Friday, August 27, 2010

Tasha Tudor Day ~ memories

I learned it was Tasha Tudor Day via Gae over at her blog .
 There is also a wonderful Tasha Tudor Giveaway happening !
( keep in mind it is only open to those in the USA so we Canadians are out of luck but shall of course partake in keeping Tasha's memory alive ☺ )
I had to smile because Tasha has been on my mind lately and reason being end of august & Sept. always remind me of my dear grandmother Grace .
I love this autumny picture it so reminds me of gathering kindling with my own Gramma ☺

 Both of these ladies hold a very special place in my heart . The season of autumn always reminds me of my grandmother because her birthday was Oct.31st
 I like Tasha have a special bond with my grandmother as she so dearly did with hers. Just as she mentioned in the video how she has a friend who believes in reincarnation if it is true she'd like to come back straight into her grandmothers era of the 1830's .I'm 100 yrs later and dream of the 1930's ☺

 Tasha Tudor & my grandmother remind me of my own dream of that which I always believed to be true . one day a cottage in the country to live as close to nature as possible . When as a young teen I was asked by the school counsellor that which I wished to be when I grew up my reply was " I want to live in the woods with a cottage and a stream running nearby " I was told this was a fairy tale , a fantasy . How wrong that counsellor was ! As an adult the more I found out about Tasha Tudor and read her books etc. I would often cry , not out of sadness but out of gratitude for the gift of Tasha Tudor for living her dream . For reality was in my life a grown up , a respectful adult was my grandmother ! It was/is totally my reality I will one day live in a cottage in the woods just as my great grandmother , my grandmother & now yes my very own mother do . By the way when I figured out this counsellor was speaking in terms of career choice . I thought and came up with "police woman " I was then told " women don't do that kind of job " !
 You can see why I home school ☺
 Tasha Tudor was well aware also that people put her life into a fantasy world at times . She said openly " every family has their skeletons . Just as it is she lived her life and it was a truthful honest life it was real not pretend .
 so my very first encounter with Tasha Tudor was when my grandmother gave me this book , a copy of the Secret Garden ! My Gramma knew me so well. ☺ To this day I am bananas about
garden stories which include recipes and such and gaga over botany mysteries as well .

The next book I would encounter by Tasha was her illustrated book of Fairy Tales.
 This book was actually not for me it was a gift to my first born dd Natasha Rose from my sister .
 She'd been to Europe one summer and found the book . She just bought it because the name was , yes Tasha , and yes we called Natasha Tasha or Tash and still do ☺ , as well my Natasha also has get this my maiden name ☺ when I read the story of Tasha Tudor and her name I thought is that not so similar  is that not beautiful a wonderful story in itself .

 The next book I encountered was this one  my dear friend Sunshine had taken it out of the library and she thought I would really love it. Is it not how God works when we may be distracted and falling even. He sends us beautiful people who are on the path straight at that time anyway to remind us of who we are . 
 So get this , my friend Sunny , looks identical to Tasha Tudor ! I'm not kidding ! 
It would take me one more yr. after reading that book but it happened we found a home with a garden a big double lot and an apple tree in the center of it ! Unfortunately the tree died 3 yrs later but the garden has expanded and grown into my wild garden of my very own . For now I have a cottage in the city ☺ 
 You know what I loved reading in the whole book , was her story of how she walked in and planted bulbs before anything was even built ! Now that is my kind of mentor ☺

 After we purchased our home I would discover Tasha to a greater degree via homeschooling . Like my Grandmother also was a lover of the written word I began to look Tasha up online and discover new and exciting little facts etc. Reading about how she would set up little mailboxes and have letters waiting for her children etc. My own mother used to do the very same thing . My mother was not an artist like Tasha but she is very crafty and she'd always leave me a small note from my kitty cat Mrs. Ming ☺
 Times spent at my grandmothers reading , fetching water from the well , helping her collect wood or gardening . Treasured times. Tasha Tudor reminds me of. I can remember my sister and I preparing what seemed all day a ballet for my grandmother & mother . We carefully put on our little white slips , wore head bands , mum & gramma packed a picnic and down the path to the lake we went. This was when the lake was always low still , no hydro dams ☺ we had chosen the perfect spot to perform our ballet in a shaded willow grove . beautiful cool white sand under our feet we leaped ,twirled , laughed then ate .

