Month: February 2011

1611-2011: The 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible by Bonnie Buckingham

In the Parent’s Reviews, Charlotte Mason had articles on book recommendations for teachers and  students.  She gave lists of books.  Books to be read.  The King James Bible is having an extraordinary anniversary this year:  400 years  old! We need to read it plus tell others about it. King James VI of Scotland, who is also King James I of England, ordered the translation of Scriptures. It is still the most beautiful  version  in the English Language. It was translated in the lifetime of Shakespeare and John Donne. Perhaps you memorized Psalm 23 with “ my cup runneth over.”  The  team of scholars, 48 of them, produced a work that changed the way we speak.   Where does one begin this Anniversary year of study?   1.READ the King James Version out loud.  Memorize from this version in celebration. “It is a mistake to use paraphrases of the text; the fine roll of Bible English appeals to children with a compelling music, and they will probably retain through life their first conception of Bible scenes, and, …

Citizen Scientists in Cincinnati by Lisa Cadora

Have you heard of Cincinnatus, the original citizen soldier of Rome? Lucius Quinctius, former consul of Rome, is said to have been in his retirement farming his land one day when officials approached him to accept a six-month dictatorship in order to lead the Roman army in battle against the neighboring Aequi.  He led the troops to victory in a mere fifteen days, after which he immediately returned to his plow, declining what could have been another five months of dictatorship that was due him. Somewhere along the line, he acquired the name “Cincinnatus” because of his curly hair! I first heard the term “citizen scientist” on Ira Flatow’s “Science Friday”, broadcast on my Cincinnati National Public Radio station. A citizen scientist, according to Wikipedia refers to “projects or ongoing programs of scientific work in which individual volunteers or networks of volunteers, many of whom may have no specific scientific training, perform or manage research-related tasks such as observation, measurement or computation.”  The idea is that scientific research, based largely on the gathering and analysis …

Changing the Paradigm by Jennifer Spencer

One of the first things that grabbed my attention at the beginning of my doctoral studies is the idea that society has a collective image of what “real” school is. This image is rooted in our experiences across generations as students. “Real” schools go from 8:00-3:00 for 180 days. They have bells. The day is divided into 50-minute periods for isolated subjects. There is a hierarchy for these subjects, with language arts, math, and science/technology being the most important and the arts being least important. Students are grouped together according to their ages and, when they get older, according to their ability. Grades are necessary to motivate students. Rewards and punishments help keep children in line—or in lines, which, of course, should be straight and quiet. This collective construct is so strong that it has persisted for more than a century through various reform efforts. In short, it has become the paradigm—a set of assumptions that is so much a part of the collective consciousness that most people do not even think about them anymore. …

Towards Living an Authentic Life: Copybooks by Gladys Schaefer

I have a friend.  Let’s call her Laura, because, well, because her name really is Laura.  We met many years ago in a Charlotte Mason study group and have recently renewed our friendship, meeting together in tearooms. It’s been a wonderful way to set time apart and focus on each other.  She and her family are preparing to move to Ireland as missionaries.  Her friendship renews and challenges me and I always leave the tearoom with a spring in my step and a list in my mind of a number of new adventures I want to add to my life journey. Laura is an avid reader and I have long benefitted from her guidance in the best of living books, both old and new.  She seems to have a special insight into the market and is able to find the best of the best.   I love finding the books Charlotte Mason used in her curriculum. Ambleside Online has also been a lifeline as I’ve used their guidance in planning our school days, both as a …