There are so many books, it was hard taking a picture that would show all of them with titles still readable. I wanted to share them with you, along with a few of my thoughts on them and I would LOVE to hear what you have thought of them, if they too have graced your nightstand. As you can see, I got my 'homeschooling books' in the mail recently. I have been having lots of fun reading them and working on a lesson plan for our Rynnie Roo. I am not done but I have a good plan in my head-now I just need to jot it down before my memory fails me. Again.
So-here is my plan thus far. I am going away from Monday to Friday of next week, the children and I going BACK up North to visit with family again and some friends that we have missed the last few visits. Primarily, so we can celebrate Halloween with my sisters' family, a tradition since the kids started coming. Besides, I am making the childrens' costumes this year and want to show them off! ;-)
Anyway- when we get BACK we will start right in on schooling. No more dawdling, no more excuses. I now have in my ownership everything necessary (maybe not the most beautiful wonderful programs that I still spend entirely too much time coveting) but working methods, nonetheless.
Naturally, with a four year old, first things come first. So the primary focus for schooling right now is going to be reading and character traits.
I am using the methods in The Writing Road to Reading ( minus the silly stuff that is totally unnecessary, like fingering letters in rice
Along with this we will be focusing on biblical character traits, all of which I found here. Hubbard's Cupboard is an excellent resource for young children and I HIGHLY recommend it. I have been implementing ideas from there for Corynn since she was two years old. Each week we will focus on one character trait; we will read related stories that exemplify the trait or the opposite trait-both from the Bible and from other resources. Each week we will also be memorizing a verse or selection of verses pertaining to that particular trait.
Each month I am also going to work on teaching Corynn a psalm by heart. Even I, having grown up with psalms, could use more help here.
So that's it. Once she begins reading, I will begin First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise. An EXCELLENT book, one which I highly recommend. I will also begin the Story of the World Book 1. I expect those books and lessons will come with her first official year of homeschooling and so, I have a while yet to worry about them.
We are going to be teaching using the Ecclectic Classical approach...and yes, I just made that term up. Basically, I am just allowing myself some variation from the strict sense of the word Classical.
I have read and am REreading the book The Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. Overall, it was an excellent book, however, I found it to be lacking in several areas. The main objective of the book, in my estimation, was to raise brilliant children and the NEWMAN goal is to first and foremost raise Godly children, secondarily they can be brilliant. ;-) I know that the Mother/Daughter authoring pair are Christians and it was even written within the book that they had to 'de-religionize' (yes, I am famous for making up words...) the book at the demand of the publishers they purposely chose to use. So, I give them that. I was, however, hoping to find a book that covered my needs more specifically.
I found the book Teaching the Trivium, Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn and immediately snatched it up-assuming it would be ALL I would want. Unfortunately, again, I find it to be lacking. Now, admittedly, I have only read to about page 50, leaving me about 600 more pages to change my opinion, but these are my thoughts thus far. While I WAS looking for a Classical Approach reflecting more Christian goals and this book certainly meets that requirement, it seems this book is far too much so. The Bluedorns speak of raising our children in Holiness (which I proudly affirm for myself), but that the only way to do so, is with HOLY resources. They reject studying anything from Greek and Roman literature, they refuse to study and take heed to anything from Classical Humanist Authors. I feel this is in excess, and that MUCH good can be gleaned from reading these works. No Homer and Plato, Cicero and Caesar for them. God has given even the 'reprobate' talents...common grace, people. We would be foolish to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Wouldn't it be MORE prudent to USE the information learned from them FOR HIS GLORY?
I will continue to read this book in its entirety, and will hopefully get an abundance of God-centered works to include in our studies...but I am quickly losing hope that there is one particularly wonderful book out there that represents, line for line, the approach I plan to use. I am thankful, though, that I have BOTH resources so I can glean the BEST from both worlds.
Now, enough about schooling. What about the FUN ones? Keeping House, The Litany of Everyday Life is just fabulous. I have learned mounds from such a small book and again, I am not even halfway through it. Here is a quote I found particularly interesting:
"Of course, housework is about making a home, but a Christian home, properly understood, is never just for one's own family. A Christian home overlows its boundaries; it is an outpost of the kingdom of God, where the hungry are fed and the naked are clothed and there is room enough for everyone." pg.12, 13 in PREFACE
See? Riches are in there.
The Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook is another one with great riches. The kind of 'Richness' of Scotch Shortbread and Brandy Sauce Superbe. It is a New England recipe book, illustrated by one of one of my favorites: Tasha Tudor. It is a collection of recipes specifically for special occasions. It this little tiny square of a book, I have already realized my need for a 'Butt'ry Cupboard' in my some-day house. ;-)
Let's see....I think I covered them all. Ah yes. One more. Little House in the Ozarks by Laura Ingalls Wilder. How could I forget?!?
It was discovered that the married-woman Laura, wrote for a Farm magazine and was quite the well-rounded individual! While she lived tucked quietly away in the country, she was surprising up to date on politics, government, and 'current' news of her day. This book is the collection of her rediscovered writings and so, is filled up with many smallish articles covering topics from the Goverment US Dept. of Treasury to how to have a successful orchard. Nearly every article has at least ONE particular quote I would love to share with you all, but again, my time is so LIMITED these days, I haven't been able to do it but once. It is a delicious book, that I savor, even if only in small increments, each and every night.
Those are the books that have been keeping me entertained lately. Now, for the activities? Well, it seems just as we got back from going away for a weekend, I will be going away again. There was time enough to unpack and do laundry, just to repack it all again. I have been trying to tie up all the loose ends that have been dangling from my shirttails this last month, all before I leave. The costumes are not quite done, the baby gifts aren't either. The quilt I had been working on still needs to be whipstitched, the quilt blocks need to be mailed, the apron is all cut out and waiting patiently for me to be free from all other responsibilities. And the afghan? The one for Mattie's birthday come February? It is not further ahead and hasn't even been picked up for nearly two months. *sigh* Ah well.
Remember last week when I spoke about sharing my books, recipes, and sewing projects with the world? Well, two out of three ain't bad. I have just finished boring you all with book details and if you hop on over to Kitchen Riches, you will find a few more updated recipes there...INCLUDING one for Granola. I remember too long ago someone asked for a recipe and I only just was able to find, test, tweak and adopt one as my own. I hope that, whoever you are (I am sorry I have already forgotten) and whereever you are, you discover this and go check it out. I do hope you try it and like it, and tell me then what you think. Psst. That goes for all of you. If you try a recipe, let me know what you think! Makes me feel like I am not wasting my time! Also...thank you mystery person for the Granola request. It was fun and made me go outside my comfort zone and do something I hadn't done before. I do very much like requests and I want to encourage anyone and everyone to make them, if they would like. I can't promise you'll get a recipe the next day (as I like to post photos with my recipes) but I can promise one will come! As for Mandie's request for freezer meals: I am working on that. Again, I want to post photos with the recipes but here are few ideas that I will cover as soon as I am able.
Shredded Pork/Beef BBQ
Also-it is always super handy to have ground beef pre-browned and frozen. You can pop it in soups, spaghetti or anything requiring ground up beef.
For quick company treats, check out the Company Icecream, Biscuits and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread.
I want to reiterate, one more time, that I would LOVE to hear feeback on the books from above. Let me know if you agree/disagree with my thoughts, if you liked/disliked the books mentioned, or just general thoughts. I would love to hear some thoughts on the subjects. Just remember: be kind! ;-)