My son is reading Farmer Boy to me as a part of the Memoria Press Intro to Composition program. It's a good fit for him. My daughter took to narration very quickly but he tends to freeze up when asked to process certain types of information. It's interesting because he functions very, very well when it comes to actual life. He gets up and takes care of his responsibilities without any reminder at all. He cleans his room when asked and sometimes, just when he feels it needs to be done. He consistently starts his lessons an hour early. Anyway. Intro to Composition takes a more guided approach to reading comprehension and it's helped him gain some confidence.
I forgot how much we enjoy Farmer Boy. I'm pretty sure my husband would leave me for Mrs. Wilder if given the chance, after reading about her lavish dinners. I can't manage that, but I did put together a little Farmer Boy inspired snack with apples (& dip), mulled cider, and popcorn - the Wilder family's after dinner snack 'round the fire. We also tried the popcorn in a full glass of milk phenomenon Almanzo ponders.
Even more fun - we made punched tin lanterns. Sort of. I just though "Hey, fun craft. I can do that." Then I got sucked into a metal working black hole and was about to seriously invest in tin working tools and copper sheets and and and. Please tell me you do this too. Go a little too far with projects, given all the freedom and possibilities with homeschooling? I had to take a deep breath and step back. I bought some tin pails at JoAnn's and with a sharpie and a drill just drilled some holes in the backyard. While it worked and is charming when lit, the metal has a big bunch of sharp edges now. I think there are other methods but for now, I am calling it good enough. Until I find time to wander a bit in the home improvement store because we really did have fun and the shadows cast by the lanterns are so pretty.
I have all our favorite autumn books in a pile on the fireplace, among them A Farmer's Alphabet which is such a treasure, a deceptively simple alphabet book but one over which we linger as it is a true work of art. And of course, Ox-Cart Man, which ranks among my top ten favorite picture books. My son is also memorizing The Happy Farmer from the Memoria Press poetry course*:
Let the mighty and the great Roll in splendor and state I envy them not, I declare it. I eat my own lamb, My own chicken and ham; I shear my own sheep and I wear it. I have lawns and green bowers, Fresh fruits and fine flowers, The lark is my bright morning charmer. So God bless the plow In the future as now- A health and long life to the farmer.
*We are using Poetry for the Grammar Stage and the seventh grade anthology as actual, formal courses this year and we are loving it. To round out the seventh grade studies, we are reading a variety of American short stories, many of which were recommended by friends on Facebook. I hope to list these eventually. It's been so much fun.