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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (Baroque)

Okay, so this term's already started for us, and since it's outta control with moving and all, this post will be like no other.  (Normally term 2 is Jan-Mar, ours will just be stretched out).  I'm just going to point out some of the links that I'm looking at.  Sorry, I don't have time to find all the music online as free downloads this time.  I have a bunch of CDs (thanks Mother and Daddy!) that are pretty much gonna cover for us this term.  I am SO happy that I planned this term so far ahead!!  Note that Vivaldi's Gloria is a Christmas-y song!  So get a head start by listening to that one now!  ;)  One somewhat completely unrelated thing I'd like to say is, that I LOVE THIS album that has *note* only ONE Vivaldi piece on it:

{LOVE, love, LOVE, love it.}

Here are the AO selections for this term 
(each song is linked, but I haven't listened to all the selections,
nor do I know if they are complete... the links are perfect for a little sampler):
2010-2011 TERM 2 Antonio Vivaldi (1730) (Baroque)
    Gloria (choral work);
    The Four Seasons (complete at wikipedia);
    Trio Sonata in C major, RV.82; (at youtube in parts; one, two and three)
    plus 3 concerti - maybe one for violin, one for guitar (for example: Trio Sonata in C Major, RV 82: III. Allegro)and one for a woodwind instrument such as oboe or bassoon.
We have this:

And would like to read this:
(if only we had a local library!!! perhaps you don't know how spoiled you really are?!)

{Comes with Teacher Guide, CD and bonus CD... }

We have planned to listen to:
Week 13-14: Gloria (choral work)
Week 14-15: The Four Seasons
Week 16-17: Trio Sonata in C major, RV.82

Week 18-19: Concert for woodwind     <-- we are here :)
Week 20-21: Concert for violin
Week 22-23: Concert for guitar

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another early Christmas gift! Don't miss it!

WOW. What better way to mark the first day of winter than with something EXTRA special!!
To see a complete lunar eclipse might be worth keeping our kids up late tonight even if this isn't something directly holiday related!  After all it is not every day you can see this! 

Visible from the US, Central America and parts of South America, I haven't figured out yet if we'll be able to see it from where we're at, but I'm certainly going to try!! 

I think I'll let my kids sleep though until I know for sure!  ;)

Helpful Links:

NASA's eclipse site
Griffith Observatory: Sky Report (download the image above from there)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Joy to the World! A Christmas Carol Songbook!

Hey there friends and merrymakers!
I hope you are all enjoying the days leading up to Christmas by basking in the Light of lights...

...only 7 more days!

I've compiled a little book that might be helpful (or just plain fun) with Christmas carols and other holiday songs in Spanish and English (with chords).  My budding musicians are aspiring to actually sing with AND play for the church with their fellow Sunday schoolers this year, so it became necessary to have a chord book with both languages (the chords have different names in Spanish too, sorry English chords only).  Plus, I wanted one!  Then I got to thinking I bet there are more people out there that might be looking for this very thing... and so, here you have it!  :)

{Right click here to save .pdf to your computer}

Oh, and it's formatted so that if you print it out booklet style (or whatever your computer calls it) the English/Spanish should be face to face so that the Spanish is on the left, English on the right when you have it open. ;)

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
and a Blessed New Year to you all!   

PS. I know it may be a teensy weensy bit late getting this posted, but hey! you'll be REALLY ready for next year!  and you can always make up for lost time by singing each song three times a day, at every meal, in both languages, in rounds and 4 part harmony... every day from now 'til Christmas!  ;)  Of course, why stop then?!  OKAY. alright. enough already...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To do or not to do... hands-on activities

My good friend Jimmie, in her post, not only shows how in many ways we agree, but has provoked an extremely lengthy response from me on the merits of hands-on projects, which I decided might make for a happy post all by itself and possible continuation of discussion here :)  or not.  Either way ;)

In her post, Jimmie quoted something I'd posted awhile ago in answer to this question:  "I guess my question is when you read the books do you have activities that you do or implement to go along with them or is reading enough?"  A few words to first give a little context; to quote myself… ;)
”Though it might seem crazy, a child doesn’t really need a lot of hands-on activities to learn things or make connections when reading living books!!”

Hands-on projects are not necessary to a child’s learning when they are reading living books, is the idea I’ve expressed here, and I have to say that I agree with myself  ;)

First, this implies the idea that the children are of living book reading age. :) Second, when I say hands-on projects, I'd like to define those as crafty activities that are usually planned ahead with the intention of reinforcing a concept being taught.  These can be fun, perhaps even helpful, but I still maintain they are most often unnecessary when using living books*.  What I'm not referring to is handicrafts (basket weaving, sewing, wood carving, etc. see below) which are an absolute delight to most children and especially those in our family.  :)

However, like Jimmie said and I’ve said elsewhere and Charlotte Mason says and so-and-so also says and… <grin>  It is ABSOLUTELY necessary for very young children to get their hands onto things to learn – especially when it comes to abstract ideas (like math). And I would venture to say not just abstract concepts like math, but in those early years it is vital to experience all things outdoors and there ought to be much opportunity for hands on play with *things* very much apart from books. (As an aside, CM actually says NOT to read too much to a very young child!)  BUT, as Jimmie has defined in another post, getting their hands onto things can be different than pre-planned ornate hands-on projects. I am all for the first, and less excited about the second. But that’s just me. :)

I require my kids do lots of things apart from reading books with their hands ;) that probably do not classify technically as ‘hands-on’ learning projects though they are all very hands on:
  • nature study
  • various art
  • sketching
  • handicrafts (wood carving, cookie deco, fimo clay, beginning sewing, etc)
  • learning an instrument
…and occasionally these things naturally connect with the things they’re learning about in their books.
But, most times the activity is completely independent of their book learning.

NOW. I think all those hands-on projects are great for the people and children who love them! Absolutely!
Especially when those hands-on projects can in someway benefit others (making gifts, repairing something, etc). And if they reinforce a concept being learned elsewhere, why not?!  Excellent.
I just don’t do it. But, I don’t prohibit it either… I just don’t specifically plan them into my children’s education.  (Except when grandparents visit, they are not only encouraged, but specifically required to do crafty things with my kids, heheh!)  That doesn't mean lots of hands-on activities don't occur quite spontaneously, that is what I LOVE!  When my kids come up with their own stuff!  That is completely and utterly satisfying.  :) 

I’m not saying that what we do is the way it should always be done, it’s just the way it works in our family (for many reasons: a non-crafty momma, multiple children, a strong CM focus, limited craft supplies available, etc., etc.). Families ought to find their happy medium in these areas and then feel confident they are doing their best… and STOP worrying! We cannot teach our children everything. They will continue their learning all throughout their lifetimes, just as WE teachers are still learning!

