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Narration on Pieter Bruegel The Harvesters

Naomi’s narration:

“Looking at this painting... it looks like cheese because it's all yellow, and it's autumn, and some people are having a picnic and there's a town in the background and children playing and someone going fishing.  The people are poor people [peasants] and the people come from Ireland.  Some men are cutting down the wheat and the wheat looks like tents.  I do not like this painting because it's all yellow!  I prefer paintings with bright colours:  pink, purple, green, blue, red, turquoise and orange.”

This is not exactly up to our usual standards, but it’s a start.  We’re both trying to get back into the swing of things, which is surprisingly tough right now considering that, theoretically, we learn all through the summer.  (I have no idea how she decided that the people were Irish, but I suppose peasants look like peasants all the world over…)

Here’s how we do picture study narration:

After a few minutes of guided picture study, where I ask questions and she can mention what she notices in the picture, she does the narration “blind” (without looking at the picture) and then, before she can peek at it again, draws one detail from the painting.  Here, she’s drawn the bread basket that’s near the right-middle foreground:


I then paste a printout of the original into the book so she can look back at it, which she sometimes does.


In case you’re curious, here’s are some good Picture Study resources:

Practically speaking, very little formal education has taken place here during the last 8 weeks.  Today and Monday have been the exceptions this week.  This picture study is one of our lessons in Classical Writing Primer – Spring, which uses mainly Charlotte Mason methods.  The book intersperses copywork (sections of poems, psalms and songs) with story narrations (from Danny Meadow Mouse by Thornton Burgess), Nature Study (flowers, plants, clouds so far), “light” grammar study (homonyms, rhymes, possessives, etc) and Picture Study (so far, a series of paintings by Pieter Bruegel, which we’ve enjoyed tremendously). 

I like the variety, and the fact that everything is together in one easy-to-use (brainless!) workbook, BUT have decided not to pursue this program because so many of the selections are either Christian or US-based (like Our Country ‘tis of Thee; the winter and spring ones has Xmas type selections).

Am I the only one finding it very hard to just gear up and get started again…?


  1. No, you're not the only one. But we just bit the bullet and did it. And it was good!

    We're doing some CM based stuff, too. Have you ever done the Language Lessons series?

  2. There are a few series with "Language Lessons" in the title, including one from Queen Homeschool Publishing. We are using Susan Wise Bauer's First Language Lessons.
    In fact, we are DAYS away from finishing Book 1 and moving on to Book 2. I like it.
    Haven't tried anything else, grammar-wise. I wasn't even going to do structured grammar except SWB makes it light and fun. :-)

  3. ps... I did say "light and fun" even though the lessons involve lots of memorization, grammar definitions, etc. This is the kind of data-loading that grammar-stage Naomi utterly adores!

  4. We do the Queen ones as of this year, different levels for my oldest two. My oldest isn't into those kinds of things, but he doesn't mind little bits. We use SWB for history, though.


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