Man, I just LOVE this woman! I have been reading, or re-reading as the case is, a book written by a mom who has studied her work intensely called "A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning" Now, it is for sure heavy on the religion, but asy enough to filter out if that isn't your thing. She was just amazing in the way she felt kids should learn, and bringing her into the present and realizing that CM is a way of life, not just an education system...sweet. I have always LOVED her idea of living books and we use living books almost exclusively for History, Literature even Science when appropriate. Through her, we found the wonderful author Thorton Burgess. He is long gone by now, but in my opinion his books are timeless. We first read the Peter Rabbit 'novel' last year as part of our Nature Study, where we learned at Mother Nature School all about different animals and what families they belonged to. I was lucky to *inherit* about 20 of Thorton Burgess' books from a friend of ours who read them as a child (these books have a copywrite date of 1921...not even sure if I could find these at the Library...) I have enough of each of the collections for us to read for some time. They are great stories with hidden moral lessons and teach kids about how different animals live in the wild. My kids are the perfect age for these books and I am enjoying reading them to them.
We are using The History of the World book for History right now, and have started at the begining, learning about evolution. The kids are fascinated. I taught about the Big Bang Theory last year, and I also told them the religious account of what evolution was believed to be. I told them they could choose which *theory* hey wanted to believe. Jeffrey AND Lilly picked the scientific explanation because you could 'prove it'. :) We learned about Darwin and the 'survival of the fittest' and could apply it to our little world in the backyard...the kids know if we did not 'save' Cookie our special needs chicken, she would have died/been killed as she is too weak to keep up in the *wild* ...this was a great real-life way to explain what we were learning about Darwin's theory.
Science and Nature involves learning about Habitats, protozoas, and different plant kingdoms. We will be taking a BUNCH of hikes and collecting 'samples' of different plants by way of rubbings and pictures or leaves that have already fallen from the plants. We have done the parts of plants and leaves as well as my annual talk about why leaves change color, which is accompanied by the book Why DO Leaves Change Color? which is part of the Let's-Read-And-Find-Out-Science Series. We usually do some sort of craft involving leaves and this year the kids want to press leaves for their nature journals.
We are reciting the poem The Woodpecker, by Elizabeth Madox Roberts which the kids have pretty much memorized inside a week. I am very impressed at how much quicker they are at memorizing the poems since last year! I should challenge them to recite some of the old ones ;)
Spending lots of time outside, exploring and just general runnin' around :) There has also been an increase in Lego creating going on in this house! All three kids, together, have created some amazing vehicles to use in their 'world'...this is amazing on many fronts- first, Jeffrey does not usually play well with Lilly and Max, and he is not one for imaginative play. He not only has 'tolerated' his siblings, but has not tried to micro-manage them...too much. He is also participating in their imaginative play as much as he is able...which isn't much in the grand scheme of things but more than he ever has in the past. I'll take it!
In other news...
I froze 18 eggs worth of beaten eggs in smaller containers, hard boiled at least a dozen and we still have a dozen in the fridge...some of which will be used tonite for peach waffles. We know why we haven't been getting eggs from everyone...as we found we have ANOTHER rooster! Pickle is not only NOT a Bantam Dominique, HE is not a she! I was suspicious when SHE sprouted a beautiful tail, as girls tend to be a little light on the tail feathers of beauty. Then I checked her neck and sadlde feathers...pointed. :( Sure sign of maleness. He has not crowed yet, and is still getting along with everyone so...we'll just have to wait and see how it goes. He is a mutt, and will be a BIG chicken. He looks like the kind of chickens my neighbor up the street has...maybe I will stop by and ask them what they have sometime...
Well, apparently waffles don't make themselves! I better get on it!