Monday, September 27, 2010


For guidance in our history explorations this year, we're trying out a freely downloaded sample curriculum from Pandia Press. So far, so good. Remember, I use any and all curriculum as a guide. A suggestion. We keep our relationship strictly casual.

We're into monks, monasteries, and illuminated manuscripts these days.  Y'all, are you familiar? These manuscripts are just so breathtaking that you can't believe some poor monks spent hours hunched over tables in the scriptorium, probably losing their eyesight as they painstakingly formed these amazing letters.

Here's an example from

The book Bibles and Bestiaries: A Guide to Illuminated Manuscripts has some great examples as well. I threw informational and inspirational nuggets from it out at the kids as they were toiling in our own scriptorium this morning. I got some vellum and shiny pens and dug out some calligraphy books and let them go to town making their own illuminated manuscripts.

(Why are they called "illuminated"? Because the embellishments were often gold-plated, so they shone luminously when any light hit them.) 




Don't you love the profound thought expressed in his manuscript? While true, I do wonder whether the Benedictine monks might look askance at it.

I was really surprised that Ian took to this project. He doesn't always join in the crafty endeavors, but he got into this one. Using the calligraphy book as a guide, he labored over his fancy letters -- and this is a boy who has always disliked handwriting.

But isn't that the nature of this parenting adventure? We keep thinking maybe we have our kids figured out (MAYBE), and then whoosh! They surprise us. They refuse to be pigeonholed. They bring hidden parts of themselves to the light, and we can't help but marvel at how luminously they shine.


Beck said...

And guess what craft we have planned for today? ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS!
I hope my kids take to it as well.

Isn't the Pandia Press history program AMAZING?

Anne J said...

Wow, what beautiful books. I think I may have to look into this curriculum for us as well. I love the illuminated writings of your kids!

Stephanie said...

This is neat. I bet my young artistic girl would love it!

Bear Creek Mama said...

Yes! We are GOING to do this - thank you!
I talked with a fellow homeschool mom just today and she invited Hannah to her writing workshop if I will please work with her daughter in art. I think this will be a really fun project to cross both subjects. Thanks for the inspiration.

Moxy Jane said...

One of our favorite books is Marguerite Makes a Book, by Bruce Robertson and Illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt.

I do so enjoy Ian's profundity;-)

Julie said...

So wonderful!