Friday 24 January 2014

Mother Culture - Time Out {Homeschooling Essentials}

Welcome to day five of this weeks 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials posts brought to you by the Homeschool Review Crew.  We have 89 homeschool Mom's like you sharing their top homeschool essential lists with you.  Today I would like to share about the most important ingredient in successfully home educating long term: time out for Mom.  In some homeschooling circles it is called Mother Culture which is a term brought back into our modern vocabulary thanks to Karen Andreola and her book A Charlotte Mason Companion.

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.  Why ? Because over the years I have experienced burn out, exhaustion, feelings of being overwhelmed and discouraged and each and every time the source was the same.  A lack of Mother Culture.  Karen Andreola paints this picture and I agree with her wholeheartedly.   "Is it a wonder she feels overspent? She wears herself out. In her efforts to be dietitian, laundress, nurse, hostess, teacher, taxi driver, wife, mother, and mistress, she forgets that she needs a little time for herself. And it is then that she stops growing spiritually and mentally, Physically she feels ragged and drags through the day until without being able to mark the hour it befan, she lives with depression. Her mind is in a drifting fog when she wants it to think clearly and efficiently. With the distractions of her multi-faceted duties she is unable to follow a train of thought. She considers herself hopelessly behind in everything. Her feet are in the quagmire. It takes an incredible amount of effort to keep up appearances, to wear a winsome countenance. The last straw is the guilt she feels that she is "lukewarm" in the Lord. If I hadn't experienced these symptoms myself I wouldn't be writing this chapter. Therefore I can validate the need for Mother Culture." - Karen Andreola.

Homeschool Burnout is a very real companion of many mothers and the sad thing is that many keep it a secret because they feel as though they are failing. Home schooling is no small undertaking and in order to keep at it for the long haul you need to take care of yourself. Without you there is no home or home school. You are the most important ingredient on this journey and you are the one that is responsible to keep yourself properly cared for or it won't be long and you will be burned out. I have come to realize that many mothers feel guilty taking a few minutes a day to recharge. For these mothers I point to scriptures and how Jesus often withdrew to lonely places (Luke 5:16) If HE needed time on His own then how much more do we ? 

Self care or Me Time out of balance can be a bad thing too. It can become a self serving, self worship time which is not edifying to you or your family. Today I read a great article that helps to put Me Time in perspective over at Raising Arrows called: Caring for Yourself {The Me Time Myth Revisited.} Please know that I am not advocating a self centered form of self where we actively seek time to be away from our family at all costs.  What I am talking about is finding time to grow and become all that you can be in order to care for your family well.

Think seasonally. One interest per season, coupled with thirty minutes of reading a day, may be all that is needed to keep up the Mother Culture and regain any lost enthusiasm for living - Karen Andreola

Read more
Each of these posts is full of links to other posts on Mother Culture.
What do you do to indulge in Mother Culture ?


Charlotte Mason advised the teacher to replenish her soul with a continual supply of ideas. ...stimulates your educational thought in many directions and keeps you from drifting into mere routine... Do not think this is a selfish thing to do, because the advantage does not end with yourself."
5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials
Don't forget to check out and see what my fellow Homeschool Review Crew mates are sharing this week. Here are some to get you started. Some of these links will not be live until tomorrow due to time zone differences as these bloggers are from across the globe.  Here are some from the crew to get you started


  1. What a wonderful topic! I have been a follower of Karen Andreola and also Raising Arrows for several years now - both ladies offer so much encouragement. Thank you for reminding us to tend to ourselves in a way that restores so we have something to give to those who need us.

  2. I really like the quote from Karen Andreola, especially the part that says, "without being able to mark the hour it befan". That is often my problem. I can't tell until I am already burned out, then it is tough to regain momentum!


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