Charlotte Mason Inspired: Little Learners, Learning Challenges, and the Cultivation of Habits

little learners special needs habit training Charlotte Mason Inspired Little Learners, Learning Challenges, and the Cultivation of Habits homeschooling motherhood leah martin homeschool conversations
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Leah Martin offers valuable insights into applying Charlotte Mason principles to the early years of homeschooling and adapting them to best work for children with special needs. We also discuss home education in the little years, the cultivation of habit, and the sanctifying work of motherhood.

little learners special needs habit training Charlotte Mason Inspired Little Learners, Learning Challenges, and the Cultivation of Habits homeschooling motherhood leah martin homeschool conversations

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Discovering Charlotte Mason education

Leah’s introduction to Charlotte Mason came at a pivotal moment in her life, just as she was navigating the early years of motherhood. Armed with a master’s degree in reading curriculum and instruction, Leah initially delved into public school teaching. However, it was her transition to an Ambleside School that introduced her to the profound principles of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. This encounter marked a turning point, igniting Leah’s passion for Charlotte Mason’s approach to education and inspiring her to embark on a homeschooling journey rooted in its principles.

Charlotte Mason in the early years

One of the core aspects of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy is the emphasis on the early years as a time of quiet growth and sensory exploration. Leah resonated deeply with this principle, recognizing the importance of allowing children to learn through their senses and engage with the world around them. She emphasized the significance of outdoor time, describing it as the ultimate sensory experience that fosters holistic development in children.

Getting Started with Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Amy Fischer Homeschool Conversations podcast

The adaptability of Charlotte Mason homeschooling for children with learning challenges

Moreover, Leah highlighted Charlotte Mason’s remarkable adaptability, particularly in catering to children with learning differences. As a mother of a son with special needs, Leah shared her journey of navigating homeschooling while accommodating her son’s unique learning requirements. She emphasized the importance of flexibility and grace, acknowledging that while she predominantly follows the Charlotte Mason approach, she adapts strategies to suit her son’s individual needs.

JoAnn Hallum Charlotte Mason Homeschooling

Being transformed as a mother and home educator

Leah’s reflections on her homeschooling journey underscored the transformative impact of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy on her perspective as a mother and educator. She acknowledged the evolution of her approach, initially striving to replicate the structure of traditional schooling as her homeschool system before realizing the importance of embracing her role as a teacher and tailoring lessons to suit her family’s needs. Through this process, Leah learned to trust her instincts, prioritize meaningful learning experiences, and cultivate a spirit of gratitude and joy in her homeschool.

Habit Training

Furthermore, Leah shared insights into the profound influence of Charlotte Mason’s habit training on her personal growth as a mother. She emphasized the significance of cultivating habits not only in children but also in oneself, recognizing the transformative power of small, intentional changes over time.

Leah also emphasized the role of prayer and seeking guidance from God in navigating the challenges of homeschooling and motherhood, highlighting the importance of surrendering control and embracing the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

little learners special needs habit training Charlotte Mason Inspired Little Learners Learning Challenges leah martin homeschool conversations

Leah’s journey with Charlotte Mason exemplifies the transformative power of embracing a philosophy rooted in wisdom, grace, and intentionality. From reading spring poems together to sensory play and everything in between, she has discovered the beauty of nurturing a love for learning, fostering holistic development, and cultivating a spirit of joy and gratitude in the homeschooling journey.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Embrace the beauty of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy for holistic education, focusing on nurturing healthy whole individuals.
  2. Transitioning to homeschooling involves prayer, persuasion, and adapting to the needs of each child.
  3. Charlotte Mason’s principles provide a flexible framework adaptable to children with special needs, prioritizing individualized learning.
  4. Trust in your role as the teacher and the ability to tailor education to fit your family’s unique dynamics.
  5. Recognize the importance of sensory experiences and outdoor exploration in early childhood education.
  6. Ease into formal education gradually, focusing on short, engaging lessons to maintain sustainability.
  7. Habit training fosters growth, encouraging gradual changes in both parenting and personal habits over time. Fostering good habits for kids is an essential benefit of this approach.
  8. Slow down and savor the fleeting moments of motherhood, finding joy in the journey and being present with your children.
  9. Manage expectations and make room for the Holy Spirit to guide the homeschooling journey, allowing for unexpected learning opportunities.
little learners special needs habit training Charlotte Mason Inspired Little Learners Learning Challenges leah martin homeschool conversations

