Saturday, March 26

Learning Journal: 3/21-3/25

MFW RtR- We tried using MFW Creation to the Greeks and it just didn't work out. I was researching curriculum for next year and decided to try MFW again. Since we are beginning the Middle Ages I decided to try to find a cheap Rome to Reformation guide and start at week 14. I have everything else, so all I needed was the guide.

BIBLE- We read the Nicene Creed each day this week and started reading Luke in chapter 5.

MEMORY VERSE- "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Cor 13:1 ESV

HISTORY- This week we learned about Justinian and Theodora. I made a notebook page for Justinian and the Byzantine Empire.

GEOGRAPHY- We used Map Trek v.2 Byzantine Empire.

SCIENCE- Right now RtR schedules a study of the Human Body. Rebekah and Caleb are doing that at Co-op so I'm not adding in science until we get to Astronomy.

MATH- There's been a few changes since last post. I've finally stopped trying to keep everyone in the same program! =)

TREY- He's starting back up with Singapore 1A. He loved it before, he just wasn't ready once it got to addition. He's ready now and doing an excellent job! He seems to "get" math, so Singapore is my first choice. Text pages 30-32 & Workbook exercises 15-17 & Extra Practice exercise 3.

CALEB- I bought Singapore 3A Text and Intensive Practice. I was just going to get the text but Caleb thrives on math puzzles and problems that really make him think. Text pages 6-17, including practices 1A, 1B, 1C.

REBEKAH- She has been thriving with Saxon 5/4 over the last couple of weeks. This week she did lessons 7-10 and Test 1.

LANGUAGE ARTS- Trey is the only one who did any this week. He did Ordinary Parent's Guide lessons 34-36. On Friday we reviewed the vowel sounds.

Wednesday, March 9

Home Education: Part I - Some Preliminary Considerations

In case you want to look them over -
*Volume 1 Study Questions*

Children are a Public Trust

"Now, that work which is of most importance to society is the bringing up and instruction of the children -- in the school, certainly, but far more in the home, because it is more than anything else the home influences brought to bear upon the child that determine the character and career of the future man or woman. It is a great thing to be a parent: there is no promotion, no dignity, to compare with it."

"The children are...public trusts, put into the hands of parents that they may make the most of them for the good of society." 

She goes on to say that the mother is the one who has the most influence on the children. I assume that this is because the mother is usually the one to stay home with them. That really puts the burden on me! Even though my husband is the Spiritual leader of this home, I am the one who interacts with them for more hours of each day. Is that why Freud always blamed the mother? =)

Mothers owe a 'thinking love' to their Children

Ms. Mason quoted Pestalozzi: "The mother is qualified... by the Creator Himself, to become the principal agent in the development of her child; ... and what is demanded of her is -- a thinking love... Maternal love is the first agent in education."

That helps put things into perspective for me. God gave me the children that He did, because He knew that we were the best match for each other. It's really hard to see that when my daughter is behind in math because I can't explain it a way for her to understand. I trust that God knows what He is doing, thought I don't always understand.

"...they will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. And they will take it up as their profession -- that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours."

That is EXACTLY how I feel. I want to know what my children are learning, especially when it has to do with our Christian beliefs. How could I possibly trust anyone else to to give my children the best education? Only I know what is best for my children. God made us to go together, so I have to know!

The training of Children 'dreadfully defective'

Parents do need some sort of instruction on teaching children. (Hence, the reading of Home Education.) I don't think that we necessarily need to have a college degree to teach our children, but I do think that even our own education should never stop. I graduated High School and spent one year at a University. When you're doing it to pass a class, you really don't get much out of it. I've found that my education is severely lacking and have decided to become self-educated.

How Parents Usually Proceed 

"The parents' chief care is, that that which they supply shall be wholesome and nourishing, whether in the way of picture books, lessons, playmates, bread and milk, or mother's love.... They let their children alone, allowing human nature to develop on its own lines, modified by facts of environment and descent.

Nothing could be better for the child that this 'masterly inactivity,' so far as it goes. It is well he should be let grow and helped to grow according to his nature; and so long as the parents do not step in to spoil him, much good and no very evident harm comes from letting him alone."

