Archive for the ‘Mary Notebooking’ Category

Life here at the never ending story is wonderfully full and loud, if not hard to explain.  My dh once asked me what I did all day.  I just looked at him and realized that I had been holding my breath. 
I said…"I don’t know!" 
He said, "Why don’t you try to write it down?" 
to which I replied ..
"Honey, if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to get the rest of whatever it is that I do done!"  So once in a great while I do try to write and this is what I came up with for today….

  • First and foremost… we begin our day with morning prayer and with everyone’s attention completely focussed on their wonderful mother  ( I can dream, can’t I?  After all the day looks so much better at its conclusion when their sweet heads are resting on their pillows and the house shudders in real quiet) …oops sorry -end of dream sequence-… we try to hit at least one "shared" subject (one that they all do together)


  • Geography  Book of Marvels read about Yucatan Peninsula and had large motor boy (8) point out everything we learned so far on the world map
  • American History  From Sea to Shining Sea  read St Brendan’s Voyage to 6yo dd and 8yo ds and made rabbit trail about Whales..older kids reviewed what we have learned so far this year (started in January and reviewing the first 7 chapters)
  • Bible History/ Poetry   Robert Hugh Benson Old Testament Rhymes divided up the 25 pages to be memorized by 5 dc (13,13,11,8,6) at our homeschool group’s poetry day…one month to prepare!  Great review of Salvation History for the young’uns ;o)
  • Math   Math U See everyone did at least 3 pages in his/her level except one ds awaiting new book so he "played math" with the 4yo
  • Catechism Stories  Catechism in Examples (3 Theological Virtues 4 Cardinal Virtues) read during dinner…when I have their full attention and relative quiet
  • Religion  Women in the Bible (Image of God 6) Esther, Suzannah, Hannah, Mary read aloud and discussed
  • Notebooking   Made copies of Women in the Bible booklets (Dinah Zike OT supplement)to be filled tomorrow
  • Mary Notebook  Add this pic to the little one’s Mary Notebook
  • Math in the Kitchen...make this Scone Recipe adding in leftover mini chips and use 1/3 of a cup to measure with and btw..double the recipe ;o)
  • Spelling   Spelling time
  • Phonics Study Dog
  • Fine Art National Gallery of Art Video Christmas Story in art (30 min) and Adoration of the Magi (7min) Read more here…available to homeschoolers all you pay is return postage!
  • Copywork  Each child chose their own work…and is amazed at how much we are amassing at this point!
  • Dictation …didn’t happen.  I couldn’t round up all the usual suspects towards the end of "school time"  The day was too bright and beautiful…this is real life folks ;o)  Dictation will be second thing tomorrow.
  • Manners/Prayers  Read How to Behave and Why before bed and say night prayers and rosary

Now of course you need to know, I slept in late, I had to round up the kids from the yard twice (once because the mailman wanted to throw a few balls to my son…gotta love our mailman LOL), changed the toddler’s diaper no less than 5 times and dressed her about 11 times, and at the high point of the action, my ds(4) wanted to know what grave (grade) he was in …making sure my sense of humor was still alive and well.  ;o)

And of course there are many many books read by all during the day.  The older ones read to the younger ones and they also have some book in their hand for themselves during their free time…and all the books are definitely school-worthy. 

There is so much learning that goes on that naturally fits in with the day….natural connections  …Like science…we didn’t get to it (technically) but we did.  At bedtime there was rain and thunder and lightning.   My 2yo dd thought that someone was outside taking a picture, so this went into a completely natural conversation about thunder and lightning and its benefits.  Bath time is full of phonics sound games and childhood songs and poems and children’s religious songs.  During the school day there is an ebb and flow of activity….lulls between subjects  are always filled with "extras"  The children are always picking up books and going to pre-approved sites on the net that exercise logical thinking skills and creative learning.  Even an interesting fine art picture can lead to an interesting discussion about the use of color or a flurry of activity to learn more about the artist’s life or his other paintings…If I listed them all, it would take me all night! 

And at the end of the day, the yard got cleaned up, the little ones were bathed,  and most of the dishes were done, the diapers are soaking, underneath the math manipulatives the floor is clean  and I just drank a great cup of chamomile tea….and my life is one run-on sentence.

