The Dish: A Mother's Review #11

The Dish: 

A Mother's Review #11

Knowledge of God

"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men." Colossians 3:23

This reminder, placed near the end of a chapter of Scripture detailing the new life of a Christian and the Christian virtues, is a consistent source of encouragement to me as I go about the task of wearing the many hats that I wear and striving to wear them each well. Just before this, Paul instructs the Christians at Collosae to do all that they do in the name of Christ and to give thanks to the Father. The work of homeschooling is most often thankless work. It is days upon endless days of work that sometimes seems to bear little fruit. If we are honest with ourselves, we often feel unappreciated and wonder if we are getting anywhere with our exhaustive efforts. What if we take Paul's admonition and encouragement to heart? What if we turn from our desire to be thanked for what we do, and instead give thanks to the Father for the opportunity to do it. On homeschooling's most joyful days, we are overcome with the benefits of being the one to facilitate our children's education. But, on homeschooling's most difficult days, we often turn our thoughts inward instead of upward and we begin to seek some form of value in our work through the thanks of others. Not only are difficult days the worst possible time for us to seek this appreciation since everyone is likely to be on edge, but we also shouldn't be valuing our work according to the thanks of others at all.  The value of our work is in our obedience to Christ to do it. The value of our work is in God's use of our efforts in the hearts of our children. The value of our work is in God's grace towards us to use us in His Kingdom. The value of our work is not in the appreciation of those we do the work for, or the accolades of those watching us do the work. God is faithful to show us glimpses of the fruit being ripened on the vine, and others will (hopefully) show you glimpses of how much your work matters to them. But, ultimately, Mommas, we are working for the Lord. We are homeschooling in the name of Christ, and only by doing all that we do for Him alone can we do it heartily. We lose heart only when we take our eyes off of Christ and place them upon ourselves. We are faulty, so viewing ourselves is bound to cause our hearts to falter. But Christ's strength is perfected in our weakness and with our eyes fixed firmly upon Him, we can do our work, on both the joyful and the difficult days, for Him and Him alone. Fixing our eyes upon Christ can be difficult to do, but I think Paul gave us instructions for the most effective way to behold Christ's strength and plant our gaze firmly upon it:
Give thanks to the Father.Thank Him for the honor of educating and raising your children.
Thank Him for the joy of watching them grow.
Thank Him for using you in His work.
Thank Him for allowing you to impact the Kingdom by raising warriors for it.
Thank Him for His boundless grace and everlasting love.
Give thanks to the Father....there is so much to praise Him for.

Knowledge of the Universe

Arthropods Special Study:
Picture Books Roundup

Insects, arachnids, beetles,arthropods, myriapods, bugs....they all make for great topics for your Special Studies. We have had a few terms of Special Studies on different types of "creepy crawlies". This term, we studied "Bugs", and we learned a bit about what makes an insect an insect, an arachnid an arachnid, a beetle a beetle, an arthropod an arthropod, a myriapod a myriapod, and a bug a bug. Here are a few of our favorite picture books from this term that are all perfect for a Special Studies on "Arthropods and Bugs".

Bugs From Head to Tail
We enjoyed Bugs From Head to Tail  so much that it was recently the Delightfully Feasting Book of the Week. The fun of guessing which bug is being shown on every other page is fun for younger readers, but there is enough information in the corresponding paragraphs about each bug to benefit slightly older readers. Both my 5 and 9 year olds enjoyed this book, and the simple illustrations made drawing bugs fun and non-intimidating.

Are You a Grasshopper
Are You a Grasshopper, and other books in the Backyard Books series, is perfect for younger readers. This books explores the world of the grasshopper and what life would be like if you were a grasshopper.

The Life and Times of the HoneybeeI love books that have varying amounts of reading and information presented so that they can be beneficial for multiple ages of readers. The Life and Times of the Honeybee (and other books in the series) is a book just like that. It has a paragraph of information on the left side of each two-page spread and then has charts, diagrams, and more information on the right side. It can be read to multiple ages, and has many images/diagrams that can be easily copied into nature journals.

About Arachnids
I like to have a variety of books for a Special Study and simple books with realistic paintings/illustrations are always on my list. About Arachnids is a book that fits that bill. The text is very simple, sharing direct bite-sized information about how arachnids live, eat, hunt, care for their young, etc. The large, detailed, realistic paintings that show a large variety of arachnid types are the best part of this book.

