Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Mackfam
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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 10:01am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

On Theresa's Masterly Inactivity thread a few of us mention the importance of CM's notebooks in our days.

Betsy wrote:
The second point for me, which has been a major break though, has been CM ideas of notebooks and narration.   These are the tools that CM has given us to scaffold ideas into an easy/graphical/visual way to make connections-----thus taking the lecturing out of the teachers hands and placing the connections from within the child.

>> snip <<

NOTEBOOKS: I have intuited all of the notebooks that CM has recommend this year, and itís been amazing. I will say first that most of these arenít used until 5th or 6th grade so donít even consider them until you child is at that level. We use a motto book, common place book, nature book, poetry book, century charts and book of centuries.

Each of these notebooks provides a place for the child to write down what has sparked their interest for the day or week. As they are reviewed over time connections can be made. Each of these note books probably needs itís own post. So let me know if you have any questions specifically about them.


Mackfam wrote:
Betsy wrote:
NOTEBOOKS: I have intuited all of the notebooks that CM has recommend this year, and itís been amazing. I will say first that most of these arenít used until 5th or 6th grade so donít even consider them until you child is at that level. We use a motto book, common place book, nature book, poetry book, century charts and book of centuries.

This was the subject of a CM talk that I really enjoyed, and I so enjoyed hearing and learning about the many *notebooks* CM mentions, sometimes just in passing. We too have incorporated a few new notebooks this year and my big kids are really enjoying them, especially our new *Book of Firsts*! These are wonderful tools for the child to place ideas so that over time, connections may be fostered!


Grace&Chaos wrote:
Mackfam wrote:
especially our new *Book of Firsts*! These are wonderful tools for the child to place ideas so that over time, connections may be fostered!


Without getting to off topic. I just read this somewhere else. Can you tell us what it is? I've heard of all the other notebooks, but this one I'm only guessing about


************************************************************

Let's talk about CM's many notebooks!

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 10:06am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

Grace&Chaos wrote:
Mackfam wrote:
especially our new *Book of Firsts*! These are wonderful tools for the child to place ideas so that over time, connections may be fostered!


Without getting to off topic. I just read this somewhere else. Can you tell us what it is? I've heard of all the other notebooks, but this one I'm only guessing about


From Charlotte Mason, Home Education, p. 54:
Quote:
It is a capital plan for children to keep a calendar - the first oak leaf, the first tadpole, the first cowslip, the first catkin, the first ripe blackberries, where seen, and when. The next year they will know when and where to look out for their favorites, and will every year, be in a condition to add new observations. Think of the zest and interest, the object, which such a practice will give to daily walks and little excursions. There is hardly a day when some friend may not be expected to hold a first "At Home."

A Book of Firsts is really quite simple, and we've so enjoyed adding to ours this year!

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 10:06am | IP Logged Quote Betsy

Grace&Chaos wrote:
Mackfam wrote:
especially our new *Book of Firsts*! These are wonderful tools for the child to place ideas so that over time, connections may be fostered!


Without getting to off topic. I just read this somewhere else. Can you tell us what it is? I've heard of all the other notebooks, but this one I'm only guessing about


I just wanted to pass on that I created my own Catholic Nature Book of Firsts this year, because I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. I just posed it here. I would love for others to enjoy it and to here any feed back.

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 10:11am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

Betsy wrote:
Grace&Chaos wrote:
Mackfam wrote:
especially our new *Book of Firsts*! These are wonderful tools for the child to place ideas so that over time, connections may be fostered!


Without getting to off topic. I just read this somewhere else. Can you tell us what it is? I've heard of all the other notebooks, but this one I'm only guessing about


I just wanted to pass on that I created my own Catholic Nature Book of Firsts this year, because I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. I just posed it here. I would love for others to enjoy it and to here any feed back.

Wow!!! That is SO BEAUTIFUL, Betsy!!! And so wonderful and generous of you to share it with us!!!!! Thank you!

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 10:14am | IP Logged Quote Betsy

I just posted this on the orgional thread, but I will repost here.

I was unable to find exactly what I was looking for in a Nature Book of Firsts, so I decided to create my own. As one think lead to another I ended up creating a Catholic version that combined many of the traditions of flowers being named in honor of Mary and the Saints.

In my research I found that many of the flowers that we associate with Saints or Mary came about because that particular flower was in bloom during that Saints feast day......in other words it was a sort of Catholic Nature Book of Firsts.

I posted my Catholic Nature Book of Firsts at scribd.com. I hope that you enjoy!

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 10:16am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

Betsy wrote:
I just wanted to pass on that I created my own Catholic Nature Book of Firsts this year, because I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. I just posed it here. I would love for others to enjoy it and to here any feed back.

Coming back to say that I really enjoy how you've undergirded the beautiful book of firsts with ideas from Our Lady's Mary Garden, and the *firsts* within the natural year that often correspond to the liturgical year. Just lovely and so inspiring! Thank you again for sharing, Betsy!

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 10:35am | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

Betsy, that is lovely. Somehow I didn't envision it as a calendar format just to write notes in.