It's very important that we let our children grow into their own personalities. They need direction, but they also need room to grow. They need to be free thinkers. As much as I don't like it, my children need to form their own opinions about things... even their faith.

--- Next Week (Wednesday, March 16) I will post on 
Part I: I. A Method Of Education ---

Sunday, March 6

Burgess Bird Book - Links & Info

I am beginning this post to compile my resources. Please keep checking back for more!

Burgess Bird Book Supplement - PDF with information and pictures of each bird
Common Birds Coloring Pages - PDF

Chapter Title links to story at

I- Jenny Wren Arrives
House Wren - info @ All About

II- The Old Orchard Bully
Chippy the Chipping Sparrow
Bully the English Sparrow

III- Jenny Has a Good Word for Some Sparrows
Sweet Voice the Vesper Sparrow
Little Friend the Song Sparrow

IV- Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty
Dotty the Tree Sparrow
Slaty the Junco
Junco Printout - Enchanted Learning

V- Peter Learns Something He Hadn't Guessed
Welcome Robin
American Robin - Enchanted Learning
Winsome Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird - Enchanted Learning

VI- An Old Friend in a New Home
Least Flycatcher - info @ All About
Eastern Phoebe - info @ All About

VII- The Watchman of the Old Orchard
Scrapper the Kingbird
Redeye the Vireo

VIII-Old Clothes and Old Houses

IX- Longbill and Teeter

X- Red Wing and Yellow Wing

Friday, March 4

Learning Journal: 2/28-3/4

We took this week off. =)

I did have Rebekah do Key to Fractions, Book #1: pages 1-4. And realized that she is retaining ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from Teaching Textbooks. She rarely got under a 90% for the lesson, but apparently there's just something about the program that she's not getting. I don't really know what to do.

I also introduced her to Fred. She's fallen in love! =) I found some books for multiplication and division (plus a few other concepts) that seem similar to Fred. I'm toying with the idea of having her do those 2 books before trying to move on.

Stanley F. Schmidt, author of Life of Fred, claims that the upper level books are complete. Cathy Duffy, on her review website, placed Life of Fred under "Math" not "Math Supplements." This leads me to believe that maybe they are! I know that there is a lot of controversy about this, but I've got 2-3 years to decide.

Home Education: Preface

I wasn't going to blog about the Preface... and then I read it.

"...the knowledge of God is the principal knowledge, and the chief end of education." 

As parents, this has always been our main goal. If our children don't know God then nothing else matters! This is why I believe it is important for the children to learn about God within all of their "school" subjects.

"Such a theory of education, which need not be careful to call itself a system of psychology, must be in harmony with the thought movements of the age; must regard education, not as a shut off compartment, but as being as much a part of life as birth or growth, marriage or work; and it must leave the pupil attached to the world at many points of contact."

Wow! Such strong, thought provoking words! Learning should not be a separate entity. It should be a natural part of everyday life. I will admit that I struggle with that. How do I integrate schooling into our day without making it "school?" I want to instill the love of learning into our children. I never want learning to become a chore.

"...the child is a person with all the possibilities and powers included in personality."

Sometimes it is hard to remember that they really are just miniatures of us, and that they deserve the same respect.

In the Preface, Charlotte Mason summarizes her educational theories in eighteen points. These points are expanded upon throughout the book. I really like how Leslie Laurio has put them in a Modern English Paraphrase. (I am reading the original words by Ms. Mason, but I do like to compare from time to time.)

Wednesday, March 2

Home Education by CM

I've been trying to read this book for a while now, never getting past the "Preliminary Considerations." I've come to the conclusion that the only way I'm going to do it is to blog about it.

Please read along with me and comment on the appropriate posts! OR post on your blog and share the link! If I get enough interest I will set up a link list generator.

You can read it FREE from Ambleside Online.
I'm reading this Kindle version.

I'm going to read one section per week and post on Wednesdays. My first post will be Wednesday, March 9 and it will cover Some Preliminary Considerations.