every strand we had accessed our foundation’s memory work for each one. I was just thinking to myself if only I had known, I trusted. I trusted the method, I trusted the model. It looked good to me but the difference between faith and sight so to speak is vast. I just said, “Oh, if only I had had this knowledge I would’ve been so much more encouraged.” I thought I can’t go back to my previous self but I can write A Note from the Future to other people who are coming up behind me doing the exact same thing that I did so faithfully for so many years.

I wrote my first, “Hi, it’s me, Charity from the future” on the Classical Conversations Facebook group and got lots of support, lots of oh, I just really needed to hear this today. I just continued to do that as the spirit struck me throughout the next couple of years.

Fast forward to this year and I have a lot of time on my hands that I wasn’t expecting because all of my children are still at home but all of them are really directing their own education so that I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa wait, let me check in on you. What are you doing?” That’s it. Other than the odd question and the need to be driven somewhere I’m like what am I supposed to do?

About that time I was writing another note from the future to the Facebook group again and someone said, “Are you on Instagram? Can I follow you on Instagram because I would love to have these just accessible in one place?” I said, “No, I’m not.” Again, I’m an idiot. You don’t want to listen to me. I can’t do that. I’m so not an influencer. I like the idea of being a big sister. I think that that’s something that is very indicative of my generation is this I’m not an expert. Don’t look at me. That sounds too authoritative, but I can be a big sister. I can’t be somebody’s mentor.

I can’t be an influencer, but I can be a big sister and I can boss you around sometimes and be wrong and just honestly share what I have done and where I am now with zero authority. I see this need. I’m just going to speak from my perspective from Classical Conversations that it is very, very easy to do the grammar stage and to do the dialectic to load all that grammar and then to do lots of projects with it. That’s basically how CC goes from foundations to essentials to challenge A, challenge B, and even challenge one. When you get to the upper challenges, it starts to look more like that is classical education but it starts getting like foreign classical because I think a lot of people who were trained, who were educated in a more traditional school setting, they can get behind loading lots of grammar.

That sounds good and familiar and like we’re going somewhere. They can get behind having lots of projects and events to go to and science fairs and things like that but when it comes to discussing ideas socratically, that is foreign. Even though that’s something that we do as an adult we love to talk we love to discuss, that’s how grownups play is swapping ideas and seeing what other people think about something. That practical education creeps in. This is what I’ve been thinking about. When they get to the teen years, why do a lot of people leave classical ed, Classical Conversations, homeschooling? Dual enrollment is a huge draw and I access dual enrollment. You guys do, too, but that’s a part of our education and not the whole.

I think it’s just really, really difficult if you are living in a society that values the practical that values something that produces something, a paper, a project, an experiment. Not that we don’t do those things but if classical education is valuing this search for the transcendentals and doing that through lots of what we say just beautiful conversations, big conversations, that doesn’t always compete well with “but I can get college credit if I go to this school” or “I need to prepare my kid for the real world now.” I’m just saying it didn’t even occur to me until four years ago. No, no, no. I’m not preparing my child for the real world. I’m preparing them for eternity. What education is going to provide them better for eternity?

Not the practical one. It’s going to be the beautiful one. We add the practical elements, we prepare them for living in a world that is not their home. Of course, we do that. We’ve done that since the beginning. The end goal of the education that I’m providing for my children is no longer to get a job. It is to be a loving member of God’s kingdom here on earth. It’s very, very, very difficult to have that kind of mind shift because it feels so much scarier than not going to your local public school, and homeschooling it is really dangerous. It feels really scary but some of us have to take that leap and show others, “Hey, look, this is what we’re doing. If you continue this is what it looks like for your kid too and these are the big ideas that they are sifting through and are preparing themselves for those ideas that are going to bombard them for the rest of their lives sifting through those, finding the truth, finding those that are beautiful and good and knowing what that looks like.”Oh, that’s my prayer.

Amy: I think it’s going to be so encouraging for moms to be able to get a vision that not only is it worth it which I think you’re communicating but also like it actually does work. You can’t actually do this because especially if you’ve never seen it done before you’re like what does that even mean? I don’t even know. I’m really excited that you get to share your perspective.