It’s part of the beauty of life. :)

PS.  Children with special learning needs are always the exception.  Their education must be tailor fit to them in SO many ways, and I know from friends who have this kind of exceptional kids that hands-on activities are often VERY helpful!

Friday, December 10, 2010

a moment.

I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless!--not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

from 'To a Butterfly' by William Wordsworth

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Plutarch Study - Alexander

"Using history as a mirror I try by whatever means I can to improve my own life and to model it by the standard of all that is best in those whose lives I write. As a result I feel as though I were conversing and indeed living with them; by means of history I receive each one of them in turn, welcome and entertain them as guests and consider their stature and their qualities and select from their actions the most authoritative and the best with a view to getting to know them. What greater pleasure could one enjoy than this or what more efficacious in improving one’s own character?"
~ Plutarch

So, we carry on in our study Plutarch... last term was Caesar, which was fun as it coincided on the AO schedule with our reading of Shakespeare's Caesar AND the boys have just come to Y6 in which they began reading Augustus Caesar's World. YAY! ...for making LOTS of connections! :)

This term Plutarch's life of Alexander is scheduled. Which we are REALLY enjoying. As we're piling up several terms of Plutarch studied now, we've been excited to discover several connections between famous men of the ancient world. This time as we were reading along, the boys' ears both pricked up as they heard the name of one of the generals opposing Alexander... (you'll have to read it to find out who! ;) He was just mentioned at first in passing (later in more detail), but the mere mention of his name sparked an afternoon flurry of research! Yippee!

Now, in general with Plutarch, we've kind of just taken it as another reading. I like to encourage meaningful discussion if it comes up, but mostly I'm hoping that a lot of the lessons will sink in naturally. ;) I haven't been lucky enough to coincide our study of Plutarch with a term when one of Anne's study guides was available. I like how she puts in a few new vocabulary words to watch out for, a tiny bit of background info, etc. I really like her guides. I really would like to use them. :) So, obviously, I can't wait 'til we get to a life that we can use one her studies for!!!

In the meantime, we are studying Alexander, and alas there is no study for Alexander... so, in my zeal of trying to implement our studies of Plutarch for the purpose intended (*see quote above) - encouragement of citizenship and character training... and not having the time nor skill to do what Anne's done, I've made a character sketch printable for Alexander. Keep in mind, this is intended for Plutarch beginners! I made it to help to get my student's thinking about why we're studying these ancient guys. It isn't a worksheet to be graded. Matter of fact, I gave a copy to each of my boys at the start of the term, and they are free to fill out or not fill out whichever things strike their fancy, as they go. I'm hoping this will help them keep their head wrapped around the man as the 12 week term progresses... especially as we'll have kind of an interrupted term this time around.

Download the Alexander Printable HERE.

Helpful Links:
Ambleside Online Plutarch Rotation
Why Read Plutarch?, article by George Grant
"Plutarch's Lives" as Affording Some Education as a Citizen, A Parent's Review Article, by Miss M. Ambler.
How We Study Plutarch, by lindafay - She lists some great practical ideas...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

CM blog carnival... are you prepared?

"Be prepared, be prepared, this lesson must be shared..."

The Charlotte Mason blog carnival will take place in less than 4 days... do you have your post up and linked?! ;) I almost always forget, so I thought maybe some of you'd like a friendly little reminder...

Submit your article HERE.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Narration... in Spanish or French, hard?!

There's been some talk over on the AOlist about how to incorporate narration into a child's foreign language learning experience.  Sometimes this seems like an impossibly enormous leap to make, especially if we as parents are not fluent in the language being studied!

Though not necessarily easy, I think it is quite possible... especially when taken little by little.  Narration skills are definitely invaluable for learning language!

My children have spent a good amount of time in Peru, where Spanish is the main language spoken.  However, as we homeschool, they have had much less of an opportunity to master the language, as they undoubtedly would have had, had they been completely immersed as Micah and I were in the beginning.  Did you know that you can live in a foreign country and NOT be immersed?  Well, it's possible. :S This just means that we have to work at Spanish with our kids just like the average Joe even though we both speak Spanish and we live in a Spanish speaking country... who'd a thought?!

No matter where you live, or what languages you already speak, learning a new one requires work.  You can't expect to just pick it up by listening to CDs or even hanging out with native speakers.  Effort is required to learn it well.  And the complicated thing about it is, at first there are so MANY aspects to learning it well!  Pronunciation, verb conjugations, masculine and feminine articles, reversed sentence structure, etc, etc.  On the other hand, the encouraging thing is, just as we continue to learn and polish our mother tongue, English, we remember that we will never stop learning our second and third languages as well.  So, we can throw the expectation for perfection right out the window.  We must be diligent and do our very best, we aspire to be effective communicators, we strive for excellence, but we can let go of that elusive perfection... ahhhh.  yes.  now, that's better, isn't it?  :)

So, learning a new language is something that's somewhat complicated seeing as there are so many things to learn seemingly all at once.  However, we don't really have to be overwhelmed by it!  We just slowly and regularly get into the habit of exposing ourselves and our children to the language, little by little.  We hear it spoken, we look at it written, we listen to CDs, we watch DVDs (using the language option), and eventually we actually study it!  We build on the things that we already know, new lights come on; and, it can be really fun!  :)

So, narration.

For those of us implementing a Charlotte Mason education using narration as a key ingredient, this idea may seem really difficult.  After all, many of our children have struggled with narration in English!  ;)  But, narration doesn't have to be difficult or dreaded.  It's kind of a natural thing!  ;)  Remember, narration is retelling what we've just heard.

