Search This Blog

Monday, March 29, 2010

The whys of Nature Study

Why study nature?
"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature."     - Anne Frank

"We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things."  - Charlotte Mason

"The man who is blind to the beauties of Nature has missed half the pleasure of life."  
- Lord Baden-Powell 
"...God created the heavens and the earth..."    - Genesis 1:1
"...the whole earth is full of His glory..."      - Isaiah 6:3
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.  Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowlede.  There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.  Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.  In them he as set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and , like a strong man runs his course with joy.  Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat."        - Psalm 19:1-6
"For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!):  "I am the Lord, and there is no other."  - Isaiah 45:12
"For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made."      - Romans 1:20

We can learn about God through what He has made.  What better reason to study Creation?!  Well, that and it is by far one of the most interesting and extensive studies available to humans...

What kids learn in school is not enough... read more here

Suggestions for Nature Study Work, a pdf downloadable leaflet (right click to save file as), by Anna Botsford Comstock

Articles of interest:
Study Finds Access to Nature Improves Health
Nature Conservancy Study Finds Today’s Kids Are Choosing TV Over Trees
8 Reasons To Do Nature Study - Simply Charlotte Mason

Books About Nature Study:
Hours in the Out-of-Doors
Girls Who Looked Under Rocks
A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America
A Field Guide to Eastern Trees (Peterson Field Guides)
Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America: Fourth Edition
A Field Guide to Wildflowers : Northeastern and North-Central North America (Peterson Field Guides)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Getting ready for Easter...

"The great Easter truth is not that we are to live newly after death - that is not the great thing - but that... we are to, and may, live nobly now because we are to live forever."

-- Phillips Brooks
Because I live, you also will live. 
-- Jesus

What an opportunity we as Christian parents have to pay special attention to the cornerstone of our faith, the Resurrection!  I'm really thrilled, and would have posted this earlier if I'd had the chance.  But anyone who is interested still has time to check out the following links and download a couple hymns and worship songs to share with your family.  This year, during this upcoming week between Palm Sunday (tomorrow) and Easter Sunday, we will be doing Holy Week Devotions for the Family by Mikko Gibson.  I also picked up her FREE Lenten Tree and Activities Book, which has a lot of super easy ideas to implement over Lent (which is almost over this year).  I'm really quite pleased to have something to focus our hearts on our Savior this month especially while we are somewhat distracted lately by traveling.  Enjoy the Life we have in Christ!

Art: lists art work by biblical theme and text.
Here are the pages with artwork on the Passion, the Resurrection and Ascension.
The links on Olga's list are similar.

A few of my favorite pieces of  art...
Gethsemane - Barocci (
Christ in the Hall of Caiphas - Benjamin West ( 
The Crucifixion - Geertgen tot Sint Jans (
Ascension (shown above) - William Blake (

Ascension - Benjamin West (
The Ascension - Rembrandt (

Helpful links:
Click HERE- for AO Easter Hymn suggestions - I appreciate this concise list, because it includes mostly hymns I am already familiar with...

Didn't find the one you were looking for?  Find an extensive list of Easter hymns at - includes midis and lyrics. 

I'm really excited about this British site I just found!  Family Worship has several worship songs with an Easter theme, and they include the mp3 with sheet music for free download.  I also printed off the script to several dramas that I plan to use with the kids at home.  Apparently, they also give away a free song everyday?  cool.  I love free.
Hungry for more?  You will find a HUGE list of Christian Easter resources, including the Bible's stories, children sermons, music and poetry on king's kids stuff.
And just for fun, a link that I would NEVER recommend using in real-life for Easter event planning... major fluff and twaddle if I ever saw it!!  Just so you know what I WILL NOT be using as a reference... heheh.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do you haiku?

We made our first group attempt at writing poetry today.  We started with haiku.  It isn't very hard to do relatively quickly, but certainly difficult to do well! 

I illustrated it to my kids making up a haiku of my own showing how to count the syllables:

five syllables start
seven go in the middle
five more finish it.

Here's my first attempt:

Sun shining outright
his rays consume the dew drops
waking up the earth.

HOW-to Haiku 
This site has some good simple tips and several printable worksheets (if you're into that :)

Will you Haiku... too? 
Participate in a contest!  It ends this weekend on Sunday, March 7th.  Click over there to read our entries... Amy, Javen & Cullen.

PS. I'm really sorry I didn't get this up in time for you to work on your entries!!!  My computer has gone out... read here and here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hymn Study & Spanish all-in-one!