PHEW!  I am tired.  The good kind.

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While searching on the web this week we came across this interesting piece on The Book of the Hours and Our Lady. 

"The Books of Hours were the prayer books used by laypeople in medieval times.  Commissioned by royal family members, the nobility and wealthy patrons, they became status symbols, the jewels in the collections of book collectors."

We enjoyed viewing the illustrations  and discussed how some of these illuminations were used for different times of the day and seasons.   We especially liked the reference to the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary as we pray it frequently and love how, over time, the words come from our lips memorized.  There is such a special simplistic yearning of my heart to say such words often.  It edifies the spirit. 

I introduced the dc to illuminations while we were learning to read and write some years ago at the suggestion of Julia Fogassy from Our Father’s House.  I had the Dover book The Book of Kells and used that as an illustration of illumination so to speak.  I showed the children the illustrations and explained how very important their work was and how very exacting it had to be.  It was their great work..their Magnum Opus and all was dedicated to the Glory of God.  So too, was their work (the schoolwork and chores of the children) special to the Lord.  I had them look at their work like in the Sound Beginnings phonics book we have used…what is your best work and why, what is your least favorite work and why.  How would you like to take your least favorite and make it your favorite.  How could you do this? 

So too, is the way we approach art.  It raises the heart and mind above the ordinary and makes it extra- ordinary. 

Our latest art assignment involves making our own illuminated calendar using fine art for the months using their own choices…though taking into account this list from the site referenced above:

January  – Feasting

February – Sitting by the fire

March – Pruning vines

April – Garden scene

May – Hawking or boating

June – The hay harvest

July – Reaping the wheat
August – Threshing

September – Harvesting grapes

October – Ploughing and sowing

November – Gathering acorns for pigs

December – Killing the pig or baking bread

LOL frankly, I think baking bread would be an excellent illustration for the month of December…killing pigs isn’t my "thing" ;o)  I think the pictures of the Threshers and The Angelus for July would be a wonderful choice.  My suggestion was to find different works of art illustrating Our Lady doing different household tasks or someone modeling Our Lady in the doing of them.  I also recommended they chose a flower that matched their choice that showed some virtue or attribute of our Lady using this chart.   We are still tossing ideas around.  The finished product as yet will be determined and completed during the coming week or so.  I want to put this at the beginning of the Liturgical Year Notebook.

We  loved  reading this book….Marguerite Makes a Book and want to imitate what we have learned there using this art project…Illuminated lettering Kit…will be coming in the mail shortly.  We would love to give it a go!

This is  a great site (Leaves of Gold) that was posted by dear Martha at the 4Real board.  I parked my older ones at the computer and had them go through these pages step by step.  There are eight slides from illuminated manuscripts that pose "discovery questions" and answers that help the student (and teacher) explore each manuscript.

Could you imagine using this notebook to put your best copy work in??…what a find!

For further illustration here is a hypertext Book of Hours:


"The medieval "Book of Hours" evolved out of the monastic cycle of prayer which divided the day into eight segments, or "hours." These portable books designed for individual laypeople are smaller and less complicated than those used by the monks and designed for use by individuals. Usually, a Book of Hours include a liturgical calendar, along with the seven "Penitential Psalms" and additional prayers devoted to particular saints or personal issues. Most Books of Hours were devoted to the Virgin Mary."

I am hungry to know more….still seeking more resources!

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The Girlhood of Mary Virgin

Dante Gabriel Rossetti(1828-1882)


This is that blessed Mary, pre-elect,
     God’s Virgin. Gone is a great while, and she
Dwelt young in Nazareth of Galilee.
Unto God’s will she brought devout respect,
Profound simplicity of intellect,
And supreme patience. From her mother’s knee
Faithful and hopeful; wise in charity;
Strong in grave peace; in pity circumspect.

So held she through her girlhood; as it were
An angel-watered lily, that near God
Grows and is quiet. Till, one dawn at home,
She woke in her white bed, and had no fear 
At all,–yet wept till sunshine, and felt awed;
Because the fulness of the time was come.


