A Nature Walk, A Book Recommendation, and A Playlist

The past few weeks have been a blur of home improvement, homeschool planning for the next year, and health concerns with a few of our kids.  There have also been more work-related needs for both Michael and I, so it’s been difficult to carve out the time to write.  As much as is in my heart right now, I doubt I’ll have time to drain out the words in full today.  I’m not even bothering to edit photos or be a “proper blogger” about this post.

 I’ll begin with a book recommendation for youth lit.
I read this book last night, and while I didn’t cry, it was a fantastic book to introduce topics of grief and loss to children.  It’s written from a perspective of a dog who had been rescued by a poet and begins with the introduction that dogs speak, but only children and poets can hear and understand them.  I’ll have my kids read this one when they’re a little bit older, maybe 3rd or 4th grade.  My oldest could read it right now, but as our family has multiple melody lines of grief woven into its song, I’m cautious about when and where to introduce those topics in the media our family consumes.
Secondly, I’ll share you something else I’ve been working on: Our folk song playlist for the next school year. While I love and adore the free homeschool curriculum that we use, and I’ve seen it working and the value of the curriculum, it is fairly eurocentric in ideology.   Since our family will be interacting with people from all around the world as part of our missions work, I wanted to make it easy for my kids to have common ground with other children they meet.  Music is one way I can do that.
This year, along with extra reads about other cultures, I chose our folk songs from 16 or 17 different countries.  I’m still scouting about for Syrian and Middle-Eastern folk songs.  Later on this week I’ll be adding in Native American songs, African American spirituals, and French folk songs.
I incorporate our folk music throughout the day as well as our hymns and composer study.  I have them sing our current hymn and folk song each morning, but I play the entire playlists throughout the day every day, so that by the end of the school year, they’re already anticipating the next song to be chosen.
Here’s the playlist.  I’ll continue to be adding to it.  (Of note: some of the recordings aren’t the greatest; I’m trying to find replacements, but it’s more difficult than you think.)

Next week, I hope to be done entirely with our plans for 2017-2018 school year.  (With an international move thrown in there to hijack all of my plans, I’m sure.  And hopeful.)

 

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