Saturday, January 20, 2018

Our Weekly Amble for January 15-19, 2018


This was not the second week of school I had in mind.

I was still pretty sick Monday and Tuesday - and not feeling grand Wednesday through Friday, in fact today was the first morning I woke feeling mostly well. But still with the cough.

However, the children all managed to get sick up and down all week, so we took it easy: lots of music from Amazon music played, plenty of reading - including our Ambleside Online selections for the week, movies from Netflix - we watched the Gene Wilder Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the recent Disney version of The BFG, both of which we all enjoyed. No music lessons or activity lessons. I left the house twice - to go the clinic at Kroger once and the bank a second time. I don't think the children left the house at all. We even missed our Art with Friends group.

M-girl played the piano a lot. She's been working on pieces from Phantom of the Opera, The Lord of the Rings, and The Lion King. She had a Latin tutoring session with Greta on Friday and as she's at the beginning of Latin Alive! and finding it less than challenging, Greta gave her a paragraph from Wheelock's to translate - she's very excited about that.

N-boy has been working on the Peanuts theme, The Pink Panther Theme, and Pachelbel's Canon in D. I love to hear him play.

We watched CNN10 every morning, which is a nice way to keep some of our habits in practice.

I've read a good deal of Mansfield Park this week and reminded myself why it is my favorite Austen.

So, while it isn't the week I had anticipated, and we didn't accomplish a ton, I'm pleased with the children's ethic in keeping up some of their work and general demeanor during a time of sickness.

Here's to next week.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

[Conform] Idea posts

{This year as I run across quotes, verses, ideas, etc that fit with [conform] I plan to just put them here with the graphic above and little to no commentary}

From Wednesday'sCloud of Witness:


He who reigns within himself, and rules
Passions, desires, and fears, is more a king;
Which ev'ry wise and virtuous man attains:
And who attains not, ill aspires to rule --
Subject himself to anarchy within.

-Milton


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wednesdays with Words: Subtly Alters


I'm reading Beauty in the Word with a group of Reformed friends on Voxer. It's an interesting dynamic as Caldecott, Beauty's author, is stridently Roman Catholic and we find places of both profound agreement and disagreement (and, let's be honest, confusion).

There is much to love about the book, I find I'm marking every page heavily - most with firm stars and YES! and some with ummm?? and No! Very little between.

But the Yeses are outweighing the Nos and I can see why it's so beloved by so many- and I'm not quite through Chapter 1 yet.

The introduction "The Heart of the Book" lays out the main ideas carefully before he builds on it. In many places, I'm mentally changing "Catholicsim" or "Catholic" to "Christian" because I find firm agreement with what Caldecott posits, as here:
The 'Catholicism' in a Catholic school cannot simply be added on to an existing curriculum or atmosphere. Precisely because a religious faith affects everything, even changing the way we view the cosmos, it cannot be compartmentalized. (This is why faith seems so dangerous to some non-believers.) Revelation subtly alters the way every subject is taught as well as the relationships between them. What is revealed connects them severally and together to our own destiny, to the desire of our hearts for union with infinite truth. At that point, everything becomes interesting. There are no 'boring' subjects--nothing can be ugly or pointless unless we make it so, turning our backs on the Giver of Being. (pg 14-15, italics his, bold mine)






Monday, January 15, 2018

The Simple Woman's Daybook for January 15,2018

For Today...



Looking out my window ... the world is washed out as the snow falls steadily.

I am thinking ... about how much school we can accomplish.

I am thankful ... for Jason and his dedication to our family.

One of my favorite things ... buttered toast.

I am wearing ... pajamas, but I think I'll shower and dress in a bit.

I am creating ... new habits - prayer and movement.

I am listening to ... Leah Boden on Facebook Live talking about habits and CM. Good stuff.

I am hoping ... to feel all the way better soon.

I am learning ... how capable the kids are. They've been so great over this last week or so and I want to be sure to tell them how I appreciate it.

In my kitchen ... I really don't know.

In the school room ... I'm so glad I sorted out books so the kids can move on on their own.

Post Script ... have you seen these Morning Time Methods videos Pam has been doing? There's one about poetry, another about geography drill, and a third about using the memory palace technique. They're so helpful to see how to do these during Morning Time.

Linking up with The Simple Woman.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Our Weekly Amble for January 8-12, 2018


It was our first week of a new year! 

Our first day we traditionally get something sweet for breakfast, but the weather was such that I didn't want to go out, so Cinnamon Rolls and scrambled eggs it was:



I realized this morning that we didn't do our traditional self-portraits or interview pages. I'll need to get those taken care of next week. 

We had two great days of Whatchamacallit. We start the year with just reviewing hymns and poetry and Bible memory and catechism and getting back into the groove. I love how that helps us ease into Morning Time after a long break. By going over old work, we exercise our minds but it's just a warm-up. It also helps us to go through Whatchamacallit quickly, which leaves extra room for our readaloud at the end, which everyone enjoys.



