Friday, October 17, 2008

End-of-the-Week Inventory

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:

The air was blurred with dry leaves flying.
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!

1 comment:

ichthys said...

A couple of poems about England written from the heart to add to your daughter's history lesson!

Green lanes,
country roads,
flower meadows
mellow yellow cornfields-

Rainsoaked fields,pastel green--
perennial impressions of country scenes.

Shire counties cramped and compact-temperate,changeable and inexact.

Seasons merging into one
winters'mild,summers of sometime sun.

Ancient,historic and quaintly modern-
village greens and cricket squares ,sodden.

Reserved,resolved and resolute anglais-
a national flag but no national day.

Always enjoy your provoking thoughts

ichthys ENGLAND