Juggling…

One of my sweet friends reminded me recently that this life that we are living is always going to be a juggling act and that we are always going to be dropping the ball.  The trick is to choose which ball to drop and when and to make sure that we alternate which one gets dropped from time to time. 

I am sure that many of you also have a similar story: there’s my job as wife and then mom and teacher and small business woman.  I need to feed little people, and make sure I get some exercise in, and that the laundry is relatively under control, and pack book treats into boxes and envelopes and write.  Writing.  I miss that.  Writing has been the ball that has been dropped lately and it’s time to dust it off and pick it up and get in touch again.  I think I am a bit of a modern day old fashioned girl: not much for talking on the phone but I do love to write and exchange notes.  If we can’t sit down and have a proper conversation over a cup of tea, then the written word is one of the best ways to communicate.

Writing soothes me.  I think that’s why I am a journaller.  I write even when I hope that no one will ever read it.  And while this sunny little spot Under the Maple Tree isn’t a very large community, I thank you for joining in this conversation.  It encourages me to hear from you and to hear of your struggles and your victories.  Thanks for indulging me and letting me share my little part of the world with you.  I’ve missed this time.

I can’t wait to tell you a bit about what’s been going on here.  Most of it is mundane and everyday-ish, some is exciting and exhilarating.  Dropping the writing ball has allowed me to do a little better at a few other things.  I have become fairly consistent in exercising and eating better, which has lead to me adding a few new treats to the shelves of our store: the book Trim Healthy Mama and some of the specialty foods that they provide like healthy natural sweeteners. 

We have also done a bunch of the boring behind the scenes work that needs to be done, updating computer programmes and hardware to make Maple Tree run better.  I thought that changing my email address (to cori@mapletreepublications.ca) would be less cumbersome than it proved to be but now we have an address that won’t need to change again as it matches our website. 

We’ve tripled the number of books that are available on the webstore as we continue to work towards being Canada’s Charlotte Mason resource provider, www.mapletreepublications.ca.  Check out all the Simply Charlotte Masonbooks that we now stock in addition to publications by Maple Tree as well as Life of Fred math, Mystery of History, Story of the World, Jonathan Park, Learning Language Arts Through Literature and much more.

On the home front, the girls are in senior kindergarten to grade ten, if you want to talk schoolish.  I can’t wait to tell you about our experience reading through the whole Bible at the beginning of this school year.  Many of you have asked and so I will update you about that soon too. 

For now though I should leave you with a few more practical updates as I anticipate the excitement of a few more conferences coming up in the next several weeks.  It has been so refreshing to me to see many of you and to serve you at both the KWCHEA conference in Kitchener and the RVHEA conference in Ottawa.  Next weekend Maple Tree will be at OCHEC in Ancaster at Redeemer University.

If you are at any of these upcoming conferences, please come by and say hello.  And, of course, I will happily pack up an order to bring to you at the conference if you have something that you need and want to make sure it’s available when we meet up.

Here’s where Maple Tree is setting up shop in the next little bit:

May 1-2 OCHEC Convention in Ancaster.

https://www.ochec.org/?q=convention
*I will be speaking on “Enjoying Math?”*  (Really, it will be  fun one!)

May 30th KATCH Conference in Peterbourough.  http://www.katchpeterborough.org/Conference.html

*I will be doing a three part series on Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education: Education is an Atmostphere, a Discipline and a Life.*  I am really excited to be able to share these ones.  Don’t miss out!

June 6th Used Book and Curriculum Fair and Small Business Expo in Barrie. https://www.facebook.com/events/768354386584075/

June 12th TEACH New and Used Curriculum Fair in Brantford.

http://groupspaces.com/TeachHomeEducators/item/911069

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon in person and to hearing from you Under the Maple Tree as I get back to adding the writing ball into this jumbled up mess that I juggle.

Peace and blessings,

Cori

www.mapletreepublications.ca

A Few Good Books

Hello All,

As many of you know, this Maple Tree is littered with many good reads and I am constantly shipping them out from our little space.  I thought I would let you know of a few good books that I have here and would love to share with you…

First our Clearance books.  These are all new books that are discounted because I have more than we need even at this busy time of year.
 
Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series $50 (Regular $62!)

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Dr. Ruth Beechick $12 (Regular $14)
*Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra and Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra Companion $36 (Regular $48)
*Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra and Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra Companion $36 (Regular $48)
*These Life of Fred books are being replaced by a new volumes which combine the companion into the text.  In other words, these four books are now coming out as two books which will be $42 each.  As far as I can tell, the content is the same.*

I also have a hard cover, “scratch and dent” copy of You Can Teach Your Child Successfully available for $10.  There is no visible wear and very minimal damage.

As well, not wanting to jump into the Christmas shopping rat race, but also wanting to respond to the requests of some of my customers, if you have items that you are thinking of purchasing for your family and friends for Christmas and think that Maple Tree could help you out with them, I do very much appreciate your support of our small business from one home schooler to another.  I have in stock several items that you might have on your Christmas list including:

          The Jesus Storybook Bible ($19)
          The Jesus Storybook Bible with CDs ($28)
          Jonathan Park CDs.  (I hope to have the newest volume, #9, in stock in the next week to 10 days!) ($25)
          What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver DVDs by Phil Visher ($15)

Also, I am able to order thousands of other titlesthough a distributor that I am working with that supplies both homeschooling resources and many of the books and other items that you would might find at a general Christian bookstore.  Please let me know if you would like me to special order something in and I will see if I can help you with what you are looking for.  I plan to make an order this Thursday so please send all special orders in by Thursday at 10am.  Thanks!

Finally, as it is my goal to give gifts that are doubly beneficially this year, I also wanted to pursue items at Maple Tree that could be doubly beneficial.  As such I have started to carry a few titles by talented Canadian independent authors.  These books are a wholesome treat to have in your home and your purchase can also support independent Canadian authors and small businesses.

·         May I introduce to you a beautiful children’s picture book by Janis Cox called Tadeo Turtle.  Mrs. Cox is a very talented artist and has filled her book with amazing watercolour paintings.  The book is a story and learning opportunity about painted turtles and other animals and has a sweet moral to it about how we are all special because we are different.  There are many activities and learning extensions included in the book.  It retails for $13 and for Christmas I am shipping it for free! (These books are so new to Maple Tree that I don’t have them on my website yet but you can preview them here: http://www.janiscox.com/information/)

·         Carolyn j Morris is another independent Canadian author whose stories have been a treat in our home.  She has published three novels entitled Mourning Dove, Barn Swallows and Pine Warbler.  These novels are suitable reading for about a grade four level and up and can easily be enjoyed as a read aloud by younger children as well.  In the first story, the main character, Billy, is dealing with the recent loss of his father.  In this and all the stories the reader becomes acquainted with rural Canadian life as Billy spends a lot of time on his grandparents farm.  You will laugh and cry at the tender moments in these stories but will also learn some of the ins and outs of life on a farm in Canada.  A real treat.  These books also retail for $13 each but I have an introductory special of $12 each or all three for $30 plus shipping.  (You can read more about these books here: http://www.railfencebooks.com/books.php)

I hope that these few volumes will be of use to some of you.  Please let me know if I can help you with any of these titles or with a special purchase.

Blessings,

Cori

www.mapletreepublications.ca
 

My Book Ownership Manifesto

In this busy season of back to back to back homeschool conventions and book sales, I am running about trying my hardest to make sure all my t’s are crossed and my i’s are dotted.  As I prepare for this weekend’s conference in Kelowna, B.C (which I am SOOO excited for) and next weekend’s conference in Hamilton, Ontario I am envisioning all those wonderful books careening here and there.  Life of Fred books are currently racing up an Ontario highway towards my home from the far off land of California, other books have spanned the distance from Tennessee to British Columbia and I am hoping to wake tomorrow morning to a box from Nevada.  All these and my most treasured shipment will be one that I personally escort home from a print shop not too far from my own front door – more amazing Maple Tree publications lovingly printed and prepared practically in our own backyard.