Charity: Yes. Up until four years and I did the CC thing, right? I tutored foundations for seven years. I tutored essentials for two years. I did all the tutor training and I was a tutor trainer and went to all the practicums but it really wasn’t until I started directing challenge two that I went, oh like, oh, like I had to experience it before I went Socratic dialogue. I had never heard about it, thought about it. Yes, it was a huge mind shift because up until that point I would’ve said yes I want to prepare them for the real world. I wanted to prepare them spiritually so I wanted them to go experience a school, have that bombardment of wrong ideas and come home so that we could discuss it, right? I didn’t want their first experience with the world to be when they don’t live at my house. I was so confident that we were not homeschooling through high school, that I named our home school “Miners teaching Minors”. It’s the worst name ever. That’s going to go on our transcripts.

Amy: For those who don’t know in North Carolina, when you register your homeschool, you pick the school name that will last until your homeschool ends, no matter how many children you have, you cannot change it, so choose wisely.

Charity: I can’t be like, yes, I picked a really dumb name. I’m sorry. Sorry children.

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If you could tell your new-homeschool-mom self one thing, what would it be?

Amy: It will help them stand out and be unique. Charity, I think your whole vision for this and everything you’ve shared is definitely advice a new homeschool mom needs to hear but if you could go back and just tell your new homeschool mom self just one thing, what would it be?

Charity: Okay. I already am. I am at my little Instagram account. I don’t think I would tell her very much because I feel like she really needed to learn those lessons that God had for her. Young Charity is a very confident person and she needed that humbling experience. She thought that if she planned everything out ahead of time and if she thought of all of the possible contingencies and if she could find the right advice, she humbly listened to everybody, and then she made her plans and she needed to get knocked down by God a couple of times. I have a friend, I quote him all the time, we learn by words or we learn by pain and we really do learn both ways, right? That’s what sanctification is. I wouldn’t give up any of that sanctification for anything like, God, please don’t send me more. I don’t want those same painful lessons. They were painful but I needed them. Yes, I would tell her all the same things. I would say look where you’re going. It’s so great. It’s so great here. Continue to do that good work.

What Charity is reading lately

Amy: I have loved this conversation, Charity. Thank you. This has been so much fun here. Here at the end, I’m going to ask you the questions that I ask all my guests. The first one is just, what are you personally reading lately?

Charity: Ooh, what am I reading? This is a hard question because there’s a stack.

Amy: You can share all of them. That’s fine with me.

Charity: Let’s see, I just finished The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik. That’s my frivolous one. I am currently reading A Storm and a Teacup by Helen, ooh, what’s her last name? Cz something, Cz something. I don’t have the book with me. I’ve been studying on Euclid because my students wanted to do Euclids, Euclid, and Geometry this year. I’m studying Euclid. I guess in my Bible study I am reading through Genesis and reflecting, oh, Paradise Lost like wrecked me a couple of years ago and so I just, all the beautiful ideas about Satan thinking that he was the best because he was created first and hating Eve because she was created last, but, oh look, she can bear image bearers and I’m like, women are awesome and God made us really wonderful and beautiful. Anyway, so I’m currently loving all those ideas. Yes, I think there’s others.

Charity’s best tip for helping the homeschool day run more smoothly

Amy: Yes, there are always more books to read. Those are some good ones though. Really excellent. What would be your best tip for helping the homeschool day run more smoothly?

Charity: Oh, I had another mentor. I call her a mentor, she was a friend. She was a friend with experience and she said, “Your bed is a boat, and don’t get out of the boat to start your day until you have prayed because your boat is on storm-tossed seas.” I picture myself grabbing onto my mattress and holding on and praying before I even get out of bed. That’s of course the scripture-approved answer. There are many other practical things that you can do. Certainly, I’ve trained my children so that they can be independent and they can do the things that they’re doing that is making me currently quite bored, but I’m going to say prayer. Don’t get out of bed until you prayed.

Follow Charity online

Amy: That is the best advice of all. For sure. Charity, where can people find you online?

Charity: You can find me at A Note from the Future on Instagram. I’m not really planning to expand it just yet, but who knows? Blog. I don’t know. I’m just taking Elisabeth Elliott’s advice and just doing the next thing and we’ll see where God leads me from there. I think I’ll keep that one up.

Amy: I will include that link in the show notes for this episode over at Thanks, Charity. It was fun to chat with you.

Charity: You too, Amy. Bye.

Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews Podcast Amy Sloan
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