A stream of consciousness from a few Charlotte Mason homeschoolers in California.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

YR7 Commonplace Book Entries

Smart Sept. 2, 2014

My dad gave me one dollar bill 'cause I'm his smartest son,
and I swapped it for two shiny quarters 'cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters and traded them to Lou
for three dimes - I guess she don't know, three's more then two!

Ivanhoe Sept. 16, 2014

"Silence, maiden; thy tongue outruns thy discretion."

1 Samuel 16

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward apperance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

Weather Book

Knowledge alone is the being of nature,
Giving a soul to her manifold features
~Bayard Taylor

How to be your own selfish pig

"No man can live without a world view; therefore, there is no man who is not a philosopher." ~Francis Schaeffer

Grammar of Poetry

Remove the outside, cook the inside, eat the outside, throw away the inside.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Adventures with a Microscope - House Fly

New for us this year (AmblesideOnline YR7) is Adventures with a Microscope.

Today, our daughter chose the chapter on how the fly walks on the ceiling. Instructions are to catch a house fly in a jar and use chloroform to kill it. We didn't have any chloroform so she caught one and we covered the jar in plastic wrap, secured it with a rubber band, and popped it in the freezer.  

She asked me to help her remove an eye with a scalpel - um. okay. Oh the situations we homeschooling moms find ourselves in! It got rather bloody, but we managed. 

Here are its claws and the sticky pads which allow it to walk on walls.

And here is its wing structure. 

One good thing about the microscope is that the dust from our container that stuck to the fly is unidentifiable as such ;-p

YR7 students choose 3 of these adventures per term. Additional adventure possibilities exist in what we find locally, like our beaches. Even though it won't be in the book, it potentially means more when it's something we live among and see in our pattern of life. 

She could look up the anatomy of bryozoa or a sand crab and craft a similar adventure. YR8 will bring even more adventures.  

What benefits her in these adventures, I think, is that she has a level of choice, and it is her learning and discovery. She craftily caught the fly right here in our home. And I am here to help as she needs - like hacking a fly's eye off - otherwise, she manages what she is capable of. 

I showed her all the functions of the microscope and how to switch the lens to the camera to take pictures for future reference. When I told her the slide container had a labeling system, she also decided to keep a slide of each to begin a collection to share with friends. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Fat Cat and other Poems

Some fun and interesting poems found scribbled in a child's notebook...

The Fat Cat

There was a fat cat
who found a hat right in
the middle of the street.
He picked it up with
a good enough pluck to pick
up an overweight horse!

That horse neighed until
he was bade to dance
with an Irish jade

And that fat cat sat
atop his hat watching the horse neigh and bray
'til he was done with
his jig and jade.

Naughty Cat

Kitty cat, kitty cat sleeping
on my head
Why can't you sleep on that
side of the bed?


Spring has come, and all flowers
are bloomed
Winter has gone and all
his storms are doomed.
Summer will come still on
the run, of course without

Day and Night

When the sun rises,
the birds too must rise.
When the moon rises,
the birds must say their

For a Younger Brother

Tap a tap-tap, goes the
rain on my hat.
With a rap a rap-rap-er-doo.
So I'll take a hap with
the rain on my hat, in the
middle of winter blue.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Consider This: Charlotte Mason and The Classical Tradition

Have you ever wondered how CM compares to a Classical Education? We hear so much about Classical Ed in Southern California with Classical Conversations, and the church we attend is actually a classical school during the week where some of my friends work and many of the children my kids know attend.

So where does CM fit in to it all?

We read the classics; unabridged.
We study Latin.
We read Shakespeare, Plutarch.
It seems classical enough... but always more obscure in the educational realm and somehow not quite legitimately academic enough to be considered "classical."

Truth be told, my general understanding of the difference lay somewhere between today's classical educators' application of the trivium - i.e., the three stages of a child's learning - memorizing declensions, and the fact that CMers do outdoor nature study while classical students seem to study nature in their classrooms.

All that is changing now, thanks to Karen Glass' soon-to-be released book, Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition.

In this simple, straightforward, well-researched book Karen maps out the foundations as well as some of the fallacies of classical education, resetting our course towards intrinsic truths in education and inspiring us to pick up this vital torch for the children's sake. Brimming with quotes for our commonplace books, Consider This widens our view of the Charlotte Mason education we know, aligning her philosophy with some of the greatest thinkers of all time. And whether Charlotte Mason's pedagogy ever comes to be called "classical" or not, as a CM educator, you will be inspired knowing that the education you bring to your children has its foundation in "understanding that grows bright gazing on many truths." Consider This will be right next to For The Children's Sake in my recommended reading for people new to her methods.

Currently, the release date is set to October 25, 2014. To be notified of any updates you can subscribe on Karen's website at www.karenglass.net. We will also be reading through Karen's book at our local CM meeting beginning in November (if the book is released as scheduled).

Friday, May 30, 2014

Our 3yo and The Children's Art

While CM may not quite call this a 'fit incantation', it still does seem to confirm Arthur Burrell's point, as quoted in CM's Vol. 1, p. 222 - 223:

"There is hardly any 'subject' so educative and so elevating as that which Mr Burrell has happily described as 'The Children's Art.' All children have it in them to recite; it is an imprisoned gift waiting to be delivered, like Ariel from the pine."