Listen to the full podcast episode “Embracing Charlotte Mason: A Journey in Homeschooling and Motherhood with Leah Martin,” Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology Season 9, Episode 7

Leah Martin My Little Robins Charlotte Mason homeschool conversations

Leah Martin is a Christ-following  mom of three who believes that teaching Charlotte Mason’s way produces healthy, whole people. She  has a Master’s degree in Reading Curriculum and Instruction, and taught in public schools for 7 years before moving to an Ambleside School, where she learned Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. This experience changed her life, introducing her to the philosophy when her daughter was just an infant. Now, Leah continues to teach people through My Little Robins, and creates materials that are simple to use and include multiple ages. 

Links to things discussed in this episode

little learners special needs habit training Charlotte Mason Inspired Little Learners, Learning Challenges, and the Cultivation of Habits homeschooling motherhood leah martin homeschool conversations

Amy: Hello, friends. Today, I am joined by Leah Martin. Leah is a Christ-following mom of three who believes that teaching Charlotte Mason’s way produces healthy whole people. She has a master’s degree in reading curriculum and instruction and taught in public schools for seven years before moving to an Ambleside School where she learned Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. This experience changed her life, introducing her to the philosophy when her daughter was just an infant. Now, Leah continues to teach people through My Little Robins and creates materials that are simple to use and include multiple ages.

Today, Leah and I both are recovering from some colds. I will just say upfront, please excuse any raspiness and coughs. [laughs] Leah, that is your official introduction there. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and how you guys got started homeschooling?

Leah: Sure. This year, I’m homeschooling three children. They are in fifth grade, second grade, and kindergarten. Last year, I actually only homeschooled my daughter, who was in fourth grade at the time, and I sent my son to school full-time. That might be something to talk about later as well. With a kindergartener joining the race, now we have all three of them home. It’s been really fun. I didn’t think we would end up homeschooling, but after stopping teaching at Ambleside School, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to put my children in public schools, that I saw the beauty of that, and that I couldn’t do anything else after that.

Because private school wasn’t really an option, being on one income at the time, I decided that homeschooling might be the best option. It actually took me a while to convince my husband that this was the right thing for our family. I did a lot of praying. I did a lot of introducing him to resources and people who had been homeschooled just to show him that his perception in rural Iowa growing up is not the same as it is now. Eventually, he was on board and he’s still on board. Even now, he’ll say, “No, you can’t put anyone in a school now.” [coughs] Excuse. I’m really grateful for that.

We are mostly Charlotte Mason at this point. I do have a son with some special needs going on, and so I’ve learned to just adapt and do what he needs and not worry so much about how Charlotte Mason-y it is knowing that what he needs is not dictated by what somebody said a hundred years ago in her philosophy. We’re loosely Charlotte Mason at this point, but still guided by her principles and still encouraged by her philosophy.

Amy: Since you had this idea and you had been introduced to Charlotte Mason education already before you began homeschooling, do you think that your approach to education or your thoughts about homeschooling have grown or changed over the years? How have you seen yourself develop in your philosophy of education?

Leah: I think they have. I think because I started out wanting to homeschool because of this beautiful school that I saw, I really tried to copy that for a long time and make it the school. I wanted to know what they were studying in kindergarten and first grade and then try to match up with that. Make sure to cover all the artists and books and things that they covered.

Over time, I realized that really I’m the teacher and I need to do what fits in well for us and not try to copy this school. You hear a lot of homeschooling in that school at home, but I think it was harder for me to take that in, being in a beautiful school that was not like public schools at all. It really did feel like homeschool. I had seven students in my fourth-grade class one year, so it felt almost like large family homeschooling. They were all in the same grade so that made it easier. [coughs] Excuse me.

