Wednesday, March 25, 2015

{From My Commonplace}


"The entire object of true education is to make people not merely do the right things, but enjoy the right things--not merely industrious, but to love industry--not merely learned, but to love knowledge--not merely pure, but to love purity--not merely just, but to hunger and thirst after justice."

from John Ruskin, quoted in Karen Glass' Consider This

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring :: Arts and Crafts

More Lenten blooms around town this week!  Spring is finally officially here, and I have Easter preparations on my mind now that we have entered Passiontide.

I usually plan some arts and crafts as part of our Easter octave celebration.  My kids love art projects, so it's great fun for them!  I do try to choose projects that will either provide genuinely lovely decorations for our home through the Easter season or serve as Mother's Day or Father's Day gifts for the grandparents. (I like to be prepared!)  

I have a terrible habit of sharing after our project is finished and it's too late for others to join in, so this time around, I'm sharing some projects I have bookmarked in advance.  These would be fun to do during Spring Break or the Easter Octave, and a few of them could nicely segue into genuine CM-friendly handicrafts.

So, just a few projects I've Evernoted (totally a word!) with Easter in mind:

Lovely Lacy "Ceramics" (we've used air-dry clay in the past with good results)
Handstitched Hearts (a bit valentinesy, but these colors invoke spring to me)
Paper Flowers (always fun!)
and More Paper Flowers (we've done tissue paper flowers before, but these are much more lovely)
Stained Glass Flowers (stunning!  I ordered the materials, but I doubt they'll arrive in time, so this may be a summer project for us)
Botanical Letters (my girls will love this, especially for the connection to illuminated manuscripts)

I'll share a few other ideas that we have done in the past (as well as which of the above crafts we get to this year!) when Easter is here.  And if you do any of these projects, let me know!  

Wishing you a blessed Passiontide--and first week of spring!  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

{From My Commonplace}

"You are not at all like my rose," he said. "As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world ... 

"You are beautiful, but you are empty," he went on. "One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you-- the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen ... because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.

from Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince

Monday, March 16, 2015

{This and That}

Happy Monday, friends!  It is exam week in our home--we just finished up Term 3 last week.  I'm sure you know what that means: I've got the Year 4 books out and have already started drawing up plans. ;)

Our Keeping Company link-up for March already has lots of wonderful posts.  Feel free to read, post, and share!


In the midst of planning, I have re-discovered Traditional Catholic Living's wonderful hymn-a-month series.  I'm looking forward to using this as a resource starting next term.  If you are Catholic and looking for free Sacred Music study, this is a do-not-miss!

And speaking of traditional Catholic hymns, Kimberlee's son has provided simple piano arrangements perfect for Lent: Stabat Mater and the chant Audi Benigne Conditor.  I printed them out and my kids have been playing them all month.  Thank you Kimberlee and Jonathan!


Have you checked out this month's Charlotte Mason blog carnival? Remember, now it's in link-up format, so feel free to add your posts.  Lots of good reading there!

Also, I shared a little blurb for Flourish e-magazine this month.  You know me--I couldn't help but give Keeping a little shout-out. ;)  Go take a look!


This past term's artist was Georgia O'Keeffe, and we looked at her Jack in the Pulpit series, among others.  The children asked why it was called Jack in the Pulpit, so I pulled up a picture of the flower alongside the painting. (Thanks to here and here.) 

Just as I was going to explain the name, the kids saw the pictures and squealed, "Oh!  I understand now!  It looks like Father doing his sermon!"

One of the many blessings of going to a parish with a very Jack-in-the-Pulpit-ish pulpit!


Last week, we read the chapters in Our Island Story about George II's ascending the throne and his battles during "The Forty Five" with Bonnie Prince Charlie's Highland Stuart-supporters.

Then it was time for music study, and Handel's "Zadok the Priest" was on the schedule.  (What can I say?  My husband is Champions League fan.)  Before playing it, I read a bit about the history of its composition: it was written for the coronation of George II.

My kids were listening but mostly just waiting for the music to begin.

I repeated myself.  "George the Second. OF ENGLAND."

"OHHH, GEORGE THE SECOND!?  The George II we just read about TODAY??"

And then they started making all the other connections.  "So the king that ordered the water music, and the fireworks--was that George I?  And that's why German Handel ended up in England?  Because he came along with the king?  Maybe he knew him in Hanover!"  Their eyes lit up as they remembered this tidbit or that.  They talked together about the scenes in Wheeler's biography with a new understanding.