Insect Detective Insect Detective is a simple, sweet story about hunting for insects, with lovely illustrations that are a bit muted in color and peaceful to look at.

Have You Seen Bugs A book with fun rhyme and unique illustrations is always a winner in my book. Have You Seen Bugs is a book of rhyming verse illustrated by detailed paper sculptures of bugs that introduces how bugs sound, look, eat, and more. Even though simple and geared toward younger readers, this book has the rich vocabulary that a living book is noted for.

Gail Gibbons Books

The Honey Makers, Spiders, and other books by Gail Gibbons are perfect resources for Special Studies. They have engaging text for younger readers, and clear, beautiful illustrations. 

InsectsEverything written by Seymour Simon is a great addition to your living science library. When you want a book that is suitable for more advanced readers and learners, but is still a picture book that can be read in one sitting and fits into a Special Studies lesson, Seymour Simon is the perfect place to look. Insects is perfect for this topic, along with other books about types of arachnids and bugs, such as Spiders.

Bugs Are Insects The Let's Read and Find Out Science Series is another series that should be in any robust living science picture book collection. Bugs Are Insects is a book from the LRFO science series that explains clearly the difference between insects and other bugs, and this is the book we used to kick off this particular Special Study.

Fabre's Book of Insects If you'd like a longer book that you can read throughout your entire term during Special Studies lessons, or a book for older readers, Fabre is, of course, the place to go. The Book of Insects is easy to understand and easy to love, yet contains much information. Fabre's insight into the life and behavior of insects is unmatched and this book is a worthy read for any age.

Insects Do the Strangest Things Insects Do the Strangest Things is simple, yet informative and can be read at once or each individual insect story can be read on its own. It's a fun book to read and reread, and is designed as an early reader, so it can be used for reading practice as well as Special Studies.

The First Book of Bugs

I always check the public domain for books that can be used for Special Studies lessons. That is where I found The First Book of Bugs, which is a wonderful little book that explains what makes a bug a bug and then describes and discusses several types of bugs. 

Knowledge of Man

The 50 States Book

Do you have an atlas that you adore? I do! I have owned several illustrated atlases, so it was hard to justify purchasing The 50 States, but after seeing it loved by so many people, I took the plunge. I recently posted here how we approach U.S. Geography in a living way, and this atlas is a huge part of that. It is easy to see why this atlas is so loved. The oversized infographic maps of each state are beautiful and just plain fun to look at. The information given about each state is interesting and creates a connection with the state itself, and the layout is perfect.

Did you know that there is a corresponding activity book?
The 50 States Activity Book
We are having a lot of fun working through this book, and the included map with stickers has a presidents chart and flags chart on the back that we are referring to often and enjoying as well.

There is also 50 Cities of the U.S.A. and 50 States Fun Facts  by the same author.

There are even corresponding flashcards and a memory game to add to the fun!  

For even more fun studying the United States, you can study all of our national parks with National Parks of the USA.

Maps is also a well loved world atlas that features geographical features, but also places of cultural significance all around the world. 

Food for the Mother's Soul

This recent article on Afterthoughts, entitled Fill the House: A Proactive Approach to Mothering and Homeschooling was a great encouragement to me to live in the joy of homeschooling, not in the fear of all of the alternatives. Homeschooling, and motherhood, is active work and can never be passive. Fear is deathly, and God doesn't give us the spirit of it. This article reminded me of the power, love, and sound mind that is from the Lord, and that fear and overwhelm have no place in my home....or in my heart.

Around the Table  

What is Happening in the Charlotte Mason World?

Living Books Press  

Have you seen all of the wonderful books that Living Books Press is publishing recently? I am particularly excited about Matter, Molecules and Atoms.

Reading Curriculum 

There will soon be a huge announcement regarding my Reading Curriculum, so if you have children who you have yet to teach to read, you will want to make sure you are a part of the Delightfully Feasting Facebook Community to see it.
Hint: It is being published by my favorite CM curriculum publisher. Eeek!

The Knowledge of the Universe next week! 

 Don't miss it!
Register here.

