Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poetry to Treasure

I love poetry. I always have. Yet,somehow, sharing poetry with my children is not as simple as I thought it would be.
My best experience teaching poetry to my children was when we studied Lullabye by Eve Merriam. You can read this poem here.

We read the poem and then made purple playdough. If you need recipes for playdough you can see my post with tons of recipes here. You might try using grape flavored kool-aide if your child doesn't have allergies.

We also made purple the "color of the day". We read Harold and the Purple Crayon and cooked egg plant for dinner.

We did these activities on July 19th, which was Eve Merriam's Birthday. It was also a good time to be outside and hunt for purple objects in nature.

I understand that poetry study is a subject included in most Charlotte Mason home schools. To be honest, my home school is floundering on this topic. So far, we have completed two semesters attempting the Ambelside poetry list. My kids just seem bored. The poetry is odd language to them and the words are sometimes mispronounced to make a rhyme. They just don't seem to understand it.

It's hard not to include fun, child-friendly poetry that I read and loved as a child, poetry that would surely be considered twaddle by some. One of my favorite modern children's poet is Sara Holbrook. I especially love her poem titled The Storm That Was. I would not consider her poetry to be twaddle. I find it genuine and insightful. I think she gives tremendous respect to childhood feelings and presents them in an honest and often humorous light.

Frankly,I don't really understand the term twaddle. As a writer myself I struggle with the concept that some books are viewed as garbage. That thought makes me very sad. Of course, I wouldn't read (or benefit from) every book out there today, but I believe there are gems from our decade that can achieve beautiful learning and evoke great poetic images for our children. I hate to skim over them just because they aren't "classic".

So here is your part to jump in. I'm throwing these questions out to my readers. What is your favorite poet? Can you think of a poetry lesson that was extremely meaningful, productive, or just plain fun? Do you include modern poetry in your lessons? How do you define the worth of poetry? Do you cringe at the word "twaddle" too?

If you're up to the challenge please consider blogging about your experiences or feelings from my list of questions above. Be sure to link back here. Then come back to this post and sign my McLinky Blog Hop so that everyone can visit and read your post. It will be fun to bounce around and hear other's opinions on this topic. I look forward to reading yours.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our Plans for the Winter Term

Photobucket"Toad talked big about all he was going to do in the days to come, while stars grew fuller and larger all around them, and a yellow moon, appearing suddenly and silently from nowhere in particular, came to keep them company and listen to their talk." Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 2

I'm a little late, but I thought I'd post our list of materials for the second term of the 2009-2010 School Year. We began this term on the week of November 2nd and will continue until January 11th.

You'll find that I use a real mix of curriculum. I also like to pick up free materials whenever they are available. I have chosen to include Apologia as a science textbook, but we've made it more hands on by including the lapbook that corresponds to the textbook. We have also given it a Charlotte Mason approach by making our nature study and journaling concentrated on birds, bats and insects. Science has been really enjoyable for all of us this year.

You'll notice that I use a mixture of items from Ambelside, Simply Charlotte Mason, and some freebies I hunted down from Living Books Curriculum. I'm not a curriculum snob. I use what works for us and our budget. You can also safely assume that the more expensive items on this list were review items I was given. If you are a good writer, I recommend that you check out the many review opportunities available to you as a homeschool mom. Reviewing homeschool products has been a gratifying way for me to use my writing talent and save my family some money.

I've said enough-

I hope this list of materials and links is useful to you. Simply click on the item to follow a direct link to it. The colors are just a shade different so I wanted to make it clear that text is linked. Enjoy!

Language Arts Term 2 (Chloe and Caibry)
The Wind in the Willows *
Beautiful Stories of Shakespeare:
Taming of the Shrew, Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing
Pilgrim's Progress (plus amazing coloring pages)
Parables of Nature
Poetry of Eugene Field
Peter Pan **
Grammar Stage Memorization
Copy work (some freebies and some homemade)

History Term 2 (Chloe only)
An Island Story Ch. 33-50
The Discovery of New Worlds Ch. 19-22
God's Mighty Hand
50 Famous People
Time Line Project (on-going)

Math Term 2
Chloe- Mammoth Math 2B
Caibry- Mammoth Math 1 Addition
Caibry and Nevie- Music Math and Online Math Games

Science Term 2 (Everyone)
Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day/ Lapbook
Burgess Book of Birds
Poetry from Bird Children 2
Creation Illustrated Magazine
Bird Study extras (free downloads found throughout the Internet)
Nutrition 101
IHOC- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Lapbook
IHOC- Environmental Science Lapbook
Volunteer at Coweta Recycling Center

Geography Term 2 (Chloe Only)
Amy Carmichael Biography
Maps of the U.S. (choose 3 States)

Art and Music Term 2
Picasso (combined with showing some art images found here)
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Character Term 2
Learning From Dad: Truth, Mercy. . .
Book of Virtues: Honesty, Compassion . . .
Book of Virtues Unit Study

Seasonal Activities Term 2
Cinnamon Bear ( free download from Freebie of the Day)
Bird's Christmas Carol
LBC Thanksgiving Helper (obtained when available free on Currclick)
LBC Christmas Helper (obtained when available free on Currclick)
The Big Black Book- What the Christmas Tree Saw

* I was finicky when it came to The Wind in the Willows. I bought the unabridged version with illustrations by E.H. Shepard (who also illustrated A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh). There are many versions available. E.H. Shepard's artwork was the favored version by Kenneth Grahame and if you purchase this version you'll know why.

** Peter Pan I found at the Library. It was a very old copy illustrated by FD Bedford. The Illustrations were beautiful. I almost wanted to pretend I'd lost it and pay the library to replace it (probably with a newer inferior version). Alas, dishonesty would be in "bad form" and work contrary to our honesty lessons too. LOL. Try to find this version though. You won't be sorry.

I also wanted to make readers aware that I am a workbox user. We average about 6-8 workboxes each day (I school year round). The Workbox System has worked well to organize us and motivates my son with S.P.D to complete his assignments. It's also very adaptable for CM learning. The items above are placed in workboxes according to my daily schedule. E-books or online audios are noted by laminating an image of the book cover onto a 3x5 card with the web address on the back.

If you have any questions or suggestions I'd love to hear them. E-mail me or write a comment.

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