Posted in My Life

Blythe Jasper

'Tulip Culture' by George Hitchcock, 1889

In loving memory of

Blythe Jasper,

Born into the arms of Jesus on Sunday, July 17, 2016, at 5:45 p.m.,

At the age of 8 weeks’ gestation.

~ Deeply missed. Forever loved. ~

Blythe: 

“Happy, Blythe, Cheerful, Carefree”

“But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.”

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

Jasper:

“Treasure Keeper, Treasurer”

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)


“And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21)

“I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23)

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens…Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-8)

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14)

“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39)

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27,28)

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13,14)

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51,52)

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:3,4)

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:26)

 

Posted in Reading & Literature, Subject English

100 + Whole-Hearted Books To Fight Back the Culture

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A great list of books from Deep Roots at Home:

100 + Whole-Hearted Books To Fight Back the Culture

Posted in Homeschooling, Nature Study, Our Adventures, Subject Science

Our Painted Lady Flop

Vanessa cardui MHNT CUT 2013 3 14 Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers

For the past couple of months, Delightful, 9, has been reading Apologia science texts for fun.  When she read through Zoology I, she exclaimed that she reaaaaaaaaaaaallly wanted to try to hatch a caterpillar into a butterfly.  Thankfully, Delightful’s grandmother was able to purchase some Painted Lady caterpillars and a butterfly house at our local teacher store.  We had high hopes for our caterpillar-hatching adventure.  I’m sad to report, though, that the whole thing was a flop.

At the start of our adventure, we received a cup containing five living, wriggling little caterpillars.  Four were around half a cm long and one was at least double the size of all the rest.  All seemed well and good.  The caterpillars had plenty of food, a quiet place to eat, and plenty of room to move around.

Our instructions told us to clean the waste out of the cup 6-8 days after we received it.  When we went to do so, two of the little guys had already died.  They had curled up into little tiny “c” shapes for no apparent reason.  At the same time, one caterpillar was enormous — at least two cm long.  A second was slightly smaller, maybe a little over one cm.  The third remaining one was still very active but didn’t seem to have grown at all.  We were confident we’d have at least one butterfly by the end of the process.

About a week later, none of the caterpillars had tried to make a chrysalis.  They all seemed to be moving around and eating, but that was about it.  Then, one morning, Delightful came down from her room in tears, telling me that something was wrong with her caterpillars.  I took a look.  The little one that never seemed to grow had disappeared.  We never did find it.  The medium one was still alive and was moving around on the lid of the container.  A good sign.  However, the enormous caterpillar was at the bottom of the container – in pieces.  It looked like it had exploded into a big pile of mush and jelly.  Not good.  We cleaned out the mush and unsuccessfully tried to find the little third caterpillar.  We hoped that the single remaining caterpillar would make it to the butterfly stage.

No such “luck.”

Two days later, the remaining caterpillar, which was about two cm long, died.  We noticed when we went to check on it and discovered that it was all stiff and no longer moving.  We left it in case it was trying to shed its skin since some articles on the internet said that caterpillars stay still when doing so.  Unfortunately, that was not the situation for our last chance at a butterfly.  It was dead, dead, dead.  So was our hope of succeeding with this science mission.

And so, our attempt at hatching five caterpillars ended with zero living and no butterflies.  The teacher store doesn’t know if it can get any more caterpillars in this season.  My little scientist is devastated.  On the bright side, though, Grandma knows where to get some monarch caterpillars with a plant to hatch in the fall.  So now we are looking forward to getting more wiggly pets and a chance to finally use our butterfly habitat!

 

 

Posted in Reading & Literature, Subject English

The Increased Rage For Novel Reading!

Adelaide-Claxton Wonderland2

A look back at an older perspective on novels:

The increasing rage for novel reading!

(Theodore Cuyler)

Fiction has often been a wholesome relief to a good man’s overworked and weary brain. Many of the recent popular novels are wholesome in their tone, and the historical type often instructive.

