A Living, Humble, Joyful Homeschool Education (an interview with Cindy Rollins)

Cindy Rollins Interview homeschool

There’s nothing quite so delightful as talking to a veteran homeschool mama. And when that retired homeschool mama is Cindy Rollins, who inspired a whole generation of moms to pursue Morning Time and Charlotte Mason education? You know this is going to be a good conversation! Cindy brings such wisdom to this interview.

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

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Cindy Rollins interview
Living, Humble, Joyful homeschooling
Charlotte Mason
Morning Time

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Who is Cindy Rollins?

Cindy Rollins is a veteran, retired homeschooling mom of 9. She inspired a whole generation of homeschool moms to explore the philosophy of Charlotte Mason and to include Morning Time in their homeschool day as she blogged through her own homeschooling journey. Now, she continues to encourage homeschool moms as a writer, speaker, and as co-host of The Literary Life Podcast.

Cindy Rollins interview

Watch my interview with Cindy Rollins

Show Notes {with video time stamps}

Why homeschool? {1:00}

Cindy was always a voracious reader. As a young married woman, the more she read… the more she realized was still unread! She became frustrated by the realization that, despite having been a straight A student, she had never really received an education.

She heard Raymond Moore speak on Focus on the Family and realized this thing he called homeschooling was what she wanted to do with her future, imaginary children.

Charlotte Mason education{2:30}

When Cindy had just 2 little boys, she providentially picked up a copy of For the Children’s Sake. “I didn’t even know it was a homeschooling book…I didn’t know it would affect my philosophy in any way, but what it really did was change my whole life,” Cindy said. As Susan Schaeffer Macaulay introduced her to the ideas of Charlotte Mason, she realized that was what she wanted for her family.

At the same time, Charlotte Mason’s volumes were being republished. Her sister in law actually bought her those books as a baby gift for her 4th baby!

Cindy continued, “I began what I ended up calling Morning Time as my reaction to Susan Schaeffer Macaulay’s book…This is how I can have this living environment in the day.”

One thing that really struck Cindy about For The Children’s Sake is that “it didn’t tell you what to do. It just gave you a vision.” That can be hard to find even today, and is so valuable!

So many people in the Homeschool Conversations interview series point to For the Children’s Sake as the book that changed their ideas about education! If this idea fascinates you, check out my conversations with Kathy Weitz and Dr. George Grant, for example!

Cindy Rollins interview
humble education

Surprises of homeschooling {4:50}

“My children surprised me,” Cindy laughed. When she was a young mom, she thought she had it all figured out. That’s not how it all worked out, as we all can relate.

The realities of life sometimes clashed with the dream world of their romantic ideals.

But this doesn’t lead us to despondency:

“As we come up with the fact that we don’t have all the answers, the great news is we have somewhere to go with that. We have the Lord. And He does have all the answers. He doesn’t always give them to us in the way that we prefer… He does develop that relationship with us that is far more important than every answer to every problem,” Cindy said.

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Adjusting our perspective about Morning Time and the “perfect” homeschool {7:50}

Morning Time didn’t start out in Cindy’s family fully developed. What she is able to communicate and share now grew over time. She hates when people pick up her Morning Time Handbook and think they need to jump in and start a 2-hour Morning Time!  “That happened organically in our family as we saw what would fit in our family,” she reminded.

“We have to…take the ideas and slowly begin working them into our families and not get way ahead of ourselves philosophically and start doing things because someone has told us this is the only way to do it,” she continued.

Cindy further reminded us that Charlotte Mason education is living; it shouldn’t be something you can just “plug and go.”

Cindy also encouraged moms not to go to a conference and come home and tell your kids, “We’re going to change everything!” “Don’t do that!” she said.

Cindy Rollins interview
joyful homeschool mom

Instead, take some time to just read together and enjoy each other before jumping into all the academics.

The very first priority for a homeschool mom is to let her children see her joy in them,” Cindy said. We want our children to see our joy in homeschooling and not think we just view them and their education as a burden.

“Homeschooling is very sanctifying, but it’s a very joyful way to be sanctified,” Cindy smiled.

Education and Humility {13:00}

“All education begins with where we don’t know.” How much you learned in the past is not the point, Cindy said. It’s about the future and what you have yet to learn.

Cindy considers herself a plodder. One of the reasons she liked Morning Time was because there she was able to grow intellectually alongside her children. It was a way for her to continue to read in the midst of the busiest seasons of motherhood.

“That’s one of the beauties of homeschooling. You kind of get to repair the ruins of your own education as you teach your children,” Cindy encouraged.

Repentance and Discipleship in Education Dr. George Grant video Interview

Cindy warned that we are actually hurting our children when their whole education is us puffing them up over some small pieces of information they have. “We’re stealing from them true education, which is humbling.”

Cindy used to tell her kids, “Never be afraid to say, ‘I don’t know.’”

This approach to education is life giving! Cindy reminded, “It’s not a humiliation in that we’re debased. It’s a humiliation in which we’re enlivened.”

Cindy Rollins interview
repairing the ruins of our education

The most important thing to include in Morning Time (it’s not what you think!) {19:35}

Cindy really surprised (and challenged) me with this answer! She said that singing is the most important thing we can include in Morning Time.

  • Hymns
  • Psalms
  • Spiritual songs
  • Folk Songs

A friend once encouraged her, “You can’t stop singing because you’re bad at it. Make a joyful noise.”

“There’s so much culture that is transmitted through music,” Cindy said.

Questions for each Homeschool Conversations Guest {23:40}

What are you reading lately?

What is one thing you would say to a new homeschool parent?

“A lot of homeschooling parents want you to tell them what to do: ‘Just tell me what to do. Tell me what to buy.’ Those are really the wrong questions… I’d like them to think about WHY they’re doing what they’re doing rather than HOW or WHAT… A little educational philosophy can guard their hearts…”

Cindy had so many wonderful bits of wisdom to share whether you’re a new homeschool mom or a veteran!

Find Cindy Rollins online

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

Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews Podcast HumilityandDoxology.com Amy Sloan
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