Click here for a link to ADE episode #92 An interview with Bridgette Cooley
Interview with Bridgett Cooley:
Bridgett starts out with her backstory and her journey to Charlotte Mason. At first she was not interested because thought it was “mamby-pamby.” She started school too early with first daughter. Found ADE through a rabbit trail and realized that what she had found before was wrong. She was encouraged and inspired to read the volumes for herself.
Bridgett had a group of friends that was a mother group. She started her local reading group in December and started “A Delectable Conversation” online in August. The goal was to read through the volumes together. The online group discussed the ADE podcast to narrate the episodes and learn and grow together. The name was changed to “Charlotte Mason Soirée.”
Liz talks about finding her local Charlotte Mason group during a season when she was planning 2 weddings at one time. It was there that Emily and Liz met Nicole. They went through the volumes together.
Bridgett went to a conference in Peoria and wanted to start the group to go through what she had brought back from the conference. They used a guide broken down weekly to go through volume 1. It was more than 30 pages monthly, but 30 pages would be better. Bridgett and Morgan are working on the study guides and a topical guide for the podcast episodes.
Liz recounts her experience of having a group and moving. Her group changed dynamic. They discuss when people don’t get through the assigned reading. Bridgett reads Charlottes own words regarding the importance of Mother Culture. We sacrifice some of our child’s education if we do not continue our own.
Morgan found in the archives suggestions to secretary branches to have reading circles. This was not just for homeschooling parents, but for working mothers and governesses as well. Educating, encouraging, and supporting parents was important to the success of the branch.
Morgan and Bridgett saw the need for reading groups, so they started a training course to help equip others in starting their groups. The groups need to be “just Charlotte Mason.” It is nothing added to and nothing taken away. There will be prerequisite and continuing education. The training isn’t long, it it is efficient. It takes preparation and training. At the end you have support and materials available.
It should take about an hour to go through the study guide lessons every month. The guides are 30 pages a month to leave time and space for a topical guide if wanted. It is a good way to learn the “why and how” to implement a CM education. Leave time for moms to ask questions or to talk about “thorny issues” and bring back to how Charlotte Mason would advise to handle the issues presented.
The leader is a facilitator. She can help to draw people back to the case and point of CM when we go off on rabbit trails. It is s purpose and s direction. The leader doesn’t have to have 20 years experience. They just have to be willing to lead others who are along on the same journey with them. The group is a oral narration. There is accountability and support in the CM soirée leaders group. The CE requirements is to read an article of the dispatch and listen to a podcast every month. It should take an hour or so every month. Info can be found on the soirée website.