The sun was shining on the sea

February 4, 2013 @ 8:51 pm | Filed under: , ,

Much better today, but still dragging. And the next domino to topple turned out to be Huck.


Still, it was a good day, dominated by much laughter over this Grimm collection we’re reading en masse for Jane’s Coursera class. I mean, “The Death of the Hen,” do you know that one? I know Grimm is grim, but this beats all. All the rest of the day, the girls were walking around going, “And so they were all dead together”—that’s the happy ending, you guys.

Other bits and pieces:

Read more of Hawthorne’s Wonder Book with Rilla, the Perseus story continued, and then coaxed her through a narration. No matter how unschoolish my tendencies, I am always and forever a believer in good old Charlotte Mason-style narration for building really quite remarkable powers of attention and memory. Rilla’s at the bouncy, fidgety, doubtful-of-her-narrative-abilities six-year-old stage, which—now that I know what I’m doing—is quite a fun place to be. She surprises herself, and then beams.

Beanie did a lot of German (I slacked on that today myself, but I’ve been driving pretty hard with it the past few weeks and am thrilled to be able to read, at long last, a little book I picked up ages and ages ago—found it in some German bookshop in Manhattan, I think—called Kleiner Pelz. Anyone heard of it? The author is Irina Korschunow. Quite sweet so far.

I read Ame Dyckman’s Boy + Bot to Huck; he’s gotten almost every one of us to read it to him so far, a tremendous hit this one, and rightly so. Delightful. But then we’re huge fans of Dan Yaccarino’s art around here. Here’s the book trailer if you want a peek.

We listened to more Wind in the Willows while Rilla drew pictures and Huck snoozed…I dozed off myself somewhere in there. Later, walking to pick Wonderboy up from school, I taught Rilla the first two stanzas of “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” and there is nothing quite like the sight of a small girl skipping up a hill, hair swinging, reciting “And this was odd, because it was the middle—of—the—night!”

Jane wrote an essay for her class, Rose read all morning, Huck perked up a little, and Scott concocted a bacon-potato soup for dinner.  A much happier ending than that which befell the poor hen.

The Death of the Hen by Walter Crane
“The Death of the Hen,”
from Lucy Crane’s Household Stories from the Collection of the Brothers Grimm,
illustrated by Walter Crane

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9 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. sarah says:

    I’ve just finished reading Anne of Windy Willows and so this post makes me smile because your clan reminds me so often of children in LM’s writing.

  2. Sara says:

    Poor Huck! And he didn’t want to get sick, Mommy!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Love Wonder Book – my favorite retelling of the Greek myths. The one that begins with the golden, sunlit valley in autumn, I think? I need to reread it. So gorgeous. I hope y’all recover soon!

  4. Kimberlee says:

    Poor dear boy, what a picture! Hope you are all well soon!
    We read The Death of the Hen at tea – thanks for the link. One of our Grimms’ has Lucy Crane as one of the translators, with pictures by Fritz Kredel. Crane’s illustrations are much more sophisticated and detailed (though we are partial to Kredel’s comical portrayal of The Three Spinning Sisters). We do love fairy tales in our house. Have you read The Thirteen Clocks? Akin to a fairy tale and altogether fabulous.

  5. Melanie B says:

    I think Grimm might still be too Grimm for Bella. We’re still on a Betsy Tacy hiatus because the storyline got too intense for her. I mean really, Betsy Tacy! How did I have such a sensitive daughter? I never know what is going to set her off.

    I’m still trying to figure out the narration thing. It sounds so lovely in theory, but the reality is that when I try to ask Bella even the simplest questions about a passage I’ve just read to her she breaks down in tears. Tears seem to be the theme of most of our school recently. She ripped through the first four Bob books and then book 5 had her sobbing. We’re taking a few days off and then will try again.

    Anyway, I feel like with narration I’m not sure how best to approach it. There seem to be a great many discussions about the whys and wherefores of narration but not much written about the practical how tos. Especially the how to get started. There seems to be more about ways to make narrations more creative for kids who’ve already got used to them. So maybe you or other veteran CM homeschoolers might have some suggestions for jumpstarting a reluctant narrator who is in the bouncy fidgety unsure of her abilities stage? How do you get past the uncertainty and help her to have that moment of success?

  6. Melissa Wiley says:

    Betsy-Tacy hits you with that poignant death-of-baby-sister scene quite early on—I think that part is rough for lots of small fry. Losing a sibling is so much less a part of most kids’ reality these days.

    I’d love to write a post about narration. Stay tuned.

    Kimberlee, the Thirteen Clocks—is that Thurber? Somehow I’ve never read it!

  7. Kimberlee says:

    Yes, it’s Thurber and it’s just great. So fun to read aloud! I got it for my six year old for Christmas and read it to the whole family and it was a jolly hit with everyone. I think your crew would love it. No dead hens but it does have a Gollux. (I wrote a bit about it at the bottom of this book post

  8. Pippi says:

    I was just about to ask about narration as well! I was thinking about doing it with my 5.5 year old but I’m not quite sure where to start. It sounds like such a great idea in theory and so simple…but I can’t seem to get it to work. I will be eagerly awaiting your narration post!

  9. Pippi says:

    I was just about to ask about narration as well! I was thinking about doing it with my 5.5 year old but I’m not quite sure where to start. It sounds like such a great idea in theory and so simple…but I can’t seem to get it to work. I will be eagerly awaiting your narration post!