ambleside curriculum, My thoughts

Another Week in May

This is the reader that she is. She loves science, books about planets, cooking and cooking books, and books about the world and its cultures, people, and customs. Here she is reading a book on weddings, Jewish weddings, Muslim weddings, Indonesian weddings… while she was doing this, her sister was riding her bike.

This was my tornado hit nightstand this morning. Books that are constantly coming up and down the stairs. It has now been cleaned and organized. I have definitely reached the limit of books I am midway reading and not finished once I opened A Canticle for Leibowith this weekend.

I have The Eyre Affair and The Royal Road to Romance on hold. How to Read a Book, I am reading with the Ambleside Online Forum gals, and since they are going at snail speed, my quota is met for the week.

Three Men in a Boat is the book we are reading and for which I am leading the discussion also at the Ambleside Online Forum. Many are participating, and most are liking it. Jerome K. Jerome is become a “good friend of mine”, lol. I agree with one of the friends, his style is funny and poetic, and it is a nice read.

Do you like my copy of A Canticle for Leibowitz? The price for a hardcover copy was too high. If I have to buy paperback, bantam is one of my favorites, funnily, Avon is another favorite Mass Paperback publisher too, and dell, and, of course, penguin.

The pile made it downstairs, where I gathered other books the girls and I are reading. I read A Book of Golden Deeds as a family read. My husband is loving it as much as the girls and myself. What a wonderful compendium of golden deeds, with excerpts of poems, ballads… such a wealth of not just knowledge, but wisdom. I thought about my friend who told me about the end of the Grapes of Wrath, for the preface of the book talks about those many prisoners that were fed surreptitiously by women who could nurse.

Nancy Drew is been read slowly by my 9 yo, The Tanglewoods’ Secret, I read aloud at night along with Hamlet. Owl at Home, Two Many Babas, and No Flying in the House, are my 7yo reads. Snugglepot and  Cuddlepie is another of Jeanne’s recommendations that I haven’t gotten to read yet, and I want to!, lol, maybe after The Tanglewoods’ Secret, and I Saw Three Ships was a present from another AO mom, Sarah, that we have not enjoyed yet…

Today it was our first day of years 4 and 2 respectively. I have never done much to kick off a new year of studies, but today I took the girls for donuts. These yummy lemon poppy seed scones were done after. I found the mix in the bargain shelf at HEB supermarket, and it said to be a natural (no high fructose, no additives, no colorant, no eggs… ) mix, and they truly taste great.

I think it is soon to talk, but I am hoping for the rest of our year as this day. I need to see how we finish our week, but truth is that the longer we are with Charlotte Mason methods and with Ambleside Online curriculum, the smoother, more pleasant, easier, our lessons and days become. I started with poetry from both years selection. My oldest loved the new books we have started, which are Bulfinch Mythology (almost all the preface, but we saved a couple of pages, because it was full of introductory information, and we are working on a bit of a Greek gods family tree), Robinson Crusoe (eight out of fourteen pages for this week), and The Story Book of Science by Fabre, which she read herself, -the first introductory chapter-. Her sister chose Tree in the Trail, and she even colored in the map, and added her illustration of the Indian boy with the Tree. We also read The Little Duke, and she added an entry to our Book of Centuries, little Richard, Castle of Bayeux, Normandy, the date, and an illustration on the other side of a knight riding a horse. I am truly impressed about the conversations they both have with the books and with me, the flowing of ideas and connections the readings inspire, and how much they relate to former books or knowledge they already have.

Math was also nice. I know that, as we started a MEP year,  the first lessons are review of last year, but they were attentive to the lesson, and did their practice independently and with gusto. Writing and piano was done with a good heart too.

When my oldest asked if I had never read Robinson Crusoe, my youngest exclaimed, “no, she hasn’t, she has not done your grade yet!” lol. Indeed, I have never done a fourth grade this rich, and what it is to come. It is sometimes hard to believe this education is coming true for my girls and even for me.

I think preparing is key. But to prepare, I never ever loose sleep, I never sacrifice my own reading time. I do it little by little, and it is very enjoyable to me to locate the books, find out about the practices in the Ambleside Online Forum, ask for tips on how to handle different readings, and simply jumping to do it, that is the best part. I thought much about my oldest, if to continue with year 4, or have a year 3.5, which is an adjusting and maturing time when year 4 seems too much for them. But I am glad I opted for year 4. She is mature enough for it, and, if I am patient, it will challenge her and help her grow without crushing her.

These lovely days give me energy to face moments when we hit road blocks. And it is not over yet. Tonight we will have devotional time, and our reading before bed.

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