Sunday, October 19, 2014

Drawn from the P.U.S.: how Charlotte Mason might have introduced aquatic ecosystems

Subject: Aquatic Ecosystems

Group: Science. Class III. Time: depends, can be split over two or three sessions.
Books used: The World Around You, by Gary Parker. The Usborne Living World Encyclopedia. Philip's Atlas of the Oceans. Optional: The Silent World, by J.Y. Cousteau and Frederic Dumas.

I. To introduce the concept of aquatic (vs. terrestrial) ecosystems
II. To describe inland and marine ecosystems.

III. To notice the common thread of this chapter: how each system is designed to support life

Introduction: review terms such as ecosystem, biotic and abiotic factors.  Name and describe some terrestrial ecosystems (rainforest, grassland, etc.).
Section One:  Lakes and Ponds, particularly about seasonal turnover. This section in The World Around You is written rather briefly; I prefer "Lake Turnover, How it Works" by R. Karl.

Hands-on demonstration of water density, with hot and cold water plus food colouring:  Lake Turnover, from Science North.  Draw a page for your science notebook, noting how seasonal turnover helps to sustain life in lakes.

Final notes on this section: rivers as a mixture of ecosystems (life in a river depends on factors such as what's on the bottom).

Section Two:  Marine Ecosystems, i.e. Oceans.  Look at the Vertical Distribution illustration on page 86 of the Atlas of the Oceans, showing the different depth zones. Read pages 25-27 in Parker, on the same topic.  Look at pages 22-23 in the Living World Encyclopedia, "The ocean surface," and pages 26-27, "The depths of the ocean."  Narrate, creatively, graphically, or otherwise.

Section Three:  Read pages 27-28 in Parker. Use the illustrated pages in The Living World Encyclopedia to look at Coral Reefs, Shorelines, and Estuaries.  Narrate, noting especially how life is sustained in different parts of the ocean and in special systems such as estuaries.

Bonus reading:  Chapter 13, "Beyond the Barrier," in The Silent World.(about coral reefs)

Bonus field trip:  Take a fall trip to the pond.
Adapted from Class Notes, as printed in various Parents' Reviews.

Lydia's Grade Eight, Week Eight: Air, Fire, and Water?

Illustration by Trina Schart Hyman for St. George and the Dragon, by Barbara Cooney

Reading together:

How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig, chapter 8, "You don't think anyone's going to hell, do you?"  An intense, serious chapter with big questions.  Read in two parts.

Exploring the World Around You (ecology): "Aquatic Ecosystems."

How to Read a Book: "Finding the Propositions."

Whatever Happened to Justice?, "Economic Calculation."  What makes a free trade?

Keep reading Out of the Silent Planet (from the AO Free Reads list)

Things to read alone:

Assigned Bible readings: 1 Samuel, Matthew, Psalms, Proverbs

Physical Science: finish Module 2, "Air."

Read The Bible Through the Ages, and make entries in the Book of Centuries. This week's topics are The Oracles of Isaiah, Baruch, and Jeremiah; The Making of Parchment; the Babylonian Captivity.

Read this week's English history, about Queen Mary, from either Churchill's New World or Arnold-Forster's History.  Book of Centuries.

Three chapters from History of English Literature, two about Spenser, one about theaters.  Three chapters from Westward Ho!  

Other things to do:

Music of Wagner

Math: "The Sequence of Squares."

French and Latin lessons

Know how to use and care for the stove and some of the small appliances in your home.  Keep notes in an Enquire Within notebook.

Make entries in your Reader's Journal, and at least one Nature Notebook entry.  This might be a good time to take a fall walk around the pond.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sometimes I make things

My fabric stash is down to almost nothing, but I found enough orange broadcloth and green calico to make a fall decoration.  The flower trims were thrifted awhile back.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Charlotte Mason quote for the day: when is education done?

"[If a young woman is allowed to spend all her time amusing herself], the gain of the girl's whole education hitherto is at stake.  She might as well have been allowed to play ever since she was born as to play uninterruptedly now.  For the gain of her education is not the amount of geography, science, and French that she knows; she will forget these soon enough unless well-trodden tracks be kept up to the brain-growth marking these acquirements.  But the solid gain education has brought her lies in the powers and habits of attention, persistent effort, intellectual and moral endeavour, it has educed."

