LIGHT, WARMTH, and COMFORT- three words that bring peace in a world that is often dark, cold, and uninviting. This first month of 2021 the focus of our morning time bundle will be one that hopefully brings light, warmth, and comfort to your home.
This month we will be studying winter birds, learning about Jesus (the Light that shines in darkness), creating natural fire starters, and so much more. I hope that the scenes you create in your home this month echo a similar sentiment to the one described here by Thomas De Quincey and that, while the storm brews outside, inside you feel the light and warmth of home.
Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four 0’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.
Emile Waldteufel composed, The Skaters’ Waltz, this months musical selection in 1882. He composed over 200 dance pieces but is best known for this one. Waldteufel’s inspiration for The Skaters’ Waltz was a rink of ice skaters who ventured out on the Siene River in Paris on a blustery winter day.
Our poem this month is a sweet winter song that should be really fun to learn with our children. We will visit the winter birds and the squirrels as they play in the snow.
Our poet this month, Paul Laurence Dunbar, has a very interesting biography. Dunbar’s poetry made him the first African-American poet to reach national prominence. It also assured him a place in American literature.
As he shared his writing and poetry with friends and by giving readings, Dunbar’s reputation began to grow, and in 1892, he paid for the publication of his first volume of poetry, Oak and Ivy, keeping his job with the elevator in order to pay the publisher and to have an opportunity to plug and sell his book. By 1893, his renown was such that he was asked to recite poetry at the World’s Fair in Chicago, an opportunity that allowed him to meet the most famous African-American man in America at the time, Fredrick Douglass, who praised Dunbar highly. – My Poetic Side
The Magpie by Claude Monet will be the focus of our January art study. The Magpie is one of Claude Monet’s most famous pieces and is one of approximately 140 snowscapes produced by Monet.
At the lowest point in Monet’s life he attracted his first patron, Louis-Joachim Gaudibert. With Gaudibert’s help, Monet rented a house in Entretat, Normandy where his family went in October 1868. The Magpie was created during the winter of 1868-1869 in Normandy.
The Magpie is one of the first instances that Monet used color (rather than black) to depict shadows. This way of painting is associated with the Impressionist movement. You may be surprised to learn that although we now know that this piece is one of his most highly recognized and valued, it was rejected in 1869. Probably just a bit too soon for the time, as the first Impressionist exhibition didn’t take place until 1874.
The scripture we will be memorizing this month is John 1:4-5:
In Him was life;
and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness;
and the darkness comprehended it not.
As you spend the next few weeks memorizing this scripture it may help to understand a little more clearly what is means by “and the darkness comprehended it not”.
Bibleref.com describes the meaning of this passage in this way:
Jesus’ light came during a dark time, according to verse 5. Sadly, mankind didn’t respond very well. The second phrase of this verse is sometimes translated as “the darkness did not overcome it,” or “the darkness did not comprehend it.” The original Greek word is katalmbano, which can mean “acquire,” “grasp,” or “lay hold of.” Since light is associated with knowledge, this in part means that Jesus was not (is not) understood by the world. Many people who reject the gospel do so because they misunderstand it. This inability to see Jesus for what He truly is has more to do with a person’s stubbornness than with their intellect (John 7:17). The evidence is there, but those who prefer darkness will not see it for what it is. This also has a sense of “seizing,” as in taking possession. Of course, the world would physically “grasp” the person of Jesus (John 19:18), but it could not overcome the Messiah (John 19:19–20).
The Morning Time bundle includes linked weekly devotionals by my sister, Amy Keck. These will add so much depth to your study, I truly hope you utilize this resource.
We will be revisiting winter birds this month, specifically the White Breasted Nuthatch, as the focus of our nature study. We first studied winter birds in A Simple Guide to Morning Time | January 2019. The study of the Nuthatch will be a wonderful addition to the study of the Chickadee, as the two birds flock together during the winter months and can often be seen together at winter bird beeders.
As usual, we will use The Handbook of Nature Study to help direct our learning. The nature study sheet will guide you through this.
Don’t throw away those orange slices you dried for Christmas garlands and gift wrap just yet. We will be using this month, along with dried evergreens and leftover beeswax candle nibs to create fire starters. This craft is so fun and incredibly easy. Just practice extra caution with the melted wax. Before I poured the melted wax on the egg crate, I lined a cookie pan with parchment paper and placed the egg crate on it. Any and all spills I accidentally made when pouring the wax was caught here and nothing was ruined.
You can use the fire starters to help build a fire in your wood stove, fireplace, or even your outdoor fire pit.
Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, is the focus of the January Morning Time Bundle. Johnson was left with the huge task of reuniting the country after Lincoln’s assassination. He is known for implementing his own form of presidential reconstruction, often leaving Congress out of his plan. He was the first American President to be impeached by the House of Representatives. When the impeachment trial was brought to the Senate it fell shy of the totals needed and he finished his term.
This month you will be enjoying delicious homemade chocolate crinkle cookies with this months morning time plan. After all of the sweets I’ve eaten over the past month I really should have included a cookie made of lettuce but what fun would that be? This cookie is soft, with the perfect chocolate flavor; worth making adjustments in my diet elsewhere! I hope you enjoy them.
Thank you, again, for your continued support of my small business. Your presence here gives me the opportunity to share my passions with others, encourage families to grow together, both spiritually and educationally, and allows me the continued blessing of homeschooling my own children. I am so grateful for you! Merry Christmas, friends. May the coming holiday season be one of the sweetest and most dear your family has ever experienced.
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