Then, after a night like tonight, where a shipment gets stopped at the border and it would seem that all hope is lost for getting the books to the folks that ask me to bring them here, I stop and wonder, “Why am I doing this?”  A friend asks, “So, are you going to do that again?  Or will you stop ordering books from the States?”  Nope; I’m a bibliophile.  I love books too much to stop buying them.  I love these books too much.  Tonight was a challenge, a lesson to be learned.  Red tape.  Red tape can’t take away my love for books.

So, you know my weakness: books.  I’ll also tell you another secret: my hubby told me that the only way he would allow me to keep buying books was if I started to get rid of some.  Could I part with some?  Give away some?  Throw them out?  Sell them?  And so, God opened the door for me to be involved with Maple Tree Publications.  Now, my husband blesses me in all the book buying that I do because he knows that I am buying all these sweet treats for my friends – usually.  There are still a few treasured tomes that are allowed past the bookstore shelves and onto our personal library shelves.  But I do have to be careful with what I buy as I am apt to find more gems than I can store. 

So how do you deal with this problem of so many good reads, so little space?  I know that many of my home schooling friends are bibliophiles like me.  So let me share with you the Dean family’s book ownership manifesto:

First of all, when I realize that every book, even good books, if they aren’t e-reads take up space.  And if they are going to take up space, they are going to displace something else that could take up that space.  I often have to ask myself, have I got balance in my home or is this little world that I live in overly stuffed with the written word.  Do I have room (literally and figuratively) for other great things like personal space, the great outdoors, toys and games for the kids and space to love and entertain people.  And those areas that I do devote to my book collection, am I prepared to dust and tidy and maintain those areas ongoingly?  Just like budgeting time or money, I need to wisely budget my limited space and bridle my love of books accordingly. 

Now that I have carved out that little bit of space, I need to remember that it isn’t going to get any bigger without an expensive move or renovation or a reshuffling once again of home space priorities.  So it is at this point that I need to set some high standards for which precious tomes can stay and which must go.  Here are four questions that we ask when assessing whether a book should be invited to live out its life in our home:

·        Is it something that the library won’t store for me?  We have had to say goodbye to some wonderful literary works, classics and other beautiful stories that we were confident would be found at our local library.  As taxpayers, we can be content to store some of our favourite books in that municipal storage facility that we regularly pay fees to (by way of those ample property taxes): the library.  After all, ask yourself, even though Treasure Island is a really riveting story, how often will I be reading it?  It will likely gather dust for years before I reread it or someone else in the house wants or needs to read it. 

The library, however, might not carry a set of Christian novels that are popular at church but not in the general community.  Don’t stop at just looking to the library as a storehouse for good books.  Perhaps you will find these great books somewhere else and still don’t need to keep your own copy.  Many thousands of great books are available free online as e-texts or as audio books.  While we’ve been using e-resources for more than 10 years now, sites like Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) and Libriviox (www.librivox.org) are now practically household names in light of the common use of e-readers and mp3 players.   

 

Places to “Store” Good Books

*The library

*www.gutenburg.org – free online e-books in the public domain
*www.librivox.org – free online audiobooks in the public domain
*www.mainlesson.com – The Baldwin Project provides free electronic copies of classic children’s literature

*The church library

*Your friends’ houses

*Family’s houses

*Book exchanges like

*The second hand store (if you found it there then send it back as soon as you are done and bless both the second hand store and the next reader)

 

·        Do I need to use it constantly?  There are a few reasons that you might want to keep a book that would otherwise be found at the library.  Take, for example, books that you will be reading or using over a long period of time or which you will use for several years with different students in your home school.  Text books and reference books fall into this category as well.  You can’t be running to the library every time that you need an atlas or dictionary and hard copies can’t always be replaced by the computer and good websites. 

·         Is it hard to find in print?  This is the case with much good Christian literature – like good Christian fiction or classic works of theology and thought – as well as reference books: concordances and Bible dictionaries.  There are also books that are beautiful or useful or out of print: perhaps your Grandmother’s Bible that she wrote in.

