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Quarter Note

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  1. I tried going to bed tonight, but I lay awake thinking about The Hero's Journey…. “[A] farmboy, who yearns for excitement and glory, is given a wondrous sword and an impossible mission. With the help of new friends, he succeeds, saves the princess, and his destiny is fulfilled. Is it Star Wars or is it The Faerie Queene? Both, of course.” - from the introduction to Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves, Book 1 of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, updated and annotated by Roy Maynard Think of how many children's books follow this pattern: 1. The hero…. (The Redcross Knight, from The Faerie Queene) (Luke Skywalker, from Star Wars) (Aragorn, from the Lord of the Rings trilogy) (Meg, from A Wrinkle in Time) (Dorothy, from The Wizard of Oz) 2. ...receives a powerful, magical object… (Redcross Knight's sword – I don't remember if it was named) (his father's lightsaber) (the sword Anduril) (Mrs. Who's glasses) (ruby slippers) 3. ...finds a buddy or two to accompany him/her… (Una and the dwarf) (Han Solo) (Frodo and the whole fellowship) (Calvin) (the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion) 4. … along with a guiding spirit … (Una's love when she isn't with him) (Obi-Wan Kenobi) (Gandalf) (Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which) (Glinda the Good Witch) 5. ...then defeats a bad guy… (the dragon) (Darth Vader) (the orcs) (IT) (The Wicked Witch of the West) 6. … and lives happily ever after. (marries Una) (rewarded by Princess Leia) (marries Arwen) (brings Father home) (wakes up in Kansas) I'm sure there are many other examples from classic children's literature. You could find patterns like this, or explore how the various elements vary between stories…. Hope this helps to give you some good ideas! I had fun thinking about all this.
  2. Hi @Acadie. Ancient astronomy is a topic we dive into every once in a while. These may or may not be helpful to you, but there have been a couple of Youtube talks that I've watched that may help you: Medieval Islamic Astronomy (I know that this is not the right time period for you, but it may be close enough geographically to help.) Sky Cultures of the World (This one was really good.) Good luck!
  3. @macmacmoo, I love the titles of your planned curriculum! What fun you will all have! I'm pretty sure that I might have a few suggestions, but I'm wondering if you would flesh out more of the direction that you see those units moving. For instance, Hero's Journey could probably go in many different directions. Would you tell us more of about how you imagine those topics going? Off the top of my head, one book that would be fine for your youngest in the farming category is an old favorite of ours, The Year at Maple Hill Farm, by Alice and Martin Provensen.
  4. Hi @lulalu. I'm late to this thread, but I think you should go for "Paul Revere's Ride". Nine-years-old is not too young. I was going to start off our year with that poem, but my kids asked for "Charge of the Light Brigade" instead, so we'll pick up Paul later this semester. If your son gets started and then fizzles out after a while, he still has at least the start of a classic American poem in his memory. Maybe you can just try to get through the stanza about the boats in the harbor (which I think has some really neat imagery). For what it's worth, I'm a big fan of Longfellow's poetry and many of his poems, long or short, are wonderful to memorize. He used rhythm very strongly, and kids respond to that. Think of the rhythm to Longfellow's "The Village Blacksmith": Un-DER a SPREAD-ing CHEST-net TREE The VILL-age SMITH-y STANDS... Every time my kids recite this they start swinging their arms as if they were blacksmiths striking an anvil, too. It's a lot of fun! Good luck, and have fun!
  5. Have you ever looked into the Usborne Beginners books in addition to the encyclopedias? My kids loved them at age six. In fact, they still pull out the beginners books just for fun every once in a while.
  6. Hi @McSalty. Not denying your experience at all, but mine was just the opposite. I thought that the teacher manual for the experiments was redundant and didn't really use it at all, and I really thought that except for preparing the experiments, the curriculum really was open and go. Oh well! Each family uses each curriculum differently, it seems.
