"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Book Sharing Monday: Character Sketches

This book came recommended to us through the small group we belong to in our church. One of the families had a copy so we were able to take a good look through it. We were very impressed with its content. We ordered one for ourselves and decided to work through the book as a family. This is Volume 1 in the three volume set. The concepts are relatively simple but deeply thought provoking. The lessons exemplify a character quality and an animal is presented to depict this quality. For example, the first chapter is on Loyalty and features the Great Horned Owl. The animal's habitat, its habits and what not are discussed over the next few pages. The lesson ends with scripture that talks about the character quality being presented. The lessons are quite in depth. During my reading of how to use this book, the author talks about children being capable to think more deeply about spiritual matters then we give them credit for. This resonated with me. It has always been my stance that children can understand much earlier and at a deeper level then we believe them capable of. Therefore, I think it is vastly important to teach at an early age how to think well, how their minds, body and spirits interact. I see this book as being a great way to help this along! It is meant for the entire family to do together. We'll be starting in on it soon. If you are interested in taking a look at it, I ordered it through amazon - here I'm sure I will post about how we are doing with it from time to time on our blog! :)

This post can be linked back to Canadian Home Learning Book Sharing Monday.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ohhhh Motion Free Quilting

A quick post to say that I got my motion free quilting attachment yesterday! I am super excited to try it out. However, when I got it, I discovered that I have to have a darning plate to go over my feed dogs. I'll get that next week and then I can start practicing with it. :) I am currently working on a quilted bag for myself. I've quilted a fair number of items but nothing for myself yet. I'm taking my time with it, as I was hoping to do some motion free quilting on the bag. I have the bag part sewn but haven't got farther then that. And of course the bag is in reds (per my favorite colour!).

Friday, February 24, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Week 24

Despite some sniffles we had a great week! We did a lot of hands on in terms of lap books with the Astronomy Unit Study we are doing. The lap books for science are coming along quite nicely. I'll post them when we're finished up with them (or maybe I'll post the progression, if I have some time!). I find the afternoons are nice and relaxed when we lapbook/notebook; throw a little sketching in there for history and we have a lovely afternoon!

This week I taught the kiddos some journaling skills. A good friend of mine posted some journaling ideas on Pinterest. As I browsed through them I started to think about how my Dad had shown me one of my cousin's journals a few months ago. The journal was from the 1930's. I read through the entire notebook while I was up there. She talked about life on the farm, the weather, shopping, who was sick, chores they did etc. I began to think about how keeping a journal is a skill I would really like my children to learn and utilize in their lives. I determined to get them started on one this week. When I introduced what we were going to do I talked to them about my cousin's journal and all the information it contained. It was something I quite enjoyed reading because my Grandma's name came up often and I had never met her, her having died when my Dad was 10yrs old. The kids were fascinated as we talked. I explained that a journal is good for remembering events, writing down your thoughts and feelings, impressions etc. I also talked about how handwriting journals show our unique personalities, including our very own hand writing. I felt it was significant to talk to them about this, with the advance of computer journals, it is an art that I think is important not to loose. Besides, it's neat to keep them! My step Grandma wrote in journals and on papers and they were so fascinating as a Grandchild to read through! Imagine one of great grandchildren finding one and reading it. :) Once I got their 'buy in' we started in on them. There were some amazing examples on pinterest of different ways to journal. Here's the link: http://pinterest.com/cinthia/journalling/ They took it all in and I watched as they choose the ideas they liked. They added to them, or took away from them each with their own flare and personality manifesting itself. It ended up being a form of artistic expression combined with the written word. I did one along side of them as well, it was lots of fun! They used pencils, pencil crayons, bubbles, boxes, bubble letters, stamps, stickers, stencils, and lots of colours to communicate their thoughts and feelings. We just used plain notebooks for the journals; like the ones you would find in a dollar store. From this point on I will have them do it a few times a week, not every day (well unless they want to do it every day!). It really was the highlight of our week!

For pictures of our journals see my Wordless Wednesday Post.

*This Post is linked back to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap Up

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Six Steps of Narration

In our Homeschooling we use a variety of techniques to help an idea or theme 'stick'. I've found this approach to be more reflective of what they have learned or how they have related to the information presented to them. Narration is an important tool in our home. It is in keeping with a Charlotte Mason approach to Homeschooling. If you are interested in reading more about this approach see this web site: http://simplycharlottemason.com/basics/about/ . We use notebooks, story boards, sketch books, book discussion, drama, lapbooks and the like to help the children interact more fully with the information being taught to them. I had gone to a Charlotte Mason Education Meeting and one of the ladies there was so kind to give us each a book mark with the six steps of narration on it. She didn't mind us sharing for others also to benefit from! The list below will refer to a living book text. This simply means a book or text that is not abridged and is being read in it's entirety without alteration.

1. Teacher introduces the new text (new names, places, unfamiliar vocabulary)
2. Student recreation of the old text (last reading); child sets stage from what is already known.
3. Reading of the living book text.
4. Narration of the living book text.
5. Grand Conversation (children share their reactions and ask questions. THEIR reaction and THEIR questions...not ours)
6. Closing (point out any major point missed or ask a question to give student(s) something to ponder)

In closing:
Narration can take the form of oral retelling, written retelling, drama, sculpture (with playdough or lego), drawing an episode, recreating a scene (with blocks or playmobil), map work, diagramming a process or idea. This is not an exhaustive list.

My children naturally do this now. My daughter will often come and talk to me about what she is reading or studying. What she likes and dislikes about the literature she read, how the story made her feel, what she thinks about the theme/ideas presented, what characters she connected with, what she found fascinating about the historical event etc. My son will often dramatize what he has taken from some literature read, either with toys or by sketching. I find that taking this type of an approach to learning helps a child to develop critical thinking skills; an essential life skill!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

This post is a bit early but I wanted to make sure I knew how to load pictures on to my blog while my hubby was home to guide me. I will be doing posts on Wednesdays called: Wordless Wednesday. It will be a picture which may or may not be accompanied by a brief explanation. :) Wordless Wednesday for February 22nd. - Journals. :)

Focus on Missions

We have been focusing on some missionary stories for the last few weeks. The book we are currently reading through is called: "In Search of the Source". It's an amazing book about missionaries translating the Word of God for the Folopa people who live in the heart of Papua New Guinea. It's incredible to watch how God gives the missionary translators the right words as they translate the Bible to a people who are eager to have the gospel message in their own language.

In keeping with our focus on missions I will be putting a large world map on our dinning room table, along with the missionary cards from our church (the map and cards will be protected by heavy translucent plastic). We'll use this as a visual reminder to cover these missionaries in prayer, to teach about the places the missionaries serve and how it relates to the charge to go into the world and spread the gospel. I have also considered contacting the missionaries whose cards we have to ask them if they would mind sending us their missions updates and letters for prayer requests. That way the kids can become acquainted with missions on a more personal level. I'm looking forward to doing this with the kids. Once I have our map up and ready I'll post some pictures.