Monday, October 10, 2011

Discovering an Ancient Queen

half dug up ruin in Yahxa, Guatemala April 2011
My oldest is enjoying her ancient Egypt readings.  I gave her a list of books to choose from for free reading and just for enjoyment.  She will occasionally write a narration as part of her two required weekly narrations or will just share with me what she is reading from the list.  She had picked Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw about a month ago.  This was a wonderful book; she enjoyed it very much.  However, the book is about Mara and by the end of the book, she really wanted to know more about the queen mentioned in the story.  Who and what kind of person was she ... really?  I gave her a second book to read: His Majesty, Queen Hatshesput by Dorothy Sharp Carter.  She just finished the book this morning (literally with wet eyes) and asked if I would write about it on the blog.  Thrilled at her eagerness I asked her to write a comparison and I would type it here for her.  This is her assessment of two very good and well written books:
When I read the book " Mara, Daughter of the Nile" I really liked it.  It was about a slave girl named Mara and she was living in the time of Queen Hatshepsut.  Mara became a double spy for Hatshesput's kingdom and rebels who wanted Thutmose III (Hatshepsut's stepson) to be the rightful Pharaoh.  In the book Hatshepsut is a tyrant or villain of the story.  I actually thought of her as a tyrant, a villain.  But that was before I read "His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut".  By the end of this book I began to see that Hatshepsut wasn't evil. She had the courage to stand up and proclaim herself Pharaoh of Egypt.  In her last years of being Pharaoh, things became hard.  Thutmose the III and the priests of Amon (Egypt's head God) were her enemies.  She faced a lot of sorrow, for many sad things  happened.  Her daughter Nefrure, was bit by a snake and died; Senmut, her closest friend and love also died.  She fought bravely against her stepson until finally she was poisoned by someone she trusted.  I almost cried at the end of the book: Hatshesput was a great Pharaoh and, indeed, I saw her from a different view.  I think I discovered what and who she really must have been.
I get so excited when my children can create such relationships to history and other subjects.  Her curiosity led her to want to know more.  Along the way she has read some online articles about the Queen, she also picked up a few books that were meant for her sister like Hatshesput, His Majesty, Herself by Catherine Andronik and a couple of others that we borrowed from the library.

ruin Yahxa, Guatemala April 2011 trip
My daughter is young and I know that this is pursuing knowledge at a very basic level  by reflecting and creating her own opinion on books given to her.  The idea that on her own, she chooses to pursue interests and form her own opinion on matter is truly, to me, the essence of knowledge.  I wasn't planning on submitting a post to the CM blog carnival this week but when she came to me this morning a little bulb went on.  As much as I think that I am in charge of my children's education, I was humbly reminded by my daughter that:
"He is furnished with the desire for Knowledge, i.e., Curiosity; with the power to apprehend Knowledge, that is, attention; with powers of mind to deal with Knowledge without aid from without––such as imagination, reflection, judgment; with innate interest in all Knowledge that he needs as a human being; with power to retain and communicate such Knowledge; and to assimilate all that is necessary to him.
He requires that in most cases Knowledge be communicated to him in literary form; and reproduces such Knowledge touched by his own personality; thus his reproduction becomes original."  Charlotte Mason, Towards a Philosophy of Education Vol. 6, pg 18-19
Ms. Mason was one smart lady ; )


amy in peru said...

congratulations! this is beautiful! thanks so much for sharing it with the CM blog carnival! great use of books, and masterly inactivity to keep her curiosity alive!


amy in peru

phillipsgirl said...

Thank you for sharing this example - its nice to see living examples of the philosophy we talk about. :-)

Nancy said...

"Knowledge is information touched with emotion" is what Mason built her definition on and your daughter's experience is a great example of this. What a wonderful thing that "the lightbulb went on" and you told all of us about it. I think the lightbulb was the Holy Spirit.

Admiration, Hope and Love,


Grace'n'Chaos said...

Thank you ladies, your encouragement is precious!