I am so excited that it’s April. This really is a month to celebrate, friends. We made it through another winter. Aside from a few cold snaps here and there we have warm days, flowers, sunshine, and late nights outdoors in our future. Sometimes I wonder if Laura Ingalls Wilder was as excited for spring as we are. Was her book titled “The Long Winter” because she felt the stings of being cooped up inside with little sunshine, too? Was writing that book her way of making the time pass a little quicker? One can never tell, although I am sure it must have had some influence.
The other day my kids and I drove down a road that used to hold a blueberry farm I grew up working on each summer. The road is being widened right now, the blueberry field is gone, and instead a subdivision of large homes occupies the land I used to spend every summer playing and working on. As we passed I noticed that there was one piece of untouched ground that remained. That particular spot is marshy and holds a large pond nestled among a group of mature trees. As I would pick blueberries in the field I used to listen to the frogs that inhabited it, particularly a large bullfrog that used to entertain us with his low, deep croak. I suppose the cost associated with filling the pond and building up the land, as well as the dilemma of what to do with the water that congregates and runs off there is too great compared to the option of leaving it remained untouched. So, it remains.
There are few things in life that remain: time continually takes its toll, seasons come and go, we are shaken and moved. So, what do we do to not be overwhelmed at it all? We fix our eyes on the things that are unchanging, steady, and secure. King David worded it so beautifully in Psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”
This months Morning Time bundle is focused on the privilege we share as children of God. We get to partake of His blessings, we will dwell with Him for eternity, and we will gaze on his beauty.
We are going back to one of my favorite composers this month, Aaron Copland. Mr. Copland was an American Composer who lived from 1900 – 1990. He is very well known for having a very distinctive style that consisted of a mix of classical, folk, and jazz. He wanted to craft sounds that would be seen as “American”.
The piece we will be listening to is called “Fanfare for the Common Man“.
Fanfare: a short ceremonial tune or flourish played on brass instruments, typically to introduce someone or something important
When I sampled this piece, I knew right away this was the composition we should focus on this month. Mr. Copland did a fantastic job arranging this, it sounds so regal. Yet, it is named Fanfare for the Common Man. My goal this month is to impress upon my children that there is no “common” man. We are all valued and important.
For play I encourage you to complete the crown in this months bundle, have your children dress up, and introduce them as royalty while playing this song. Let them know they are important and that as God’s children, they are royalty.
When I was a young mother one of my mentors shared with me the importance of teaching my children that they are a representative of our family. That what they do and the things they say are a picture to others of what is important in the “Price” household. Their actions aren’t just a representation of them, they are also a representation of my husband (their daddy) and me (their mommy). The poem this month is a reminder for our children (and ourselves) that what we do and the decisions we make impact more than ourselves.
A careful boy I want to be;
A little brother follows me.
I do not dare to go astray
For fear he’ll go the self-same way
I cannot once escape his eyes;
What e’er he sees me do, he tries.
Like me he says he’s going to be-
That little brother following me.
He thinks that I am good and fine;
Believes in every word of mine.
The bad in me he must not see-
That little brother following me.
I must remember as I go
Through summer’s sun and winters snow
I’m building for the years to be
That little brother following me.
Theodore Robinson was an American Painter who developed a close friendship with Claude Monet. He was born in Vermont, but spent most of his younger years in Wisconsin. Several of his works are considered masterpieces of American Impressionism. He created so many beautiful pieces, some of them you can see here.
The practice of searching through art to find pieces to share in these bundles has been an incredible experience for me. There are so many artists that go unnoticed. I love finding them and bringing attention to the beauty they created.
The piece I chose this month, In a Daisy Field. To me is a wonder representation of sibling bonds that seems to echo the importance of loving our family well through words and actions.
Because you are his sons, God sent the spirit of his son into our hearts, the spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.
This verse is the foundation of this months bundle; reminding our children that being part of God’s family makes us heirs of Christ. We are no longer slaves, bound to sin and shame, but are His children.
My children are studying early American history right now. We are reading through Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates. He was an African prince who was captured by white men, brought to America, and sold into slavery. This quote from the book is a powerful reminder that freedom does not come from merely making our own choices, because often those choices could lead to more slavery in differing ways, but in keeping ourselves in step walking freely with Christ.
“Once, long years ago, I thought I could set a canoe-load of my people free by breaking the bands at my wrists and killing the white man who held the weapon. I had the strength in my hands to do such a deed and I had the fire within, but I didn’t do it.”
“What held you back?”
Amos shook his head. “My hand was restrained and I’m glad that it was, for the years between have shown me that it does a man no good to be free until he knows how to live, how to walk in step with God.”
This month we will be studying Dandelions. We will be using The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock to help guide our study. You can find the Dandelion portion on pages 531-535.
I have listed out a few suggestions, found in the book, on your card to help you. This will be a fun study and hopefully, as time allows, I will share a few ways we can use this very beneficial flower in our baking, in salves, and other means throughout the month.
Here are some other suggested additions for your nature study.
- Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story this picture book examines the life and career of Anna Comstock the writer of The Handbook of Nature Study.
- Cavallini Dandelion Poster this would be a fantastic addition to our school rooms this month.
- A Seed is Sleepy
- From Seed to Dandelion
What is the one thing an heir to a throne needs? A crown, of course. So this month we will be craftingfelt ones.
Supplies (per crown):
- 1 – 12″ x 18″ Wool blend felt sheet
- Heavy-duty double-sided iron on interfacing
- Sharp Scissors
- Ironing Board
- Hole Punch
- Ribbon (we used leftovers from the February Morning Time craft)
- Cut the felt sheets in half, using sharp scissors, so that you have two sheets that are 6″ x “18”.
- Cut a sheet of interfacing to 6″ x 18″.
- Using the instructions on the interfacing container. Iron the interfacing to one sheet of felt using the package instructions. Once cooled, remove the paper off of the back of the interfacing, place a sheet of felt over the top of it and adhere the 2nd sheet of felt to the interfacing, so that you have 2 pieces of felt joined together. (Note: I failed to get double sided interfacing so in my pictures you see the white of the interfacing on the back of my crowns. This isn’t a huge deal, they just aren’t as sturdy as they would have been had I gotten double sided.)
- Next we will make the points of the crown. Do this by laying the fabric out in front of you where it is wider than it is tall. Place a small dot with a pencil 1 1/2″ from the left corner. From that dot place another dot every 3″. (You will have 6 total dots on the upper part of the felt).
- Next we will make the lower points of the crown. Do this by making 1 dot on the left edge of the felt 3″ down. From that dot place another dot every 3″. (You will have 7 total dots 3″ from the top on this line.”
- Using a ruler, make straight lines from each lower dot to each top dot.
- Cut along the lines with scissors.
- Next we will make the holes for the ribbon: Using your ruler, mark 2 dots on each end of the felt. The lower dot should be 1/2″ from the end and 1/2″ from the bottom. The higher dot should be 1/2″ from the end and 2 1/2 ” from the bottom. (Be sure to do this on both ends of the fabric)
- Lace about 24″ of ribbon into the wholes as you would a shoelace.
- Place on your child’s head and adjust the ribbon to help the crown fit securely.
At the request of some Morning Time Bundle users I have added a “Civics/History” portion back to the bundle. I am unable to fit these on the “Menu” right now, but I will continue to work on that and try to get it on there. I did include a card, though.
This month we are memorizing a small excerpt of the Declaration of Independence. Again, this echoes the truth of our worth as created individuals.
Hymn Study: Happy Hymnody
I hope you all have a great month, exploring these things with your children! As always, thank you so much for joining us.
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