Illustration from Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott

A Whole Different Week in the Life (Friday): Lydia's Grade Eight

President Johnson cartoon by Thomas Nast
A good quote for today: "Perhaps you are beginning to see how essential a part of reading it is to be perplexed and know it.  Wonder is the beginning of wisdom in learning from books as well as from nature." (Mortimer J. Adler, How to Read a Book.  Italics his.)  
Another one, also Adler: "But when you are reading for understanding it is not...novelty that you are seeking. Your interest in the author himself, or in his language, or in the world in which he wrote, is one thing; your concern to understand his ideas is quite another." 
Things to do on Friday, not necessarily in order:

1.  How to Read a Book, pages 121-124, "Finding the Key Sentences."  Listen for the clues Adler provides for locating key sentences.  Read this week's chapter from How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig, and choose the key sentences (no particular number, but I would suggest somewhere between three and six).  Explain why you chose these.

2.  Watch the rest of A Man for All Seasons   

3.  Get out the fabric box and do fabric flower handicrafts while watching the movie.

4.  Finish some math.

5.  Read the next two chapters of Out of the Silent Planet.

6.  Read the last bit of "Air Pollution" (Apologia Physical Science, Module 2).

7.  Do any extra readings (or grammar pages) not caught up yet.

8.  Make entries in the Book of Centuries.

9.  Finish the writing-a-speech unit and prepare to deliver it next Monday.

10.  Play Seterra Online (map drills) for 10 minutes.

What's for supper? Stuffed potatoes or potato casserole?

Tonight's dinner menu:

I found a Baked Potato Casserole recipe in the $5 Dinners One-Dish cookbook, then realized it was just a variation on this Taste of Home stuffed potato dish.  Same ingredients, different way of doing it, plus $5 Dinners adds chopped ham.  The potatoes are baking in the toaster oven, but I'm still deciding whether to put the broccoli, potato innards and cheese into the potato shells, or just bake them together in one dish.  Went with the casserole--it's kind of like a giant broken-open baked potato with toppings.  Left the ham out, steaming Euro wieners on the side.
Dessert:  Thinking about gingerbread, after the potatoes come out. We still have a bit of whipped cream left from Thanksgiving...and blueberries!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Charlotte Mason quote for the day: The common claims of womanhood

"And how is the mother to enhance her daughter's self-respect? is she to tell her, never so indirectly, that she is clever, pretty, charming, that no one can fail to admire her?  If she do [sic], her daughter may, not impossibly, become a forward young woman.  Nay, she must put forward none but common claims.  Because she is a woman, because she is a lady, because she is a guest, a fellow guest, because she is a stranger, or because she is a friend--these, and such as these, are incontestable claims upon the courteous attention of every person she meets in society...Whatever she may receive or give, over and above, on the score of personal merit, settles itself; but the thing to be established in a girl's mind is a due sense of the claims she has and of the claims she must yield."  ~~ Charlotte Mason, Formation of Character

A Whole Different Week in the Life (Thursday): Lydia's Grade Eight

Ourselves Book II, pages 129-130, "Will and Wilfulness."  What is, or isn't, a true act of the Will? "What of the person who always contrives to get his own way, whether he get it by means of stormy scenes, crafty management, sly evasion, or dogged persistence?....As a matter of fact, persons of these four classes may get each their own way, with as little action of the Will as is exercised by the casual person who lets things slide."

Start new readaloud:  Out of the Silent Planet., chapter 1.

Nature Journalling:
*Janet Marsh's Nature Diary, entries for Oct. 15, 16
*Keeping a Nature Journal: "Appreciating the Gifts of Each Day" (kind of like nature Twittering) *Keeping a Nature Journal: "Seasonal Changes": choose something autumnal and draw it in your notebook

Extra readings, including Bible

Speech Writing unit
The Easy Grammar Plus
Math: Geometric and Binary Sequences (all week)

Physical Science, "Air Pollution," read pages 45-48.

Read and discuss the excerpts from The Sky's Not Falling! Why it's OK to Chill about Global Warming, by Holly Fretwell.

Watch the rest of A Man For All Seasons. We didn't get to this, but we'll watch it tomorrow.