Something to Chew On

"The way into the secrets of nature is not through the barbed wire entanglements of science, but through field work and living books." ~Charlotte Mason

I have Nature Study on the brain, due to my preparation for the Knowledge of the Universe Retreat, so I just love this reminder of what a gift and a joy that living books and field work are. Why are we tempted to put up barbed wire in front of our children, for the sake of "measuring their progress"? Let's not do that. Let's them run freely into the secrets of God's creation, and let's live freely in the gifts of living books and field work until the right and proper time for formal science arrives, built upon a foundation of years of discovery of all that nature unfolds before us.

May All Your Days Be Spent.....Delightfully Feasting
Crystin <3

Exam Questions: Form 2b, Term 2

Exam Questions

1.Describe the last days of Christ's life.
2. Compare Joseph's relationship with his father to his relationship with his brothers.

Choose a poem by Walt Whitman and copy your favorite lines of that poem perfectly.

Write the following words in cursive:
it, she, our, them

Composition : Personal Narrative:
Tell me about your adventures in nature during this term.

Choose an animal tale from Just So Stories, and tell me about it; then make up a different ending for the tale. 

1.Describe the poetry of Walt Whitman and choose your favorite of his poems that we read.
2.What did you find interesting about the life of Walt Whitman?

What do you admire about the character of George Washington, and what episode from his life do you believe displays that character?  

Nature Lore
Which animal from the seashore did you find most surprising and learn the most about?

1.Describe the last days of the Ingalls family in their home on the prairie.
2. Choose an exciting moment in Laura's life to tell me about.
3. Compare Mary's personality with Laura's and tell me which you identify with the most.

American History
1.Tell me about the life of Napoleon, and what was occurring in the United States while he ruled France.
2. Describe the exploration of Lewis and Clark.

Ancient History
1. Tell me about the earliest attempts at human flight.
2. What did you find interesting about the life of Amelia Earhart?

1. How was the cottonwood tree (in The Tree in  the Trail) like a curio cabinet?
2. Tell me about either the Greenlanders or the Lapps.

Geography: Mapping
1.Identify and label the states you've learned.
2. Map the moves of the Ingalls family.   

Picture Study
1.What kind of artist do you describe Normal Rockwell as?
2. In what ways do you think Rockwell accurately represented American life?

1. Plutarch
Tell me about the character of either Fabius the Roman or Lysander the Greek, and how their actions impacted their country.
2. American Citizenship
Choose an American president that you admire and tell me about him.

1. Choose three activities in your day and show their time on the clock. Then, draw those times on clocks below and write those times in analog.
2.Create a division equation, write it below, solve it and then check in with multiplication.
   Create a multiplication equation, write it below, solve it and then check it with division.
3. Build multiplication tables for the 4 and 6 facts.

DictationCreate a sentence describing your home or family and write it below as I dictate it.

(**My son's dyslexia means that we are still learning to read, and could be for several more years. Our exams look differently, as a result, and yours can just include reading aloud for this age.)

Choose a Nursery Rhyme to read. (From Treadwell Reader Book 1)
Grammar1.Tell me about the function of adjectives and create some descriptive sentences below. 
2. Write 3 sentences with nouns and then rewrite the sentences, replacing those nouns with pronouns.

Composer Study
1.Why do you think Bach's Sonata #3 is written in a Major key?
2.Tell me about the mood of Bach's Sonata's

Natural History 
1. Tell me about the benefit of arachnids and how they live.
2. Draw different kinds of spider webs and arachnids.

Nature Study
1.Choose to tell me about either earthworms or cicadas.
2. Tell me what you've observed at Camp Mohawk.

Tell me about the skill of observation and why it is important in the life of a scout.

Science 1: Weather 1.Make a weather map below. 
2. Tell me what you know about clouds, and draw the types of clouds below. 

Science 2: Paleontology Either tell me about the excavation of "Sue", or tell me about proper digging procedures.
Special Studies 
Tell me what makes something an insect and choose one to draw in detail and describe below. 

1.What was the conflict in Hamlet's life?
2. Describe the character of Hamlet and how his actions either display or betray that character.

Hymn Study
Which of this term's two hymns impacted you more and what from its words or history do you think you'll never forget?

Folk Song
Why do you think "Oh Susanna" is such a timeless piece of American culture?

Tell me about the way a boomtown was built and why they were so important to the Western Expansion.

