Marginalia: The Complete Poems of Robert Frost

In some circles, old books have been relegated to the scrap pile – good for nothing more than stylish decor for bookshelves (seriously, this is a thing…) or for crafting material. While I would certainly agree that there are some books that are worth little more than tinder, regardless of age or condition, I believe that older books can and do hold immense value.

Older books are often fine examples of the craftsmanship that was commonplace long ago. It just wasn’t as common to find quality literature in cheaper paperback form, like is the case today.

Older books also have HISTORY. I just love the idea of a book having been read, studied, and loved so many years ago. I know I have so many books in my personal library that are, to me, treasures, and I imagine someone long ago cherishing these older books in just the same way.

To truly make a book yours, to have a conversation with the author, often requires jotting down notes, writing commentary, underlining, referencing other works.

Part of the pleasure in discovering older books while booking (yeah, that’s a word now) is finding a previous owner’s notes. I am still kicking myself for not grabbing a pocket edition Shakespeare play (A Midsummer’s Night Dream if I recall) that was filled with ancient pencil notes throughout.

I love my copy of The Poetry of Robert Frost (left) – it’s paperback and has a 1979 publication date. But I recently found an somewhat older hardback, with a most recent copyright of 1964. This was a well-loved copy, with extensive notes throughout.



A minor detail, but one that adds that “something” in a hardback.


IMG_0578 The introduction, entitled The Figure a Poem Makes, and signed R.F. The previous owner’s notation drew me immediately to the paragraph on the left. “It should be of the pleasure of a poem itself to tell how it can. The figure a poem makes. It begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” sigh.


The previous owner went through and notated all poems that were included in another student addition.


One poem that isn’t included in this collection is pointed out.

IMG_0581The previous owner, at several points, make notations like this, connecting words to reinforce the relationship between them.

IMG_0582I have had a harder time deciphering some of the other commentary found throughout. The script is a little too sloppy.

IMG_0583Notations in Two Witches: The Witch of Coos. An interesting reference to the 1946 two-act opera The Medium, written by Gian Carlo Menatti.

IMG_0584Here in A Star in a Stone Boat, heavy notations. Connections made between words, and several illegible comments. I wish I could make out what the owner had to say about this poem!

IMG_0585Even the year of publication for each collection was added in by the owner.

I have so enjoyed going through this copy of Robert Frost and seeing how well-loved it was. And I am even further motivated to keep my own marginalia neat enough for future readers!

SREIT Open House

I have been so impressed by the offerings and support for the homeschool community here in San Antonio. There are so many wonderful resources available to us here in the Alamo City, that I often find myself a bit overwhelmed trying to choose which opportunities to take advantage of.

In case you didn’t know, we are a family of Science nerds – we both have our PhDs and have a background in research. We love science and encourage Kyri to read about science topics that interest her. I love finding opportunities that promote Science among young people – this is the age to catch their interest and encourage them. So I am really excited about a resource here in San Antonio that does just this.



SREIT is a local group that organizes classes throughout the school year, geared toward homeschoolers. Kyri will be participating in an upcoming class this spring that focuses on Bugs – she is very excited!

SREIT is also sponsoring the upcoming homeschool Science Fair hosted by TORCH, scheduled for April 13th, 2013.

SREIT has a new location and they are hosting an Open House tomorrow night to showcase their new space and upcoming classes.

For my fellow homeschoolers in the San Antonio area, I would encourage you to make it out tomorrow night and check it out!

SREIT Open House

February 15th, 2013

6:00 – 8:00 PM

6322 Sovereign Drive

Suite 138

San Antonio, TX 78229

Religious education

We are Christians. We are homeschoolers. We are NOT Christian homeschoolers. Rather, we are secular homeschoolers who are Christian. What I mean by this statement is that we do not homeschool for religious reasons, we do not use a Christian-themed curriculum or teach from a Christian worldview. We do not (or rather will not, since we are still only at the kindergarten/1st grade level) teach Creationist science. Our reasons for teaching at home are academic – we believe that we are better equipped to give our children a thorough education at home rather than let them get an average (at best) education in the public school setting. We can work at our own pace, we can give individual attention and be aware when something is not working for our children. We can spend time learning about subjects that are important to us, rather that teaching to an annual test.

Even though we are not “Christian homeschoolers,” our Christian faith is still important to us. More importantly, it is important that we teach our children about our faith. We have not had a church home since we left Florida. We really clicked there, and we have struggled to get plugged into another church since then. Kyri’s Sunday school experience has usually been limited to supervised playtime due to her age, and so she has not had a strong foundation layed – we talk to her about God and the basic tenets of our faith, but she hasn’t learned a lot of the stories and details she might get in a Sunday school class.

I have started introducing some Christian activities during our weekly lesson plans to teach Kyri basic Chrisian concepts – memory verses, stories about Jesus’ parables and miracles, etc. We have devotional books that we read at bedtime to work on character issues. My feelings about religious education are in line with my feelings about academic education – its my responsibility as the parent to take charge of this.

I wanted to share some of the resources we have found.

Five-Minute Devotions for Children: Celebrating God’s World as a Family

Listen to the Animals: Devotionals for Families with Young Children

Read and Share Devotional

Jesus of Nazareth: A Life of Christ Through Pictures

The Miracles of Jesus

The Parables of Jesus


Jesus Saves! Take-Home Mini-Books, Grades PK – 2: His Life, His Love, His Promises, and Why Kids Can Trust Him