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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Charlotte Mason Tea -- Bravo to homeschooling

Wow, the CM tea was great. Both of mine had learned their poems and did pretty well, although Junior mumbled.

One of the girls, (I guess she is 14) had written two poems that she read. When I say written, I don't mean something like "roses are red, / violets are blue. / I hate this, / and you do too." I mean a poem like you would expect to read published.

In one of the poems, 2 words caught my ear, "azure" and "lapis." I wonder how many college kids know what those words mean. Yet a young homeschool girl knows what they are, and can use them correctly. It was one of those small things that made me glad I homeschool.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I love 4-H ! ! !

Growing up, I don't know why I didn't do 4-H, if it was offered in my area. I guess because of the idea that it was for country people.

With Daisy, we tried Girl Scouts, and in our area, it just wasn't a good experience.

Then we tried 4-H. Oh, Wow! 4-H just has so much to offer! There is a wide variety of projects, and most of them are not limited to "country stuff" like cows and goats.

Our 4-H club is made up of homeschoolers, which is great. It helps the kids be more connected with their homeschooling peers. Daisy is involved in Food and Nutrition, Entomology, and some with wildlife. Both kids have gotten enthusiastic about the bug collecting/ nature walk for entomology. To be honest, I didn't realize that entomology could be this interesting. We have gotten to see tiny little insects that we collected in our yard under a microscope.

Food and Nutrition was a lot of fun too. Daisy made a bread and won first prize in our county and was able to go on to district. She didn't win at district, but we learned alot. Junior has been planning what he wants to make for Food competition next year, and I think he is leaning toward a bread, because that is what big sis did. Wildlife was interesting, we just didn't do a whole lot with it because this was our first year in 4-H and we were a bit overwhelmed.

I am looking forward to next year and what we will participate in.

I encourage any of you, if you are looking for something to add to your curriculum, look into 4-H. Beyond the educational benefits, 4-H encourages leadership skills (even in the younger ones) and community service. Not to mention, there are scholarship opportunities. Not that I am worried right now about scholarships but if I wait till Daisy is older, it will be more difficult to get scholarships.

Anyway, 4-H is a great opportunity that I encourage everyone to look into.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Poetry Month

As you may or may not know, April is National Poetry month in the U.S. and Canada. Even though I love poetry, I do find we are not as consistent as we should be in studying it.

Jimmie has some wonderful ideas at One Child Policy Homeschool on how to bring poetry into your homeschool. She also gives some of the benefits to poetry. One she didn't mention is that parts of the Bible are poetry. If you don't "get" poetry then the book of Psalms is pretty much closed as well as the other bits of poetry through out the Bible.

Another great resource is they have a FAQ full of ideas for poetry including 30 ways to celebrate, Lesson Plans and a tip sheet.

I would also say, have your kids write poetry. Even before they can write they can dictate a poem. In my opinion, writing poetry gives a better appreciation when listening to poetry; the same could be said of music, art and that sort of thing.

This month, my local Charlotte Mason support group is doing a Poetry Tea for the kids. For the poetry tea, the kids each pick a poem and then get to recite it in front of the group. Its a great confidence builder because all the kids are supportive of each other.

This is our second year to participate, last year Daisy didn't want to do it but I made her memorize a poem. I knew that when she got there and saw all the other kids reciting, she would want to do it too. She was convinced there was no way she would want to recite but on the way to the tea she was thinking maybe reciting would be ok. After she did it, she was so proud of herself!

Both kids are going to recite this year, and the nice thing is that their Daddy will be able to go to this. I found their poems in the poetry book we are reading Poems Every Child Should Know by Mary Burt. Because of its age, there is no longer a copywrite on it and so it can also be found at Project Gutenburg and Internet Archive . One of our favorite modern children's poets is Jack Prelutsky.

For the poetry tea, Daisy and Junior are going to recite this together:

Love Between Brothers and Sisters

Whatever brawls disturb the street,

There should be peace at home;

Where sisters dwell and brothers meet,

Quarrels should never come.

Birds in their little nests agree;

And 'tis a shameful sight,

When children of one family

Fall out and chide and fight.

----Isaac Watts.

I bet you can't guess who picked that one out. Is it subtle enough? I may make them recite it every time they bicker LOL

Junior may not do one on his own, I haven't really talked to him about it. He still doesn't talk very clearly, but OTOH it's more of a confidence builder.

Daisy has two poems she likes equally as well, so she is planning on learning both and then deciding. She might recite both.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star!

How I wonder what you are,

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

When the glorious sun is set,

When the grass with dew is wet,

Then you show your little light,

Twinkle, twinkle all the night.

In the dark-blue sky you keep,

And often through my curtains peep,

For you never shut your eye,

Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark

Guides the traveller in the dark,

Though I know not what you are,

Twinkle, twinkle, little star!

The Nightingale and the Glow-worm.

A nightingale, that all day long

Had cheered the village with his song,

Nor yet at eve his note suspended,

Nor yet when eventide was ended,

Began to feel, as well he might,

The keen demands of appetite;

When, looking eagerly around,

He spied far off, upon the ground,

A something shining in the dark,

And knew the glow-worm by his spark;

So, stooping down from hawthorn top,

He thought to put him in his crop.

The worm, aware of his intent,

Harangued him thus, right eloquent:

"Did you admire my lamp," quoth he,

"As much as I your minstrelsy,

You would abhor to do me wrong,

As much as I to spoil your song;

For 'twas the self-same power divine,

Taught you to sing and me to shine;

That you with music, I with light,

Might beautify and cheer the night."

The songster heard his short oration,

And warbling out his approbation,

Released him, as my story tells,

And found a supper somewhere else.

-----William Cowper.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Errand day and homeschooling

Ok, I feel awful. We did no schooling today. It was one of those long days full of errands.

First we dropped Junior at Mother's Day Out, then Daisy had piano lessons. After piano we went to the teacher supply store in town to see if they had insect pins, for pinning an insect collection. They didn't but they did have this cool thing to look through so you could see how it would be to see with an insect eye.

I called over at the college town nearby and one store said they had them. They didn't, it was the wrong kind of pins. Since we were there, we tried every college bookstore and none had them, although one did have a great book on Rembrandt clearanced.

So then we drove back to town, went by the forestry department and talked to the guy doing our 4-H. We found out what the caterpillars we have been collecting are, more about the mole cricket,saw some cool looking Harlequin bugs, and some other cool info. He mentioned that he had done a insect collection in college and that is what lit the spark that told him what to do for his career.

We picked up Junior and then came home. The kids caught more insects (the freezer is full of them), until it was time for Daisy's softball practice.

Hmmm, I guess on thinking about it, we did science, geography, art, and physical education. Not as bad as I thought. We did alot more than I realized.

And Daisy practiced her poem for our local groups Charlotte Mason Poetry Tea.

More about that later.

Oh, and the insect pins will have to be ordered online, Grrrrrrrr