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Everything posted by annegables

  1. I agree. Regarding the bolded, I swing too much in the other direction - I have neglected the demands of my children because of books:). I just asked my kid to hold off on showing me all his newly learned magic tricks because I just want to finish this chapter!!! Your first paragraph is encouraging.
  2. I have taught parody from Covid parody songs. And from Weird Al's version of American Pie.
  3. I just got Blending Structure and Style in Composition (BSSC) by James Webster (a 300pg spiral bound book + instruction manual) that IEW TWSS is based off of, according to them. I have not seen IEW's stuff, so take this assessment with a grain of salt. This manual walks you through 9 units of teaching writing, with Unit 2 being all about their dress-ups. Throughout the manual, examples are given of how to systematically edit a student's writing. I found it helpful to have the instruction spelled out so thoroughly, with actual student examples at different levels and stages of writing. My thoughts (I am only up to Unit 3 in reading). The dress-ups are a lot of Killgallon techniques, just with the non-grammar names for the most part. But BSSC (and IEW, I assume) puts them all into a checklist of what should be included in writing. This is where some people chafe and where some people find IEW really helpful. A lot of the paragraph instruction I thought was similar to The Writing Revolution instruction, but again, BSSC got much more in the weeds with how to do it. With my kids, I do say things like, "put an appositive phrase here", or "change these three verbs to be stronger." I do like having different techniques for sentence variety all in one place. I did find the ideas of how to extract key information and then re-write from that to be helpful. It seems like the half-step before the traditional Roman numeral outline as taught in WWS and adjusted for far lower reading levels as needed. It also teaches how to take an outline of 9 items and turning that into 2-3 separate paragraphs and then expanding it. This will probably be the most helpful for my "I don't know how to get out the information and write more than a sentence" child. Another thing about grammar. James Webster began teaching in the 1940s in Canada, when it was apparently strongly frowned upon to teach actual grammar. So his method of sneaking in grammar without upsetting the administration was to introduce techniques without the names. Hence, "-ly words" and "who/which".
  4. The bolded is tragic. I would get a maternity test.🤣 I have a 1000 piece JA book puzzle and we make this puzzle about 5-6 times a year (we love puzzles and this is a great one). I am hoping that early indoctrination prevents such a fate. Gustave Dore!!! That is a great idea! I have been salivating over his Dante! My natural inclination is to save the money for future use, but my mother knows me too well and banned that😁. My childrens' stipulation was that it cannot be used on writing or grammar instruction. Fair enough.
  5. I think this is more the way I am inclined to go- thank you for putting it in words for me. But this bumps up against my desire for minimalish living, but also needing to educate and having resources. I like the idea of owning the books needed for high school to remove the burden of having to remember library deadlines. Plus, if I own them, it is easier to remember to use them...
  6. The bolded is only somewhat the case, I think. While there are technically more places to go in LA than most other places, LA is under phase one of the governor's orders:https://covid19.lacounty.gov/recovery/ I think those phases are some of the strictest in the nation. I know that many people are privately not following the rules and having small gatherings, but in public there is very little to do because almost everything in closed. The beaches are open, thank God, but most LA beaches do not get crowded as compared to beaches on the east coast. (Yes, we have all seen the photos of Huntington Beach in May being crowded). It is not hard to go to most beaches here and not get within 20 feet of another family.
  7. Thanks! This is so helpful, and it is good news to me. Up until about a year ago, I read almost exclusively non-fiction, thanks to AP lit in high school🤐. But in the past year, I have been rapidly trying to make up for lost time. And for several years I have been doing loads of read-alouds with my kids. My hope is that through exposure to lots of well-written books with interesting conversations around said books, that they can start to think about books more deeply than I did.
  8. Yes, but I would also watch the last lecture. He gets into the nitty-gritty a bit more in the last lecture and I found it very helpful. Or, read the stories for each lecture and then watch the second half of each one where he digs into them more.
  9. Oh, I agree completely. Sorry, my original post that you quoted was more just ruminating on that concept and I don't totally know how I feel about it, but it has provided me with lots to think about. Why I am spending my time thinking about the BMV is justification for questioning my sanity... What fascinates me about the BMV is why the wait times are so long, especially in urban areas. So much can be done online now, that you would think this would have eliminated some of the burden. But it is as though the number of buildings and staff have not been increased since the invention of cars. And that one can have an appointment and still wait half a day. I think it is a fabulous case for no one there having any incentive to make the process any better. Now, I recently had a surprisingly good experience at the DMV with very friendly people who were understanding and helpful. But the actual system that they are working in was a big pain.
  10. @Lori D. Your first paragraph is kind of what I was wondering. I think that ultimately, it will be better just to own the books rather than deal with the library.
  11. We own The Bookshelf for Boys and Girls with we have read aloud through. Off to check out the others...
  12. Thanks for the book rec! Just placed a library hold on it.
  13. Several different streams in my homeschooling life have just intersected. I have been wrestling with what to do for writing for my 5th grader. I just finished the last lecture and am like, "This is what I want to teach him to write about!!!" And I know I have the tools for how to lead this. Man, I am getting all verklempt just thinking about it.
  14. I heard on a philosophy podcast (Philosophize This perhaps?) the podcaster talking about how we all want equal treatment (this argument is in no way connected to race relations), which ultimately results in being treated like a number. (I am going to butcher the argument, but the salient point remains). His point was this, we say that, but we really want specialized treatment regarding our circumstances. The place where treatment tends to be the most equal, is the BMV. At the BMV (this has been my experience in several states), everyone, simply everyone is treated as a number. There is no individual consideration for anyone's circumstances. There is no incentive to treat anyone human, but instead as a number. The BMV is the ultimate in "equal treatment" and it tends to completely infuriate everyone who is forced to go there.
