Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring's Delights (in no particular order!)

1.  The way the sunlight comes in through the trees and dances on the new green leaves.
2.  Playing outside with the children all day long... catch, swings, batting, gardening, bikes and the park all in one long beautiful day!
3.  A winter garden becoming renewed with celery, artichokes, asparagus, carrots and one little lone beet that made it through our snow, ice & wind storms!
4.  Warmth - need I say more?
5.  The feeling at the end of the day that you worked so hard and have so much to show for it!
6.  Fruit trees in bloom!
7.  Projects on our home coming to completion!
8.  Gardening chores - can I call it a chore?  It's been so long since I've done any that it's all just fun!
9.  Our animals - kittens and dogs mainly frolicking in the yard around us while we play!
10.  Finding new baby birds in the same hole in the tire swing tree as last year - chirping away with their tiny mouths wide open!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A measuring stick

I've been developing my own vision for what I expect for our children's education.  The main criteria in my eyes is joy of learning.  That will be the "measuring stick" for deciding what is working or isn't.  For instance, if public school is a joyful place where learning and thriving are taking place as in the case of our daughter Anna, then that is just the right choice for her to continue her education!

Here are a few more key elements for their proper development we have begun to implement:

1.  Nature study ~ that they may be in awe of the creator who created all things wondrously.  And, as a foundation for learning about science as Charlotte Mason suggests.

2.  Good literature ~ the classics and any work recognised for being exceptional.  To introduce ideas and knowledge - food for their minds.  To increase vocabulary and understanding about the world, history and social issues.

3.  Narration ~ to teach them about comprehension and how to form stories

4.  Scripture ~ not lessons out of curriculum but scriptures read and copied from the bible because it is a living word and they will learn to apply it with their own discernment

6.  History ~ I hope to encourage a view and knowledge of history that is sequential that they know the order of things and how we got to where we are at this point in history

5.  I believe we all have natural curiosity and desire to learn and our job as parents and educators is to promote it by making learning joyful - what is the use of joyless learning?  The only purpose I can see is to prepare children for joyless work.  But I believe we should all be able to find our natural talents and abilities to make our own mark on the world and when we have found our purpose there is much joy and fulfillment there!  So they need to be encouraged to follow their instincts and think outside of the box.

So many of these ideas come from Charlotte Mason and they resonate with me.  I hope to apply these concepts right along with whatever schooling we are doing.  Next year will look much the same as this year except that Anna will be in middle school and Carolyn will start preschool.  Every year we will evaluate our choices and decide how well everyone is doing! 

Education is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life. Charlotte Mason


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Climb every mountain

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live

My girls and I love The Sound of Music and we decided to watch it over the weekend.  As we were listening to the Reverend Mother sing to Maria "Climb Every Mountain" the words of this verse caught my attention for the first time as a mother.  I realized that our lives are meant to wear us out - we are meant to find a life for ourselves that require everything we have to give.  It was so inspiring!  I love how when we read or watch classics they always have something more to offer us. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A new way to celebrate

Today is a celebratory day to be sure - Jesus is Risen!

I saw the message posted on many church signs we passed yet we didn't enter a church today, persay.   I recently stumbled upon this lovely quote by George Washington Carver "I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in." 

We didn't go in... no, we went out of doors today. 

We shared our own lesson of the Resurrection Story.  We went out into our neighborhood to clean up and share flowers with our community in celebration.  The "Easter Bunny" did not come for the first time in our family history but instead we shared what we could with others.  As a momma, I have watched the delight of chicks and bunnies crowd out the message of our servant Lord.  We have been missing something good in all the unnecessary "stuff" from before that we were able to take in today.  Blessed by a warm and bright sunny day and the ability to take our lessons out of doors - uncommon for April in the PNW! 

There is freedom in going your own way and joy to be found there.  Traditions can be good yet sometimes they can be remade into something better!  And isn't freedom the reason why he came!!

About Me

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wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love