Over the years, it just really became my own. I started trusting myself as the teacher to my children and not trying to follow this prescribed thing. Even in some areas, letting go a little bit of Charlotte Mason. Thinking that this year I bought an open-and-go language arts curriculum, where in the past I had always chosen the books and then chosen the copywork passages. Knowing that my son really needed like concrete, “Now we’re done. This is your work and you finished it,” and not like, “Oh, we’re going to read this book, and now we’re going to do narration, and now we’re going to do copywork.” That was just too abstract for his mind.

I just really had to give myself grace of breaking free of my own ideals and doing really what was right for my son and knowing that God put me in charge and that I wasn’t going to do anything outside of His will if I was just trying to pray about these decisions and make these decisions that were right for him. It’s changed in the ability to make these decisions for myself and to know that God still smiles on that and still is happy with our homeschool even if it’s not like this beautiful philosophy that I envisioned.

little learners special needs habit training Charlotte Mason Inspired Little Learners Learning Challenges leah martin homeschool conversations

Amy: Sometimes, I think, it can be really easy for our homeschool educational approach or philosophy to become its own little idol. We take things that are good, but then we make them the supreme or ultimate good. That is a burden that is too heavy to bear, and it’s not really being useful at all or helpful to ourselves or to our children. I love that you realized which things were truly important that were the non-negotiables and which were the things that you could tweak and do what was best for your own unique family. That’s great.

Leah: It’s something you hear all the time, but really putting it into practice in your own home is a different story, I think.

Amy: Oh, what have been some of your favorite parts about homeschooling?

Leah: Right away I knew that what I really wanted to do is teach my children to read. With my master’s degree in reading curriculum and instruction, that’s something I’ve always loved. I loved teaching first grade and getting to teach little ones to read. I really wanted to be the one to see my children light up with that moment of, “Aha, I got it.” I’ve loved that in homeschooling.

Right now, my kindergartner is learning to read, and it’s just so special. I think it’s really bonding for us to have this one thing we’re working towards together and sitting down one-on-one and getting that time together every day. I think it’s really huge for us. That’s more specific because that only happens a couple of times throughout the course of homeschooling, depending on how many children you have. I love getting to spend time with my children and knowing where their influences are coming from because I think there’s so much white noise and things that you hear and things going on that you just don’t know what is going to be speaking to them. Being able to help them with discernment and to teach them what is good and true and beautiful and not worry about what they’re getting at school is really helpful and life-giving, I think, for us in our homeschool. Spending time, getting to be the one to choose what we’re picking, and then also getting that special reading instruction time.

Amy: Oh, I love it. Those are some beautiful parts of homeschooling. For sometimes I haven’t always loved the process of teaching the reading when they just are sounding out every letter on its own and you think you’ll never, ever get to the point where you can just read the word ‘cat.’ Then when it finally clicks and they’re reading it on their own and then they’re reading the Bible on their own, that’s exciting. That’s really exciting for me too.

Leah: [crosstalk]

Amy: What have been some of the more challenging parts of homeschooling? I wonder if it was some of those challenges that played into your decisions last year about trying something different and sending your son to school. Challenges in general, and then maybe specifically walk us through what your thoughts were last year and how that changed about this year.

Leah: Yes, thank you. Yes, my son right now has some learning differences. I think we’re having some issues that on the surface look like reluctance, and defiance, and things like that. When you dig deep down, there’s probably a biological rootcause of that that’s going on. That has made homeschooling a challenge. Just feeling like everything is a battle. Wondering how to reach a subject area that is a little difficult. All of those things are just extra when you’re already feeling like your plate is full with homeschooling. I really struggled with that and do struggle with it now.

It is good that we’re dealing with some of the rootcause issues, and I think that that’s helping. We saw a naturopath, and we’re on a set of vitamins that are helping to produce his own natural dopamine. That’s really huge because there are a lot of synthetic medications that could do the same thing. We’re learning how to get him to produce it on his own. For me, that seems like a gift for us to be experiencing and to experience God’s healing natural remedies that he has. That’s the challenge that we’re mostly facing at this time.

