Australia receives snow in its Alpine regions and on its higher inland plateaus. For those areas that’s freezing.
For everywhere else, it’s freezing if the temperature gets to anything below 12 degrees Celsius (53.6 Fahrenheit).
For us, this means that homeschooling gets a little easier. Winter and reading go hand in hand. We don’t have to navigate the Australian heat. We just have to aim at keeping warm.
It doesn’t appear to matter which culture you come from. Short, cold days, and the inner warmth of houses, incubate tranquillity.
Creating an environment which encourages us to slow down, sit, zone out and learn from the stillness that surrounds us.
Picking up a book and reading it isn’t just easy, it’s tempting and looked forward to.
Our dedicated reading list this winter is fairly straight forward.
1. Trends in Food Technology: Food Processing (Anne Barnett)
I was apprehensive about taking this on. It appeared to be full of jargon, almost unusable. Since working through the 43 pages, however, I haven’t regretted the decision. Barnett’s approach is conversational. She also provides a glossary in the back for bold text words featured throughout the book.
Food Technology fits in perfectly with our PD.H.PE curriculum needs, discussing a range of areas including food processes, preservation, flavorings, fats, oils, and key distinctions. One I’m seriously considering adding permanently to our library.
2. The Reason & The Mystery (Lacey Sturm)
If you’re tagging along with me on the internet somewhere, you’ll be no stranger to the fact that we like Lacey Sturm. I read Lacey’s book, ‘The Reason’ in 2015 and wrote some thoughts on it, which can be found here [Review: The Reason].
Whilst the idea did occur to me, at that time I had no plans on using it for homeschool. However, believing the subjects discussed and the overall way Lacey handles those subjects, I decided to include ‘The Reason’ in our core texts for both Junior and Senior High School. Attached to this decision was the intention to follow this up with ‘The Mystery’.
As per our goal, we’ve completed ‘The Reason’ and are now moving through ‘The Mystery.’
These books were also chosen because of similarities between my own journey and that of Lacey’s. I think most people who’ve walked through darkness and pick this book up would find some form of consolation.
Those who haven’t receive an open window into a world of brokenness they may not fully understand or know little about. I ran an open discussion per chapter, which inspired productive and passionate dialogue between, and with my two older homeschoolers. Key learning areas include music appreciation and PD.H.PE. Each book raises topics that provide for a holistic lesson on physical development, mental health, boundaries and relationships.
3. Explore the World of Man-Made Wonders (Text by Simon Adams & Illustrations by Stephen Biesty)
The journey we took together here wasn’t dull. We even managed to link in Matt Damon’s movie, ‘The Great Wall.’ Simon Adams and Stephen Biesty have created an illustrative tour which moves from the leaning Tower of Pisa, to the Pyramids onto St. Basil’s Cathedral, in Russia.
Add in a tablet and Google Earth, this activity became a whirl wind tour of some pretty cool sites. I think the only sour note for our homeschoolers, was having to the book work after it.
4. The Rime of The Ancient Mariner (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
Similar to the previous book, I linked in a movie. This to me was a natural progression. The content of the poem can be seen reflected in The Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl. This might be news to some, but I guarantee you, there’s got to be a link somewhere.
Coleridge’s poem is big enough to be a small book. A very small book, of course, but a book none the less. If you have never read it, or are looking for an easier way to teach it, I used a PDF version – which can be sourced [here]. The length isn’t big enough to be a problem. I used three copies and lead from my treasured Penguin book of Coleridge Poems.
Finally, I added the book of Numbers to the schedule for this term. We’ve pulled through it and loved every second of it; made even more insightful thanks to John Calvin’s Commentary, a bit of Sun Tzu and some material from Charles Spurgeon.
All of which, while dated, still find traction in the connection between relevance, rubber and road. Some of which I discussed in a somewhat well received (for me and my stats anyway) post called, Orderly Disorder: The Book of Numbers & Sun Tzu’s Five Pitfalls of a General.