Travels in Middle Earth

This week I wrapped up a three-month stay in Middle Earth. My literature class at our homeschool co-op finished reading last travelogueweek and took an exam on Tuesday.

Part of our time involved a “travelogue,” a book I made for each of them with spaces for jotting down notes on all the characters and themes that appear in the books. The names can be daunting for someone who’s never come across them before, so I wanted them to have a “cheat sheet” of their own making to help along the way.

Despite some initial moaning, the students took to the book like ducks to water. I was so pleased with the class discussions we had about eucatastrophe and Biblical allusions. I only wish we had more time — once a week is so little.

It comes home again and again: if a piece is well-written and truthful in theme, children (or in this case, young men and women) will surprise you with their abilities to comprehend the transcendent truths therein. We should, as parents and educators, have faith in that ability. It has been a privilege to watch this group of students explore Middle Earth this year.


Another king-sized linkage post! You have nothing else to do today, right?


I think I link to this every year, but Mary at Owlhaven always inspires me with her September Grocery Challenge. She has way more kids than I do and pinches pennies to see if she can get through the month spending just $300 on food.

This made me laugh: What to Say When Your Child Blathers on About Minecraft. (this is my life)

Show Them Jesus: a helpful thing to keep in mind for parents of church-raised kids. It’s harder for them to see the Gospel sometimes.

Encouragement to keep on keeping on from Tim Challies: The Spasmodic Hercules. “We tend to overestimate how much we can grow in a short period, and underestimate how much we will grow over a long period, provided we simply take hold of God’s ordinary means.”

Introspection Time for Evangelicals: “A desperate, angry, apocalyptic tone of social engagement alienates many people, including some of the children of those who practice it.”

College Girls: Education, Imago Dei, and the Gospel: “We educate girls and women for the same reason we educate boys and men. We educate our daughters because they are made in God’s image. Full. Stop.”

And please go read this…it’s a treasure. Letters to the Children of Troy. I’ve attached EB White’s letter below.


Have a great weekend!


Stand Up and Get the Tissues Ready: I’m sure you’ve seen this by now, but in case you haven’t, here’s a beautiful spontaneous rendition of the national anthem from a choir conference.

If you are interested in Charlotte Mason education, the Childlight blog is a nice place to start. Here’s a good article from the last month called A First-Time Mother’s Perspective.

My wise friend Michelle wrote this article that I posted to the memorial site this week: How to Walk with a Friend in Grief (hint: it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and there is no finish line)

I’ve been taking in a lot of Rabbit Room artists over the last two weeks. You should probably just stick an IV in my arm and hook me up to Rabbit Room radio. Here’s one that will make you laugh, Andy Gullahorn’s “Skinny Jeans.”