Thursday, August 30, 2012

Classical v. Postmodern Sentence Style

I am looking at Dr. Einarsson's grammar for Mariel (age 14) this year.  I just read the first chapter and feel convicted.
Today, what we say does not have to be thoughtful and conclusive; it just has to be said now, while the microphone is still on... 
...the ideas of today seems to come out in a continuous flow of ongoing language.  Sooner or later the idea seems to be "out there," and then the word stream stops.  But this style, based on flow and quantity, is not the language style of yesterday.  In the past, the carefully structured sentence was the medium for encapsulating and precision-stating our thoughts.  Today, precision and structure seem to be less important than the ability to "wax eloquent" at the drop of a hat.
I'll learn a lot in grammar this year too, I hope.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What Do You Want to Read Here?

I want to post more frequently this year, so I am trying to think of assignments I can use to spur myself on.  Ya'll tend to be a quiet bunch of readers, but I wonder if you will help me out by letting me know what you would like to read from me?  Here are the assignments I've come up with on my own.  This list is based on the blog's most popular posts:

1.  What I'm learning about writing and how to teach it
2.  Reading/study notes for literature-- we're doing Hamlet for co-op this year and I plan to post our lesson plans after I use them in class
3.  Picture study narrations

These are the top three topics of all time as well as for this week.  Isn't that interesting?

What do you want to read here?  Please comment.  Thanks!

Expectations 2012-2013

 We had a back-to-school dinner the other night.  We've been passing around a virus for the past three weeks and needed cheering up.  We aren't starting school until September 4th (good thing because two of my three students are still feverish) but I figured why wait?  We needed some fun and we all enjoy new pencils and erasers!  

During the evening, we went over this list of expectations.  (The other stuff we did was fun, don't worry.)  It's a pretty good exposition on what worked and what didn't last year.  The stuff that worked is not addressed in this policy, while the stuff that didn't work is, kwim?

Group and Mom/Student Lesson Policy

         Be on time.  People who are tardy become my servants for the day.  Bwahahaha.  Being on-time begins with your evening routine the night before (see evening and morning routine checklists)
         Bring supplies.  People who forget supplies will be given organizing chores.
         Most work is due at the end of the day Thursday.  People who aren't finished by this time will be made to do schoolwork on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday until the work is finished.
         Please take care of restroom visits, drinks, meals, etc., before or after.  You will be given two emergency passes at the beginning of the term.  If you still have both passes by Christmas, you will be given an extra $10 to use for Christmas gifts.
          Some homeschool families do school in jammies.  This works for them, but not for us.  Come dressed and ready for the day unless you have my express permission to be in pajamas. (Express permission means you just asked me and I said yes right then.  In other words, no standing permission whatsoever.)
         Come prepared with a cheerful attitude ready to take advantage of the educational opportunities God has granted you.
         Cell phones should be turned off unless you have my express permission to have them on.  The only reason I will give permission is if we are waiting for a response from another teacher or student regarding study or extracurricular activities.  (If you need a calculator, use a calculator, not your cell phone.)

Independent Study Policy

         The following rules apply during study time (7:30a-12:00p Monday through Thursday) as well as any time you are doing schoolwork that didn't get finished during study time. 
         No checking email unless you have my express permission to check.  (See cell phone reason above.)
         No Facebook, forums or Internet research/surfing unless you have my express permission.
         Musical instrument practice may take place in bedrooms.  The living room piano may not be used.


         Schoolbook(s)--check your assignment list to see which books are required each day
         Art supplies

Outside Classes/Extracurricular Activities/Field Trips

         Set supplies in the entryway the night before the activity.  (See checklists for specific activities)
         Make your own lunch and fill/bring your own water bottle.
         Dress appropriately for the weather and the activity.  Shoes are always required.

And always remember I love you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Parallel Construction in CM's Volume 3 (and a beautiful thought too)

We owe it to the past 
to use its gains worthily 
and to advance from the point at which it left off. 

We owe it to the future 
to prepare a generation better than ourselves. 

We owe it to the present 
to live
to live with all expansion of heart and soul, 
all reaching out of our personality 
towards those relations appointed for us.

CM Series Vol. 3 Chapter 8

Thursday, August 09, 2012

2012-2013 School Year

I have neglected the blog lately.  I hope I will post more this school year.  (No promises!)  I do want to put out our plans for the new school year.  First, here are dh's priorities for this year.  (They change a bit every year.  I cannot find last year's list, nor do I remember it, but if I do, I will post it.  The link above is from two years ago.)

Life Skills

Once again, English is high on the list.  Yay!  Civics and history have been two and three for the last couple years.  Geography made a surprising third place showing, which means I need to get my mapwork act together.  

