Monday, February 6, 2012

Chapter Study: Ideas?

Chari and I had an idea for this blog.  Actually, we have many, but here is one I wanted to bring up now that we are in ordinary time and getting into the swing of blogging regularly.

Liking the idea of book studies, but hesitant to jump into a full book discussion since those take quite a lot of commitment, we thought of the idea of a "Chapter Study".  For this we would take a chapter of a book, either public domain or one that we thought a lot of our readers might have on their book shelves, and just post on that chapter.

This is something we've done by ourselves several times.  Once we studied the high school chapter of Laura Berquist's book Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum.   Once we studied the first couple of chapters of Charlotte Mason's book Formation of Character.

Chari has even taken the idea and with another dear friend of hers, much to my jealousy : )  studied a chapter of Francis de Sales' great book Thy Will Be Done:  Letters to People in the World.  Not to be completely left out, I reread a few chapters of this book on my own. 

It works great!  Often we end up rabbit-trailing all over the place, but having a sort of "spine" for the discussion helps us to keep it from just being simple chattering or venting.    And probably Chari, who is an extrovert, knows that for me, an introvert, it is easier to talk and remember when there's some sort of continuous topic to keep all the ideas connected.

Here is a variation also suggested by what we do on our occasional visits.

The variation is one-time book study.    In other words, instead of going through a book chapter by chapter, sometimes we look at a book together (or, often, a curriculum resource) and talk about how we like it, what we get out of it, and how we think we could adapt it to our kids.

This is probably a glorified version of what many homeschoolers do when we visit other homeschoolers -- scan through their curriculum shelves and ask how they like X or Y resource, and sometimes borrow it for a week or a year! 

Maybe we can help each other through the February blues and gain some inspiration to take us through the rest of the homeschooling year!

My question right now is:

Do you have any ideas for chapters, books, resources, that you think would be fun/rewarding to study this way?  We'd love to hear any suggestions.

If you don't have any ideas, that's all right too.  I am sure Chari and I both have a whole list of things we'd love to discuss together and having a blog to share on just makes it better : ).


  1. I don't have any suggestions off the bat; but I like the idea.

  2. I was trying to think of something........I would really like to do the St. Frances de Sales would be easy to write about and in no particular order. Do enough of us have a copy of the book? It is worth owning.

    Or, Introduction to the Devout Life can be found online here:

    it is also available free on Kindle.

    I was also thinking, it might be kind of fun to look at our "old" homeschooling books.....A Charlotte Mason Companion? Real Learning?

    Since Lent is about to arrive......very soon.....let's stay with a spiritual theme and after Easter.....maybe closer to summer, for some summer-getting-ready-for-a new-school-year reading, we can do one of the homeschooling books.

    What do you think?

    Also, just so you know....Willa, you are in charge of this project ;)

  3. I don't have a kindle we are offline come monday so I can only pop in when I can but I like the idea .nope the library only has his Introduction to the Devote Life .
    I'd be up for a homeschooling book . I have CM series, CM companion .I love also Pocketful of Pine Cones . although I was wishing I coul read an unschooling book our library is terrible , a few David Albert books is about it
    Okay Chari , Willa you will not believe this ! I just punched in " Unschooling " into library search . only one book came up ! It is the catholic one ! A Little Way of Homeschooling . so I requested it .
    Lol chapter study or not I'll read it ☺
    will pop in tomorrow and see what you all think . I'll be online every Thursday at the library too.

  4. Rox, before you go offline, you can download a free Kindle app to your computer and then download the book and when you are offline, you will still have it. I do not have a Kindle either....I put one on my PC and one on my iPhone. I only downlaod free books. I happen to have A Little Way of Homeschooling since Willa left a copy for me to peruse. I have not read it yet. I have Pocketful of Pine cones, too. :) Willa is out of town for about two weeks....not sure when we will make our decision. :) Blessings, Roxie!

  5. Willa, any thoughts? Looks like Lent begins next week!



  6. So it looks like some possibilities are:

    --something by St Francis de Sales
    --A Little Way of Homeschooling (funny your library has it Rox -- but the contributors have all been very zealous about suggesting the book/donating copies wherever they live : ))
    --something by or about Charlotte Mason

    Since Chari mentioned focusing on our Faith for the Lenten season, I think I may browse around Google Books and Gutenberg and see if there are any excellent public domain Catholic books that might work -- I know I've stumbled across some before -- it would be nice if the book had a family-mothering related focus, too.


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