Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Little Bit of Selsam

My second grader is co-reading Pagoo by H.C. Holling with me this term.  However, on his schedule, he also has a day of independent natural history/science to read per week.  I love science, especially the life sciences, so no surprise my children do too.  Since starting on our CM journey and discovering that I can put in front of them wonderful books to meet our curiosity, well, I haven't been shy about it ; )

I have a nice selection of I Can Read and Find Out Science books.  These are just wonderful for those emergent readers.  A few weeks ago he happened upon one of the books in that section and thus a little bit of Millicent Selsam sent him searching for more (I happen to have a few of those as well).  We picked a handful to get him through the rest of our Term 2.  The first one on the list was Seeds and More Seeds.

Mrs. Selsam has written and/or illustrated various science and nature study books for young children.  What I enjoy most about her books is that one little thing that makes a book a good living book:  an idea "appears to feed in a curious way" Charlotte Mason, Towards a Philosophy of Education, Volume 6 pg37

The love and admiration Mrs. Selsam had for science is within her words and illustrations.  Here is a simple obituary written by the New York Times in 1996; by the way, her MA was in botany.  I just giggled at some of phrases that were used: "nagging why's" and "simple science booklets".  Well, thank goodness for them.  I'm sure Ms. Mason would agree with me.  It doesn't have to be complicated and textual.  A genuine connection and relation can be had by placing good ideas in a very curious mind wanting to be fed.  As expected, each of my children will have a particular interest and it is my job to nurture and feed it. Right!? 
"Our business is to give children the great ideas of life, of religion, history, science; but it is the ideas we must give, clothed upon with facts as they occur, and must leave the child to deal with these as he chooses." Charlotte Mason, Towards a Philosophy of Education, Volume 6 pg37-38
Needless to say, while we've done our bean in a bag experiment before, my son was eager to "do it again".  So we did :D 

He and his siblings were also eager to get some seeds planted in our little patch.  We did that too and we can't wait to see those growing.  It is that time of the year. 

Oh, can you guess what book is feeding mom's mind lately? ; )

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

President's Day Hike

We've been really good about keeping up with at least one weekly trek.  Unfortunately, I haven't been so good about posting our pictures.  Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I just had to come in here and share.  We teamed up with friends and headed to one of our favorite spots; taking a flatter and certainly more scenic trail this time.  Enjoy!


Don't know if you see the same symbolism as I did when I took the pictures or if it's just my very sensitive heart being immersed in the season of Lent, but oh the emotions ...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent 2013: Simplicity & Routine

We've had such a busy year so far that our table and our Lent season really need to stay simple.  There have been several unexpected emergencies and highly emotional moments that our goals are simplicity, reflection and routine.  This year our board is decorated with one cross, purple ribbon,  a muslin pouch filled with nails, a wooden hammer and our Alleluia wrapped in the second muslin pouch.  Each day after we've read from Lent for Children a Thought a Day suggested by Jenn at Family in Feast and Feria we will hammer a nail to our cross. 

I also loved the idea of a Montessori style Lent box for our stations of the cross.  Visit Holly at The Three Sided Wheel for her wonderful tutorial and printouts.  I was able to put this together last year and the kids really enjoyed it as well.  It was just perfect for my very sensory needy boys.  So it is on our table again this year.

As for our book basket; it is filled with our favorites and last years additions. I have just a few new ones that I've collected since then:

- Lilies, Rabbits, and Painted Eggs: The Story of the Easter Symbols by Edna Barth
- The Story of the Easter Robin by Dandi Daley Mackall
- The Legend of the Easter Egg by Lori Walburg

I can't wait to see if I find any new treasures by Easter Sunday.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

St. Valentine's Morning

Happy Valentines Day! This morning I was reminded of just how blessed and graced filled my chaotic days actually are.  My wonderful husband and kids woke me up this morning with cards and treats in hand.  They are so sweet.  They all moved on to the dinning table to have their breakfast.  I had to get up just for a bit because I could hear my husband talking to the girls.  The girls had some oohs, aahs and huge blushing smiles;  while they read their Valentine's from dad.  He started this tradition a few years ago, but as they are getting older his cards and words are starting to really have sweet sentiment...oh and what little girl doesn't want a big bar of chocolate ; )
Later today he'll take the kids to our home school group's Valentine party where the kids will distribute their treats and their hand made cards.  I'm sure he'll have tons of fun with them ; )
As for me, well, I had my wisdom teeth removed yesterday (after going to Ash Wednesday morning mass with the kids and dad).  Needless to say laying low and curling up in bed just feels so nice.  So as I was taking a picture of the girls cards this morning, I couldn't help but grab these off the shelf. I found these two lovely books at the library used section a while ago. They have lovely artwork: Love: Penhaligons Scented Treasury of Verse and Prose and A Victorian Posy. They are both very nice collections to curl up with today while dad takes a lead this Valentines day.  

I hope everyone enjoys their day and can surround themselves with love, peace and grace.  Especially as we've begun the lent season.  As soon as I'm feeling better I'll come back to share what we're reading and doing this year.