Loving Language Right Down to the Shape of the Letters

Eloquence in words, and turns of phrase, must start with a reverence for the letters themselves; then the words, the sounds, the rhythms and rhymes, the haunting juxtapositions, the intertwining of heart within the lines. All this begins, I believe, with learning the tools, holding them each separately, seeing their singular beauty, and then learning to pair them together beautifully.

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Tracing Paper can be ridiculously fun. Ben traced one-quarter of Europe today, and marked out each country, river, and body of water. In the coming weeks, we will get the rest of Europe done, and go back to learn some of the major Capital Cities, mountain ranges, etc. As we are studying Europe in the Middle Ages, bringing some of the terrain into focus will help us remember why certain areas became centers of conflict, while others were heavily protected by natural barriers, etc. (Yes – this is that enormous Atlas I got for a fraction at Barnes & Noble last week.)

Both my boys practiced writing out their letters using tracing paper today. Ben got to go an extra step and write several lines of “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog, (the sentence containing all of the letters of the alphabet)” with a couple of different cool fonts to see what it would be like to write fancy, in Calligraphy. He told me that it didn’t even feel like he was concentrating towards the end – the pencil was just gliding along making those gorgeous letters.

Then, we found these amazing letters on a Pinterest Board for DIY Wall Hangings, as we were looking for Wall Tapestries. (Go take a look – you will see the amazing letters. They are from a site in China, that even though Google let me translate, I wasn’t sure if it was a site to link to or not… but the artwork is dazzling.)

We were wanting to study the Wall Tapestries of the Medieval Period. Our book gave a couple of examples, and there were some websites that showed little pictures, but nothing that was terribly exciting. And then we found THESE gorgeous pieces of art.

It makes sense to work on beautiful lettering, so the formal edicts and Patent of Nobility Artistic Birth we want to write onto the parchment paper we made will look authentic. I figure, it will be easier to work on embellishing smaller letters, if we have already done the harder work of paper-crafting a large letter.

While I read more of the King Arthur legend, Ben did an L for me – and I am thrilled with the result.


6 thoughts on “Loving Language Right Down to the Shape of the Letters

  1. I really love the letter you made. I just pinned it as an activity to do with my kiddos. This also makes me want to get out some tracing paper myself, since my little ones are a bit too little still. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you for visiting Close and Critical. It’s a seed that’ll hopefully sprout into something for public, private, home, and de/unschoolers alike. My days are occupied by 8 and 9 year olds, so you guys might find some useful resources here:




    Tactile-kinesthetic learning benefits kids of all ages, and tracing paper is perfect for anchoring understanding through movement. We began a unit on Greece this week, and I can’t wait to break out the maps and tracing paper….

  3. Just stopping by to say I really enjoyed reading your posts! It was a good way to spend a lunch break. Thanks for the inspiration.

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