In the housekeeping category:  Lydia decided that because the rest of her room looks so good now, she needed to work on her closet shelf as well.  She reappeared some time and a couple of stuffed garbage bags later.  (It's a big shelf.) 

What's for supper? Tastes of fall

Tonight's menu:

Lentil-rice soup with a bit of bite (in the slow cooker).  Leftovers to freeze in small lunch containers.
Peasant Bread, one loaf with poppy seeds and one with sesame; bacon for bacon sandwiches.
 Corn on the cob
Local apples.

Charlotte Mason quote for the day: shopping as training for the Will

"Before she goes 'shopping,' she must use her reason, and that rapidly, to lay down the principles on which she is to choose her dress,--it is to be pretty, becoming, suitable for the occasions on which it is to be worn, in harmony with what else is worn with it.  Now, she goes to the shop; is able to describe definitely what she wants...judgment is prompt to decide upon the grounds already laid down by reason and what is more, the will steps in to make the decision final, not allowing so much as a twinge of after-regret for that 'sweet thing' which she did not buy." ~~ Charlotte Mason, Formation of Character

Photo from The Apprentice's Barbie story, here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Whole Different Week in the Life (Wednesday): Lydia's Grade Eight

A good thought for today:  "The best people to deal with are those who are very reluctant to encroach and who are careful to always give all they have agreed to."  ~~ Whatever Happened to Justice?, by Richard J. Maybury.

Current Events

Whatever Happened to Justice?, chapter 9, "Ambient Encroachment and Tacit Contracts."  "The best way to handle misunderstandings is to prevent them."

Nature Journalling:
*Appreciating the Gifts of Each Day (writing nature notes)
* make an illustrated entry

A Man for All Seasons, Act II

Picture Study: Titian, Portrait of Clarissa Strozzi

French & Latin


Speech Writing, grammar and math as for Tuesday

Physical Science, "Ozone." "So, we must have ozone to protect us from the sun's ultraviolet rays, but we cannot breathe it in, or it would kill us." (page 44) Read together and discuss the extra environment printouts.

Westward Ho! 17  already read

 Extra readings, including Bible.

What's for supper on guitar and choir night? Skillet Goulash (from $5 Dinners)

Skillet Goulash with Spinach, from The $5 Dinner Mom One-Dish Dinners Cookbook, by Erin Chase.  Includes ground beef and pasta; I'll cook the meat separately and add it at the end after taking out a vegetarian part.

Carrot sticks and ??

Chocolate chip oatmeal muffins.

From the not-long-ago archives: To give thanks in everything.

First posted October 2013.
Pastor Martin Rinkart is one of my all-time Christian heroes.

I found these thoughts by David Shibley on the CharismaNews website.

"The Year of the Great Pestilence (1637) saw every pastor in the city except Rinkart succumb to the horrific conditions. As the sole surviving clergyman in Eilenburg, it fell upon Rinkart to conduct funeral services for up to 50 people per day. In May of that terrible year, Rinkart’s own wife died.

"Rinkart lived in a world palled by death and despair. Yet his faith in Christ held firm. He did not give in to bitterness. Even after living through three hellish decades he never lost his confidence in the goodness and faithfulness of God.

"Pastor Rinkart could identify with Job. After losing his family, his health, his money and his position in society, Job still declared His trust in God: “Even if He kills me, I will hope in Him” (Job 13:15, HCSB). Martin Rinkart profoundly understood Jeremiah’s unflinching faith. Looking on a scene of collapsed hopes and a privileged nation that now lay pillaged, Jeremiah still declared, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-24, ESV).

"How did Pastor Rinkart keep his faith and his sanity? He refused to be defined by his circumstances. He determined to focus, not on his circumstances, but on the unchanging character of a merciful God."

Monday, October 13, 2014

Charlotte Mason quote for the day: again on teenagers

"By the time the girl has discovered how much of her is common to all the world, she will be prepared to look with less admiring wonder at her secret self, and with more respect upon other people.  For it is not that she has been guilty of foolish pride; she has simply been filled with honest and puzzled wonder at the fine things she has discovered in human nature as seen in herself."  ~~ Charlotte Mason, Formation of Character

A Whole Different Week in the Life (Tuesday): Lydia's Grade Eight


Ourselves Book II, starting The Way of the Will.

