Autumn Carnival: Looking Forward, Looking Back
It seems just yesterday that all the trees were glowing with reds, oranges, and yellows, but now “all the leaves are brown, and the skies are gray,” a line that I now cannot get out of my head (click and listen at your own risk). We’ve had an extended autumn it seems, with many beautiful days, and now we’re tucked in until spring. Well, except for the holidays, of course.
This 463rd Carnival of Homeschooling offers a smorgasbord of creative ideas, inspiration, and practical tips. As you read each post, I hope you’ll find kindred spirits among the bloggers, and lots of good things to read as you sit by the fire and sip tea.
Teaching with Charlotte Mason
In A Homeschooling Year with a 9 Year old Girl at Journey and Destination, Carol offers a “description of our year using Ambleside Online Year 3,” with the alterations she made for using it in Australia. I must refer you to another post on this site as well—Handicrafts: Sewing Projects for Beginners speaks to something I believe is critical to wholeness—the ability to work well with ones hands. The article begins with a quote from Charlotte Mason’s Parent’s Review: ‘The child is only truly educated who can use his hands as truly as his head, for to neglect one part of our being injures the whole . . .” Young people who grow up using their hands to make, fix, and do useful things always have the confidence that goes with competence.
Shakespeare can be incredibly fun—or really tedious if not creatively taught. In Teaching Macbeth: Book Covers and Poetry Project at Small World at Home, Sarah describes “one of the fun Macbeth projects I did with my high school literature classes at our homeschooling co-op.” By engaging the creative side of the brain, conceiving and executing a project such as this can help students analyze literature. (JC)
It’s almost always best to learn a skill from someone who loves it (which is why I teach literature and writing rather than math), and in Roadmap to Mathematics: Kindergarten at Let’s Play Math!, Denise offers some excellent tips and resources to help you teach kindergarten math in an engaging way. She suggests that “Whether you are a radical unschooler or passionately devoted to your textbook — or, like me, somewhere in between — you can help your children toward these grade-level goals by encouraging them to view mathematics as mental play. Don’t think of the standards as a “to do” list, but as your guide to an adventure of exploration.”
Learning About Beauty
I was delighted to read Patterns, architectural and otherwise, in the Library Project at Like Mother, Like Daughter. I’ve had A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction on my Amazon wish list for a few years. Beauty has much to do with proportion, scale, and pattern, and much knowledge of this has been lost in modern times. In order to pass it along to our children, we must learn it, and this book sounds like an ideal introduction to the topic. Thanks to Leila’s review, I’ve bumped it back to the top of my wish list.
In 5 Habits to Show Kids Love at Simply Convivial, Mystie offers some very practical ways to keep kids’ tanks full of affection. If a child doesn’t feel loved and valued, it’s going to be very, very hard to teach them anything. so if warmth and affection don’t come naturally (or even if they do), this might be helpful.
“Thankfulness” just in time for Thanksgiving
Since I may not be posting again before Thanksgiving—must get my classic Cranberry-Orange Relish ready!—I will share once more the post containing my favorite Thanksgiving poem, “Gratefulness” by George Herbert, along with the announcement that Working it Out, the wonderful devotional book that helps you learn to understand poetry while spending a year with George Herbert is now back in print. I’m so glad—I believe it would be a joy for your whole family to study together.
A Poetic Dessert
And finally,here is a video recitation of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind.” It seems to evoke the mood of the day. I hope you enjoy it!
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