The Dish: A Mother's Review 5

The Dish: 

A Mother's Review #5

Knowledge of God

"Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him."
Psalm 33:8
This is my current, personal memory verse. I was struck by it anew last week, and I am taking it to heart every time my alarm goes off throughout the day, signifying to me that it is time to ponder my memory verse. It is important to me because I know that what has been lost in much of education is a fear of and awe of God. Even as living educators, we can be guilty of checking the boxes, and not cultivating wonder. I have recently realized that there are just as many "living boxes" as there are "traditional boxes", and that we living educators are every bit as guilty of checking them off. "20 minutes of nature observation, check!", "10 minutes of classical music, check!", "15 minutes of studying art, check!". Yes, we should complete all of those things, and yes we should work towards structured lessons, in order to cultivate the wisdom of stewarding time properly. But, in the midst of that, we shouldn't lose sight of the truth that standing in awe of God is the primary purpose for an education, of any sort, and that any time spent standing in awe of Him, and of the many things He has created or given men the talent to create, is time well spent. When we do lose sight of that, and find ourselves putting mental check marks in mental boxes and feeling "successful", despite not having joyfully wondered and explored through any of it, then we should repent and we should return again to the goal of standing in awe of Him. For the children's sake. <3

Knowledge of the Universe

20 Ways to Draw a Tree
New Discovery!  
I recently discovered these gems! There is a series of them, and I think they are delightful! I love that it gives gentle drawing instruction in a way that Mason would call "by the way". It isn't direct instruction, it is simply learned through the exploration of actually drawing. I also love that it encourages children (and me!) to see things from different perspectives, and to confidently draw them in simple ways. Simple is important, because art instruction should be separate from nature study, and a nature journal shouldn't really be an art project. I am in love with the Tree book, and can't wait to purchase more in the series.

Knowledge of Man

Study of Africa
If you do Cultural Studies in your morning lessons, Africa is such a rich and joyful place to explore. Our first term this year is being spent in Africa, and we enjoy it so much. Here are a couple of books to use for exploring Africa's culture:

Facing the Lion 

This first hand account of life as a Massai warrior in Kenya is so interesting. We are enjoying it thoroughly and relating in ways I never imagined to the life of another born person, who lived on the other side of the world, in a much different way than us.

14 Cows for America

Oh, how I love this book! I couldn't wait to share it with my children, and during our week studying Kenya, I finally got to do so. I couldn't, even then, read it without tears. It is a truly lovely story that everyone should hear. 

Food for the Mother's Soul 

I was blessed by this article over at My Little Robins, about the habit of obedience. I think you will be blessed too. Courage and grace, Mommas! Have the courage to instill good habits in your children and to expect them to develop those habits. Also, have the grace to forgive yourself and your born persons for the failure that is inevitable. Then, again have the courage to start anew and to be faithful.
Courage and Grace....Every day.

I have also been supremely blessed by my reading of this biography of Beatrix Potter. I so dearly love her, and stepping into her world and the world which she created for us in her books is so incredibly fascinating to me. What a wonder was her mind! I am so refreshed every time this book comes up on my list, and I can't wait to take it on my  back porch with a cup of hot tea (you can't really read about Beatrix without a cup of hot tea, now can you?) this weekend and finish it while the carolina wrens that frequent my backyard sing and call to each other in the joy of Spring. <3 

Around the Table  

What is Happening in the Charlotte Mason World?

Do you listen to the Mason Jar, with Cindy Rollins?
Her monthly Q and A episodes are so edifying, and this month was no exception.
Cindy is Charlotte Mason royalty, and I just adore her! She is truthful, and bold, but she is oh so graceful. She has the courage to say that Mason was not perfect, and that we can not be either. She also has the wisdom to encourage us to work hard at choosing the right thing, even when it is hard. One of her trademark pieces of advice is "make hay when the sun shines", and I appreciate it so very much every time I hear her say it. Little acts of faithfulness add up to big things. 

I recently commonplaced a Chinese proverb that says:
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
It is never too late to choose the right.

Here is this month's episode of The Mason Jar.

Something to Chew On

"There is no kind of knowledge to be had in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves, of the world they live in."
~Charlotte Mason 

If Mason is right, and there is no knowledge as valuable as knowledge which children get themselves, especially in the "early years", then imagine the travesty that we are committing when we get between the children and that knowledge. If Mason is right and there is no knowledge as valuable knowledge of the world in which a child lives, imagine how preposterous an act it is, on our part, to fill their days with the inferior knowledge of maths, reading, and rote facts. There will be plenty of time for the acquisition of mathematical knowledge and the knowledge of how to read, but we can never redeem the time that is gifted to us now to stand out of the way and let our young children get knowledge of the world around them. Don't get in the way of this wholly natural process, with one more storybook or quizzing of the information that you drilled them on yesterday. Stand back, Momma, and watch in wonder as they discover the incredible world which they've been given. 

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

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