Sunday, April 20, 2014

Journeying - Books and Trips

A most lovely map from  Beatrix Potter - at home in the Lake District
When I was quite young, my parents gave me a copy of The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle for Christmas.  I remember distinctly being puzzled about that stile that Lucy climbed over.  What was a stile?  What an odd word that no one from my hometown of Mentor, Ohio ever used.  Well, now I will soon find out!  I will definitely post a few pictures  of some stiles.  This trip is a dream-come-true for me.  I've really wanted to go for the past 20 years, ever since I've studied all things Charlotte Mason.  And do tell me, if you were to go to the gorgeous Lake District where Charlotte established  her college, what would you look for?  What would be a must-see for you?

Paraclete Press (they publish At The Still Point, a favorite devotional)  sent me a complimentary copy of Hildegard's Gift by Megan Hoyt.  It is delightful!  I knew virtually nothing about Hildegard von Bingen  (1098-1179), aside from the fact that Ambleside Online recommends her for composer study. Megan's book is a wonderful introduction to this twelfth-century mystic. The whole image of being "a feather on the breath of God" really touched my 10 year old dd. The illustrations by David Hill give this biography  a bit of whimsy that help keep her emotional life accessible to children.  Megan, I hope you keep utilizing your gift.  Now, enjoy a sneak peek with Megan herself reading her book.


This next book I read aloud during our Family Gathering time at the beginning of the school year. Little Leap Forward - A Boy of Beijing by Yue and Farrow takes place during the Cultural Revolution - an important time and place for all students to know. But this little book, published by Barefoot Books and now only $4.25, is rather quiet and thought-provoking.  Richele Baburina recommended it to me and told me it captured her son's imagination.  I can see why.  To order, please go to Richele's blog, Barefoot Voyage, and click on the Barefoot Books link in the sidebar.  Barefoot Books publishes unique titles - another favorite of ours is Shakespeare's Storybook with CD.

"Lucie climbed upon the stile and looked up at the hill behind Little-town—a hill that goes up—up—into the clouds as though it had no top!" - From the Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter

It might be a while before I can post again, but when I do, I will be sure to share details about my trip. 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Commonplace Entry - John Ruskin

With affection and regard,

Photo and editing creds to Katie.  Book selection - me.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Composition Advice from a Science Book - Language as the Clothing of Thought

Are ideas wanting in your homeschool?  If so, you will find composition challenging. Composition starts with oral narration, copy work, recitation, and then dictation from the best writing available.  These things continue throughout their schooling, adding new layers every year.  Grammar is important, yes, but read what the beloved Fabre has to say about it in relation to writing.

Grammar cannot teach one to write.  It teaches us to make a verb agree with its subject, an adjective with a substantive, and other things of that kind.  It is very useful, I admit, for nothing is more displeasing than to violate the rules of language; but that does not impart the gift of writing.  There are people whose memories are crammed with rules of grammar, who, like you, stop short at the first word.

Language is in some sort the clothing of thought.  We cannot clothe what does not exist; we cannot speak or write what we do not find in our minds.  Thought dictates and the pen writes.  When the head is furnished with ideas, and usage, still more than grammar, has taught us the rules of language, we have all that is necessary to write excellent things correctly.  But, again, if ideas are wanting, if there is nothing in the head, what can you write?  How are these ideas to be acquired?  By study, reading, and conversation with people better instructed than we.

-Jean Henri Fabre, The Story Book of Science, "The Book"

I am reading this to my 10dd and we are enjoying it so much.  This particular, outdated chapter was about how paper was made from cloth rags years ago.  "But isn't paper made from trees?"she asked.  Which led her down a most interesting rabbit trail of her own.  When it came time to narrate the above passage, she didn't skip a beat and spoke as someone who knew how true it was.  She has only written a few narrations on her own, but she is not lacking for ideas!

Here is a little more about composition from an older post, Scintillations From Their Own Genius.

With affection and regard,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

First Day of Spring is March 20th!

From The Friendly Year by Henry Van Dyke
Isn't that the truth?  We were able to enter "saw our first robin" in our Book of Firsts on Tuesday, March 18th.