  7. Hi @Janeway. Here is a copy of what I wrote about this topic in this thread about RS4K. The Real-Science-4-Kids Building Blocks series has been our only science spine since my oldest started kindergarten. This year we just finished up Level 6. I'm obviously very happy with it! Here are some thoughts: Dr. Keller's philosophy is basically that you start giving kids foundational science from a young age so that when they hit high school science they aren't caught off-guard and then feel that science is “too hard”. She has a few explanatory videos on her philosophy; here is a short one (three minutes). As an example, chemical bonding is introduced in first grade in a kid-friendly way. Every year the concept is built up. Pro: 1) I think that the text is very strong for what she promises. We almost didn't homeschool because I was so discouraged looking for a meaty science program until I found RS4K. The textbook would work very well as a solid reading text for families that just want a get-it-done science book, but, even better, it also works well as a spine for families with very science-oriented kids (as mine are). We supplement heavily, not because there are any glaring gaps, but because my kids are just interested in going deep in so many areas. 2) The text is intentionally worldview-neutral. You add what your family believes about hot topics, rather than having to explain away someone else's interpretation. Con: 1) It's really expensive. We have felt it's worth it to budget for this program, but if expense were the only hindrance, I would suggest getting on the e-mail list and buying when they have sales, and/or buying only the text and skipping the lab notebooks and teacher manual. 2) Some of the experiments rely on websites that were out of date by the time we got to them, so there has been a lot of modifying the experiments on the fly. For what it's worth, the trajectory of my kids' career plans (which, of course, can change) is right now toward astrophysics or particle physics, and aeronautical engineering. RS4K has certainly not bored them or held them back!
  8. Another vote for this path. It's exactly what I've done with my two and they're doing just fine after a few months of practice.
  9. WTM, I am completely with you, but don't sell yourself short. Your kids have no reason to care what I think, but from all the thoughtful posts you've made on this forum, and your generosity with sharing some of your syllabi, you are obviously a very caring, dedicated mom to pour so much into crafting an education for your children.
  10. Cintinative, what a coincidence because I've been thinking that I should find it and read it again, because my two have been such pills themselves. I know intellectually that when my kids are angry at the world that they think Mom should pay. No amount of talking to them about logic, appropriate expression of frustration, or even kindness or respect gets into them when they're the mood to lash out at me. It still hurts no matter how much I know that they are just being illogical with their words. I spent some time today - before reading this thread - crying on my husband's shoulder. Parenting is tough. Thanks for bring back this thread!
  11. Alicia64, what a wonderful idea for a thread! Thank you! It was TWTM that cemented our decision to homeschool our kids. After only reading a few pages of the book, I turned to my husband and said, “You have got to read this.” SWB described everything I had longed for (but didn't get) as a kid in public school. What she wrote felt so right for our family. I've mentioned this on the forum before, but when I read her words about teaching K-4, “Spread knowledge out in front of them, and let them feast,” (chp. 3, 3rd ed.) I was hooked. Happily, TWTM recommendations always seem to work for our kids, too. SWB has never let me down! Both of my kids learned to read with OPGTR, by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington, and they are both very strong readers. When my then-8-year-old son, with diagnoses of ASD and ADHD in the future, independently read The Hobbit, I was in awe. I really couldn't have done that on my own. Thank you, Jessie and Sara! I'd also like to put into the Internet-air thanks for a long-gone woman, Jessie's Aunt Meme, who cheerfully taught young Jessie according to the way she knew was right, despite all the nay-sayers who predicted failure for young Jessie. What a brave woman! As I look into the high school years in the near future with my kids, I hope that I will have the same courage that Aunt Meme, and Jessie later, did. (Psst, @Alicia64, just a friendly recommendation to change the title: SWB's mom's last name is Wise. She didn't take on her daughter's married name!)
  12. Seconding @caffeineandbooks' recommendation for WWE. @Shoes+Ships+SealingWax, your son at his age sounds like where my current 10-year-old son was at that age, including the ADHD. We went all the way through WWE, and he really improved on his narration ability, to the point where I would say that his narrations are now excellent. I really attribute this To WWE, because that's what it does best. I would also encourage you to be patient and give him some more time, as well. You're right - 2E kids are all over the place. It's okay if this skill takes a little longer. Good luck!
