Lingering Around The Lunch Table

What does lingering around the lunch table sharing childhood stories do for our children’s hearts?  It’s just an extra 15 minutes out of our day, but to our children’s hearts it’s a lifetime!

Daddy got home today from work early and we got to enjoy a whole family lunch around the table!  With a pleading twinkle in their eyes, the children begged us to share a few stories from our own childhood.  I particularly relish in sharing my childhood days of picking plums from the neighbors trees, riding bikes ALL OVER town (I grew up in Oregon, in a VERY small town) gathering up pop cans (or coke cans to many) to buy a piece of candy at the local grocer.  Savannah likes to hear about the time I hide a young duckling I had found under my bed.  I finally broke down and told my Mom and she had me safely return it to it’s mother in the creek an hour later.  Avery loves the story of when I was racing my bike down a steep hill, and unfortunately the hill comes to a violent left turn… with gravel on the corner… so I ended up in the gravel.

Anyway…

Today Daddy got a turn to recall some childhood memories.  To be honest all our ears were perked up and ready to absorb the morsels of Daddy’s stories!  He told of camping trips with brothers, and eating mostly raw bacon for breakfast because they couldn’t get a hot fire going in the rain.  Of baseball playing and sleepovers with friends.

We all delighted in sharing and hearing memories over our toasted sandwiches and plums.  The reason I share this with you all is because of a book that I have been reading called Old Paths For Little Feet by Carol Brandt.  In her first chapter it tells of loving and enjoying our children.  Making time for them and filling their cups.

“Come, O children, listen to me;  I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”  Psalm 34:11 esv

“The idea of “Come” is an attitude as much as an embrace.  Relish each developmental stage of childhood.  Whether you’re a teacher, a parent, or grandparent, enjoy, laugh over, and celebrate each quickly passing stage.  By doing so, you are saying “Come”.” Old Paths For Little Feet, by Carol Brandt, Chapter 1, pg. 18.

“…If you drive a boy from you, your power over him is gone, for you will not be able to teach him anything.”  Charles Spurgeon

I also love this excerpt from that same chapter.

“One warning needs to be made:  Never get the children to like you at the expense of condoning sin or forgetting who is in charge.  Discipline gives stability and comfort to a child and sanity and survival to the adult!  Christian principles are best received in a warm relational atmosphere balanced by clear boundaries and an underpinning knowledge of who is in charge.  But, your children or grandchildren are not going to be taught to reverence God by you unless you have a welcoming attitude toward their childishness.” Chapter 1, pg. 19

As their parents we are showing an imperfect example of the relationship they are to have with God.  One of respect, discipline, honor and love.  We teach our children to revere God, to know God and to love God, especially taking joy in His discipline.  Just as we train them to honor, respect and take joy in our (as their parents) training, instruction and discipline.  They know we would not steer them wrong because of the trust and love they have for us, which comes from the time and love that we have put into them.  Those extra minutes at the lunch table and the lingering moments during tuck-in at night are in reality only minutes, but in a child’s heart it is a lifetime of fond memories they will soon pass on.

Half A Year In Review!

I am finally on top of my load here at home!  (for now) : )  We are almost done with our first “official” year of homeschooling and looking forward to Avery starting second grade and Savannah starting kindergarten. (our children do not start formal schooling until 6, but for Savannah’s excitement of progress… we call playing and coloring “kindergarten”)  : )

So to start this slideshow of the months… we start all the way back last summer… at the South Carolina Zoo.

The children were AMAZED at how LARGE a gorilla’s feet are, let alone it’s entire body!

We tried SO hard to stay in the aquarium exhibit… but guess where the boys spent the better part of 2 HOURS!!  In the snake exhibit.  Savannah and I tried our hardest not to shiver and learn something, but after 45 minutes of honest effort we were starting to get the heebie jeebies!  (there are NO images of that exhibit!)

Savannah enjoyed a sweet friend’s tea party birthday.  They made these adorable hats from butcher paper!

We took a trip to a really neat pioneer village where we got to see them churn butter, bake corn cakes from freshly milled kernels and best of all, sit in a real school house just like Little House On The Prairie!  (and try on the dunce caps)

THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!  This picture cracks me up!  I had to have a photo of their first day of school, and we got them backpacks… just because… they are wearing NO shoes and Avery is still in p.j.’s.  We took the picture and then headed inside, with our empty backpacks, and made pancakes for our first day of school! haha!

The first days of copy writing are long gone.  We were still perfecting the lower case letters at this point… boy time flies!

Our family met up with Grandma and Papa for the children’s first Blue Angels air show!  They are REALLY LOUD!  The best part of the show was at the very end when they lit up the enormous fire wall!

Avery turned 7!!!  and still loves Star Wars… and Legos  :)

Savannah started riding a “big” bike without training wheels!!

When the mild southern winter was not keeping us inside, we were out perfecting our swing jumping skills.

We have soaked up quite a few mild sunsets.  I am now preparing myself for the humidity that is about to hit in a couple months.

