Category Archives: Chapbooks

At last—Much May Be Done with Sparrows!

I’m so pleased to be able to share that this little chapbook collection of essays is ready to make its way out of my “to do” pile of thinking, editing, formatting, and proofing and into the wider world. I hope you’ll be kind and gentle with it, and in return, I hope that it will bless and encourage you as you teach your children by the principles Charlotte Mason expounded.

This book has not been written to teach you about those principles or methods. Rather, it has been written to encourage you to think deeply and to keep your eyes on the vital ideas that will make a difference, even when you feel that you are just plodding through your home school days. Little things matter. Sparrows matter. You and your children are important, and education is a science of relations, not a checklist with boxes to be ticked off.

If you are a little weary, I hope this book will bring a breath of fresh air into your spirit as you look ahead to the next school year.

Much May Be Done with Sparrows is now available to purchase in both paperback and Kindle versions.

A Long-awaited Book

I don’t know that anyone else has been waiting a long time, but I have! I began writing this book in 2019 and now it’s 2024. Many things have happened since I began, and of course I wasn’t working on this book all that time. That’s why it’s taken so long to finish! I had to keep putting it off to take care of other, more pressing things, including my share of working on Six Voices, One Story which was published last year. However—at last—my little book is nearly ready to venture out into the world.

Much May be Done with Sparrows is a collection of essays—educational meditations based on nuggets of wisdom gleaned from Charlotte Mason. Her volumes are littered with little gems of wisdom—idea-seeds that sprouted and grew into these reflections.

Have you ever heard of a chapbook? It’s a little collection of an author’s writings gathered together and published in a small format— quite often poetry, but it can be prose as well. (This is prose!) I hope you’ll find it a nice size for tucking into a day bag, to be pulled out when you’ve got a minute to sit down with a nice cup of coffee or tea. In these pages, we won’t be wrestling with big philosophical ideas. Instead, we’ll take a nice pocket-sized piece of Charlotte Mason’s genius, turn it over and and over in our hands and thoughts, and appreciate how precious the little things in life can be.

All teachers need to refresh their hearts, souls, and minds at intervals, and this is especially true for homeschool moms. This is a book for homeschooling parents.

I hope that the thoughts and reminders here will keep your heart focused on the things that are truly important. I hope you will pick up a useful idea or two, like a stray gift, that will ease some part of your teaching work.

I hope, most of all, that as you enter into the little things I’ve written about here that you will find the joy of your work renewed and strengthened. Yes, homeschooling is a large and important task. Yes, the days can grow long and tiresome. Yes, sometimes we get weary and disheartened. But in the end, teaching is not a drudgery. The joy of learning that we want to preserve and encourage in our children is our joy as well. Here is a little passage from the title essay:

We would do well to apprehend the truth that our lives are made up not of years or months or even weeks, but only moments, one after the other. We have only today, this crumb of time. What are we meant to be doing with it? What life-giving blessings have been poured into it for us? If we pay attention to the blessings at hand—whatever they are—this moment will be a moment of nourishment, joy, peace, or labor. Whether we are washing dishes or picking up toys or changing a diaper, that is not a wasted or worthless moment. Those tasks are a sign that we have been blessed with food to eat, a home to live in, and children to love.

from Much may be done with sparrows

I’ll have to keep you updated about the exact publication date, but I’m hoping it will be available in June 2024. We’re in the home stretch with this little book and I’m so excited to show you the cover and talk about it. I hope it will be a blessing to you as you take a break from the 23/24 school year and get ready to dive in to 24/25. Home educating your children is a big job, and sometimes you just need some encouragement. That’s what this book is for.