Here's what Charlotte says:
"Children in Form IIB have easy French Lessons with pictures which they describe, but in IIA while still engaged on the Primary French Course children begin to use the method which is as full of promise in the teaching of languages as in English, that is, they are expected to narrate the sentence or paragraph which has been read to them. Young children find little difficulty in using French vocables, but at this stage the teacher should with the children's help translate the little passage which is to be narrated, then re-read it in French and require the children to narrate it. This they do after a time surprisingly well, and the act of narrating gives them some command of French phrases as far as they go, much more so than if they learnt the little passage off by heart. They learn French songs in both divisions and act French Fables (by Violet Partington) in Form IIA. This method of closely attentive reading of the text followed by narration is continued in each of the Forms. Thus Form II is required to "Describe in French, picture 20." "Narrate the story Esope et le Voyageur." Part of the term's work in Form III is to "Read and narrate Nouveaux Contes Français, by Marc Ceppi." Form IV is required amongst other things to "Read and narrate Moliere's Les Femmes Savantes." Forms V and VI are required to "Write a résume' of Le Misanthrope or L'Avare," "Translate into French, Modern Verse, page 50, 'Leisure.'" vol 6 pg 212
So, using the words made available to them the youngest were to narrate a picture.  Hmmmm.  That sounds easy enough.  Let's take this one for an example:

First, I talk about the picture, this gives them vocabulary that they may or may not have known, setting it out, as it were, on a shelf, giving them words to work with and to choose from.  "En este dibujo hay un payaso sentado en una banquita azul.  Está tocando su flauta... ¿cuál canción está tocando? ¿puedes adivinar? Su cabello es muy crespo y tiene muchos colores. ¡Aha! ¡Hay un pajarito escondiéndose en su cabello! Tiene nariz roja y redonda como muchos de los payasos tienen. Parece que el gato verde con puntitos rojos está escuchado a la música..." 
["In this picture there's a clown seated on a little blue stool.  He's playing his flute... which song do you think he's playing?   His hair is really colorful and curly.  Hey!  There's a little bird hiding in his hair!  He has a red nose, like most clowns.  It seems as if the spotted green cat is listening to the music..."]

Possible narrations:
Mya (3yo) pointing,
"¡Un payaso!" [a clown!]
"¡Un gato verde!" [a green cat!]

Siah (6yo)

Bria (7yo)

Cull (11yo),
"Hay un payaso tocando una flauta con pelo crespo de muchos colores.  Hay un pajarito escondiéndose en su pelo, un gato verde con puntitas rojas escuchando y un sapito sentado en sus pies."
[A clown with colorful curly hair playing a flute. There's a little bird hiding in his hair, a green cat with red spots listening and a little frog sitting on his feet.]
For parents who are just learning themselves, the description will be much simpler.  "Un payaso con una nariz roja" [A clown with a red nose].  Or if you're lucky enough to get your hands on some Spanish picture books, you may just be reading from whatever is written in the book, in which case, having already looked up unfamiliar words, you'll want to concentrate on your pronunciation and intonation of voice.  ;)  It's not as hard as it might seem, after a while.  ;)  really. 

Later (for older students, or in our case, more advanced learners), the children were to narrate a story.  This could go sentence by sentence if necessary, but I'm thinking that if you are advanced enough in the language to be able to read the story and your child understands anything about what you've read, then perhaps they'd be able to handle a paragraph at a time, using simple language.  Admittedly, it takes some time to advance to the point where they'll be able to understand an entire story (even an entire paragraph).  But, CM explains that the child isn't expected to understand ALL the words PERFECTLY before beginning narration.  "Young children find little difficulty in using French vocables, but at this stage the teacher should with the children's help translate the little passage which is to be narrated [into English], then re-read it in French and require the children to narrate it."  So, let's take this section for example:

"Pablo escribió a los cristianos de Galacia sobre cómo debían adorar a Dios.
Ustedes son hijos de Dios por la fe. No hay diferencia entre el creyente judío y el creyente gentil; entre el creyente que es esclavo y el creyente que es libre; entre el hombre creyente y la mujer creyente. Una vez que se convierten en cristianos, ustedes son iguales. Todos son descendientes de Abraham y recibirán todas las bendiciones que Dios le prometió a él. Dios les ha dado el Espíritu Santo como prueba de eso, el Espíritu que clama a Dios y sabe que él es su Padre amoroso."  ~ La Biblia en Un Año para niños, Rhonda Davies

Possible narrations:
Siah (6yo),
"Pablo predicó a los cristianos."
(Basically, at this stage, the beginner might just pick a phrase, remember it, repeat it to himself and then tell back that phrase... that´s okay to start with... he´s still learning to narrate!)

Bria (7yo),
"Pablo ha dicho a las personas de Galacia que Jesus les ama y que él que era cristiano, no hay diferentes, todos eran iguales.
[Pablo has said to the people in Galatia that Jesus loves them and that he who was a christian, there aren't any diferences, everyone was equal.  *I don't usually make them aware that I'm making corrections, I just often quietly repeat what they've said (as if acknowledging what they've said) except using the correct verb conjugation while their giving their narration.]

CM mentions that the teacher and child work together to translate the passage to English.  This helps with comprehension of new vocabulary at the same time concreting known vocabulary.  The teacher then re-reads the passage in French (or other language), before the child is expected to narrate.

So, starting at the very beginning (it's a very good place to start!), we can lessen our expectations.  Narration is really just retelling.  So, if we have a very small vocabulary and we describe a picture with a very few words, then our children will narrate with a very few words... and that's perfectly fine for starting!  We build on that, and they build too... learning, learning.  Always learning.  :)

Helpful Links:

My favorites picture books online in Spanish:
El Globo de Maria (SUPER EASY!  nice illustrations)
El Caballito de Palo (Short and sweet.  colorful illustrations, the clown above is from this story.)
The Royal Raven (in English, Spanish and Dutch! based on an Aesop's Fable, features a witch - please preview)

by Peruvian authors:  (The last several are rather twaddle-ish... ;)
La Nube Rosa
La espada magica del Don Rodrigo
En las punas
El Amaru
El Condor

La Llamita Coja

For older children (w/ more advanced language skill):
Palma for children (biography of a famous Peruvian poet from the 1800s)

Others available in English, Spanish and French:
Que Desastre!
The Story of the Three Little Pigs
I Wouldn't Tell a Lie
Gol de Federico!
Waldo, One, Two, Three! (EASY!)
Denslow's Humpty Dumpty
Denslow's Three Bears

French songs:
Vieilles Chansons (Old songs and ballads for children)

Some really great books for first reading/narration experiences (available in many languages)...
These are really great! There is no story, there is just a big picture in the center of the page, and all around the edges are images focusing on smaller parts of the bigger picture with the word in Spanish (or French, as the case may be). This makes it easy for speakers at different levels to talk about the picture... It could be as simple as, "Mira, hay una abeja!" or as advanced and eloquent as your vocabulary allows. ;)

Use these links, and I earn a commission! :) thank you.

