Book reviews, Poetic Homeschooling

Summer Days

To share or not to share… these days, as I have been less online and more on land, I have read more, cooked more, planned much for next year, and even kept at decluttering and painting both girls rooms.

Snow Falling from a Bamboo Leaf: The Art of Haiku.

I had always heard the word Haiku, even read some of those Japanese style poems, but now, thanks to this short and interesting title, I know what they are. I even attempted a couple of them,

First one,

Sparrow over pool
hopping on stone
to grab crumb
now flies through wire fence.

Second one,

Red, pink, purple sky,
a shooting star
blue, gray sky,
old and new.

In this book William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound were mentioned, as well as in the other poetry book I also read, Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook.

I have just started The Aims of Education, recommended by Karen Glass, and it’s climbing to the favorite education books ever.

I finished my second Sayers’ mystery, the first one in which Harriet Vane appears, Strong Poison. It was delightful. Christie, Sherlock, Sayers, are, to me, summer reads. I could pick another one, and another one, and yet another one… but I don’t want to disappear in these novels but keep them as treats. I am finding it difficult to concentrate on Moby Dick -which I love every time I read but which has not that impervious force to keep reading to find out who is the murderer and how it was all done-.

The girls are enjoying pool, friends, and books too this summer. My 10 years old has found a favorite author, Scott O’Dell. She is reading The Black Pearl. She and her 8 years old sister exchange letters and packages with other friends, and they are sending some tomorrow. She chose The Island of the Blue Dolphins (their latest book club book) to gift to one of her friends. Youngest girl likes her Doll People and the sequel, The Meanest Doll 🙂

For our family reading, the girls and my dear husband have enjoyed Johnny Tremain tremendously. I am now debating between Little Britches, which I have heard is wonderful, or I, Juan de Pareja, because we love Velázquez, and we enjoy art…

Two big trash bags and more decluttering.

My 10 years old daughter chose tin foil gray for her room. She is a natural for all this decluttering and decorating business. She knows that for her room to look good, it needs the least possible furniture. I should have taken a picture of the shelf in full. She has just a few displayed items that are meaningful to her.

An 8 cubicle shelf, a bed, and a nightstand. That’s all the furniture. Her two Renoir paintings she adores, and a few of her valuables.

She asked me to move her chest of drawers to the closet.  It’s now there, in the middle. To the sides, a few clothes, on top, her laundry basket.

While painting oldest girl room, we wanted to do changes in the youngest room too. I finally took a plunge and painted cream over the old mural wall I painted 11 years ago. We also moved the bed and cleaned lots.

This leaves me with my worst area, the office-game room. Since I only have a small closet in this room, and my oldest claimed the closet for her office, the boxes that were in in have to find now a new place. They are, but it needs to be attacked further.

My next goal is to put away this finished year books (years 2 and 4), and bring in the new (years 3 and 5). It’s only June, but days are traveling fast. At the end of June we have a Bible class week, then I have two retreats in July, and in a blink, we will be in August, back to piano, ballet, and studies in full bloom. I don’t really want to start. I hope to feel more like it as the month approaches. I believe my body and mind were pining for this time of rest. It’s possible I overdid it. I am determined to listen more and plan more realistically, and I have this inner feeling we will get there this year.


8 thoughts on “Summer Days”

  1. I bought Strong Poison not too long ago. Is it a stand alone story? Or do I have to read something else first?
    My boys have enjoyed The Doll People as well 🙂 And I love the format of the book.
    I, Juan de Pareja is really nice. I pre-read it a few years ago, but we haven't studies Valesquez yet, so my boys haven't read it.


  2. Strong Poison is a stand alone, just part of a series of mysteries with Lord Peter and Harriet Vane, but it has its own beginning and end.

    I think we will read I, Juan de Pareja.

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend.


  3. I will have to check out The Black Pearl for my dd! Thanks! 🙂 Your purging looks great, Silvia. Oh my word…I'm sifting through 9 years of stuff here, my friend, and it ain't purty… 😉 It does feel SO good, though!! 😀


  4. I'm intrigued by The Aims of Education….I'll have to check it out.

    We absolutely LOVED Johnny Tremain. I believe it's a must read for anyone studying the American Revolution…or anyone who wants a great book with character 😉



  5. I cleaned up all our book shelves last week but I need to get into my dd's room. She's been having a growth spurt all year & I need to purge her wardrobe. She shares a room with her 22 yr old sis & there's not much room to spare. We loved the Ralph Moody books, more than Juan but that might be just a boy thing.


  6. Amy @they call me mommy… I was talking with my friend Kelly, and she said she always moved every 2 years, and that was a great way to declutter… you pack what you want to keep, and get rid of the rest, ha ha ha. Now she is getting ready to major decluttering of her home where they have lived for 10 years.
    I have been in mine for 12, and it's a challenge, because we have to keep cleaning and cooking AND decluttering. But I know you will do GREAT. As for The Black Pearl… your daughter is a strong reader, if she is doing fine with nice titles you already have, no need to find one more, but my dd loved being the one choosing her own book, and proud of her finding. (I overshadow my girls many times because I have this exuberant personality when it comes to books especially, tee hee). Not that I am telling you not to read it, but it's a library check, and I am sure they have it. (We found it for not much either).
    Melissa, thanks for stopping by. I agree, it teaches so much character in an elegant way, history too… I thought it had brilliant moments, a perfect balance between story and description. My husband loves this title, and BRIGHTY, oh, we loved Brighty of the Great Canyon so much. And you will LOVE that short and great book, The Aims of Education.
    Carol… contrary to what I wrote, I started to read Little Britches… INSTANT ADORE, it's so wonderful. Another book that “teaches” without you being distracted from the story. Funny that we are girls here, and my husband :), and we love history, geography, and “boys books”.


  7. Yes to all of this post! The girls' rooms are lovely, and I especially like older's love for Renoir. So nice to have a love right away for art and those who help us to see it. My daughter snagged my favorite Corot print for her new room. We've been traveling, and then had company, so I have been offline and onland too. Love that phrase! But now we enter into a purposeful slow time, other than baseball and violin. I promised my mother in law that I would write again soon – with pictures! So, on to that in the next few days. Tonight, a bit of planning, and hopefully catching up to the ladies reading Churchill…have a lovely night offline!!!


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