Poetry: England in Literature, Spenser

Nature Journalling (that's how we spell it in Canada):
*Janet Marsh's Nature Journal, read her entries for Oct. 2, 5, and 7
*Keeping a Nature Journal: Appreciating the Gifts of Each Day: make a short written entry based on this challenge
* Use some of our really good art materials to do a really good drawing of something in the yard. Special bonus art lesson for everyone: Jeannette Tulis has a very detailed post here about drybrush technique for nature notebooks.

Plutarch: Crassus, Lesson 7

French (all week)

Latin, continue Lesson 2


Speech Writing:  big push to get the speech written this week.

Grammar: continue the review that got left from last week; move on to new topics (all week)

Math: Geometric and Binary Sequences (all week)

Physical Science, Module 2: Air. Read the section on "Global Warming." "Although the fear that too much carbon dioxide in the air could lead to global warming is based on sound scientific reasoning, reality is...more complex than that." (page 38) What does he mean?

(Read together and discuss: the additional environment articles (printed out)) (all week)

Westward Ho!, chapter 16

Extra readings, including Bible, history, How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thanksgiving Sunday, Come for Dinner (photo post)

Front hall
The last of the garden flowers
Roast Chicken
Squash Loaf and apricots
And then we do the dishes.

Quotes for Sunday: from a Nobel Peace Prize winner

Two quotes from Malala Yousafzai, co-winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. 

 "One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen, can change the world." 
  --From a speech given to the UN Youth Assembly, just nine months after her attempted assassination. 

 "When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful." 
 --From a speech at Harvard in September 2013.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

From the long-ago archives: Early morning with "Crayons"

First posted October 11, 2005.  Crayons (Dollygirl, Lydia) was four.  Ponytails was eight.  A friend commented (on the original post), "I hope you had some nice, strong coffee brewing..."

Scene: too early in the morning. Mama Squirrel brings in the morning paper (pretty thin, it's Tuesday) and flips through it before putting the breakfast dishes on the table. She reaches the comics page.

Crayons: I want to read the comics.

Mama Squirrel: Okay.

Crayons: What's that say? "I..."

Mama Squirrel: "I am not."

Crayons: "I am not."

Mama Squirrel: Could you take that somewhere else so I can put the dishes on the table?

Crayons and Ponytails take the paper into the living room. A few minutes later, Mama Squirrel hears wild laughter. Ponytails comes back through the kitchen, but Crayons is still laughing.

Mama Squirrel: What's so funny?

Ponytails: She's pretending she can read the comics.

Crayons (from the living room): Ha ha hee hee ho ho...

Two minutes later, Crayons appears in the kitchen with the newspaper on her head.

Crayons: You don't know who I am. I'm an ant and I deliver your paper.

Mama Squirrel: Thank you, Miss Ant. Do ants like juice?

Crayons: Yes. Can I pour my own?

Mama Squirrel: Sure...

And it's not even 7:30 yet...

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Week in the Life: Friday, final update (Lydia's Grade Eight)

"Before the terrorism, I used to carry a heavy bag to school, and I used to learn every day, but I did not know how important education is until we were stopped, because I realized the terrorists are against education, and especially girls' education, because they are afraid of it." Malala Yousafzai, 2013 CBC interview

Plans for today (Still sketchy, but I will try to update as we go):

O Canada, because it's Friday

Current events: Nobel Peace Prize.  Recorded in the Calendar of Current Events.

Daughter of Time:  Finished!

Westward Ho! Chapter 15. Narrated orally.
Some time for finishing that big cleanup job, because we are gong to drop stuff at the thrift store this afternoon.

How to Read a Book, pages 117-120 Sentences vs. propositions

--------------------------------------------------------- (lunch)
Watched some of A Man for All Seasons.

Story of Mankind--chapter about Ancient Egypt.

Bible reading.

2 pages of grammar.

"Strength Training" (word exercise from The Roar on the Other Side)

(We are now halfway through the term, and Monday's a holiday.)

Autumn in the Treehouse (photo post)

The red maple beside our driveway--not as red this week.
Salt and peppers, decorating the hall.
Flower arrangement from Michael's. (The kind that lasts forever.)
Autumn Algonquin Park, by Tom Thomson.
Lydia made this decoration last Sunday at church.
Dewey, hanging out between nut-gathering sprees.

