"...characteristic of child nature is love of stories. It is almost impossible to conceive a child who does not love stories, particularly fairy tales and tales of animal life.
That this is so is due to the active imagination all children possess;
their minds are never idle..."
"...the cultivation of this side of child nature [is] a most important part of education.
...a rightly trained imagination meant capability to grasp religious truth,
and to realize what moral rectitude means."
It means moral virtue btw ;)
I got the quotes above from a PR article by E. A. Welldon titled
Froebel's Principles as Applied to the First years of Chlid-life
Have you read Moses the Kitten by James Herriot?
It's our first in his children's treasury that we're reading this year.
...We went 'on holiday' to his house this week.
Well, actually Grandma happened to be in Thirsk, England...
and she brought home pictures to show us. We thought we'd share a few.
Take your own virtual tour in the first few galleries here if you have a spare minute.
If not, just read and enjoy a few of his delightful animal tales. We are!
His choice this week was cicada shells.
Did you know the latin name is Magicicada Septendicem?
I have no idea how to say that.
But, it made me think of the magic you feel when watching them emerge
like we did last summer!
And it reminded me of this September month when they are so prolific.
I hear them buzzing loudly outside even as I type.
“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
-Laura Ingalls Wilder
"Simple, not simplistic." These words as they relate to the methods of a living education have stuck to me since the retreat this summer. I see it over and over, and again this weekend while talking to a friend it came up, "We sure tend to over complicate things, don't we?" Umm, yes.
Simplicity. I see it as a repeated theme especially in the ideas that make up a living education. It may take a little bit to clear away the educational clutter and get to the presiding idea, but after completing our first official day of First Grade, I can't help but cherish the great value this kind of a journey holds!
As we begin, with AO Year 1 booklist and schedule in hand, there are still some blanks left for me to fill in based on my ideas of what will best fit our family. One of those main slots to fill was the box that said Phonics/Reading. My starting point here was to re-read Mason's own words in Volume 1 pg. 199-222.
I read through some of the recommendations and PR articles relating to the teaching of phonics. After browsing a handful of curriculums none seemed to be the right fit for us.
What I was looking for was something that mirrored the simplicity, yet rigor of the method described in the PR article titled First Reading Lessons which is essentially the same as what is described in Volume 1.
I knew that my son, with his excitement mounting, would work best if starting from wholes and not pieces of words. The new words he would learn had to be linked to the preexisting and meaningful idea he already had possession of from his vocabulary gained from from the variety of real life experiences we had given him since his toddlerhood.
The article recommends starting phonics with the word 'an' and introducing it in the following steps:
This is simple, with the clutter cleared away from the usual phonics lesson I had encountered. But, only 1 lesson is given as an example. Word building with 'at' and 'It' are mentioned, but it's left up to the teacher after that to fill in the rest until the child has a collection of 1,000 words, or so, that are his 'own possession' which he will 'regard as old friends whenever he meets them in a line of print' such as in the church bulletin or a magazine while waiting in line at the store.
Free and Printable. Two words homeschool moms like a lot, especially when planning a school year. There are zillions out there. Right? Not simple. That's why I am so thankful for this philosophy that grounds me.
Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, and a Life.
I won't put any free printable in front of my son unless it furthers one of those aspects of our education in a meaningful and beautiful way. It's for my sake as well. At this point, I'd like to point you to a free printable that I found to be most helpful in planning out the phonics or word-building lessons that followed the example above.
Something I read earlier had made mention of the (above) cards on authoress Jan Brett's site. Bingo- no curriculum needed anymore! I had my next 30 lessons, or so, all mapped out for me on these sweet little cards, illustrated even.
I like to work off a descriptive plan, at least until I'm comfortable with a lesson, so that I am free to observe and be aware of my son's needs or hesitations during the lesson rather than fumbling through what I am going to say. So, I ran over to the school supply section and picked out a sturdy notebook (hoping it will last until my second is ready to read) and scripted out a page with our first week of 15 minute lessons using the format from the PR article above and the word cards from Jan Brett as my guide. I numbered our cards starting with the ones that are complete words like 'eat' 'ick' 'ice' 'on' and moved to the word endings like 'ail' to make 'pail' and 'bail' or 'ake' to make 'bake' or 'cake.'
And there we had our phonics lessons for well into Term 1, or at least until he's ready for the First Reading lessons are the next step described in the article.
As far a buying materials, all we really needed was our box of letters with multiples of each and a notebook for my son to keep his collection of words in.
I thought if we needed a little variety, we might put his words from any given lesson in one of those little flip books, that he might care to read to Dad or Grandma later on when they ask how school is going. Or, when we get to the point where we know enough to make simple sentences, we might write and illustrate a mini book for fun or a gift! I will base that on his interest, of course.
After these few pre-reading lessons where his word collection is built up, we'll move ahead with those first reading lessons as described and modeled later on in the above PR article and Volume 1.
It is a lovely thing to have a plan in place, and freeing to have one based on a philosophy that is so deeply meaningful to our family.
You might be interested in my two previous posts on Beginning Reading, what we have done with our son up until this point here and here. I hope to share more about how that first lesson when we get there but I anticipate it looking a lot like these 2 blog posts from friends.
I'd love to hear from you, so please leave me your comments below!
"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!
I prefer to keep my text and images right here. Please don't copy without permission. Thanks!
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Librivox free audio books
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Bible verses put to song
Storynory free audio stories for kids
Storyline Online- famous faces read books to kids
Mister Rogers- episodes online
"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.”