This month’s bundle is devoted to awakening the love of and interest in gardening, in ourselves and our children. Hopefully growth, wonder, and delight will be some of the sentiments you experience as you experiment with flowers over the coming weeks.
We planted our very first garden 3 summers ago. Since then, it has become one of my favorite places during the warmer months. It is a place I often retreat to when I feel overwhelmed or am simply looking for a little bit of quiet. I hope that whether this is your first time gardening, or maybe your 7th, that this months bundle will help you make deep connections with your children and that it too will become a place of retreat for you.
This month’s composition is Sonata no. 5 “Spring” and was composed by Beethoven. Of course, we are all familiar with Beethoven as he is considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time. This piece highlights the violin. The name “Spring Sonata” was not given to this work until after Beethoven’s death but the title indicates the beauty of this work and the qualities of spring that can be heard in this music.
Have you ever read any of Edith Nesbit’s work? My children and I listed to Five Children and It a few years ago and we loved it. It was a such an entertaining book. The story conveyed some of Edith Nesbit’s sense of humor, she seems to have had a very fun personality. I think you will find the same thing with this sweet little poem we will be learning this month.
Little brown brother, oh! little brown bother,
Are you awake in the dark?
Here we lie cozily, close to each other:
Hark to the sound of the lark
“Waken!” the lark says, “waken and dress you;
Put on your green coats and gay,
Blue sky will shine on you, sunshine caress you
Waken! ’tis morning ’tis May!”
Little brown brother, oh! little brown brother,
What kind of a flower will you be?
I’ll be a poppy all white, like my mother;
Do be a poppy like me.
What! You’re a sunflower! How I shall miss you
When you’re grown golden and high!
But I shall send all the bees up to kiss you;
Little brown brother good bye.
The art piece this month is a beautiful piece by Johan Krouthen. Although I was not familiar with this artist before searching for this months study, I have definitely grown to appreciate his work. Just a quick search through some of his pieces and you will find that he was an extremely talented man. Johan Krouthen was a Swedish artist who is said to have abandoned realism for idealism. He was not content with painting reality without adding light and shade. When interviewed Krouthen explained that a painter must skillfully and accurately paint nature at it’s best.
This particular piece was chosen because it highlights the growth of plants in the vegetable garden as well as the flower garden. The colors are vibrant and saturated, just as they have been here this month.
Making connections with scripture is an important part of applying it to our lives. Last month we talked a bit about getting the Word of God into our hearts and not just our heads.
The Bible consistently uses seeds and fruit as visual representations of what our walk with Christ looks like. As such, I believe it would be wise for us to use those lessons with our children too. This months study of seeds and growth is an ideal time to study the Parable of the Sower. This parable is found in 3 gospels: Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15. When time allows, read the parable to your children. Talk with them about how the ground must be fertile and ready to accept seed in order for it to grow. Use some of the science experiments you will be conducting as examples. Help them realize that in order for the seed of the Word of God to grow in our hearts, that they too must be fertile too. This will give them a greater understanding of the verses they will be memorizing this month.
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a cop. – Luke 8:14-15
The only right way to begin plant study with young children is through awakening their interest in and love for flowers. – Anna Botsford Comstock
Mrs. Comstock did an excellent service in giving us this section of The Handbook of Nature Study titled “How to Begin the Study of Plants and Their Flowers.” We will be using it extensively this month. She guides us through 4 experiments (give 6 weeks for the completion of these), talks about the importance of calling the parts of the flower by their name, and guides us through a discussion on pollinators and germination. This section is invaluable and will guide you well through the month. I have listed out the bullet points, as well as their page numbers, on the Science card in the download.
Inspired by Joanna Gaines new book, We Are the Gardeners, this month we will be planning and planting a garden of our own. Please don’t get overwhelmed at the prospect of this. Your garden can be as simple as 3 herbs planted in mason jars and placed in the window sill, 9 square feet, or 300 square feet. It can be a salsa garden, a flower garden, or a garden full of tomatoes. The options are yours. Just be sure to plant what you love and enjoy the process.
I must confess, this may be the hardest portion to tie into the rest of the bundle and I’m finding it hard to find portions that will work well for all ages. But, we won’t give up. Over the next few months, I will be researching more on this subject than others and will hopefully gain more knowledge and creative ways to tie this together. Although, I do think this months passage “Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address” works pretty well with our talk about growth.
Lincoln was in a very unique position in our nation’s history when he said these words. He could either let the work that was done in building a new nation over 400 years earlier be lost, or he could recognize that growth is hard, it hurts, it requires dedication and devotion, but is worth it. He speaks of it as a great battle “field”. Instead of letting the progress that had been made at the cost of many lives die, the passage ends with these words:
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
**Please note: this post has links to products on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn for qualifying purchases.**