One of my favorite places to be in early spring is near a creek or river. It seems that is where the grass always greens first, the spring rains always guarantee a beautiful flow of water, and the birds are always active making their new nests. If you’re looking for a place that is bursting forth with new life, this is it.
Recently, we spent a day enjoying a bike park near our home here in the Ozark Mountains. The location of the park was exactly like the scene listed above. As I rode I couldn’t help but think about Psalm 23. Remembering: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul” brought so much peace and encouragement to my heart. He is so faithful.
This month, much of our morning time will be focused around the Willow tree. In scripture, the Willow tree is always associated with a brook or a river, that is a perpetual source of nourishment and supply. During your morning time study you will be gathering willow limbs for your nature study and craft. I hope that as you do these things you are reminded of God’s protection and providence over you.
We will be listening to a new-to-me piece of music this month titled, “The Banks of Green Willow” by George Butterworth. Butterworth showed great talent as a young man and might have become one of England’s greatest composers, but unfortunately he was killed while fighting in World War I. He had a love of folk songs, and even made several trips with Ralph Vaughan Williams, the most famous English composer of that generation, to the English countryside to collect them. I love this short orchestral piece of music and hope you enjoy it, as well.
Our March composition can be found here: George Butterworth: The Banks of Green Willow
You can read more about Butterworth here: Butterworth “The Banks of Green Willow”
You can find our more about our composer here: War Composers – The Music of World War I
This month’s poem talks about all of the things we plant when we plant a tree. I want to encourage you not to be worried about the length of the poem. Though it looks long, I think it will be an easy one for your children to comprehend and memorize simply by reading it each day.
The April poem can be found here: What Do We Plant? by Henry Abbey
Read more about our poet, Henry Abbey, here: Wikipedia: Henry Abbey
You can find other poems by Henry Abbey here: Poems by Henry Abbey
To welcome warmer days, we will be studying an incredible piece of art that greets warm weather perfectly called “Boy’s Playing On the Shore” by Albert Edelfelt. I thought this piece paired well with our poem and illustrated the warming weather well.
To view this months art click here: Albert Edelfelt – Boys Playing on the Shore
For a biography of this months artist click here: Sothebys: Albert Edelfelt
To view other art pieces by Edelfelt click here: Sothebys: Albert Edelfelt
The scripture focus of our morning time bundle this month is Psalm 121:5-7. Included are some cross references you should explore when memorizing this verse.
Psalm 121 – “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
Psalm 16:8 – “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
Psalm 91:1,4 – “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty.”
Isaiah 49:10 – “They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat not the sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.”
In April we will be studying the Willow tree using The Handbook of Nature Study to help direct our learning. The introduction to this section in The Handbook of Nature Study includes this quote from Thoreau regarding the willows in spring.
When I cross opposite the end of Willow Row the sun comes out and the trees are very handsome, like a rosette, pale, tawny or fawn color at base and red-yellow or orange-yellow for the upper three of four feet. This is, methinks, the brightest object in the landscape these days. Nothing so betrays the spring sun. I am aware that the sun has come out of the cloud just by seeing it light up the osiers.
This month we will weave a very simple nest out of the branches of a willow tree. If you are unable to locate a willow tree in your area, any long, skinny, pliable branch serve as a good substitute. If you want, you can also purchase willow branches; many times you can find some at Hobby Lobby or a local craft store. The craft also calls for a wood slice, I was able to find this at Hobby Lobby also.
This craft is easy, but I hope is one that your family enjoys!!
This month we are studying the life of James A. Garfield. Garfield had a very impressive career as a General in the Army during the Civil War. He was a great leader and a very promising choice of United States President. Unfortunately, his time in office was cut short due to his assassination. Regardless, there is still so much we can learn from him and his life.
You can find The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents section for Rutherford B. Hayes here: The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents: Executive Retreat begin around 26:20.
A biography and visit of his home can be found here: Lawnfield
I also found this virtual field trip of his home very interesting: Lawnfield Virtual Tour
Last, but certainly not least, is our recipe of the month: a roasted blackberry Dutch baby. While it sounds fancy, it’s simply a big, fluffy pancake baked in the oven rather than on the stove. Dutch babies are generally thicker than most pancakes, and contain no chemical leavening ingredients, such as baking powder. We are topping ours with roasted blackberries and a generous sprinkling (are those oxymorons?) of powdered sugar. Truly delicious. I hope you enjoy!
The morning time bundle also includes a guide to help aid you in the implementation of this study. It includes 4 weeks of a suggested learning rotation that will help you cover all of the topics included over the course of the month. This is simply a guide. You can add to or take from it as you wish and as your learning leads you.
Thank you so much for your continued support of my small business. I hope that these bundles bless your family time together and that ultimately they draw you closer to Christ who loves you so dearly. Happy Spring!!