Please feel free to add your thoughts and language experiences in the comments.  
What you share will help us all!  ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

little bloggers.

So, I've been away awhile. But I've not been far... just a click away, here at my kids' new blog!

You'll definitely want to take a peek!

They've both posted about their recent jungle river trip with their dad, and there are quite a few pictures with a Peruvian flavor courtesy of Oma :)

I've been so busy with holidays and entertaining guests and visiting tourist attractions that I completely forgot to even mention it here... until now!

So please feel free to pop over and leave them a comment, they'd be THRILLED! ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

reflections on a Charlotte Mason education.

"What are your favorite aspects of AO? Why did you choose to use that as your primary curricula?"

Basically, here's the thing with Charlotte Mason/AO...
The idea is that the child is born a natural learner.  And that all the while he's living (if we don't give him reason not to) he'll delight in learning from nature, observing things around him, picking up ideas from the stories he's told and the experiences he's having and making connections between them all... that the child naturally remembers the things that interest him.  As something interests him and he begins to form a relationship with that area (with birds for instance), he'll naturally notice them in the backyard, and then identify personally with them in Burgess Bird book and file this information away for the next encounter he might have for example at a family outing to the aviary or park to feed the ducks and notice the differences between water birds and the birds he sees at the birdfeeder...etc. etc.  We can gently capitalize on these moments and help them by giving them small tidbits, more food for thought, or provide them with more experiences that add to the whole compost of ideas that's churning inside them.  These kinds of relationships are what real living education is made of... it really has no pin-point-able beginning or end - well, excepting birth and death; even then there's heaven. Who knows if we'll ever stop learning!...    :)

I think the thing that attracted me at first to Ambleside Online was the fact that a lot of the resources were available online.  Second was CM's emphasis on the natural beauty of learning itself.  That we don't have to be taught to enjoy learning... only encouraged to keep on loving it...  (with modern methods, sometimes it seems virtually impossible to maintain interest! at least that's what happened in my case and a good many others I know of!  ;)

As I began AO/CM, the thing that secured my interest was how it all flows together.  How we can and ought to integrate a lot of areas of education, that education is a life, and atmosphere in itself... I realized how important it is to give the gift of culture, the arts, living history to my kids so that they can be whole, diverse and interesting people!  :)  AO/CM encouraged everything I ideally wanted to incorporate even though initially I didn't know how to do it.  So, I dove in, learning as I went (I'm still learning!).  I fell more and more in love with 'education as a life' philosophy as I too was being enticed by all the knowledge that somehow I'd looked on as 'boring' and left by the wayside during my earlier education years.

As I've continued on with AO/CM, I've been amazed at how much my kids know!  Reading living books, narrating them back, being exposed to the arts, and nature study (observation, attention, etc), it is SERIOUSLY amazing how natural and enticing a living education really can be!  My kids really enjoy learning, and they retain a TON!  They still remember books/lessons/poetry/art from 5 years ago!  It really is shocking.  :)

"I guess my question is when you read the books do you have activities that you do or implement to go along with them or is reading enough?"

Though it might seem crazy, a child doesn't really need a lot of hands-on activities to learn things or make connections when reading living books!!  :)  A drawing, an acting out, a couple of sentences written/dictated about what he's read (all actually forms of narration, retelling), in whatever way is particularly interesting to your child... all of these things are good.  Basically, the only thing required is the child in some way retell what he's just heard.  When the material is interesting, the kids amazingly remember.  :)

So, please do share with us...
What is YOUR favorite aspect of a CM education?

Would you consider posting and sharing your thoughts about this?
If you do post, please do link up below! ;)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

oh my good golly... nominated?

Oh my good golly..

I was just over at the HSBApost where the Annual Homeschool blog awards happen.  I was perusing the different categories, eying my favorite blogs...  and voting... and my heart's beating fast...  and my thoughts are racing... and...

(there, I said it again.)

I've been nominated!


Now, I'm not going to ask you to vote for me (though you can if you honestly think I deserve it) because there are a number of really great blogs on the list!  Of course you could vote for one of my friends' blogs and ask one of your kids to vote for mine!  ahahahahahah!  If I asked for your vote, I would feel like I were asking you to NOT vote for some of my very favorite blogs!!  ;)    For instance.  Some of my long time friends are nominated too!

Jimmie @ Jimmie's Collage, who I've known since the good ol' days at HSB
Jeanne @ A Peaceful Day
Mama Squirrel @ Dewey's Treehouse
Amy, Marshie and all the rest of the delightful people @ Heart of the Matter

And of course a good number of newer friends have been nominated too...

{Make sure to click on the blog's link before you click the dot to vote 
because after you vote the list vanishes 
** UPDATE: Here is a list of all this year's nominees.}

So.  I just can't believe it.  Seriously.  And all I want to say is, thank you to YOU my friends who read this blog and think it useful.  :)  I want you to know how nicely and warmly that makes me feel.  :)

there.  I'm done.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Artist Study: Caravaggio

Some thoughts about Caravaggio...

The way he portrays light is awesome.  In art terms it's called chiaroscuro.  Everything appears to be in shadows, and he portrays bright light to accentuate the part of the painting that he wants to highlight.  I REALLY like this.  However, he has some rather morbid themes and graphic portrayals of death in several of his paintings and some nudity as well (so be careful when browsing online galleries).  I think these themes and even his dark paintings actually demonstrate his somewhat violent temperament.  Click here to read a kid-friendly biography, and another biography here.
"Caravaggio had a noteworthy ability to express in one scene of unsurpassed vividness the passing of a crucial moment."  ~Wikipedia: Caravaggio

Read about Caravaggio in recent times! 
Here's an article about a stolen and then damaged work of art that was purportedly of Caravaggio.
Read here about one of Caravaggio's works that was found after having been lost for 200 years!