·         Is it such a good book that I want to keep it in my lending library?  There are some books that are just so influential or striking that you really should share them with others.  These books are worth keeping just to reread and to lend out to others.  Beware of falling in love with too many good reads though.  I have to constantly look back and evaluate whether I still want to keep one spectacular book or another for my lending library.  Sometimes the best thing to do is to bless a friend with the book permanently so that they can be in charge of lending it out from here on.  Then they can also be the ones who are trying to remember to whom the book was last leant out.

Well, Friends, as you prepare to go to a conference and do some shopping or as you search around online looking for the best deals, I want you to know that while there are literally thousands of books that I would like to share with you, I have chosen, for now, only to carry books that fit the above criteria.  If there is something that you need that I don’t carry then, by all means, ask me and I will see if I can get it in, but for now – with a limit to the size of my bookstore shelves and to the depths of my bookstore pockets, I hope that I can help to meet your needs with my little collection and as economically as possible. 

Looking forward to meeting you “Under the Maple Tree” either virtually or at a book sale or conference over the next couple of months.  Until then, I hope that you too can find a quiet place for a bit of reading time just as I hope to in my little retreat “Under the Maple Tree”.

Peace,

Cori

www.mapletreepublications.ca


– with excepts from Working Together by Cori Dean copyright 2011.

A New “Come Sit By Me”!

It’s been a while since I wrote to you all last and this is why!  I have been busily at work on some exciting new developments here Under the Maple Tree.  Take a look at the preface to the newly revised edition of Come Sit by Me:
 
_________________________
 
It was over ten years ago that I found myself, for the first time, in the living room at Cyndy Regeling’s house for a “Newby Meeting” as my hubby and I were just beginning to consider educational options for our then three year old and soon to be newborn.  Mark and I really hadn’t considered homeschooling but I had a few friends that were looking into it and so I decided to join them for a fun evening out.  I’m sure that if I had known then what an incredible world homeschooling and Maple Tree would open to my family and to me, I would not have believed it.

That evening we had a cozy visit with yummy treats, hot tea and great conversation and it wasn’t until weeks later that I found out that I had been in the home of a nationally loved and respected author and educator.  Cyndy is a humble woman but so gifted to have produced resources that have become something of a household name among Canadian homeschoolers.

I guess you can imagine that, in time, we did decide that homeschooling was the right route for our family and when we finally make that leap, Come Sit by Me was a natural first learning tool for our little ones.  After all, what child doesn’t love a good picture book and this teacher-mama’s heart was certainly pleased with the caliber of the books selected and absolutely delighted that they were all products of “the True North strong and free”.  We knew that, for our family, we didn’t just want Christian content but we were looking for materials which were built on a worldview that was foundationally biblical and Come Sit by Me also fit the bill here.  Add to these the fact that we had just gone into full-time ministry, and therefore had severely restricted our pocket book, the general availability of the books at our small local library was impressive.  I didn’t have to make a large investment.  Smiles-per-dollar, Cyndy’s curriculum was a great deal compared to other boxed curriculums which were likely also of spectacular quality but out of our price range.  What a treat to know that home educating my children didn’t need to cost an arm and a leg but that armed with a few good books we could learn so much together.  Finally, feeling like a fish out of water, Come Sit by Me was a gentle introduction to being both the teacher and the mama at the same time.  The curriculum was thorough and yet very simple. 

            Well, over the years, several young ladies at the exclusive all-girls’ school that we call home have begun their learning with Come Sit by Me and, in the meantime, I had the privilege of working alongside Cyndy here and there, doing a bit of editing and chattering over writing ideas and outlines.  So it seemed a natural transition, in 2008, when Cyndy’s boys had finished their homeschooling journey and she had taken on a teaching position in a local Christian school, for me to take over Maple Tree Publications.  Cyndy’s books remained popular but she just couldn’t keep up with the demand.  It was a perfect fit as I had books and articles that were bubbling up, wanting to be printed, and had already begun to be involved in speaking to groups of homeschoolers and to lead workshops.  Maple Tree was a perfect fit for our little family, allowing me to make a few pennies to cover the costs of piano lessons and the occasional field trip while still being with my children fulltime.

