All About Meagan Cobble

Bryce Black


{pencil to paper}

January 23, 2015 in happiness, inspiration, my boys, teaching, blog series

I dreamed about what your handwriting would look like. In my womb, you would rest & grow. One than the other. And I would think on these things. How the pencil would suit you. Which hand would be yours. How your buried & inside would make its natural way out. Of you. Into others.

I am a teacher of words, boys. A believer of their bounty & in their power. Concocted a wee bit crooked or masterfully piled up & spilled, I hold fast to their presence in lives. In their purpose to change. In the brokenness to heal. In their clever clout as they claim laughter just the same.

And now. Right now.I am in the sweetest spot. For words surround me. From pencil to paper, they take shape with different line ups. Letters with curls. Some with sideways slants, too. Linked & loaded, they are locomotives heading out of the roundhouse. Off they go chugging with steam puffs and smoke billows. In motion to reach. And their roundhouse isn't just mine. It's ours now.

Do you know I wrote your name in cursive at least a million times? I wanted to be sure it was just right for you there growing on my insides. I contemplated each curve & placement. I counted syllables and thought about you, too. Longing for the day I could touch tiny fingers. And now?Right now. You make those very curvy turns yourself. Your tiny fingers are off. And on their beautiful way down the tracks.

Sweet spot, you say?Oh yes, boys. Yes. Of highest privilege I consider it one fine honor to not only carry you, but create with you, too. From womb to words, I am smitten with this role. Your minds are alive and make mine that much more so. Your syllables there on paper are doing it. They most certainly are. Changing & healing. Connecting & keeping. Propelling power all wrapped in story.

One right & one left. Your buried & inside is making its natural way out. Of you. Into others. From pencil to paper. In motion to reach. Surpassing all my dreams of you, I am so thankful to know your handwriting more.

{week 50: my 2 in 52}To read all posts in the #fiftytwomovement, visit here.

Comment 0 Likes



December 15, 2014 in happiness, inspiration, memories, my boys, books, teaching, celebrations, blog series

As an educator, I've evolved. My ideas about learning aren't the same that they were almost 10 years ago when I possessed a W-2 and roll call of 22+ children. My horizons for instruction have lessened much like my student class size. I full-on sense the absence of checklists and standards breathing down my neck. Stripped away much like my paycheck, I am noticing the profit that comes from this no-income decision.

Recently I was asked by one of my college professors to give a statement to his Sociology of Education class for future teachers. The topic was home schooling.

The question:

"Why do you home school and what benefits do you see this decision has on you children?"

My answer:

Kenny and I chose to home school because of the deep conviction we have for the power of a close relationship. Specifically, the impact it has with regards to learning. Simply put, connections ignite knowledge. We believe in quality over quantity. It's not how far you can stretch, but how deep you can grow. Learning at home provides a safe environment where flexibility, versatility and reality can infuse passion, administer to strengths and pinpoint weaknesses with ease. It is also within these 4 walls of home that a child can feel comfortable and compelled to find autonomy in their own learning process at a very early age.

That and I coulda just said: BOOKS.

I didn't grow up a reader. I grew up pushed to read though. I noticed my Mom's vibrant love for the spine bound. And I can remember my Dad reading Cinderella to me when I was a little girl at bedtime. But I can't remember much past that. The only big ideas on reading from my family that I can recollect are "you should do it a lot".

But I didn't.

Home schooling has allowed me the beautiful chance to invest in this natural seeking of knowledge, be it pretend or quite factual, with my children. At home & unpaid has gifted me the opportunity to see countless books through from cover-to-cover and together with them by my side. Taking turns reading, changing the voices of characters, talking through the dialogue & story decisions: all of it. I've been there to see it happen. Watch it build. And feel it elevate to a point of independency & intrigue.

This Christmas celebration is like any day for us during the school year. My boys read. Growing up as a non-reading child, it was so important to me as a parent that Eli & Casey latch on to the goodness of the written word.

My guys know the beauty of books. They enjoy the library. They have built a sound enough taste of genre to know what to seek when those glass doors open to bookcases bursting full beyond their wildest dreams. They know which authors they call their friends, too.

This Christmas season we have been reading. Christmas literature chosen by each of us. We've read together and apart. Paired together just as much as quiet-alone.

We've compared and contrasted the Christmas themes so beautifully found in our books. Themes like giving & kindness. Sacrifice & generosity. Plenty & barren too.

And we've stopped for breaks to Lego while we discuss a little more about what Christmas means to them.

The boys are in the process of writing their very own Christmas story. Both very different, and yet so very true to the nature of the Christmas theme.

Booking it. That's what I've chosen to bring to Christmas. Piled under blankets or sprawled stretch-legged-out on the floor, I've opened this gift everyday with a happy heart. Joyful for the opportunity to gift my guys the goodness of story. Thankful to field questions about character flaws or sad plot twists while Legos click & scatter around me nearby.

