Wednesday, March 02, 2011

What We are Reading

We are fairly discombobulated at this point in the school year, but I wanted to put out a post on the books and other resources we are enjoying right now.

We are currently reading Exodus and the Gospel of Mark together. Individually, we are reading the book of Acts, and coming together to discuss questions sent to us by our pastor. (We had a visiting preacher last Sunday. He preached on seed-time and harvest. We had just read and discussed the parable of the sower, and of the seed that grew up, and of the mustard seed. I love it when the Lord does that.)

We are also reading North with the Spring by Edwin Way Teale. We have gotten to Lake Okeechobee in Florida, so we aren't very far into it yet.

That book took the place of The Merchant of Venice by Mr. William Shakespeare, which we finished a few weeks ago. Aravis is also student-directing a very short version of A Midsummer Night's Dream with our literature co-op, and Cornflower is playing Helena.

In Mariel's literature class, we are reading the United States Constitution and hearing presentations on the lives of the Signers.

We put Madam How and Lady Why and It Couldn't Just Happen on the back burner until the end of March, because Mariel and Cornflower are each taking trips with my parents. (Mariel just got back from hers, yay!)

Cornflower and I are reading Kidnapped and Abigail Adams together. She also asked me to help her with This Country of Ours-- it is pretty dense and she understands it better when we read it aloud. She is reading Age of Fable and George Washington's World on her own. She finished Minn of the Mississippi and Explore His Earth last week, which is good, because I require detailed written narration of each episode in GWW, and that takes some time.

She is also reading the poetry of Emily Dickinson, but it is about time to switch over to William Wordsworth. I have a hard time getting into William Wordsworth, but I won't tell that to Cornflower. Maybe she will like him.

Her free reading right now is The Borrowers and Pollyanna.

Mariel and I have not read together in three weeks, because she has been on vacation with my parents, and what a trip she had! She took some books with her, including Joan of Arc by Mark Twain and her Apologia general science book. Joan got read, science did not. Ha.

We are going to dive in again today. We have Mere Christianity, Ourselves, and The Birth of Britain. We especially like Mere Christianity, because we talk walks while we are reading it. He throws so many amazing ideas out that Mariel wants to stop reading and discuss things every couple of paragraphs, and that really lends itself to walk-reading.

On her own, Mariel is reading A Taste of Chaucer, English Literature for Boys and Girls, How the Heather Looks, Age of Chivalry and Idylls of the King. I just love AO Year 7.

Aravis is reading most things on her own, but we do have a couple of read-togethers: Graves of Academe by Richard Mitchell, How to Read Slowly by James Sire, and the second part of Ourselves by Charlotte Mason. I find Mitchell's semantics difficult to understand sometimes-- I have to keep reminding myself that he was writing in the late 70s/early 80s, and those words may mean something different today. Or maybe it isn't semantics and I just don't get it. But every so often, light dawns. We like his humor.

We just got two new books: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well by Paula LaRocque and Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy by Thomas Sowell. Love the title of that last one. Aravis and I are each reading the writing book individually, but we are going to read the book on social policy together, and I can't wait.

(A bit off-topic: Right now I am working on an article, and Richard Mitchell and Paula LaRocque threaten to be my undoing. Every time I read another chapter in their books, I go back to my poor little article and edit ruthlessly.)

Aravis is reading the following on her own: How Should We Then Live? (we watched the video series last year, as well as reading The God Who is There, so I thought she could handle the book on her own), a collection of essays by G.K. Chesterton, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, the poetry of the Brownings, Paul Johnson's History of the American People, Churchill's Great Democracies and the Simonds History of American Literature. She is also reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in Spanish with her Spanish class. She just finished Arguing About Slavery. She is also studying chemistry and geometry.

And speaking of math, I wanted to mention that I switched Mariel and Cornflower to Time4Learning. We have used it for around three months, and I think I like it. There are some negative aspects, but I appreciate that I don't have to be as involved in their math learning and that we can access lessons across grade levels for any little concept gaps the girls may have. I still teach them math quite a bit, but now I have little computer animations teaching the math, too. One more helpful thing.

No comments: