Are you ready for Christmas break! Are your kiddos ready for Christmas break! I know ours are!

Christmas break is great for spending time together with your family but the things we learned before can sometimes get lost in all the holiday cheer! This year if you want to keep your kiddos brains fresh try some of these fun Christmas themed activities to keep those gears turning and ready for school to start again!

Gingerbread Cookies & Houses

Decorating cookies isn’t just so that you can eat the icing while decorating or gluing together walls, although that is the best part! Decorating cookies and making gingerbread houses is a great way for your students of any age to focus on something fun while building a number of important life skills! For your youngest learners decorating cookies and making gingerbread houses can be a great way to practice color recognition, strengthen their fine motor skills, and help lengthen their attention span by focusing on something fun! For older or middle aged learners these activities can help in similar ways! Decorating cookies can allow your students to express themselves visually as well as allow them to practice being an architect by figuring out the best way to keep the gingerbread house together and stable!

Popsicle Stick Christmas Trees

If you have learners that like more creative freedom and love hands-on crafts, try making popsicle stick Christmas trees! The wonderful thing about this project is that there is no right or wrong way to make the Christmas tree! You can make a simple triangle with the sticks and decorate it with pom balls, string, markers, glitter and more! Or you can place one large stick and place more sticks perpendicular to that stick getting smaller as they reach the top of the stick, and you could even choose designs that might be harder to complete like placing many smaller sticks at the top of the tree pointing toward the bottom of the tree in a fan like pattern!

Take these fun popsicle stick Christmas trees and turn them into Christmas decorations that you can hang on your Christmas tree!

12 days of Christmas

Our I’m Ready to Learn Themed program for Preschoolers goes through the 12 days of Christmas song and even walks you through creating your own 12 days of Christmas book to read and play with over Christmas break while you count down the days! Try making your own 12 days of Christmas book or use our I’m Ready to Learn Preschool program to walk you through it as you complete a full year of preschool at home!

Write Christmas Cards Together!

Write Christmas cards together this year with all your learners! For younger students this is a great way to practice writing letters and spelling and writing their own name. For older students this is a great way to help them understand what should be written on card and how you should write an address on a letter as well as how the stamps are used! You could even take them to the post office to send them out for a fun family outing!

This year make sure you take a break to spend the holidays with your family and listen to your instincts as a parent! If you feel your kids need a break then give them one, but if you feel they should keep their brains fresh for when you start school again then try some of these fun engaging holiday themed activities that will get their brains working without them even knowing!

It’s Turkey Time Again!

It’s a season to spend time together, make memories, and be thankful!

But, sometimes it can feel hard to be thankful. Not every year is easy – in fact, it can be downright hard sometimes! So how do you help your family be thankful when it has been a rough year?

This year for my family has been one of a lot of hardship, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have things to be thankful for! If your family – like my family –  has had a bit of a rough year or even a really rough year – I pray that this time of year you will feel the love, joy and peace of God.

Here are some things I’ve learned – and to be honest with you – am still learning about thankfulness!

The biggest thing I am learning is that thankfulness is a choice and a mindset.

It can be so easy to dwell on the hardships, but even throughout the hardships, there are many things to be thankful for! Changing one’s mindset is not easy or quick, but little changes each day can make a big difference!

Encourage little mindset changes every day for your family.

1.      Start the Day Off Right (Looking Ahead)

Start the morning off with thankfulness! Ask them each morning what is one thing they are excited for that day! This can shift their mindset from negative to positive with this one simple act.

2.      Sharing at Mealtime (Looking Behind)

Name one thing every day that you are thankful for – this can be as simple as a beautiful flower you saw on the side of the road or even a simple text from a friend. Encourage every family member to share their 1 thing at dinner.

3.      Create a Thankful Family Memory Board

Creating a thankful family memory board creates a visual reminder of the things that your family has shared they are thankful for! You could put pictures of some of the things that your family shared at dinner. Write down some of your thanksgivings to be sure you remember!  Give it a try for this month!

4.      Express Your Thankfulness

A great way to help change one’s mindset is to express your thankfulness. This could be as simple as writing friends and family thank you cards or even a quick thank you text. You could have your family create artwork to give to grandparents or bake cookies together for your neighbor.

Final Thoughts! 

My mom taught me from a young age that creating a habit helps change a mindset. I’ve seen this work in my life.

