The March 2021 Gathering might be my favorite Gathering from this school year! I simply love so much of the material covered by these placemats. When I discovered the artist – Boris Kustodiev – I knew I had to share his colorful artwork with my kids! The Russian theme sort of developed from there.
While the Gathering playlist is a bit eclectic this month, it also includes some of my absolute favorites, too. What a way to wind down the school year. I hope you and your family enjoy this month as much as I do!
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I created the Gathering Placemats as a sort of, no-fail solution to continuing our Gathering tradition, even during difficult weeks and months. 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.
March 2021 Artist – Boris Kustodiev
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 Leonardo da Vinci. But I just couldn’t bring myself to add more Leonardo da Vinci works to this term. See my thoughts on the artist from Vinci in the previous month’s Gathering.
I was searching through various websites last year as I was creating the Gathering Placemats and I found Boris Kustodiev’s works. Because they were so colorful and lively, they caught my eye. As I examined his work closer, I realized they would be a perfect fit for the music of this term from the Russian masters.
I could have included countless options of his work. This month will hopefully serve as a modest introduction to him. If you are looking to see more of his work, I recommend perusing this website. As always, you may want to preview the art before opening up the page with your kids. I do hope you and your kids enjoy him as much as I do.
March 2021 Favorite
My favorite box on the March 2021 Gathering Placemats is the poem on the front of the placemats. 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.
I know I said my favorite last month was the poem, too. I can’t help it! “The Arrow and the Song” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is such a delightful poem to ponder. It reminds me of one of my favorite songs by Josh Ritter, too.
I am considering putting out a selection of our favorite poems for memorization. Would this be of interest to you?
On our way to Awana the other night, we had an interesting conversation about salvation. We talked about our relationship with God the Father and Jesus, His Son. We also talked about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives in Christ. It is hard stuff to contemplate. Even harder stuff to explain.
That is why I am thankful for the simple catechism we do in our home. This month’s catechism addresses some of the questions about salvation – adoption and sanctification – which we all have. Simple questions and simple answers are a wonderful foundation for further understanding and study.
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 are reading Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Lawson with the big girls – it is an absolute delight so far!
We have been looking at the Periodic Table of Elements this term through our Classical Conversations community. We are also reading The Secret of Everyday Things by Jean Henri Fabre this term with my 3rd grader. It fits nicely into the discussion of the elements. We are using the beautiful visuals of this book to further our interests. There is a simple box on the placemats this month to help us understand our memory work regarding the Periodic Table.
March 2021 Gathering Playlist
This last month, my kids were big fans of the Gathering Playlist. It was fun to hear them talking about their favorites and telling stories based on the music.
You have free access to the March 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 March 2021 Gathering playlist on Spotify, please.”
Hymns and Spiritual Songs
This month’s hymn is “Alas, and Did my Savior Bleed” also known as “At the Cross.” Ambleside Online, whose hymn schedule I follow, recommends it for March. I always love having the opportunity to share one of my favorite artists with my kids. This month’s hymn and folk song offer me that blessing.
I can still remember a song coming on a few years ago and my oldest asking, “Is this Johnny Cash?” My heart just soared. The way we share our music with our kids matters. These types of artists, now passed, need to remain in the consciousness of the generations to come.
Also included on the Gathering Playlist for this month is a great Scripture song to go along with this month’s Bible verse. Songs are such a wonderful way to hide the Word in our hearts!
Ambleside Online’s recommended folk song for this month might be a hackneyed song for us. But our kids have likely not experienced it! Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore is actually a Civil War era song, adapted from an African-American spiritual.
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.
March’s Gathering Placemats also include a Russian folk song – Kalinka. I included a lively instrumental version on the playlist.
The Classical selections this term are from the Mighty Russian Five. Again the choice is from Ambleside Online’s riches schedule, so the fact that it does not correlate with the artist (da Vinci) is odd to me. However, since I switched the artist to Boris Kustodiev this month, I think the Modest Mussorgsky fits rather nicely.
As a family, we have discovered a love of Russian music this term! Last month my kids enjoyed dancing along with the Classical music selections. We took the time to look up the Polovtsian dances and they were delighted to discover many of their “creative” dances looked like the dances on stage.
This month the entire Classical selections are taken from Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. I recommend you tell your students the songs are a collection of paintings exhibited at an art museum. Ask them if they can describe the painting based on the music they hear. Or better yet, draw it.
March 2021 Gathering Answers
Scroll no more, the answers are here!
Instrument study (page 3) – this is the oboe. If your kids want to hear the oboe, I recommend the theme from Swan Lake. We watched it this past month and enjoyed it very much! We also enjoy listening to the Maestro Classics version of it – we love all the Maestro classics recordings!
Skip Counting and Time Telling (page 6) – we love skip counting around here! The basic skip counts of the clock are 1, 5, 15. If you are looking for more skip counting resources, I recommend this article.
I pray God’s richest blessings on you and your family as you enjoy the March 2021 Gathering!