These are the symbols. On that cloth of red
I’ the centre is the Tripoint: perfect each,
Except the centre of its points,to teach
That Christ is not yet born. The books –whose head
Is golden Charity, as Paul hath said–
Those virtues are wherein the soul is rich;
Therefore on them the lily standeth,
Is innocence, being interpreted.

The seven-thorn’d brier and palm seven-leaved
Are here great sorrow and her great reward
Until the end be full, the Holy One
Abides without. She soon shall have achieved
Her perfect purity: yea, God the Lord
Shall soon vouchsafe His Son to be her Son.

Poem:Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. The Poetical Works. 2vols. [Ed. William Michael Rossetti.] Boston: Little, Brown, 1913. I, 281-82. American printing of British edition published by Roberts Brothers, 1887.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)


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Oh, Happy Discovery!  I love this!  Our Lady of the Book is a beautiful devotional meditation.  It is quoted here in part from The Mary Page in an article by Rev. Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm. 

Symbolism of the Images:

"What is behind the representation of Our Lady of the Book? We find three lessons in the scene:

  • Mary herself reads;
  • the perfect correspondence between what was foretold in the Bible and its fulfilment in the birth and life of Jesus;
  • Mary is herself the ‘book’ in which the Church reads the ways of God.

The first meaning is Mary as reader; she reads in the fullest sense, that is, she searches, she understands, she prays, she opens her mind and heart to whatever message God will send her through his sacred word.

A second sense of Our Lady and the book is the correspondence in her life between God’s promises and their fulfilment in Jesus her Son. Gabriel is quoting the same prophecies Mary is reading, and as she consents to become Mother of the Savior, the forecasts become reality.

A third element in the tradition of Mary and the book is that the Blessed Virgin is herself a book in which the Church reads, a reading that began with the apostles. Early authors call Mary "the sacred book of the divine precepts, in which what pleases God is made known to us, as Jeremias saw long ago…" (St. Theodore of Studion, D. 826). One compiler tracked down ninety titles in which Mary is described as a book.

Our Lady of the book can teach us still how to pray better; we never grow too old to learn from the Mother of Jesus, the gospel woman of faith so well versed in God’s holy word."

Our Lady of the Book

Our Lady wears no dearer look

Than when she’s reading in a book.

For then the virgin named most Wise

Reveals her schoolgirl’s earnest eyes.

A furrow grace where eyebrows meet

I trace in her called Wisdom’s Seat

The hands that steady Jesus’ pace

Now cautiously each letter trace.

And Anna’s lessons learned so slow

Seem long ago, seem long ago.

Our Lady wears no dearer look

Than when she’s reading in a book.

For then the virgin named most Wise

Reveals her schoolgirl’s earnest eyes.

A furrow grace where eyebrows meet

I trace in her called Wisdom’s Seat

The hands that steady Jesus’ pace

Now cautiously each letter trace.

And Anna’s lessons learned so slow

Seem long ago, seem long ago."

~Father Joachim Smet November 27, 1943
Ateliers Brabancons (15th c)

next two images: Rogier Van der Weyden (1399-1464)

final image: Jan van Eyck
Ghent Altarpiece, excerpt, 1432

This explanation and the poem are being added to our Marian Notebooks.  The poem is today’s copywork on paper with the images pre-printed on it in a Word document. If I have time I will post the document later!  It dovetails nicely into tomorrow’s lesson…with another book image for Fine Art Friday’s  Fine Art-spirations!

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The Virgin Mary Crowned Van Eyck
As a very visual learner, I really do find inspiration in fine art.  As I am the one being homeschooled most days, I especially love it when there is hidden meaning in the art we study like in this Icon of The Virgin Mary.  The inscription reads:

"She is more beautiful than the sun + all the order of stars; 
being compared w/ the light she is found greater. She is in truth the reflection of everlasting light, + a spotless mirror of God"
(Wisdom 7: 29 + 26)

While I was researching some topics for our Fine Arts Friday, I found this Van Eyck painting and it spoke to me in some way.  In the Madonna’s crown are roses and lilies.  (symbolizing her love and purity).   (The funny thing is that she resembles me a bit….hmm a lesson for my heart to ponder….  I know I have much, much to learn from my most lovely patron saint.)  I wanted to know more about this painting  and came up with this from this site:

 "Perhaps the place is in front of Jan van Eyck’s crisply painted little panel that shows the Virgin Mary crowned and standing serenely inside the light-filled nave of a Gothic church.

