August brought so much refreshment to our family and I truly believe that the morning time bundle had a great deal to do with it. Just leaning in to those things that refresh us and stepping away, for a bit, from the things that don’t is always a healthy practice.
Refreshed and rejuvenated, we recently began our new school year. I always like to begin our school year with the reminder to work hard, be diligent, and don’t quit. This will be the theme of our morning time bundle this month. I hope that it becomes the cornerstone for our learning this year and possibly yours too.
Wendell Berry said this of life:
You mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else. What you must do is this: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks.” I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.
Though the fullness of this year has not quite shaped up as any of us ever imagined. We have experienced one new trial after another, yet we know the fruit of our pressing on is golden; far more valuable than the places we wished to visit or the gallon of berries we wished to pick and all the other assortments of summer we had anticipated, yet missed out on. Our home is full of great books, our hearts are full with the faithfulness of family and friends, and all of our needs God has faithfully met which is a beautiful way of saying “rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks!”
If this has also been you, be encouraged! Continue to do the next best thing. Continue, even when the road seems long. Continue, even when you want to give up. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks.
This month we are going to enjoy a another beautiful piece of music from Franz Schubert . I hadn’t intended to study Schubert for two consecutive months, it just happened. I hope you enjoy lingering just a little bit longer with this talented composer and his work. The piece we will be listening to this month is titled Trout Quintet, 4th Movement. Like much of Schuberts music, The Trout Quintet was not written for a concert hall, but for musicians who wanted something to play at home.
In his short life of 31 years Schubert wrote over 600 songs, 7 complete symphonies, and a large body of piano and chamber music. Appreciation of Schubert’s music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of Western classical music and his music continues to be popular.
- Classics for Kids – Franz Schubert
- Classics for Kids – Franz Schubert Audio Biography
- Biography.com – Franz Schubert
- MSU.edu – Franz Schubert
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.
Our poem this month reinforces the theme of perseverance, endurance, steadfastness, and tenacity: qualities we hope to instill in ourselves our children.
Luke 5:1-11 shares a story of Simon Peter and other fisherman fishing all night without catching anything. They were tired from their work, disheartened because they had not reaped the reward for their trouble. While they were washing their nets Jesus told them to cast their nets again. Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Though uncertain, they cast their nets one more time. When they obeyed, their nets were filled to the point that the nets broke and the amount of fish they caught was so much beyond what was ever known that it amounted to a miracle.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary shares this thought about their obedience and steadfastness.
Even those who are most diligent in their business often meet with disappointments; they who toiled all night yet caught nothing; for the race is not always to the swift. God will have us to be diligent, purely in duty to his command and dependence upon his goodness, rather than with an assurance of worldly success. We must do our duty, and then leave the event to God.
The poem this month is titled “Don’t Quit” and is written by John Greenleaf Whittier. Whittier’s life is extremely interesting, especially in regards to the current time period we are studying with the president study listed below. Whittier was a strong opponent to slavery and spent much of his life advocating for the freedom of every man. He was a politician and a poet who had an amazing ability of weaving the two together.
- Poetry Foundation – John Greenleaf Whittier this is a very interesting article about the life of John Greenleaf Whitter.
- Whittier Birthplace
- Whittier Home
- Teaching Whittier – this is a free 3 part curriculum guide from the Whittier Home website.
The art piece for September’s study is a beautiful piece of art titled Mending the Net by Thomas Eakins. Thomas Eakins was an American Realist from Philadelphia. As has been true for so many great artists, the work of Thomas Eakins was not appreciated in his lifetime. No museum bought one of his paintings until 1916, the year he died. Nor was there a major exhibition of his work until a year later. Yet, today he is considered one of the masters of American realism.
**Please note: this artist is known for his interest in nude artistry. When you make your selections of 6 other pieces by this poet, please be sure to do this ahead of time. My six favorites are: Homespun, Retrospection, Pushing for Rail, The Meadows, Gloucester, Taking Up the Net, and Baby at Play.
This month the theme of our scripture study is perseverance, endurance, steadfastness, and tenacity. Many times in scripture we are encouraged to keep going and press on. I love to equate scriptures like those as the cheers and well-wishes of people who are standing by; encouraging us as we each run our individual race. I believe when God breathed His word to us He knew that this life would require all of the character qualities listed above. His words remind us that He knows this race is long and hard, yet He is there cheering us on.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Some other verses that encourage these character qualities:
- James 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
- Psalm 16:8 – I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
- Romans 5:3-5 – And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
- Hebrews 12:1 – Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
- James 5:11 – Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
The Brook Trout is the focus of our nature study this month. As usual, we will use The Handbook of Nature Study to help direct our learning.
I know that trout aren’t necessarily the easiest things to observe so there is a link included in the morning time bundle.
There is also a link to my friend Heidi’s youtube channel. Heidi is an incredible watercolor artist and she recently painted a beautiful rainbow trout for her son because he loves to fish. She documents her process on YouTube so that you can follow along with some of her creations and possibly even try them for yourself. This would be a fun activity for your family to enjoy on a rainy afternoon.
Here are some additional resources you may enjoy:
- Trout Lifecycle
- Stream Explorers – This is a really fun, interactional, learning website for students.
To tie together our art and nature study, this month our craft will be the making of a net. Except, since most of us don’t use fishing nets on a daily basis, we will be making this next into a farmers market bag. I was a little apprehensive including this craft, worried that it may be too difficult. But we gave it a try anyway. My daughter and I followed this video tutorial step-by-step and were so pleased by how simple, quick, and easy it was for both of us. In all, the whole project took about 1 hour to complete and came together beautifully.
The supplies you will need for this months craft:
- Macrame Cord – I used 4mm in white. You will need approximately 50 yards.
This months study brings us to our nations 13th president, Millard Fillmore.
WhiteHouse.gov describes Millard Fillmore in this way:In his rise from a log cabin to wealth and the White House, Millard Fillmore demonstrated that through methodical industry and some competence an uninspiring man could make the American dream come true.
Fillmore presided over the Senate during the months of nerve-wracking debates over the Compromise of 1850. He made no public comment on the merits of the compromise proposals, but a few days before President Taylor’s death, he intimated to him that if there should be a tie vote on Henry Clay’s bill, he would vote in favor of it.
Thus the sudden accession of Fillmore to the Presidency in July 1850 brought an abrupt political shift in the administration. Taylor’s Cabinet resigned and President Fillmore at once appointed Daniel Webster to be Secretary of State, thus proclaiming his alliance with the moderate Whigs who favored the Compromise.As the Whig Party disintegrated in the 1850’s, Fillmore refused to join the Republican Party; but, instead, in 1856 accepted the nomination for President of the Know Nothing, or American, Party. Throughout the Civil War he opposed President Lincoln and during Reconstruction supported President Johnson. He died in 1874.
- Millard Fillmore | 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 James K. Polk this month.
- Millard Fillmore Hose
We are embracing fall this month with some wonderful, old-fashioned caramel apples. Just a little something that is simple and sweet, but oh-so-fun for our families.
Some special tools you may need:
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: John Greenleaf Whittier – Don’t Quit – Public Domain
Art: Thomas Eakins – Mending the Net, 1881 – Public Domain
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