I tend to think God drops books into my lap right when He intends for me to have them. Three months ago, a dear friend mention Marie Kondo to me. I was intrigued. I put the book on hold at the library and was way, way down the waitlist for it. Then, on December 29th I listened to my favorite Read Aloud Revival podcast yet and learned that I could indeed become the reader I once was, in spite of having a busy 6 month old and homeschooling two older kids. The very next day, the library sent an email announcing the arrival of the very book I wanted to read! My husband picked it up in the evening and by the end of the day on the 31st, (or rather the very beginning of the 1st) I had finished my last book of 2015 or my first book of 2016.

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But, I am in the mood for new beginnings. I have posts to write, books to read, photos to take, and a house to tidy. Hence, I am calling the Marie Kondo book my very first book of 2016. I had already used the Konmari method on my clothes, so today on the first day of January, I gathered all the things under all the bathroom sinks and discarded to my heart’s content. Never mind that books were the next category to tackle. The bathroom disorganization had been giving me anxiety for several weeks. I feel lighter now. Light enough that on the way to Mass, suddenly three blog posts popped into my head and here I am, writing again after a very long sabbatical.

When I transitioned from the blog name “The Adventures of Bear” two January’s ago, I wanted a name that would allow me to talk about homeschooling, but that could allow me to write about any other topic I wanted to. Nurturing Learning (my husband gets all the credit) is the perfect name. Nurturing learning toward Truth, beauty, and goodness isn’t just for the children. We have to permit ourselves to nurture our own learning. Mamas need to feed their brains and souls too. So, I may be writing more about my own education this year.

Julie Bogart of Bravewriter (writing classes and curricula) talks about the need mothers have to take care of themselves. You can listen to her talk on Periscope. I like this episode for when I feel discouraged with homeschooling. Charlotte Mason also talked about Mother Culture throughout her writings. There was an article in The Parents’ Review about it. Karen Andreola has a whole blog on Mother Culture, but if you don’t know what Mother Culture is, then the best place to go is Afterthoughts for Brandy’s explanation of it.

And for my second book of 2016, I’ve moved on to Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. Want to read more this year? Try this Reading Challenge from Modern Mrs. Darcy.

first book 2016

(Bear read it too and was inspired to clean out her closet.)