Thursday, July 19, 2012

Paddle To The Sea

We have been reading Paddle to the Sea by Holling. C. Holling all year. Yes, you heard that right. all.year.

But what a journey it's been. In many ways it's just a picture book, with a full page illustration for each 1-page chapter, about a little wooden canoe. But this little wooden canoe, carved by hand by a Nipigon Indian child has a destiny far beyond the landscape of its creation; traveling through the Great Lakes of Canada towards it's final destination... which we are 3 short chapters away from.

This was one of our very first Charlotte Mason-inspired reads, taking the approach of slowly, gently traveling through a book. Absorbing it. Living within it. We generally only read 1 chapter a week (there are 27) and I have the boys narrate the chapters as we go... and the dipping in and out approach is an interesting one.

I recently discovered that there is a short film (30 mins, 1966) which was nominated for an Oscar in its day. We will watch it in celebration when we finally finish :)

At the beginning of the year we visited a timberyard and selected timber with the plan to make our own canoes... Ummm, that never happened. Whoops! A bit of a #mamafail there ;) I'm not the handiest person ever.

I can, however, get an art project off the ground *smile* and this was how we narrated our reading yesterday: wet-on-wet painting (starting with yellow, then adding blue to make green) which we let dry and completed today with the addition of some very crumbly white charcoal pencils. and a little coloured-canoe being tossed in the waves.

We will miss Paddle! But I know he will live on in our hearts, I think that's the true gift of taking it slow :)

What books have you and your children been savoring?


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  1. Such beautiful paintings. We are planning on reading it this year. My husband has a copy from when he was a boy.

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  2. I'm looking forward to reading this book with my girls, but we are not good about taking it slow with books. We read so many, so fast...maybe we should choose one or 2 to savor while we devour the rest...something to think about. Thanks for this post!

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