I once had a teacher who was not my favorite. My mom told me that every day I had to go in and say, “Good morning, Mr. Smith”. Every day after school my mom would ask, “Did you say good morning to your teacher?” Gradually, I began to soften to my teacher and my mindset on him changed.

You can’t change your mindset overnight, but you can help create habits for your family even in hard times that help promote thankfulness in your family. It’s not easy or quick, but it is very worth it!

If you are reading this and your year has been hard, know I am praying for you. I may not know your circumstances or your name, but I pray that this year your family will be encouraged and filled with a grateful heart.

Please reach out to us if there is anything we can do, even if you just want to pray together! We’d love to be able to talk to the Lord together.

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, there are items we always make sure we have! A turkey or a ham, the pumpkin pie, enough chairs for dinner guests and enough silverware to set the table with! Why not add a thanksgiving study to the list as well?

Thanksgiving in 1621 digital study!

This is a three-week study on the journey and hardships that the pilgrims faced when venturing to the new world!

This study will give you guide pages, teacher notes and other helps along the way. You will also have all of the interactive journaling pages for the study to print out and use with your students. Along with these great journaling pages you will have reading pages, links to great websites to explore as well as recommended resources you can add to it!

What you’ll do!

In week one you will learn all about who the pilgrims were and why they voyaged across the ocean and some of the first things they did when they found land. You’ll also label the parts of the Mayflower, create a countdown calendar for fall activities and more!

In week two you’ll learn about the Mayflower Compact, how Squanto learned to speak English and more! You will read about meeting the Native Americans, finding a place to settle, as well as do fun activities like make a pilgrim boy or girl hat, or create your own Thankful Fold-Up book!

Then finally in week three you will learn about the how the Native Americans helped the pilgrims and all about the first Thanksgiving and what it looked like for them! You will also finish up your Thanksgiving prep activities by making a Thanksgiving recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner and more!

Make sure you add this great unit study to your studies this year as it adds great family fun through activities and insightful discussions regarding what you are thankful for this year! All while learning about an important piece of history!

Click here to view the Thanksgiving Study! Use the coupon code THANKFUL to take 30% of this Digital Study!

When people ask me what I love to do for fun – my first answer is always travel!

One of the best things about traveling is you can experience so many different activities and try so many new things. Now another thing people point out is that it costs so much money which is true if you travel all over the world a lot. But I propose that it is probably easier to do than most people think.

So how can you help inspire a love for travel in your kids?


My love for travel began when I was four years old sitting on a couch in a living room in Michigan… Most people don’t often consider traveling sitting in our living room, but for me, that’s where it all started!

My love for travel began because my dad brought a documentary home from the library that day. The documentary was on Egypt both ancient and modern. It showed a towering sphynx with the head of a man and the body of a lion guarding its land. Then it showed a small cafe with people sitting around a small table enjoying coffee out of tiny espresso cups. The land looked so different than Michigan. Michigan is full of green trees and lakes whereas this land called Egypt was yellow! Yellow everywhere! Even in the cities, you could see yellow! There was just so much sand.  I was 4 years old when my dad brought home that documentary. As you can see to this day I remember sitting on the couch with my dad watching this documentary. This one act done by my dad changed me. It made me long to see different countries and experience different cultures. Because of this, I can say I have claimed my favorite activity to be travel, but for me, travel does not always have to be expensive!

Learn About Other Cultures & Countries

A great way to inspire travel in your kids is to just learn about other countries! Encourage them to find books or activities that interest them! The more you learn about each country and culture the more you begin to understand them and care about them. Other countries are made up of people just like you who have likes and dislikes.

It can be easy for us to think of other countries by how they are portrayed in the media. Certain countries are often shown as “bad guys” in action movies. It is important to help kids understand what they see in movies does not define these countries! Some of these countries have such a rich and fascinating history which significantly influences their society today!

Have a learner who loves to cook? Encourage them to try recipes from other countries!

There are many great books and information regarding different countries. For a hands-on experience and a year-long adventure in 30 countries check out Children Around the World!

Use the Word Different rather than Weird

Encourage them to think of things done in a different way as just different rather than weird. Differences are a good thing. Each individual is different, and each country is different. This is also a great principle to teach to help children relate to other children who may come from a different culture than their own.

Here’s a section from our Children Around the World – Children of Many Lands Resource!

