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:
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".
Picture Books Roundup
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.
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 ManThe 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 SoulThis 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.
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 Retreat...is next week!
Don't miss it!
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