Book of Joy, Day 6, by Briana Elizabeth

Paper is a magical thing. We take it for granted, we recycle it, we toss it, we scribble on it, but it’s actually amazingly fragile, and can be manipulated into things that are strikingly beautiful.

Old paper ephemera can go for a lot of money at an auction. Why? Because people just toss it in the garbage, instead of tucking it away carefully therefore making it rare. Just paper, right? Dresden ornaments are highly sought after, and yet they’re just cardboard.

So don’t despise paper. Take care with it. Take your time making the stars with care, and keep them as the heirlooms they are.

Every year I make some Finnish Stars. They’re so easy to make, but are so fragile and beautiful. You can make them large (using 12×12 paper), or you can make them as tiny as you like.

You’l need some glue, scissors, and paper. You don’t want to use a glob of glue on these–you want tiny dots, so make sure the kids know beforehand how much glue to use.


You also want to make sure your paper has some body. This is that old wrapping paper I made the Advent calendar with, but when I started to make the parts of the star, it didn’t have enough body to hold the form, but notice that the back of the paper makes it interesting in contrast with the red!


Then I went into my closet and found an old hymnal. I know, I know, some of you are weeping. I did think twice about it, I assure you. But you can use more wrapping paper, construction paper, scrapping paper, and just plain old computer paper. Draw on the paper. Watercolor on it. Let the kids go to town with it, and experiment with it. However, don’t treat it shabbily. Go into it with the idea of making an heirloom, and the kids will take care.

So make some cocoa, put on some music, and make garlands to hang in your doorways, or small ornaments for the tree. Hang a tassel off the bottom. String some beads on the top. But most of all, spend some time loving the people you’re with.

Here are some directions.

Briana Elizabeth has been at this homeschool gig since her 23 year old son was in 7th grade, and his psychiatrist told her that he had to be homeschooled. Her son never went back to public school that year, and the following year, she pulled her 4th grade daughter out of public school. Her five other children have all been homeschooled entirely. It was baptism by fire, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Through the years, she has in the end, not only educated her children, but herself, and homeschooling has brought about a whole paradigm change of living for her family. The education that had seemed only possible for the elite was possible through classically homeschooling.


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