Caravaggio's paintings are in the Baroque style.  Here's how National Arts Center (Canada) explain Baroque:
"Baroque art emerged in Europe around 1600 as a reaction against the intricacies of the Mannerist style that had dominated the Late Renaissance. Baroque art was more direct, more realistic and certainly more emotionally intense than Mannerism. The word “baroque” is derived from the Portuguese and Spanish barroco or French baroque, both referring to a rough or imperfect pearl. This movement was characterized by drama and grandeur."
Did you know that Baroque is a label not only for art, but for music as well?  Want some ideas how to integrate studies of both Baroque music and art?  Click here.

Here are some comparisons between two VERY famous Baroque period artists:

Art Lesson Plans and Activities using Chiaroscuro:

Chiaroscuro Portrait Lesson
Mosaic and Chiaroscuro
The Power of Light and Dark
Mr. Potato Head's a Lesson in Chiaroscuro

See the use of chiaroscuro in photography here! (PDF)

Here's a free printable - a (PDF) booklet with the
AO selections as well as a few extras we'll be looking at this term. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

in a nature study quandary

So, one day, imagine you find a nest of 6 baby rats in your yard. What on earth are you to do with the things? They're too cute and helpless to kill, and yet, you don't really want your entire yard crawling with the things until they reach adolescence so that you can dispose of them with a clean conscience... 

I mean, after all, they are definitely no federal laws protecting these vermin like over at Jeanne's place.

[read here to find out the rest of the story]

We had a lot of fun studying the cutesy little things while they were still cute.

We even read about Robber the Rat in Burgess Animal Book this week. 


So what would you have done?  

First Reading Lessons in earnest

Because as Charlotte Mason says, reading is neither an art nor a science, there are not steps set in stone to do in any particular order, and no fixed starting point. A child who has been learning to recognize letters and their sounds and building basic words, has been learning to read. But we can't always put a finger on the exact point when he has officially learned to read. It's a process and it's a little bit like magic... :) and it can be beautifully relaxed and fun!

We've had a lot of fun this time around with my youngest son learning to read. Even though his reading level is quickly advancing, so much so that he's halfway through Now We Are Six on his own, we are still carrying on with reading lessons.  Some might call them phonics lessons, word-building, or spelling lessons - we bundle them all together and call them all Reading Lessons (because it's all so interwoven).

In this post, I'm going to outline some of the ideas that Charlotte talks about, and show how we've done them.

Prerequisites to Reading Lessons:

With our most recent batch of readers, the following pattern has surfaced.
  • Play with letters/words - relaxed (child learns many letters by form & sound, some easy words by sight)
  • Learn single letter phonograms (age5/6) (child learns all sounds each letter makes by itself, some easy words by sight)
  • Practice blending building letters and words (child learns that sounds put together make familiar words, list of known words increases)
  • Introduce multi-letter phonograms (child begins to memorize through games, the sounds of the phonograms that have more than one letter, ck, ch, oi, oy, ea, ee, etc)
  • Start Reading Lessons...(whenever fully interested and ready, or around age 6/7)
Read a comprehensive list of skills helpful in reading readiness here.

Ideas for Reading Lessons:

For these lessons you will probably want to do a couple of things ahead of time:
  • Print 2 copies of either of the following: Jesus Loves The Little Children or Jesus Loves Me
  • (choose the song most familiar... if unfamiliar spend a week learning the song before beginning)
  • Cut out 3 sets of the words.  (leave one set intact for later)
  • Spread the words from the first page only (the first two lines of the song) out in a shoebox or cake pan.
  • Store each poem it it's own ziploc bag.

The following lesson ideas could be broken into more than one session depending on the level of readiness of your child.  He/she may be able to handle the whole lesson in one gulp, but you don't want the lesson to go much over 15 minutes.

Idea #1:

1) Using a dry erase board (or chalk board or markers on paper), write a word from the song (in random order), 2) say the word aloud as you write it, the child looks carefully and repeats, 3) from his cut outs, the child finds all the copies of the word.  
Do the same with all the words:

Jesus   children  loves  world  little  the  all

(*hint: try to keep the song a secret until the end... 
that way the child gets all the satisfaction from the discovery himself!)
4) from the board, child reads all the words as you point to them starting from the bottom of the list... words are still in random order.  5) child arranges his cut-up words in the same order as that on the white board.  6) child randomly rearranges the words in his own way reading them aloud.  7) Finally, dictate the song to the child and have them find the words as you go.  8) From the uncut copy, let the child read from the page.  He/she will be delighted that she can now read all the words in the whole song!  Review for the next day: 9) Have the child hunt for each word from the pile of cut up words. *optional: 10) if your child is ready for writing, have them write the word from memory. 

Idea #2: (using a different song/poem) 1) Read/sing the first half of the song out loud, sweetly and with good intonation of voice.  2) Point to the words as you say them aloud. 3) When the child can see the words as it were without looking (in his mind's eye), and repeat the words without prompting even when taken in random order, let him read the lines with clear enunciation and expression. Review for the next day: 4) Have the child hunt for the words in turn from a page of clear type (perhaps the book from which the poem/song was taken?)  5) Using his letters, have the child build each word in turn from memory.
Idea #3: From a book, pointing to words you know your child has mastered, point to words and have them read them out loud.  
Idea #4: Word building.  Using the phonogram sheet (available here), have the child build words learned in previous lessons.
Idea #5: Make your own lesson!  With these same ideas, use a poem or song already familiar to the child.  Here are a few more printable lessons I made.  The poems were chosen for the words themselves as well as interest level for kids this age...

By the end of these lessons the child will practically have the song/poem by heart, and the lesson can double as a recitation!

Helpful Links:
Download & print, First Reading Lessons in its entirety taken from CM's Volume One, here.
Parent's Review article, First Reading Lessons, by Miss E. Armitage
Parent's Review article, An Essay on the Teaching of Reading, by F.B. Lott
Parent's Review article, First Reading Lesson, by Charlotte Mason (the same as in volume one)
Some of my friend's who've blogged their CM reading lessons -
Phyllis at All Things Beautiful - here and here.
Richele at Barefoot Voyage - here.
Kathy at Piney Woods Homeschool - here.

More posts in this series:
Our Story... I'm a failure. {part one}
Our Story... Struggle no more. {part two}
Our Story... Just relax! {part three}
Learning to Read - The Scary Myth {part four}
The Two Keys to Teaching Reading {part five}
Playing a Foundation to Build on.
First Reading Lessons in Earnest.  << -- You are here. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Folksong: Tall Men Riding

When I was little, I would've liked nothing better than to be a cowboy when I grew up!
(mind you, a cowboy - I had no desire to be a cowgirl! wimpy I remember thinking! ;)

I grew up in Oregon, you know, the end of the Oregon Trail... and though in those days everyone had recently left off taking the covered wagons to go to the grocery store, of course as kids we were still naturally quite taken with stories of the wild west in which we lived. (In high school, I met a girl from SC who asked me, in all seriousness, if everyone still rode horses... uh... yeah)  I always mourned that I wasn't born as Laura Ingalls' neighbor or Ralph Moody's playmate... though I probably would not have delighted in being a mother in those days.  Serious work! 

Around the age of 8 or 9 my best friend cousin and I, who were completely infatuated with horses, would spend hours pretending to be horses as we galloped through the forest around our family's cabin every summer, and looking out the window on long trips we would imagine us atop our swift mounts running on the shoulder along side of the car ...glorious days those. If I hadn't grown up in the city, I'm pretty sure I WOULD have been a cowboy (with long braided hair of course)!

My kids know NOTHING of the wild west experience, having grown up here in Peru, excepting our handful of stateside rodeo experiences...  which by the way are SO fun!  I love going to relish in the life that might have been mine... ;)

Regardless, this video might make you a little sad for bygone days too, but it's worth it! :)

Helpful Links for this term's Folksong:

More Cowboy poetry by S.Omar Barker (author of Tall Men Riding)
Midi, lyrics and history
Downloadable Lyrics (PDF)
Sheet music and lyrics
A video of a guy playing the tune on a banjo!  cool.
Guitar Chords for a different song to a similar tune (see below)
Alternate Chords with video [Tramps And Hawkers (Irish song)]

Helpful Links for Folksong Study

Folksong and Hymn Study
Buy Homestead Picker CDs (pretty much all AO Folksong Folksong selections are on these 2 discs... super convenient!)

Other Folksong Posts:

Waltzing Matilda
Farewell to Nova Scotia
Land of the Silver Birch
Follow the Drinking Gourd

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I've linked over here today...

I'll be back to my regular scheduled programming posting... soon. :)

We've been working on a little intrinsic motivation around here. ;)


Friday, October 29, 2010

Teaching Reading: Playing a Foundation to Build On

This wooden magnetic set is my dream... I think it is SO cool... 
though I might play with it more than my kids would :)  
It would serve for letter building and it is AWESOME ( well as expensive!).

Learning Letters:
“Let the child alone, and he will learn the alphabet for himself: but few mothers can resist the pleasure of teaching it; and there is no reason why they should, for this kind of learning is no more than play to the child, and if the alphabet be taught to the little student, his appreciation of both form and sound will be cultivated.”

“When should he begin? Whenever his box of letters begins to interest him. But he must not be urged, required to show off, teased to find letters when his heart is set on other play.”

So. First of all, from an early age, the children must have letters! And those letters must be childproof and durable enough to endure many hours of being wrangled and mangled and even sucked on, because, if he can't play with them, how will the child take interest?  Providing his letters ARE inviting, we may take advantage of his interest in them and point out how each one has a different interesting sound, sounding them for him and tempting him to repeat the sound. This activity can be enjoyed from the earliest ages (CM mentions the infant of 2 years old) or as the child takes interest.
The baby of two will often be able to name half a dozen letters; and there is nothing against it so long as the finding and naming of letters is a game to him. But he must not be urged, required to show off, teased to find letters when his heart is set on other play.

There are a multitude of ideas you can use to teach letter sounds. It is best to specifically teach the letter sounds, with the focus not on the letter name. I recommend teaching not only the basic 26 letter sounds, but the 70 basic phonograms used by Spell, to Write and Read (begin with the 26, adding the multi-letter phonograms later on). Learning all of the sounds and combinations, it is sure to make things easier in the long run, and will bring your child to the point of being able to read almost any reader once he decides (or you decide) to begin.

As for his letters, the child usually teaches himself. He has his box of ivory letters and picks out p for pudding, b for blackbird, h for horse, big and little, and knows them both.

Until the age of 5 years old (CM recommends 6), all lessons should be completely relaxed and playfully informal. Imaginative play, outdoor play, hearing stories, nature walks, memorization (by repetition) of simple poems, hearing another language spoken, etc, will prove more than enough to fill a child's days without formal lessons.

Yes, it astounded all of us that Obama should be the first word she ever spelled. (?)

At around 4 and a half – 5 years old, depending on the child, we may decide to start introducing games for concreting her knowledge of the phonograms (single-letter sounds and later multi-letter combinations). A variety of 10 minute activities may be introduced without the child having chosen them on her own.

I want to strongly emphasize, that this kind of letter play does NOT have to be anything fancy. It doesn't have to involve printables or flashy activities. For instance, we didn't use anything but refrigerator magnets, a foam alphabet set for in the bath, a salt box and letter cards with Bria and Josiah both. And they were perfectly happy! As 3rd and 4th children, they didn't get as extravagant of manipulatives... heheh. I just didn't have time, but I don't think they felt even the least bit slighted, they had no idea! But for those of you with only children or children fairly spaced in age, who have a time to be more creative, by all means! Have a little fun with it. But, keep it simple both for your sake and theirs. :)
(please, I beg of you on behalf of your child, please don't introduce any worksheets until he is around 6 years of age when he will begin writing his letters! if he begs for worksheets - urge him outside! ;)

{a VERY important key to all learning}
“But the learning of the alphabet should be made a means of cultivating the child's observation: he should be made to see what he looks at.”

This is pretty much true of every aspect of a Charlotte Mason education. It is obvious in the areas such as nature study, copywork, and we even see traces of it narration! Naturally then, it also holds true that a child must learn his letters by careful observation. The child should be taught from this early stage to really see the letters. I often use verbal prompts to encourage observation when teaching the letter sounds, “Oh, yes, that's the curvy one /S/,/Z/ that looks like a snake and sounds like one too...” or “See this one is shaped like a /H/- horse! See his tall straight neck and humped back? Where do you think we'd put the saddle?”  (letters marked inside slash marks like this /K/ indicate where I would say the letter sound.)

(though not necessarily in this order)

Air, salt or sand letters.

“Make big B in the air, and let him name it; then let him make round O, and crooked S, and T for Tommy, and you name the letters as the little finger forms them with unsteady strokes in the air.

