As I look at the world, I worry. Earthquakes. Floods. Unrest sweeping the Middle East. “Wars and rumors of wars.” Decadence. The church, deeply influenced by surrounding culture. America so deeply in debt it seems only a matter of time before we implode entirely. Democratic ideals subordinated to increasingly centralized power. The Proverbs 31 woman “smiles at the future.” I am one in a long line of mothers who find this is not our natural reflex, who wonder and worry about the world our children…Continue Reading “Encouragement from Chesterton”

I’ve been searching for a different look, so don’t be surprised if Across the Page looks different every time you stop in. My blog is a little like my hair: I may get it cut in different ways, but somehow it always ends up looking basically the same. On the blog, that means a big banner image at the top, text below. I’d actually like to find something that’s a bit less image-heavy, a bit quieter and content-centric, but not totally boring. But what I…Continue Reading “B, B, Biology”

I’ve seen posts on this at Reading to Know and Magistra Mater, and I’ve been bracing for this little exercise in literary self-flagellation.  Though the list could go on much longer then ten books, here are the first ten that meet the eye when I glance at my shelves: I really, really wanted to like this book after reading Jacobs’ The Narnian. But it was a book of a different color — densely theoretical and nearly unreadable with the burden of academic jargon. I actually…Continue Reading “Ten Books I HAD to Have… Still Sitting on my Shelf”

I started reading this novel to my daughters last week, and I raved about it. I’m withdrawing my rave. In fact, I’m discontinuing it as a read-aloud. Normally I don’t write about either unfinished or abandoned books. But since I foolishly wrote about this one before I finished it and would feel bad if anyone else picked it up based on my premature enthusiasm, I feel the need for a second post. The opening chapters have the Elizabeth Goudge trademark of wonderful place descriptions, as…Continue Reading “Linnets and Valerians (Revised)”

It’s that time again — the What’s On Your Nightstand carnival at 5 Minutes for Books, where we’re invited to share what we’ve been reading, or what we plan to read. Click the button to find out the details, and join in. I missed the last Nightstand, but here’s what I’ve read over the last month: A.A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, reviewed here. This was a page turner in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle and a fun glimpse of the Milne beyond Pooh. Sherry…Continue Reading “On the Nightstand, March 2011”

Over the last year I discovered Elizabeth Goudge, a 20th century Christian author with a remarkable gift for capturing the beauty and sense of place in the English countryside that forms the setting for many of her books. Readers of Goudge will be familiar with her trilogy about the Eliot family, their indomitable matriarch Lucilla Eliot, and their country estate Damerosehay, a 16th-century mansion patterned after the the one to which Goudge herself retreated to face her own inner demons. The real Damerosehay is demolished,…Continue Reading “The Heart of the Family”

It might not look like much to you. Dirt, with bits of feeble green poking through. But a week and two days ago, it looked like this: and this: and this: A few weeks ago the cardinals, who are here all winter but silent, began singing again in the morning. Then the robins came back. I’ve been hearing their song in the early mornings and it’s been wonderful. But this. THIS means spring is here. February feels like I’m hanging from a cliff, grasping with…Continue Reading “Look…”

I don’t think I normally begin thinking beyond our current schoolyear this early. But yesterday the less-than-perfect aspects of my fourth-grader’s experience this year spurred me online to investigate some materials, and I found myself laying an entire tentative plan for next year. Both girls will be doing earth science and astronomy next year, at second and fifth grade levels. The astronomy decision is easy: Real Science-4-Kids. Our experiences with pre-level 1 chemistry and level 1 physics have been quite positive — even though not…Continue Reading “Looking Ahead: Curriculum Musings”

The Everlasting Man (1925) is G.K. Chesterton’s response to H.G. Wells’ Outline of History. Chesterton took issue with Wells’ evolutionary interpretation and his ensuing book is one of the ten C.S. Lewis credited as most influential in his intellectual life, spiritual history and vocation. What comes to mind first is a question: what would Chesterton think of one such as I “reviewing” his book? I feel completely inadequate. His learning is immense in both breadth and depth, his wit superlative, his good nature and brilliance…Continue Reading “The Everlasting Man”

*Edited to add: See my revised view of this book. It’s Read-Aloud Thursday, and none of the shorter books we’ve read this week seem post-worthy. But we’re a few chapters into Elizabeth Goudge’s Linnets and Valerians, an ALA Notable Book for Children published in 1964. We are having a blast with it. For one thing, I’m getting a chance to introduce the girls to a recently-discovered author, my favorite discovery from 2010. Elizabeth Goudge has a knack for writing descriptions that capture the essence of…Continue Reading “Linnets and Valerians”