"A quietness was in the room while he spoke. Laura felt as if she were hot, dry, dusty grass parching in a drought, and the quietness was a cool and gentle rain falling on her.
It truly was a refreshment.
Everything was simple now that she felt so cool and strong,
and she would be glad to work hard and go without anything she wanted herself,
so that Mary could go to college."
- By the Shores of Silver Lake
a gentle coming alongside
careful not to hinder
not inserting myself between my child and the Holy Spirit
joy & peace
seeking strengths vs. a focus on weaknesses
These seemed to be my recurring themes from this weekend's Living Education Retreat as I look back over my notes and listen to what is still resonating within.
The friends new and old, the shared ideas, the atmosphere-- all full of beauty.
I think I'll have more to say about what I learned... later.
“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child's nature.” Charlotte Mason
"Miss Mason was loved by all who saw her and had many dear and intimate friends. She had the power of seeing and bringing out the good in everyone, but I think
she loved little children best of all.
"For the Children's Sake" is the motto of the House of Education, and it was for the children's sake that she lived and worked. She provided them with an education which is "an atmosphere, a discipline, a life," she reverenced them as "persons"
and recognised their need for mental food in order that they might grow.
She gave them living books, a love of literature, art, nature, craftsmanship, joy in learning and full lives. She never allowed the methods which she evolved or, as she preferred to say, "chanced to find"--to be called by her name; they were always "P.N.E.U."
Her work will go on, not only because it is to be administered by those whom she has chosen and trained for this high responsibility, but because of its intrinsic vitality and truth."
- I read this quote recently at: In Memoriam
...In my commonplace book, from our current read aloud
...the gentle word picture that made me love the story Robin Hood:
"Now, lad," said he, "tell us thy troubles, and speak freely. A flow of words doth ever ease the heart of sorrows; it is like opening the waste weir when the mill-dam is over full.
Come, sit thou here beside me, and speak at thine ease."
"...'a duty which seemeth to us sometimes ugly and harsh,
when we do kiss it fairly upon the mouth, so to speak, is no such foul thing after all.'
'Methinks thou art right,' quoth Robin, 'and, contrariwise,
that when we kiss a pleasure that appeareth to be gay it turneth foul to us,
is it not so, Little John?'"
Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And the merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lips, redder still,
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,
I was once a barefoot boy!
-John Greenleaf Whittier
But what makes seasonal fruit so scrumptious is that it is part of a rhythm,
a rhythm that allows you to access it only once a year.
- B. Welch
...Celebrating a clever, bubbly 7 year old! It's amazing what a good living book will inspire.
"It rests with parents to make low the high places and exalt the valleys,
to make straight paths for the feet of their little son."
If we want our children to stay hungry for knowledge, remain interested in questioning, enjoy the wonder of discovery, then we must leave them some clutter-free hours for friendship, the great out-of-doors, the rich world of imagination, and the satisfaction of the skilled use of art supplies, music, dance, wood and clay.
We're reading the book When Children Love to Learn (link above) for our summer book study.
Several moms, a bunch of kids meeting at a park to chat and play.
It's a lovely way to spend a summer morning here and there.
Reading a good book with the companionship of others is wonderful, don't you think?
"Experience added to training has its advantages, supposing we are able to keep the fresh impulse of our training through the years.
Experience which implies the progressive effort and receptive attitude of a fine intelligence always putting itself to school, the experience of continual change and regular advance, is another matter altogether: here is no groove, no set way; such a character is all the time under training, and is always ready for any new post..."
- The Home School by Charlotte Mason (Parents Review article)
I recently had the privilege to be a part of a beautiful and inspiring gathering of parents and teachers who came together to share in learning and going deeper with this educational life journey we are on.
We listened to poetry and music, soaked in remarkable artwork, giggled at an impromptu Shakespeare performance, worked with our hands to enlarge our minds, painted together quietly in our nature notebooks, shared a meal and chatted about issues that press on our hearts.
What a blessing to be surrounded by
"parents who take education seriously."
It can be said that
"...this faithful ness in parents brings its own reward. "
How could I make a little book, when I have seen enough to make a dozen large books?
John J. Audubon
After studying his art last term and reading some marvelous stories of his birding adventures, we just had to make it to the museum to see the actual book Audobon produced. With a tape measure in his pocket to make note of the size, he marched right over and his face filled with a grin. The tape measure was promptly forgotten and an enthusiastic self-directed tour began.
I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could.
J. J. Audobon
In my deepest troubles, I frequently would wrench myself from the persons around me and retire to some secluded part of our noble forests.
J. J. Audubon
A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.
J. J. Audubon
"In the things of science, in the things of art, in the things of practical everyday life, his God doth instruct him and doth teach him...
Let this be the mother's key to the whole of the education of each boy and each girl...
the Divine Spirit does not work with nouns of multitude, but with each single child.
Because He is infinite, the whole world is not too great a school for this indefatigable Teacher, and because He is infinite, He is able to give the whole of his infinite attention
for the whole time to each one of his multitudinous pupils.
We do not sufficiently rejoice in the wealth that the infinite nature of our God brings to each of us."
On Friday we finished our Year 1 lessons on our Ambleside Online list! Then we had popsicles, and I asked my son what he would like to learn and do this summer. I was delighted to hear his wishes to read more Aesop's Fables, and learn to use the lawn mower, and go fishing in the boat and plant a garden, among other things.
Because education is so intertwined with life, we are never completely 'off' for summer, but the routine does change a bit. We'll still read aloud together as a family, and play math games on pizza night, and keep learning how to read the next story in the primer we are using. When a phrase strikes him, we'll add it into his copybook and when he notices something lovely in nature we'll pull out our nature notebooks. And of course there's the swimming lessons and birthday parties and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pagent! We'll keep on top of the habits we're focusing on and visit our favorite local waterfalls. These are the things which beautify our daily living. They're not always on a schedule.
But as the mother/teacher/planner/organizer of this first official year of homeschool (first grade) I just have to say, "YAY! We made it!!" And despite the curveballs life threw us, the school year went well. My son learned amazing things and grew in ways I didn't even have to plan. It's an accomplishment, and I am thankful for the opportunity we were both given to gain experience and to live with joy.
“May I just get to the end of my road and say,
I have done this important thing in my life, and I have done it well.”
“When love and duty are one, then grace is in you and you will enjoy
a happiness which passes all understanding.”
~The Painted Veil