Wonderful Cross by Chris Tomlin in SPANISH!! 
Adapted from Isaac Watts When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

This is a wonderful worship song adapted from a classic hymn by Isaac Watts.  We are using it in our Lent activities in preparation for Easter.  I will be posting about this very soon.  We love this song in English, and we sing it here in Spanish as well.  We are going to officially learn it as a family now.  Enjoy!


Cuando recuerdo la Gloriosa Cruz
Donde muriera el Hijo de Dios
Todo lo estimo por vano y faláz
Y mi orgullo no tiene lugar
Mira sus manos,
Su frente, sus pies
Que extraña mezcla
De amor y dolor
Cuando el amor significa morir
Por darnos vida Él vino a sufrir

Oh, Gloriosa Cruz
Oh, Gloriosa Cruz
Me enseña que por tu morir
Puedo vivir
Oh, Gloriosa Cruz (Igual que la primera parte del coro)
Oh, Gloriosa Cruz
Nos reunimos hoy, a bendecir
Tu nombre, Oh Rey
Con qué podría pagarte Señor
La vida misma jamás bastará
Para pagar tan inmenso amor
Más hoy te entrego todo lo que soy

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - original hymn lyrics in ENGLISH

Listen to the song while watching the youtube following along with the word prompts.  Try to sing along!  :)
Compare the original hymn with the adaptation for worship in English, note differences.
Compare the original hymn with the adaptation for worship in Spanish, note differences.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Copywork: an assignment


{an assignment}

Pippa's Song by Robert Browning

We actually pulled this exercise from Spelling Wisdom to coincide with our spelling list from Spell to Write and Read.  I love that Javen adds his personal touch to all his work.  This time drawing in the illuminated first letter.  He's very clever.

My rule for copywork is that it has to be a perfect copy the first time.  This includes spelling, punctuation and handwriting.  So, obviously I am careful in which passages I choose for them.  Normally they would have the selection right in front of them printed off the computer using a cursive font.  Today, since most of the words are words they have either had on their spelling lists or words that I thought they should have no problem with, we decided to do straight dictation.  I read the passage phrase by phrase (giving prompts where necessary).  They in turn wrote the passage down.  We are just beginning to do this and haven't done very much so I'm very proud of them!  This is not Javen's best work as far as neatness, but I was rather excited about his illumination!  :)  We got a double whammy with this selection as we were then able to discuss the poetry in a casual way, rhyme, repetition, etc.
"No work should be given to a child that he cannot execute perfectly, and then perfection should be required of him as a matter of course.  For instance, he is set to do a copy of strokes, and is allowed to show a slateful of all sorts of slopes and all sorts of intervals; his moral sense is vitiated, his eye is injured. Set him six strokes to copy; let him, not bring a slateful, but six perfect strokes, at regular distances and at regular slopes. If he produces a faulty pair, get him to point out the fault, and persevere until he has produced his task; if he does not do it to-day, let him go on tomorrow and the next day, and when the six perfect strokes appear, let it be an occasion of triumph. So with the little tasks of of painting , drawing, or construction he sets himself- let everything he does be well done. An unsteady house of cards is a thing to be ashamed of. Closely connected with this habit of 'perfect work' is that of finishing whatever is taken in hand. The child should rarely be allowed to set his hand to a new undertaking until the last is finished."
Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series - Vol. 1, pg. 160
We started with easy copywork from pretty young age.  In those earlier days my husband felt a lot more pressure to keep our kids on the level.  Anyone else have experience with this?  A husband who doesn't really get the whole more Charlotte Mason realm?  Well, he has loosened up somewhat as he sees the benefit of the 'education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.'  Bria (recently 7yo) in AOY1 has started copywork, but it isn't forced at all.  She does a lot of copywork apart from school entirely of her own initiative (writing letters, making play money and receipts, etc.).  I have not officially taught her handwriting yet.  Though over the last several months she has started to write on her own, having taken the last year to really master all the letters (we learn them in the form of the 70 basic phonograms a la SWR).  She is definitely learning by a more relaxed route.  We are still very much in the stage of fostering her love for learning.

How do you do copywork and dictation?  What age do you start?

Worldwide Classroom - Blog Hop

I've joined a blog hop!  This is a first, so we'll see how it goes.  I'm always open to making new friends!  :)  So, welcome if this is your first time here, have a look around and come again to visit anytime :) 

The point is to go and visit the following blogs if you have a minute or two...  enjoy!  I linked up while over at Sarah's SmallWorld blog.  If you'd like to join follow the link way down there at the bottom to enter your blog :)

MckLinky Blog Hop

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Blog Archive