Thursday, February 18, 2016

Celtic Goddesses, Limericks, Morphology and Mindfulness

Epona. Celtic goddess of horses, donkeys, mules and nature. She leads your soul into the afterlife. Drawn by my daughter.

Random title, right? Such has been our home-schooling week. As you can see from my daughter's picture above, our lesson manual introduced her to Celtic myth and folktales. I love folktales. I try to collect them from every place we visit or live. Fortunately, I had a sizable tome of Celtic folktales to meet the lesson requirements--the curriculum preparers took for granted that their students would have access to a library. I miss libraries--what remarkable institutions they are.

My daughter also wrote an opinion essay on the Celtic tale, Guleesh, which is a perfect example of Celtic lore blended with later Christian thought and practice. Below is a (rather long) video of the tale if you are interested:

My son's language arts lesson for this week focused on poetry. We started with limericks, an easy poetic form and open for all sorts of kid humor. He wrote the following:
There was a small cat named Bonzito
Who liked to eat mouses poquito
They stuck in his teeth
And said, "Aye, good grief!" 
That mouse-eating cat named Bonzito.
Okay, so I let him stretch it a bit with "mouses," but I'm claiming poetic license on his and my behalf. We had so much fun learning poems (we actually recite one every morning), that I roped my daughters into joining us for our next poetry writing session. 

We did acrostic poems using each child's name. My children surprised me with their cleverness. My littlest one even pulled off a beauty of an acrostic poem with her name, but was rather overwhelmed when I asked her to try another one with a different word. She started to cry, so we sat together and came up with an acrostic for the word "cry:"

Cheeks wet
Red Eyes
Yes, I feel better now.

And she did feel better. Poetry soothes the wounded soul. 

We've been learning new words as well and struggling with spelling many of them. Spelling for me was easy, but not so much for my kids, so I've been searching for ways to help spelling make sense and found a great resource by blogger Anne Marie Morey. 

She posted a podcast with Pete Bowers, a teacher who uses, morphology (study of word formation), orthography (the spelling system), etymology (study of word origin), and other "scientific" type approaches to clarify why a word is spelled a certain way. The podcast is long, but enlightening, especially if you have a child who struggles with spelling.

Now after all that, we needed a stress break--I needed a stress break--so we did some mindfulness exercises today. Teaching children to tune into their own strength and block out negative incomings sounded good to me, so we watched a video that showed us how to "find a happy place" and tried it out. 

After what felt like mere minutes, my littlest one nudged me to ask if we were done. I guess it worked--for me at least. Below is the video we used:

Of course we did science, math, p.e. and other fun things, but my love is still the written word and its magic. I have enjoyed learning new things along with my children and returning a bit to my own childhood.

Have a great week.


  1. Johnell, what a beautiful drawing and both poems are so much fun! Mouses cracked me up. Reminded me of the poem -- Moses supposes his toeses are roses.

    I too enjoy word play and stories best. Helping with math homework leaves us all in a bad mood :(

    1. Ha! Love that poem. Yes. Math is not my forte. We did lego math today. I saw a demo on using lego pieces to teach fractions. That was kind of fun. :)

  2. Sounds like it's going really well! That's great. :)

  3. Talented and creative kids you've got there, Johnell. They take after mom, no doubt. Remember to keep the muse flowing at your home school.

    1. Thanks. We have our little "mews," but she often gets in the way. :) It's been fun. I just hope they're learning.

  4. Love your post :) And mouses is great :)

    1. Thanks--I love your little mouse avatar as well.