Let’s Visit Dublin! My da and I have been to Dublin a few times, and I’d be pleased to take you there! Dublin is our country’s largest city by far, but is not very big compared with other capital cities. In Dublin, we could visit the Leinster House, where government officials make laws and discuss important matters. We could see the Daniel O’Connell statue, and see the bullet holes in the statue that were made during the Easter Rebellion.

We could walk over one of the several bridges that crosses the River Liffey in the heart of Dublin, and see why Dublin received its name. A little settlement sat on the bank o’ the River Liffey here and was called Dubh Linn, which meant “black pool.” You can see the dark water and remember why Dublin has its name. While there we could make a trip to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells I told you about, or see the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

On our way home, we could travel a bit out o’ the way to the city o’ Cork, where we can head to the Blarney Stone. This is a very famous Irish landmark, and is in a castle underneath the battlements. A legend says that the castle’s owner found himself and his castle under attack, and saved the castle by talking his way out o’ the situation with the attackers. Now, the legend goes, if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you too will be able to talk your way out o’ trouble. The only problem is, you can only kiss the stone by hanging head-down! We’d sure have fun trying it!

It is shark week!

Draw a shark with us this week! Students and kiddos can follow step by step here or download the page by clicking HERE! See the steps below!

Send us your sharks here or through our Facebook! We would love to see the fun your family is having!

If you want to see more of these step-by-step drawing instructions check out our Animals and Their Worlds Animal Easy Shape Drawing Book !

Did you know the first Friday in June is National Donut Day?

Do you know who started National Donut Day? National Donut Day was started by the Salvation Army in 1983 to honor the “donut lassies” who served sweet treats and provided assistance to the soldiers on the front lines of World War I!

The donuts they served in World War I were a little different than the ones we see in bakeries today. They weren’t serving too many different flavors then because they needed to make way more than a dozen and had to use pretty cheap ingredients! Even though they might not have a Boston Creme or a Strawberry Frosted, they were still delicious!

This year you could even try making this simple Salvation Army Donut recipe to try them for yourself!

Salvation Army Donuts

Makes 2 dozen.

  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 cups flour
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 tablespoon salt
  • about 3/4 cup milk (may need a little more if mixture is not coming together)
  • 1 tub lard (or oil) enough to fill a deep pan.
  • 1 cups powdered sugar

  1. Combine all wet ingredients (except for lard and milk) then stir in dry ingredients with milk to form the dough.
  2. Thoroughly knead the dough. Then roll out until about 1/4 inches thick. Cut rings from the dough. (Be creative when you are cutting the circles! You could use a cup, cookie cutter, or even a sauce bowl! The “donut lassies” didn’t use one tool for this they used many different things they could find that were available!)
  3. Heat up your lard/oil in a large and deep pan. Once the lard/oil is boiling drop the rings into the lard/oil a couple at a time. Turn the donuts slowly multiple times until they are golden brown on both sides.
  4. Remove the donuts and place them on a cooling rack, some paper towels, or someplace where the excess lard/oil will be removed from the donut.
  5. Dust with powdered sugar once enough lard/oil has been removed from the surface that way the powdered sugar will form an icing on the donut. Let cool and enjoy!

Let us know if you and your family try these donuts!  This activity is a great chance for kiddos to learn more about World War I!


Education should not be one-size-fits-all nor should education be simply the accumulation of knowledge. Education should be tailored for the growth of the whole child with an understanding of the diversity of gifts and abilities our children possess!

  • Educate with the Multiple Intelligences in Mind
    • As a parent you understand your student in a unique way. You can see how one child learns differently than your other child. One may do best when drawing a picture in response to a question; the other may understand concepts well when asked to think deeply about an ethical or moral quandary. Education should mold to your child’s own learning style. Understanding the different forms of intelligence, helps us not only identify the intelligences our own children have but also helps us teach specifically to each child with their preferred learning method! It not only helps them, but it makes your job easier too! Your student will often engage easier when working within their own learning style! Take a look at the multiple intelligences:
      • Visual-Spatial Intelligence: This intelligence is characterized by the ability to see with the mind’s eye and spatial judgement. These students may like to take notes or draw pictures about what they are learning!
      • Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence: This intelligence deals with written or spoken words. Children with this intelligence may perform best when things are read or spoken about to them!
      • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence: Students with this intelligence are good at activities involving logic, abstractions, reasoning, and numbers. These students often enjoy strategy games!
      • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: This type of intelligence relates to actually performing activities by moving or involving your body. These students will often perform very well when doing hands-on crafts or activities!
      • Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence: This area has to do with music, rhythm, and hearing. These students may be musically inclined or find that creating tunes to remember information works best for them!
      • Interpersonal Intelligence: Interpersonal intelligence has to do with learning with others or in a group. These students like to engage with others while they are learning!
      • Intrapersonal Intelligence: As you can probably guess this intelligence is the opposite of interpersonal intelligence. These students work best when they are on their own and working at their own pace!
      • Naturalistic Intelligence: As the title suggests students with this type of intelligence love nature and the outdoors. These students may be interested in science over other subjects and most likely enjoy spedning time outdoors exploring their world!
      • Existential Intelligence: This intelligence is a little trickier than the others. It relates to abstract thinking and philosophical questions. These students may enjoy thinking about questions that are not easy for you to asnwer for them! Brainstorming different solutions for something that is rather difficult to solve may be something they really enjoy!

