April is officially our month off of school. The entire month! It is a much needed respite for both students and teacher.
But even during our school breaks we continue our morning time tradition of Gathering. It has become something my kids and I look forward to each morning. It is not really part of school anymore, so much as part of life.
What a wonderful thought!
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I created the Gathering Placemats as a sort of, no-fail solution to continuing our Gathering tradition. They are so simple to use – all you need to do is print them out (lamination recommended) and place them in front of your kids. Hopefully something will catch their eye or capture their attention. But I also write a little bit extra each month – some simple things to extend your Gathering tradition with your family.
If you have not gotten the Gathering Placemats for this month yet, I recommend you grab them over in our Shop.
April 2021 Artist – Rembrandt
The Gathering Placemats tend to follow both the term and riches schedules for Ambleside Online. The artist chosen for this term (2) by Ambleside is Rembrandt. I feel Rembrandt is one of the artists we are the most familiar with. We study him as part of Cycle 2 of Classical Conversations. And I took the time last year to create some Artist Mats for our studies of Rembrandt.
I must admit Rembrandt is one of my favorite artists of all time. There are quirks in his art which make me laugh and beauty in his brushstrokes which delight me. I am always most impressed when I look at his etchings – they are worthy of intense study! He was considered a master. And for good reason. I hope you enjoy looking at his art with your family over the next couple of Gatherings.
April 2021 Favorite
My favorite box on the April 2021 Gathering Placemats is the poem on page 3. The more we homeschool, the more we discover we are a poetry loving family. Delighting in clever rhymes or witty sayings is de rigueur in our home.
As I look over the last few months of Gatherings, I am noticing a pattern. Each of the past few months a poem has been my favorite. I am drawn to the poems.
The quality of kindness is discussed in our home daily. Now I am happy to share this beautiful poem with my kids.
I am considering putting out a selection of our favorite poems for memorization. Would this be of interest to you?
I love having a number of special read-alouds with my kids. We spend much of our days reading with one another, which makes our homeschool routine a joy, not a drudgery. This month we just started Ramona Quimby, Age 8 – we are finding it delightful so far.
My third-grader went through the bookshelves last week and created her own stack of books she wants to read aloud with me. The selections are quite varied and will take some time to get through them!
April 2021 Gathering Playlist
My favorite element of the Gathering!
You have free access to the April 2021 Gathering Playlist simply by opening Spotify (you do not have to have a paid Spotify account to hear the playlist – although I am not sure if it will have ads). We use our Google Home Device to play the playlist by saying, “Hey Google, play April 2021 Gathering playlist on Spotify, please.”
Hymns and Spiritual Songs
This month’s hymn is “I Will Sing of My Redeemer.” Ambleside Online, whose hymn schedule I follow, recommends it for April. I selected the Fernando Ortega version of this hymn because it is a favorite from years ago. However, I prefer to sing the song more up tempo and with more feeling. I say it all the time, but the song leader at my very first church, sang with such enthusiasm. It is hard to capture those songs as I remember them.
As always, the Gathering Playlist includes both a vocal and an instrumental version of the hymn. This is intended for families to sing together to the instrumental, having just heard the vocals.
Also included on the Gathering Playlist for this month two Scripture songs to go along with this month’s Bible verse and the poem on the front of the placemats. I do hope your family enjoys these songs!
Ambleside Online’s recommended folk song for this month is a relatively new song for me. “Brown Girl in the Ring” is a Caribbean traditional song.
I put together a page for my kids to read the lyrics and color (if they like). So, I thought I would share it with you. You can download it instantly here. The song is also meant for dancing. A good description of the moves, which are pretty self-explanatory, is here.
The Classical selections this term are from George Frideric Handel. This term the artist – Rembrandt – and the composer fit a little better than the previous term.
I recently found a copy of the Handel edition of Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers. My youngest has been asking daily to read it. So we are learning lots about Handel as we listen to his music.
April 2021 Gathering Answers
Scroll no more, the answers are here!
A Nursery Rhyme Riddle (page 3) – a needle
Instrument study (page 4) – this is the harp. The strings on the harp are a bit deceptive as far as classifying it in the orchestra. Although it has strings, it is a member of the percussion family because of the way it is played – by plucking. I included Handel’s Concerto for Harp and Orchestra in the Gathering Playlist, so our kids can recognize the harp.
What Am I? (page 6) – the Bible
Geography Drill (page 6) – countries located in the Levant are Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria; the Red Sea is south of the Levant.
I pray God’s richest blessings on you and your family as you enjoy the April 2021 Gathering!