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How have you used the Genevieve Foster books or Archimedes and the Door of Science, or other similar books?


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#1 urpedonmommy

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

I am looking at both Augustus Caesar's World and Archimedes and the Door of Science for next year. I love the richness and the connection-based ideas behind these books, but I find myself having a hard time picturing exactly how we would use these. Just as read alouds? As spines, doing additional reading on topics that come up? Ds is moving into middle school, and while I have previously been content to read things together and just let whatever sticks be enough, I am hoping to begin requiring more of him with our readings, but I am not sure exactly what or how. These seem like such wonderful resources that I don't really want to just read aloud or assign it and leave it at that but I am not quite sure what else to require/how to go deeper with these materials.

I guess, when it comes down to it that I don't really know how to pursue a "book study" with an older kid, whether it is a history or science or literature based book.

#2 rieshy

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

We are using both of these books this year with my 5th grader. He does narrations to me from them, but reads on his own. When I did these books about 7 years ago with 3 of his older siblings we did The Augustus Caesar's World as a group read-aloud and looked at maps, made lists, discussed, etc. Both ways are meaningful- but different times and different children call for different methods:)

FYI, with my very oldest child I originally assigned the Caesar's World as a history spine for him to read to himself, it was an utter failure- he couldn't keep all the threads together and was completely confused, I had to do it with him.

#3 Jay3fer

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

We love all the Jeanne Bendick books! She has one for Galen, Herodotus and... well, I forget; I think there's one more. They hold the younger kids' attention, but just barely. If they were a bit older, they'd go over better, I'm sure, especially if they were used to dry history; I think they almost have TOO high standards... :-)

I also bought Augustus Caesar's World, more out of interest. I like it, but it's way beyond my younger kids and I think a bit too eclectic for the older ones. I may try it again; they're not homeschooled but read whatever I leave in the bathroom. It's my way of sneakily exposing them to great knowledge and ideas. ;-)

#4 Kfamily

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:52 PM

My younger dd (9) will be reading Augustus Caesar's World sometime next year (our schedule is a bit off) and hopefully she'll be starting Archimedes and the Door of Science later this year.

She's going to start her study of the ancients next week and this is our plan for history (roughly).

Spine: Book of the Ancient World (Dorothy Mills)
Tales of Ancient Greece (Green)
The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt (Payne)

Spine: I'm undecided about this still...I may use Story of the Greek People by Tappan...still thinking...I have Famous Men of Greece and could use some of it too.
Archimedes and the Door of Science
Men of Athens (Coolidge)

Spine: Story of the Roman People (Tappan) or Famous Men of Rome (still deciding on this)
Augustus Caesar's World
Lives of Famous Romans (Coolidge)

I'll probably have her use the Book Notes I create for her spines for her narration work and map work. We keep a Book of Centuries for important dates and artifact drawings. Her primary supplements (listed under her spines) I usually just have her read aloud and either give an oral narration or write a narration. For Archimedes and the Door of Science, I'll probably have her do a large number of sketches and diagrams, and I'll probably add some experiements that relate. For Augustus Caesar's World, I may go ahead and create Book Notes for this book too (since it is so large) and this way we'll have an organized way to expand on it. These are my general thoughts, but I still need to work on it. :) I'm not sure that this was very helpful....sorry about that.

I do have more books for literature in mind for her that will tie with this time period.

#5 urpedonmommy

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:59 PM

Kfamily--I have seen you mention your book notes on other threads, and I wonder if you would be willing to share how you go about creating them. I think they may be the kind of tool I was hoping to create for these materials. I'd love to hear more.

#6 Kfamily

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:25 PM

Sure! :)

I usually read the book for which I'm creating the notes and as I read I take notes. I keep a list of proper nouns as I read which I divide into categories of people, places and other. The other category is a catch-all for proper nouns that do not fit under the two former categories. We use the list of places as an aid in map/globe work. These are designed to fit a CM style narration. CM allowed for lists of proper nouns to aid in narrations. My dc use the list as they orally narrate or for written narrations.

When I've finished reading the chapter, I then go back over it and write narration suggestions or questions. Questions are designed to allow for a lot of room for a child's thoughts/ideas on a reading. I try to stay away from questions which lead them too much. My goal is not to create questions which check their comprehension, but questions which allow them to add their own thoughts and perspective in relation to what they've just read. (I hope this makes sense. I'm typing this out rather quickly.)

Often when I finish this, I'm done. But, I do still add every few chapters or so a link to a poem or piece of art that directly relates to a person/event that was just read in one of the chapters. For older students, I also create assignments. I like to add primary sources to an older student's work too.

I have a number of them finished on my blog (A Mind in the Light) under Book Notes if this might help.

I'll probably do Archimedes and the Door of Science before Augustus Caesar's World but I'm not sure how soon you'll need them.

#7 urpedonmommy

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

Thank you! I have had a lot of fun poking around your site and peeking at your book notes. What a great resource you have there! I think I am going to attempt something similar for these books--they really seem well suited to this treatment.


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