Chances are you thought of your student when reading about a couple of the different intelligences! If you want to learn more about the multiple intelligences and how you can mold your students education to fit their intelligence best, read about it here!

  • Educate for Whole-Child Growth
    • Charlotte Mason viewed education as not only a learning experience but much more of a lifestyle. Education does not mean just learning facts, names, or dates, but education is a wholistic journey. Education should enable students to grow as people- socially, characteristically, and familiarly. We want education to encourage the every aspect of growth for your child.  For example, Adventures in the Sea & Sky teaches about bravery and gallantry. We want to use these people in history to show morals and ethics and to help you as a parent instill these characteristics in your student!
  • Empowering Self-Expression, Offering Self-Knowledge, and Encouraging Self-Confidence
    • Self-expression should be encouraged in education rather than discouraged. Our journals are written to encourage all different types of expressions and learning.

      You can encourage your student to express themselves via word, drawing, or even expression in nature. Giving children the space to think for themselves and learn to express themselves in the way that connects with them allows for personal growth as well as confidence. When students begin to grow in their self-expression their self-confidence grows as well. Allowing them the time to reflect on what they are learning and what they are feeling and thinking encourages self-knowledge.


  • Make education a part of your family experiences by making memories together
    • We want education to fit your family! Education should mold to your family culture rather than running your life! Our adventures are designed to be malleable! You can change it to fit your family no matter your dynamic!
    • A great way to encourage learning in your children is through making memories. Life is made up of memories. We sit back and remember the little conversations we had with our grandma early in the morning over breakfast or the time our father pushed us higher on the swing than ever before! Memories are one of the best ways to help educate. Memories are best made when you can do it together as a family! It’s a great way to learn but it also is a fun way to build family culture! Discover how giraffes’ tongues work or how the medieval castles influenced their society in fun and interactive ways like visiting the zoo or taking a tour through historical buildings!
  • We do the work for you so you can maximize family time and relationship
    • We want you to focus on your family rather than having to focus on doing a lot of work! A Charlotte Mason parent-teacher focuses on discovering education together rather than just teaching the student. We want to do the work for you so you can focus on discovering your adventure together as a family!
    • We also create our themed programs for a wide variety of ages so that you can do adventures together as a family tailoring them to your students ages.  Many of our theme programs have specific resources created for older or younger students, but they will still be discovering the same information at the same time so you can do it together as a family! For example, our Animals & Their Worlds has a younger journal which focuses on having young ones drawing their responses or coloring in pictures or cut and past activities where our older journal has many of the same type of activities but also includes more written work. There are also resources such as the Alphabet Fun Pack which help younger learners work on their alphabet where as the older learners would not need to focus on this. We want our WP Families to be able to discover the joy of education together!
  • Make it simple or dive deep for whatever your family needs and enjoys
    • Our programs are chalked full of experiences and activities, but we don’t suggest that you do everything. We want you to choose what is right for your family! Some weeks you may find that life is just too busy – which happens! Life is unpredictable. Things happen! We want our adventures to encourage rather than discourage. We recommend that you go through the list and decide which activities sound exciting or will help cultivate a love for learning in your family! Ask your kids! Which activity or experience intrigues them! Someone like me – I love going to museums. I utterly love it! But other people love experiences in nature or art – go to a zoo or a symphony. Our guides are created to allow you to choose what to do rather than feel the necessity to do them all! Choose what’s right for your family! Don’t feel that you need to complete every activity!

I’ve often been asked, “What exactly do you mean by Charlotte Mason Inspired?” I utterly love this question!