First, group work.  Aravis will be out of pocket most days and may not get to participate in much of this, so I have geared it mostly to Mariel and Cornflower.

Bible-- read straight through with narration.  We are currently in Joshua (OT) and just finished Revelations (NT) and will start again with Matthew.  I really want to do Psalms this year also.  I'm working out a plan for it.

Be Ready to Answer (new edition) by Elder Michael Gowens
Waverly by Sir Walter Scott
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
It's (not that) Complicated by the Botkin sisters
The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
Words that Shook the World (book and CD of speeches with commentary)

I am also working on a short list of scriptures, poems, speeches, etc. for memorization.

This will be Aravis' final year of homeschool.  Joyful, thrilling and bittersweet all at the same time. She is studying the ancients.  Here are the books we have chosen, based partly on Cindy's list for her daughter.

The Christian Imagination by Leland Ryken
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
Has God Spoken? by Hank Hanegraaff
Heroes of the City of Man by Peter J. Leithart
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Aristotle's Poetics
The Greek Way by Edith Hamilton
The Roman Way by Edith Hamilton
The Iliad
The Odyssey
Plato's Republic
The Portable Greek Historians
The Portable Roman Reader
The Blood of the Moon by Dr. George Grant
Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg
Vanity Fair by Thackeray
Middle March by George Eliot
Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz
Ben Hur
and some short stories (James Joyce, William Faulkner, Earnest Hemingway, Flannery O'Connor, Kurt Vonnegut...) 

I hope to get my hands on the King's Meadow Antiquity lectures when they are released. Aravis will also work through Dave Ramsey's college level personal finance course in terms 2 and 3.  She is taking English composition and biology with lab at the local college to round things out.

Mariel will be in her first year of high school.  Eek!  How exciting!  She is reading HEO Year 9, time period 1688-1815.

The God Who is There by Francis Schaeffer
The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
Postmodern Times by Gene Edward Veith (if we have time)
History of the American People by Paul Johnson (first year)
Churchill's Age of Revolution (might be a free read)
Founding Father by Brookhiser
Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis
assorted source documents
One or two other biographies from the time period-- we have quite a few and I will let her pick.
Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose
Map drills from Seterra and Sheppard websites
Are You Liberal, Conservative, Confused? by Maybury
Maybe The English Constitution by Bagehot, Common Sense and Rights of Man by Paine
Essays by Jane Haldeman Marcet
Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
Ourselves (third year)
How to Read a Book (third year)
History of English Literature for Boys and Girls (third year)
Simond's American Literature
Two or three novels of her choosing from the Year 9 list
Finish Grammar of Poetry
Pope, Cowper and Wheatley
Dr. Robert Einarsson's Grammar (still wondering about this)
MEP Math (Years 8-9)
Apologia Biology
The Microbe Hunters (first year)
The Arts by Van Loon (might be a free read)
Spanish with Javamom
In His Image by Dr. Paul Brand (might be a free read)
Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson (first year)

Mariel is drawn to history.  I suspect she will want to read some of the other books in Year 9 as well, but I will let her pick and choose from among them and not require them as school reading.  This list looks long.  I may need to trim a few things.

Now for Cornflower.  My baby is going into middle school this year.  Hard to believe it!  She is reading Year 6, which contains one term of 20th Century and two terms of Ancients.

Story of the World Vol. IV
Augustus Caesar's World
Story of the Greeks
Story of the Romans
Genesis:  Finding Our Roots
Carry a Big Stick (T. Roosevelt)
Never Give In (Churchill)
The Story of David Livingstone
Map drills from Seterra and Sheppard websites
School of the Woods
It Couldn't Just Happen
Secrets of the Universe
Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity
Archimedes and the Door of Science
Galileo and the Magic Numbers
MEP Math (Year 5 into 6)
Frost, Sandburg, Noyes
Age of Fable (third year)
Animal Farm
Black Ships Before Troy
The Bronze Bow
KISS Grammar workbooks (6th grade)

We are still doing the Fine Arts co-op, orchestra and drama club.  In fine arts, the kids will be reading Hamlet, listening to Haydn, Wagner and Copland, and studying the works of Titian, Waterhouse and Byzantine Gothic artists.  I think.  In art class they will be learning color concepts and techniques.  And, of course, they will sing hymns and folksongs.  Ahh.  The drama club play this year is "Night at the Wax Museum".  Aravis is directing and Mariel is doing set design.  Cornflower is finally old enough to audition.  :)  We hope to get to the Y a couple times per week as well.  Sheesh.  It sure seems like a lot.  The girls study pretty well on their own at this stage of the game.  I'm mostly the activity-and-assignment-facilitator.