We also began to institute a "Keeping Hour" which I learned about on Instagram from my friend Mariah. She was finding it a struggle to get her kids to do keeping, too, so she instituted a time of day where everyone went back and did keeping together. I loved the idea, and as N-boy and R-girl are adding Books of Centuries this year, I though we'd try it out. There was some moaning about 3:30 being "after school" but our first two days were great!






Sadly, though, I got rather sick Tuesday night and was mostly out of commission the rest of the week. I was able to listen to narrations, though, and the kiddos are big enough to keep working on their own which is great. The only way they could've done that, though, was if there was a plan. I'm so thankful that I had a plan put together, they had a list of the work for the week, and on Monday we had worked together to divvie up that work. Because of that, they knew what needed to be done and could do it.


We each have a daily schedule, and a set of daily and weekly assignments. I use Pam Barnhill's The Independent Student bundle* for part of our assignments and weekly meetings. I still need to do this week's meetings with my kiddos.

So, while it wasn't the idyllic first week back to school I had in my head (when is it ever?), it was a very good week as I think about seeing my children succeed at doing the work they were assigned without a lot of interaction on my part. I would've preferred to not be sick, though.

*{not an affiliate link, but I do work for her and received the bundle free}

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wednesdays with Words: A Bird Fits into its Nest


"... He is so close to Nature every moment that he has become part of it. He is as honest as Nature itself; and as big and clean and as simple.  He has grown, with roots deep in the soil, as naturally as that tree. He can't be wrong, he doesn't know HOW to be wrong--God bless him. You know what I mean, Dick?"
"I guess so, Dad. You mean that what Mike knows, he found out for himself, not out of books. Is that what you mean?"
"Partly," Father nodded and was about to say more, but Dick said: No, wait, Dad. I've got to figure this out for myself."
They walked silently, side by side and were almost at their house when Dick spoke again. "Isn't it the same thing that makes Andy's drawings so ... right? He just loves animals and trees and things on the farm and he is ... sort of like the things he loves." 
"Exactly," Father's voice was pleased.
"It's a good thing, isn't it, Dad? I mean, when you feel comfortable ... and don't hurt any place because you sort of ... fit in?" Dick used an expressive gesture, turning one fist into the other, cupped hand. Father smiled at him. "Uhum ... like perfectly meshing gears."
"Ye ... es," Dick sounded unsatisfied, then his eyes lighted up, "No! Like a bird fits into its nest. That's the way I feel here."
Father, with his hand on the screen door, paused and looked at him for a long good moment. "Dicky, my son, bless you. What you just said has made this day perfect."
The Open Gate by Kate Seredy (1960, pg 187-188, emphasis hers)

So there were just so many things I loved about this passage in The Open Gate. I thought the metaphors were spot on, I found the way the father and son were working out the idea together instructive, and I especially liked the emphasis on ordo amoris - "he is ... sort of like the things he loves."

It has been a while since we've had a Wednesdays with Words here at ladydusk. It is my intention for it to be a regular feature in 2018 and I hope you'll join the linkup when you can.

Wednesdays with Words was the brainchild of Cindy Rollins as a way to share our reading and sections that were extra beautiful or meaningful or in some other ways stood out to us. She hosted for several years and I've hosted for a number of years now, although it has been on hiatus since August. It feels good to be back, like a bird in its nest.








Monday, January 08, 2018

The Simple Woman's Daybook for January 8, 2018

For Today...



Looking out my window ... it is still night and darkness shrouds.

I am thinking ... about atmosphere, discipline, and life.

I am thankful ... for wise teachers - from my pastor, to Charlotte Mason, to Paul, to the psalmist, to God himself. Lead me in paths of righteousness for your name's sake, O Lord.

One of my favorite things ... it's the first day of school! Always an exciting time.

I am wearing ... still jammies, but my new Buckeye hoodie that Jason got for me. It's warm and snuggly.

I am creating ... still working on the same embroidery project; I'm almost done with the word!

I am listening to ... the newest Mason Jar episode with Karen Glass. I cannot wait for her book, Know and Tell! I know it will be very helpful and an important component of Brandy's Next Generation CM library.

I am hoping ... to finish some of my other CM library books so I can read it!

I am learning ... new habits of prayer. The ladies in the Humble Habits course are fantastic and creative. How do we pray constantly? What do we pray for. So many inspiring ideas.

In my kitchen ... the birthday party is entirely cleared away and put away and the first day cinnamon rolls. I need to make some cinnamon rolls.

In the school room ... new schedules, new assignment sheets, new reading lists, new keeping notebooks.



Post Script ... Pam has this new series of Morning Time Methods videos where she explains and shows how to do a poetry lesson or a geography lesson in Morning Time. There are more to come. Very helpful!


Shared Quote ... from In Memoriam pg 132 this morning: 
'Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life' covers the question from the three conceivable points of view. Subjectively, in the child, education is a life; objectively as affecting the child, education is a discipline; relatively, if we may introduce a third term, as regards the environment of the child, education is an atmosphere.
A moment from my day ... N-boy was excited to blow out 12 candles on his cake inspired by Lloyd Alexander's Black Cauldron.




Closing Notes: This week on Charlotte Mason IRL, we'll be talking about Fresh Starts! Won't you join us?

Linking up with The Simple Woman.