Exclusive reading of novels is to a person’s mind — just what highly spiced food and alcoholic stimulants are to the body. The chief objection to the best of them, is that they excite a distaste in the mind for any serious reading. The increasing rage for novel reading betokens both a famine in the intellect, and a serious peril to the mental and spiritual life.

The honest truth is — that too large a number of today’s fictitious works are subtle poison. The plots of some of the most popular novels are based on immorality, and the violation in some form of the seventh commandment.

They kindle evil passions;

they varnish and veneer vice;

they deride marital purity;

they uncover what ought to be hidden;

they paint in attractive hues — what never ought to be seen by any pure eye, or named by any modest tongue.

Two of the perils which threaten American youths, are a licentious theater and a poisonous literature. One  who has examined many of the novels printed during the last decade, said to me: “The main purpose of many of these books is to knock away the underpinning of the marriage relation of the Bible.”

If parents give house-room to trashy or corrupt books, they cannot be surprised if their children give heart-room to “the world, the flesh, and the devil.” When interesting and profitable books are so abundant and so cheap, this increasing rage for novels is to me, one of the sinister signs of the times!

“Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness!” 2 Timothy 2:22

[Editor’s note: One can only wonder what Culyer would say about the immoral and insipid media which paralyze, pollute and poison the minds and hearts of the vast majority of professing Christians today!]

Source: http://www.gracegems.org/2013/11/novel.html

Posted in Family & Parenting, Spiritual Upbringing

A Father’s Resolutions by Cotton Mather

Cotton MatherPARENTS, Oh! how much ought you to be continually devising for the good of your children! Often device how to make them “wise children”; how to give them a desirable education, an education that may render them desirable; how to render them lovely and polite, and serviceable in their generation. Often devise how to enrich their minds with valuable knowledge; how to instill generous, gracious, and heavenly principles into their minds; how to restrain and rescue them from the paths of the destroyer, and fortify them against their peculiar temptations. There is a world of good that you have to do for them. You are without the natural feelings of humanity if you are not in a continual agony to do for them all the good that ever you can. It was no mistake of an ancient writer to say, “Nature teaches us to love our children as ourselves.”