            I have loved every aspect of being involved with Maple Tree as I have been able to interact with customers, to deal with the printing and publishing end and to travel across the country speaking at homeschool conferences and in local support groups.  In the wee hours of the night I even have fun writing books, articles and blog posts.  All in all, what I love the best is getting to know people coast to coast and hearing your stories, why you’ve chosen the educational route that you have, what makes your family unique and what you love to do together.

            Consistently, over the years, the people I run into have shouted their praises for Cyndy’s books and for Come Sit by Me in particular.  So many of you feel the way that I do!  It was with this in mind that I embarked on the task of updating and improving this resource so that it can be enjoyed all the more by the next generation of homeschoolers. 

 

So What’s New?

            You may be saying, “I know the old Come Sit by Me.  It’s great!  What needed changing?”  Well, not much, but lots.  Not much because the books that were covered in the unit studies are no less great now than they were when they were chosen years ago and the unit study format remains a fun, popular and effective way to start out schooling your young ones.  The general layout hasn’t changed but here is what is new:

  • 6 new book studies.  It has always been our goal at Maple Tree to make sure that the books that you are looking for to do these unit studies are accessible.  With the advent of the digital age and so many websites that sell both new and used books, as well as the widespread availability of interlibrary loan, even books that are out of print are often quite close to your fingertips.  Even so, we did replace a few books to make sure that the books that are studied are the most available. 
  • Dozens of new activities.  Besides the new activities that accompany the new books studies, you will find lots of other updated, freshened and added activities.  You’ll even find that a few books that weren’t previously available and now are in print again have returned with new activities.
  • Expended additional reading lists.  Let’s face it, I could write a book of good books alone so this is still a very limited list.  I couldn’t resist, however, a few additions – especially some scrumptious Canadian offerings.
  • New photography and graphics.  With all of this new material came the need for a new look.  Everyone likes a new outfit every so often and Come Sit by Me wanted to celebrate its new look with a new jacket and some bling on the inside too.  Crystal Hounsome, at Crystal Xpressions Photography (www.crystalxpressions.com) was the creative genius behind the new look and style.  She would love to hear your kudos.  Stop on by her site and show her some love. 
  • Updated Bible verses.  Come Sit by Me has always used the New International Version for Bible verse quotations and now both the NIV and Come Sit by Me  have been updated so we made sure that wording will match your newer copy of the NIV Bible (copyright 2011).  If you find the wording of some verses slightly different than your NIV Bible at home then the difference is probably due to a different copyright date.  As always, you are welcome to use whichever version of the Bible your family chooses to study.  
  • Updated charts and planners.  You asked me to make them better and I’ve taken your suggestions.
  • Lots of little tweaks and fixes that you suggested.  Let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes and some of you have graciously shared your time and energy in making those fixes that will make Come Sit by Me even better.  Thanks to many independent editors, parents, friends and Maple Tree fans for proof reading over and over.  I’m sure you will still find typos and errors here and there and I appreciate your help in tracking them down.  If you find an error in the text then please send me a note and, as your prize, I will send you a list of the corrections that we have accrued to date.  If you have a contribution to make to this prize please email me at mapletreepublications@sympatico.ca.  I am always glad to hear from you. 

 

I certainly hope that you enjoy this new edition of Canada’s classic homeschool curriculum for your younger children and more than that, I hope that you enjoy the activities and adventures that it helps you along with.  I look forward to hearing about some of your adventures.

 

Enjoy!

 

Cori
 
P.S. – In the next day or two you should be able to check out the new cover under “Product Catalogue” on our website at www.mapletreepublications.ca!

