Monday, May 27, 2013

The CM Blog Carnival -- A Deliciously Delightful Journey

by Megan Hoyt

This is my first time hosting the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival, and I do feel like a child skipping through the crowds on the Midway back at the Texas State Fair, munching on fluffy clouds of cotton candy that melt into sweet nothingness on my tongue, skimming skeeballs up the chute, and winning a turquoise blue stuffed poodle. More on the poodle below, but for now... 

Let the Carnival begin!

The topic this week is The Way of Reason. Gulp. Lest we think more highly of our reasoning capabilities than we ought to, I assure you Miss Mason's point here wasn't that we can reason our way through life but rather to warn us that we probably shouldn't. That said, Shirley gives us a great reason to use reason in Developing Reason to Defend the Faith.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Nebby, for this explanation of The Way of Reason. I am learning so much from you -- I also loved your article on Composition. I, too, used Progymnasmata through the Fable and Narrative stage and then went back to narration. 

Dewey does it again -- Dewey's Treehouse, that is, in The Way of Reason in Fellowship of the Ring, a beautiful analysis and portrayal of what goes wrong when faulty reasoning takes over. Or tries to. Stay strong, Frodo! 

Tammy blew me away with this examination of the pitfalls of reason in science. I did not know all this. Wow. 

Marguerite Henry
Nancy Kelly takes us to the Grand Canyon this week -- along with Marguerite Henry's Brighty!

Take a look at First Steps to Reading from a Charlotte Mason perspective with Bobby Jo Nickel. I love this content and photo rich article. You have a beautiful blog, Bobby Jo.

Loved Amy's look at nature study. I always enjoy hearing how she lives out the CM life in Peru. I don't get to travel much, so I live vicariously through Amy. :) But I think I love this post even more. Thanks for such a personal glimpse at the way of the will. I'm going to have my 16-year-old math dawdler read it.

Brandy gives us an awesome analysis of Endangered Minds and a side by side comparison with the Series in her blog post this week: Jane Healy and Charlotte Mason

I just spent way too long drooling over all the books Carol shared on poetry here. Wow! Thanks so much for posting all these. It's so fun to get recommendations for books from and about other countries -- loved hearing about Australia's poems.

Celeste takes us on a gorgeous nature study outing this week at Joyous Lessons. I love the duck in your nature notebook, Celeste! 

And what a fantastic lead-in to Jen's Snowfall Academy blog post sharing pics from her daughter's nature notebook. You can watch the progression from 2010 to today. How wonderful! Jen also gives us a meaty analysis of Miss Mason's second principle in a separate blog post. 

One of my absolute favorite Charlotte Mason blogs is more of an online Commonplace book. The reason I treasure Laurie's blog so much is that she finds things I haven't yet discovered -- beautiful things -- and then I get to put them in my Commonplace notebook, too. Thanks, Laurie!

Personal plug here for the music of Gungor and their incredible song Beautiful Things. Click on it and you can listen while you read the other blog entries. I really love Gungor. 

This one wasn't sent in as part of the carnival, but when I read it I gasped. Here's a look at the sterner side of nature! Apologies if this was already posted in a previous carnival. I don't remember seeing it back in March. Jen G., you should be a documentary filmmaker! Also, check out Jen's other posts. Looks like she's having a regional CM conference in her neck of the woods soon

My latest blog post has little to do with reason. Or beauty. In fact, after reading it, you'll find it has more to do with nonsense than sense. And a wee bit to do with the assimilation of knowledge and narration. Take a peek

Now about that poodle... When I was very young, say around four or five years old, I used to go to work with my parents rather than stay home with a babysitter or an older sibling. My parents were symphony musicians in Dallas, Texas, and they worked at Fair Park Music Hall back then. When they were rehearsing during the state fair, I was always itching to get off that stool backstage, to stop listening to the beautiful orchestral music and head out to the Midway! But alas, I was only four years old. I wasn't allowed to melt into the crowd alone like that. And rightly so. I must have looked pretty dejected to everyone around me when I was told it wasn't possible for me to go to the fair. So imagine my excitement when one of the stage hands came back from his lunch break with a surprise for me -- a fluffy, stuffed poodle! I treasured that poodle. I slept with it and played with it until it fell to shreds. What a sweet man. He didn't have to do that for me, but he saw a bored little girl wandering the halls or sitting quietly in the wings for two hours and had pity on me. To the kind stagehand who won me a poodle, you showed me that people can be kindhearted and good. What a great example to a self-focused child. 

As we wind our way through life with starts and stops and moments of supreme faith, often superceded by seasons of pride in our own abilities to reason, I so appreciate the work of all of you wonderful, amazing teachers and bloggers.

Thanks for stopping by and a huge thank you to all our contributors this time around. It's so nice to know I'm not alone on this winding ascent.


This Memorial Day blog carnival is dedicated to the memory of my mother's dear friend and fellow Dallas Symphony musician, Mimi McShane.  
RIP, Mimi! Thank you for being such a caring, devoted cello teacher, a loyal friend to the end, and a wonderful human being!


  1. What a great carnival--thanks for being our guide through the midway this time around.

  2. Thanks for hosting the carnival for this edition. Looks like I will need more than a few minutes to get through all the entries. :)

  3. Thank YOU! I loved your post! It's like swimming in a sea of jewels reading all these...

  4. Thank you for hosting. You did a great job--and it looks like a wonderful set of entries!