Nathan has been reading Robert Frost's poetry for the past 12 weeks. He chose the poem "Walking by Woods on a Snowy Evening" to memorize. Just today, I finished reading aloud to the children Robert Frost: America's Poet by Doris Faber, Illustrated by Paul Frame.
We learned that Robert's dad loved to go on long nature walks with his son, up and down the hills of San Fransisco. Before the age of eleven, when Robert's father died of tuberculosis, Robert nor his sister ever attended school. His father liked to say, "There's no need to coop him up in some unhealthy schoolroom." And when Robert had children of his own he chose to keep his children at home and traveling with him, also. All throughout Robert's life, we noticed that he sought out nature and solitude. He would continually go from times mingling with people to needing times of solitude, manual labor, and hours with nature. I had to wonder how much those early days of trekking with his father must have influenced his life!
Robert Frost, later in life, taught college English classes. I found his teaching style so interesting, quite unconventional! While he ruffled the feathers of other professors, he was often a favorite teacher with the students.
Mr. Frost was the first to speak at an Inaugural Address, invited by President Kennedy. At his death two years later,
President Kennedy spoke for all of his fellow countrymen: "He had promises to keep and miles to go, and now he sleeps."I've been reminded, once again, of the power of "living" books! Some of my children have been inspired to write a bit more than normal this week. The writing did not come from an assignment that I dreamed up, but it came from the feelings and thoughts of their hearts. I love it when this happens. It's beautiful and it's the kind of education that Robert Frost thought most valuable!