“Meals out of Doors- People who live in the country know the value of fresh air very well, and their children live out of doors, with intervals within for sleeping and eating. As to the latter, even country people do not make full use of their opportunities. On fine days when it is warm enough to sit out with wraps, why should not tea and breakfast, everything but a hot dinner, be served out of doors?”
“Besides the gain of an hour or two in the open air, there is this to consider, meals taken
al fresco are usually joyous…”
“All the time too, children are storing up memories of a happy childhood. Fifty years hence they will see the shadows of the boughs making patterns on the white tablecloth; and sunshine; children’s laughter, hum of bees, and scent of flowers are being bottled up for after refreshment.” -Charlotte Mason
I've always loved eating outdoors, even before I read this, or anything CM for that matter.
This past weekend, as we enjoyed our cups of warm soup, we watched a female goldfinch search among the low understory of our woods for seeds. Also a chick-a-dee serenaded from a branch just above us. And a little later on we watched a Downy Woodpecker make his way around a tree trunk.
Meals outdoors are lovely, don't you think?
There are a lot of 'First things' in life when you really start to think about it. Noticing these ordinary but special things helps us take joy and remain fresh and excited in our daily living.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
I picked up this book The Tale of the Wild Goose by Henry R. Kane at a thrift store a while back. I was unfamiliar with it, but it looked promising. I'm glad I took a chance, because we really enjoyed it at bedtime the other night. I wanted to recommend it especially because right now, at least around here, the Canada geese are flocking together feeding in recently combined fields soon to begin their trek southward.
The book tells the story of a family of geese starting when the eggs are laid, all the way through their first year of life and the joys and struggles they face. The author is a wonderful storyteller who uses colorful descriptive language that gets the reader's imagination going, and there are black and white photographs and a few lovely line drawings that carry the story along.
SOMETHING TOLD THE WILD GEESE
By Rachel Field
Something told the wild geese
It was time to go,
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, "snow."
Leaves were green and stirring,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, "frost."
All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly,
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.
"Any book is good that helps your mind grow straight and tall."
-Schoolhouse in the Parlor by Rebecca Caudill
These past 2 weeks were our official beginning of the kindergarten year at our house. I wanted to make it feel special to start school, partly because every other person at church or in line at the grocery store has been asking our oldest for 2 months now, "So, are you all ready to start school?" and, "You must be in kindergarten next year, right?" His usual response was "I do homeschool." To which, there was usually no reply, a smile and a nod, or a change of subject. I'm not even sure he knew what that meant.
To me it felt a little silly to say, "Yes, we're starting school," or "Today is the first day of kindergarten," because education has become our way life and we've been learning lots all summer. That wasn't really going to change much just because I announced it to be the first day of school. I'm not even sure I really like the term 'kindergarten'. But I recently read this article and found myself partially agreeing. There are certain rites of passage that come with being a kid in today's society. The excitement of the first day of kindergarten is one of them, I think.
So, I wrote down a few plans, ordered some new books, planned a couple of fun field trips and an extra special lunch menu; we bought some new crayons and off we headed into the wide world of SCHOOL!
Here are some favorite quotes from our "school" time thus far, & some books we're reading.
"I love this, Mom!" he told me at one point during the day.
An art museum through the eyes of a kid is really a treat.
"But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.
T'is a thing which I remember
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget."
-September by H. H. Jackson
""Hey, a lady bug came to join our village! Did you see her open her wings?"
"That sounds like a bird! Wait, nope. It's just branches rubbing. See that tree there?"
-out in our woods one windy morning
"Look, a giant ant!"
"There was an owl lived in an oak,
Wisky, wasky weedle;
All the words he ever spoke,
Were, "Fiddle, faddle, feedle."
-these two got some giggles
"There was an old woman tossed up in a basket,
Seventy times as high at the moon,
And where she was going, I couldn't but ask it;
For in her hand she carried a broom.
"Old woman, old woman, old woman," quoth I,
"Whither, Oh whither, Oh whither so high?"
"To sweep the cobwebs out of the sky!
And I'll be with you by and by."
(the history behind this little rhyme about King Henry the V is interesting)
"And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom;
and the grace of God was upon Him." Luke 2:40
After reading the assigned pages for book study one week this summer (169-226 of Vol. 1) I wrote a list using all the terms used or qualities or responsibilites proposed in the text for both moms and kids in regards to education. These are some of my goals for the upcoming school year. I hope to revisit this to help me keep a clearer picture of what our days can look like and who I am called to be.
"a little heaven below"
makes home atmosphere of peace, sweetness and light
high culture (art, music- beautiful things)
knows psychology (child's development)
knows the art of education
common information (about things esp. in nature)
governing power (discipline)
handmaid to Nature
preserves personality (of child)
wisely orders the nursery and sows opportunities
NO WOODEN TEACHING
"all occupations subserve purposes of education"
senses- look, feel, listen, smell, see
ideas- size, shape color, form, number (observation)
express freely (often stifled in today's kindergartens!)
perfect execution w/o stress or strain
just eye and faithful hand (straighten table cloth, hang a towel or picture,
pack a parcel) (goes along with an ordered nursery)
"I am recording this so that future generations will also praise the Lord for all He has done." -Psalm 102:18
I am a mama to 2 sweet brothers who aspires to a "thinking love" toward my children.
Take a peek into our journey towards a living education inspired by the writings of Charlotte Mason.
Be sure to leave me a comment if you're inspired!
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"In this field small efforts are honoured with great rewards, and we perceive that the education we are giving exceeds all that we intended or imagined.”
“It may be that the souls of all children are waiting for the call of knowledge to awaken them to delightful living.”