Buzzing, Relaxing, and June Reading Update

Getting the first figs with our neighbor.

So, what’s going on at the home of the Cachias? Nothing much but lots of goodness. I am having such a calmed summer, not many playdates. We will have a week of Bible classes for the children at church this coming week, and I have planned to see two friends who live far away, and that get together with Amy and Kathy, from the Ambleside Online Advisory. Amy had her baby sick, but it seems everything is working well for them to fly to the United States, and be 45 minutes from my home in a weeks time.

This is our Week 4 of the new year studies, and the girls are doing much better than anticipated. When they wake up, they want to go to the pool some days, sure, and see some friends, I understand… but all in all, they have been pretty good at keeping up piano practice, math, and the readings. One of my oldest longest reads, Robinson Crusoe, we are doing as a family in the car on the weekend.

As for our books, I went from an impasse of not knowing where else to turn (sometimes finishing some books leaves me in a state of desperation, lol), to a new buzz, very intense. I need to apply a bit of restrain and get to finish some reads not to spread myself too thin.

My youngest and our neighbor, who happens to be exactly her age.
We have known each other since both girls were but six months old.
Now they are seven!
I re-read The Drama of the Gifted Child. I think I captured it well the first time I read it. I realize I have overcome my childhood and I am enjoying a more mature and settled time in my life. I don’t want to minimize true spiritual feelings by sounding shallow, but my God is so good, so strong, and so mighty, there is nothing that God cannot do! (We will soon be singing that with the children).
I am reading The Headmistress, by Angela Thirkell. I have just read merely 60 pages, but I thought I could surely leave it there to inspect other titles that have crossed my path in full force. It is an inter loan book, and I can keep it till September…  -if I don’t buy it before!, :)-. Ambleside Online friends, you must read this book.
I am half way reading Their Eyes Were Watching God. What an American classic! This was an unexpected turn. It was a bit challenging until I got the gist of it. It is showing me a part of my country that I am not in direct contact with, a culture I don’t belong to but I need to know about and understand, but specially, appreciate. And Zora Neale Hurston makes that easy with her poetic language and her immense skill as a listener and her poignant pen and observant eye.I just found the book, remembered I had heard about it at the Ambleside Online Forum, bought it, and could not stop reading, -or so I thought until I saw Karen Glass offering to share her Volume 6 of Charlotte Mason, Toward a Philosophy of Education, in her abridged form. I read it in two days. I had never been able to read Vol. 6 in a short span. I was very familiar with the first two thirds of the book, but I enjoyed the last part, since it is the one I have read less, and I only knew by others quoting or mentioning parts of it.
Cheese cake and penguin apetizers done by my oldest and my oldest only for father’s day.

 

To read Charlotte Mason’s writings, is to fall in love with homeschooling, and to be refreshed and rekindled to keep at this and do better every day, week, month, year… Karen has not quite finished this abridgment. She plans to add more headings and subheadings and perfect it further. So far I can tell you this book is, as she wrote, a fabulous divulging of Charlotte Mason’s writings, so daunting in her Victorian style, and so rich in references that in many cases they discourage some from attempting to read them. No more excuses not to read Charlotte Mason’s most influential volume, I dare say, for homeschooling teachers and educators in general.
She also shared her soon to be published book, CONSIDER THIS, which I had to start reading this morning. You will hear me talk about this book in detail and exclusivity.
It was nothing unusual in past times, but today is not so often that children
that are 9 years old are left to cook on their own, stove and oven included.
We do allow her to do so, and she cooks breakfast and lunch
from beginning to end, cleaning included.

True to my request, I got on of the Australian books from the library, My Brilliant Career (1901)by Miles Franklin, and it grabbed me instantly. I like my edition, it has helpful footnotes for Australian terms… I know by the end of the book I will be familiar with some Australian lingo, and I sometimes understand without looking. But methinks footnotes are safety nets, it is comforting to know they are there. I did not know it was free for Kindle, but, here you have it. My first impression is how fresh, how modern, -good modern-, the book is. It is, as we like to say these days, very relevant. Isn’t that a characteristic of classics?

 Recently, we were reminded of the Asterix comics,
and we got several new titles from the library.
I am half way with one Jeeves book, Brinkley Mannor, or Right Ho, Jeeves, but I know the people in the book, I can not read it in 5 days, and get back inside it fast. And then it comes my poetry and devotional madness. I read the Bible in conjunction with My Utmost for His Highest, and The Imitation of Christ, and I read from four poetry books, specially The Poet’s Choice, by Paul Engle. What I like about Poet’s Choice is that each poet has a brief, -or longer-, text by their selected poem for the compilation, and that helps me knowing something about the poet, or the conditions in which the poem was written, or what the poem means to the poet…
I also read some Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickinson, and my goal is to read Canto I, and I am almost there. I know, my version is a more modern English one, but still in verse, and still with his choice of words. I am sacrificing originality for a first reading to become familiar, and to gain understanding.
With the girlies,
 

The aforementioned Robinson Crusoe, just a wonderful book. And Hamlet and the life of Crassus by Plutarch, going much better than I ever thought. People say Shakespeare is to be seen. I agree. But it does not hurt reading it aloud to become familiar with his plays and style and cadence. We go through times of not grasping a whole lot… but when we get to some parts, like today, and I was blown away.

HAMLET

Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me. You would seem to know my stops. You would pluck out the heart of my mystery. You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass. And there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak? ‘Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.

We finished The Tanglewood’s Secret, by Patricia St. John. My daughters, specially my oldest, was upset. It is the second book in which a child dies. Then is when I opened Narnia… a change of place, fantasy, adventure, not so close to reality as St. John’s book. But I have to say both, specially my youngest, have loved this book and are looking forward to more of her titles. She always has asked me while reading it, to let her read some pages herself. If you get her books, be sure not to buy the 2000 editions, but the ones from the eighties. The newest editions have been abridged and to that extent, slaughtered.

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