Thursday, July 19, 2018

Family Keeping Meeting, Summer Edition

Last fall we started a new tradition in our family.  Just about every Saturday, we gather around the breakfast table at 7:15 and share a meal and pieces of our work for the week.  This isn't just for the kids, but also for my husband and I as well.  This acts as a time to check in our the kids' work, as well as an opportunity for my husband and I to share what we are learning about and our attempts to be lifelong learners.

You know, it is very challenging to take a picture of a large family sitting at the table and have it turn out decently.  But I guess that's just to be expected.  Photo courtesy of Gregory (and his new-ish camera with a timer)
In our Family Keeping Meeting, we share each item from youngest to oldest before moving onto the next item.  We don't all bring everything each week, but we all have at least something to share.

What we share

  • Book of Centuries/Century Charts/Stream of History or other time keeping
  • Commonplace or Copywork
  • Drawing Practice Exercises
  • Drawn Narrations
  • Written Narrations
  • Nature Observations
  • Finished Books (which I note and add to their reading lists)

Then we review the activities for the weekend and discuss upcoming events for the week.  We also settle on a schedule for our shared family work in Shakespeare, Plutarch and Art.  The kids then have an opportunity to ask questions or make comments about the week past or the the one to come.  The whole thing takes 45 min to an hour, but I feel like it has a much bigger impact on our overall life as a family than that.  It keeps my husband and I accountable for using these various tools that we know are important, it allows all of us a glimpse into what we each are doing, and it gives us additional  opportunities for conversation about what we're learning.

Examples from a recent Family Keeping Meeting

Gregory (12) - From Top Left - Drawing Practice, Drawing Exercise from Masterpiece Society Drawing 101 Lesson, Drawn Narration of the layout of the fort complex he is building with his siblings, and Nature Observations

Nathan (10) - Drawn narration of watching the fireworks on the 4th of July, Nature Observations, Drawing Exercise from Masterpiece Society Drawing 101 Lesson, and Drawing Practice

Emma (16) - Written narration (on iPad), quote shared from PEAK packet, Lettering in her PEAK journal. 
My work - Written narration (on iPad), Drawing Exercise from Masterpiece Society Drawing 101 Lesson, Commonplace quotes from The Memory of Old Jack and Norms and Nobility

Matt's work - Written narration (on iPad), Commonplace (on iPad - he uses his Commonplace for quotes and images that come from his reading), Drawing Exercise from Masterpiece Society Drawing 101 Lesson, and his Book of Centuries entries


And some might be wondering about how I manage to keep track of what we are doing, and what I give my kids so that they can be prepared for this meeting.  

I keep a general Weekly Reference on my clipboard - this isn't just for the weekly meeting, but also has my evening review steps, weekly review steps and Sunday activities.  I mark it up as I go through the Family Keeping Meeting and use it as a place to jot down what the kids have read as ebooks or listened to as audiobooks.  (I have a place by my desk where the physical books are stacked.)  Each week I print a new one on the back of my weekly overview sheet.

And since it is summer, the boys' list of weekly work is a lot shorter, and they do not have to bring time keeping or written narrations to the Family Keeping Meeting.  They are welcome to, of course, but neither has taken me up on that yet!  This goes on their clipboard and they get a new one each week.


  1. This is such a beautiful family tradition, Amber. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Amber!! This is so cool! What a lovely family tradition. ♥

  3. Hi Amber. Lovely way to start the weekend. I also enjoyed taking a peek at your Sunday rhythm. Something we’re currently working toward..
    For the written narrations on iPads, are you using a simple word-processing program (Word/Pages) or something a bit more intuitive like evernote?