Connections ignite knowledge. And with this class size of 2, I am hopeful to gift the world 2 pairs of fresh eyes complete with full hearts for the love of the written word.

To read more posts from this {bringing to Christmas} series, visit here.

Comment 0 Likes



{fill your family}

December 01, 2014 in inspiration, memories, family, teaching, celebrations

December ONE. 25 days of festive begins NOW. Oh, there will be baking. Parties with ugly sweaters and town streets sprinkled with cracked candy canes tossed all parade-like too. It's that time of year where we nestle into the hustle and become all kinds of cuddly with the commotions of merry.

And me? Well, I like merry.

Tis the season to be merry.

Well that's my name.

No sh%#.

Yep, I love a good movie. I love a good party. Heck, I love a good time too. There's something spirit lifting about gathering and getting and giving. There's an undeniable energy in this massive transaction we call December, no doubt.

But there is a sweet goodness in slow. A something that sticks with us when we just hold up a minute and take it all in. It, you ask? The fresh air that fills our lungs from being outside. The tears that come from a good read. The tickle inside our ticker when we linger a hug just a little bit longer. Yes, slow is where the soaking up happens best. So much potential is created when you take the time to fill your family.

Empty vs. Full.It's a concept. A lifestyle. A decision. Jars are becoming my thing. I deal daily with them inmy candle making. And I am falling in love more & more with what they represent.

glass 1-title

I've talked about their potential here.

worth jar 850

And the jar did not disappoint for my 31 Days of Wardrobe & Words Celebration either.

jar 5

So today, our family begins a building project to fill our family. One that costs ZERO money. One that encourages slowness and allows our thoughts to linger just long enough on our team.

There are 5 empty jars on our kitchen table. Each day from now until Christmas, we will write one memory/compliment/ thankful note to each member of our family. And these will be our last gifts to open Christmas morning.

Piled up jammies, we will unfold real and worthy from our household. These strips of paper will boast how much BIG is in our little and so much good for the who we are and, better yet, the who we are becoming.

As Mama and in a house of men, expressing gratitude, remembering good and lifting one another is important. My boys one day will be men. And there is nothing more meaningful than a man who is confident in expression and courageous enough to show it. To my future daughter-in-laws, you're welcome.

Now, the 5th jar?Well, that's for Him. For He deserves our words the most of all. And I am quite certain that our heavenly Father's notes scribbled will be the most impacting to open on Christmas Day.

ZERO money. A lifestyle. A decision. Intentional giving.

From our family to yours, we'd love for you to join us this holiday.


Comment 0 Likes


{teaching writing through literature} #4

November 18, 2014 in my boys, teaching

We are in session 4, people. 4 of 8 in this installment series. I am completely confident that all 2 of you are hanging with me. So often as a writer you are compelled to shy away from topics that lend themselves to less readers. It's no secret that my fashion posts on Cheap Thrills Thursday are my most popularly sought. And I am good with that. I'm also good with the 2 of your who read this series too. Why? Because teaching writing is just as much my passion as finding the look for less. I absolutely love equipping my guys to communicate effectively and perhaps beautifully with written word. Words are worth it enough to me for them. And they're worth it enough for you 2 following along just the same.

This series is about using everyday children's literature to infuse not only an energy for words, but also a model for quality writing into the minds of children. It's the way I taught when I was a public school teacher and it's the same way I teach now as a homeschooling Mama.

The first installment gave pointers and guidelines on how to find quality children's literature. It spoke of how I broke the story down into teaching components as well as how I introduced these learning elements to the boys.

In installment #2, I utilized the absolutely beautiful and quite poignant place illustrations have in the hearts of a growing writer. These images catapult connect words with feelings. Kids can see sad and knowclever a little more thanks to the wonderful gift of the artist.

Session #3 was all about digging deep into the layers of the text. I shed light on the beauty of story and the big picture lessons that are right-there available for the touch, better yet, the feel. We tackled symbolism and the power it has on the heart of a reader-turning-writer.

It is in this session that I want to highlight the wonderful grammar opportunities inside quality children's literature. Grammar is so very stale and so very often leaves little minds bored. Utilizing a good read can connect emotion to this element of learning that leaves us more than we like : vanilla with no salt added.

The boys by this time have read the story at least 3 times. They are familiar with the heart of the author's intentions and the illustrator's magnificence too. Simply put, they are invested. Knowing the categories ahead of time pre-empted them for the next hunt.

With a simple reminder of what adjectives do in a story as well as what they describe, my boys were off and could hardly write their findings down fast enough.

Likewise was the case for adverbs. I was sure to be nearby not "doing" for them but more "encouraging"their hunt. It is important for me to note here that the boys were asked to find just 5 of each part of speech. And the cool thing? They exceeded their quota. Confidence, people. It's being taught. Slowly & surely. It's in the small. NOT the big.

Introductory phrases are HUGE when it comes to adding variety to your writing. All too often, children are trapped in the "I like" "I think" "I know" of sentence structure. Time order words are wonderful tools to help offset this trend, but introductory phrases? Oh yes, please. The boys were able to find evidence of this higher end writing concept. And being able to recognize this complex sentence structure is just the beginning sprout in the soil of good writer.

