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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What's On Your Nightstand - May

What's On Your Nightstand

June is upon me and that means less time to read. A pity, I know. My in-laws are coming for a visit from North Dakota and my parents are also visiting from Wisconsin, so my time will probably be spent enjoying being together--plus it requires some major house cleaning!

I had a hard time picking out books for this month. Consider This by Karen Glass is being brought over from April's Nightstand. I am over half-way through this book so hopefully I can get it finished in June. Other than that I am just going to take each day as it comes.

For June:
 


From April's Nightstand I read:
  • The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge - I don't know if this was the best pick to start off reading Goudge, but that is just the way the cookie crumbled. This was slow going at first, but boy, it made up for it by the end. This is such a redeeming story told in a very quiet way. (I'm not sure if it makes sense, but it is the only way I know how to describe it.) I will definitely be reading more Goudge.
  • A Season for the Heart by Elizabeth Chater - Recommended to me by hopeinbrazil from Worthwhile Books since I enjoy Georgette Heyer so much. Heyer is a much more sophisticated writer. A quick and predictable read. I know that I would have loved reading this in my teens.
  • The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley - I really wanted to like this book, except that a certain hot-topic agenda seemed to loosely pervade the story. Maybe I'll write up a review, but if you want to know more check out this one.
  • Enemy Brothers by Constance Savery - Several years ago we read The Reb and the Redcoats by the same author and thoroughly enjoyed it (review). Savery does an amazing job of telling unusual stories about historical events. A review will be going up next month.
I also read:
I listened to:
  • The Green Ember by S. D. Smith - I won a copy of the audio book from Carrie at Reading to Know. I will admit that fantasy is NOT my genre and everybody was raving about it and many times I find that books like that don't meet my expectations.  I was thrilled to get it for the kids since they do fantasy. I decided to give it a listen and lo and behold this book is worthy of all the raving it has received. I still haven't got my kids to listen to it (I think they are a little hesitant like I was) so it may become a read-aloud. The other option is that one of them will finally listen to it and for some reason they can persuade each other easier the I can persuade them to give it a go. 
See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (A Philosophy of Education)

http://ladydusk.blogspot.com/search/label/Wednesdays%20with%20words

 

I have been slowly reading through Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition by Karen Glass and using the study guide. I also have been reading the recommended reading that is suggested at the end of each chapter which led me to reading the chapter "Three Instruments of Education" from A Philosophy of Education and this portion leapt off the page and really spoke to me.

Education is a life. That life is sustained on ideas. Ideas are of spiritual origin, and God has made us so that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another, whether by word of mouth, written page, Scripture word, musical symphony; but we must sustain a child's inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food. p. 109

Read more over at ladydusk.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - The End Is In Sight!

May 15 Collage 
    Life has been happening here. We have been working hard on our school work. This week we did get quite a few things wrapped up. Our goal is to be finished by the last week of May when may parents will be arriving from Wisconsin for a visit. Here is a peek of what has been happening around here: 
  1. Mother's Day! I am so thankful for my amazing kids who call me "mom". My life has been changed because of them. I was blessed to receive two more rose bushes to put in the front our house.
  2. Chantry filled out an "Mad About Mom" survey during Sunday School (see below) which was pretty funny, but it truly showed that he is a boy. He made up for it later by getting a McDonald's Strawberry & Cream pie.
  3. I don't think my oldest kids did much in the kitchen (not their fault), but Delani just goes in there and does what she wants. Since she sees them do things she isn't very intimidated to try for herself. She is cooking herself a tortilla for her lunch. 
  4. We finished our history, geography, and literature reading--Mystery of History I, the first part of The Complete Book of Marvels, The Occident, and Black Ships Before Troy.
  5. Chantry finished Math U See Zeta.
  6. This is my teacher's book from Zeta. It has been through three kids. I am hoping it will survive the fourth kid.
  7. Chantry also finished Spelling You See Book D: Americana. This has been a great spelling program for him.
  8. Caleb and his dad got all dirty changing the brake pads on our van. I think most of the grease ended up on them. They enjoy every second of getting dirty!
  9. Our roses are blooming. This is my rose bush that I received last year for Mother's Day. 
I think this was my favorite thing from Mother's Day. My two youngest kids filled these "Mad About Mom" surveys and the answers really made my day!