Our beloved schnoodle.  Funny story… the children and I had been wanting a dog for a couple years, and Daddy is NOT a dog person!  He said on three conditions could we have a dog, 1. can’t smell (understandable) 2. can’t shed (getting harder to accommodate, but not impossible) 3. can’t bark (pretty much impossible)  I did a LOT of research and came up with a schoodle! She doesn’t smell, doesn’t shed (unless it’s the spring) and she doesn’t bark… unless there’s a cat, or a squirrel, or another dog, or a person walking down the sidewalk or she is alerting us that Daddy is home. haha! We still love her!

To catch us all up, Savannah turned 5 and got her ears pierced!!  She also got a new ‘Hello Kitty’ bike for her birthday!  She rode her brothers old one joyfully but I was starting to wonder when the issue of it being ORANGE and not PINK was going to affect her riding. haha

You are now all caught up with what our family has been up to! : ) YEAH!

From A Dad’s Heart

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We want to make our children a priority in our lives.  The time we are speaking of is not the everyday activities, but the investment of time that shapes character, fills their heart cups, builds trust, respect and leaves a lasting impression in their memories.

As my husband and I were talking about how to intentionally make this a priority, here are a few things that were on his heart.

“I want to make my son a priority.”

“I don’t want to lose the yearning he has to spend time with his father, and I don’t want to ignore it.”

“I want him to learn things from his father.”

“I want to make a lasting impression on him.”

Here are a few ideas that we brainstormed and we are going to put into practice.

~go fishing on a Saturday morning

~check out a book from the library on bugs or lizards and go for a hike while looking for these native critters

~build a simple bird house or bird feeder

~take him to the beach and boogie board the waves

~go to the local baseball field and hit balls or practice hitting golf balls

~take him to breakfast, dinner or dessert – just the guys

~visit Lowe’s on the build-it workshop days

~teach him knot tying with a rope

~build a fort in the backyard

~build a fire, so the whole family can enjoy s’mores

(don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about Savannah! :) Every other Saturday morning is her special day with Daddy, and the other Saturdays are Mama’s.  At this age Savannah is so easy going… just talk to her about her baby dolls and what’s in her purse, or let her paint something and she is content.)

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Any other ideas of what a Daddy can do with his son or daughter?

6 y/o Favorites

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I think since our son is now 6 1/2, that I need to revise his favorite book list.  He seems to have too much ‘muchness’ to be with the likes of Little Bear.  Although truth be told, he still secretly loves those books, he just doesn’t want them on HIS bookshelf anymore. :)

I appreciate the new found maturity and the separation from “little kid” books, but say it isn’t so!!

His book list might look something like this,

Fables by Arnold Lobel

Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant

Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik

Fox In Socks by Dr. Seuss

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

Billy and Blaze written and illustrated by C. W. Anderson

The Giant Jam Sandwich story and pictures by John Vernon Lord

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell


The Little House On The Praire
series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

(I thought these might be too girly for him but we have all loved them! He especially likes when Pa goes hunting!)

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss

Also one of his favorite things is visiting the library and going to the non-fiction kids section, ALL BY HIMSELF!  He beams with confidence as he thumbs through the lizard, shark and space books.  He is so competent and it makes me miss him a little bit.


Books We LOVE To Enjoy!

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Now first off, we love a LOT of books, however this is just a few that leave our eyes wondering the pages long after the words have been read.  These are the kinds of books we want our children to cherish and enjoy.  The in-your-face, cartoony OVERSTIMULATING books that are being published now days… blah!

I once read somewhere, probably in a CM book, that if I do not enjoy reading it, my children are not going to enjoy it.  Granted that may not hold up well with all the books that match the well-commercialized cartoons, but the books that we try to stick with are captivating, timeless and WELL written!  They cultivate imagination and new adventures waiting to be played out.

All these books have delightful illustrations, ones that leave us talking about them later.  And so this is our list!

James Herriot’s Treasury For Children

(I admit, I have been caught with a tear in my eye from these stories)

(alright, basically ALL of the Billy and Blaze books we love!)

WOW!  That was too short!  What are some of your favorite books?  We would love to add them to our collection!

A Loosey-Goosey Beach Nature Study

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Lately I have been uninspired to go out in the blasting HEAT and study nature.  We would rather run back in side, shut the door quickly so as not to let in the smothering humidity!

So I thought why not do a loosey-goosey version of a nature study post on the beach.  That is where we spend most our time, if we are outside.

The children love to run back and forth with the incoming waves, build squiggle castles, dig holes, catch and study hermit crabs, chase the sea birds in vain (with the hopes of catching one to pet), collect all assortments of shells….

We don’t go into depths about much, unless prompted by wondering minds.  We have discussed the effects of the moon on the tides, and what hermit crabs eat, why wet sand makes better castles then dry sand, but other than that we have let their own experiences in this instance (beach study) teach them.

