Thursday, April 29, 2010
You know that feeling when everything just suddenly and miraculously falls into place in homeschooling-- when the kids are truly impassioned and learning and excited, and it just seems so easy?
It doesn't happen all the time. I mean, we regularly have a lot of fun and we learn things and we get excited, but once in awhile we experience these truly golden moments where everything clicks and feels perfect. And in those golden moments every fiber of my being knows without a doubt that we're meant to be doing exactly this. There's no self-doubt or worry or any of those creeping voices that gnaw away at the back of my brain. In those moments there is only pure delight.
We experienced one of those moments last week.
Moonshine started on her Saints block and she couldn't be more delighted about it. I remember Sunburst enjoying her Saints block a few years ago, but Moonshine is just over the moon about it. We're using a few different materials this time around-- starting with Tomie dePaola's book Francis: Poor Man of Assisi. I love Tomie dePaola. I love this book, and now, after reading it, I love St. Francis even more.
Moonshine was so moved by his stories that she started drawing them on her own. For fun. With block crayons. One morning last week she delightedly presented me with this picture:
When your child is so moved by a story that they wander off and draw a picture without you, you know you have something special. What's a mom to do? I brought out her new main lesson book and asked her to paste it in. Then we forged ahead. I took a few days to tell the stories from dePaola's book, and it also carried us through St. Clare and Brother Jacopa. Though Jacopa de Settesoli is not a saint, she's my absolute favorite so far! I don't think a tale of St. Francis is complete without her.
We even made up a batch of her famous "cakes" that St. Francis loved so much. They were so simple and delicious that we've made them three times since last week! I omitted the drying time from what is believed to be the original recipe and used unblanched almonds, just to make them easier. We cut ours into squares and put crosses on them. Here's the recipe that Moonshine pasted into her book:
Brother Jacopa's Cakes / Mostaccioli
1/4 c honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c ground almonds
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 egg white (or egg replacer)
Mix and knead well. Roll out dough between baking paper, and cut into shapes. Bake at 250 F for 20-30 minutes. Makes 18 small cookies.
Moonshine also announced last week that she "loves drawing with block crayons" and she's "addicted" to drawing with them. Admittedly, they are difficult at times, but her sudden and overflowing love for them just blew me away.
We've moved on from St. Francis to St. Elizabeth of Hungary. I wish I could say that I loved my resource for that story, but I don't. The more I research her online, the more I realize that the story I told Sunburst, though lovely, wasn't exactly accurate. Nor was the version of St. Francis and St. Clare that I told her using the same resource. It really bothers me, but I'm wondering, should I care? If it moves a child's heart, does it matter if the details are messed up?
What do you guys think? Please leave a comment, as I would really love to know.