There is so much to Charlotte Mason one could write a book on just one aspect of her education — actually, people have! Charlotte Mason knew that education was not just merely learning things but was so much more! It was a life!

Our core values come from Charlotte Mason’s view of education — we just put a little WP twist to it!

We focus on

  • Joy
  • Curiosity & Discovery
  • Living Books
  • Nature Study

Let’s dive in!


Joyful learning is essential to any education because joy is an essential part of any childhood.

When children are young their brains are developing faster and more than at any other time in their lives. So, making a positive joyful connection to learning is key to developing a love of learning that carries forward for the rest of their lives. It does not stop there. To instill lifelong learning habits and success learning and education should be infused with joy as much as possible. So many children have an experience in education that is dry, uninteresting, and certainly not joyful. But that is the opposite of what we want for our children to experience with WinterPromise. That does not mean serious effort and hard work are not a part of the process but in as many ways as we can for as long as we can WinterPromise desires joyful learning as a goal in each and every part of what we do.

Curiosity and Discovery

Children are naturally curious and enjoy discovery almost as soon as they are born.

Nothing is more natural to our young children than an inspiration to learn and discover. Too often it is assumed that as children grow older their curiosity will disappear and we need to educate them differently when that happens. This is not the case. The desire to investigate, discover, and be curious will develop and change over the years but education should be fanning the flames of discovery at every turn in education. The best learner is a learner that is self-motivated and excited (joyful) about what they are learning.

WinterPromise is dedicated to offering a variety of exciting learning experiences that students can dive into and enjoy. Not everything in our guides should be done because some of those things will not inspire joy but dry out interest. Fuel curiosity and see it become directed as students become older. This creates meaningful learning while also creating habits of lifelong learning for years to come.

Living Books

Living books are the centerpiece of how we develop our programs here at WinterPromise.

What is a living book? A living book is a book written by an author on a specific topic in a way that communicates their own passion while also being written and published in a way that may inspire others. Textbooks are often the standard in education but because of their delivery and format, they usually discourage excitement about learning. WinterPromise builds our curriculum around offering books that take you places, invite your family into a new experience, inspire interest in a great person of the past, fuel discussion about difficult topics and offers a chance to discover new and exciting people writing about new and exciting topics. This makes your reading together as a family or the reading your child does another avenue for fueling curiosity and discovery while enhancing the desire to read. We could not imagine offering an education devoid of the joy of living books. There is a magic to a good book that we can all sense but can’t quite pinpoint. A living book delivers that magic to your family.

Nature Study

Charlotte Mason believed that nature study was the foundation of all sciences and essential to a child’s education.

Nature study is a vital component of every program we offer because we believe that getting your child outside and observing the world around them is one of the best ways to enhance joyful learning and begin a life of curiosity. Children thrive when they are in the woods, looking at bugs in the garden, learning about plants and animals, observing and journaling what they see, and getting a little dirty in the process. The benefits of nature study are boundless.

Do you see a naturalist in your little boy or girl? Get them outside classifying, ordering, collecting, and seeing all that they can outdoors. Have a child who thrives with art? Get them outside and create what they see with paint, markers, or pencil. Do you have a child who loves music? Have them listen to the birds and the orchestra that is nature. Do you have a child that loves writing and words? Learn new words by talking about names and labels. Learn about metaphor and how nature is used as a metaphor to describe real life. Do you have a child that you want to develop those areas mentioned above? Get them outside!

Nature study is lifestyle and WinterPromise offers a no-prep way of making it a habit to get your children learning, loving, and living outside.

The Importance of Discovering History

When talking about history it seems there are very different types of responses. The response which utterly loves anything about history then the other type of pure boredom. So what’s the importance of history when homeschooling? And how do you engage your child if they aren’t quite fond of it?

First, understanding that history is learning about real people who lived in before us with real emotions and thoughts.

The more you can help children understand that these stories from hundreds or even thousands of years ago really happened, the more relatable and influential history becomes. When I was studying Ancient Studies, I remember the time my professor spoke about his student writing on women’s sandals in the ancient world. I remember thinking “Wow these women back then cared about their style just like we do today!” A great way to have students engage with history is to have them focus on something they love but find it in history! If your student loves to go hunting with their grandpa or dad, have them research about hunter/gather societies or find out how important hunting was to different civilizations! All people must eat – food was not readily available like it is for the majority of the world today! If your student loves drawing, have them research a famous artwork from that period! Although this art may not be on canvas but may be on stones or caves – civilizations loved recording beautiful things – just think of Egypt! Ancient Egypt was littered with walls of color and great stonework. You can learn a lot about a culture through its artwork!

