Ordo Amoris (with Abby Wahl)

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If you’re a fan of the Scholé Sisters like I am, you’ll be especially excited about today’s episode. My conversation with Abby Wahl covered topics as diverse as the ordering of the affections, educating children with dyslexia, and twin-mom life (with a little sheep farming thrown in there for good measure). I especially loved her thoughts on doing less, but better. I hope you enjoy this Homeschool Conversation as much as I did!

Be sure to check out all the other interviews in our Homeschool Conversations series!

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Abby Wahl Ordo Amoris Homeschool Conversations

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Who is Abby Wahl?

Abby Wahl lives in the country on a farm with her husband and five children. She and her husband have been married 17 years. She is an outgoing introvert, loves to read big and small books, she loves exercise, weightlifting and playing softball. When she was younger she went to many concerts, played violin in the orchestra and traveled to far away places, she has visited 9 countries and lived in 2.  Now she prefers being a homebody, living and working alongside her family. She loves to cook (not bake) and look for opportunities to open their home for hospitality. She’s also one of the ladies on the Scholé Sisters team.

Abby Wahl Ordo Amoris Homeschool Conversations

Watch my interview with Abby Wahl

Show Notes {with video time stamps}

Sheep farming, unexpectedly homeschooling, and a classical education {1:20}

Abby’s husband was homeschooled most of the way through, although their own family now homeschools a little differently.

You can find Abby discussing homeschooling on Instagram at @ordoamoriseducation and sharing mostly about sheep and kids working on @abbywahl5. (A big part of their family’s life is sheep running!)

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Abby didn’t originally plan to homeschool. But then she had 5 children in 5.5 years, including a set of twins. When her oldest was ready for kindergarten, he would have had an hour long bus ride to school! The other, more local option would have required her to bring twins and 2 toddlers with her to drop-off and pick-up each day. It didn’t seem like a feasible option.

Not only that, but her son was precocious and full of questions. Abby knew he was inquisitive and needed a place where questions were welcome.

Abby began reading a lot about education philosophies. Over the years, her own philosophy took shape. She is heavily influenced by a classical, Charlotte Mason approach to education.

“By classical I mean a …liberal arts education, not a specific curriculum…reading the best books from the best minds.”

What Abby especially loves about a classical, Charlotte Mason education {10:15}

Abby has multiple students with dyslexia. (She noted how important occupational therapy and Diane Craft’s brain integration therapy has been for them.)

This year, their family is focusing on nature study in their Morning Time and beyond. They hope to do a weather study, and also plan to learn to name the plants and trees in their own area.

Friday afternoons are reserved for cleaning the house so it doesn’t take up all of their weekend.

Abby Wahl Ordo Amoris Homeschool Conversations

Ordering the Affections {16:01}

“We need to have our loves rightly ordered,” Abby said., referencing the words of C. S. Lewis and Augustine.

St. Augustine defines virtue as ordo amoris, the ordinate condition of the affections in which every object is accorded that kind of degree of love which is appropriate to it. Aristotle says that the aim of education is to make the pupil like and dislike what he ought. When the age for reflective thought comes, the pupil who has been thus trained in ‘ordinate affections’ or ‘just sentiments’ will easily find the first principles in Ethics; but to the corrupt man they will never be visible at all and he can make no progress in that science. Plato before him had said the same. The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likeable, disgusting and hateful.

Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis first things and second things quote

Abby also has learned the important principle of “less, but better” from Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations and Greg Mckeown’s Essentialism.

“I think it’s so easy to see curriculums and either think that that would be the thing that will solve all my problems … or that shiny object attraction. But that doesn’t really matter if you’re not actually putting in the work to homeschool your children. We don’t need more curriculum…We actually just need to choose the books we have and then read them…We need less, but better, things,” Abby said.

Abby noted that when we love the curriculum more than we love God and more than we love our children, we’re going to get tears and frustration.

Challenges of homeschooling {22:22}

“I have 4 left-handed children,” Abby laughed.

The reality is that we all come into homeschooling with certain ideas and assumptions. “Everyone’s homeschool looks different,” Abby has realized. Sometimes we try to implement what seems like great suggestions, but we realize that it just doesn’t work in our own families.

It’s good to learn to love and appreciate our own unique children.

Homeschooling Twins {26:50}

What is it like homeschooling twins, I wondered! Abby answered, “It’s pretty fabulous, actually.” She shared some of the fun (and challenging) aspects of twin life, so be sure to listen to the full interview!

We also both shared some interesting details about life as young wives/moms (we both got married super young) and our current reality as moms of growing-up children! (Including the “life changing magic of a 4-year-old.”)

Questions for each Homeschool Conversations Guest {34:10}

What are you reading lately?

What is one thing you would say to a new homeschool parent?

“Get right with your kids.”

Relationship. Reading. Math. Writing. Repentance. These are the key things to focus on this year, Abby said.

Find Abby Wahl Online

Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews


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