 I could believe how alike to my grandmother and mother she was. Good literature , spending time in nature , the crafts  cooking . Although my grandmother & mother ate well & simply everything was prepared wonderfully . My grandmother & mother also only drank tea . I don't know why that seems so calming to me but it is . Beverages sound so refreshing back then homemade ginger ale sitting in a crock in the cellar . I do remember the well water it was cold and had no taste .I liked to drink water back then , city water is all we have and it is horrid stuff !
 I have learned cooking is a very spiritual experience , even cheese with crackers when done properly can move the soul ☺
Tasha Tudor's cookbook is another fav of mine the page with the chocolate frosting did rip due to frosting sticking the pages together lol yep that is how good it is ☺
 Tasha's story of the cake coming down the stream for the birthday child reminded me of our own experience one hot summer afternoon while traveling to Alberta we stopped at a creek in the foothills . The water was ice cold and we had a huge big watermelon , the real kind with seeds ☺ afterwards we went to wash in the creek and cousins began floating our rinds down stream .We made watermelon boats ! So simple & so fun , it was such a lasting memory . My mother knows the name of that creek I must look it up .

 I so love this picture of Tasha , the black & white
 I have to say once again how grateful I am to have such healthy positive inspirational influences in my life for this then passes on to our own children and that is so very important . I try the best I can to share my grandmother Grace with my own children and they also have a beautiful relationship with their gramma now .
 I think in honour of Tasha Tudor Day her blueberry muffins may be in order as well as a good cup of tea .
 Below are a few more pictures I shall share .

Grace the Spring Maiden
Grace beginning her own little family

always gardening
she really was a wonderful gramma

This is Grace just before she had Parkinson's disease

she would return to the cottage even long after her health failed

One of her last outings
 At home book in hand , she always kept warm by placing a wool rug atop her legs ☺

Friday, August 20, 2010

Planning Our Year ~ Math & LA

Math Math Math what can I say about math , not my most loved subject but certainly no longer my dreaded subject. I would however much rather send the kids over to Leonie's house if math skills are to be learned ☺
 Of all the subjects , Our children are probably unschooled/child led  the most when it comes to arithmetic .
 Although we have not done much in regards to sit down work they seem to find / figure out what has been required or needed when the time has come . They are also blessed with a near genius father when it comes to the topic of math / sciences so this may work to their advantage genetically as well as everyday living .

We started our older kids off with Singapore math which I liked because it uses the metric system and for kids coming out of grade school it really worked well I like the practical arithmetic series for general info . However as our younger kids who never attended school grew I did not find the need for so much workbook work . I have both Ray's & the Practical Arithmetic series for general reference . I tend to like the Practical Arithmetic for younger yrs .
 For some workbook work I've found these Complete books to be just fine . Amazon & Chapters both carry them and they are inexpensive .
 Reality is in order to learn a concept there are so many wonderful books out there now for living math
 For older children & young adults there is always the Key to Math series
 and books such as the GED study books , geometry the easy way etc. which all libraries carry .

This yr. we are focusing on fractions   & the history of math along with our World History Theme

 I found this little book at the thrift and it is perfect book for ds9 and also a few Waldorf resources for
fun games  & learning stories  perhaps but then again the library also has so much to offer in the form of living books ☺

With the History of math of course once again there are so many websites offering information
I also found this book mathemagic to read aloud with ds9 and thinking it will be fun for his big brother to help him out with things like the The Abacus

For older grades there are the Waldorf math series my Jamie York  which work well after the complete math series , For ds14 this yr. I want him to have a focus and study on on measurement , the metric system  and Geometry

Finding a few already favs &  new ideas for Wise Owl such as Nissa's lessons plans have really helped inspire me

So LA what can I say . Easy breezy ☺
For Both Boys sticking once again with our theme of World History I am thinking a study of symbols of world cultures. The Written word , of others , . The interest of how some had and some did not . Both boys have an interest in calligraphy and several different pens and sets , books , I have a book of my grandmothers
 titled The 26 Letters  I think will be fun for us to read through .
Our children are not all the same are they . We've two who struggle with the issue of the written word getting it down  , be it print or cursive . Then we have some children who have the most delicate  most beautiful technique their work is a piece of art . So I think this practice will be good for all of us both for acquiring skill and for creative expression .

Well these pics pretty much say it all lol . I'm starting ds9 on primary language lessons . He will get plenty of copy work etc. from this . ds14 Simply Grammar  is it and I'm sending him over to Brainy Quote to get his own copy work . I think it will be nice to see what he comes up with . I of course do not believe much in workbooks when it comes to teaching reading , writing , spelling , grammar . I very much love & am truly devoted to Charlotte Mason's methods of teaching when it comes to language arts ☺ however if your child enjoys that type of thing there are some nice workbooks out there . Our boys enjoyed the
workbooks with the pathway readers at times . And we have picked up several workbooks for

Thinking to have both boys do some report writing on different outings and activities we take part in . Also having Wise Owl explore the essay working around his history theme , of course we will have narration as well . There are so many sources to help now in this area online to help with example but I also have many books of my Grandmother's again collections of essays etc.
 For myself I really want to check out Zen in the Art of Writing

