Month: January 2013

A Reflection From the Hive by Nancy Kelly

“You cannot learn to love art, unless you first love what art mirrors.” – John Ruskin   The paintings of local artist David Strom are a familiar sight in our small town.  So familiar are his works to our family that years ago, when we were viewing Monet’s haystacks at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, my son informed the docent that they reminded him of David Strom’s grain bins.  I’m not sure what the docent thought. When a young lady in our Charlotte Mason community for high schoolers, The Hive, asked about the huge paintings by David that hang over our meeting table, I thought it might be a good thing to have him come and speak to the students.  The Hive meets at a local coffee shop in the back room.  We get together twice a month with the students doing most of the work at home.  When we come together, we have a grand conversation about what we have read, written, and thought. We finished an inspiring morning of discussion, noticing the connectivity …

Talking Among Ourselves on the Path of Nature Study by Jeannette Tulis

In loosely following the Ambleside high school years with my 16-year-old son, I have been reading aloud with him Volume 4 of the Series, Ourselves. According to the AO website, Ourselves is Charlotte’s character curriculum written to children to teach morals and self-control. Book 1 is for children up to 12, Book 2 is for high school students. I must admit there was some resistance when I started to read this aloud to the aforementioned son.  It starts out with an allegory that my son objected to on the grounds that it was too juvenile and whimsical. I had to find substitute words to replace some of the rather fanciful ones used by dear Charlotte. However, our perseverance has yielded many worthy lessons in much more than just character and morals. In Ourselves, Mason includes her rationale for the importance of many of the lessons in her curriculum such as art, music, poetry, Shakespeare and the subject of this post— nature study.  Although sometimes viewed as “extras,” these lessons should not be given short shrift. …