What's for supper? S, S, S, S

Tonight's menu:

Sausage and sauerkraut and potatoes in the slow cooker

Squash cake, which is pumpkin loaf made with butternut squash.  (We cut the sugar to one cup in that recipe, and I added some wheat germ this time.) One to eat, one for the freezer.  (I'm stocking up.)

Two weeks till L'Harmas!

In two weeks, some local CMers and I will be travelling to the 2nd L'Harmas retreat in Kingsville, Ontario.

In case you can't guess, I'm excited!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

A Week in the Life: Thursday, updated (Lydia's Grade Eight)

The Apprentice is still here, but she's going out antiquing with Mr. Fixit, Grandpa Squirrel, and Uncle Squirrel, and then they're dropping her at the university where a pianist friend of ours is giving a lunchtime concert. Ponytails is off to school too, so Thursday mornings are just Lydia and me.

Poetry readaloud: England in Literature: Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.

History/Literature: Daughter of Time, pages 175-186.  Why did Henry VII suddenly send the Queen Dowager to a nunnery?

Go over yesterday's math: there were some things we need to clear up. The probably-not-so-true story about little Gauss adding large numbers quickly may help. (It turned out that the very last question in the lesson was exactly the problem Gauss had to solve, just in a different dress.)
At this point Lydia decided to go do some Home Economics, otherwise known as cleaning your bedroom.  Her choice, not my decree.
Physical Science:  "Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect."  You need a bulb thermometer, two plastic bags, a sunny windowsill (we'll keep our fingers crossed), a plastic bottle, vinegar, and baking soda. The idea is to put carbon dioxide inside a sandwich bag, and then see if it absorbs energy from the sunlight.  However, as in many experiments of this type, you may see no variations in temperature at all, even if you follow the directions exactly, and this webpage discusses the limitations of this experiment.  Sigh. (I gave Lydia permission NOT to do the experiment, on the condition that she read it carefully and give reasons (without looking at the website above) why it might not work, and why it might or might not be a good demonstration of the concept under discussion.  Think like a scientist.  Or a science teacher.)

Balance Benders Level 3.

Lydia spent the rest of the afternoon doing a really big cleanout.  Mama Squirrel sat in for moral support.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

What's for supper?

Tonight's dinner menu:

Choice of two kinds of chicken thighs: baked with orange-ginger sauce (positively the last of the bottle), or baked with Thousand Island dressing and sauerkraut, Reuben-style.  It was a big package and there were too many to fit in one baking dish, so I made two kinds.

Baked potatoes
Mixed vegetables
Beer bread.

A Week in the Life, updated again: Wednesday (Lydia's Grade Eight)

Hymns:  "And Can it Be"
Current events

Daughter of Time page 165-174.  Why Tyrrell's confession was so bogus.

Lydia checked her e-mail and then went off to read Westward Ho!, chapter 14.  She narrated orally and I drew a line from England to South America on our laminated wall map, to show how far Amyas would have to travel to rescue Rose.

We had a short discussion on blogging ethics and choir Christmas music.  Mama Squirrel went to put a large, baked, somewhat cooled butternut squash through the food processor and a load of jeans in the washer.  Lydia went on to do some math:

Math, A Human Endeavor:  Still on Arithmetic Sequences.  She says this chapter is too easy.  (Isn't that nice sometimes?)

The Apprentice arrived for an overnight visit, and Mr. Fixit made sandwiches.

After lunch: Mr. Fixit and The Apprentice drove to the next town to pick up an electronic part. Mama Squirrel did the dishes. Lydia went back to working on the math lesson.  She said that she found an easier way to do the problems, so would it be okay to do it that way?  I said, do it the way that works best for you.

We read a few pages of A Man for All Seasons.

French:  continued this week's work on verbs.

At that point, Lydia decided that she had done enough school for the day.  She had some free time while Mama Squirrel messed around in the kitchen.

History of English Literature, "Blank Verse": work on that writing assignment from yesterday.

The Easy Grammar Plus:  Still on the Cumulative Review (a little of everything).

Choose other AO Readings (history, geography, Bible, science) from this week's list.

When The Apprentice returned, she taught Lydia how to play Hanabi. (The Apprentice is always good for new games.)

Photo found at .
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