Saying When and Crying Uncle

It was time to “say when” and “cry uncle” today at our house.  Posie could not bear the thought of the ‘monumental’ travel and preparation time that would cause her to have less than enough time spent on her academics and music this year, so drama is no longer on her plate, nor is it on mine.  While we will miss being with friends, old and new, the relief of going back to a quieter routine became apparent immediately.  Wiping the tears away, she studied for the morning and fell asleep for the afternoon as the pressure was finally removed.

It made me recall something I scribbled into my Commonplace Notebook years ago…

“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form of violence, perhaps the most common form of contemporary violence.  To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence.”

Thomas Merton


Co-op Week 2

Week 2:  The Lost Colony OR John White and Virginia Dare  (Writing from Notes)

Work on your writing assignment for the week each day until you complete it.

Read chapters 7-11  in The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

Study your vocabulary words.  If you are keeping a book of new words, add to it from this week’s reading of literature.

Timeline:  1565  St. Augustine, Florida is established by Spain

Commonplace Notebook:  

The following quotes are attributed to Captain John Smith:

“Win or lose you will never regret working hard, making sacrifices, being disciplined or focusing too much.  Success is measured by what we have done to prepare for competition.”

“He who does not work, will not eat.”

Find out more about the following:

The leader of the first expedition to sail all the way around the world.

The French sailor that discovered the St. Lawrence River.

The oldest city of the United States.

The first English sailor to sail all away around the world.

Unfortunately, the first English colony in America disappeared.  Find out what it was called and who established it.  HINT:  Check out Just for Fun below.

The first lasting English colony in America.

Who was the head of Jamestown?

The first form of representative government in America was established where and what was it called?

Just for fun:

Lost Colony of Roanoke (History Channel Documentary)

Monday:  The U.S.:  States & Territories 1861


English Country Dances (English music from the earliest Colonial times.)


Think of a word that describes the above music you listened to yesterday.


Think of something you can be thankful for from this week’s studies.


Finish anything you still have to do for this week’s co-op assignment and take tomorrow off.


This week’s word, quiet, was defined by Mr. Webster in the following way:

QUI’ETadjective [Latin quietus.]

1. Still; being in a state of rest; now moving. Judges 16:2.

2. Still; free from alarm or disturbance; unmolested; as a quiet life.

In his days the land was quiet ten years. 2 Chronicles 14:1.

3. Peaceable; not turbulent; not giving offense; not exciting controversy, disorder or trouble; mild; meek; contented.

The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. 1 Peter 3:4.

1 Thessalonians 4:11.

4. Calm; not agitated by wind; as a quiet sea or atmosphere.

5. Smooth; unruffled.

6. Undisturbed; unmolested; as the quiet possession or enjoyment of an estate.

7. Not crying; not restless; as a quiet child.

QUI’ETnoun [Latin quies.]

1. Rest; repose; stillness; the state of a thing not in motion.

2. Tranquility; freedom from disturbance or alarm; civil or political repose. Our country enjoys quiet

3. Peace; security. Judges 18:7.

QUI’ETverb transitive

1. To stop motion; to still; to reduce to a state of rest; as, to quiet corporeal motion.

2. To calm; to appease; to pacify; to lull; to tranquilize; as, to quiet the soul when agitated; to quiet the passions; to quiet the clamors of a nation; to quiet the disorders of a city or town.

3. To allay; to suppress; as, to quiet pain or grief.

Notice the verb transitive definitions.

This Topsy Turvy Toile needs to be quiet for a time.  It needs to stop motion and be still.  It must be calm and lulled, even tranquilized, to allay and suppress pain.  Weekly co-op posts and occasional Thursday Thanks will continue to be added, but our schedule/routine is demanding so much that I need any teeny tiny tidbits of down time for quiet.  Mr. Webster’s adjective use of quiet is exactly how I need those minutes to be described.  I’m hoping they will bring me rest, tranquility, and peace.

Just Wondering?

Wondering whether you’re qualified to teach your child, or not?  Wonder no more!  Here are some very encouraging words and even a course for finding the courage to learn right along with your children.

Nice article with additional reading suggestions, “A Thinking Love” is a short post to get your started.

