Hello Mommas! Can you believe it’s already August? We have nearly tackled another full summer and for me it feels like it just started. This is one thing I have noticed lately, that time seems to be moving much faster as my children get older: maybe it’s the addition of extra curricular activities, longer homeschool lessons, less time playing with toys, etc. or quite possibly it’s not my children at all, maybe it’s that I’m getting older and this is the type of thing that comes with aging.
One thing I have found to be true in my own life is that when I meet each day with discipline and a determined set of goals, though time may pass quickly, it doesn’t feel like it merely slipped through my fingers. Often times, discipline is the key to making sure we live life in the best way possible. Scripture talks often about being self-controlled and warns us that if we do not have self control, we will be slaves to what controls us. Food, lust, money, social media, our words….we can find ourselves overwhelmed with the consequences of not having self control in many areas of life.
This month we will begin our 9th year homeschooling, I will have one in 8th grade and one in 4th. As we approach the high school years, I feel like this year will be more foundational than any other one we have experienced. As we lay stone upon stone my children will be establishing habits and character traits that will follow them from here on out. Sometimes I think this calls for a reminder. Which is what this months morning time bundle is about:
- reminding ourselves that we are citizens (be it of our home, our community, our country, our church, etc. ) and that as such we have rights and responsibilities
- reminding ourselves that the things we do, we should do well
- reminding ourselves that when all citizens of a community work together there is much reward
- reminding ourselves that self-control and discipline are good things that yield good results
Maybe you all need these little reminders, too. I hope you enjoy this months bundle!
(available FREE for download from 8/01/19 to 8/08/19)
The selection this month is William Tell Overture by Rossini and was chosen because I think it is a good example of what it means to be a citizen and to live with others in community. This particular video starts out slow, it highlights a single flutist’s talents while all of the others play their instruments quite simply. Then, as the song progresses we suddenly see everyone else’s talents come to light and the song becomes powerful. There are many life lessons to be learned from this tiny selection while we enjoy work from Rossini’s final opera. Some of the things we will focus on are:
- What is the purpose of a conductor in an orchestra. Why is there only one and are there times that an orchestra requires more than one? If so, why.
- As the soloist plays his part, what is the job of the other orchestra members?
- Do you think this song would be as powerful if there were only 2 members of each instrument group?
- What has been required of these musicians in order to make such beautiful music together?
- How is an orchestra an example of community and citizenship. What are the rights and responsibilities of its citizens?
The lark is up to meet the sun,
The bee is on the wing,
The ant her labor has begun,
The woods with music ring.
Shall birds, and bees, and ants be wise,
While I my moments waste?
Oh, let me with the morning rise,
And to my duties haste.
Why should I sleep till beams of morn
Their light and glory shed?
Immortal beings were not born
To waste their time in bed.
This month we will be focusing our attention on another Winslow Homer favorite, titled Blackboard. Our study of art has led me to really love Homer’s works. He does a magnificent job depicting simple things and this watercolor does just that. We will never know Homer’s inspiration for this art piece, but even so it is a great piece to use in our study this month. To me it is a great representation of work, time, dedication, study, and applying ourselves. It reminds us that in 1877, when this watercolor was painted, people were giving their time and attention to things that we also have to give our time and attention to. They had to apply themselves, just as we do.
For an artist who was so successful in his time I love what he had to say about talent.
There is no such thing as talent. What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous work in the right way. – Winslow Homer
What a great reminder that all good things take work!
As we approach this new school year it’s easy to be overwhelmed with choices. Which curriculum should we use, how do we structure our days, which activities should we be involved in, and which ones should we let go? The possibilities are endless, and while most of these are good things, are they the right things for our family. This month we are going to invite God through the memorization of this scripture to establish for us what we should do. As we daily work to plug this verse into our memory banks, let it also be our prayer so what we do not waste time on things that do not matter.
May the favor of theLord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.
When my son began kindergarten one of the first homeschool items we purchased was an ant farm. It was probably one of the most influential pieces of “curriculum” I have ever purchased. It catapulted us into a love of nature. We learned a great deal from those tiny little insects about living in community. We watched as each ant performed it’s specific job and as a result our tiny little ant farm thrived. This month we will be using the life of the ant to learn more about thriving communities.
The Handbook of Nature Study pages 369-378 shares a lot of information about the ant. We will use this as our guide. There are many responsibilities within a community of ants: there are the protectors, the nurses, workers, and queens. Each with their own set of tasks to perform throughout the day.
Be sure to read these pages in The Handbook of Nature Study. There are so many things to learn and observe.
This month we are going to craft clay trinket boxes and dishes to help organize our school rooms. My children love playing with clay, but I often forget about it. While I was organizing our school things the other day I ran across a bucket of air dry clay that had been pushed to the back of a cabinet. We attempted our hand at a small round trinket and two box like trays. As you can see in the pictures, we scored our tray for the pencils a little too deeply and when I picked it up to move it for the pictures, a side broke. The nice thing about this project is that because it is such a simple craft we are going to try again.
- Air Dry Clay
- Rolling Pin
- Flowers, leaves, plant of your choice
- Cookie Cutters
- Optional: Tempera Paint or clear acrylic varnish
- With a rolling pin, roll out a ball of clay to the size and shape you need (be sure to follow the instruction of your clay package for thickness)
- If desired you can press flowers or stamps into the clay. I like the look of these.
- To achieve a bowl shape to our circular piece we gently placed in down into the bottom of one of our serving bowls.
- Allow the clay to air dry, or for faster drying place it in the oven set to the lowest heat setting.
- Once the clay is dry, you can allow your children to decorate (with tempora paint) or for a more natural look you can cover it with clear acrylic varnish.
This months focus is the basic idea of citizenship. We will help our children break down the idea that we are each part of a community, actually multiple communities, and as such we are considered citizens. We will learn the definitions of: citizenship, community, rights, and responsibilities and talk about the differences between them.
Some learning objectives to aim for:
- Define citizenship on 5 levels: home, city, state, nation, and one of your choice (church, sport, club, etc)
- Describe key rights and responsibilities of citizens (within the different levels)
- Describe the differences between rights and responsibilities: give them examples.
- cleaning our rooms is a responsibility/ decorating our room the way we want is a right
- choosing to play outside is a right/ being kind to nature is a responsibility
- playing at the city park is a right/ throwing our trash in the receptacles is a responsibility
- voting in elections is a right/ obeying laws is a responsibility
Hymn Study with Happy Hymnody
Happy August, friends! I hope you enjoy.
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