Charlotte Mason en español

¿Cómo llevo ya días sin deciros este notición? Marina, mi amiga querida, ha trabajado muchísimo traduciendo información valiosísima de la página de Charlotte Mason de Lindafay. Ahora tenéis su labor al alcance en el blog de Charlotte Mason Help, en español.

Como siempre, Marina me cuenta cuánto la ha ayudado el ir traduciendo lo que Lindafay nos compartiera en inglés. Igual digo que no importa cuántos años llevemos en esto, ni cuánto hayamos leído de Charlotte Mason, cada vez que entro en el blog, ahora directamente en la parte de español, salgo con nuevas energías, ideas, o con conocimientos que tenía y que vuelvo a refrescar o a consolidar.


What's on your nightstand, mate?

Recommended by the one and only, dear Jeanne, we took up these three Australian books for children -though I am lovin' them as much or more than my girls-. We read Seven Little Australians. I knew the end. This is why I chose to read it in the car, in the daylight, without looking at their faces. I had read it myself before to prepare for it. It was sad, but still, we are glad we met these children and we read their story.

We are half way the Magic Pudding. This is the book for the child in me. I am reading it to that little girl who is now a mom, and who loves Lewis Carroll, and Edward Lear, and those poems, travel, adventure, and food. These first two books are free, in the public domain, but I am glad to have found not too pricey good hardcover editions for both of them, and illustrated. The illustrations in the Magic Pudding are quite the thing. As in Edward Lear nonsense rhymes, the illustrations add so much.

And our third book will be Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. I hope we like it as much as the other two.

To stretch my adored After You Marco Polo, I read Hannah Coulter. (I actually have the last 5 pages waiting for me tonight). Since the library had this title, I thought it would be my first Wendell Berry. I confess I opened it with not much expectations... I knew too much about him to have a fresh opinion. I was also fearing I would feel at odds with my life as a suburban mom, by reading such a nice portrayal of farm people. Nothing of that happened to me. I found it a book of 'old age', a book of aging and reflecting, a book about parenting, and marriage, and grief, and love. His nuggets of wisdom are credible, not on your face. His dislike for the new technological era is well presented, but I think what he talks about can be extrapolated to a non farming environment. I like when he says we waste our time looking for something better, for a better home, a better place... that it is what we have now, who we are now, what is best, what matters, what counts. While there is nothing wrong with having dreams and aspirations, those can be, as he says, buckets full of smoke. 

Surprisingly, reading Wendell Berry, instead of fueling my desires of living a more country life, it has given me more purpose to live the moment, and specially, to keep strengthening the membership I belong to. My membership is not obviously his farming community, but my brethren. It is those in my congregation that I belong too, and some neighbors and friends. I am someone to them, and they are family to me.

This book and his Jayber Crow, are suggested literature reads for our children in year 12, or last year of High School, at Ambleside Online. That is surely a very long haul from now, but if ever my girls read Wendell Berry, I know much conversation will ensue. I wonder how they will relate to it, for as I said, to me, is quite reflective on life, but I am sure they will catch on parts of the book that may have not been as impacting to me as others.

Lastly, I am at a part in Waverley, chapter LV, that the plot is bubbling. Waverley is thinking about Flora and Rose, and as a woman, finally, romance has taken a bit over the harder read of politics and war. That part in which Edward reads from Romeo and Juliet, was very enjoyable. We are also about to finish the Iliad, and my thoughts are settling a bit more. These two reads have kneaded every single neuron in my brain, and have stretched me to unknown points in space as a reader. But I can already see myself at the end goal, and feeling quite accomplished and satisfied. 

Just David

We listened to this book in the car, Just David, by Eleanor H. Porter. I have read a few pages of Pollyanna, and I am familiar with the story. David is another similar character who, like Pollyanna, changes the lives of those around him. But his story is peculiar and different. We enjoyed this book, it has very sweet moments and great teachings well weaved with a predictable at times, but charming story.

Another Week in April

The picture does not make justice to how nice our game room-office-library feels. It is a very nice space. The new carpet makes it fresh and clean, and inviting, and all those decorating magazine adjectives.
These are most of our science, history, biography, math, animals-birds-plants books. A friend gave me those plastic files, and they fit perfectly in the new shelving with some room to grow.

The gutter shelves I had in the girls rooms are now in the hallway, and they are oh so nice.
 I am typing this from this computer desk you see. The white cubicle shelf has room for more books, but the bottom first space under the lamp, has my soon to be year 4 girl books.

This is one of my favorite shelves. It has two levels of their favorite readers, and our Spanish books at the bottom. Every day now we pick our favorites, put them in the blue bin, and back for more!

 This is the last shelf with also more empty space for new additions! The third space on top, starting from the left, opposite to the picture on top of the shelf, has, -sniff-, their baby books with thick pages... sigh.

 Oh, the trauma experience of mom as a bookseller person... When they saw me photographing these books which I read the previous night to them, they exclaimed in anguish... "mom, you are not selling those books, are you?"

 This is her smile of relief, finding her favorites to pose with them.
Who does not like the Provensen couple books?, or this Judith Viorst (not all, mind you!). 
I am enjoying each single minute of their childhood. I know it will not last forever.

 After seeing all those beautiful bluebonnets, how could we not draw them?
Every year there is one thing we conquer, and many more which we have to keep working at. This year, maps were more present and done at home. My little one says she is fond of Turkey, the Caspian Sea, and Mongolia.

I was telling the girls about Afghanistan and what a burka is, (in After You Marco Polo, they are in a part of Afghanistan), and the girls asked, "how can you love someone and marry without seeing her face?", "of course, the heart counts, but it is a bit strange". I told them I think they see women inside the homes without their veils... but I admit I don't know much about this.

