Golden Grasses

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why Poetry?

I am teaching the Grammar of Poetry every week to a group of kids ranging in age from 8 -15.Really, why? Who needs poetry? What is the importance of Iambic, Trochaic and Anapestic meter? Tropes? Does anyone even know what that means anymore?  These kids do. I quiz them every week. They are learning difficult words and more importantly, they are learning what they mean. They are owning them.

It's all about beauty. It's all about understanding the music in words and making them sing. It's about rhythm and beat, dance and song and how even really young kids can use words as tools to express their hopes, dreams, and world within.

The kids are writing and working together and reciting and reading poems out-loud and laughing together.  Beyond all of that they are working really hard. Some of them don't get it. Some of them feel pushed. And they are. Which is good. Because they are being stretched beyond what's comfortable, they are learning that words and tropes and rhythm are tools to be used to express joy and pains, sorrow and beauty.

Poetry is an educational must-have.

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Copywork as a Tool

My kids did copywork when they were younger. Then SWB published Writing With Ease and it was just part of the curriculum. Love that.

This year we are deep into Essentials. Guess what? They are copying charts. We aim for 2 a day. They are learning stuff. It's easy, it's painless, it's almost like they aren't really doing homework it's so simple. They just get the chart out, copy it down.

I had an epiphany. Why not do more of it? So, I printed off a chart converting common fractions/decimals/percentages. Because, you know, it is so helpful to just have those conversions available to you when you need them. Which, of course, is the joy of memory work- you own what you know. Pop the page into a page protector,throw some dry erase markers at the kids and you are ready to go.

Simple. Effective. Inexpensive. Love that.

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Redeemed

Between a rock and a hard place. Stock Photo


43 1-4 But now, God’s Message,
    the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
    the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
    all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
    trade the creation just for you.

Isaiah 43:2 (The Message) 
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Leaf Love Part 2

More pics of 2 cutie patooties. Both W and Flower are the youngest kids of large homeschooling families. They have a lot in common, including a love of kittens, good books, nature, art and being together! 
Aren't they gorgeous?

Jumping for joy! 
#1 Pile Leaves
#2 Jump off tramp
#3 Thank God for young knees! 

#4 Smile immensely and pose adorably!
Love these 2, and sweet Jannell, who is as gifted with a needle, and in the kitchen, as she is with a camera.

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Hard Work Hard Play

Tuesday we were up for Family Presentation at Classical Conversations. Flower recited the entire CC History Timeline from memory, from Age of Ancient Empires all the way to Rising Tide of Freedom. She did a great job and went through the entire list of 161 cards in about 6 minutes at week 7. Because we've been using VP cards until this past July, this was a major accomplishment. How'd she do it? Practice, practice and more practice along with listening to the CD, over and over again. Then, more practice. Yes, she took a nap in the car on the way home. Her little brain needed a rest!

And yeah, throw in head colds and fighting the flu and and we were all tired, all week long. 

Thursday, our wonderful in home co-op did a trash art day. Everyone brought scraps of clean trash, fanciful stuff, scraps and glue and tape and whatever extraneous stuff they had lying around and the kids all created and crafted and had a blast. The day ended with a timed competition between the kids and the adults. The kids used a kid as an armature. The adults created a co-op mascot. His name is "Bert." Dontcha' love him?
 
Ohmygosh. There was so much trash on the floor. The coolest thing about this co-op is that everyone makes it fun and everyone pitches in . The house was totally clean to the point of vacuumed by the time everyone went home, despite 3 hours of trash creation, a huge snack, lunch for 30-ish and playtime! Did everyone have a fun day? Totally.


On our "off days" we did a ton of Foundations, Essentials and other stuff. Stuff like Advanced Biology, math, reading. And more Essentials; copying charts, doing Analytical Task Sheets and practicing math drills and mental math.

In other news, Feeche has been working a local campaign pushing his full schedule close to bursting. He had the opportunity to meet Senator Thune, whose campaign he's worked on in the past, as well as Mitt Romney, who was stumping stateside. Nice perk, eh?

And yeah, we worked in work and cleaning the house, watched a few flicks and talked books. Watched The Widow's Mite, courtesy of the same friends who invited us over last week to press cider for apples (ohlala- liquid ambrosia!); great singing, very interesting cinematography and great film chat in the bonus section.

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Leaf Mummy

This is what happens when Flower, Miss W and her rocking picture snapping Momma get together.
Do you see the joy on that girls face? Love that. 

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Classical Conversations During the rest of the week: What's Mom Got to Do With It?


I wrote yesterday about what we do with CC during the week between Community Days. You might have noticed that we make constant use of the CD's and flashcards What I wanted to make sure you didn't miss was my involvement. And, of course, it doesn't have to be Mom, it can be Dad too.

What I want to underscore is that I don't just have my kids listen to the CD's, hand them the flashcards and go my merry way. Which would be easier, believe me. My merry way is chock full of things to do and get done. No, I sit with them, interact with them, quiz, drill, query and question them. Allowing the kids to just listen, to just read the cards is a very passive endeavor, and not one that is going to train them to retrieve information in an expedient way.

Expecting them to respond quickly and accurately to questions, to be able to point and identify geographical locations immediately and to be able to recall quickly and accurately is my goal. Which means I have to show up, interact and engage and train them to be active learners, engaged and responsive. 

Thoughts? 

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!