Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Another week has drawn to a close and I have that satisfied-but-tired feeling that comes after expending myself. There were some definite highlights to remember this week; little things that I want to mark and remember:
History: Melody, now in 10th grade, gave me great delight when she exclaimed, "I LOVE history!" and "How I want to go to England to see all of the things I've read about!" Those comments are music to my ears, because a year ago we had hit a definite dry spot in our historical studies. We were using Winston Churchill's Birth of Britain and although I loved it, Melody did not. Twenty chapters later, I realized that this book was killing her interest. I scouted out a replacement book that has turned things around entirely, a book entitled, Heritage of Britain: Great Moments in the Story of an Island Race. Written in 1975, before pseudo-history came into vogue, the narrative is lively and well-written --not the caliber of Churchill, but decent, nonetheless. And the pictures!! Gorgeous, glossy pictures of everything from Stonehenge, to the kings and queens, to the white cliffs, to the Bronte sisters.... you get the idea. I had to wait a very long time to get this book, because I couldn't locate one for sale here in the U.S.. My copy came from the U.K., and Melody's turnaround enthusiasm made it well worth the wait and the extra postage.
Great poetry moments: Do you ever go back over a poem a second or a third time to savor the most beautiful phrases? We loved this phrase from Sara Teasdale's poem:
Gold and scarlet, gaily dying.
Word studies: during our shared reading time, one of the children mused, "I wonder if apostate and posterity share the same root ? We looked it up and discovered they did not. I wouldn't be writing about this seemingly insignificant incident if it had been ME that had initiated the research. It is just so gratifying to see their own love for language expanding.
Political discussions: Daily. Often. Seasoned with family prayer.
I feel an urgency to pass on to my children an understanding of our government that encompasses intellect and heart. Toward that end, we've been reading a book entitled Rediscovering God in America, by Newt Gingrich. It is a walking tour of Washington D.C. and catalogues all the references to God at each attraction. We've also printed out the Declaration of Independence and have been highlighting similar references. Eventually, I want them to write the articles of the constitution in their own words. They need to know this. I need to know this.
Music--Magnificat in D by Bach this week. Nothing fancy, just listening to the trumpets and for the repeating of the themes.
A Field Trip--we haven't done many of these lately. For the sake of my youngest, we went to a pumpkin farm. We learned about French Cinderella pumpkins, blue Australian pumpkins, and New York pumpkins that look like a wheel of cheese. I bought a lot of the miniature pumpkins, too, because we are going to use them in the co-op cooking class to make meatloaf baked in individual pumpkin shells.
There are always so many things at the end of the week that I haven't been able to mark off of my "to do" list. Sometimes, it is good to look at it from the opposite perspective and to be grateful for what we DID accomplish. By HIS grace!
"To the artist, He is the one altogether lovely–Song of Solomon 5:15
To the architect, He is the chief cornerstone–I Peter 2:6
To the astronomer, He is the sun of righteousness–Malachi 4:2
To the baker, He is the bread of life–John 6:35
To the banker, He is the hidden treasure–Matthew 13:44
To the builder, He is the sure foundation–Isaiah 28:16
To the carpenter, He is the door–John 10:7
To the doctor, He is the great physician–Jeremiah 8:22
To the educator, He is the great teacher–John 3:2
To the engineer, He is the new and living way–Hebrews 10:20
To the farmer, He is the sower and Lord of harvest–Luke 10:2
To the florist, He is the rose of Sharon–Song of Solomon 2:1
To the geologist, He is the rock of ages–I Corinthians 10:4
To the horticulturist, He is the true vine–John 15:1
To the judge, He is the only righteous judge of man–II Timothy 4:8
To the juror, He is the faithful and true witness–Revelation 3:14
To the jeweler, He is the pearl of great price–Matthew 13:46
To the lawyer, He is counselor, lawgiver, and true advocate–Isaiah 9:6
To the newspaper man, He is tidings of great joy–Luke 2:10
To the oculist, He is the light of the eyes–Proverbs 29:13
To the philanthropist, He is the unspeakable gift–II Corinthians 9:15
To the philosopher, He is the wisdom of God–I Corinthians 1:24
To the preacher, He is the Word of God–Revelation 19:13
To the sculptor, He is the living stone–1 Peter 2:4
To the servant, He is the good master–Matthew 23:8-10
To the statesman, He is the desire of all nations–Haggai 2:7
To the student, He is the incarnate truth–1 John 5:6
To the theologian, He is the author and finisher of our faith–Hebrews 12:2
To the toiler, He is the giver of rest–Matthew 11:28
To the sinner, He is the Lamb of God who takes the sin away–John 1:29
To the Christian, He is the Son of the Living God,
the Saviour, the Redeemer, and the Loving Lord."
Little Momma shared this with me and I love it! She got it from here.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I found ten kinds of wild flowers growing
On a steely day that looked like snowing;
Queen Anne's lace, and blue heal-all,
A buttercup, straggling, grown too tall.
A rusty aster, a chicory flower--
Ten I found in half an hour.
The air was blurred with dry leaves flying.
Gold and scarlet, gaily dying.
A squirrel ran off with a nut in his mouth,
And always, always, flying south,
Twittering, the birds went by
Flickering sharp against the sky;
Some in great bows, some in wedges,
Some in bands with wavering edges;
Flocks and flocks were flying over
With the north wind for their drover.
"Flowers," I said, "you'd better go,
Surely it's coming on for snow,"--
They did not heed me, nor heed the birds,
Twittering thin, far-fallen words--
The others thought of to-morrow, but they
Only remembered yesterday.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I did not expect to like this book. It was a title to be read by my two teenagers for homeschool, and I decided to make it a read aloud. I am so glad I did. It is provoking very stimulating discussion: what is the root of evil? Can evil be blamed on circumstances? Can it be blamed on our DNA? What does a creature owe to his Creator? Is it preferable to face evil or run from it?
Not easy questions, but ones that invite in depth thinking.
The author, Mary Shelley, was the wife of the famous English poet. The language in the book is rich and complex.
Somehow, I missed this book when I was in school and I am glad to have a chance to visit it now in tandem with my own teens. I'm sorry it has been cheapened by poor representations in movies and re-writes, because there are some important gems hidden in its pages.