Mother Culture, by Karen Andreola

This read reminded me of a cup of coffee: sip, savor, repeat.

Spending any amount of time, in the homeschool world, you are bound to come across ‘mother culture.’ Although the inter-web can pass along many ideas about mother culture, Mrs. Andreola fills the cup to overflowing.

Free to imagine what culture could permeate my home.

Even as I write, so many thoughts swirl around my mind. Thoughts about raising children. Raising adults. Passing on genuine faith. Educating children. Staying sane. Being healthy. The list goes on and on. ‘Mother Culture’ touches on all these and is a book that I’ll read several times over. As a seasoned homeschool mom and now grandmother, Mrs. Andreola gathers all swirling thoughts and brings them into focus. She provides space for the freedom to imagine what home could realistically look like.

At the end of each chapter, she provides a list of extra resources

Frequently, Mrs. Andreola would quote from other resources. Each time, my Amazon wish list would grow by one more book. I also found myself reading portions aloud to my husband or anyone else who would hear me. She put into words things that I couldn’t quite ‘put my finger on.’

If you find yourself in the state of motherhood and especially if you have been led into homeschooling, this is a must read!

T’was the Night Before Homeschool…

T’was the night before homeschool and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except — the kid

– who is thirsty

– needs to use the bathroom

– is too hot

– is too cold

– too itchy

– whose blankets fell off the bed

– needs a snuggle

– has to use the bathroom, again

You get the picture. Or you’ve been there yourself!

This is a teaser of a series that will be coming down the pipeline, in the near future.

In order to be free to do ‘all the things,’ all the other things must be in order. Say that 10 times fast.

In reality, the more organized and prepared we are as parents and homeschoolers, the smoother the day usually goes. (Now throw a couple of toddlers in the mix and then it doesn’t really matter how well you planned…)

Ok – it does matter how well you plan, even when there are toddlers thrown in the mix. If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.

When it comes to laying everything out the night before, there was a ton of work that went into the what’s, when’s, where’s, why’s, hows, and whose. Before I even prepped this, there were file folders, lesson plans, bullet journals, printing, laminating, and above all a lot of prayer.

Trying to bring it all together all at the same time would be completely overwhelming. Getting this all together takes multiple steps. These will be set out plainly in the near future. For now, here is a picture of what setting up the night before looks like.

Each kid has seat work, activities, piano practice and a chore that is done before they walk up the stairs, to our main level.

I set out what they need at their table spot and write out the details on the white board.

Sunday Lunch

I don’t know about your Sunday mornings and early afternoons, but if I’m not proactive in planning, we are in a constant state of chaos.

Can I get a witness??

Since starting a couple of new gigs, in January, I’ve had to buckle down and plan, plan, plan.

Normally, I would have generally planned, in my head, how our Sunday morning was going to roll. Now, it’s getting it all put together Saturday.

Sunday lunch – Potatoes Au Gratin w/ Ham

5 or 6 medium potatoes

1 cup diced ham

4 TBSP butter

1/2 onion finely chopped

1 – 2 cloves garlic

2 TBSP corn starch

1 cup – ish Milk (kind of eyeball this one. May need more milk to mostly cover potatoes)

1 cup Cheddar Cheese

1 tsp Basil

1 tsp Paprika

Salt and pepper to taste


Peel and slice potatoes. Arrange them in a 9 x 13 pan. (I use dark glass) Sprinkle ham over potatoes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic and stir in. Continue to stir for 1 min. Add cornstarch. Combine for 1 min. Add milk and warm milk.

Once milk is warm, add cheddar cheese and stir until cheese is melted. After cheese if melted. Add basil, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Pour over potatoes.

Cover baking dish with tinfoil and refrigerate until needed or bake right away.

Bake at 400 degree Fahrenheit for 1 hour.

We have a baking timer/stop time on our oven.

Before we leave for church, I put the potatoes in the oven and set the oven to bake the potatoes at 400 for an hour AND to be done baking about the time we get home from church.

Like the crockpot, but not the crockpot. (I like to cheese crispy on the top of my potatoes)