One thing I don’t think I’ve shared about myself here is the school environment I grew up in. When I was young I attended the local public school. The summer before my 4th grade year my parents decided to send my sister and I to a local private Christian school. Our school was small, I actually graduated from there 9 years later with a class size of 17. Though not homeschooled, I did attend school with the same 10 people from 4th grade on with a few new people popping in here and there, my class felt like my family. It wasn’t only my classmates that felt like family, my teachers felt that way, too. I remember when I was in 5th – 7th grade we had two widowed sisters who came each week to lead music for our weekly chapel service. I don’t remember many of the hymns they led us through but I do remember we often sang the hymn to the words from Psalm 19. Most specifically, I remember singing these words – “More to be desired are they than gold, yeah than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Even as an 11 year old those words penetrated my heart and imprinted upon it the sweetness of God’s word. I knew then that God’s word is not just a list of rules and commands it is a sweet story of love and redemption. The greatest we have ever known and ever will know.
This month as we learn about the honey bee and the honeycomb and as we celebrate the arrival of summer let this month’s scripture receive the place it deserves. Don’t forget it. It is not only a part of this bundle, it is the most important part.
This month we are going to become familiar with the work of a Russian composer named Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Korsakov was very good at using the instruments of the orchestra to create pictures and stories. This month we are studying one of his most famous works, “The Flight of the Bumblebee”. In The Flight of the Bumblebee he used the string family to create a musical “bumblebee.” The piece offers a fast-paced race from its very first notes. As you listen to the music, can you imagine a bumblebee buzzing around and then quickly flying around so that it doesn’t get caught?
- MakingMusicFun.net composer documentary on Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
- Kids.kiddle.co – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
- Classics for Kids – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
When it comes to children’s poetry. I don’t think there is another poet I come across more often than Robert Louis Stevenson. His best selling book, A Child’s Garden of Verses, is a book of poetry for children. Stevenson was in ill health for most of his short life and this book was dedicated to his nurse who cared for him during his many childhood illnesses.
Although confined to bed for long periods of time, he used his writing talents to express himself and escape the boredom of illness. His uncanny ability to internalize life’s events and reproduce them as literature is just one evidence of his talent. Not only was he a great poet, he was also an essayist, historian, and travel author.
Our poem this month is a great one for children. It sympathizes with one of the biggest struggles of being young in summertime, going to bed while the sun is still out. This poem is a classic. I hope you enjoy.
This month we are meeting a new artist by the name of Edward Henry Potthast. Mr. Potthast is best known for his sunny beach scenes, filled with sparkling surf and high-keyed details such as balloons, hats and umbrellas. It seemed perfect to welcome our new season with one of his pieces.
Edward Potthast spent many days at the beach painting scenes of children and their families. Through his artwork, he captured the peacefulness of the children. Although he never had children and was a somewhat private person, he clearly enjoyed their company.
The piece we are studying this month is Summer Day, Brighton Beach.
- EdwardHenryPotthast.org – this site has a biography of our artist as well as his complete works. Browse through it to find your favorite!
This month we will be focusing on what scripture has to say about God’s word – primarily how sweet these words are.
The Scripture we will be memorizing this month is Isaiah Psalm 19:7-10
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much find gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Some other verses to remember this month:
- Psalm 119:103 – How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
- Proverbs 16:24 – Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
- Proverbs 24: 13-14 – My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
This month the honeybee and honeycomb will be the focus of our nature study. As usual, we will use The Handbook of Nature Study to help direct our learning.
Here are some additional resources you may enjoy:
- The Honey Bee Conservancy – great educational website with resources for the honeybee as well as other bees. Includes educational resources, lesson plans, and books.
- Honeycomb Under a Microscope – a very entertaining, well done video on the honeybee and the honeycomb. A MUST WATCH!
Candles are a favorite use of beeswax and this month we will be using it to make our own handmade or hand-rolled candles. The “Create card” in the bundle includes instructions for making your own poured candle with a touch of lemon fragrance. This craft includes hot wax which I understand may not be something that you wish to do with younger children. If you do not wish to do this craft, there is also an option to purchase beeswax sheets and instead create hand-roll taper candles. Both of these projects are fun, my children and I have enjoyed doing both of them from time-to-time.
For the poured candle I used:
For the hand-rolled candle we used:
We have slowly worked our way to the 10th president. This means we have been studying president for 10 MONTHS! Wow, good job friends!
John Tyler was often referred to as “The Accidental President” because he became the president at the death of William Henry Harrison. His term was one marked with trouble. The trouble came mostly from the Whig party who in the beginning were his biggest supporters. In the beginning of his presidency, He vetoed most of their bills and in retaliation they expelled him from their party. A year after being expelled from their party, he vetoed yet another bill and they in turn introduced an impeachment resolution against him. This resolution failed.
Tyler is credited with the annexation of Texas, the “Log Cabin Bill”, signing a tariff bill protecting northern manufacturers, and ending a Canadian boundary dispute.
Some resources that will be great additions to your study of John Tyler are:
- John Tyler | 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 John Tyler this month.
- Sherwood Forest | John Tyler’s Home
I am on week 1 of a Whole30 regimen. For my own benefit I decided to try and pull together a recipe that could be Whole30 compliant. Thankfully, we are welcoming summer this month and it was pretty simple to include a dish that can easily be adapted to meet those requirements. Our recipe is a Grilled Fruit Salad. If you wish to omit the “grilled” part of this recipe you can, just continue to follow the instructions without it.
I am adapting my salad a bit to make it whole 30 compliant. If you wish to do the same, just omit the honey, lime juice, and mint and replace with balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. It’s easy to do and just as good!
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
The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons
The Life and Times of the Honeybee by Charles Micucci
The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco
SPECIAL NOTES AND RESOURCES
Poetry: Robert Louis Stevenson – Bed In Summer – Public Domain
Art: Edward Henry Potthast – Summer Day, Brighton Beach – Public Domain
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