2015-05-10 19.00.21
2015-05-10 19.00.34
Collage Friday
Weekly Wrap-Up

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life - Part 2)

http://ladydusk.blogspot.com/2015/05/wednesdays-with-words-may-13-2015.html

 

I just finished reading Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney which I really enjoyed. In the end of the book Whitney is summing up the importance of having discipline in our lives and how it relates to practicing the Spiritual Disciplines. This portion really hit close to home.
So if you are simply waiting until you have more time for the Spiritual Disciplines, you never will. In a card to my wife and me, Jean Fleming wrote, "I find myself thinking, 'When life settles down, I'll...' But I should have learned by now that life never settles down for long. Whatever I want to accomplish, I must do with life unsettled." I think that's a marvelous insight to the mundane. Because life never really settles down, because we will always have plenty of things to do, if we are ever going to make progress in Godliness through the Spiritual Disciplines it must be done when life is like it is now. (p.248)

 Wednesdays with Words (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life - Part 1)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (The Dean's Watch)

The Little White Horse I started The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge which started off very slooooowly. Since she comes so highly recommended and I really enjoyed The Little White Horse every time I have read it to my kids, I have kept reading and thankfully the story seems to be setting up nicely.

In this portion Isaac Peabody, the watchmaker, who has a fear of the Cathedral anything to do with it, ends up meeting the Dean and sharing a conversation.

He had never thought of the Olympian figures of the Close as in need of compassion; not, he supposed, had anybody else in the city. All of them, and especially the terrible Dean, had seemed to live in a world where compassion was not necessary. He saw now that it was the very first necessity, always and everywhere, and should flow between all men, always and everywhere. Men lived with their nearest and dearest and knew little of them, and strangers passing by in the street where as impersonal as trees walking, and all the while there was this deep affinity, for all men suffered.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - Apple Pie Day & More

We are closing in on our last five to six weeks of school (hoping for five, but...). Our big event was heading to the Capitol building for Apple Pie Day for Oregon's Home Education Week. There are many things happening that day. Our co-op took a tower tour and also a tour to the House (in session) and the Senate room. I've also included a few more pictures showing what all has been happening around here.

May 1 Collage 
 1. & 2.  This year we were able to take a Tower tour. We climbed 121 stairs to go up to the observation deck.
3. At the top!
4. The "Oregon Pioneer" at the top of the building.
5. I took of a picture of the kids by a pink dogwood tree for Grandma K.
6. Eating our lunch on the steps during the rally.
7. The rotunda. (Picture courtesy of Destini.)
8. Delani sang in the Statewide Homeschool Choir.
(I don't have a picture of this, but I think I spent most of my time walking several blocks every couple of hours to move my vehicle since I'm too cheap to pay outrageous meter parking.) 
May 1 Collage 2
9. Since our yard isn't huge and since every gas weed-eater that we buy has something go wrong with it within a year my husband decided to get an electric one. Caleb was one happy guy!
10. Sometimes I wonder how well Morning Time goes when one of the kids sleeps right through it!
11. Delani lost two teeth in one week. She was especially proud that she pulled the second one out herself. I was grateful since it didn't involve major screaming like the first one did. (And no she wasn't hurt--it was all drama.)
12. Delani is thrilled that she as found a game she can play with the older kids. She is beating Destini  in Monopoly Deal.
13. Yeah! Destini finished science this week. This is a small glimpse in her science journal. Now I'm on the great search for high school science that doesn't suck the joy of of the subject.
14. While the kids were preparing for Student Convention we had dropped some of our academics and English was one of them. BIG mistake! Now it is hanging over our heads like a heavy weight. Even though we do a lot of orally it takes soooo much time. If the books could be finished 3 times a week I would keep this program for next year, but it takes 4-5 days a week and we are burned out.
15. New curriculum (for Destini) for next year arrived in the mail this week.
16. I was blessed to win the audio book download of The Green Ember by S.D. Smith from Carrie at Reading to Know. Just let me say that I don't care for fantasy books, but this is a splendid read.
Collage Friday
Weekly Wrap-Up

