Yesterday, I sent out the most recent issue of my Hope Chest e-magazine, which I started over 12 years ago as a ministry to home schooling families (though many of the articles are not about education). I currently have about 1,000 subscribers around the world. I used to post each issue on my regular web site, but it's generally easier to post individual articles on my various blogs, depending on the topic. In this post, I am providing links to each one so you can read whichever ones sound interesting. I recommend that you right click and open each link in a new tab to read each one in turn, so you don't have to bounce back and forth and lose your train of thought.
G.K. Chesterton wrote, "You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
I "said grace" as I wrote these articles, that they may be a blessing to you!
But first, our family news in a nutshell:
- My oldest daughter Mary and her husband Ryan are expecting their first baby, Jacob, on Mary's 23rd birthday, June 24. I can't wait to be a Grandma!
- Julia (21 next month), has been recovering from a case of mono. Yawn! She's sure been sleepy, but she's feeling almost back to normal and stays just as busy as ever.
- Rachel (19), Naomi (9) and Ben (7) all had birthdays in a one week period last month. Naomi and Ben had a space alien birthday party, with cupcakes, decorations, and games like "Pin the Eyeball on the Alien" lovingly crafted by Lydia, who is wildly creative.
- Joanna (17) spent spring break week in Daytona Beach with 15 Japanese exchange students and learned a lot about Buddhism as she in turn told them about her Christian faith. She will also have two of her nature photographs printed in Valencia College's annual Phoenix magazine, which is a huge honor since only 30 photographs were selected out of a few hundred submissions.
- Lydia (15) just bought another gerbil, Eddie. I hope he lasts longer than his three predecessors. Right now he is hiding under a cabinet in the living room. Oh, he's back in custody now, with Lydia telling him, "You are so grounded! You are not having another field trip for a very long time!"
- My husband Thad and our oldest son Andrew (12) went camping with friends last weekend, including orienteering at Moss Park. I stayed home with the other kids and cleaned out our bedroom closet! :-)
- Micah (10) has been taking art classes at church, as well as taking lots of bird pictures, many of which you can see here: Nature Study: It's For the Birds!
- Melody (4) has been learning to read and write a little. You might like this cute story, Melody and Bab, which also has a picture of her with her Daddy.
- What We're Doing for School Next Year (The Big Switch!) (And how we figured it out.)
- What is the Charlotte Mason Approach to Education? (This post includes CM web sites.)
- Review of Read for the Heart: Whole Books for Wholehearted Families by Sarah Clarkson (This book sparked much of the change in our home schooling plans for next year.)
- Review of Dancing With My Father: How God Leads into a Life of Grace and Joy by Sally Clarkson (Are you struggling with disillusionment and discouragement? Do you feel distant from God? This book hit the spot for me.)
- Tender Compassion for Mothers (Charlotte Mason firmly believed in the dignity of the child, and how parents are to treat their precious children. This has come to mind many times recently as I have pondered the issue of child discipline and how it is often mishandled in home schooling families.)
In the past couple of months, I've written several blog posts...
- Math Skills Checklist 3rd-5th Grades an excerpt from Common Sense Excellence
- A Legacy of Books What will our kids remember about their education when they grow up?
- Orange Sesame Chicken (The Easy Way!) recipe time!
- Morning Walk nature study for a busy mom
- Amazing Grace for Home School Moms audio testimony and encouragement about Joyful Liberty, Tender Compassion, & Wise Guidance
- Read, Reflect & Respond workshop audio my approach to making the most of literature
- Titus 2 Mentoring Podcast and Links Karen Campbell interviewed me -- 3 segments!
- Children: Life's Greatest Treasure Classic inspiring quotes about raising kids
"God sends children for another purpose than merely to keep up the race - to enlarge our hearts; and to make us unselfish and full of kindly sympathies and affection; to give our souls higher aims; to call out all our faculties to extended enterprise and exertion and to bring round our firesides bright faces, happy smiles, and loving, tender hearts. My soul blesses the great Father, every day, that he has gladdened the earth with little children."