Christian Studies
1. Tell me what Scripture says clearly about the end of time?
2. What do we know to be true about God's Word? 

Recitation/Memory Work
1. Recite Aboard at a Ship's Helm.
2. Answer Catechism Questions 15-25.
3. Recite the section about the Holy Spirit from the Nicene Creed.

Musicianship 1.Sing and clap to the beat of London Bridge. (Music pasted into exam notebook)
2. Tell me about either rhythm or pitch. 


Explain what "Tidy-O" is and how to find it and use it.

Choose a set of shape drawings to complete below, and explain how they practice important drawing skills.

Complete a pastel project to give away as a gift.

1. What questions can you ask me in Spanish?
2. Translate the rhyme below.
Cierto dia vi en el mar
Un pececito de color
Pense en cogerlo dentro del mar
Pero el pececito se me escapo
Adios pececito cuando sepas hadar
No te volvere a ver nunca mas.

3. Recite the rhyme with proper pronunciation:
Elena la ballena
Se fue a navegar
En una lancha velera
Sobre las olas del mar
Sobre las olas del mar

Elena la ballena
Manana volvera
Hos traera de regalo
Una estrellita de mar
Una estrellita de mar

Elena la ballena
Abrio su quitasol
nosotros desde la playa
le gritamos adios
le gitamos adios.

Complete a needle felting project to give away as a gift.  

May Your Day be Spent...Delightfully Feasting, 
Crystin <3

Term 2 Favorites (2019)

Term 2 Favorites

  April -July 2019  

As we near the end of Term 2, we have chosen our favorite books. Some are their favorites, some are mine, but we all loved each of them. Some are serious, some are silly. Some are new, some are re-reads. Some we will use time and time again. Some we have been using for what seems like a lifetime. From poetry to picture books, and everything in between, these are the books that we loved the most this term. Every subject and lesson isn't represented here, but the wide feast of our days certainly is. These are the books that come to mind immediately when we asked the question "What did we LOVE about Term 2?"


B is for Buckaroo: A Cowboy Alphabet:
This is a fun Alphabet book, but we used it to supplement our history lessons. Both of my boys (ages 9 and 5) were captivated by both the illustrations and the ideas presented. The alphabet rhyme on each page provided a brief idea and then paragraphs in the margins of each page gave more thorough information about the idea presented. It could be read and enjoyed by preschoolers and younger children for solely the alphabet rhyme, and older children will enjoy having the more thorough information on each page. We learned so much about ranching, Spanish and American cowboys, cattle, pioneering, tall tales, the railroad, Western expansion, rodeos, cowboy art and literature, yodeling, breeds of horses, and so much more.

Verdi is a favorite of mine, and although my boys have heard it before, they found a new love for it this term. It was a bedtime read for us, and both boys hung on every word. It is a picture book and like any good picture book, so many ideas are within its pages. It speaks to the heart of "growing up", changes, and insecurities. It also sparks ideas about snakes that prompted my 5 year old to want to read "more snake books".

The 50 States:

We use this beautiful atlas during our US Geography lessons, and we just love it. We love looking at every image and discovering what is important to and about each state that we are looking at. We can spend a good amount of time just studying the beautiful images in this atlas, and the information presented about each state is useful and interesting.

Turtle in July:

This little book of rhymes has an animal rhyme for each month and/or season of the year, and during the first Treasure Time of each month, my boys have come to look forward to and love when I pull out Turtle in July to read the simple rhyme and study the picture of each animal. Turtle in July has become the official start to each month for our homeschool, and it is a simple delight to us.

The Burgess Seashore Book:
We love Burgess, and have enjoyed many of his books and stories. We never fail to enjoy a story by Burgess, but this term we have especially enjoyed continuing this year's Nature Lore in the Seashore Book. This was a favorite last term (and even included in this list!) and this term a few lessons have truly captured the imaginations of my boys and prompted them to discuss and remember the discoveries made my Jimmy Skunk and Reddy Fox on the seashore. They wait with great anticipation for Greywing the Gull to divulge what he knows about each creature encountered, and they never cease to be amazed at all that they learn about those creatures and how perfectly God designed them. They are still talking daily about the amazing things Greywing "told" them about sea stars. ;)

Meet George Washington
Landmark biographies are some of the best, and Meet George Washington has been no exception. I love the shorter length and simplicity of this series, while greatly appreciating that the simplicity doesn't make them any less living. We do our Biography lessons every other week, so a short biography that still captivates our hearts and deepens our relationship with the person we are reading about is a perfect choice for us. 

