This school year has been flying by! I am so thankful to the Lord for leading me to the Ambleside curriculum and Charlotte Mason! I wanted to take some time in this post to share some self-education that I’ve been doing over the term as well as the growth that I’ve seen in the kids! First of all, I think that reading through the original volumes of Charlotte Mason are the best springboard to understanding the climate of what many educators hope to achieve in their homes. For me, I started with Volume 1 and learned so much! Currently, I’m reading Volume 6 as well as For the Children’s Sake in a study on the 20 principles. You can find the study here: Start Here
I also have been enjoying the podcasts from the ladies at A Delectable Education and when watching a video interview of Liz, I realized our families knew each other when I was young! My mom and dad were friends with Liz while they lived in the same area of Michigan! It’s such a small world! Our morning ritual has become “school” for all of us. We sit together at the breakfast table and read the Bible, say our memory verse, sing our hymn and work on recitation. After breakfast, the kids have free time to play together in their rooms while I get ready in the bathroom. I set my podcast up and listen to some encouraging lectures while I brush teeth and put on makeup – there are a few interruptions from the kids during that time but it’s nice to get in a few minutes along with my own personal prayer/Bible time before we start our lessons!
Today, I happened to listen to a great lecture by Andrew Pudewa about spelling! At this point the kids are still young, but it planted a seed to go ahead and do a lot of aural/oral work with Christian (nothing written yet.) We spent 5 minutes later on in the day today with a few little spelling/phonics words while he sat in my lap and it was so enjoyable!
I also finally finished the book “A Touch of the Infinite” by Megan Hoyt and love that she took the time to put this wonderful resource together for homeschool moms!!! I could not have done it any better!!! I hope her book spreads widely and encourages many families to fall in love with classical music! I’ll continue to do my best to update my blog with practical applications for composer/folk studies as well! One difference that I’m contemplating in possibly changing in our own home is the way composers are rotated more by age (in the book) instead of just putting it into a 4 year rotation (as listed on the AO site.)
The books I’m currently in the middle of are Volume 6, For the Children’s Sake, and Consider This (although I am almost done!!!) My next book on the reading list is Teaching from Rest. (#affiliate links)
Now, on to the Year 1 (Term 2) subjects and our progress!!!
Christian has continued to do better in his narrations with 50 Famous Stories and a lot of these selected stories in Term 2 have to do with Great Britain history. I think Inchcape Rock may have been his favorite story of this term so far because of the pirates!
We have picked back up with Island Story since we left off last year at this point. This week we read chapter 11 and then watched a few YouTube videos about Stonehenge. I hope one day I can take him to see it in person! From the history lessons I remember from my semester in the UK they didn’t talk at all about the legend of Merlin bringing the stones over from Ireland! This book would have been so fun to read for myself before I went across the pond during college!
Burgess Bird continues to be just OK for us. I don’t feel like anything is really sinking in and I’m trying to figure out what else we can do to have a good understanding of birds other than trying to observe them in person. The only birds we can really observe in our backyard are cardinals, mockingbirds, and grackles. It was fun last term to see the same bird show up in several books! (Paddle to the Sea, Burgess Bird, and Parables from Nature all talked about the warblers within just 2-3 weeks! Great for connections!) Our current process for reading Burgess Bird is that I read a paragraph or two and he narrates back what he heard. He does fine remembering the big picture and some of the special features of the bird, but soooo much information is going in that I wonder how much is being retained. We also have the coloring pages and photos/bird calls but even I have a hard time remembering the specifics at a later date. Any tips out there?!
Paddle to the Sea is probably our favorite book right now. He enjoys looking at the wonderful illustrations for each chapter and narrating back what happens to the little boat on his journey. I’ve used the book for some copywork the past couple weeks after he narrates the chapter back to me. It’s been great to introduce some vocabulary like “gales” that he normally wouldn’t come across.