To make the small letters thus from memory is a work of more art, and requires more careful observation on the child's part. A tray of sand is useful at this stage. The child draws his finger boldly through the sand, and then puts a back to his D; and behold, his first essay in making a straight line and a curve.”

My kids LOVE doing this when they get to the stage of learning to write their letters (around 6 or 7). Another way to do the same thing is to use a salt (or rice or sand) box. Make a shallow pan and fill it enough to cover the bottom. The child can use his finger to “write” the letters. We also use a similar idea when they are learning to write. I like to call it full body cursive!  Using our large motor skills, with an arm outstretched, finger pointed, we trace the letters in the air.  I posted a video of one of our lessons here. Another similar idea is using sandpaper letters that they can trace over with their fingers. I used glitter glue on index cards, see my example here.  Another letter tracing idea I've used is with a Magnadoodle.  I write a huge letter with marker on a piece of construction paper which fits nicely on the 'screen' of a magnadoodle.  The child traces over the written letter, and then lifts the paper to see his letter magically written beneath on the magnadoodle. See an example here.

Find the letter.

This is a GREAT activity for quiet time (or during church!). Pretty much any page with words will do, but sometimes it's better with a slightly large or colorful type. It can go something like this, “This is an, /a/ /A/ /ah/... can you say it? Can you find a Mommy (capital) /a/,/A/,/ah/? Can you find a baby one?”, etc.
There is no occasion to hurry the child: let him learn one form at a time, and know it so well that he can pick out the d's, say, big and little, in a page of large print.

Use this same idea of find the letter with paper letters or refrigerator magnets as well... :) "Bring me the /H/ that looks like a horse." Or, "Can you find the red /B/ that has two big bumps?", etc.

“But the devices for making the learning of the 'A B C' interesting are endless.”

Helpful links:

Some of us are VERY creative and the idea of a resource for ideas to teach letter sounds may sound rather ludicrous. There are others of us who for sake of time or lack of innovation can't seem to come up with anything at all. For those of us who need a little help and more ideas than we EVER could use, here are a couple of links:

*(please keep in mind that you only need a FEW fun ideas to use... don't get out of control! Use in moderation! ;) You don't want your child's whole focus to be the alphabet, it is just a PART of a full living CM education in these early years :)

This is a free online curriculum with innumerable ideas for teaching letters here.
Erica has a TON of printable manipulatives and some really cool ideas on her site (for free), or you can get them all as a download for $10 here (for a sample of her ideas see her post on the letter B, here)

[All CM quotes are in italics and are taken from Volume One, pages 202-204]


Print on your child's favorite colored paper,
cut out and use with learning letter sounds as well as for word-building 
(which we'll cover in the next post).  

(right click and 'save as' to your computer).

Here are some cool alphabet sets for learning letters

More posts in this series:

Our Story... I'm a failure. {part one}
Our Story... Struggle no more. {part two}
Our Story... Just relax! {part three}
Learning to Read - The Scary Myth {part four}
The Two Keys to Teaching Reading {part five}
Playing a Foundation to Build on.  << -- You are here. :)
First Reading Lessons in Earnest.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Outdoor Hour Challenge #2: Geese... (or not)

While we actually do have geese and ducks plentiful enough around here as some rather scrubby occupants of our neighbors' earth-floored yards, I would so rather have them look at geese and ducks in a more pleasant light as we might see them in the US.  So, I chose that we would do a comparison of the two birds that call our own backyard their home.

We only had about an hour to do this study, so though I would have liked to spend more time, and the kids could have gone on much longer, we did this whole activity rather quickly. It was probably for the best.

First, we went outside and had a very careful look at the parrot. It is hard sometimes to really look at something you see so often. You have to REALLY look to see past it's commonality. Armed with our nature notebooks, we all did a sketch (which if you're going to draw something, you have to really look at it, by the way). This quiet concentration time facilitated conversation about the pigeon who was on hand nearby. :) When inside, we went ahead and drew a venn diagram up to compare the two. The older two boys did their own, while Bria and I worked on ours on the white board and she copied down what we had written there.

Here are our results:

I'm linking up with Barb and the Autumn Outdoor Hour Challenge series posts! Thanks, Barb! :)

If you have an entry you'd like included in the blog carnival, read here for more information. The deadline is: October 31st

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teaching Reading {part five}: The Two Keys

So, I present to you, without further ado...

The Two Main Keys to Teaching Reading

Make them want it.  

Each child is different and so the key to their motivation will look different for each one.  But whether it's a book they're just dying to read, or the reward* of a personal pan pizza, or they want to be like their big brother, or they want to learn about planets... whatever it is, let them know that their goal (of learning to read) is within their reach!  Gently taunt them with it.  Make them want it!  Once they want it, you show them the tools.  Oh, and when they want it bad, they're willing to work on it (as long as it's still fun of course! :) I seriously think that's all there is to it! 
*(I do not intend to promote the use of a reward-system - as CM definitely was careful in offering *rewards* - but encouragement as you see them making an effort and wanting to learn.  When you notice a developing desire to read... actively nurture it!  I'm not suggesting that the reward be dangled in front of them, but actually the desire itself -  carefully, appealingly remind them that if they work at it, they CAN accomplish goals set before them!  We personally didn't use the personal pan pizza idea - how could we here in Peru? ;) but I know many parents who do.)

Charlotte calls it,
“...the joyous interest which is the real secret of success.”

(...while the tools are pretty much the same for each child, apart from physical issues, some may need extra practice in one or more skill areas than others...)


Use interesting material.

I don't know about you, but this seems completely natural to me. Who on earth would love reading if all we had to read was dull, meaningless unrelated words. For example, imagine our first reading experience if we were given a whole page from the stocks section from NY times, full from top to bottom with letters and symbols like these:

TSX Comp.

Or how about this juicy bit:

...improve the operational performance and the strategic direction for scaling up delivery of mix of anti-malaria interventions in order to reduce malaria morbidity and mortality and overall transmission.

I'd be done. It has ZERO context for me... I would despise being forced to learn to read with that! It is beside the point that the first selection contains a minimum of real words!  Well, I imagine that your children are like mine in this... and not much different from us! We secure their interest and they will delight in learning to read when we present material that has beauty, meaning and context for them!

