14 May, 2013
03 May, 2012
One of the first things we did when the big girls were about 4 and 5 was to go on nature walks. We would go for a walk around the block, or to the local park, and pick up different leaves or cones to bring home for identification. We would also try to identify trees by their leaves, or the birds and insects at the park and in our backyard. If you have access to a good beach, go and look at shells and try to identify them. Sometimes we would draw our finds in our nature books, but almost always we would look them up in our nature books.
Here are some helpful New Zealand nature books for identification of New Zealand flora and fauna:
05 March, 2012
Hear the sledges with the bells---
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation, that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells---
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
We memorised the first verse as part of a lesson in First Language Lessons Level Three, by Susan Wise Bauer.
Tintinnabulation simply means the sounds of ringing bells.
The poem continues with a further three verses, read it here or enjoy listening to the poem here.
Perhaps we will memorise the remaining verses one day.
15 February, 2012
I have been following Tim Challies' blog for a while now. I enjoy reading his articles written from a Reformed perspective. This year he challenged his readers to use Professor Grant Horner's Bible reading plan. You can read all about it here. The plan splits the Bible into ten reading lists, each list is a different length from all the others, the idea being that you will be reading a chapter from ten different parts of the Bible each day, but never reading the same combination again. I challenged my husband to do the reading plan with me. We began on 1st January and we have stuck with it so far. I am really enjoying reading a variety of genres each day, and I really feel like I am being saturated in God's Word. I am excited that it will enable me to get to know the Bible more thoroughly as time goes by. There is a facebook group for those following the plan here.
Another challenge I have taken up this month, is to memorise the book of Titus. Doctrines in the Kitchen is a facebook group set up to encourage mothers at home to be interested in, and to study doctrine. Last year a group of ladies memorised Philippians, and this year they are memorising Titus. I thought I would give it a go. So far, I have Titus 1:1-5 memorised. I am writing out the verses each morning and night, and reciting them to myself throughout the day. The simple act of writing them out daily helps to store them my brain, and I find it is reasonably effortless to memorise the verses with this method.
You can find the Doctrines in the Kitchen facebook group here, and the Memorise Titus blogpost here.
06 October, 2011
colouring book. We have used these at home, and in church Sunday school classes. These books are available in New Zealand from Geneva Books, and are very affordable.
Reading the great stories of the Bible and teaching your children catechism when they are young will give them a great start to later understanding of the truths of God's Word, enabling them to apply them to their lives.
14 September, 2011
The first "homeschooling" book I ever came across was Karen Andreola's book: "A Charlotte Mason Companion". This is a great indroduction to Charlotte Mason's methods and how you came implement them in your home.
2. One resource you wouldn't be without:
I think right now I would have to say the brilliant writing course by Andrew Pudewa: Student Writing IntensiveThis course takes all the mystery out of writing for our family.
3. One resource you wish you had never bought:
Hmmm, I am having trouble with this one. I am usually very careful about what I buy. We did try out Mystery of History, but after having already used Story of the World, we just went back to that.
4. One resource you enjoyed last year:
We enjoyed using Discovering Great Artists as a springboard for out art lessons.
5. One resource you will be using next year:
Well, it's not next year yet, but my oldest girls have just started working through Dr Jay Wile's Exploring Creation with General Science. So far they are enjoying it.
6. One resource you would like to buy:
I would LOVE to buy an e-book reader, for all those out-of-print or hard-to-find or just-too-expensive classic books that we have yet to read.
7. One resource you wish existed:
Some sort of reference for New Zealand poetry and literature suitable for children.
8. One homeschool catalogue you enjoy reading:
I have been browsing through the Institute for Exellence in Writing's catalogue, and would love to be able to buy some of their history-based writing lessons and poetry lessons.
9. One homeschool website you use regularly
Ambleside Online. This is a great resource based on the methods of Charlotte Mason and includes booklists for every grade in every subject area.
10. Tag six other homeschoolers:
1. Melissa, from Bugs, Knights and Turkeys in the Yard
2. Nancy, from Sage Parnassus
3. Narelle, from House of Bogwitz
4. Laura Lou, from Wasted Textbooks
5. Mel, from Sweet Blue Sky Days and
6. Jeanne, from A Peaceful Day (Jeanne's lucky - she's already done the meme, so I've linked you directly to her blogpost :-)
If I haven't tagged you, feel free to join in anyway, it's always great to read about what other homeschoolers are using and love.
09 September, 2011
We have just finished learning about the French Revolution in Story of the World 3: Early Modern Times by Susan Wise Bauer.
One of the extra reading suggestions was "The Man who Painted Flowers" by Carolyn Croll.
It looks like a lovely picture book which I would love to purchase at some stage. Carolyn Croll has several of her lovely illustrations on her blog, which is well worth a look at.
I did however come across a very similar sounding book on
trademe. It is called "The Man who Painted Roses, the Story
of Pierre-Joseph Redoute". So I snapped up this book for just $2, thinking it was bound to have some of Redoute's paintings reproduced in it. I was a little disappointed when I received it as there were no pictures, other than on the front cover. What I did discover however, was a wonderful story of Redoute's life.
Redoute was born about 30 years before the French Revolution, into a family of painters in Belgium. His father longed for he and his brothers to grow up to be famous landscape or portrait painters. They were encouraged to leave the family home at the age of 13, and travel the country learning from master painters, earning their bed and board by assisting the master painters and by painting the odd potrait or religious painting for the local people.
Redoute learned much from this experience, but he never really wanted to paint portraits, he love flowers! He was constantly distracted by their beauty and began to sketch every flower he could along the way.
Eventually Redoute married and settled in Paris. Pierre-Joseph and his wife, Marie-Marthe, had two daughters, Josephine and Adelaide. Through the help of his older brother, Antoine-Ferdinand, and the contacts of various well-known French botanists, Redoute went on to be the official painter for Queen Marie-Antoinette, the Empress Josephine (first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte), the Empress Marie-Louise (second wife of Napoleon) and Queen Marie Amelie. If you can keep up with all the Maries, Louises and Josephines in the story, you are doing well!
Redoute published many botanical books on roses, lilies and many other flowers of the world. He lived a full life and died at the age of 81.
I learned more French history in this book than I have ever known!