Mother Culture: Notes on A Biblical Home Education, Chapter Three: Science

From December 6, 2012

Friends,

Once again, Jacki has blessed us with her organizational talents and shared her notes on our discussion and observations from our Charlotte Mason meeting.  If you are new to our little spot here “Under the Maple Tree” then, please join our little group.  You will find details here about this actual and virtual support group and our previous notes on the blog site under the tag “Mother Culture”.  In short, we meet as a small support group to learn from one another and a good book as well as to encourage and spur one another on in this crazy homeschooling life.  This year our book of choice is A Biblical Home Education by Dr. Ruth Beechick.  If you are interested in joining us even if only virtually, then the book is available through Maple Tree.  Contact me, Cori, for ordering information.

If you are following our little group online or if you missed the meeting in person or if you were here and wanted to look over the ideas and resources that we discussed then please enjoy the notes below with thanks again to the talented Jacki Young.  There are so many great ideas, information and suggestions here that you might want to check back here for a reference here and there.
 
Blessings,
Cori

 ___________
 Chapter 3 – Science to Match the Bible

(p.41) Ruth Beechick states that homeschooling parents seem to “fear science more than any other subject”  (Do you really think that that is the case?)
o As homeschooling parents, we don’t always remember learning the materials we are now teaching. It is difficult to teach materials that we aren’t familiar with
o Many “traditional” teachers don’t invite students to ask questions. Beechick advises that priority should be given to having students ask questions and seek answers. “If you spend more time on space and less time on insects, it is fine as long as children are learning to ask questions and seek answers” (p. 52)
o Many science students and in fact, science professionals, have to hide their creationist stance or risk losing the respect of friends or colleagues
o Good resources like Apologia help to manage the fear of teaching science

(p.55) “Some `readers’ may not enjoy what we call hands-on science activities. Other students may seem more balanced between learning from reading and learning from activities.” How do we know that our “readers” understand the scientific concepts they are reading about?
o Discussion shows understanding of concepts
o Narrating shows understanding of concepts
o Jonathan Park CDs have been shown to teach concepts well

Should we focus on doing dissections with our children as part of learning science?
o Can buy “shrink wrapped” creatures for dissection
o Can easily obtain creatures in our “own backyard” eg. Cori’s dead fish anatomy lesson 😉 (We were camping and found a “science lesson” on the beach.)
o Can extract skeleton of creature by burying near an anthill to speed up decomposition.  That sounds like a science lesson in itself!)
o Can euthanize creatures humanely with baking soda and vinegar.  This is what snake owners often to with rodents that they keep to feed to their pets.
o Some households not comfortable bringing in “dead bodies” due to sanitary concerns or because “life is precious”.  This is reasonable.  Charlotte Mason didn’t see the need for school children to do dissections needlessly.

Some resources for teaching science in primary grades
o Usborne early science books – series of 4-5 books on plants, fish, etc.
o Burgess Bird Book for Children
o Pagoo by Holling C. Holling and other Holling C.Holling books
o Christian Liberty Nature Readers – beginning reader for science topics
o “Apples, Bubbles & Crystals” teaches science as it goes through the alphabet.  This is a fun resource for young students.
o Field guides
o Handbook of Nature Study by Comstock
o “I Wonder Why” books
o DVDs
o Simple activities are helpful
§ Eg. Paint with lemon juice and put in the oven to make painting visible
§ Jance VanCleave book for simple science activities to be done from your kitchen

What is the difference between Babylonians and Sumerians? (p.45)

How did the calendar come to be?
o Calendar Quest by Jennifer Johnson Garrity

Other good resources recommended by HS Freebies website: www.homeschoolfreebie.com

How do I do science experiments at home?
o Apologia kits – don’t have to buy the kit to do the experiments
o For chemistry, some basic materials needed ie. Microscope, Bunsen burner
o If using Apologia check out www.donnayoung.org for schedules for completing the books

ApologiaGeneral Science curriculum

Red Wagon Tutorials – previous years on USB for $120 (Are there copyrights to consider here?)