I think also challenges that we’ve faced in the past are things like overbusy-ness, trying to fit everything into our day, and then not really having enough time for homeschooling. Then also just comparing what we’re doing. I told you a little bit about having to let go of some expectations. That really has a lot to do with comparison, seeing what other people are doing and then thinking you have to be doing the same thing.

Last year was a huge decision for us. We put our son, who was in first grade at the time, in a charter school. This school is actually really beautiful. For a free program, it was the best we could imagine finding. It’s a classical school and they teach all the beautiful things we want to teach at school. Most of the families are Christians, even though it’s not a Christian school. Most of the teachers are too. For us, that felt really good and really comfortable.

What we noticed is that our son was just afraid. He just had a lot of fear about going to school. At home, he’s comfortable to do whatever he is feeling emotionally. He screams. It’s that phenomenon of children are 800 times worse for their parents than for other people or for their moms specifically. At school, he was just this amazing child and the teacher could not believe that we had ever had a behavior issue [coughs]– excuse me– in our lives. Excuse. When I’m not talking, I’m not coughing either. [laughs]

The issue was that he was sitting there petrified that he would get in trouble all day. He was so afraid of the card system. If he turned a card, I wouldn’t be mad at him but in his head, turning a card was the worst possible thing. He didn’t want to be called out or embarrassed in front of the other kids. He didn’t want to look like he didn’t know the answer or that he was struggling with reading.

I realized that fear and learning can’t coexist. There’s a lot of studies on this. Having an atmosphere of fear is really the most deterrent thing to learning. I thought, if he’s just sitting there terrified all day that he’s going to get in trouble, he’s not learning. It might look like this is good for him or that he’s suddenly having this change of heart with learning, but that’s not what’s happening. He’s just trying to do what he can on the surface to look like he’s doing what he should be doing, when underneath the surface, he’s just panicked.

That was really hard to see as a mom, to see your child feel that way all the time and just be worked up all the time and stressed out. We decided that home was the best place for him again. It wasn’t that those struggles we were having before went away. It was that I had learned to handle those struggles better and to emotionally handle his outbursts and his pushback better.

That’s where we are with our struggle right now, is realizing that I can’t change my son, I can pray all I can, and God could change him. If God isn’t, then there’s something He wants me to learn about that. What I have to do is learn through that and learn what God wants of me in those moments of distress and really uncomfortable, “Come on, just do what you’re told.” God is growing me through that. That’s what I learned through that whole experience of putting my son in school.

Amy: I think that’s going to be so encouraging for other moms to hear. I think sometimes, especially if you do have a child that is really challenging and hard to homeschool, and you’re looking at these rosy pictures on the internet and you think, “That is not the way my homeschool day looks.” Maybe it’s homeschooling or maybe it’s me that’s the problem. If I just sent them away, it would fix all the problems. Just to realize that some of those challenges and issues are deep and they’re heart level. Sometimes they’re biology level, right?

It’s not that homeschooling is causing the issues necessarily, or there’s a magic fix somewhere else. Sometimes it’s that whole process, that hard process of walking with our children through the challenges beside them that can really bring growth in our own hearts. I definitely have seen that in my experience homeschooling and having some challenging children, and also ultimately to see the grace of God at work in their hearts. The other thing I loved that you said is we can’t change our children’s hearts. We can’t change them. I think we like to think we can.

[chuckling]

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Amy: God is so good to give us that challenging child to really show us what’s true for all of our children, even our more outwardly compliant children. It’s true for all of them equally, that it is the Lord who is going to be working in their heart. We just get to be there to see that happen, which takes a lot of pressure off of us as the mom, I think. Oh, yes, definitely.

Leah: When we try to fix it all, we carry so much stress that’s just unnecessary. It’s not all ours to handle and all of ours to bear the weight of. We can just let it go and see what God has called us to do in those moments instead of trying to fix our children.