  15. Sorry I keep replying in my own thread. Something else I really like about TTC is that I don't feel like I have to eat an elephant in order to "do literature correctly" with my kids. There is no expectation of reading half the Western canon by graduation. I have no intention of slacking, but a weight lifted off my shoulders when I realized that.
  16. We have been reading The Jabberwocky and I am excited to discuss the poem using what I have learned.
  17. Do you think the edition matters? I lean towards earlier editions because they are available used and cheaper
  18. I am almost finished session 8, the final session. I keep thinking (in a good way) "Is this it? Has it been this straightforward all along?" For me, the feeling is akin to if all my life I thought that cleaning the carpet required loads of special knowledge, and then along comes someone who just removes the broom from my hands and gives me a vacuum. You mean, I don't need to look for sexual frustration as a theme in every dang piece of literature?! Or try and suss out Freudian mama issues from O Captain My Captain? World rocked. I have come to the conclusion that if there in an underlying theme of sex that is never mentioned, I will never figure that out.
  19. Very unexpectedly, I am being gifted an amount of money to be used towards the education of my children. What I would like to do with it are to buy books that I will use to teach literature to my children who are in 3rd, 5th, and 7th (I am fine getting books to be used in a few years from now). My natural tendency is to use the library for our books, but over the years of homeschooling, book creep has set in and we now have several bookshelves full🤣 (thank you, Covid library closure and the Hive's recommending books my library doesn't have!). What literature books do you think are important to own a copy of? Or is there something not literature that you think I absolutely must have? (We own all the science and most of the history and geography).
  20. In an effort to educate myself on how to teach literature, I spent a lot of time researching and decided a few weeks ago to get a membership to Center For Lit's Teaching the Classics. I chose them because there methods seemed the most accessible to me, and because the founders were homeschoolers whose mission is to teach parents how to teach literature. (As an aside, I have also been listening to lit analysis podcasts from Circe). I am most of the way through the course and I have appreciated it immensely, but not for what I originally thought it would be. I have always thought that to read literature, it required special knowledge or the ability to almost magically mentally manipulate content to extract meaning. And I thought TTC would show me the special handshake and rituals to be able to do that myself. Much to my initial chagrin, I saw that I would not be inducted into any such secret society of literary erudites. Instead, what the course has helped me with is to show me that I don't need any seemingly magical abilities to extract meaning from a proverbial rock. With asking good questions, I can effectively guide myself and my kids on a rich literary journey. This course has fleshed out ideas that I have known and has provided a better framework for me to think about books. Now, that being said, I was listening to The Play's The Thing by Circe where they discussed Julius Caesar and someone said something like "Only an idiot would root for Marc Antony in this play." At that moment I realized that I knew less Roman history than I thought bc I didn't realize how bad Antony was. I have always like Marc Antony in that play for his delightful soliloquies in Act 3. I still don't like Brutus and partially agree with Dante about which circle of hell he and Cassius belong in:). I did not read Caesar to the same level of competence that the commentators did, but I feel like I understood it better than I would have 6 months ago.
  21. Au contraire to the bolded. Thank you for saying this. So, um, ah, that is not a writing requirement to be able to do a written summary of what one reads? This is possibly the most liberating post I have read in a while. I can just keep doing what I have been doing successfully with maybe some minor tweaks! Your voice is so helpful because you have seen the process through several times. I see a 5th grader and think, "AHHH, I have only 8 years to help him with writing before sending him off into the wide world!!"
  22. My youngest is doing Treasured Conversations and he was very disappointed that the Bushy story was not longer😁. So, my wanting IEW is mainly just to try and fix the problem that he (my middle) hates writing a summary of something he read. "I don't know what it was talking about!!!!" He wails, after giving me an informal blow-by-blow account of what just happened. "I don't know how to start it!!!" "Don't help MEEEEEEE!!!" Don't even ask how WWE went. But he can write lots about things he does or other informational topics, like history. I get the feeling that IEW might be like trying to fix a small problem with a sledgehammer.
  23. Thank you for your detailed reply! This was very helpful in helping me think through things. I have been listening to The Art of Language Podcast and I think I am going to try and implement some of the principles discussed (giving very specific assignments) with some of what we are doing already (with Killgallon, etc) to add sentence variety, while incorporating KWO on short Aesop's fables that I just got from the library (how fortuitous!) and see how Sept goes. With adding some rubrics for complete/incomplete. Also, I bought the book the TWSS is based off of (Building Structure and Style? - it hasn't come yet), so I will read that bc Webster goes into his checklist/rubric in the book. My big concern with IEW is that this kid really, really dislikes "random" writing assignments. He wants to write about what he is learning. Full stop. If this is a flop, then I will spend some money in Oct. Also, I had to laugh at the bolded. Oh, if only I knew how true that would be, says 4-years-ago me.
  24. This is kind of what I am debating with myself. I have read an untold amt of books on how to teach writing and have a decent grasp of scope and sequence. And I got this reluctant writer from word-vomiting sentences to writing coherent, interesting paragraphs last year in 4th grade.
  25. I had my 5th grader (avg reader - can read Harry Potter) and can write 1-3 paragraphs on topics of his choice, with a topic sentence, appropriate details, and a closing sentence (what we did all last year). However, after 2 years of WWE, he hates and is still awful at writing out a summary. He can orally summarize, but the histronics of getting that oral summary onto paper (even when I have written it for him!) is frustrating. I was going to start him on WWS half-speed, but there is no way he can do the reading and then summarize it without life ending. I am strongly considering getting IEW to give him lots of guidance on how exactly to write a summary. I would do IEW for 1-2 years and then go back to WWS. Thoughts? The cost is really my biggest impediment with just taking the plunge. Anyone been there, done that?
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