Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Wednesdays with Words: Err on the Side of Poetry

Last week I had you all ready for another quote from Norms and Nobility.  Then, I was reading from Nancy Guthrie's Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, and found a quote I'll probably use at some time because, whew, it's dense with meaning and beautiful.  But also long.

Then, my copy of A Handbook to Morning Time by Cindy Rollins arrived and I devoured it on Monday.

I read Cindy's blog for a lot of years - including her 31 Days to Morning Time as it was published - so I didn't find anything particularly new in A Handbook to Morning Time. It was an easy, comfortable read for me with Cindy's straightforward, down to earth, very simple explanations of the why and what and how she did during Morning Time at her house.

What I did find, though, were those all-important gentle re-minders, re-focusing, re-energizing words to stay in for the long haul, do what you know, stay to the worn paths that Cindy writes so beautifully. If there is such a thing as comfort food books for the Homeschool mom, this one was my warm blanket and cup of tea.
Even though education is the training of the affections, it is often a future hope. (pg 63)
An echo from Mere Motherhood, but a sweet reminder that our children are persons and will be nourished on ideas in their - and God's - own time.
As with most things it is better to do something than to read about doing it. (pg 72)
The opposite of my relationship with Pinterest LOL

The first thing we must do is recognize that it is always going to be this way [a little chaotic]. For every idyllic morning there will be five okay mornings and three terrible ones. Here is where the plodding comes in. Here is where I assure you that plodding pays off. I am here to remind you to take the next step. (pg 94)
While we're on break it's easy to think of those ideal days and forget the impossible ones. Cindy grounds me, yet encourages me to keep on keeping on.

I've believed Cindy about poetry - which my public school self was exposed to very little - but my children adore.  It has been, and continues to be, a staple in our Whatchamacallit - Circle Time, Morning Time, Morning Basket, Symposium. But, I loved the way she said it on page 40:

Later, she enjoins us,

Over the years I have come to prioritize the memorizing of Shakespeare over other poetry, just because it is rare tofind better meter or meaning. When in doubt, pick Shakespeare. (pg 67)
A Handbook to Morning Time is a short guide to Morning Time that will encourage and warm me while helping me get back on the right track in our homeschool.  Because it is short, meaty, and re-energizing, it is a book I can see myself returning to year after year.

Wordless Wednesday: Yuletide Session 2016 Week 2

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesdays with Words: Teacher not Curriculum

I am going to, once again, attempt to join an online book club. To join a book club reading Norms and Nobility.


This time, though I'm reading with a group on the AO Forum led by Karen Glass.  The schedule is rather slow: one section - maybe two - per week - over the course of the next year. A long sustained schedule might break me, but I really really want to read it this time. The last time I tried, with Cindy Rollins, I got through just Chapter 1, but I say that book "de-deweyfied" my education major philosophy.  Likely more would be better.

My hope is that most of my Wednesdays with Words for the next year will be from Norms, so I hope you will be patient with me.

This week, we read the Preface to the 1990 Edition.

This isn't so much a preface as an explanation of the reason for the book, a peek into why and what he has written, and some self-critique after more experience.

The first time I read this, I underlined the statement that I'm highlighting today, but I didn't think on it too seriously:

So, I do believe - and I think Hicks believes - that the course of study is incredibly important and the way it's put together matters.  Having a course of study that leads its students to act rightly - "... the end of education is not thinking; it is acting." Hicks says on page vi - is of utmost importance, and a curriculum that ignores the norms of living, that ignores acting rightly, is not a curriculum that I can in good consscience place in front of my children.

But it matters, too, that I, the teacher, am a student.

A quote I love from Carolyn Weber's Surprised by Oxford is:

"As I aimed to become a teacher, God made me a student. My spirit as a questioner does not affront Him; rather, it reflects Him, and honors Him, and pulls me toward Him." 
I use that quote with my signature on education forums, but do I always believe it or practice it?

This is my goal for this reading of Norms. To Attend! to the call to be a student; to observe in Wonder, to do the Work of learning and questioning and seeking, to grow in Wisdom, to Worship God, and *Revel* in His creation, leading, instruction.  Huh. My Rule of Six. Funny.

One of the goals I put together for our 2017 Academic Year is to preread seriously and prepare for the coming week with the work I'm expecting of M-girl - Commonplace, Book of Centuries, Mapwork, all of it. But as the instructor, I need to do more - scaffold lessons, ask questions, seek more deeply.  My friend Celeste at Joyous Lessons has been inspiring me on Instagram this fall, and I've talked with Jason about changing these habits of mine.

I need to change the teacher.  

