Poetic Homeschooling

Memorial Day

 It is only 4:00 pm of this Memorial Day, and it has already been such a wonderful day for us.
The day started for me at 6:00 am, when I walked with my friend and neighbor around our neighborhood. We did this two weeks ago and loved it, we walked three mornings for 45 minutes, and now that her husband’s job hours have changed, we can do it again. And I am excited. Excercising 3 days a week makes me definitely feel much better.

After a great breakfast at our patio, we all looked at these books about constellations, and drew and made some of them. One of my goals this year is to be  able to look at the sky when we camp and such, and identify some of the stars and constellations.

The gourd is from the time when we read Follow the Drinking Gourd, which was a song that pointed slaves to the way to freedom by following the Little Dipper and  the North star, which is at the handle of the Little Dipper. Here there is some history on the song and the  meaning of “follow the drinking gourd”.

While we were working on the constellations, I turned on the radio, and we were so lucky to hear The Carnival of the Animals, by Saint Saëns, the aquatic piece is magical, according to my oldest. It also trasported us to the times when we heard this piece, and Bernstein, Peter and the Wolf…

This giant sunflower you see, was not planted by us. It was a gift of nature, a seed from the wild that took root in the best spot of my garden, in the middle, right by our tomatoes. Our side roads become full of these gorgeous sunflowers.

 My husband was so nice to paint the cabinet trims which needed paint badly.

Before the girls left the table, I squeezed in a bit of Hamlet… it was not super welcome initially, but they warmed up to it, and we managed to finish the third act.

On their own accord, one wanted to practice piano, and both played some SPEED.
Just so you know life is good, but not without its challenges, after my oldest daughter practiced the piece she knows at the piano, I worked on having her try and study the next song. She is very change resistant, every new thing, even a new song, or a new book, etc., makes her uncomfortable, and one has to insist and help her embrace the next step.

At 1:30 we arrived at the park we have been going for 4 or 5 years every Memorial Day. This is Colonel Richard P. Pannell honoring the fallen. Attendance this year was embarrassingly low.  It was only dribbling a bit throughout the ceremony, which was nice, since most years it is burning hot, and the men in uniform have to endure those crazy temperatures in full attire.

These are the cadets of a nearby middle school. They did great. Right before, when the Houston Police shoots at the Gun Salute, that first boom never fails to take us by surprise.

Back home it started to pour down in torrents. And now, 4:32 pm, I am typing with the lull of the rain hitting my window.

I forgot to mention… at the Ambleside Forum, someone shared this Longfellow poem called Decoration Day, -that is the former name of Memorial Day, called Decoration because people used to decorate the tombs of their relatives who had died at the Civil War-, and we read it too.

And during the trip to and fro, I read one story from the Book of Golden Deeds, it was the Crossing of the Thermopylae, and those famous 300 hundred Spartans led by Leonidas. I have chosen this book for family read aloud, since my husband loves history and geography. Specially because both my children are girls, I need to remember to add to their education and life books like this that talk about golden and heroic deeds, battles and their significance. I don’t know any military person that is not a peace advocate. That was one of the first mentions of the colonel who gave the speech. Not every man, -or woman-, is called to serve his nation in the military, but those who do, do it impelled by defending freedom, and with the hope of reestablishing peace and safety among their families and fellow citizens.

I share with many friends that a Charlotte Mason education is not a curriculum, neither a philosophy, but a style of life.

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