Last month I began the morning time post with a quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder that spoke of the optimism of a farmer and the creed that her pioneer forefathers adopted that said: “it is better farther on”. Its meaning: there is hope in the future. This is a good creed that I would love to echo this month. Let’s remind ourselves that things will be better further on: time is our friend and patience will be rewarded if we are faithful to do our part.
I hope your family is safe, staying well, stocked up on the things you need to make it through, and ready to lean in and draw close to one another during a unique time in our history that encourages this. Knowing that this period in time has been sieved through the Father’s hand, I can see His overwhelming love through it all. What better time is there, than spring, to be encouraged to spend time with our immediate loved ones, enjoy the peaceful pace of nature, take walks, bask in the sunshine a few minutes each day, and breathe in the fresh air? It would be foolish to let such a time as this to slip by without gleaning from it all that we can.
I hope this months morning time bundle is encouraging and fun. Thank you so much for allowing these creations to be part of your home and your homeschool.
This month we are studying the Pastoral Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven. This symphony is one of only two of Beethoven’s Symphonies that he named himself. The full title was “Pastoral Symphony, or Recollections of Country Life.” Beethoven publicly declared that this piece was an expression of nature.
Beethoven enjoyed walks in nature and loved being outdoors. The NPR article cited below says this of Beethoven’s desire to be outside:
The composer reveled in walking in the environs of Vienna and spent nearly every summer in the country. When Napoleon’s second occupation of the city in 1809 meant that he could not leave, he wrote to his publisher: “I still cannot enjoy life in the country, which is so indispensable to me.” Indeed, Beethoven’s letters are filled with declarations of the importance of nature in his life, such as one from 1810: “How delighted I will be to ramble for awhile through the bushes, woods, under trees, through grass, and around rocks. No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear.”
You may be familiar with this symphony from Disney’s “Fantasia“. Try closing your eyes and see if you can picture the pastoral countryside that Beethoven was trying to describe through music.
For further study on Beethoven you may want to check out these resources:
- NPR: The Story of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6
- MakingMusicFun.net composer documentary on Ludwig van Beethoven
- Classics for Kids Show: Beethoven
- Classics for Kids: Beethoven’s Symphonies
- Classics for Kids: About Beethoven
Herald of Hope to the sad and faint-hearted,
Piper the gold of the world cannot pay,
Up from the limbo of things long departed
Memories you bring me today.
This months poem, “The Robin” by Virna Sheard is a perfect accompaniment to our nature study. It truly ties all of this months elements together: hope, spring, flowering trees, and the robin.
The word “dumb” in the last line of stanza 3 may confuse children. Be sure to explain to them that this simply means people who can not speak. This can mean that either they are unable to speak (from physical limitations or in awe) or that they are unwilling to speak. The word in this poem is not meant to be derogatory, but to simply describe someone who is speechless.
For more information about the author of this poem, Virna Sheard, visit her biography at the Canada’s Early Women Writers Project.
This month we are meeting a new artist by the name of Myles Birket Foster. Though he may be unknown to us he certainly was not during his time period. Though he enjoyed painting landscapes, he is best known for the works he produced of the English countryside. Foster was often criticized for his idealized view of rural life, even so his pieces were recognized for their detail and execution. When Foster died in 1899 he was recognized as “certainly the most popular water color artist of our time”.
The piece we are studying this month is called The Swing. There is a lot to observe in this picture and, I hope, a lot we can all identify with.
Exploring Surrey’s Past: Myles Birket Foster
Last month when I selected the scriptures for us to memorize I never knew the impact they would make on our lives as we experienced first hand a shortage of food and necessities at our local grocery stores. While the types of needs we experienced were very minimal compared to the hunger and lack of supplies that so many experience daily around our world it was nice to be reminded that God provides. Those verses brought simple, quiet confidence when the world did not.
The Scripture we will be memorizing this month is Psalm 91: 1-4.
Whoever rests in the shadow of the Most High God will be kept safe by the Mighty One. I will say about the Lord, “He is my place of safety. He is like a fort to me. He is my God. I trust in Him.” He will certainly save you from hidden traps and from deadly sickness. He will cover you with his wings. Under the feather of his wings you will find safety. He is faithful. He will keep you safe like a shield or a tower.
