"'Education is the Science of Relations'; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of–– 'Those first-born affinities, That fit our new existence to existing things.'"
Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education with a quote from The Prelude by William Wordsworth
Another wonderful field trip we took this week was to the Gardner Museum. Back in the late 19th and early the 20th century, Isabella Stewart Gardner used her wealth to collect art. She then build the museum to house her impressive collection and show it to the world. She had to expand the building once in her lifetime. The gorgeous new wing, a contemporary building built beside the original and now the official entrance, just opened about a month ago.
Upon her death she left an endowment for the museum with the stipulation that the art be left as she placed
All children up to age 18 are always free. Typically adult admission is $15, but visiting with my mother and aunt we again made use of a library pass that allowed up to 4 adults to be admitted for $5 each. The museum is well worth it.
The boys did really enjoy the art and wondering through the many rooms. Everyone was impress with the beautiful courtyard mosaic and garden at the center of it all. We may go again with our history co-op as we are studying the late middle ages/early renaissance and the museum has an abundance of pieces from this period.
The museum was the target of a highly publicized and yet unsolved theft in 1990 when 13 pieces were stolen including two by Rembrandt. The empty frames remain on the wall keeping vigil in hopes of their contents' return.
We are on a two-week break from our typical schooling schedule. Taking advantage of museum passes, we are taking some field trips to area museums. Today we visited the Constitution Museum at the Charlestown Navy Yard. While we couldn't board her, we did get to walk beside the U.S.S. Constitution.
We needed to go through security in order to enter the visitor center and the part of the yard where she is docked. We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves, being mid-winter in Boston during school.
One ship we could board was the U.S.S. Cassin Young, a World War II destroyer in dry dock.
We actually first went into the Constitution Museum, a small facility dedicated to facts and artifacts from the ship. The picture to the left was taken near the entrance.
The upstairs is a large hands-on children's center where kids can experience and learn about life at sea in the 18th and 19th centuries. Ds#2 cleverly set himself up like this for a picture.
Because today was St. Valentine's Day, the museum had a large spread of pastries, bagels, coffee, and juice for anyone to enjoy. Mostly they were employees of the museum, visitor center, or military working on the ships, though we enjoyed some of the festivities ourselves!
Even without a pass the museum has a very low admission price, which is even voluntary. This made a great half-day field trip.
This is the subject Ds#1 wanted to study this year. With Memoir '44 being his favorite board game it was hardly a surprise. Between what I already had and the recommendations in For the Love of Literature
by Maureen Wittmann (which I now have on my Kindle), I was able to easily put a unit together.
The Landmark Book series has a lot of titles on the subjects. I own eleven of them, plenty to keep my kids reading. If you are not familiar with this series, they are non-fiction books told in a story format. They have too much fact to be historical fiction yet the details in the dialogs, for example, are made up. I suppose you can consider them on the factual end of historical fiction.
Some of Maureen's recommendations include Twenty and Ten by Claire Hutchet Bishop. We were able to borrow Miracle at Moreaux, the film based on it. She also listed Against the Dayan out of print book by Michael Cronin that turns out to be the first in a series of three that can still be gotten cheaply through used book sellers. We're waiting for them to arrive. She recommends some great picture books that I got from the library like The Snow Goose and The Secret Seder.
I purchased Saint Maximilian Kolbe: Mary's Knight by Patricia E. Jablonski and Saint Edith Stein: Blessed by the Cross by Mary Lea Hill, both in the Encounter the Saints series. I even found a 1959 biography of Pope Pius XII by Richard Cushing in the juvenile section of a local library, though it was also in a college collection. At 180 pages maybe Ds#1 could read it, but I'll have to read through it first.
I've put my husband on the task of recommending some classic WWII movies--John Wayne comes to mind but I am sure there's many more. So far Ds#1 is reading the historical fiction faster than I can get them in, and that's a good predicament to be in.
As you can see by the picture above, our homeschool co-op has a LOT of boys. Two families could not make the trip, one with 3 boys and the other with 3 boys and 3 girls. Our group "adopted" a seminarian when he first came to our diocese from Colombia last year, and this was our first chance to meet him in person. Our adopted seminarian is the first man on the left, and his fellow Colombian seminarians are next to him. The third man has been here only 3 weeks, yet he has done well in his struggle to master English (after already learning Latin, Greek, and Italian.) They provided the pizza while we brought the salads and desserts. They were just a delight to spend time with; our group had a wonderful time. With all the "noise" in our society, we were blessed to add this experience to all the other vocation options our children see to help them discern to what vocation God will call them. I can't wait to go back!
Eva March Tappan's book, The Story of Our Constitution, would make for some great reading for today, Constitution Day. You can read the entire text online at Heritage History or download the pdf from Google Books.
I have written about Heritage History, one of my favorite places for online history and literature books in the public domain. Besides viewing the books online for free, you can purchase an eBook for a Kindle or other reader for only $1.99 each.
Well, I just found another wonderful resource on their web sites. They have collected a whole series of large, color, historical maps onto their Heritage History Maps page so they can be downloaded. They are organized by a variety of geographic an cultural categories: African, American, Asian, British, Christian, European, Greek, Hispanic, Moslem, Norse, Roman, and World. The page lists the region, year (that that map is depicting, not when it was published), and description. It's an online historical atlas that is a wonderful addition to our history studies!
Have you visited That Resource Site for free printables, lapbooks, lesson plans, or articles? Their collection is large and growing! And they have quite a give-away underway: a $50 gift certificate to Amazon. You can enter up to 4 times by writing a blog post (like this), subscribing to their feed, liking their FB page, or simply leaving a comment about their site. Of course publicizing it decreases my chance, but that's O.K.--That Resource Site is worth telling people about.
Primarily I am a Catholic homeschooling mom to 3 boys with a Charlotte Mason educational philosophy. I teach for Homeschool Connections and I'm a community college paramedic instructor. I spent 16 years as a physician assistant in a busy emergency department.
"Unless a man’s will has a purpose and it is a good one, education will do nothing for him except to fortify his own egotism."
Archbishop Fulton Sheen
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
"Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves."
Pope John Paul II Fides et Ratio
"The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense."
G. K. Chesterton
"The present collapse of this country began when education was regarded as a substitute for culture, or rather when instruction was regarded as a substitute for education, or rather when getting facts by teaching was regarded as a substitute for getting truth by tradition."
G. K. Chesterton
"Though the academic authorities are actually proud of conducting everything by means of Examinations, they seldom indulge in what religious people used to describe as Self-Examination. The consequence is that the modern State has educated its citizens in a series of ephemeral fads."
G. K. Chesterton
All this propaganda for literacy of one sort or another comes from people who believe that everyone should share their particular views of what the most important knowledge is and what conclusions should be drawn from it; in other words, they want others to be indoctrinated."
Henry H. Bauer Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method
"Upon the knowledge of these great matters--history, literature, nature, science, art--the mind feeds and grows...and the person becomes what is called magnanimous--that is a person of great mind, wide interests, incapable of occupying himself much about petty, personal matters."
Edith Stein, a.k.a. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
"It was the monks’ dedication to learning as the path on which to encounter the Incarnate Word of God that was to lay the foundation of our Western culture and civilization."