However my biggest excitement to try a new thing with the boys lies here ☺ in this book I just picked up titled Story Starters   . This is a book put out by one of my fav authors Karen Andreola especially on
CM Education . I've gone thru the whole book and personally love it ! Now as for our boys I will of course have to wait and see . If it is a no go then perhaps I shall have to pass it on . I do have great hope though ☺ 

I want to stay focused on seasonal poetry still and poetry 4kids

I also learned about Arabic poetry this spring via a radio program regarding one of the finalists of the poetry contest    so I am now intesretd in perhaps doing a study of this if not with Wise Owl just for myself . However with the theme of world history & subject of poetry this study shall be endless I'm sure ☺
 I do have that 1920's book on Ottoman literature as well to keep me busy

Perhaps with the topic of World History a visit to the tradition of story telling within world cultures would be in order as well .

ok I can't resist visiting this as well . I found this little book at the thrift and want to read it with ds9 I'm not sure he will like it as it really is a bit young for him but I just couldn't resist it ☺ Babes in the Woods , Puss in Boots etc. The pictures are wonderful . Perhaps ds14 can read up a bit more on the topic of Pantomime as well .
 Me being the mum I am I'd love to go into costume etc. but that lands more in the subject of arts & handicrafts .
 as for readers , as I mentioned in natural history etc. the boys get most of their reading from our selections in those subjects and reading lists via Bethlehem Books & Yesterday's Classics as well as some of our precious gifts from grandparents & greatgrandparents ☺
 I do have on hand actual readers like the Amish Pathway readers which it seems children be they secular / christian etc. just love .  I do have a set of Mcguffy readers & a few of the old Victorian readers passed down but find the boys tend not to enjoy them as much as the pathway books . I also will have ds9 reading the nature readers as well . These are nice readers along with the pathway books  as he does not like modern series written for young children . These books help him feel more mature and not childlike ☺

So these are my hopes , plans goals for this term anyway . Much may not be visited or not enjoyed and thrown to the wind for another to capture perhaps ☺

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Planning Our Year ~ Science & Natural History

 Ok My goal for science & natural history this yr. is SLOW  
yep that is the main goal , take it nice & slow ☺ So I have a bit of a plan & a theme going on . I'm awful I start looking and wish/want to do it all at once . No ! I had to stop myself and say NO the way things work & inventors shall have to wait for next term lol !
To go along with our World History studies I figured together as a family we'd use the Thames & Kosmos kit Milstones in Science    we've not used these kits before so I'm excited to give it a go .

For our little adventure boy who is not so little and shall be no longer a single digit numeral ! Yikes ! I found this Ancient Science , which I'm sure big brother Wise Owl will partake in helping as well . I think this will go well as we read along with Usborne Time Traveler book
Now I know my homeschool chums will be shocked but we have never actually read these books . I think the boys both will be right for them as read alouds together . I'm sort of look forward to World History now just because of the science aspect ☺

 Our Natural History/ Nature Study

I have decided to stick with some really good ole standbys such as the Handbook of Nature Study  ok I have a confession to make , I own the sc version but I actually take out the hc from the library lol it just feels so much better in the hand sturdy I guess ☺ 
I am revisiting this book as well . I am hoping to make our Nature Study this yr. on animals for both boys .

I shall be using both these books together with them . The journaling will be fun to do as a family & we love Micheal Caduto's books  which our library carries all of them .  

Wise Owl Study 

This is an awesome book ! I learned of it over on the 4real forum
We will study animals /mammals together as a family this autumn but I also wish for him to study some biology on his own . So I am ordering him the new version of

this is a book we used with his older brother and wonderful book .
Purchasing a new dissection kit  & Microscope are a must this yr.   
He also will have the biology colouring book  & numerous bio texts we have just for reference .  Come spring I want to get him into a study of marine biology (fresh water ) and insects . So shall post more reference then . I have also on order the Thames & Kosmos DNA / Genetics kit but not sure if he will even get to that this yr.

We also use natural history as our reading experience as well & I'm looking forward to passing him a copy of  the my side of the mountain trilogy   I so wanted to give it to him over summer but think it is an excellent fall read ☺ He also has a copy of his great Gramm Grace's School of the Woods by Long
and Animal Heroes by Ernest Thompson Seton  he just loves all that survival type living so I'm sure he will be inspired to go off on his own  adventures.

