Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Treasure

Quite some time ago, my mom found this and gave it to me. At first glance I thought it was a very old photo album and expected to see some old pictures upon opening it. That would have been a treasure, but what I did find was even more special.

On the inside front cover is written my Dad's name, with "First Grade" under it. This must have been written by an adult. My first thought was that my Dad's mom put some of his school work in here, but a lot of the works are written directly onto the scrap book pages so maybe it was done at school. I've kept this book on top of my dresser and consider it a very special memory of my Dad, who died when I was six. I wish you could see the writing more clearly. The little stories are darling and I'm surprised to see cursive in first grade.

I recently took this little scrapbook off my dresser and looked through it again. I am so thankful for this simple little link to my Dad. It made me think about my kid's own school work. Will they have something as beautiful as this to hand down to their kids? ... Not really.

I actually save quite a bit of their work, but it is in boxes, all labeled by grade, so that if I need to prove their education I will have more than enough to do so. But I've been thinking more about having them put their work into special notebooks that they decorate and put their own personality into.

On several homeschool blogs that I read, Commonplace Books are a hot topic. I find, that in many ways, they are actually similiar to this book of my Dad's. Here are a couple of sites that have examples:

These are examples of notebooks for Religion in a homeschool:
(This mom's blog is absolutely beautiful!) Scroll down to see how she teaches her children to created borders around each page.

Here are some examples of notebooks for Language Arts: (Scroll down to see how color, adding borders, and shading the pages help to make the study of Language Arts a little more artistic!)

This is actually not a blog but the work of several moms who got together and came up with this site, full of very creative and beautiful ideas for educating children.

The books that these children are making are going to be true treasures for their own children someday.

There are other reasons that I'm going to add a bit of this to our school day next year. Mostly for the product, but also for the process. I think my three school aged children at home will really love this. Night Owl might not have ... although I'm not sure, I never tried it with him. The other three draw, color and paint all the time though. This will allow them to use this love for "artistic pursuits" as part of their school day, incorporating it into subjects other than art.


Katherine said...

This is such a beautiful post and the lesson book created by your father is so special. What an inspiration that must be.

As I was growing up my grandmother would show me my mother's lesson books. They were simple, but in the pages she had the opportunity to influence the work with her own personality. As a child I always thought my worksheets seemed like a poor substitute for what my mother created. Our children's main lesson books were definitely inspired by my mother's lesson books. I think it's a re-discovery of a classic way of recording learning and very appealing to a child. I have found that my children already love them enough to repeatedly pour back through them. That built in review is a real benefit.

Hope to see photos of your children's original creations.

With love in Christ,

Aliadelaide said...

Thank you for sharing this!It is wonderful to hear how both you and Katherine were so beautifully influenced in your homeschooling by a parent.I loved the pictures of your dad's scrapbook and like you I love visiting Katherine's blog for inspiration.