Second, explain “the Why”!

Why is it important to study history? Did you know that much of Western thought today can be traced back to ancient philosophers and politicians? Discovering what worked and what did not for those who came before us, helps us to not make the same mistake again! History does not always need to be studying of Ancient Egypt or Greece but should also be the study of family history and your own city or state history. Understanding where your own family came from – your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on is a great practical use of the importance of history. I’ve always loved history. Whenever I was visiting my grandma, we would sit down together before anyone else woke up and she always told me stories. Stories of my great-grandpa and his struggles in the war. Stories of where they came from and how they remembered a time prior to cellphones and even cars! We have access to a generation who experienced a lot of change in their lifetime and you can hear about their parent’s and their grandparent’s stories!  I know for me, my grandma would always speak of the day man walked on the moon, and the first time she got her own personal car. She worked at an old Bell company at the switchboard. Can you imagine how much history she saw seeing the changes from a switchboard to the modern iPhone? Even in these stories, there is so much to learn about modern history.

Third, history is not just a ton of dates and facts. History should be engaging!

Here at WP we want to help engage your students, allowing them to experience and discover history for themselves! We want them to experience what life was like on a spaceship (Adventures in the Sea & Sky) or to learn how to spell their names in Phoenician letters (Hideaways in History). We want them to be able to understand the hardships which the soldiers fighting for American freedom went through, and to understand the suffering of those awfully sold into slavery. (American History 1&2) The more we understand history, the more we can hope to help our society. History is not always easy to hear or fun to deal with but we need to ensure that we teach our children the mistakes made so we do not continue to do the same!

History has such a rich and amazing influence on young learners. Read the interesting excerpt from one of our digital studies below!


The Akkadians*

Taken from our Ancient Civilizations Digital Study

Near the Sumerians grew up the city of Akkad, probably somewhere

along the Tigris River. Today no one knows where the actual city was

located, but there are quite a few other things we know about Akkad,

because it grew to the be capital city of the Akkadian Empire.

Akkad is mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 10:10, spelled out there as

Accad. It began as a city, and it appears from historical records that

the Sumerians and Akkadians developed a thriving trade relationship,

interacting culturally alongside each other. They mingled enough that

most people who lived in the region in the 3rd millenium B.C. spoke

both the Sumerian and Akkadian languages.

In time, the Akkadian Empire gradually grew more powerful. Rulers of

the city-state began expanding their power. The most famous ruler of

Akkad was Sargon, who defeated the king of Uruk in the Battle of Uruk

and took over the empire ruled by that king. Sargon also defeated its

once-friendly neighbors, the Sumerians, but Sargon wisely appointed

over 5,000 Sumerian men to help him rule over his empire, so that

there would be less chance that Sumer would revolt in the years ahead.

In time, only the Akkadian language was used throughout the kingdom,

and Sumerian was not used, but the Akkadians did adopt the Sumerian

style of cuneiform script for writing. They inscribed important papers

onto clay tablets or cylinders. The writing on these tablets and seals

was usually drawn among decorative scenes taken from myths or rituals.

The Akkadians also adopted the Sumerians’ religious beliefs.

The Akkadian Empire spread over Mesopotamia between the Tigris and

Euphrates rivers. At its height, it ruled over cities like Assur, Mari, Eshnunna,

Sippar, Nippur, Uruk, Ur, Lagash, and Suse. Sargon was able to

expand the empire under his rule so that it reached the Mediterranean

Sea on the west, the Persian Gulf on the east, and deep into the Arabian

Peninsula to the south.

Trade routes were established that allowed for safe travel of trade

goods throughout Sargon’s lands and along the Euphrates River.

Sargon used these trade routes to gain access to further lands for

expansion, and brought back booty from his conquests along the

established roads in the kingdom. While agricultural products were

produced in Mesopotamia, the area lacked other natural resources.

Wood, building stone and precious metals were required by Akkadian

rulers. They were traded and imported, and floated to Akkad on the

Euphrates as well.

The empire was so well organized that it had a regular postal service.

Akkad’s ruler did a survey of the land, and began naming the years

from the year Sargon began to rule. Sargon appears to have established

a library that took and collected astronomical observations.