[chuckling]

Amy: When we think about Charlotte Mason and homeschooling, I know that you have a lot of resources specifically about that in the early years. I was wondering if you could talk us through what the Charlotte Mason principles, the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling and education might look like in the early years, which I sort of use broadly because that can be different things for different children. Are there certain things we should prioritize with our young children, those beginning learners?

Leah: Sure. That’s a great question. The early years are basically a child’s time from birth to six. Charlotte Mason said that should be a quiet growing time. I really clinged on to that when I left Ambleside School and then I became a stay-at-home mom for the first time. I really wanted to figure out how to give my child this beautiful early years time. Actually, at first I started out really preschool-y of like, “We’re going to do this, and then, we’re going to sit down, and this is our book for the day.” Then over time, I think God just mellowed me out and he also gave me more children [chuckles] and that’ll–

Amy: That’ll do it.

[laughter]

Leah: I really just changed what we did in the early years to make it a time for my children to learn through their senses. That wiped clean all these ideas I had of sitting down and doing things. It’s really a sensory experience. I still think this is beautiful because it lets our children just be little and learn with what they have at the moment. It sees them as they are. They’re little explorers. Every child asks why and digs into things. Even a baby puts things in their mouth because they want to learn with their senses.

Just giving them plenty of opportunities to do that is hugely important in the early years. I know that’s hard for a lot of moms because it isn’t very structured. We see these things online and we think we need to do all of these things to get our children ready. That’s not really the case. If you think about it, the senses are the building blocks for everything that we learn in the future. We have to know what things look like, or feel like, or sound like, or smell like in order to have any kind of knowledge. You can’t know what a letter A is if you don’t understand straight lines and angles or just the sounds of A. Really spending time and building a good basis of sensory learning is what’s important in the early years.

Then, Charlotte Mason said that that was outside time. Again, if you think about it, that is just genius. It’s really genius because we see these sensory bins, and they look so cute and giving our kids fall sensory experiences. Really outside is the best sensory bin because we’re using our sense of touch when we pick up a pine cone, but then also the wind is blowing on their skin and that’s also the sense of touch in a different way. Then we can smell whatever the wind blew our way. Hopefully, it’s positive, crispy fall leaves or crisp winter snow just falling. Those things are multi-sensory versus just grabbing in your spring sensory box or whatever it is. That’s why being outside is so important. It really fully develops their sensory systems.

One thing I learned that I thought was so interesting is a lot of kids are becoming nearsighted because they’re on screen so often. When you’re outside, you have to shift your vision to long distance and you can– from close up to long distance and it gives your eyes practice. For me, those are the most important things in the early years. I read a lot of books too. Books are beautiful and they also help build the child’s vocabulary. Really, what I think is most important, the desire to want to read books and to want to sit with you and listen to books, because that goes on and on through their education.

Through those early years, I think those are really important things. I try to make resources that tap into those things, to tap into books and sensory learning because I know that some moms just need a little structure. I was a mom who needed structure because otherwise, we would just be in our pajamas all day and never– the house would be a mess. I just needed some structure in our day of like now is outside time, and now is a craft time. I try to create those things that bring that in for moms.

Amy: Then did you transition to more formal education around age six or what has that looked like in your homeschool?

Leah: Yes, we did for each of our children. My daughter’s birthday is in March, so it wasn’t really a logical time to bring in more formal education. Really, first grade was our first year of formal homeschooling. Because we had read books and because our Year 1 is so gentle, it really wasn’t a hard transition. We probably spent an hour and a half our first year of homeschooling. With my boys, they have October birthdays, so I just went ahead and did a kindergarten year with them. It worked out really great because the kindergarten year gave us a chance to get used to it. Probably half an hour with each child or with that child, but get used to lessons before you moved on to that more formal first year.

Easing into it, I think it’s important to just do little bits at a time instead of dropping three hours of work on your young child. Just working your way into it, half an hour here, maybe 45 minutes, and then working up to a little longer, and– wherever you see fit. There’s no time frame that you have to have that longer, formal lessons. Wherever you see fit, adding more time in until they’re working at a comfortable level.

