The arrival of the coronavirus into the United States, as well as all other places on our planet, have resulted in an incredible amount of time at home. For many of us this has brought very little changes, but for others it has created an entirely new way of life.
Home can be a place we retreat to, a shelter from the storm or, unfortunately for many, it can be the middle of the storm. The mandatory instructions for us to stay here has resulted in a lot of time for me to ponder the state of our home. What type of environment have we created here? Is this a place that we long to run to in times of peril and uneasiness? Does our home create a warm and loving environment that is welcome and appreciated when times are tough?
This month we are going to focus on more of what creating a home where love abides means. Our poetry, art, and scripture will reinforce the ways we make our homes a place of peace, quietness, and assurance. We will also be paying special attention to the primary person responsible for making them: mothers.
I hope that you enjoy the selections this month and that they bring a renewed desire to make your mandatory time at home meaningful. Yes, we may be searching for the light at the end of this tunnel. We may be weary, wearing down, and simply ready to return to life as was normal, but I am certain that one day we will look back and wish that we had at least a moment or two to live like this again.
This month we are studying the work of a modern day composer, John Williams. When you hear his name you may think of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, or Jaws, but this month we are going to turn our attention to one of his lesser known scores: Jane Eyre. John Williams once said that Jane Eyre was his favorite composition. He composed this piece while taking a break from working on “Fiddler on the Roof”. In it, he did an amazing job of conveying the love and admiration he has/had for English things. That love is on full display in this piece of work.
- MakingMusicFun.net composer documentary on John Williams
- Kids.kiddle.co John Williams Biography
- The History & Impact of John Williams – Music School
- OPTIONAL: Listennotes.com a lengthy (1 hour) conversation about the creation of the score and highlights of the music.
I read within a poet’s book
A Word that starred the page:
“Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage!”
Yes, that is true; and something more
You’ll find, where’er you roam,
That marble floors and gilded walls
Can never make a home.
But every house where love abides,
And Friendship is a guest,
Is surely homeland home-sweet-home:
For there the heart can rest.
This months poem, “A Home Song” by Henry Van Dyke is a perfect accompaniment to our study of home. There are so many things to contemplate here: what makes a prison? What makes home?
The author of this poem, Henry van Dyke, will be a very interesting person to study. He wrote the words to “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”, was a professor of English Literature at Princeton, and was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to be Ambassador to the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
For more information about the author of this poem, Henry van Dyke, visit his biography at the American National Biography: Henry Van Dyke.
This month we are meeting a new artist by the name of Peter Ilsted. When I first landed upon some of his work I knew that he was bound to be a new favorite. Ilsted was a Danish painter known for painting interior scenes that were calm and mysterious. He was a great success in his lifetime and won many awards and accolades for his work.
The piece we are studying this month is called Mother and Child in an Interior. I believe that, in its simplicity, this picture tells a wonderful story of a mother with her child. At first glance there does not seem to be much going on in this picture though when you observe and really study it closely, I believe there is much to see.
This month we will be focusing on what scripture has to say about our homes. Primarily our focus in the scripture memory will be the ingredient required to create a home that is a peaceful habitation, a secure dwelling, and a quiet resting place: righteousness.
The Scripture we will be memorizing this month is Isaiah 32:17-18
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
It is important for us to note that the key to all of this is righteousness. Yet, scripture tells us in Romans 3:10 that “There is none righteous, no, not one.” So, how do we achieve the righteousness that is required? Philippians 3:9 says, “And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God, by faith.”
Some other verses to remember this month:
- Isaiah 61:10 – He has clothed us with a robe of righteousness
- Matthew 7:25 – A home founded upon the rock stands strong
- Proverbs 14:1 – A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down
- Psalm 127:1 – Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it
- Proverbs 24:3-4 – By wisdom a house is built
The past two summers we have enjoyed picking strawberries at local berry farms. Though we may not have the opportunity to do that this spring we still hope to enjoy the seasons bounty. There is still much we can observe and learn, despite not picking our own.
This month the strawberry will be the focus of our nature study. As usual, we will use The Handbook of Nature Study to help direct our learning.
Here is an additional resource you may enjoy:
- How to Farming: Strawberry a video walkthrough from cultivation to harvest.
The craft this month is a simple lesson in sewing. We will be making felt needle books for those who enjoy sewing or embroidery. These are also great gifts for mothers or grandmothers. The instructions for this craft include basic, straight stitches which are great for beginners.
The instructions for this project are included in this months bundle. Also included are a handful of pictures to accommodate the tutorial for the parts which may be confusing.
William Henry Harrison was the 9th President of the United States. His presidency concludes the second portion of our book, Presidents of an Expanding Nation. Harrison served the shortest term ever in the office of the presidency, a total of 31 days. At his inauguration he delivered an inaugural address that lasted almost two hours. Though there was a cold drizzle during the duration of his speech he insisted that he deliver it without his overcoat. He developed a cold that day, this later developed into pneumonia, and he died just a month later.
Some resources that will be great additions to your study of William Henry Harrison are:
- William Henry Harrison | Biography, Presidency, and Facts | 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.
- Grouseland | William Harrison’s Home
The recipe this month is very easy to pull together yet feels fancy. We will be making Strawberry Irish Cream Soda. These are easy to assemble and aside from making a simple strawberry syrup require little time at the oven. My daughter enjoyed putting these together and I believe they will be favorite family treat for the warm days ahead.
SOME BOOKS AND GOODIES FOR YOUR MORNING BASKET
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 van Dyke – Your Daily Poem – A Home Song by Henry Van Dyke Public Domain
Art: Peter Ilsted – Mother and Child In An Interior | Public Domain
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