AUTUMN – If you are anything like me, you are embracing it with arms wide open. I love the feel of fall: the cooler temperatures, cozy sweaters, having football on in the background of our home, comfort food, and everything else! I just truly love this season so much.
This season, like no other, is a great reminder that with a few simple gestures we can create warm and welcoming environments in our home. I’ve grabbed a few pumpkins on some recent trips to the grocery store to place around the house here-and-there. The blankets have been pulled out and this week I plan to add the flannel sheets to our beds. They are small touches, but certainly make our home feel a bit more welcoming.
This month our morning times will be focused on small touches; things such as autumn fires, mushrooms, and a little bit of spice; incorporating them in our poetry, craft, and recipe. I hope you enjoy!
This month we are going to enjoy the work of a modern classic composer Vince Guaraldi the artist who is probably best remembered for composing music for the animated television adaptations of the Peanuts comic strip, especially the holiday composition of “Christmas Time Is Here.” Vince Guaraldi was a well respected jazz pianist whose greatest success came mostly from hit singles that came one at a time. The piece we will be listening to is titled Great Pumpkin Waltz.
I believe this is the first piece of jazz music that we have studied in our morning time studies. Jazz is a very common autumn/winter genre, much of the famous holiday music you hear this time of year is of this particlar genre. I have included a few links to help aid you in your studies.
- Vince Guaraldi & A Very Jazzy Christmas
- Vince Guaraldi: A Jazz Pianist, Happy To Work for “Peanuts”
- Peanuts Fandom – Vince Guaraldi
- Classics for Kids – Jazz
Again we are lead to the adventurous life of Robert Louis Stevenson with our poetry selection. Stevenson is known mostly for his classics like Kidnapped and Treasure Island, but he was also a wonderful poet as well.
Stevenson traveled a lot in life and died of an aneurism while on the island of Samoa. The Samoans had a deeply rooted respect for Stevenson and insisted on giving him a proper burial at the top of a mountain located on the island.
Stevenson had a wonderful knack for capturing the feelings of each season. This month we will enjoy his description of “Autumn Fires”.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
- In the Footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson – Visit Stevenson’s travels all over the world.
- Robert Louis Stevenson Poems To Color
- Simply Charlotte Mason – Robert Louis Stevenson
The art selection this month is a beautiful fall river scene by John Middleton. Middleton had a liking for river scenes, rocks and dry river-beds. We get to study one of these river focused pieces this month in a piece titled, A Norfolk River Scene.
- John Middleton
- John Middleton – other art pieces in the public domain
- A Norfolk River Scene by John Middleton – ArtNet
We are focusing the spiritual aspect of our morning time this month on praising our Creator. Whether it be mushrooms, trees, trout, seasons, or humanity; God made it all. His creativity is astounding and His faithfulness is unmatched. Giving Him our praise is only a small gesture to the love He shows us.
This month we are memorizing a selection of verses from Psalm 104.
- Psalm 104:1-2 Bless the Lord, o my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honor and majesty. Who coverest thyself with lights as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
- Psalm 104:14-15 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
- Psalm 104:19 He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knoweth his going down.
- Psalm 104:33-34 I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.
The mushroom, a fall and spring foraging favorite is the focus of our nature study this month. As usual, we will use The Handbook of Nature Study to help direct our learning.
Fungi are a critical part of nature and play a primary role in the decomposition of organic matter. They break down the remains of dead plants and animals. The most recognizable form of of fungi are mushrooms. They are simply a small part of a larger organism that is often buried under the soil. Mushrooms appear when reproduction conditions are favorable, like after a rain.
Here are some additional resources you may enjoy:
- John Muir Laws – How to Draw Mushrooms
- Useful Fungi – Twig and Moth
- Morel Mushroom Unit Study – Stephanie Hathaway Designs
We are tying the craft into our nature study with some very sweet mushroom ornaments. This craft is simple and allows a lot of personal creativity. I hope you enjoy them and can’t wait to see what you make.
Materials needed for this months craft are:
- 16 Guage Artistic Wire
- Jumbo Cotton Balls – 100% Cotton
- Masking Tape
- Acrylic Paint in Red, Brown, and White
- White Glue
- Jute or Twine
Franklin Pierce, our nations 14th president is the focus of this months study.
After serving in the Mexican War, Pierce was nominated by friends for the Presidency in 1852. Delegates balloted 48 times and eliminated all the well-known candidates before nominating Pierce, a true “dark horse.” Pierce entered office grief stricken and nervously exhausted due to the loss of his 11 year old son just 2 months before entering office to a tragic train wreck. He is widely considered one of the least effective presidents of the United States. This is largely because he helped reopen the slavery issue with the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This act put an end to the Missouri Compromise and allowed new states to decide whether they would permit slavery or not. This decision set the stage for the coming Civil War.
- Franklin Pierce | The White House
- 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 Franklin Pierce this month.
- Franklin Pierce Home – Pierce Manse
- National Park Service – Franklin Pierce Homestead
This month’s bundle includes some very delicious ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls. I have a huge weakness for cinnamon rolls. In fact, I have recipes for 6 different ones in my recipe book. But, this one has been a favorite for a very long time and is one that has proven itself to be good over-and-over again. I truly hope your family enjoys them and enjoy the memories you make in creating them.
I wanted to let you all know about some great resources that I believe have a lot to offer in terms of your growing morning times together. I have composed a wonderful selection of Usborne books that I believe would be a wonderful addition to any homeschool library. Some of these are great resources for nature study, artist study, and history. You can find my Usborne list here.
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