Amy: I think that is such a great bit of advice. I often see it, as I’m sure you do as well, moms on the internet who are so excited about homeschooling for the first time and they have this little kindergartner, and then they tell about what they’re going to be doing, and there’s 27 subjects. You think to yourself, “This is going to take– ” They’re sometimes coming in later after a few months, and they’re so discouraged. They’re like, “We get up. We start school at 8:00. It’s almost dinner, and we just haven’t gotten to everything on my list.” I think to myself, “Oh.” I feel really sorry for the mom, let alone the child. Being able to ease in little by little. Even if it’s not year to year, you could ease in and add a little bit more every month even. That’s a gentler approach, I think, for mom as well as a child because you’re both learning how to do this thing together, right?

Leah: Yes, and sustainability is the key, I think, to homeschooling. If you are roaring out the gates like that, it’s not going to be sustainable. Then, you feel like a failure, and your child feels frustrated. Thinking about homeschool sustainability, I think, is really huge for the long term.

Amy: I often say, I say this about basically everything in my life, but the imperfect thing that we actually do is better than this perfect thing that we don’t start or we can’t maintain. Sometimes just starting with something simple, maybe it’s not the perfect ideal that you have in your head, but starting simple and building from there, I think, sets us up for so much more success long term. Absolutely. How has a Charlotte Mason approach to education impacted your own heart as a mom, as an educator? Have there been any things that have surprised you?

Leah: That’s a great question too. You’re full of great questions, Amy. This one’s a little harder for me to answer because it’s been such a long journey for me. With Charlotte Mason, it was really my daughter was five months old when I learned about it. It’s hard to tell where I’ve grown as a mother or because of motherhood and what God is doing in my life, or if it’s specifically to Charlotte Mason. I’ve grown up with Charlotte Mason in my parenting. I think that in general, I’m learning to enjoy motherhood more because of her.

This is silly, but there’s something about her writing, her philosophy so long ago and not being here anymore, and none of the moms she worked with not being here anymore, let’s me know of what a quick journey this is and how quick our time on earth is that God gives us. I think that reminds me, just to slow down and enjoy it and that it’ll be over before I know it. That’s one for sure. That’s probably homeschooling in general because the years go by so fast. You think you start out on a new homeschool year, and then in a minute, it’s the end of the year. Really just practicing that habit of taking things in and gratitude for each moment that God gives us together has been hugely impactful on my motherhood.

That brings me to habits. I think Charlotte Mason’s habit training or habit formation has inspired me to continue to grow as a mother and to not just accept things as this is who I am, this is how God made me, I’m disorganized, I’m just going to stay disorganized forever. It’s given me the encouragement to think I can take steps towards these problems that I see in my life and in my parenting and work on them little by little. It’s not this huge, big, drastic self-help thing where we’re trying to improve everything on our own will.

It’s inviting God into the space of, “Okay. I can make small changes, Lord. Help me do this and help me grow in this area little by little.” For me, when I look over those little bits of changes that I’ve made over the years, I see a huge difference. It’s nothing staggering. I couldn’t in a year tell you how much I’ve grown, but over the years I can see how these little habits have made a huge difference in my life in just the way I manage my home, in the way I talk to my children, and in the way I handle things. Going to prayer before, that’s a habit. You have to develop that habit.

I cut myself off in the middle of that thought. Going to prayer before you really handle anything, before you handle a behavior problem, or buy a new curriculum, or just turning to prayer. That’s a habit I had to acquire. I’m really thankful that I did because I see the fruits of it in my life. I’m thankful that God helped me acquire that. I can see how he is using habits to change me little by little and to make me into a better mother, and a better educator, and even a better wife.

Amy: It makes me think of that poem, the “Little drops of water, little grains of sand,” and just how those little tiny things seem individual and they don’t seem like maybe they’re making much of an impact, but it creates the oceans, the beaches, and the sand. I think about that in our own lives as moms and with our children’s lives as well, each little drop of water that is going into them, and it’s creating something so much bigger than we even know. God is using those to form us as humans and our children as well. Here at the end, I’m going to ask you the questions that I ask all of my guests. The first is, what are you personally reading lately?