A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark:

This series of picture book biographies is a favorite of mine, and they never fail to draw us into the lives of the men and women that they portray. Lewis and Clark were big hits for my adventurous boys, and resulted in afternoon imaginative play pretending to set out to explore the Louisiana Purchase. Anytime the stories within our books show up in afternoon play, I know that the book has accomplished just what I desire for books to accomplish.

Lullabies and Good Night
We often read this collection of Mary Cassatt paintings and poetry in the evening, and we never get tired of doing so. The paintings can be studied much like an evening, shorter version of Picture Study, or simply just admired, depending on interest and enthusiasm. The lullabies and poetry included are a sweet end to many evenings, and discussing the connection between the poetry and the painting chosen to represent it is always fun, and it allows for further study of Cassatt's paintings. As our artist last term, although we have moved on to a different artist this term, Cassatt has made her own permanent impression on my boys.

Just So Stories

Has anyone ever not loved Kipling? I can't even imagine it! Just So Stories is in our morning/free reading basket and so we are reading one of these tales every week or so and all of us are always fully engaged in catching the underlying humor, laughing at the antics, and guessing how the animal ended up in whatever condition the tale is "explaining".

Little House on the Prairie
This term, we finished Little House in the Big Woods, read Little House on the Prairie and started On the Banks of Plum Creek. After absolutely loving out time spent in Farmer Boy last term, I was excited for my boys to officially meet Mary and Laura. One of Teddy's exam questions last term was to decide whether he admired the parenting of James Wilder or Charles Ingalls more, and the question tortured him. ;) This term, he is finding his respect and love for Pa to deepen more and more with every chapter. So far in the series, Farmer Boy has remained the favorite and Little House on the Prairie is the runner up. They enjoyed all of the excitement and adventures with the Indians, and Mr. Edwards was fun to "meet". :)

Yankee Doodle 

This "tail", ;) is just plain fun! Yankee Doodle is a favorite folk song in our home, and the American Revolution is a much loved period of history. A story about mice never fails to be enjoyable either. Combine the three, and you've got a story that made us all laugh, sing a rambunctious rendition of Yankee Doodle and discuss the Revolutionary War.

There you have it....our favorite books of Term 2. Spreading a wide feast is such a joy, and hearing what everyone loves the most reminds me that children TRULY are born persons, that ideas TRULY are living sustenance, and that the feast TRULY is worth my effort to spread before them. 

I would love to hear what you are loving most right now, or what you have loved most in your most recent term. What are you favorites, and why?

May all your days be spent....Delightfully Feasting 

Crystin <3

2nd Annual A Charlotte Mason Mother Retreat

Join us for the 2nd annual A Charlotte Mason Mother Retreat, held on October 25th 2019 from 10 am to 5 pm. The retreat is held in Alvin, Texas. As always, your registration fee covers your breakfast, a full coffee and tea bar, your lunch, your educational materials and all retreat sessions. See inside the registration form for more info on retreat sessions, or follow along in the Delightfully Feasting Facebook community for details. Facebook Event Link is here.

Join us for the 2nd annual A Charlotte Mason Mother Retreat, held on August 30th 2019 from 10 am to 5 pm. The retreat is held in Alvin, Texas.

As always, your registration fee covers your breakfast, a full coffee and tea bar, your lunch, your educational materials and all retreat sessions.

See inside the registration form for more info on retreat sessions, or follow along in the Delightfully Feasting Facebook community for details.
Facebook Event Link is here.

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Treasure Hunting: My Public Domain Favorites

My Public Domain Favorites

The public domain is a treasure trove of wonderful books, and finding them is truly like a treasure hunt. I spend a fair amount of time searching for free, vintage, public domain books but I also sometimes find gems purely by accident. Not everything in the public domain is living and wonderful, and every era had its twaddle. ;) However, the sheer volume of lovely material for lessons (and simply for enjoyment) in the public domain written in the 19th and 20th centuries is worth the hunt!

