So, tears come easily perhaps. And the pain others put into story form, to allow others to see into their world, see what their challenges and struggles were, see what they rose up from, what brought them to their knees – I feel these things deeply. Continue reading Tears Cresting and Falling – Moved by Literature and Theatre
Yesterday, on the way to music lessons, there was a lively conversation in the car between my six-year old and my nine-year old about whether the word muzzle and snout could be used interchangeably. Ben is a huge reader, and he was saying that a writer will use muzzle instead of snout sometimes, and then other times talk about a snout. At first I … Continue reading Muzzles, Snouts or Beaks
Yesterday, I shared this update on my personal Facebook page: I have a problem. I am not a civilized reader. I read like a glutton or a hoodlum – gobbling what I can from as many books as I can all at the same time. It’s a disaster. It is not calm. It is not ladylike. I’m a depraved book junkie. It is hopeless, I’m … Continue reading Books, Bookshelves, Gluttony, Desire, and Breakdowns
Normally, the boys get to sleep in on weekends. But today, we are meeting family for breakfast out at Patty’s Diner in Gold Hill, for the best Chicken Fried Steaks in the world. It is important to get there early to get a table. As Ben was still groggy, and just barely waking up, he said, “Hey Mom, have you ever wondered who invented writing? … Continue reading Lesson Plan Hijack – for all the Right Reasons
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. * * * * * Tracing … Continue reading Loving Language Right Down to the Shape of the Letters
Lately, Ben has been wanting to be scared, and scary. This morning, I stumbled onto Neil Gaiman’s Official Website for Young Readers, called MouseCircus.com. There are a couple of stories there that I think Ben may be interested in reading, and getting himself all freaked out about in the process. I am not one to enjoy being afraid. If I see a scary movie, I … Continue reading Leaning Towards Fear
Our first week in to this Old-School Homeschool style has been a total blast. We are completely focused on art projects, and giving Ben something to do with his hands while we tuck the actual educational necessities around the edges. I even created a little weekly overview worksheet for lesson planning – with the giant Art Circle in the center to help me stay tuned … Continue reading “Turn thou Hitherward” – Weekly Wrap-up
This was originally posted on my Artful Homeschool Blog – but I think I’m disbanding that after one day. I’d rather have one blog here at Country Kid Farmers. Continue reading We Start with Art
We were watching The Voice after the kids went to bed, so that might be influencing my flair for dramatics tonight, but honestly – sometimes, as moms, we just have one of those days! Days when we feel like we are making a dent, like we are making sense, and making memories, like our work is flourishing into joyful kids. And we want to shout from a … Continue reading I want to Stand on a Coffee Table and Sing at the Top of my Lungs that I’ve Totally GOT This!
Bean and I played with our food today at snack time, spelling his name in Bunnies and Goldfish crackers. Continue reading Spelling with Snacks!
T.S. Eliot is another one of my favorite poets. The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock, perhaps, being one of the most haunting and beautiful poems I have ever read. He has a way of speaking that is lilting, and ominous at the same time. This morning, I read East Coker, one of the poems in the book, Four Quartets, by T.S. Eliot. Here is a … Continue reading Between the Two World Wars
The other day, I was reading Billy Collins poetry and he started one with the Paul Cézanne quote, “With an apple I want to astonish Paris.” It only took a quick Google search to find that he did a lot of still-life paintings of apples, baskets of apples, apples and wine bottles, apples with skulls, and this pile of skulls. My boys love skulls and … Continue reading Art Mash-Up with Puzzles and Skulls
Just thinking of the word Perspective tweaks my brain a tad. There are so many points to consider. Last night, my boys and I worked on the idea of a Vanishing Point in art. We looked at some YouTube videos of learning to draw a scene based on a single vanishing point, and all the lines you should draw across the scene to make sure … Continue reading Spatial Relationships on a Flat Surface
Another night. Another gift. Dinner was amazing – homemade hot-dog buns, homemade mayonnaise, homemade relish, homemade potato chips. Big, honkin’ Hot-dogs. Delicious. Then while Bean was humming sweetly to himself in the tub, Scott and Ben were imitating one another sprawled out on the floor in front of the wood-burning stove. They were both exhausted from a long day of work, for Scott, and school, for Ben. Both … Continue reading Planting Seeds of Hope: in Hums and Laughter and Poetry
Sometimes I forget how civilized my boys are actually. I forget amid the mud and noise, bruises, scraps and yelling. Then I take a little trip to the Library on my lunch break, bring home a pile of books about motorcycles, airplanes and wild animals, and Voila, They are happily contained all through dinner prep! This morning, on the way to work, I heard a … Continue reading Quiet Night in a House of Boys – Some Secrets for Sanity
Thanks to my son’s take home Scholastic News magazine, I learned that November is National American Heritage Month. For Language and Literature night tonight, I pulled a free printable from TeacherVision to learn about Picture Language used to communicate between tribes. Both the boys tried their hands at telling a story with just the main points, without the filler words, and with only simple drawings. We … Continue reading In the Corners and Cobwebs of Every Civilization…Were the Poets and Artists
Yesterday I held fresh books in my hands. Fresh, meaning, not dust covered, or tried and true. Hot off the press, right there on the shelf at the book store, and now in my hand. No children running amok in the store. I could actually focus all my attention on the books all around me. Well, that’s an overstatement. I couldn’t focus. I was almost … Continue reading Overwhelmed with Joy and Craving
Language and Literature night started out with poetry, and turned into playing with rhyming words and trying to make something of it – all around Gratitude – which makes me smile even more. This isn’t a Rap. We are nowhere cool enough. No hip in our hop. But we had fun trying. Here are the “Lyrics” Magnitude of the heart precludes the rude and crude … Continue reading Magnitude of the Heart Precludes
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe. These are the opening lines of the famous poem, The Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll. We read poetry last night, my 4- and 8-year old, snuggled on each side of me on the couch. We read some classic A. A. Milne poetry and … Continue reading A Happy, Jumbled Mess of Wordplay and Childhood Memories
We started talking about Onomatopoeia’s at the dinner table. The kids thought the word was hysterical, and Scott started talking about the old Batman & Robin television shows that would always blast a big word on the screen for when a bad guy got Thwacked, or Popped or Kazoomed. That’s exactly what I was going to show them! Then we read some Poetry from the What Your … Continue reading Onomatopoeia – Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya!
To Kill a Mockingbird is turning 50 years old. The story of Scout and Gem and Dill making plays in the street about their shut-in neighbor in an effort to lure him outside is one of the most enduring images in American Literature (in my humble opinion). I remember it as if I were there. The little treats they would find in the tree outside … Continue reading Making Boo Radley come out
The Children’s Motivational Story Ben wrote for a target audience of 2- and 3-year olds. I think he enjoys being a Big Brother! Continue reading He’s moved on to Writing Books!
With my boys, Goodnight Stories are an absolutely essential part of our bedtime routine. Reading out loud was something my family did all the time growing up, and I love to read to my boys as well. To be honest, I cannot wait until they are old enough for the stories of the Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter – the kinds of stories that … Continue reading Goodnight Goon
My ninth grader will be reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel this year in his literature class at Clovis East High School. I picked the book up months ago because it is also an Oprah Book Club selection. I got through about three pages before I was overcome with grief. I want to read it with him, because it is assigned reading. I have already … Continue reading Wrestling with Night