Leah: Oh. I love my book stack. It’s always growing. Some of them never make it off the bottom of the book stack. Just keeps stacking up on top. I am currently listening to West with Giraffes. Have you ever heard of that?

Amy: No, I have not. Tell me everything.

Leah: I can’t remember the author. It’s interesting. It is very much like Water for Elephants, if you ever read that. It’s a journey of this young man in the 1930s, post Dust Bowl. He’s found himself traveling across the United States with two large giraffes that were injured in a hurricane that need to be delivered to a zoo in San Diego. It’s interesting. I don’t think it’s quite as engaging as Water for Elephants, so I’m struggling a little bit with that. It’s overall enjoyable.

I just finished the Red Scarf Girl. I read about that one on Read-Aloud Revival, so it took me a while to get around to it. That one was really important and just made me so grateful to live in our country, and grateful for freedom, and our founding fathers, and that they very deliberately created a system that could not be so easily torn down in the way that communist China saw. That was a really eye-opening read.

I’m trying to think. I just have such a great book stack. I’m reading a parenting book. I’m forgetting the name right now, but it’s also really helpful, just about managing our own issues and emotions and things before handling our children’s. That’s really, I think, huge for me, especially this year and this year of homeschooling that I’m in. Yes, those are three recent ones.

Amy: That sounds like a fascinating title. If you think of it and send it to me later, I would love to know about the parenting book too.

Leah: Okay, yes.

Amy: I think that was something I learned. It was so helpful to learn in my own parenting because I, for so long, would try to, deal with the thing right in the moment, right as all the emotions are skyrocketing and blowing up everywhere. I’d be like, “All right. We got to deal with this right now.” I learned that for one of my children in particular, it was actually much more helpful to send them to their room, let all of us calm down, and then later on when we’re all in a more rational frame of mind, to be able to deal with some of those conflicts later on.

Leah: [unintelligible 00:48:43]

Amy: It also gives time for me to pray before I start trying to parent, which, I know it’s hard to believe, but that actually is helpful.

Leah: Yes, exactly. That’s what I have learned over years and years. It makes me think, “How did I not know this?” It’s such a simple, intuitive thing, one, to pray and two, to give it a little time to calm down. Like, “Huh, why is this not just common knowledge that we all know this already.” I think [crosstalk]

Amy: That’s probably good marriage advice too. Who knew this was going to turn into a marriage and parenting podcast? [laughs] Leah, final question for you is just what would be your best tip for helping the homeschool day run more smoothly?

Leah: I think it really depends on what your homeschool vision is. Is your homeschool laid back or are you really trying to do a lot in your day? I would say managing your expectations is a really helpful thing, whether it’s a child who is just not doing what you think they should be doing at this point, or whether it’s a tangent that takes you somewhere beautiful, and then you’re trying to get back on schedule real quick, managing your expectations so that you can enjoy those beautiful moments that sneak in there that you weren’t expecting, and allowing room for the Holy Spirit. If you are so set on what this should look like and what this should be, then you’re missing out on those Holy Spirit moments of learning through a different means or an unexpected guest that shows up, and how beautiful that is to have that and learning from them in your homeschool. I think just making room for the Holy Spirit so that you’re not too caught up in your own schedule, that there is no room for Him.

Amy: Oh, that is a wonderful tip. Thank you, Leah, so much for coming and chatting with us today. Where can people find you all around the internet?

Leah: I’m on Instagram. I’m at My Little Robins. I’m also on Pinterest, although I think that one is CM Little Robins because there was already a My Little Robins, which is funny to me. Then I’m also on Facebook at My Little Robins as well.

Amy: Wonderful. I will have links to your website and those social media accounts in the show notes for this episode over at humilityanddoxology.com. Thank you to everyone who is listening. I would love for you to take a minute while you’re here in your podcast app to go ahead and hit the ‘subscribe’ button if you haven’t already, to leave a rating and review, and to share this podcast with a friend that you think would be encouraged by what Leah had to say today. Thank you so much, Leah, for chatting. I’ll talk to you again soon. Thank you.

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