Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Welcome to Take Up and Read

       In the summer of 2010, we were asked by a friend to present a talk on “Homeschooling Through the High School Years.” As the two of us spent a week in the mountains together, preparing for the talk, we found ourselves needing to go further and further back into our children’s homeschool education in order to explain what we do through high school. It became a “walk down memory lane” as we relived the early years. While knowing our goals were similar, we have always been aware that our homeschooling methods were often different from each other’s. We were pleasantly surprised to find how much we shared in our basic approach, with literature being the mainstay of our lives and learning.

     Sipping tea, with our offspring playing, reading, and working around us, we found our notes lengthening. So much so, that we knew the time allotted to speak would simply not be enough. In the end, our combined notes were 38 pages long...entirely too much for a simple presentation. What should we do with all of this extra information? Remembering our own early desires to learn from the more experienced homeschool moms, we hoped it would be useful to develop our thoughts into a blog. Frequent questions from younger moms about our experiences provided yet another motivation.

     For us, the first step was to take it to prayer. We have a habit of reading at least one book a year “together” and as we were currently working our way through St. Augustine’s Confessions, we begged his intercession on the project. We knew this blog would be literature-based, and Catholic.....so we looked for quotes from saints about literature. It was a difficult search. While reading the Confessions, we kept our minds open to inspiration. Every thing just kept coming back to St. Augustine. It seemed like the title for the blog would come through him, though we continued to look elsewhere.

"Take Up and Read"
Benozzo Gozzoli 
St Augustine Reading the Epistle of St Paul (scene 10, east wall)
Fresco, 220 x 230 cm
Apsidal chapel, Sant'Agostino, San Gimignano

     Finally, we realized “Take Up and Read” were the words that Augustine heard, in the voice of a little child, just moments before his absolute conversion.  While it was not quite as “pretty” as we had hoped, we found that those four words had so much meaning. We visualized the mother taking up books to read to her children, older children choosing books to read to themselves, and of course, adults reading as well. We could see the spiritual significance of “taking up and reading,” of taking the life God has called each one of us to live.

     As we discussed and conferred together, it became obvious that we both have not only raised our children (and are still raising a few of them!) in a literature-rich homeschool environment, but we also discovered that we both had “raised” ourselves to live a literature-based life, from our early years.

       We will spend the next few weeks introducing ourselves and our plan for Take Up and Read. We hope you will come back to visit with us often. The teapot will always be ready!
     Our Patrons, St. Augustine & St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!
            Chari & Willa


  1. yay! I'm so glad to see the blog up and running!! Its beautiful! One question: where's the feed button? I must subscribe....:)

  2. Willa was going to get to that last night...but it must have got too late. I am sure it will be up soon! I miss you and we need to share a cup of tea soon!!! IN PERSON!

  3. Hi Shawna!

    It's up now! Thank you for reminding me! I felt like I was still forgetting something when I turned off the computer last night!

  4. this is wonderful, I am so excited to follow you two!!!!

  5. I need a friend I can sip tea with and share with and...
    Do you guys know how blessed you are?!
    Love you both!

  6. Thank you, Theresa and Molly!

    Donna Marie......you can always join us for a cup of tea! and someday...it will have to be in person! I always regret that I could not meet with you on our cross-country trip. I certainly do know how blessed we are!
    Especially to have you for a friend, too! We love you, too!


We love hearing from our readers. Please share your thoughts or just say hello!