• Books

    Summer reads…


    If you can’t tell already, I have taken full advantage of the quiet summer months, reading like I was running out of air. I feel like my adult brain is finally firing back on all cylinders. Interestingly enough, I’ve been a serial, monogamous reader for as long as I can remember- one book at time. Start to finish. This summer though, I’ve been reading and thinking my way through all of these books in a very non-serial way. I’ve tended to pick up the one that most closely matches my mood and thought processes at the moment. I guess it helps that two of them are essay collections, so they lend themselves well to non-monogamous reading. I wonder if it’s a trend that’ll hold? That being said, I haven’t finished any of these in total, but what I’ve read of each has been just what I needed at the time. So, so good.

    1./ Art of the Commonplace
    2./ Food, Faith, and Fasting
    3./ Following A Sacred Path
    4./ Roots & Sky
    5./When I Was A Child I Read Books


  • Books,  the learning arts,  wonder and inquiry

    Fill er’ up…


    A few homeschooling reads I re-visited this summer. Teaching from Rest should be one of those that you re-read anytime you start to feel the walls closing in, not just once a year in the summer!

    1./ Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting Off the Beaten Path

    This came out early last summer, and it was so inspiring. Re-reading this year, I’ve been reminded again to look at the overall picture of our schooling days and years. I’m so excited about Heather and Ben’s collaboration, Home Grown Education.

    2./A Mother’s Rule of Life

    It’s good on all levels, but I was specifically re-visiting this one for scheduling considerations as we move into the new year. Our rhythm has really changed over the last year and needed tweaking. Jen Mackintosh’s planning posts are also super helpful!

    3./Teaching from Rest

    If you read no other “homeschooling” book, make it this one. Worth its weight in gold. Revisit as often as needed, whenever needed. (Circe Institute’s Restful Teaching seminar is a close second!)

    4./The Well-Trained Mind

    I hadn’t picked this up in a long while (and it’s obviously an older edition) but since we use so much of Susan’s curriculum for history, it was nice to check back in. I think everyone should read an edition of this, regardless of whatever eclectic homeschooling style you may choose to go with- it’s just a really good, solid reference to refer to when needed.

    5./Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home (out of print)

    Elizabeth wrote this many, many moons ago. I thought I had lost my copy, actually! But it was a good re-read. If you aren’t familiar with Montessori type approaches for young ones, it’s a great place to start. She blends a lot of Charlotte Mason in too. It holds up to the test of time. Good luck finding a copy!

    Part of the continuing series, Wonder and Inquiry.


  • Books,  creative capers

    Yarn Along


    I’ve been working on a washcloth design of my own invention the last few days, as the type I knitted two and three years ago are starting to reach the end of their working life. I want a bit more of a scrubby-type texture so we can use steel wool scrubbies less. I’ll let you know how it goes. If you love Jan Karon’s Mitford series, you’ll love Aidan’s Song. It is like Father Tim’s diary- if he were an Orthodox priest instead of an Anglican one- but it’s a true story! (ANNND, Fr. Aidan is married to a Cynthia, too. I’m just sayin’.) It is so delightful! My friend Elizabeth sent it to me. I laughed and cried and laughed again and had “big thoughts” as Pooh likes to say. Truly lovely!

    Sharing with Ginny.


  • Books,  the learning arts

    Book Friday…

    fridaybookpile (1)

    Art Friday has been a long standing tradition ’round these parts. Alas, alack, with all this medical fun, very little works in progress can be shared because, well, I have to start them first. Ahem. Very soon, I hope! But there is a second best thing. My friend Katherine and I started the #fridaybookpile on Instagram a few weeks ago and we’d love to have you join us. We don’t care where you share it, so long as you share it! Make sure you tag us! I’ll have a button for you to use on your blogs next week, if you’re interested. We share what we’ve been reading as a family each week, our school books and read alouds, our own personal reads. It’s a lot of fun to see what everyone is interested in at the moment. Hope you’ll join us on Fridays! What else could be better than my second and third favorite things, if you can’t have art?

  • Books,  the learning arts


    fallishschoolcozydaviddraw hotchocolate

    It was a quiet, cozy day. There were still moments of Monday-ness, being Monday and all, but still. We pulled in, read long. We are using Story of the World, Vol 4: The Modern Age as our History spine, taking about two weeks to complete a chapter or so. We finished the (very brief) account of the Civil War two weeks ago. Today we dug a bit deeper with the recommended book list. (The book above is If You Lived At the Time of the Civil War.) I don’t put many demands on the children while I read, other than that they are quiet; some play with Legos or dolls, some sit and listen, and David- David most often illustrates what I’ve been reading of his own volition. I always find it interesting what he chooses to draw, what catches his imagination: today it was a battlefield and a flag.

    The older children will move on to engage with the text more in depth- we do map drills of the places associated with the chapter, engage in some of the activities from the Student Book. They will often narrate the chapter back to Daddy at the dinner table that evening. What we do often depends on the children’s interest- Ben, of course, has been very interested in how railroading and industry changed as a result of the war. Lorelei has focused on the bigger picture (immediately connecting our civil war back to other civil wars in other countries we have already read about this term). Isaiah and David, especially, have been interested in the emotional toll of war on both sides, and it was Isaiah, in the car on the way to pick up daddy from work, listening to the day’s news of protests at Yale and the University of Missouri, that connected dots to problems that were left unsolved at the end of the war. It won’t be the first time the children have astounded me with grasp of a subject seemingly far beyond their years.

    You never stop learning. I have studied the era in depth at least three times (as an elementary student, as a high schooler, and then undergraduate work in History). I’ve connected more dots in my own brain this time around teaching and listening to and learning from my kids than the other three combined. I’m learning and thinking right alongside them. The connections that young children make unencumbered of the emotional baggage we adults often carry will absolutely blow your mind. Out of the mouths of babes, indeed.