And so we're back where we belong. I felt disorganised and not up to par, but Day One went well. I did feel, however, that I really should complete my planning of at least Term 1 before blogging about it, and so I made myself finish writing my timetable and term plans last night. Well, okay, and this morning. Anyhow, so now they're done and I don't need to feel guilty any more. Tra la la.
We ate doughnuts for breakfast - our Back-to-School tradition, and took First Day photographs. I'll show you those when we manage to get them off the camera - the new year has not brought with it an improvement in our computer issues, malheureusement. Jemimah unwrapped her presents - some pretty stationery, her new cartridge pen, a Molskine nature journal, a very fine set of Dickens and an equally lovely leather bound version of King Arthur, the 2012 Sing Songbooks. Stuff like that. She was very excited.
Kinda makes it fun having Back-to-School traditions, don't you think?
We took the day slowly, introducing her new Devotions program and moving straight into Copywork. A certain young miss couldn't wait for this, strangely enough. Amazing what a special pen can do. Peer Gynt on the iPod. Yummy.
Oh, what deliciously wonderful new books AO brings to each new year. Howard Pyle's The Story of King Arthur and his Knights for me to read aloud to Jemimah, and she chose Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper to read aloud to me. The 21 Balloons is our Newbery Challenge book, but I haven't told you about that yet and asked you to join me, so that probably doesn't make much sense. The beautifully illustrated Bushland and Seashore is our Australian natural history book. I'll review this soon. It is terrific, despite being written from an evolutionary viewpoint. I'll either edit, or we'll discuss why we don't agree with the author's statement. That's okay. Today's lesson reminded Jemimah and me of Pagoo and her narration was great. That's always a sign of a Living Book, I reckon. If you can't narrate from it then it ain't alive.
We started Mission Monde French and restarted MEP maths. Both went well. I'm so glad I took a break from MEP last term and did something different because this week she is finding the work easy and interesting. Hurrah!
At the start of each new level of my Australianised Ambleside Online I'm always bubbling over with excitement. Both of us are. Each day brings with it new delights and new friends. We have a whole list of new Free Reads to choose from. Anne and Marilla are there this year, along with Jo and her sisters. We have another Billabong book to read. Laura and Almanzo are back. I'll be able to introduce Jemimah to Helen Keller and Tom Sawyer, and together we'll meet Mr Bowditch and Colonel Wattie. Indigenous Australia gets a look in with Stradbroke Dreamtime and Sally's Story, and we learn about bushfire in February Dragon and Ash Road.
It's at times like this that I am reminded why we chose to homeschool our daughter. It is her father's and my hope to equip Jemimah to be a citizen of the Christian community in contemporary post-Christian Australia. We want her to be conformed more and more to the image of Christ, and we hope she will become a mature Christian woman capable of living a full and rich Christian life as a wife and mother, but also maybe as a doctor or a geneticist or a teacher or a nurse or a business woman. It is our hope that she might come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour at an early age, and we want to equip her for doing this. We want to give her the tools for professing and living a Christian life, directed and enlightened by the infallible word of God. We want her to have the Christian perspective of contemporary issues as they apply now, but also of those that are not yet dreamed of.
To us, the liberal arts curriculum of Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Online gives us the scaffold on which to hang our lofty aims. It provides an education that nourishes the mind to accept and test ideas. It encourages individual curiosity to feed the desire for more and varied knowledge. It stimulates the mind by using only the best - the best books, the finest composers, the most beautiful and uplifting art. It provides the medium to retain the knowledge and to manipulate it to make it applicable to the problems of every day life. It teaches character and initiative and a sense of responsibility. It teaches children to be the best they can be.
And as we begin again in this new year of 2012, that's what we want for our daughter - for her to be everything God wanted her to be.
We don't half aim high.