Van Eyck casts her as a gentle giant who fills the soaring space — a remarkable invention that conflates Mary, Queen of Heaven, with the radiant interior of the church’s otherworldly architecture. The triumph of spirit over matter is paradoxically embodied.

350pxeyckhubertlamb750pix_2OK…I need to know more than that.

Then I went here and I realized this was part of something bigger….so many people may already know this, but fine arts was something passed quickly over in school.  Now I relish it for so many reasons.  It is exciting to find hidden meaning in paintings and the viewer is one like a detective looking for clues as to his own identity…as we are heirs to something much grander than ourselves.    I learned a bit more here

The thing that I argue with people about today is that we are becoming illiterite to symbol which even the illiterate to the printed word in the past knew.  I hate being "dumbed down", don’t you?  Life tastes so much sweeter with all of the seasoning added in proper proportion….we need a feast for all of the senses…a feast rich with symbolism and hints to the greater mysteries they represent…much like the parables were and are today.

I loved reading the explanation here.  I would love it if the kiddoes could create a simple penned drawing like this one, and I will invite them to do so, but I wonder if they would find it to be too complicated….and I know the pics of Adam and Eve may be a little much for a certain child I have…but I can concentrate on the more central images.  Any more ideas for a fun way to represent this information?  I am all ears!
This all came from this site and I will be perusing it in my "free time" for more ideas!  Why is it when I want to do something like this, I think of our dear Alice and I suddenly get more creative?!

About the Artist:

Jan Van Eyck

"A Flemish painter who perfected the newly developed technique of oil painting. His naturalistic panel paintings, mostly portraits and religious subjects, made extensive use of disguised religious symbols. His masterpiece is the altarpiece in the cathedral at Ghent, the Adoration of the Lamb (also called Ghent Altarpiece, 1432). Hubert van Eyck is thought by some to have been Jan’s brother." from the Encyclopedia Britanica

"The Ghent Altarpiece: The Adoration of the Lamb" (interior view) painted 1432 by Jan van Eyck.

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Triumph_of_the_holy_cross_ceiling_lady_c_2 Today is the feast of the Exultation (or Triumph) of the Holy Cross and tomorrow is the memorial  of Our Lady of Sorrows….how beautiful the two should be celebrated together on the Church calendar!

Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likenes of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

— Philippians 2:5-11

Month_9_sorrowsFlower Symbols of Mary’s Sorrows  

"One plant legend of special relevance to Christ’s Cross is that of
the herb, basil (Ocimum basilicum) which was held to be of such
close association with the Cross that St. Helena was able to find
the location of the True Cross by digging for it under a colony of
basil plants.  We know of the association through St. Helena, but
just what the legend, the "fallen petal", was is not known to us.
Possibly it was one of the plants which was reputed to have sprung
up at the foot of the Cross where Christ’s blood drops or Mary’s
tears fell, as is reported in legends of other plants.  Or it may
have been offered to Christ as a soothing herb.  Another "fallen
petal" is the use of "basilica" as the name for the cross-shaped
floor plans of church  buildings.  Also, from the practice in some
areas of strewing branches of basil before church communion rails,
it came to be known as "Holy Communion Plant"." ~from mgardens.org

Here is a representation of a Sorrowful Mary Garden

"each station is associated with a flower or
flowers whose popular Mary-connection may prompt a devotional
insight into that station’s significance in the saving paschal
mystery of the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ.

Extending the practice of meditating on the Stations of the Cross,
the flower symbols of the Sorrowful Mysteries, planted around the
garden cross, provide a mosaic of meanings for continuing
meditation on the passion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

At Catholic Culture we read :"The Sign of the Cross we make over ourselves before prayer helps to fix our minds and hearts to God. After prayer we make it to keep close to God. During trials and temptations our strength and protection is the Sign of the Cross. At Baptism we are sealed with the Sign of the Cross, signifying the fullness of redemption and that we belong to Christ. Let us look to the cross frequently, and realize that when we make the Sign of the Cross we give our entire self to God — mind, soul, heart, body, will, thoughts."

O cross, you are the glorious sign of victory.
Through your power may we share in the triumph of Christ Jesus.

