Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
I am yet to post about our daily rhythm, and explain more about our approach to morning basket, but here’s a preview of what we’re enjoying for September.
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I came across Ox-Cart Man quite by accident at a second hand market stall, and I knew I’d struck gold. With beautiful illustrations, the story charts a year with a family in 19th Century New England. Simple, lyrical prose captures the work on a farm, and associated crafts/handwork month by month. It’s a lovely circular story, so is good for any time of the year. The story starts in October, so it might be even better for next month.
I’m not the biggest fan of the zany Dr Seuss, but I know these books are popular for a reason. The rhythm and rhyme throughout the books are supposedly great for language development. This is quite a long story by our standards, but my two year old really enjoys it and often requests it.
We haven’t actually started this one yet as I’m waiting to pick it up from the library, but we really enjoyed Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms. This is a seasonal story about Fletcher the fox worrying when his beloved oak tree starts losing all its leaves.
Art and language books
This is a book I found on my mum’s bookshelf from when we were little. It seems to be out of print but looks like you can pick up used copies on amazon still. Created by a husband and wife team, it is great for exposure to arts and foreign languages. Each double page has a theme, for example “girl” or “boat”. Drawing from their experiences as a curator and graphic designer, the authors present a range of different art works (including paintings, sculpture, textiles and so on) whose subjects align with the theme. A range of artistic eras are incorporated. The key word(s) is printed in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. We flick through looking at the pictures and saying the french word. I often expand by saying a simple sentence in French about a picture.
This is another one that is from my childhood. Again you seem to be able to pick it up cheaply on amazon. I really like the format of this bilingual story book. Lovely pictures, the story written in both french and english, and extra illustrated vocabulary of things that can be seen in the main picture. I’m not convinced by the actual storyline in this book, and am not 100% sure if my daughter follows it in english! But I’m happy enough with the illustrations and for her to hear the french to say it’s worth using.
The pictured book is slightly different to the one we have (a much older edition). I actually think it looks more engaging, judging from the amazon ‘look inside’ preview. Realistic drawings and simple text help children to learn familiar garden birds.
Oh the flower fairies! The sweetest illustrations and poems about just about any flower and tree you can think of. What more could a Charlotte Mason, Waldorf inspired mum want? There are various volumes, such as Autumn shown above, as well as anthologies (which we have). We’ll be using the Flower Fairies books in our morning baskets around the year, as well as at Poetry Teatimes. I’m focusing on “blackberry” at the moment as it’s a popular topic at the moment, and this particular poem is the perfect pitch for my two year old. We’re also looking at the ‘rose hip’ one too, another fairly simple one. I try to memorise them so that I can recite them to my daughter whilst blackberry picking or when we see rosehips in the hedge whilst out and about. We’ll probably incorporate a new poem about once a week.
This is another staple of our morning basket. Our current poem is “The Cow”. Again this is picked considering my daughter’s interest in animals, and her comprehension level. With all poetry in the morning basket, I model memorisation. Often she also picks it up quickly, but she doesn’t always feel like joining in and I absolutely don’t pressure her to.