God’s word is so powerful: every worry and every fear can be calmed by focusing on His words to us. Though it is not the verse we will be memorizing, I love Hebrews 4:12 which says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
We are approaching another month of isolation from friends, family, homeschool groups, and workplaces. The future is unknown. Though we desire to be strong, undoubtedly there will be moments of fear, worry, anxiety, etc. You can hold those thoughts captive by countering them with God’s word. Commit the chosen verse to memory. Remember that God is our place of safety. He will cover us with his wings.
Some other verses to remember this month:
- Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing…
- Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.
- Psalm 32:7 – You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
- Nahum 1:7 – The Lord is good; a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.
- Isaiah 43:2 – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweet over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
We recently began noticing the arrival of robins in our backyard again. They are always the early heralders of spring. As our grass continues to green I find it significantly easier to notice them. Their beautiful red breast’s seem to pop out against the saturated green of new grass. They bring with them a certain hope of spring and summer, longer days and warmer nights. Their presence is always welcome and appreciated.
This month the robin will be the focus of our nature study. As usual, we will use The Handbook of Nature Study to help direct our learning. This month’s study is full of practical ways to observe the robin and does so in a way that you are sure to not miss anything. Mrs. Comstock gives practical observations that are specific to certain time periods in the month of April. These are listed as “Series”. We have already missed the time slot for “Series A”, but it would be easy to go back and review that information.
- Series B is to be completed the first week of April.
- Series C is to be completed the second week of April.
- Series D is to be completed in the middle of April or a little later.
- Series E is to be completed 1 week after Series D
- Series F is to be completed 3 days after Series E
- Series G is to be given for summer reading and observations.
Other resources you may be interested in adding are:
I have had my eye on miniature walnut shell (we used hickory) ornaments for some time, and have been waiting for the best time to use them as our morning time craft. April seemed to be the perfect time.
My daughter and I had a blast putting these together. Not only do they create very sweet ornaments but their preparation also provides a fun scavenger hunt.
These ornaments are easy to assemble but they will require help from a person who can safely handle a hot glue gun. If you prefer not to use a hot glue gun wood glue may be an acceptable substitution.
The instructions for this project are included in this months bundle.
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States. While the country was prosperous when “The Little Magican” was elected, less than three months later the Financial Panic of 1837 collapsed the American economy. Hundreds of banks and businesses failed. Thousands lost their land. For about 5 years the U.S. saw the worst depression thus far in its history. Van Buren devoted himself to maintaining the solvency of the national government. He fought for the establishment of an independent treasury system to handle government transactions.
Van Buren also advocated for a two party system in American politics. He is credited with the establishment of the Democratic Party.
Some resources that will be great additions to your study of Martin Van Buren are:
- Martin Van Buren’s Biography at Britannica.com
- The Big Book of Presidents: From George Washington to Barack Obama by Nancy Hajeski
- The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents video series. We will watch only the portion for Martin Van Buren this month.
- National Park Service Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
The recipe this month is an Overnight Yeast Waffle with Blueberries. This is not our typical waffle recipe, but is one we like to use on special occasions. It is a very simple recipe to pull together, though it does require that you prepare it in advance. The yeast in this recipe needs at least 8 hours to rise. You can prepare it the night before if you would like to enjoy your waffles in the morning, or prepare in the morning if you are like us and enjoy breakfast for dinner from time-to-time.
Knowing that we are in uncharted waters and at any time there can be a shortage of butter, milk, or eggs I tried to keep this months recipe simple and only requiring a few ingredients. I hope that by now your communities purchasing frenzy has returned back to normal, that you have these items on hand, and that you are able to enjoy this months recipe.
The recipe is included in this month’s bundle. I hope you enjoy!
Sample Morning Time Schedule
Last month I included a “sample”morning time schedule in your download. This was the first month I attempted to add something scheduled. I hope that it has been helpful for you. I am including another one for April. I would love to hear your feedback
SOME BOOKS AND GOODIES FOR YOUR MORNING BASKET
A Nest Full of Eggs by Harper Collins
Birds, Nests, and Eggs by Cooper Square Publishing LLC
A Nest is Noisy by Chronicle Books
Birdwatching Book and Journal Gift Set – I received this set for Christmas and it is very pretty, the pictures on Amazon do not do it justice.
Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life by Julia Rothman
Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman
SPECIAL NOTES AND RESOURCES
Poetry: Henry Lisle Bowles – Public Domain Poetry – The Robin by Virna Sheard
Art: Winslow Homer – The Swing by Myles Birket Foster – [Public Domain]
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