Kicking off the new school year? We started last week, doing just a couple of subjects to start: math and language. We had a few little one-room-schoolhouse things we needed to get done, too. Of course, we also did our Gathering in the mornings. It is such an integral part of our day.
The September 2020 Gathering is going to be SO good! As I look back over the beauty of these simple placemats, I get so excited to share them with my kids. One of the best parts of creating the entire year’s Gathering placemats in the summer is the breathing room provided. I get them all ready, edited, printed, laminated, and then I put them aside until the first day of the new month.
When I get them out again, I glory in the way God has directed the placement of each of these little boxes, placing them just at the right time in our walk with Him, our journey through homeschool, to reach us. I take no credit for the goodness, truth, and beauty they contain. I simply curated and edited them.
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Gathering: September 2020 Extras
The Gathering Placemats are intended to be a sufficient for the month. There are riches enough there to give your children room to study them, rehearse them, grow to love them.
I have noticed there are things my kids will grow interested in and want to go a bit deeper. Thus, I create some extras each month to fill out the Gathering in spots. These Extras are just that – extra. Feel free to take or leave any of these suggestions as you Gather with your family.
I am so excited to have found a Fanny Crosby biography for my kids and me to listen to! I love Fanny Crosby’s hymns! There are just so many good ones to chose from it is hard to pick a favorite. This month’s hymn, “Blessed Assurance,” is such a wonderful hymn to teach our hearts to sing. The version I found for the Gathering Playlist (discussed below) is so good!
I found two Fanny Crosby biographies – one for a little bit older kids and the other for all ages. I saved both of them to my Scribd account! The first is called Fanny Crosby: The Hymn Writer by Bernard Ruffan. The other, Fanny Crosby: The Blind Girls Song by Lucille Travis, is part of the Trail Blazers series of books for kids. They are a set of Christian biographies about heroes of the faith. This is the one I found on Scribd in audiobook form. I think I will try to put it on in the car this month.
If you are interested in doing a hymn study with your family this year, you may want to invest in the wonderful course Great Hymns of the Faith from Music in Our Homeschool. It has in-depth studies of individual hymns (including Blessed Assurance). In each hymn study, you will find:
- videos of the hymn
- the story of the hymn
- instruction in how to sing the different parts(!!!)- so your whole family can sing together
- a music lesson
- copywork pages and coloring
- a devotional, and
- a Bible study based on the hymn
I have this course and am looking forward to sharing it with my kids this month for Blessed Assurance.
Titian is the artist of this term. The Gathering Placemats feature his work from September through November. I must say, before I curated these placemats I was not familiar with Titian. But I prefer him to Leonardo da Vinci as a Renaissance painter. There is opportunity to share the connection between the Renaissance artists with your kids this month. One of this month’s paintings, “The Supper at Emmaus” is obviously influenced by da Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last Supper.” If you already have the entire year set of Gathering Placemats, go ahead and do a side-by-side comparison of these two paintings. (“The Last Supper” is included in the February 2021 Gathering)
Since Titian is featured for three months, your students may become interested to know more about Titian over the next few months. I recommend he be studied as a member of a Renaissance artists. The book The Renaissance Artists: With History Projects for Kids by Diane C. Taylor is a great resource. It is also available on Scribd. I also found an amazing resource to add a bit of art to every homeschool day this fall. From Enrichment Studies, it is called Daily Art and this Fall’s schedule is full of Renaissance artists and art projects. Check it out if you want to add a little extra to your homeschool this season.
Gathering: September 2020 Playlist
The opportunity to curate the playlist for each month’s Gathering is possibly my favorite thing to do. I love putting a song in our collective family heart. I love discussing the hymns and songs with my kids. Exposing them to Classical music which intrigues them is pretty cool, too.
I create the Gathering Playlists on Spotify each month. You do not need to have a paid account to listen to the Playlists (but there may be some ads on the free version – I get no revenue from Spotify). We find it convenient to tell our Google Home device to “Play September 2020 Gathering Playlist on Spotify.” We do not have an Alexa device, so I cannot attest to being able to do the same thing through that device.
As I mentioned above the hymn “Blessed Assurance” is highlighted this month. The tune is irresistible, so your kids will likely be singing this one within a couple of days of listening to and reading it.
I included a vocal version which I found lovely. It is hard to pick just the right version sometimes – especially for popular recordings. Then there is an instrumental version, so the kids can get used to singing it themselves to music.
The Ambleside Online folk songs have come to be one of the favorite inclusions in our Gathering Playlists. I am still singing some of last years! This month the selection is “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” A song associated with the Underground Railroad, the version I included in the list has a resonance which I loved. If you are interested in sharing a bit more about the Underground Railroad and the Drinking Gourd with your kids, I recommend these two books: Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter and The Drinking Gourd by F.N. Monjo (this is an I Can Read Book, great for early readers).
I couldn’t resist including another folk song in the Playlist this month. The text is included on the placemats. “Children Go Where I Send Thee” is a cumulative song (similar to the 12 Days of Christmas), so it is fun to sing. And hearing the version of it I picked will help you to understand how to sing it. Although this is not my favorite version of it, I included this one because my favorite (here) is a combination of Children Go Where I Send Thee and another folk song (included in another Gathering this year).
Since we follow the Ambleside Online riches schedule, the composers for this Term include Richard Wagner (vahg-ner). If you are not familiar with Wagner’s works, you might be surprised to hear familiar themes.
This month I included the “Ride of the Valkyries” from his most famous work, The Ring of the Nibelung. It is based on Norse mythology. So, if you have a kid who is interested in Norse myth, I recommend you peruse Explore Norse Myths with 25 Great Projects together (also available on Scribd).
The Valkyries piece is followed by Siegfried Idyll, a piece composed for Wagner’s son on the occasion of his birth. It includes a hint of a German lullaby “Schlaf, Kindlein, Schlaf” (Translated “Sleep, dear child, sleep”). The hint is introduced by the oboe. Challenge your kids to listen for the oboe part that sounds like a lullaby. If they need a little bit of extra help, play this version for them.
Gathering: September 2020 Answers
Now, what you have been scrolling for – The ANSWERS to the hard questions on the Gathering Placemats! There are only a couple this month.
Page 2, Who Am I – feet
Page 3, Find the Patterns – top: 80, 95, 110, 125, 140; bottom: 254, 510, 1022, 2046, 4094
Blessings on your Gathering this month!