Written by veteran homeschooler and renowned interpreter of the Charlotte Mason method of education, Karen Andreola’s ‘Pocketful of Pinecones’ is simply a delight to read!
This book is basically a teachers ‘how-to’ guide to implementing nature study Charlotte Mason style. It has been written as a heartwarming story which draws the reader right into the daily lives and happenings of the characters. Every time I read this book (and I have done so many times and will more than likely do so again), I have been completely inspired within my own homeschool.
Pocketful of Pinecones is story about Carol. She is a busy and industrious mother to two young children in the 1930’s and a devoted wife and homemaker. Like many of us, Carol keeps a diary into which she pours out her secret hopes, joys, worries and disappointments. Her diary also documents her homeschooling journey, especially the nature studies, that she enjoys with her children during their first year of homeschooling.
The story opens on the first day of a new school year in early September. Carol has decided to homeschool her children. Her son seems to have lost his love of learning during the few short years he has spent in school. It’s a delight to read how Carol encourages her reluctant son and re-awakens his love for learning using Charlotte Mason’s methods of education within her home.
We follow Carol and the children through the seasons of the year. Woven into her story are more than a hundred examples of what to look for on a nature walk. She gives the Latin names for the living things that are observed by her characters, which is pretty useful as most of what they observed we have too at one time or another. There are study questions for the reader to consider to help you think more on Miss Mason’s educational views on nature study. Lovely nature poems and verses are peppered throughout the pages.
An added bonus to this lovely book is the supplement at the end containing selected quotations by Miss Charlotte Mason as well as an annotated list of books with a nature theme – both fiction and non-fiction – that you can draw on for use in your own homeschool.
This is a real pick-me-up book. If you are feeling uninspired or washed out, this is a little bit of ‘mother culture’ for the tired mama’s soul.