The neat thing was that this was the first time our music studies lined up with our history readings, so even though we plot out musicians on our map and our timeline, they don't think of them as particularly historical figures--they think of them as composers and connect with their music.  But it's fun to have the historical connection too.  And best of all: I didn't even have to plan it!  Love those coincidences.


Happy big boys at the firehouse!

,,,and happy big girls out for Cate's belated birthday outing with Mommy.

They insisted on posing with their cups and the little homemade date coupon. :)  And can you believe the barista spelled all three of our names right?


I'm hoping to share a bit this week about our recent nature Keeping, as well as some ideas for spring art projects.  Spring is right around the corner, after all, even for those of you still under snow!  Wishing you warm, sunny days ahead.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

{From My Commonplace}

"But I was in pursuit of poetry, ignoring God's pursuit of me.  I had not yet realized that all beauty is of God and that to have one is to possess the other."

from Robert Waldron's The Hound of Heaven at My Heels: The Lost Diary of Francis Thompson

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Keeping Company :: March Link-Up

Before I get to the March link-up, I want to mention a couple more entries from last month's collection that I found really inspiring. Alongside February's topic of commonplace books, I asked about children's commonplace keeping.  Both Lisa and Carol posted peeks into their older children's commonplace books.  If you have students you're encouraging in self-chosen copywork, take a look!

And I also want to share a few lovely photos from over on Instagram:

right to left -  mjohn24489 - angelaboord - rjnsix - melodyidol


:: For bloggers: You should see the linky below.  Click on the "Add my link" button, and it will prompt you to include the information for your post.  Once you submit it, your link will be added to the list, and others will be able to click over and read what you have shared.

:: For Instagrammers: Tag related photos with #KeepingCompanyCM to join the link-up.  (You can also add individual Instagram photos via the linky if you prefer.)


:: Remember to link to a specific post and not to the homepage of your blog.  

:: Posts on private blogs obviously can't be included.

:: Any posts about CM-style Keeping are welcome!  The prompt is optional.  Your post can be as simple as a photo of your commonplace book!  And please don't feel like you have to be an expert.  We are all looking to grow in these habits together. :)

:: Feel free to add more than one post.  The link-up will be open for a month, so you can come back and add more if you are so inclined.

:: You can grab the button over there on the sidebar if you'd like to add it to your post or site.

Looking forward to seeing what you all are up to.  And once again, thank you for sharing! 

Friday, March 6, 2015

What We're Reading :: Almost Spring

Hound of Heaven at My Heels: The Lost Diary of Francis Thompson (February book club selection--perfect for Lent!)
Wendell Berry's New Collected Poems (one a night, before bed)
Rumer Godden's The River (picked it back up after a hiatus and finished it up)
Goudge's Pilgrim's Inn (just started)

Vincent, age 8:
Henry's King of the Wind (an AO free read)
Dalgliesh's The Bears on Hemlock Mountain (another AO free read)
Lofting's The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle (a re-re-re-read)

Gianna, age 8:
Masefield's The Midnight Folk (from the Mater Amabilis reading list)
Wilder's Farmer Boy (reading to Cate)
Caddie Woodlawn's Family (a re-read after reading the series a few months ago)

Cate, age 6:
Still working through If I Were Going, a vintage reader from my mom's childhood

To the Big Kids:
Wilder's Little House in Town (on audio read by Cherry Jones, which I've mentioned before)
Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince (an AO Year 3.5 free read)
DeJong's The Wheel on the School (the last of our AO Year 3 free reads)
Marigold Hunt's St. Patrick's Summer (our Lenten reading together)

To the Kindergartener:
Neumann Press' Saints for Girls (such a sweet compilation)
Dobbs' More Upon-a-Time Stories (though the big kids like this one better than she does)

To the Littles:
Margaret Hodges' The Kitchen Knight (4yo Xavier's current favorite)
Baby Farm Animals, illustrated by Garth Williams (3yo Bridget's current favorite)
Museum ABC and Museum 123 (2yo Clara's current favorite--my kindergartener can "read" these to her and does very often!)

More for our shelves:
A few used gems in the mail and a few from the library bookstore...

A couple of these will make their way into Easter baskets, and a couple already have a home on our shelves. :)  What have you and your kids been reading lately?