RESOLVED—

  1. At the birth of my children, I will resolve to do all I can that they may be the Lord’s. I will now actually give them up by faith to God; entreating that each child may be a child of God the Father, a subject of God the Son, a temple of God the Spirit—and be rescued from the condition of a child of wrath, and be possessed and employed by the Lord as an everlasting instrument of His glory.
  2. As soon as my children are capable of minding my admonitions, I will often, often admonish them, saying, “Child, God has sent His son to die, to save sinners from death and hell. You must not sin against Him. You must every day cry to God that He would be your Father, and your Saviour, and your Leader. You must renounce the service of Satan, you must not follow the vanities of this world, you must lead a life of serious religion.
  3. Let me daily pray for my children with constancy, with fervency, with agony. Yea, by name let me mention each one of them every day before the Lord. I will importunately beg for all suitable blessings to be bestowed upon them: that God would give them grace, and give them glory, and withhold no good thing from them; that God would smile on their education, and give His good angels the charge over them, and keep them from evil, that it may not grieve them; that when their father and mother shall forsake them, the Lord may take them up. With importunity I will plead that promise on their behalf: “The Heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit unto them that ask Him.” Oh! happy children, if by asking I may obtain the Holy Spirit for them!
  4. I will early entertain the children with delightful stories out of the Bible. In the talk of the table, I will go through the Bible, when the olive-plants about my table are capable of being so watered. But I will always conclude the stories with some lessons of piety to be inferred from them.
  5. I will single out some Scriptural sentences of the greatest importance; and some also that have special antidotes in them against the common errors and vices of children. They shall quickly get those golden sayings by heart, and be rewarded with silver or gold, or some good thing, when they do it. Such as,
    • Psalm 11:10—”The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
    • Matthew 16:26—”What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
    • 1 Timothy 1:15—”Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
    • Matthew 6:6—”When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.”
    • Ephesians 4:25—”Putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour.”
    • Romans 12:17, 19—”Recompense to no man evil for evil . . .. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves.”
  6. Jewish treatise tells us that among the Jews, when a child began to speak, the father was bound to teach him Deuteronomy 33:4—”Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob.” Oh! let me early make my children acquainted with the Law which our blessed Jesus has commanded us! ‘Tis the best inheritance I can give them.
  7. I will cause my children to learn the Catechism. In catechizing them, I will break the answers into many lesser and proper questions; and by their answer to them, observe and quicken their understandings. I will bring every truth into some duty and practice, and expect them to confess it, and consent unto it, and resolve upon it. As we go on in our catechizing, they shall, when they are able, turn to the proofs and read them, and say to me what they prove and how. Then, I will take my times, to put nicer and harder questions to them; and improve the times of conversation with my family (which every man ordinarily has or may have) for conferences on matters of religion.
  8. Restless will I be till I may be able to say of my children, “Behold, they pray!” I will therefore teach them to pray. But after they have learnt a form of prayer, I will press them to proceed unto points that are not in their form. I will charge them with all possible cogency to pray in secret; and often call upon them, “Child, I hope, you don’t forget my charge to you, about secret prayer: your crime is very great if you do!”
  9. I will do what I can very early to beget a temper of kindness in my children, both toward one another and toward all other people. I will instruct them how ready they should be to share with others a part of what they have; and they shall see my encouragements when they discover a loving, a courteous, an helpful disposition. I will give them now and then a piece of money, so that with their own little hands they may dispense unto the poor. Yea, if any one has hurt them, or vexed them, I will not only forbid them all revenge, but also oblige them to do a kindness as soon as may be to the vexatious person. All coarseness of language or carriage in them, I will discountenance.
  10. I will be solicitous to have my children expert, not only at reading handsomely, but also at writing a fair hand. I will then assign them such books to read as I may judge most agreeable and profitable; obliging them to give me some account of what they read; but keep a strict eye upon them, that they don’t stumble on the Devil’s library, and poison themselves with foolish romances, or novels, or plays, or songs, or jests that are not convenient. I will set them also, to write out such things as may be of the greatest benefit unto them; and they shall have their blank books, neatly kept on purpose, to enter such passages as I advise them to. I will particularly require them now and then to write a prayer of their own composing, and bring it unto me; that so I may discern what sense they have of their own everlasting interests.
  11. I wish that my children may as soon as may be, feel the principles of reason and honor working in them—and that I may carry on their education, very much upon those principles. Therefore, first, I will wholly avoid that harsh, fierce, crabbed usage of the children that would make them tremble and abhor to come into my presence. I will treat them so that they shall fear to offend me, and yet mightily love to see me, and be glad of my coming home if I have been abroad at any time. I will have it looked upon as a severe and awful punishment to be forbidden for awhile to come into my presence. I will raise in them an high opinion of their father’s love to them, and of his being better able to judge what is good for them than they are for themselves. I will bring them to believe ’tis best for them to be and do as I will have them. Hereupon I will continually magnify the matter to them, what a brave thing ’tis to know the things that are excellent; and more brave to do the things that are virtuous. I will have them to propose it as a reward of their well-doing at any time, I will now go to my father, and he will teach me something that I was never taught before. I will have them afraid of doing any base thing, from an horror of the baseness in it. My first response to finding a lesser fault in them shall be a surprise, a wonder, vehemently expressed before them, that ever they should be guilty of doing so foolishly; a vehement belief that they will never do the like again; a weeping resolution in them, that they will not. I will never dispense a blow, except it be for an atrocious crime or for a lesser fault obstinately persisted in; either for an enormity, or for an obstinacy. I will always proportion the chastisements to the miscarriages; neither smiting bitterly for a very small piece of childishness nor frowning only a little for some real wickedness. Nor shall my chastisement ever be dispensed in a passion and a fury; but I will first show them the command of God, by transgressing whereof they have displeased me. The slavish, raving, fighting way of discipline is too commonly used. I look upon it as a considerable article in the wrath and curse of God upon a miserable world.