From the “Parent’s Review”:  Mother’s Education Course

And, a quote for a Commonplace Notebook:

“A teaching degree is to homeschooling as a culinary degree is to Grandma’s cooking…it just can’t touch the love, care and personal standard that only she can stir in.”

-Dawn Shelton

Co-op Week 1

Week 1:  Christopher Columbus OR Europe Meets America  (Note Making & Outlines)

Work on your writing assignment for the week each day until you complete it.

Read chapters 1-6  in The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

Study your vocabulary words.  If you’d like to add even more to your working vocabulary, you can also begin keeping a book of new words you learn while reading this year’s literature.  

Timeline:  1492 Columbus discovered America.

Commonplace Notebook:  The following quotes have been attributed to Christopher Columbus.

“Riches don’t make a man rich, they only make him busier.”

“Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.”

“No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Saviour, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service.”

Find out more about the following:

The first inhabitants of this continent.

The Viking who was credited as the first European to visit North America in 1000 A.D.

What was North America called by this Viking?

Which royal person thought it was possible to sail all the way around Africa?

How did Columbus get money to pay for his voyage?

Who got credit for finding America?

Who discovered Cape Cod?

Find out something interesting about Vasco de Gama.

Our continent is named after someone other than Columbus.  Who was it?

Just for fun:

12 Strange US Geography Facts No One Told You About 

Monday:  The U.S.:  13 Colonies Map

Tuesday:  “Conquest of Paradise” (extended version), by Vangelis

(Parents, this is not an endorsement for the film, 1492.  It’s just a piece that was composed for the movie and an example of how composers can be inspired to write music based on an historical event.)


Think of a word that describes the above music that you listened to yesterday.


Think of something you can be thankful for because of the explorers you found out about this week.


Finish anything you still have to do for this week’s co-op assignment and take tomorrow off.


I’m reading a wonderful book by Montagu “Monty” Don called The Prickotty Bush.  That sent me into a binge on his inspired gardening episodes.  I’m especially enjoying his French Gardens series because it gives me practice listening to French.  Surprisingly, I’m able to keep up with much of it without looking at the subtitles.  He describes the French notion of “Terroir”, as “that specific combination of place, soil, and climate which means that one distinct place can produce a distinct onion [fill in the blank] from anywhere else.”  My heart jumped to the idea of terroir as it pertains to homeschooling.  The specific family, gifts, and habits mean that one home can produce persons distinct from anywhere else.  Très belle!

The episode that considers this concept is on gourmet gardens.  Lovely!  There are at least two other French garden episodes of which I’ve seen one.  It was about the gardens of power and passion; the fabulous history of gardening in France.  I’m looking forward to watching the one about artistic gardens, too.  Respite from this heat!

Thank You, God, for Monty Don’s willingness to share gardens and their gardeners with the rest of us.

The Path Together

I read this poem the other day in The Cloud of Witness.  It made me think of our co-op families.

     Brother, we are surely bound

On the same journey–and our eyes alike

Turn up and onward:  wherefore, now thou risest, —

Lean on mine arm, and let us for a space

Pursue the path together!  Ah, ’tis much

In this so weary pilgrimage, to meet

A royal face like thine:  to touch the hand

Of such a soul-fellow; to feel the want,

The upward-crying hunger, the desire,

The common hope and pathos!


This week’s word is ‘path’.  Mr. Webster defined it this way…

P’ATHnoun plural paths. [Gr. to tread.]

1. A way beaten or trodden by the feet of man or beast, or made hard by wheels; that part of a highway on which animals or carriages ordinarily pass; applied to the ground only, and never to a paved street in a city.

2. Any narrow way beaten by the foot.

3. The way, course or track where a body moves in the atmosphere or in space; as the path of a planet or comet; the path of a meteor.

4. A way or passage.

5. Course of life.

He marketh all my paths. Job 33:11.

6. Precepts; rules prescribed.

Uphold my going in thy paths. Psalms 17:4.

7. Course of providential dealings; moral government.

All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth to such as keep his covenant. Psalms 25:4.

P’ATHverb transitive To make a path by treading; to beat a path as in snow.

To push forward; to cause to go; to make way for.

P’ATHverb intransitive To walk abroad.

These are wonderful descriptions of the path we will pursue together this year in co-op, beginning one week from today!