We've read about many homeschooling ideas, but one book we wish we would have read at the outset is The Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson.
It begins with the Bible as the center of education and adopts it's name from Psalm 90:12: "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
In The Heart of Wisdom Robin covers everything from the Exodus from the public school system to creating your own unit studies. We have enjoyed Robin's well thought out, biblical approach to education and find a real kindred spirit in her pages.
For example, she believes in reading good literature, but states in the section entitled Classics According to Classical Education, page 360: "Would you allow your child to spend time with a person practicing and promoting witchcraft? A book labeled classic does not automatically warrant reading it to our children. God's Word says it is wrong for believers to be yoked together with unbelievers."
Refreshing, biblical and for those that know us well~ the same tune we have been singing for a decade. : ) A classic is only a classic if it lines up with God's Word, amen?
She also believes in tying studies together with a hands-on activity. We love that and so do the children. I thought of her as I pulled an Evan-Moor book this past week (see resource section below) and got cutting and pasting.
Evan-Moor is wonderful for providing those hands-on tools we don't have time to create ourselves. And they are so clever- don't you just love that they make the Mayflower into a book and have the children write the basics of the Mayflower Compact with their own hand? Wonderful stuff- when edited by mom. And it will need some editing.
The Evan-Moor Mayflower boat/book page gave a brief summary of the pilgrim's voyage and ended with "Still they maintained hope for a new life." We asked the girls to add some of their own pages and write why they believed the pilgrims were able to maintain hope. Here is one. Faith thinks verses like Philippians 4:19 and Psalm 121:2-5 may have encouraged their hearts:
Instead of relying solely on Evan-Moor's remembrance of the past, we pulled out our long standing favorite Thanksgiving book by Barbara Rainey (see resource section below). We have used this book for about 8 years. It's one of those fantastic resources you can use again and again and never grow tired of. This added the meat to Evan-Moor's bones. It is filled with interesting history and Bible verses and gives the true account of the pilgrim's struggle and overwhelming desire for religious freedom.
And we added art. The more I read about art and the Charlotte Mason method, the more I enjoy having these types of resources available to my family. For those on a budget, Picturing America by the American Library Association provides FREE downloadable images and lesson plans to teach American History through art, using American artists. This is one of the prints they highlight:
Simple household decorations like the following, the creation of a yearly Thanksgiving play (thanks to wonderful big girls that plan plays, props and costumes!) and a meal at my sister's home are becoming traditions here.
And just a note on the personal side, for those of you dear friends who are waiting to hear from me or have sweetly said that I do not post enough~ thank you. My heart is warmed by your kindness and friendship.
By the grace of God we are enjoying our precious little ones just as you are enjoying yours. And during this season I must continue to limit my computer time and blog posts to one per week. I apologize if that causes me to run behind a bit. I truly value each one of you.
The simple truth behind our delay is, just like you, we have only this one chance to lead little hearts home.
We do not want to miss it...
Thank you eternally for your sweet patience and love.
"After sixty-five days at sea from Plymouth (a total of ninety-seven days from the first launch at Southhampton), the Pilgrims caught a glimpse of their destination, the new land where God would be worshiped freely and- in time- where freedom would flourish.
Shouting for joy and falling to their knees to pray, they celebrated by reading Psalm 100:
"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations."
From Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember, pages 26-27
For those of you who have asked about SWR (I think that is 4 now) I am planning to post about how we use SWR soon. Many blessings to you!
1. Evan-Moor History Pockets: Colonial America, Grades 4-6 but truly adjustable for ages K-8. We'll be using only about half of the book for our studies this month. Reproducible.
2. Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey. It's an adjustable story to suit multiple age ranges. There is larger print to cover the general information, geared to younger ages and a smaller font which is written to older ages and covers more mature content.
3. Picturing America by the American Library Association provides FREE downloadable images and lesson plans to teach American History through art, using American artists.
This month our family is highlighting the following paintings in our home: Autumn Landscape- The River of Life, 1923-1924 by Louis Comfort Tiffany, The Veteran in a New Field, 1865 by Winslow Homer and Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California 1865 by Albert Bierstadt
4. The Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson would be a great addition to your Christmas wish list. Robin has also produced another wonderful resource entitled, "What Your Child Needs to Know When" for grades K-8. Maybe you could buy one and a friend could buy one, then you could read and swap.
In the back of "What Your Child Needs to Know When" you are given a couple of very helpful resources. The first is a seven page Character Traits goals list (alphabetized from Appreciate to Virtuous) that gives you a systematic approach for covering character traits.
The other is a check off list to match with the standards for those fearful that there may be holes in their education, but overwhelmed by the state standards web page (and who isn't?). These check off lists make a great addition to your school binder and eventually your student's CUM file.