Explain to me how we can be listening to Marc O'Connor, and still have girls singing Let it Go for the umpth time. It was a catastrophic parental mistake to expose them to that movie and song. Between this song, and the ones they hear at the orthodontist, I am at my wits end. If you can, avoid this song and the radio like the Black Plague. You will live longer.

Nice dollar book finding. Bluebonnets are in this book, they are Lupine flowers.

Some days are not easy at.all. But others, everything seems to flow oh so well... sometimes I want to unschool the girls, to forget about schedules, books, lessons..., to stay within the boundaries of comfort and excitement... but then the walks, the drawing, the readings... it all blooms, and the magic happens, their ideas, their passion, their character development, it amazes me to see them learning and loving, and caring about it... then all is well.

We finished Just David, by Eleanor H. Porter. It is a male version of Pollyanna, but original in itself.  Lovely book. We are enjoying The Song of Haiwatha.

After You, Marco Polo

I talked briefly about this book in my previous post, but After You, Marco Polo, deserves a blog post of its own.

There is a unique allurement to books that narrate trips before the Internet, trips to places that will not be found as they were at the time they were visited. This book has a triple bonus. First we have Marco Polo travels as our first stop, -and I have been reading about him with the girls-, second, we have the Shor's trip in his footsteps, third, we have the trip from the eyes of mid twentieth century travelers. For me, it has a fourth layer, the Shors are North American. Add a fifth layer, she was Texan!... But don't stop there, I was also raised in Europe, so all my political and cultural knowledge and references are engaged in the story, making this book a complete delight. I do not want this book to end. I am preparing for that moment, though. I believe I will pick up one of my two Halliburton books. Though I will hopefully read them with my girls, I don't have to wait! I will probably read The Royal Road to Romance.

Jean Shor writing is generously sprinkled with humor. While preparing to lead a book club reading of Three Men in a Boat, I read that writing about travels is conducive to humor, it is the perfect occasion to expose your home place views of life, and to contrast and compare them with foreign beliefs; travel  nuisances afford plenty laughter too.

I want to know, after the exotic and singular places they got to see and sleep in, how their marriage ever fared in a more normal routine, or it may be the case they spent all their life together traveling! I am not finding much info about either on the web.

A Week in April

What to write about?... Book reviews, narration, my views on history, our week highlights... Hmmm. A bit about everything spiced up with some pics.

Oh. We loved The Little White Horse. It is the book that prompted me to look for more Elizabeth Goudge titles, and that is how I discovered and read The Rosemary Tree. Ever since, I have bought a few more of her titles I have and that I will savor as I feel that need for a Goudge title.
 We went to a farm's trip yesterday, and it was simply lovely. The ride, the farm, the friends, the strawberries. We learned and saw how to grow strawberries hydroponically.

 Yeap. We had a birthday this week. My wonderful husband turned 24, or maybe the other way around!

 I owe the quirkiest and most strange book I have ever read. It is called, The Body has a Head.
This picture below is the first page of the Table of Contents.
When he describes bodily functions and organs, he compares them to things, and he interjects stories about people, famous or not, who had x diseases pertaining to what he is talking about, he talks and quotes Shakespeare, talks about Tchaikovsky, Pavlov, Jeremiah, Paul, Plato..., experiments, different theories man has held about this or that... I do not know what to think, all I know is that, no matter where I open it and read from, I am totally amazed and amused, and sometimes lost too, LOL. 

The girls made puppets for narrations. Little Bean made lots of good and bad men and women, kings and queens. Blue Heart made Mowgli, Bagheera, Baloo, trees, a honeycomb... she loves Jungle Book.

And thanks to a friend at Ambleside Forum, I am reading After You, Marco Polo. I love travel, we do some here, but this is travel at another level! Oh how I wish I had been to some of the places Jean had. But I am not envious of her fall inside frozen ice waters, or being in the middle of nowhere, without food, with your escort abandoning you, and your husband having a 105 point something fever in the brink of death because of your dream to follow Marco Polo's footsteps.

I finished and enjoyed The Home Maker. But I am desperate for my dear friend Heather to read it so that I can chatter about the end with her. This is another book I had heard about in some reading blogs, and it is also by the writer of Understood Betsy,  that we all loved so much last year when we read it for school.

I also finished reading To Say Nothing of the Dog. This one was such a wonderful book, amusing, clever, original, romantic, Victorian. Perfect follow up to Three Men in a Boat. I see more Connie Willis titles in my future.

Thanks to Heather I am still reading Waverley, thanks to the friends in the forum, I am also reading the Iliad. These two are hard but satisfying readings. Not until one of these two is finished, will I allow me to open another Goudge book, or the coming Fforde books (The Eyre Affair, and Lost in a Book). It is kind of coincidental in a bad sense that one of his books is called Shades of Grey, A Novel, which is a dystopia about people who cannot see in color, and which has nothing to do with an trilogy that I believe it is nothing but which has a number preceding the title, in the erotica genre. Most of you know me, but some may be new, and I will never read such a book... or DIVORCE other than my carpet. One more night and tomorrow, the rat color carpet will be gone, ha ha ha ha.

It has to get worse... to get better?

Or how does that go?
Finally we are letting go of our 12 years old rat color carpet in the game room/office and stairs. And I am taking advantage to transform it also into a library, with white shelving (some old some new) around the walls, and our three desks in the center back of the room.

And our master, and both of the girls room, have experienced a tornado of sorts. The first picture is our master bedroom.

 Our game room, the one with lovely green walls.
All the next pictures are of Little Bean's room. We will leave one wall with the mural I painted, and paint the other three around, and make changes...

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