Grace-Filled Homeschooling and Celebrating Advent (with Lara Molettiere)

It was such a delight to chat with Lara Molettiere about pursuing a Charlotte Mason education, encouraging a delightful and grace-filled atmosphere in our homeschool, and intentionally celebrating Advent in our families. Lara reminds us that the Advent season is a gift, not a burden, and she shares some simple tips to help make that a reality in our home. This is a lovely episode and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

*please note, if you have little ears around who are attuned to details of holiday magic, there are some spoilers in this episode. Depending on your family’s traditions, you may want to choose to listen with your earbuds in!*

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Lara Molettiere Advent Grace filled Charlotte Mason homeschooling interview

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Watch my interview with Lara Molettier

Show Notes {with video time stamps}

Who is Lara Molettier?

Lara is saved-by-grace, wife to a wonderful man, and the mama to two precious and precocious boys. Lara believes you are the gate-keeper, grace-giver, and cultivator of your home – a sacred space – and when you step into your God-given capacity you are capable of providing a delightful and life-giving education to your children. Lara has been homeschooling her own children for 7 years, and was blessed to be a homeschool mother’s helper to a Charlotte Mason mama for 3 years before having her own family. 

Lara Molettiere Advent Grace filled Charlotte Mason homeschooling interview

Homeschooling and Charlotte Mason Education

The Lord used Lara’s time as a mother’s helper with a Charlotte Mason family to open their eyes and hearts to the idea of a homeschool education.

By the time their oldest was heading towards school age, Lara couldn’t imagine him being away so long, nor could she imagine handing over the primary role of his education to someone else.

Charlotte Mason started just as a name out there that Lara had heard. Like so many eager young mamas, Lara headed to a homeschool convention when her oldest was 2. She heard Sonya Schafer speak there, and that had a big impact. They did try a year of a popular classical co-op, but it was not a good fit for their family.

First For the Children’s Sake, then the work of Sally Clarkson, and eventually the works of Charlotte Mason herself have progressively impacted Lara’s philosophy of education more and more over the years.

“[Charlotte Mason’s] entire methodology is based on 20 principles. The first of those is that a child is born a person, made in the image of God. They have a kingdom purpose. The whole philosophy is shaped around this beautiful recognition of imago Dei in our children, helping them to fulfill their kingdom purpose instead of shaping them to what we want them to be.”

Lara Molettiere Advent Grace filled Charlotte Mason homeschooling interview

How can we bring delight to our homeschool in the midst of the often-challenging realities of daily life? {7:10}

Our attitude as the mothers and the home educators really sets the tone for the home,” Lara smiled.

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One of the keys to a delightful homeschool, Lara said, is our own devotional life staying in God’s Word, and modeling that for our children. As we have an attitude of glorifying God in every moment, we’re impacting our children and our homes. “I don’t call it self-care. I call it ‘soul-care’ for moms,” she said.

“What we do as the gate-keeper of our home is determine what comes in, and what does not.” Before our children are exposed to darkness, we can fill them up with light and truth and beauty.

“It starts with Mom,” Lara reminded.

One of Lara’s favorite tips is to sing hymns! “Including music is such a blessing,” Lara said. The lyrics remind us of God’s Truth. “You cannot be unhappy when you’re singing!”

Advent celebration and remembrance in the homeschool {13:00}

Lara’s family has celebrated Advent for the past ~6 years.

Growing up, Lara’s church had an advent wreath on top of an organ, but she never really knew why they did it or what it meant.

Lara sees that busy-ness can be a distraction, especially during the holiday season, from the truly important things. “We get lost,” Lara said. “Did you actually talk about Jesus?”

Being intentional about Advent has been a way to combat that. Lara said, “We always wanted the focus for our children to be on the Lord.”

Lara’s family employs what she called “Advent Schooling”: “We put everything else aside except Advent studies for that season.”

Another idea Lara shared was to pick 1 simple thing you could include daily in your normal homeschool routine. It might even be something as simple as a short Scripture you read each day!

It doesn’t have to be big and complicated. Find the small thing you can do, and don’t feel like you have to go overboard.

Lara has a special offer for Humility and Doxology readers! Use code HDADVENT to save 15% off the Gentle Advent courses. This code is good through December 1, 2020.

Favorite Advent and Christmas Books {23:20}

Lara shared a few of their family’s favorite Christmas books:

Questions for each Homeschool Conversations Guest {26:20}

What are you reading lately?

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

“Give yourself and your children grace. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”

“The most important part of parenting is the relationship.”

Find Lara Molettiere online

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

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