By Dawn Rhymer
But a child cannot dream parts of speech, and any grown-up twaddle attempting to personify such abstractions offends a small person who with all his love of play and nonsense has a serious mind.
Charlotte Mason, Philosophy of Education, V6, p. 210
"Does figuring out grammar really need to be this hard?" As a mom new to Charlotte Mason, I first had to grapple with the idea of not starting grammar until fourth grade. The program I had previously been using with my children had them beginning formal grammar in first grade. At the point of making this transition in our lives, Charlotte Mason's educational philosophies and methods were like the warm glow on the horizon letting one know the sun was coming. They looked appealing, but in reality I knew nothing about them. She thought quite highly of children and believed their minds were very capable. But really, who was she and why did she need to be so contrary about EVERYTHING? With a clear conscience I could find a "Charlotte Mason" grammar program for my fourth and sixth graders, but I also couldn't seem to let go of it for my second grader.
By Karen Canon
In early springtime, the atmospheric light acquires a brightness, a vibrancy. The sunlight dazzles the eyes, and it reaches everywhere. Within a few weeks, though, the trees begin putting on their summer dress and the landscape achieves a variety of tones, from bright spring sunlight to the deep undertones of cast shadows on lawns.
I enjoy noting each year in my Book of Firsts—a calendar of happenings in the natural world—the first of these tree shadows. Of course, a tree has a shadow all year long, but deciduous trees exhibit variety in the shadows they create. The shadow of their crown foliage is very different from the skeletal forms created by winter branches.
With the return of the foliage shadows, there are dark as well as light spaces; places where the eyes can rest as they scan the landscape. It is a sight I enjoy welcoming each spring. This year, in the Midwest, this spring event is coinciding with the opening days of May.
What is happening in your neck of the woods?
Here we come a-piping,
In Springtime and in May;
Green fruit a-ripening,
And Winter fled away.
The Queen she sits upon the strand,
Fair as a lily, white as wand;
Seven billows on the sea,
Horses riding fast and free.
And bells beyond the sand.
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