After Sargon’s death, his sons and descendants ruled his empire for

several generations. Sargon was considered a model for later

Mesopotamian rulers, later great kings in Assyria and Babylon, who

looked back at Sargon as the first dominant ruler in Mesopotamia.

These kings looked upon themselves as heirs to the empire that Sargon

had begun long before.

The Akkadian Empire lasted from 2334 B.C., when Sargon took over

control of Akkad, to around 2193 B.C.

I remember when I first met Charlotte Mason

Okay, not really “met,” but got to know.  I was immediately struck by Charlotte’s intuitive understanding of children and how to educate and train them.  I was also hugely impressed by how counter-culture Charlotte’s ways are in today’s world.

If you haven’t gotten to know Charlotte Mason yet, and you are hoping to be a good homeschooling parent, a great “Parent-Teacher” — or at least aiming that direction :), then you should “meet” Charlotte, too!

There are a lot of summaries of Charlotte’s ideas online, but here are the basics:

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who worked with children for years. She believed in exposing children to great ideas, wonderful literature, God’s Word in liberal amounts, and beautiful artwork, and she called for challenging them in a way that gave them a love for learning. She believed in teaching history, getting children to tell back what they know, and — most of all — Charlotte believed in joy!

As a Momma myself, this is what perhaps convinced me that I wanted to be a “Parent-Teacher” like Charlotte.  After all, if I couldn’t bring my children joy, and teach my children the joy in curiosity, in exploration, in discovery — what was parenthood for?

As I delved into Charlotte’s methods and thoughts, I found new ways we were kindred spirits.  It was a thrill to hear from someone who did not believe that raising your children meant teaching them to cram for exams, run around to endless extracurricular activities, and fall into bed exhausted at night.  Charlotte’s ideas were freedom.  Freedom to develop a lifestyle that was not at all like school, not at all over-busied, and above all — not self-focused.

The freedom we found was like finally breathing again.  It meant so much more, you see, than just that we’d found a homeschool method that worked for us.  In fact, we’d found a lifestyle!

We’ve had a chance to live the Charlotte Mason lifestyle for a lot of years now, and we’ve just seen our lives change so radically from what they were before.  Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:

  1. I have never spent one moment thinking about how I wish I done things differently.  Our lifestyle works for us, and it works for our family.  It is a servant to, not a master of, our souls.  It supports our family — it does not “run” our family.
  2. My children have had enough free time to think big thoughts on their own, and that has allowed each one to blossom and develop in their own unique way.  They’ve had to time to explore the world their way, to be curious, to investigate, and it has made all the difference in how they relate to the world.  They reach out to the world and experience it, a true contrast to how many children have to depend on “packaged” experiences in classroom or sports arenas.
  3. The time we’ve had together that wasn’t “overplanned” and “over-scheduled” reaped so many more benefits than I could have imagined.  As my kids have grown up, I can see each day how much that has meant to their development.  They are comfortable with conversation, deep relationships, reading, and self-improvement.   We’ve had so much time together, time we used to mold our kids’ character and develop their relationship to Christ.  We’ve had time to teach them skills and common sense, courtesy and manners, and simple leadership skills like timeliness, follow-through, accountability, servanthood, and working as a team.

I really could go on and on.  In short, I am thankful every day that Charlotte’s simple wisdom traveled across time to whisper to me the things for which my “Parent-Teacher” heart was longing.  She pointed the way to a Christ-centered, family relationship-focused lifestyle that changed our lives.

So, when God gave us the opportunity to create a curriculum that would allow homeschoolers to really enjoy their journey, it only made sense that we build it the Charlotte Mason way.  We’ve included many of the concepts that Charlotte Mason advocated, and added a few we fancy Charlotte would have if she were living in this century!  We’ve made it easy to do yourself, without having to pull a bunch of things together on your own, so there’s still plenty of time to invest in the character of your kids.  Plus, we made sure to include the kind of life learning that so benefitted our own kids, and really stuck with them as time went by.

So, now, I whisper all of this to you, too!  Don’t wait!  Go out there and get some Charlotte Mason in your life!

It may be that WinterPromise offers you a start on that lifestyle, and we’d love that!  But be sure to meet Charlotte Mason in any case, so that you can develop a lifestyle that suits you as “Parent-Teacher,” and develops the promise in your own family!  You’ll never be sorry that you did!


Curious to learn more specifically about Charlotte Mason?

Check out our blog Meet Charlotte Mason & Her View of Education!