  12. As soon as we can, we’ll get up to yet higher principles. I will often tell the children what cause they have to love a glorious Christ, who has died for them. And how much He will be well-pleased with their well-doing. And what a noble thing ’tis to follow His example; which example I will describe unto them. I will often tell them that the eye of God is upon them; the great God knows all they do and hears all they speak. I will often tell them that there will be a time when they must appear before the Judgment-Seat of the holy Lord; and they must now do nothing that may then be a grief and shame unto them. I will set before them the delights of that Heaven that is prepared for pious children; and the torments of that Hell that is prepared of old for naughty ones. I will inform them of the good things the good angels do for little ones that have the fear of God and are afraid of sin. And how the devils tempt them to do ill things; how they hearken to the devils, and are like them, when they do such things; and what mischiefs the devils may get leave to do them in this world, and what a sad thing ’twill be, to be among the devils in the Place of Dragons. I will cry to God, that He will make them feel the power of these principles.
  13. When the children are of a fit age for it, I will sometimes closet them; have them with me alone; talk with them about the state of their souls; their experiences, their proficiencies, their temptations; obtain their declared consent unto every jot nd tittle of the gospel; and then pray with them, and weep unto the Lord for His grace, to be bestowed upon them, and make them witnesses of the agony with which I am travailing to see the image of Christ formed in them. Certainly, they’ll never forget such actions!
  14. I will be very watchful and cautious about the companions of my children. I will be very inquisitive what company they keep; if they are in hazard of being ensnared by any vicious company, I will earnestly pull them out of it, as brands out of the burning. I will find out, and procure, laudable companions for them.
  15. As in catechizing the children, so in the repetition of the public sermons, I will use this method. I will put every truth into a question to be answered with Yes or No. By this method I hope to awaken their attention as well as enlighten their understanding. And thus I shall have an opportunity to ask, “Do you desire such or such a grace of God?” and the like. Yea, I may have opportunity to demand, and perhaps to obtain their early and frequent (and why not sincere?) consent unto the glorious gospel. The Spirit of Grace may fall upon them in this action; and they may be seized by Him, and held as His temples, through eternal ages.
  16. When a Day of Humiliation arrives, I will make them know the meaning of the day. And after time given them to consider of it, I will order them to tell me what special afflictions they have met with, and what good they hope to get by those afflictions. On a Day of Thanksgiving, they shall also be made to know the intent of the Day. And after consideration, they shall tell me what mercies of God unto them they take special notice of, and what duties to God they confess and resolve under such obligations. Indeed, for something of this importance, to be pursued in my conversation with the children, I will not confine myself unto the solemn days, which may occur too seldom for it. Very particularly, on the birthdays of the children, I will take them aside, and mind them of the age which (by God’s grace) they are come unto; how thankful they should be for the mercies of God which they have hitherto lived upon; how fruitful they should be in all goodness, that so they may still enjoy their mercies. And I will inquire of them whether they have ever yet begun to mind the work which God sent them into the world upon; how far they understand the work; and what good strokes they have struck at it; and, how they design to spend the rest of their time, if God still continue them in the world.
  17. When the children are in any trouble—if they be sick, or pained—I will take advantage therefrom, to set before them the evil of sin, which brings all our trouble; and how fearful a thing it will be to be cast among the damned, who are in ceaseless and endless trouble. I will set before them the benefit of an interest in a CHRIST, by which their trouble will be sanctified unto them, and they will be prepared for death, and for fullness of joy in a happy eternity after death.
  18. Among all the points of education which I will endeavor for my children, I hope to see that each of them—the daughters as well as the sons—may gain insight into some skill that lies in the way of gain (however their own inclination may most carry them), so that they may be able to subsist themselves, and get something of a livelihood, in case the Providence of God should bring them into necessities. Why not they as well as Paul the Tent-Maker! The children of the best fashion, may have occasion to bless the parents that make such a provision for them! The Jews have a saying worth remembering: “Whoever doesn’t teach his son some trade or business, teaches him to be a thief.”
  19. As soon as ever I can, I will make my children apprehensive of the main end for which they are to live; that so they may as soon as may be, begin to live; and their youth not be nothing but vanity. I will show them, that their main end must be, to, acknowledge the great God, and His glorious Christ; and bring others to acknowledge Him: and that they are never wise nor well, but when they are doing so. I will make them able to answer the grand question of why they live; and what is the end of the actions that fill their lives? I will teach them that their Creator and Redeemer is to be obeyed in everything, and everything is to be done in obedience to Him. I will teach them how even their diversions, and their ornaments, and the tasks of their education, must all be to fit them for the further service of Him to whom I have devoted them; and how in these also, His commandments must be the rule of all they do. I will sometimes therefore surprise them with an inquiry, “Child, what is this for? Give me a good account of why you do it?” How comfortably shall I see them walking in the light, if I may bring them wisely to answer this inquiry.
  20. I will oblige the children to retire sometimes, and ponder on that question: “What shall I wish to have done, if I were now a-dying?”—and report unto me their own answer to the question; of which I will then take advantage, to inculcate the lessons of godliness upon them.
  21. If I live to see the children marriageable, I will, before I consult with Heaven and earth for their best accommodation in the married state, endeavor the espousal of their souls unto their only Saviour. I will as plainly, and as fully as I can, propose unto them the terms on which the glorious Redeemer would espouse them to Himself, in righteousness, judgment, and favor and mercies forever; and solicit their consent unto His proposals and overtures. Then would I go on, to do what may be expected from a tender parent for them, in their temporal circumstances.”