Stabat_mater_1On the menu today: Hot Cross Buns

For the Liturgical Year Notebook:
Catholic Mosaic: The Tale of Three Trees

Print out and learn these 2 songs:

Lift High the Cross
212 Stabat Maters??
Stabat Mater

google search for crosses with the dc and paste into a Word document collage

also make a notebook sorrowful Mary garden with the appropriate googled clip art flowers surrounding this picture

review the 7 Sorrows of Mary and their Scriptural references

ask the dc if they want to do any other projects based on the above links!

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Mary_jesus_and_children_3 I am a little late for the Feast of the Queenship of Mary….computer woes…but we are adding the following to our Marian Notebooks:

I bow before you, Virgin of virgins,
resting-place of the divine Bridegroom,
temple of eternal Wisdom,
sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,
palace of the Blessed Trinity,
Mother full of love and tenderness,
fountain of beauty,
wellspring of wonders,
golden key of God’s kingdom,
you are the admiration of angels,
the joy of the human family.
Who can ever do justice to your glory,
to your Queenship of grace?

Blessed are you, O virgin Mary, for you carried the Creator of the world in your womb.

0531From: Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary~

Morning   I love to pray this Little Office each day….there is so much to ponder and so much motherly comfort Our Lady offers through this special devotion! 

A song to learn:

Bring flowers of the rarest,
bring flowers of the fairest

From garden and woodland and hillside and vale;

Our full hearts are swelling,
our glad voices telling

The praise of the loveliest Rose of the vale.

:0 Mary, we crown you with blossoms today,

Queen of the Angels,
Queen of the May.:

Our voices ascending,
in harmony blending,

0, thus may our hearts turn, dear Mother, to you.

0, thus shall we prove you how truly we love you;

How dark without Mary life’s journey would be. (Ref.)

The flower that honors Our Lady’s Queenship is the Bachelors Button.



""Mary’s Crown" (Centauria
cyannis) reminds students to pray to Mary for her mediation of
the graces prompting them in their contributions to the building of
God’s Kingdom, of which she is Queen.

The gold rose, Flpeacerosethe Marygold,Images and other golden flowers, symbolize
Mary, the "Queen in gilded clothing", who, from the interior of the
Heaven of the Trinity, "comes forth as the morning rising, fair as
the moon, bright as the sun and terrible as an army set in battle
array", with her Divine Child, to minister in love, as our Heavenly
Mother, to us, her spiritual children on earth.

Mary’s Gold

The marigold was called Mary’s Gold by early Christians who placed the flowers around statues of Mary, offering the blossoms in place of coins. It was told that Mary used the blossoms as coins. A legend says that during the Flight into Egypt the Holy Family was accosted by a band of thieves. They took Mary’s purse and when they opened it, marigolds fell out."
..from mgardens.org

The Cornflower or Bachelor’s Button became known as  "Mary’s Crown" because of the flower’s resemblance to a feathery cap. It was elsetimes said to have been Mary’s cushion, upon which she rested her pretty feet.

More on the Marygold

Carlo Crivelli  "The Madonna and Child Enthroned with the Saints" (Marigolds depicted on the throne in the painting)
Also seen in Bernardino Luini’s "Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John"
They are also found in the Unicorn Tapestries of the Late fifteenth century
~above information from "Mary’s Flowers Gardens Legends and Meditations" by Vincenzina Krymow (link in the sidebar)~

Marigold Coloring Page
Rose Coloring Page
Bachelors Button Coloring Page
smaller image Bachelor’s Button
Cornflower Border Paper  (Bachelor’s Button)

French Marigold Border Paper
Rose Corner
small roses

Some random ideas:

We will place our copywork on border paper and decorate with clip art of other Queenship flowers.
Copywork will include "Hail Holy Queen"

Fold a piece of cardstock to look like a purse….copywork about the legend of the marigold on the front and open the flap to reveal clip art of marigolds….include the poem "The Marygold"

Color picture of Our Lady as Queen and decorate border with queenship flowers.

"You are a living paradise
    Of gloriously colored flowers." ~Konrad  Wurzburg

Decorate a Crown for Our Lady with Bachelor’s buttons….or place them at the feet of Our Lady!

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