Will it happen all at once? Unlikely. The habit of years is hard to break. Does it need to change? Yes. And so I am going to make a concerted effort.

This quote from Hicks only reaffirms the direction I was already thinking. Modeling a love for learning, the processes of learning, the joy of learning for my children is not the goal.  It's a side benefit. 

Actually loving learning, the process of learning, the joy of learning for myself is the goal. 

If you aim at earth you'll lose it, but if you aim at a heaven, you get earth thrown in, eh?

Wordless Wednesday: Yuletide Session 2016 Week 1

And a bonus:

A video posted by dawn (@ladydusk) on

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Simple Woman's Daybook for Monday, November 28, 2016

For Today... November 28, 2016  ... Two more days of November!

Looking out my window ... the sky is grey and almost pink while the sun lazily makes it's way into the pre-winter sky.

I am thinking ... about getting dressed. We're going to see A Christmas Carol this morning.

I am thankful ... for a wonderful long weekend being thankful with friends and family.  We have so much to thank God for!

One of my favorite things ... Ohio State beating X*ch*g@n in The Game. It was some bad football, but we won, so Huzzah!!

I am wearing ... Buckeye jammies - but soon something dressier to go downtown.

I am will be creating ... the children's Christmas ornaments for this year. I have the stuff, just need some time.  Later in the week, I think.

I am listening to ... Christmas music. I have a slight obsession. Just finished Sara Groves' O Holy Night (with the hilariously true song about toy packaging) and now have Amy Grant's A Christmas Album.

I am hoping ... that Jason has fun deer hunting ... and maybe doesn't get anything?

I am learning ... good question.  Maybe to tune out the self-negativitiy script?

In my kitchen ... I really need to go to the grocery store.  Coffee with cinnamon eggnog this morning, though. It's the important things ;)

In the school room ... the table is covered with "This doesn't go down here. Take it upstairs" detrius. I need to clear it so we can do the puzzle I ordered.  It's lovely to be on break!

In my garden ... er, yard, the outside decorations are hung - window candles, lights around the door, big ornaments in the tree. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas :)

Board room ... looking for "Spice" recipes for the family progressive dinner this weekend.  I have a dessert plan, but need a heavy appetizer plan too.

Post Script ... Brandy's "Probably Our Simplest DecemberTerm Ever"  post resonates with me because I also have our simplest plan ever.  Sort of.

Shared Quote ... "I should be sorry if I only entertained them. I wished to make them better." Handel wrote of his masterpiece, The Messiah. I love that quote every time I come across it, which I did last night in our Advent Reader.

A moment from my day ...

Linking up with The Simple Woman.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wednesdays with Words: Thankfulness

This is a very hard story to tell, a very emotional and personal story. I'm turning off comments for this post because I am thankful for the happening and for God's intervention, but I really don't need any recrimination or love or feedback. I'm also not promoting this one anywhere on social media. This is for my people who read anyway. I hope you understand. I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving. I am giving thankfulness for the Lord's intervention.

There's recently been some drama in my life.  A choice I recently made had repurcussions I didn't expect. It started with a week of mental anguish as I stewed over, self-blamed, and generally convicted myself. Oh, guilt.

No one else seemed to be upset with me or gave me grief about my decision, but we're always hardest on ourselves, right? My pastor was concerned that I might get some catty comments (not a one) - but they were all from my own head.

So that mental script that all of us have - the constant drip of blame and accusation and self-recrimination - I'm pretty sure some of us have it more than others.  I have a hard time letting go when I think I've let others down - even when assured that I haven't. That desire for approval stands up to be counted and the guilt just eats until a chasm has opened beneath it. I *know* that my approval is in Christ and that's all I need. I can intellectually assent to that, but sometimes the emotions wrangle that knowledge into dust.


I was stewing in worship. That's the worst, when I can't control the tears and everyone is worried - children, husband, those nearby - because I can't shut off the script.

Finally, I had enough.

Shut up.

I hate that phrase. I try not to use it.

I told my brain, my accusor, to

Shut up. In Jesus' name.

And it did.

This was a couple of weeks ago. And I still haven't gone down that path. If I start to, I'm reminded of what God did to make my brain shut up and it's like a brick wall. There is no path. It's closed off.

So, the words that keep coming back to me: Shut up. Such a weird Wednesdays with Words, but I have felt compelled to share this. To encourage you that He is still at work. That he cares for his people. That he cares for you.

He is good. I am Thankful for a God who protects His people, even from ourselves.

May you have a Blessed Thanksgiving and a wonderful Holiday season. Carol, I know you'll read this - God's richest blessings to you as well.

Wordless Wednesday: It *is* that week. Go Buckeyes!