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Read-Aloud Thursday: Penrod and Penrod & Sam by Booth Tarkington

Read-Aloud Thursday Pictures, Images and Photos

 
Penrod Schofield was neither overwhelmingly bad nor the complete little gentleman. He was an ordinary twelve-year-old boy growing up in early twentieth-century America: mischievous, adventurous, and irreverent. In the Penrod stories, Tarkington created realistic boys' stories not unlike the adventures of Tom Sawyer. With his friends and fellow gang members--Sam, Herman, and Verman--and his long-suffering dog, Duke, Penrod romps through adventures and misadventures. He endures the embarrassment of school plays and dance classes, escaping when he can to his secret hideaway to write gory adventure stories. With the help of the gang, Penrod stages his own theatrical featuring Duke (the Indian Dog) and the Michigan trained rats. His escapades have delighted generations of readers.

   
In Penrod and Sam, the imaginative adventures of Tarkington's ten-year-old Penrod Schofield continue. Penrod's sidekick is Samuel Williams, and together they improvise, causing general mischief and disorder wherever they go. In picaresque fashion, a fencing battle takes them all through the neighborhood; they narrowly escape serious injury while making boastful demonstrations with a loaded gun; they indulge in dubious "'nishiation" practices for their secret society; they steal food for the starving horse concealed in the Schofields' empty stable; they attempt to fish a cat out of cistern using a pair of trousers; and they cause general chaos at Miss Amy Rennsdale's dance. This is a delighfully nostalgic look at Tarkington's turn-of-the-century Indiana.

I read  Penrod and Penrod and Sam by Booth Tarkington both in a matter of a few weeks to Chantry (12) and Destini (15). From the first chapter they were totally engrossed into these stories that kept  begging for more one moment and trying to plug their ears the next moment since Penrod's escapades can be quite, umm, shall I say interesting at times.

These are books are definitely a product of their time and like Mark Twain's  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer they do include thoughts and words used concerning African-Americans at that time. Don't let that put you off, though. Outside of changing a word here or there I read the book as written, because Tarkington does an excellent job of showing that this wasn't an issue with the boys in his book even if it is a little jarring for today's day and age. I also feel that these are more appropriate and will be appreciated by older kids about 11 and up.

I don't think my kids will ever forget these stories. We had many evenings where we laughed and laughed at Penrod's exploits (and let me tell you it is hard to read-aloud and laugh at the same time!). Tarkington shares about a life that unfortunately doesn't exist anymore, but kids can still read his books and have a glimpse and experience this wonderful piece of the past. I highly recommend Penrod and Penrod and Sam!
 
On a side note: While reading Penrod, the first book in the series, my kids noticed a commented on how Penrod reminded them of the character, Wesley, in the films On Moonlight Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon. After a quick Google search I discovered that Wesley was based on the character of Penrod. The main focus of the films are on Marjorie, the sister, but the character of Wesley does get his fair share of Penrod moments. I found this clip on YouTube and though this incident doesn't happen in the book it does it does show the spirit of Penrod.

Also, check out my Wednesdays with Words where I share some excerpts from Penrod and Penrod and Sam:
Penrod - Part 1
Penrod - Part 2
Penrod - Part 3
Penrod & Sam - Part 1
Penrod & Sam - Part 2

See what others are reading aloud over at Hope is the Word.

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