"'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

Sunday, September 18, 2011

World War II

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.

For spines I have several books. World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities by Richard Panchyk; and America: The Last Best Hope (Volume II) by William J. Bennett.  (I see that a Volume III is coming out next month covering 1988 to 2008.)  I also have a couple of OOP books for younger kids: The First Book of World War II by Louis L. Snyder and America Moves Forward by Gerald W. Johnson.

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.

Bethlehem books has quite a few WWII historical fiction titles that my boys are enjoying, like Penny for a Hundred for Ds#3, The Secret War of Sergent Donkey for Ds#2, and Enemy Brothers for Ds#1.  We own these.

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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Visit to the Seminary

 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!

Constitution Day book

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.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Maps from Heritage History

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!