Some important considerations to apply to home school science:
o Focus on teaching younger children what they’re interested in, and teaching middle & high school students what they need to know for their future plans
o Teach children to think for themselves & take responsibility for their own work
o Do science as a family group
o Talk together about what is learned so siblings have something in common and can learn from each other

(P. 58)”Science students can usually learn from any ol’ book”
o Are illustrations, colour and design wasted on “science minded” students?
o Science minded students will learn science regardless of the colour and design qualities

Nature Study

Project FeederWatch to learn about birds in your backyard. Submit data on birds visiting your backyard feeder to Cornell during the winter months
Country Diary of Edwardian Lady – a naturalist’s diary from 1906
Engage grandparents – you may be surprised how much knowledge and interest they have
Books by Susanna Moody & Catherine Parr Traillm (for older children and adults)
o Catherine Parr Traill’s “Backwoods of Canada” describes a naturalists experience emigrating from England to Canada
Local resources such as Eleanora’s Diary – journals of a Canadian pioneer girl
AGO
Great Canadian ArtPak by Cyndy Regeling
James Herriot – Childrens’ Treasury and other stories
Burgess Book series
Clare Walker Leslie’s “Keeping a Nature Journal” – suggests journaling topics through the seasons, sketching tips, and how to teach nature journaling

Notes


1) A couple resources to add to the last meeting’s topic of “History”:
o Series of accordion style history timelines @ Coles/Chapters/Indigo ie. “The Timechart History of the World”, “The Timechart History of Jewish Civilization”, etc.; very thorough and detailed ($19.99 each)
o Timeline of World History poster @ Creation.com incorporates Bible history and “secular”; gives high level look for reasonable price ($2 small, $6 large)
2) How to explain to “traditional schoolers” that our children always get an A? If the student hasn’t mastered a subject, we don’t move on!
3) Article on Finlandschools:  Why Are Finnish Kids So Smart?
Standardized testing has negative consequences on curriculum and teachers
Teaching in Finlandis prestigious career with good pay, high educational requirements (3 years masters) and high level of competition for jobs
Teachers focus on what’s best for students, not what will make them better than other students

Mother Culture: Notes on A Biblical Home Education, Chapter Two: History


from November 1, 2012

 

Friends, even with the help of the wonderfully efficient and organized Jacki Young, I have been negligent in getting these notes to you.  If you are new to our little spot here “Under the Maple Tree” then please join our little group.  You will find details here about this actual and virtual support group and our first set of notes here.  In short, we meet as a small support group to learn from one another and a good book as well as to encourage and spur one another on in this crazy homeschooling life.  This year our book of choice is A Biblical Home Education by Dr. Ruth Beechick.  If you are interested in joining us even if only virtually, then the book is available through Maple Tree.  Contact me, Cori, for ordering information.

 

If you are following our little group online, or if you missed the meeting in person, or if you were here and wanted to look over the ideas and resources that we discussed then please enjoy the notes below with thanks to the great Jacki Young.

 

——————

 

Beechick writes, “We must match history to the Bible – not only its timeline and chronology, but also the principles and the meanings we attach to it.” (p.23)

 

It is difficult to find resources that integrate Bible with history. Here are some suggestions:

o www.dianawaring.com – “Ancient Civilizations” curriculum and other resources for integrating Bible and History

o History resources from Simplecharlottemason.com

o A Story of the World – keep in mind that the Bible is treated as literature, not as core

o www.jonathanpark.com – Jonathan Parks CDs

o Mystery of History – in this curriculum the Bible isn’t just integrated but is the core of history

 

Beechick encourages us to “resist the hype” i.e. set realistic goals for history (p.39)

o Don’t try to do too many activities; rather, focus on the reading

o Notebooking and reading work well with multiple age levels

 

There are benefits to reading in short spurts or in longer chunks

o Good to stop before seeing the “glazed look” in their eyes

o Leave them wanting more and excited to see what happens when reading is resumed

o Reading for longer chunks allows more depth of study

 