At this age, we believe they are not meant to be bombarded with information, but to learn naturally through experience.  Hours of play, poking and prodding, and the occasional ant bite.

The Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival: Narration, Volume 1

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Welcome to the May 31, 2011 edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival!  I am so excited about all the submissions! I know you will enjoy them as much as I did!

Let’s dive right in and see what Charlotte Mason says about narration ~

“This, of telling again, sounds very simple but it is really a magical creative process by means of which the narrator sees what he has conceived, so definite and so impressive is the act of narrating that which has been read only once.  I dwell on the single reading because, let me repeat, it is impossible to fix attention on that which we have heard before and know we shall hear again.”  A Philosophy Of Education, by Charlotte M. Mason, volume 6, pg 261.

“Narration is assimilating information and retelling it.  Anyone would listen closely if they knew they were going to retell what they had heard.  Just like when you’ve seen a documentary and tell your friend all about it the next day, you will remember it better! A Philosophy Of Education, by Charlotte M. Mason, Volume 6, pg 11.

Now I LOVE how Catherine Levison breaks it down for us ~

“HOW TO:  Read one single reading aloud, about 10 to 13 minutes for each book.  It is very important to have children’s full attention during the reading.  Don’t stop to define words during the reading;  they’ll usually understand the sentence or paragraph anyway.  Ask one of the listeners to tell you what you just read.  If they hesitate, ask them if they remember one thing of what you just read!”  A Charlotte Mason Education, by Catherine Levison, pg 12.

Now on to the Narration posts!  Enjoy!

Sarah presents Narration…The Foundation Stone of Learning  posted at All That’s Good

Jimmie presents  Notebooking With Creative Interviews posted at The Notebooking Fairy

Nadene presents Narration ~ A Natural Art posted at Practical Pages

Penney Douglas presents Natural Narration: Spontaneous Storytelling posted at Changed By Love

Lanaya presents Narration posted at Gore Family News

Kay Pelham presents Narration of Edward II…Story of King Robert the Bruce and Bohun | Pelham House posted at Pelham House

Barb – Harmony Art Mom presents Narrating a Speech from Ambleside Online’s List posted at Harmony Art Mom

Traci Brooks presents Mental Discipline: Capturing Details posted at Traci’s Teaching Times

Becky presents CM Monday- How We Narrate posted at Golden Acron Homeschool

Amy outta Peru presents A Mother Can Narrate Too posted at Educating Mother

Other Charlotte Mason Topics

Nancy presents Cooperating and Conferences posted at Sage Parnassus

Sarah presents All That’s Good: Van Gogh Diarama posted at All That’s Good

Michelle presents Life Skill: Proper Dishwashing posted at The Holistic Homeschooler

Pamela presents Beautiful Bandelier posted at Blah, Blah, Blog

Jennifer in MamaLand presents Wishy, Wishy… posted at Adventures in Mama-Land

Ann presents Playing the Harp and Piano as Part of Homeschooling posted at Harvest Moon by Hand

Ritsumei presents Nature At The Park posted at Baby Steps

Ann presents Outdoor Hour Challenge Spring Series #4: Wildflowers-Dandelions posted at Harvest Moon by Hand

I had fun getting to know a little about all the families here today!  Thanks so much for stopping by and enjoying the posts!

Be sure to submit your blog article to the next edition of the Charlotte Mason blog carnival using our Carnival Submission Form.

Which will take place on June 14, 2011 and the theme will be:  Nature Study!

Click HERE to see the list of other upcoming themes!

Suggested reading for Nature Study:

*CM series: Vol.1, pages 43 – 93

*PR article: How to Best Study Nature


A Few Of My Favorite Resources

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First things first!  What is the Charlotte Mason method all about?  Find out HERE!

photo credit

So this is just a sampling of some of my FAVORITE resources!  Click on any of the images and they will take you directly to the source.  ENJOY!

~We LOVE Ambleside Online

{This is what we base our homeschool curriculum off of. (there is always room to improvise and substitute) :)  They have book lists, schedules and other homeschooling mother’s recommendations! Great for Mamas like me that are just starting out and want to know the ropes.}

~A few artist study websites we use for visuals are

George Inness,  Morning, Catskill Valley (The Red Oaks) 1894

artchive.com

{A little overwhelming at first, but this site has the artists names you can click on and learn about their background and then study their work!}

color-me-online.com

{print out coloring pages of the artist you are studying, AND you can click on the ‘see the painting’ button and get a visual of the original.}

~For nature study we like

San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California  June 2008 © Peter LaTourrette

Birdphotography.com

{An enormous list of birds with numerous photographs!}

Squidoo.com

{Squidoo/nature tales has a wonderful compilation of nature resources we like to gather ideas from}

Coloring.ws

{realistic looking coloring pages of birds and many more coloring pages}

~Honestly who doesn’t like paper dolls!

thebleudoor.com

{this site has SO, SO many paperdolls it’s AMAZING!  I know this is not a ‘typical’ homeschool resource, but we love them regardless.}

ENJOY!

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