We are limping into the last month of our winter term around here. Literally limping. I broke and sprained my ankle at the end of January and have been sporting a boot for what feels like ages. It is amazing how much life has changed by the ankle of one of us.
It feels like we have just had to cut everything down to the basic basics. And homeschool has been the priority because I don’t want to make my children suffer because I am down. We haven’t left the house for a whole lot of stuff other than our community day and Awana. I have driven our car a number of times, but we have just become homebodies in a major way.
The arrival of S-P-R-I-N-G! this month will hopefully breath freshness into our home that is palpable!
While all things feel like they have come to a stop, our Gathering is still going strong! Praise God for His provision of time to have finished them all before the school year. I feel like we are off in all other aspects, but we are still going strong with our Gathering!
It is made easy by the fact that I simply have to lay the feast for my kids to enjoy. The conversations and the connections are natural. The memorizing of hymns and poetry almost second nature. Oh, how I love our Gathering!
Let’s look at this month’s Gathering
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March 2020 Gathering
I cannot think of a more appropriate poem to lead off the Gathering this month than “Day Well Spent” by George Elliot. Sometimes we all need the reminder of what is truly important in life is: relationship! I have been especially aware of the way that kindness needs to be a part of our family culture lately. We love each other immensely, but a reminder to be kind also seems to be necessary on a minute by minute basis. I am going to encourage my children to memorize this poem and try to think of ways they can be “sunshine” in each other’s lives this month.
I am considering adding some fun little projects to our homeschool this month to explore kinetic and potential energy. The possibilities are endless and simple. I am excited to try this project and some simple chain reactions. Time to break out the neglected dominoes and Rummikub tiles!
March 2020 Gathering Playlist
February had one of our most successful playlists ever! My musically inclined little guy (4 years old) absolutely LOVED the songs. It is so sweet to hear him singing the songs to himself when he is at play. His enthusiasm for each month’s playlist drives me to make it as wonderful as I can each month.
The hymn for March is “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” I have found it a hard one to translate for kids into a great listening experience. I know older kids will appreciate it a bit more. But I did find a vocal and an instrumental version I really liked.
Spending some time this month talking about the language and meaning of this hymn is a good idea. For younger kids, defining terms would be helpful. For older kids, digging into the meaning of the verses would be a fun exercise.
To expand on the hymn this month, I recommend Then Sings My Soul – a wonderful book with hymn histories and trivia. Another fun extension is the book Trial and Triumph – the chapter on Luther. Alternatively, the book Courage and Conviction has a truly engaging story of Luther which enriches our understanding of him.
I simply love the addition of folksongs to our Gathering playlists! The selections are taken from the Ambleside Online schedule, so they are almost always new to me, too. This month’s Irish folksong “Health to the Company” is definitely going to be a favorite.
I added a Scripture song taken from Psalm 46 – so good to have in our hearts! For a bit of whimsy, I added a French counting song. We have been getting a bit Francophile around here lately – mostly pretending to speak in French accents. But this month’s Gathering placemats do have some French counting and it helps to hear a native speaker say the words.
This is our last month with the composer Paganini. He is the Term 2 composer in the Ambleside Online schedule for this year. I have enjoyed his works these past two months and I hope you have too! This months selections include La Campanella. My husband introduced me to these YouTube videos of piano selections with a sort of Guitar Hero video game vibe. Our kids have really enjoyed them. I found one by our favorite YouTube piano-video game mash-upper (can you believe that is a thing?). Share it with your kids here.
March 2020 Gathering Answers
Here are the much sought after answers to the unanswered questions on the placemats this month.
Page 3: Instrument Study: this is a flute, a member of the woodwinds family of the orchestra, a wonderful introduction to the flute is here. If your kids are becoming more interested in the orchestra because of these instrument studies, A Child’s Introduction to the Orchestra might be a wonderful addition to your bookshelves.
Page 6: Geography Drill: this country is Germany. It is bordered by Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, France, Netherlands, and Luxembourg! It is also bordered by the Baltic and North seas.
Page 6: Who Am I?: an envelope. This idea for a handicraft might be perfect for kids who are interested in hands-on projects.