There are many benefits to using extra-Biblical sources to study Ancient history:

o Helps us understand that the world is bigger than Biblical history

o Integrates Bible and History to help us see parallels – things happening at the same time in different places in world

o Helps to lend credibility to Bible

o Helps to give place in history

o Artifacts also give credibility to Bible

o Shows the contradictions between the Bible and History eg. we know from the Bible that people were made smart (no cavemen); this contradicts common “History”

o We need the whole picture to argue our point eg. To discuss evolution vs the Bible

o Enables us to stand up for our beliefs even if persecuted

o If we can stand up for our beliefs, we will “stand before kings”:

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. ” Proverbs 22:29

 

Today, history is not necessarily taught in society; instead, an “individual history” is emphasized

o Charlotte Mason thought history should be taught so that students could “think justly of what is occurring today” (“Home Education”, p. 169)

o Understanding history helps us to be less self-focused

 
Where should a homeschooling parent start with history? Some suggestions:

o My Father’s World website www.mfwbooks.com

§ Integrates Bible and “History”

§ Can be too repetitive depending on your style/taste

o Mystery of History (available through Maple Tree)

o 50 Famous Stories by James Baldwin – stories of heroes & famous men (available as a free ebook or on www.librivox.org for free audio download)

o An Island Story by H.E. Marshall (Recommended on Amblesideonline.org) (also available free online)

o “Trial and Triumph” by R. Hannula – stories of heroes of church history

 
Building a timeline

o Create a timeline (either on the wall or “Book of Centuries”)

– some suggested delaying timelines until grade 3 and later while others started them earlier

o Various websites can help you make one eg. Knowledgequest.com

o Cori has made a timeline book; request the file if you are interested

o Simplycharlottemason.com has 2 versions of a “book of centuries”. One is free, while the other costs but includes categories ie. Art, culture, religion, etc.

 
For good history book lists, refer to the following resources:

o Through the Ages by Christine Miller

o Amblesideonline.org

o Sonlight.com

o Cmhelp.com

o Greenleaf Press

o A Story of the World

o Heartofwisdom.com (Biblical history)

o Classicalhomeschooling.org
o See also great series like Our Canadian Girl, the Dear Canada diary series, and the Canadian Flyer series for Canadian history
 

Beechick’s categorization of history differs from most. It is not divided according to Jesus life/death:

1) Early Times (Creation – Abraham)

2) Kingdom of Israel(Father Abraham – Fall of Judah)

3) Gentile Kingdoms (Captivity of Israel & Judah – God’s kingdom on Earth)

According to Beechick, the statue from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 “shows the whole history of the Gentile world from Babylon through to the kingdom of Christ” (p.32-33)

o This image is also studied in Precept Bible Studies for kids by Kay Arthur

 

We also took some time to discuss Living books and in short these are some of the notes that we had on them.

 

Living Books

 

What are living books?

o Whole books written by a single author where the subject is a “favourite” of author. We can share the author’s enthusiasm for the topic as we read. (S. Schaeffer McCauley)

o Special interest books that could be fiction or non-fiction (K. Andreola)

o A simple test of a good book is if kids are interested after reading one page (K. Andreola)

 
Some examples of living books:

o Apologia books

o Andrew Lang fairy books

o Trailblazer Books by Dave & Neta Jackson (unfortunately out of print) *Maple Tree has found a few of these still available new – let me know if you would like a title or two.

o Check out www.amblesideonline.orgfor excellent reading lists of living books.

o See also Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt and Books Children Love to Read by Elizabeth Wilson for excellent living book bibliographies.
 
Well, there are a few notes to get you started friends. :) I’m again looking forward to hearing some feedback. To those of you who were there, is there anything we missed? I’m sure there are more resources you can recommend.  If you weren’t there, what are your thoughts? What were the take away lessons that have challenged you or have helped in your home school recently? Please try to post your comments directly on the blog (rather than replying if you are receiving this as an email) so that we can all participate in the conversation.
 
I will try to get the notes to you for Decemeber’s meeting in the next few days and am looking forward to seeing some of you in person later this week!
 
Blessings,
 
Cori 
 
Maple Tree Publications
905-778-9412 

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