I see no reason to wait until 7th grade to teach the proper use of a semi-colon. Kids can get it. They can get it just as soon as they have firm footing on the components of a simple sentence. Good writers use the semi-colon like the artist uses his contour brush; the rhythm of the story increases with its brilliant use. Can children get that? Yes. Oh, yes.

Next week we transition from manipulations with reading into student story planning. This shift in energy moves from that which is externally sited becomes internally able. The components of good story find their way back out through the creating that comes from student brainstorming.

This series is my passion. It's what I believe in with my whole heart. It's the idea that children can become communicators bringing forth emotion and creativity through rich content listened to and gleaned from. Good writers teach good writing. And it's so very worth it.

Comment 0 Likes



November 17, 2014 in inspiration, memories, my boys, teaching

Gosh, I love humanity. Gobsmacked I am by the hope that nestles into the tiny of our days. Those movements small & simple. Done for no other reason than to be unnoticed by the eyes & perhaps even the hands. Yet, inhaled so tremendously by the heart. Those are the moments that allow nostalgia a space there in Webster's big bound pages.

Life is crinkled. It has worry wounds & owns wrinkles from time lost just as much best kept. It heeds a writhing motion within us. Catapulting us into movement. Pressing us for more. Reminding us of less.

And honesty? Well, it can frustrate me. It can ground me, too. For in truth, I catch myself longing for more. In my profession. In my dream catching & hopefuls. The writhing within moves me to wish. To hope ecstatically for good, growing things. For upward and for success.

And Humanity knows. She coddles my wishes with such care. Folding them into her crinkled, Humanity inhales into me the wistful of now and of moments not misused. Webster's pages turn in me.

Back in September, I surprised the boys with a day of school at the lake. I had everything packed and upon their time to rise, we shuffled ourselves out. Why? Because my heart needed to inhale what my hands had not yet the notion to feel. We skipped rocks and ran. I listened to their conversations as they worked. I read aloud our chapter book as they played around me.

They collected. Trinkets of joy. Signs of stillness & movement just the same. Their nature gatherings reminded me of the very still and swiftness that moves within us all. Humanity is our changing seasons. The textures and colors are our very crinkled. Yes, the very reason why ole man Webster calls nostalgiahis own there in his big bound pages.

Though my eyes may not know now what they are seeing. And my hands not quite certain of what's there nestled inside my fingerprinted grasp.

The humanity of me feels it like it was just yesterday crinkle-tucked there in the center of my heart's next breath. Mr. Webster, thank you for your pages.

Comment 0 Likes


{teaching writing through literature} #3

November 05, 2014 in inspiration, my boys, teaching

I get tingly when I think about being a teacher. There's this energy inside me welled up in spaces hollow just meant for holding things like "how" and "you can" and "I see you doing it" too. It's all I can do to keep it in just waiting for the right time to ooze it out with all that I am. Outstretched, I absolutely love to instill.

My passion? Writing. Pressing letters is so my game. It's a subject undernourished with the hurried sense of in elementary schools.

And I get it. be a teach writing...takes T I M E. It needs space. Big places for rearranging and word play. Honest eyes and compassionate hearts that can scaffold little one's ideas and emotions into sequential written thoughts be it informational or creative. It needs fine tuning and feelings too. And that's hard to situate inside an 8-3 school day with all the other huge subjects that deserve the clock's ticking.

I can't say how long we'll homeschool. I know I've told you why we do here & a little more from awhile back here too. And I can't offer up that I do it all right. That I do it all justice even. That my boys are proficiently and expertly instructed in all arenas of study. But I can tell you this. My passion? I am absolutely oozing all of it into them. It is my hope that this is enough for now.

For who they are growing to be deserves big spaces for rearranging. It's worthy of T I M E just the same. For now, that time is mine. And day-by-day, we work to connect emotions and ideas together. It is my hope that this family decision will be impacting and time best spent for not just my 2, but our family of 4.

I had begun a series of installments sharing with you a glimpse at how I share my passion of writing with my boys. I am a huge fan of utilizing children's literature. This series revolved around the book Jim's Lionby Russell Hoban and illustrated by Ian Andrew.

In installment #1 I discussed how to choose children's literature as well as how to look for content worthy of teaching. This session was chock full of sequential steps and information to help you get started.

In installment #2 I soaked down deep into the bubbly tub of great illustrations. I commended those illustrators out there beautifully crafting art for the eyes and hands of growing minds. I talked a bit about my boys' art too. This session was also where I broke down the content I deemed worthy of instructing to my guys.

This leaves us ready to tackle what's next on the list. Understanding symbolism is such a powerful gift to give growing writers/readers. It's the way children can see the roots under the words so to speak. It allows them to know that the story is so much more than just a story. It's significance on such a larger level. Kiddos can get that. Oh, can they ever.

Big image