Open House: Thursday, February 9th

By the time we meet for breakfast, most of the kids have been up early and working independently on their own assigned work: math, history and other readings, in addition to their morning chores. 

This morning we had hard-boiled eggs, bacon, and yogurt (with granola) for breakfast.  My kids eat a ton.  I can't believe how much they eat.

At the table we sang our current hymn All Creatures of our God and King, we read a Psalm together, and we prayed together.  We did some memory work; currently our ABC Bible Verses from years ago (review for the older kids and new to the younger girls).  We reviewed two poems from previous years and read our new February poem, Forgiven.  (Which, in title, sounds much more distinguished than it actually is.  It's a delightful poem by one of our favorite authors, A.A. Milne.)  When I selected this as one of our monthly poems during the summer months, I didn't know that Mark would also be reading aloud (for the second time) The World of Pooh, which contains Winnie-The-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, also by A.A. Milne.  This was the first book Mark and I read aloud together, way back when we were dating, some twenty-something years ago, and I enjoy it more with each reading. Mark does such a great job with all the character's voices, and we all laugh out loud at the antics of these beloved characters.

These robins perch in our trees-- sometimes up to ten or fifteen at a time.
After we cleared the table and moved into the living room, we had a grammar lesson, the older three and I, on a white board.  They completed several exercises and then we came to our favorite part of the day: reading aloud.  The kids scattered across the living room with colored pencils and paper, and I resumed our current read-aloud, Little Women.  I told Mark recently that I often feel much more suited to the role of reader than teacher.  :) 

I have two dear copies of this book, one illustrated by the lovely Barbara Cooney (pictured), and another by Tasha Tudor.  I can never decide which is my favorite, but I have chosen the Cooney for this reading.

Little Women is one of the few books that I have been longing to read aloud for years, because it is such a beloved book from my own childhood.  And this is another one of those books that gets better with each subsequent reading.  We're some 400+ pages in and I cried through most of our reading today.  When I wasn't crying, I was reading with a lump in throat.  Shame on Louisa May Alcott for putting these two chapters one after the other:

And for those of you who aren't familiar with the story, click away, because  ***I am spoiling it in the very next sentence.*** 

First, the chapter Heartache, where Laurie proposes to Jo and she-- I can barely type this-- tells him she does not love him.  I still cannot get over this, all these years later. I still wish Jo had ended up with Laurie.  I will say, with great reluctance, that this time, as I read through the book again, is the first time I have felt any fondness for the professor (but only just a little.)  (And I still love Laurie best.)  I read this entire chapter with a lump in the back of my throat and with that same incredulity that Jo did not choose Laurie.  ~Sigh~  (All my kids agree, by the way.)  Oh.  Within this chapter, a heartbroken Laurie plays Sonata Pathetique on the piano, so I quickly googled that and we listened to it as we read through the chapter.  (Hence tucking Composer Study into our day, too.)

Right on the tails of that difficult chapter, I read Beth's Secret, which is when Beth tells Jo that she is surely dying.  ~sob~  This is when the tissues piled up next to me because I could.not.even read this without several long pauses and in a great sobby voice even after the pauses.  Dear, sweet Beth.

One more thing about this book and that is that Marmee just shines and has such wisdom for her girls that I am grateful to be reading it as a mother.  I have already copied several passages into my journal.

Okay, enough rambling about Little Women

The kids headed outside to play in the now-melting snow and then came back inside to finish any independent work and practice the piano.  I worked on math with one of the older kids, who was struggling, and did a spelling test with another, and worked on some reading with one of the little girls.  And that's a wrap to our school day.

Thank you to anyone who still reads here at this little neglected-of-late blog.  I do appreciate those of you who stop in and really do treasure any comments you leave.