But we’ve still been doing fine arts and not just on Friday! Seriously, the þing is probably the best thing we’ve done all year. Nay, all my homeschooling experience. It’s been awesome. Even if everything else goes off the rails, I know that we’ve had at least an hour of truth, beauty, and goodness. Three cheers for the þing!
Technically, the folk song on the Ambleside rotation is “The Skye Boat Song,” but somehow we did that song last June. Who knows how I did that? Ah, well. We really liked it, so we’re just singing it again.
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I’ve made some adjustments to our poetry routine. Friday is our poetry and Shakespeare day. The kids recite whatever they’re working on memorizing, I read from The Poetic Edda* translated by Jackson Crawford, and then I’ve been reading one other poem from various collections we have. But although it’s been fun, it’s been a little haphazard as well. Taking Cindy Rollins’ advice, I got The Classic Hundred Poems by William Harmon. There are 100 poems (duh) with a page of historical and literary explanation for each poem. It’s just enough to provide some foundation for the poem, which is an aspect we were lacking. On Friday, I read the new poem and the background information. Then we add a simple reading of the poem throughout the week. So far, this seems to be working well. I really like the selection Harmon assembled, and the girls still use the various collected anthologies to pick their own poems to memorize. The boys have poems to memorize as a part of their language arts curriculum.
So that’s where we are with our fine arts. I think we’ll keep this pattern through the summer. I’m definitely going to keep morning time/the þing, but we’re going to drop Plutarch for the summer and go with some more relaxed read-alouds. (Harry Potter, for example.)
*Why The Poetic Edda? And what is it anyway? It’s the anonymous poetry from which most of Norse myths come from. We are fairly well-versed in Greek and Roman mythology, and, since we studied the Middle Ages this past year, I thought it would be appropriate. If you’re a fan of Tolkien (and to a lesser extent C.S. Lewis), you’ll definitely see the influence on their work. I also like the idea of regular reading longer stories in poem form. Maybe we’ll just keep rolling through epic poetry. Who knows?