We are reading Little Women which I am enjoying more than I ever did before. It makes me all nostalgic and cozy feeling. Becky likes anything old-fashioned and since she is growing up and will soon, perhaps, not revel so in the quaint and charming, I thought maybe we could focus on getting an Old Fashioned Education this year. I've been looking at all my old books and also at Ambleside. I think I'd love to try Nature Study again this year with her. I have a wonderful 1906 A Child's Nature Field Study book that has charming day by day entries that give little interesting tidbits of information about nature in each season of the year. It would be excellent to start on January First. Becky has said she wants to study animals this year. I'm looking for an old fashioned read aloud about them. Still need to hunt a bit. I noticed that Ambleside divides at least one of its years (can't remember which one) into Term 1 - mammals, Term 2 - birds, Term 3 - flowers. For birds I just found a great guide to Thornton Burgess's Bird Book. And I happen to have a 1923 edition of Burgess Book of Flowers for Children. So except for the mammals bit, I'm pretty prepared for that.
I also like Ambleside's way of studying folksongs and hymns. I'm going to put my own spin on it. I think we'll focus on Stephen Foster songs this year. I have a cd of his songs sung in a gorgeous way by Thomas Hampson, who has an incredible baritone voice. Sends shivers down one's spine! And for hymns, I'm thinking of these:
September - Holy God, We Praise Thy Name (Hymn of praise)
October - (the month of the Rosary) a Marian Hymn. I realize I only know about 3: Sing of Mary, Hail Holy Queen and Immaculate Mary, so one of those!
November - Now Thank We All Our God (Thanksgiving of course!)
December - On Jordan's Bank (Advent)
January - Adeste Fideles (for the Christmas season - learn it in Latin)
February - Look Down to Us, Saint Joseph -I thought we could learn this in preparation for our St. Joseph Day's Talent Show. Maybe Becky could sing it or perhaps we could lead a sing along.
March - O Sacred Head Surrounded (Passiontide)
April - Jesus Christ is Risen Today (Easter)
May - Another Marian hymn
June - Where Charity and Love Prevail (just cuz I like it!)
For reading, I think we could work our way through McGuffey's 2nd Reader, or at least start there. McGuffey is fairly advanced and moves quickly and Becky moves slowly! However, hopefully this is the year she'll take off in reading.
We will use Writing with Ease for copy work which is very CM in its approach and uses mostly classic children's literature as models.
For Religion - Ignatius Schuster's Bible History - which was published way back when. It was on its 32 reprint in 1959. Also I think we'll read Apostle on Crutches. That looks like it will fit the bill.
For math, I think we'll stick with Saxon. Becky wanted to work in the same type of book that her older brothers are, so Saxon 5/4 is a brand new edition.
For Latin, Getting Started in Latin will have to suffice.
For read alouds - I do really want to read The Aeneid for Boys and Girls by Church. I don't know if we are going into a Louisa May Alcott kick, but we've got plenty we could read aloud by her. We also still need to read Noel Streatfeild's Dancing Shoes (not quite as old-fashioned, set more in the 1930's or 1940's). We've just read The Secret Garden this summer so we might read more of Burnett, like The Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy. Also, I was hoping to read Hitty, Her First Hundred Years.
I am reinstituting a nature table to get our slightly more formal nature study off to a start this week.
I think it sounds like a really fun year! I am looking forward to lots of long walks, mother-daughter time cooking, baking, making things, singing together and reading together.