Funny how we interpret things differently. I was already thinking of maybe more like a blank sketch notebook and having a picture old farmer's almanac style like journal with drawings and notes and dates.

Hmm...how are others setting theirs up.

I love this by the way!

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 10:40am | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

The other notebook I'd love to hear more about is a Common Place notebook. I have a sixth grader and this is one I haven't started because again, I'm not sure what it should look like.

Would this be a place for maybe a specific subject and weekly written narrations and anything else that fancies her?

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 10:52am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Mackfam wrote:
Betsy wrote:
I just wanted to pass on that I created my own Catholic Nature Book of Firsts this year, because I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. I just posed it here. I would love for others to enjoy it and to here any feed back.

Coming back to say that I really enjoy how you've undergirded the beautiful book of firsts with ideas from Our Lady's Mary Garden, and the *firsts* within the natural year that often correspond to the liturgical year. Just lovely and so inspiring! Thank you again for sharing, Betsy!


It is so wonderful, Betsy! Thank you so much for sharing your hard and very creative and beautiful work! With your permission I'd like to share this with our local nature study group.

Your idea overlaps some of the thoughts and readings I've had. Right now I'm looking over The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms by Clare Walker Leslie in preparation for our Nature Study this year. There is a lot of basic naturalist information, but this paragraph stood out, and I'm wondering if this similar to the "Book of Firsts" idea?

The Nature Connection wrote:
Naturalists go out to study the world all year long and in every kind of weather. There's always something to do and see out in nature, if you just use your senses. ....

You'll find lots of different ways to record your observations. The various sheets used throughout this book are examples of phenology charts. Phenology is the study of seasonal timing of life cycle events. You are studying phenology when you record the date that a certain plant flower, an insect hatches, or a migratory bird appears in its nesting grounds. Factors such as length of day, temperature, and rainfall affect the dates on which these events happen each year. By tracking the timing of seasonal changes, you can see how the patterns of nature are changing.


I also use this old almanac for inspiration, since it combines both the liturgical year and the natural seasons. It's based on England's seasons and flora, and also the older calendar (1824), but still SOOO delightful, and very closely matched to the Mary Gardens. There are two versions, just slightly different:

Circle of the Seasons and perpetual key to the calendar and almanackby By Thomas Ignatius M. Forster (1828)

The perennial calendar, and companion to the almanack, revised and ed. (or rather written) by T. Forster (1824)

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:08am | IP Logged Quote Betsy

COMMON PLACE BOOK

These are CM's words:

It is very helpful to read with a commonplace book or reading-diary, in which to put down any striking though in your author, or your own impression of the work, or of any part of it; but not summaries of facts, and of which we have taken the trouble to write a short review. (Mason, 1989, p. 260)

