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Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Bell and the Judge

 A story to tell your children:

The Bell and the Judge

In China there was once a wise judge named Chen Shu-ku.  A rich man came to him and complained that somebody in his household had stolen from him, but he did not know who it was.   Chen Shu-ku put a large bell in a curtained palanquin and brought it to the rich man’s house.  He smeared it all over with ink, but kept it behind the curtains.  He told all the household it was a magic bell that would always ring when a thief touched it.  Then he had each person reach through the curtain, one by one, to touch the magic bell.   Then he examined everybody’s hands and discovered the thief. 

How to tell it: 
Read it to yourself a few times, maybe once or twice a day for a week. Every time you read it, narrate it back to yourself.  Change it however you like- Use voices for the judge and the rich man.  Describe a few of the servants who reached in their hands to touch the bell - something like, 'first came the girl who made the dumplings in the kitchen.  She was quick and impatient to get back to her dumplings.  Then came the boy who worked in the garden. He was nervous because he wasn't sure if snacking on a peach once in a while was stealing or wages.  Then came the tutor for the rich man's children.  One by one the other servants came."
Write down the  the bare outline for the story.   Tell it to yourself, or the dog, or plant in the bookcase.

Then tell it to the children, nonchalantly, while doing dishes together, or folding laundry, or taking a break from chores.  Begin, "Did I ever tell you the story of the wisest judge in China?"  And go on.  Let the children think about how the judge knew who was the thief (he is the only one with no ink on his hands, because he was afraid to touch the bell).

Why do you want to collect a few stories to tell aloud?  Because it's part of a CM education.=)  She encouraged parents to collect a 'repertoire' of oral stories to tell.  More on that here.

There is also a good article I find on how this oral story telling builds emotional connections which I included in this edition of Education for All

$5.00- Education for All, vol 2- the Imagination (and more) issue!- transcript of the imagination talk from the AO Camp meeting, with additional material I had to cut to save time.  
 $5.00- Education for All, a new CM journal,   Feed Your Mind!  This issue contains several articles on handicrafts, outdoor play, nature study and science. See sidebar for purchasing options if you are in the Philippines.

 $3.00 Five Little Peppers and How They Grew Copywork (grades 2/3, carefully selected with an eye toward finely crafted sentences, lovely bits of writing pleasant to picture in the mind's eye, and practice in copying some of the mechanics of grammar and punctuation typically covered in these years.

  $3.00 Aesop's Fables Copywork for Year One!  Carefully selected with an eye toward well written sentences, memorable scenes, and some practice copying sentences that model the basics of capitalization and punctuation.   Suitable for use with children who have already mastered the strokes and letters for basic penmanship.

Picture Study!  Miguel Cabrera's beautiful, diverse families, painted in 18th century Mexico this package includes 9 downloadable prints along with directions for picture study and background information on the artist and his work. $5.00

Common Kitchen:  What's for lunch?  Isn't that a common problem in homeschooling families?  What to fix, what is quick, what is frugal, what is nourishing?  How can I accomplish all those things at once?  We homeschooled 7 children, and I was a homeschooling mom for 29 years on a single income.  I collected these recipes and snack ideas from all over the world.  These are real foods I used to feed my family, my godsons, and sometimes my grandkids.  Includes some cooking tips and suggestions for sides, and for a variety of substitutions.  I think every family will find something they can use here. $5.00


  1. I love this, and will tell this to my kids for sure. Thank you!

  2. Glad you like it! I hope the kids enjoy it!