HT: https://feileadhmor.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/a-fathers-resolutions-by-cotton-mather/

Posted in Homeschooling, Our Adventures

The Year That Never Ends

Stacks of Books

[This post is Delightful-approved]

I’m stuck in the homeschool year that never ends.  It’s not that I don’t want it to end (I’ve been trying to wind down our school year for a few weeks now); it’s that one of my students doesn’t want to stop learning.  What could be wrong with that, you say?  Absolutely nothing — except this mom is tired and really needs a break from policing assignments for a while.

This year, I planned a program of living books and nature study for Delightful’s Grade 4 science program.  All well and good.  But then Delightful wanted to also read Apologia’s Zoology 2.  So we added that to the schedule.  When that was completed, Delightful wanted to read Zoology 1 for fun and asked me to put that on the schedule, too.  Then came Zoology 3, which was supposed to be for Grade 5 but which is now almost completely read.  And Jacques Cousteau’s book on dolphins.  And a series of books on Canadian history.  And the Elsie Dinsmore series.  And the Anne of Green Gables series.  And the Christian Light Grades 1-4 readers for fun.  You get the picture.

I’ve managed to halt French and Writing for the year and have put a moratorium on adding any new items to the schedule — free reading is fine, but I don’t want any more things to check off!  However, we still have a bunch of science activities to catch up on.  That means we still have the end of Life of Fred Kidneys, science activities, the rest of our last Canada book, the rest of Dolphins, readers, and more Elsie and Anne to finish.  I’m figuring with the amount of work we have left to do, we’ll eventually get it all done…just in time for next year!

So until then, I’ll be watching our painted lady caterpillars make their chrysalises…and a small part of me will be wishing that I, too, could cocoon myself away, if only for a little while.  Wait – What’s that, Delightful?  You found our Apologia Botany text?  You want to read it?? For fun?? And you want to know where the schedule is??? Nooooooooooooooo!

“Learning never exhausts the mind” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Posted in Classical, Education & Homeschool News, Homeschooling Methods

Plagiarized Homeschool Products

PDS Classification

I was saddened to read this post about plagiarism in Veritas Press’s Omnibus program:

Plagiarism, Wilson, and the Omnibus

I chose not to use this program with my kids for other reasons (cost, pace, theology, artwork) but it is always disappointing to read this sort of news.