"Keep a Common-place Book for passages that strike you particularly;" (PNEW Programmed 1922).

~~~~~~

To me this is a type of catch all book for a child's ideas and thoughts. In reference to Masterly Activity, we need to help form the habit of having the child use this note book but refrain from telling them what to put in it.   

Things that I would find appropriate in this book are:
:: Quotes that inspire us in our reading, and possible why they do.
:: Thoughts or connections that the child had made
:: Ideas that we want to remember, maybe a interesting fact in math, or the distance around the Earth, etc.
:: Bible quotes that inspire
:: Quote of Saints that inspire


Things that I would not include:
:: Written narration's.
:: Copy Work

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:14am | IP Logged Quote Betsy

Jenn,
Feel free to share! I love the two resources that you linked to as well. More reading to do!!!!!!!

The more I delved into to the idea of Nature's Firsts the more you see it perfectly intertwined into the liturgical year and natural law. It's so beautiful. I can't help but also draw the connection between this and the Ember Days, as well.




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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:28am | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

Am I right in assuming that common place notebooks then would be well received more at the high school level or at least a maturity level that can more logically/analytically write down these types of ideas/connections/relationships in one place?

My oldest has a book of mottos, a poetry book, & book of centuries; and those are more straightforward to her at this point. A common place notebook almost sounds like a combination off all the other notebooks but it just takes that extra leap in connecting and understanding.

Oh, how I wish we could all share what our notebooks actually look like. I'm such a visual person that I know I would get great insight from seeing examples. I wrested with our book of centuries for a while before deciding on our format and medium.

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 11:42am | IP Logged Quote Betsy

I am using a common places book with my 4 and 5 graders this year. I don't know specifically when CM recommend it, but it think she intended it for late grade school or approximately 5th grade. Please someone correct me if I am wrong.

I will say that my 4th grader struggles with writing his own ideas in it, so I don't push it. I know that this will come with maturity. I have him focus on writing quotes or dates that inspire him or we talk about what he wants to write in there and I may prepare something for him to copy. Mainly, we are working on cultivating the habit of using this notebook to keep his ideas.

Another HUGE thing that I did this year is to make my own notebooks. I am trying to form the habit of using them as well! It has been good for my dc to see me writing in my common place book to help inspire them. I have never been much of a journaler, I much prefer to talk , but I have found a lot of joy in keeping my own note books.





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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 12:00pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

I ask a child to begin a commonplace book around 8th grade. Each of Betsy's points above are exactly how we use (and don't use) a commonplace book.

I need to do some digging to confirm this, but I thought I remembered that a commonplace book was used by the upper forms in CM's schools, and it replaced copywork. (???) Can anyone confirm this?   I'll do some digging later to find this if no one else knows!

Copywork assignments assist a child in their penmanship, so once penmanship is well in hand, the child graduates so to speak, from assigned copywork selections to having their own journal - a commonplace book. So, for us, once copywork is completed and a child's penmanship is in hand, they no longer have assigned copywork, but rather choose passages for themselves to copy in their commonplace book. My 6th grader isn't close to this point (penmanship in hand), so he still works on copywork, however I do allow him to choose his copywork much of the time which I see as transitioning toward a commonplace book; the child chooses thoughts that inspire him to copy. My 10th grader started working on hers late in 8th grade because she chose to master calligraphy through copywork in early 8th grade.

My oldest is a girl....and I'm a girl...and well, commonplace sounded terribly uninspiring to us girls. (How Ann-with-an-e of us!!) So we call ours a Lovely Thoughts Journal. It's a simple lined journal with nice paper. We include thoughts and passages that are inspiring in our neatest hand. We like journals that open flat for ease of writing and we have special pens that we set aside as NOT OPEN FOR BORROWING OR BEING USED BY ANYONE ELSE. The thoughts included in our commonplace books come from all our reading. They are very personal and unique reflections of each of us!

The notebooks - all of CM's notebooks - were to be reflections of the individual person, just as CM's entire educational philosophy was based on the child as person. This means that the child does the choosing about what is added to each.

I have a few other notebooks I'll share about when I have time later. Maybe I can post some pics, too.

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 12:03pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

Grace&Chaos wrote:
My oldest has a book of mottos, a poetry book, & book of centuries; and those are more straightforward to her at this point. A common place notebook almost sounds like a combination off all the other notebooks but it just takes that extra leap in connecting and understanding.

This is how I look at it, Jenny, and it seems to fit our family and my children best. As I mentioned above though, that may differ from how CM worked with her students. I'd like to find out because I have a memory of making these *connections* in my head through reading something of CM's...and I just can't remember where now. Guess I should have journaled it in my commonplace book, huh?

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 12:05pm | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

How do you explain it to them? Do they each just keep one? Is it a journal style with ruled pages? Once you start do they just continue to fill that one (even if it takes a few years) or do they start others if they wante to based on interests?

I'd love to know what volume(s) she refers to these. Thanks.

I tend to ask a lot questions when something excites me and sounds wonderful, thanks for being patient

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 12:07pm | IP Logged Quote Grace&Chaos

Mackfam wrote:
Grace&Chaos wrote:
My oldest has a book of mottos, a poetry book, & book of centuries; and those are more straightforward to her at this point. A common place notebook almost sounds like a combination off all the other notebooks but it just takes that extra leap in connecting and understanding.

This is how I look at it, Jenny, and it seems to fit our family and my children best. As I mentioned above though, that may differ from how CM worked with her students. I'd like to find out because I have a memory of making these *connections* in my head through reading something of CM's...and I just can't remember where now. Guess I should have journaled it in my commonplace book, huh?


Thanks Jen, I just cross posted with you

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 1:12pm | IP Logged Quote ekbell

To give context to CM's comments Commonplace books were actually very popular in the 17th to 19th centuries and you can find a fair amount of interesting historical information (including examples) by googling.   Basically they can be described as a place to copy down anything that you might want to refer to again -with added commentary if inspired, often roughly organized by theme.
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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 1:23pm | IP Logged Quote Betsy

ekbell wrote:
To give context to CM's comments Commonplace books were actually very popular in the 17th to 19th centuries and you can find a fair amount of interesting historical information (including examples) by googling.   Basically they can be described as a place to copy down anything that you might want to refer to again -with added commentary if inspired, often roughly organized by theme.


This is an excellent point! My dh likes to describe a commonplace book as what we did be for we could google things!   

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Posted: Aug 31 2011 at 1:24pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

A little more on the commonplace book:

Commonplace book or copywork for older children

The idea of a Commonplace book is not CM's - Wikipedia with a history of Commonplace books

A little about Commonplace books

Commonplace book - what a lovely fact this article contains! Commonplace books were called florilegia ("flowers of reading") in the Middle Ages. See!! I knew I was onto something when I changed the name!!

**************************************************

As far as the age for when to begin a Commonplace I have only found a few things....I actually did write it down in one of my CM Journals! In my notes, under Commonplace Book, I have written: CM used in high school forms. sigh. That's not definitive though, is it? And, it came from a talk I heard and I didn't write down the source. Mental note: ALWAYS write down the source!!!

Another thing I found is that a Commonplace Book is recommended for AO Year 11:
(Under the section on Literature)
Quote:
Miss Mason directed students at this level to keep a Common-place Book for passages that strike them particularly;

It's also recommended for Year 10.

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