Here are some of my absolute favorite public domain finds. I usually have at least half a dozen books from the public domain in our lessons at any given time, and these are all books that I have either used or have read through and scheduled for future lessons. Enjoy! 

 FAQ Where do you find books?
Archive is my favorite resource for public domain books, but I also get books from Google. You can simply search for a title + "public domain" or a title + "pdf" in your internet search engine and filter through the top results. You can also simply search on archive and more often than not, you'll find something worthy! I always search for the names of authors of books that I love, and often find other books.

The Ambleside Online Library has some great books as well. 

The Online Books Page is a great place to search.

Project Gutenberg is full of books as well.

Gateway to the Classics is fun to explore.

Also, I love to follow Public Domain Books for Homeschooling on Facebook.

One more place I love to browse is DIY Homeschooler , free E Books Library.

How do you print these books?

I print them in a variety of ways. I print them at Office Depot and I print smaller books at home sometimes. I use some books straight from my computer or tablet. I also sometimes just print portions of books at a time.

What should I know about public domain books?

The books are:
1. From many different sources

2. In many different formats
Some books are scanned in and some are typed in. Some have multiple copies, and some are harder to find than others. Some are more quality. Make sure that you do a wide search, and explore all of the formats of the book. I always download the PDF version when it's available, but I also explore the other formats if I am going to use a book straight from my device.

***Also, make sure you always do a search on Librivox (download the app!), for a book if you'd like the option to listen to it in audio. I use audio sparingly for lessons, but I do use it. And, for free reading, we LOVE Librivox. 


The Child's Own Grammar,by Alice Bell (Elementary Grammar)  
Grammar Land, by M.L. Nesbitt (Elementary Grammar) 
     *** Free Grammar Land Printable Worksheets
Willy's Grammar, by Mrs. Marcet (Elementary Grammar)
The Art Literature Readers

Natural History

A Book of Birds, by Carton Moore Park
Bird World , by J.H. Stickney
A Year With the Birds , by Alice E. Ball (bird poetry and nature study)
Adventures of a Grain of Dust, by Hallam Hawksworth (Natural History lessons)
    ***Also Strange Adventures in Nature's Wonderlands and Strange Adventures of a Pebble

Eyes and No Eyes Series , by Arabella Buckley
Our Wonderful World, by Emery Lewis Howe (Natural History lessons) 


A History of the United States , by Cecil Chesterton (middle grades) 
America First, by Lawton Evans
And There Was America, by Roger Duvoisin 
First Book of American History , by Edward Eggleston 
   ***Also, all books by Eggleston (search for his name!)
History of the United States Told in One Syllable Words , by Miss Josephine Pollard
Fifty Famous Stories Retold, by James Baldwin 


School Arithmetic Series, by George Wentworth and David Smith (continues all the way through high school- even trigonometry!)
Every Day Arithmetic Series, by Franklin S. Hoyt and Harriet Poet
A Practical Primary Arithmetic, by M.C.S. Noble


The Children's Plutarch , by F.J. Gould (also download The Tales of the Romans)
Ambleside Geography Series, by Charlotte Mason 

The World at Home , by Mary and Elizabeth Kirby


American Fairy Tales, by L. Frank Baum 
Mother Goose in Prose, by L. Frank Baum 
Boston Collection of Kindergarten Stories
Fairy Stories and Fables, by James Baldwin 
    *** Also, all other books by James Baldwin
The Book of Fables and Folk Stories, by Horace Elisha Scudder 
Kindergarten Stories and Morning Talks, by Sara Wiltse 
Nature Myths and Stories, by Flora J. Cooke


Augsburg's Drawing Series 
The American Drawing Book, by J.G.Chapman
Papersloyd, A Handbook for Elementary Grades, by Ednah Anne Rich


French Nursery Rhymes, Poems, Rounds, and Riddles, by C.B.  
Illustrated French Primer, Hachette    


Morning Exercises for All the Year 
If you have public domain treasures that are your favorites, add them in the comments!

May all your days be spent....Delightfully Feasting

Crystin <3 


My Friend, Charlotte: Who and What Am I Talking About?

My Friend, Charlotte...

Who and What is Charlotte Mason, and Why Does It Matter?  Things To Know : Charlotte Mason was a British educator in the late 1800's...