Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Story of Helen, Who Loved Dolls

School has begun in our humble little home. Officially, Peregrine starts first grade this year, and Poppy, at 4 1/2, is my pre-schooler. One of the great things about learning at home is that we are not bound by those numbers, and the kids can learn at their own pace and, largely, learn about things they are interested in. We are doing a combination of a few different curriculum pieces, chosen carefully by Teacher-Mama, who put great thought and care into choosing things that suited our children, their interests, and our family. I've been mulling over, for some time, my teaching philosophy and will one of these days (or months) try to put it into words.
I am very drawn to and inspired by the work of Charlotte Mason, a British educator who lived, taught, and wrote over 100 years ago. The main history and geography curriculum I'm using with Peregrine uses some of her methods, and the language arts program I'm using is also based on her ideas. It tends to be extremely gentle, and instill in children a love of learning. Yesterday we simply looked at the above painting and talked about it. Today, I asked him to tell me a story based on what he sees in the painting. I typed as he dictated to me; since he reads well he watched and instructed me when I left out an exclamation mark, or if he wanted to change a sentence. This is his story. Enjoy!
By the way, does anyone know who did the painting?


Once upon a time there was a little girl named Helen. She had a doll with a blue dress and loved dolls. The house dog with a white chest and orange back legs, Collie, would follow her everywhere she went. One day some friends came to her house. She asked them to play dolls with her, but they said they were going to play freeze-tag. So she decided to play dolls with Collie. She put another of her dolls, Rosie, in front of Collie. Collie picked the doll up in her mouth and ran away with Rosie! Helen put down her blue doll and began to cry. She cried for half an hour there in the corner. Then, Collie came in without Rosie! Helen said “Bad dog! You should never go away with my doll like the way you did!”

Just then, her mother came in. “Why are you crying?” her mother asked. “Because Collie went away with my doll” Helen replied. Her mother said “Never mind. I know where your doll is; Collie ran off and hid it in the bushes.” “Oh, may I get it now?” Helen asked. “Not yet, Silly! It’s lunchtime! Look at the clock!” “Oh,” replied Helen. “You can get it after lunch,” her mother said.

So after lunch her friends said “We’ll play dolls with you now!” “Hurrah!” Helen cried, and jumped up and down. Then, she ran out, got Rosie, got her doll in the blue dress, got five other dolls, and played for hours with her friends.

Then it was time for her friends to leave. “We had a nice time here!” they called. “I’ll see you next time you come!” Helen called back.

And that is my story of a girl named Helen and a dog named Collie with a white chest and orange back legs.


Author’s Note: Guess who wrote this story? If you’re my Grandma, or Papa, which of course you probably might not be, it was me, Peregrine! Since you couldn’t guess it was me, whoever has read this story, you will like it! And how a girl named Helen’s mother helped Helen find her doll that the house dog had hidden in the garden. You can learn a lot from this computer-written book and this exciting story!


  1. I'm using that same LA curriculum with my son... as a supplement though. I really like the picture and poem studies.

  2. I love it so much! It makes me miss my 'little' children. Now they are so big and adult-like. And Naomi never really has been much of a kid :) She has always wanted to be older due to being so much younger than the boys.

    I love the fact that he never even touched on the possibility that 'Helen' may be in a time-out. He is bursting with creativity and panache, that one :)


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