21 June, 2010

Art Workshop!

Last month, we again had the pleasure of participating in a wonderful art workshop by Graham Braddock.

We were guided through drawing pictures in 3D, and focussing on perspective and vanishing points.

We drew a 3D picture of "Butch's Kennel", and Huntly Landscape and a Kenworth truck.

Here are our pictures:

Ainsley was old enough to join us this year, and I think she did a great job!

Top left: Ainsley (7 yrs), Top right: Emily (10 yrs), Bottom left: Bethany (11 yrs) and Bottom right: Mine.

06 June, 2010

The Habit of Reading Aloud

One of the things my husband and I believe has made a huge difference to our family life and to our children's vocabulary has been reading aloud. We are grateful that when we first were considering homeschooling we discovered both Charlotte Mason's ideas and Classical methods. Both of these stress the benefits of reading aloud good literature (CM would call them "Living books") as often as possible. Since then (about 5 years ago) Eeuwe has attempted to read aloud to the girls every night that it is possible. It doesn't happen on night when he has to go out to church meetings or other things. It always takes place after dinner each night, and after family devotions. Occassionally he'll make up a chapter on a Sunday afternoon if we don't have visitors. So on average he probably gets to read to the girls about three, maybe four nights a week. It is amazing now to look back at all the books he has managed to get through in this time. I am often asked for ideas for read alouds and usually pass on my favourite lists. I thought today I would brainstorm and try and remember all the books that have been read aloud in the past five years!

The Complete Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ~ A.A.Milne

The Chronicles of Narnia (second reading at the moment!) ~ C.S.Lewis

Several Paddington Bear books ~ Michael Bond

Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, The Trumpet of the Swan ~ E.B.White

Pinnocchio ~ Carlo Collodi

Many of the Beatrix Potter tales

Treasury for Children (several stories) ~ James Herriot

Most of the Little House on the Prairie series ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Caddie Woodlawn ~ Carol Ryrie Brink

The Treasure Seekers, Five Children & It ~ Edith Nesbit

The Incredible Journey ~ Sheila Burnford

The Secret Garden, A Little Princess ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Courage of Sarah Noble ~ Alice Dalgleish

Shadrach ~ Meindert de Jong

Just So Stories ~ Rudyard Kipling

The Cricket in Times Square ~ George Selden

Heidi ~ Johanna Spyri

Odd and several other titles by Amy Le Feuvre

Many "Twins" books by Lucy Fitch Perkins

Swiss Family Robinson ~ Johann Wyss

The Hobbit ~ J.R.R.Tolkien (and The Lord of the Rings are sure to come when the girls are a bit older!)

The Little Pilgrims Progress ~ John Bunyan, abridged

Mary Poppins ~ P.L.Travers

Pollyanna ~ Eleaner Porter

The Tanglewood's Secrets ~ Patricia St.John

The Sheep-Pig (Babe, the book), Ace, Daggy Dogfoot ~ Dick King Smith

Lassie Come Home ~ Eric Knight

Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass ~ Lewis Carroll

The Borrowers, The Borrowers Afloat ~ Mary Norton

Anne of Green Gables ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Veveteen Rabbit ~ Margery Williams

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew ~ Margaret Sidney

King of The Wind ~ Marguerite Henry

The Silver Brumby ~ Elyne Mitchell

There are probably a few more, but this gives you and idea of how many books a committed Dad can read to his children over five years, just a few nights a week! Many of these have enriched our lives deeply, we can refer back to favourite characters, funny sayings, and the girls are often acting out the latest book. I asked each of the girls which book was their favourite, and they each named one of the Chronicles of Narnia. Bethany's & Ainsley's favourite is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Emily's favourite is The Horse & His Boy. I'll have to ask Eeuwe which is his favourite! Well, surprise, surprise, Eeuwe's favourites to read aloud are the Chronicles of Narnia (he especially likes C.S.Lewis's sense of humour) and The Hobbit.

Happy reading!

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