I said Paddle was our favorite – I lied. Aesop is definitely our favorite!!! Last week I let the kids watch the production from our local puppet company and it was cute to see Christian recognize some of the fables. You should check it out! It’s just over 20 minutes and very entertaining! Of course, I recommend reading the fables with your kids first so they understand the humor in the retelling!
Parables from Nature
We’re still reading through the chapter of Training and Restraining. I love these stories and it’s really hard for me not to give my own narration to him. I’m not sure if he really understands any of the higher thinking of the parable but he is able to narrate back what he hears.
Just So Stories
We’ve had the elephant and kangaroo this term but they were both before Christmas break. Christian does adorable narrations for these stories! I was really impressed with his narration on the kangaroo because I ended up playing the chapter on Librivox and then he narrated after the entire chapter was read. He followed the form/timeline of the story and even did a great job remembering the names of the gods that the kangaroo spoke to. I think the repetition and sequence of these stories make this book a great book to start teaching a child the art of narration.
We’re halfway through Aladdin right now since it is a long chapter. It’s been fun to draw some parallels to the Disney version but also know that there are differences to listen for and remember.
We read As You Like It from the Nesbit retelling and then watched the Shakespeare Animated Tales version of the story. Christian narrated the story from Nesbit with his Lego Minifigs – it’s so fun to be able to put boy clothes on a girl minifig to fit with the story! Shakespeare has been one of Christian’s favorite subjects! It was also in this term that we went to the puppet show of Midsummer Night’s Dream! I was blown away with the set design! It was amazing!
A kind of funny connection made this term is the word “litter” meaning a special seat that is carried by men or animals. It showed up in two different readings – the first was in a free read we’re doing (Dr. Dolittle) and the second was in one of his school chapters – I think 50 Famous Stories.
We’re continuing to progress through the Red Book on Miquon. I love the way they introduce fractions to the kids with having them draw wigs, shoes, bats, etc. on snowmen and groups of kids! For example, one of his worksheets would have 8 kids on the page and the instructions are “1/4 of the children have caps. 1/2 of the children have shoes.” and Christian has to draw those things on the worksheet. It’s been a great way for him to understand the relationship of fractions. I need to work with Christian on counting multiples of 4 and quicker memorization of addition with single digits.
Christian’s doing awesome! We did a trial of Reading Eggspress and he made his own “thinkmarks” to use while reading or listening to a story in our schoolwork! You can see the little green slips of paper in this candid shot I took while he was reading to me!
I snapped a candid of my favorite boy while he read his Aesop Fable to me today! First day back at school after a long break and the kids did awesome! I love how peaceful our schooling is organized through Ambleside Online! Here’s what we did today: Morning Basket – Bible Verse, Hymn, Character, Poetry Math Reading History We still have to do Geography today but enjoyed the afternoon with Grace! Grace and Eva Mae did school together too! Counting and shape recognition!
Nature study is probably my favorite subject! I love finding ways to encourage my little naturalists! So far in term 2 we have done a lesson on ceder glade ecosystems and limestone rock.
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our local nature center did a lesson on seeds, we went rock hunting in the creek by our house and found some quartz inside some of the rocks and a fossil!
And we also went to a natural history museum of rocks. minerals, gems, fossils, and more called Earth Experience! I set up a field trip for our other local CM friends to go next month!
Oh yeah and Tennessee got SNOW!!!
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The other riches that we’ve done are reading A.A. Milne poems and using some as copywork and recitation, singing folk songs, dancing, sewing, working through the Song School Latin book, learning more about Medieval music, practicing US geography, drawing (this week was a cute Husky Dog!), looking at Giotto prints for art study, piano lessons, and fun field trips around Nashville! Eva Mae has also been doing a wonderful job with her penmenship and taking more of an interest in tracing letters and sounding out words! Watch her “doing a write” as she made up this cute little video!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end!!! I’ll update again on our curriculum in 6+ weeks!
I’ll leave you with this cute secret video I took!
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