“The child cares for things, not words; his analytic power is very small, his observing faculty is exceedingly quick and keen; nothing is too small for him; he will spy out the eye of a fly; nothing is too intricate, he delights in puzzles. But the thing he learns to know by looking at it, is a thing which interests him. Here we have the key to reading. No meaningless combinations of letters, no cla, cle, cli, clo, clu... should be presented to him. The child should be taught from the first to regard the printed word as he already regards the spoken word, as the symbol of fact or idea of full of interest.” [p217]

“That's just it. Interest the child in the thing, and he soon learns the sound-sign for it – that is, it's name. Now, I maintain that, when he is a little older, he should learn the form-sign – that is, the printed word – on the same principle. It is far easier for a child to read plum-pudding than to read 'to, to', because 'plum-pudding' conveys a far more interesting idea.” [p209]

“What we want is a bridge between the child's natural interests and those arbitrary symbols with which he must become acquainted, and which, as we have seen are words, and not letters.” [p217]

In regard to one of the reading lessons Charlotte encourages us:
“To make the verses up with his own loose words will give Tommy such a delicious sense that knowledge is power, as few occasions in after life will afford. Anyway, reading is to him a delight henceforth, and it will require very bad management indeed to make him hate it.” [p220]

So, in summary... reading is nothing more than learning to recognize that written words represent the interesting things all around him. There are several basic skills required to accomplish this: Learning sounds (and subsequently building words), and recognizing common words by sight (especially rule-breakers).

We secure our child's interest in learning by early on planting and nurturing the desire to read. We encourage and further their desire by presenting them with interesting material.

Phew!  I've finally made it through all the theoretical part, so next time I'll be back with the hands-on lesson part that is WAY more fun!!  ;)

Our Story... I'm a failure. {part one}
Our Story... Struggle no more. {part two}
Our Story... Just relax! {part three}
Learning to Read - The Scary Myth
The Two Keys to Teaching Reading << -- You are here. :)
Playing a Foundation to Build on.
First Reading Lessons in Earnest.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Teaching Reading {part four]: The Scary Myth

How many of us remember learning to read? Unless it was traumatic (a mean teacher, or some learning difficulty), I would guess you're probably like me. I do remember reading my first books, I even remember some of my very first readers (they were Abeka books). But I don't remember clearly enough now to remember HOW I learned to read. I don't remember who taught me, nor which was the first step, nor when and how I figured out the trick to the silent final e's, etc. But I did learn to read. And if you're here, chances are you did too!  But, it's all a little blurry now isn't it?  ...kind of mysterious. Charlotte agrees:
Many persons consider that to learn to read a language so full of anomalies and difficulties as our own is a task which should not be imposed too soon on the childish mind. But, as a matter of fact, few of us can recollect how or when we learned to read: for all we know, it came by nature, like the art of running; and not only so, but often mothers of the educated classes do not know how their children learned to read. 'Oh, he taught himself,' is all the account his mother can give of little Dick's proficiency. Whereby it is plain, that this notion of the extreme difficulty of learning to read is begotten by the elders rather than by the children. [p201]
However, not all mysteries are scary! :) Children don't automatically share the nervous feeling about learning to read that we might have in regard to teaching them! Let's dispel some of the mystery, so that we can relax and enjoy the process with our kids.

So, what does it take to read?

A child already has knowledge of many things and boasts a vast vocabulary by the time he or she is five or six years old. All reading is, is the ability to recognize words as the written symbols representing real things or actions that he already has some kind of relationship with. [p208]
“Learning to read is no more than picking up, how we can, a knowledge of certain arbitrary symbols for objects and ideas.” [p216]
The basic skills needed in order to acquire the ability to read consist in 1) learning to recognize a good number of words by sight (as a sum of their parts) and 2) the child must know the sounds of the letters and acquire power to throw given sounds into new combinations. [p216]
“If words were always made on a given pattern in English, if the same letter always represented the same sounds, learning to read would be an easy matter; for the child would soon acquire the few elements of which all words would, in that case, be composed. [like Spanish for example] But many of our English words are, each, a law unto itself; there is nothing for it, but the child must learn to know them at sight; he must recognize 'which', precisely as he reocognizes 'B', because he has seen it before, been made to look at it with interest, so that the pattern of the word is stamped upon his retentive brain. This process should go on side by side with the other – the learning of the powers of the letters; for the more variety you can throw into his reading lessons, the more the child will enjoy them.” [p205]

When should we begin?

This question is left to individual mothers and their individual children. Charlotte points out that it is open to discussion whether the child should acquire the art unconsciously, from his infancy upwards, or whether the effort should be deferred until he is, say six or seven, and then made with vigor. [p200] There's no wrong answer! Isn't that a relief?! Heheh.

There does come a time in which if the child has not turned his attention toward the skill entirely of his own volition, he will need to be directed (this between 6 and 7). But this does not imply that it is to be any less fun,
“We cannot excuse our volatile Tommy, nor is it good for him that we should. It is quite necessary he should know how to read; and not only so-- the discipline of the task is altogether wholesome for the little man. At the same time, let us recognize that learning to read is to many children hard work [especially those tactile learners!], and let us do what we can to make the task easy and inviting.” [p214]
Are you still a little nervous? Continue to dispel the scary myth by familiarizing yourself with CM's steps to teach reading (which I will be outlining in the following posts). I encourage any of you who are about to embark on this journey of teaching reading to read the section on reading from the CM's original volume.  I've put the entire section from her book which contains the material used in these posts conveniently into one document available for download by right clicking HERE. (select save as... to save the PDF to your computer).

So, in summary... learning to read is nothing more than learning to recognize the written words that are symbols representing the interesting things all around him. There are several basic skills required to accomplish this: Learning sounds and subsequently building words, and recognizing common words by sight (especially rule-breakers). Which I will cover in the upcoming posts. This post got rather long, so I've split it into two.  Stay tuned for next time when we'll look at the two main keys for us to remember when teaching reading.

Our Story... I'm a failure. {part one}
Our Story... Struggle no more. {part two}
Our Story... Just relax! {part three}
Learning to Read - The Scary Myth  << -- You are here. :)
The Two Keys
Playing a Foundation to Build on.
First Reading Lessons in Earnest.

**All quotes indicated with [brackets and a page number] are taken from Volume One of Charlotte Mason's series, Home Education: available online at AmblesideOnline here
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