Adventure Boy Books

This book is one of my favs , I take it our every autumn just for inspiration . I want to focus on hibernation with him and also those arctic animals again this yr.
 I have two really nice read along books for the two of us to enjoy together

I picked this up at the local thrift and it is a very layout . A picture & little writeup on each page of plant or animal etc. so we will focus on the animals this autumn/winter  moving into birds , fish & insects come spring .
This is a very special book The Rainbow Book of Nature by Donlad Peattie ( I so wish to collect his other books ) as it always sat by my Grandmothers bed at the cottage . My mother gave it to my eldest ds when he was about 11yo . I'm thinking to crack it open with ds9 now . Reading it slowly .

As far as the topic of biology goes Adventure boy will pick up on what his older brother is up to I'm certain but I also will use this site Biology 4 kids to get ideas & inspiration . Another site I found via the wonderful LaPaz learning family

So now the biggest question is , when will I get to math ! yikes !

Monday, August 16, 2010

Planning Our Yr. ~ World History

This yr. or rather the long term goal is the next 2 yrs to study world history . I don't know the why but this is apart of history I do not look forward to .For whatever the reason I always wish to stay on this continent lol .
 I love and could stay in the study of the Americas both north and south for 10 yrs if given the choice ☺
 So perhaps that is why I have been blessed with so many children , I'm given the chance the need to not just stay stuck in my own little world but rather the world of many that is shared by us all and yes having 4 boys they tend to love world history ☺
 So I'm dedicated to 2 yrs that is my commitment for now ☺
 So the plan for World History as it goes for now is

As a core spine book for both boys & our read aloud together I am choosing
Van Loon's Story of Mankind . We used this for our older son when he was 14yo and I'd forgotten about it until Theresa over at LaPaz Learning gave me the reminder . I have to say I feel blessed that many of my homeschooling chums are also on the same subjects as we this yr. It helps me ease into areas I am just not that comfortable with . Having that support really is a big Mum helper ☺
 I've also decided to use as our read aloud history selection to go with the
booklist at Bethlehem Books  . I like their selection and for the boys once again I know they enjoy these books .
We are going to continue to use the timeline books & stickers from
Sonlight    I also wish to start them each on a book of centuries
 I am also trying to plan our art /craft , cultural field trip  activities around the World History theme .
Adventure Boy History Selection

For Adventure Boy's selections thus far I have chosen A Little History of the World  which also comes in audio .  As reading selections there will be many from our  library selections depending on which era & cultural group we shall be studying at the time . I'm also thinking a few titles from a few selections from Yesterdays classics  such as Peeps at Many Lands & Viking Tales 
 I think he may enjoy   Ten Boys Who Lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now  as well ☺

Wise Owl History Selection

Our Wise Owl is not an avid reader so I do not wish to overload him with reading work . Most of his actual reading selections will be for natural history , as I mentioned earlier we will be doing mostly read alouds together as a family ☺
 However as a main spine core book for him we are going to try out this series by M.B Synge
I'm not sure if this may be a struggle for him but I also feel it good not to dumb down the material for him but give him a bit of a challenge . If it proves to be to much though I may just have him read the  series Streams of History by Ellwood Kemp  
 He also loves cooking so having him prepare an Egyptian or Greek meal here and there won't hurt us . I'm also thinking he may also enjoy the study of traditional costume might intrigue him as we go into worldy handicrafts

Educational Planning

I was first going to title this unschool planning but frankly I'm tired of the word school ☺
I've been on a unschool kick lately , rethinking learning , education true education , that which has nothing to do with money , status , or where ones knowledge is acquired .
 True education merely is the openness to continue learning .
Well Thank goodness for cold weather lol

I have been trying to plan a bit of our homeschool journey for sometime now but with that sweltering heat didn't do much of anything .
However I've re-claimed the computer for this week ( thanks kids ) in order to do a bit of planning
 The beauty of forever openness to learning is that although in the home , in the true unschool we may have a plan but it is open to change / conversion at any point . Allowing for spontaneous feastings , sickness , family crisis and real life situations in general .
 I've been visiting some fav blogs of course getting ideas , some great books lists happening  & of course planning field trips & a few classes to get us out and about even in our own area we have such wonderful opportunities  . I feel so blessed our good friends & even relatives such as my sil homeschool . Plus I am really enjoying our business being a family affair ☺ hoping over the fall and winter months we all will partake in creating some new & wonderful items to share .

Saturday, August 14, 2010

L.E.N.S. Photo Challenge-Black & White Portrait

 I just saw this over at 10 kids and a dog  the challenge is hosted by Home is Where You Start From  

   I have oodles of black & white photos which I of course have been scanning & posting some here so it is hard to pick a fav but for today I am choosing this one of myself @4yrs swinging on the swing at my Grandmother's place . I would love to try turning now colour pics black & white but I haven't got photoshop maybe another time ☺