  13. Strictly Ballroom. My FAVORITE movie of all time. Sweet plot line, gently whimsical, and great dancing!
  14. Does she have a copy of TWTM? (Maybe that doesn't count as a "goodie", but I think it would be the most useful thing you could give her!)
  15. Hi @Janeway. I don't have any experience with IEW or with the MP writing, but have you looked into the Killgallon middle school books? Last year, when my older child was in 6th grade, I was in the same boat as you. While I knew that she was smart enough at what she was learning, her writing was just so basic, so blah. We took a break from WWS1 and did Killgallon Sentence Composing for Middle School and Paragraphs for Middle School. I skipped through a lot of the repetitive activities, and some of the activities I modified so that she could write about a preferred subject, but at the end of the year, her writing had really improved. (She just previewed this post for me since it is about her, and she says, "If you even want to link to my website so that she can see how my writing has improved, you can!" I won't for the sake of her privacy, but you can see that she's even become proud of her writing!) One of the other nice things is that the books are fairly reasonable priced. We even bought ours used.
  16. You just have to make sure that you laugh with Grahame's humor, for example, when Toad is being led to "gaol" and Grahame pulls out cliché after cliché of medieval dungeons, including when the sergeant breaks out into Shakespearian language. We crack up every time. (The chapter "Dolce Donum" moves me to tears every time we read it - but that's for me as an adult who knows the feeling of longing for a beloved home I can never really return to, not for my kids who have never experienced it.) Have fun!
  17. (Please excuse the digression, everyone!) Hi @Eilonwy - thanks for jumping in, though I'm sorry I made myself unclear. I hope that it didn't sound like I thought the structure of German was similar to 19th century English. For example, I can not think of one example of transposed word order in an English subordinate clause! I won't further derail this thread with details (unless you want them), but when I started learning German, I had a lightbulb moment that if I read modern German in my own mind the way I read 19th century English, my comprehension speed went up dramatically. It was a suggestion based on my own experience to encourage GracieJane's kids - though I see from her last that she certainly doesn't need my help encouraging her kids to read old books! Please assure your partner that, coincidentally, I spent ten years in the localization industry. I am very aware of translation issues. Thanks for clarifying what I muddled. Back to the topic of read-alouds now!
  18. Your kids asked for Robert Browning's poetry three times a day for months? Oh, @GracieJane, not only are you not doing anything wrong, I think you must be doing everything right! 😀
  19. Regarding The Wind in the Willows: We have a love affair with this book, so I encourage you to try again with your kids sometime, OP! We introduced it when my kids were around 5 and 7, and have reread it almost every year since. It can hold kids' attention! I distinctly remember the first time we went through it, when we got to the scene at the end when the friends were preparing for the battle, my son (the five-year-old) jumped out of seat and danced around the living room as the only way he could vent his excitement. (Obviously, I don't expect my kids to stay seated during read-alouds.) And as with many "children's" books, this book is also for adults, too. I could write an essay on how beautiful I think this book is. Regarding Just So Stories: We introduced this around the same time, and we all love those stories. Our favorite is "The Beginning of Armadillos". If you'd like an audiobook recommendation just to mix things up for your kids, we can heartily recommend the Jim Weiss' collection. But @GracieJane, here's something really important for you to think about when you consider pre-World War I children's books: Your kids have a definite advantage in reading nineteenth-century English. How can I be so confident to say that? Because your kids know German! If your kids have no problem with "wohin", "woher", and "darauf" in their German books, they will have no problem with "whither", "whence", and "thereupon" being sprinkled through an English book. English sentences with lots of dependent clauses and non-modern word order will just sound "German" to them. I hope that you will take advantage of this! Good luck! Read-alouds are so much fun. Find your stride and your kids' stride, don't worry about matching up with some other family's experience, and you'll be able to look back on these times as some of the best moments of motherhood!
  20. @GracieJane, my kids are 12 and 10, both of them great independent readers, and they still ask for Winnie the Pooh for bedtime story! @HomeAgain, I want to come to your house and listen to your read-alouds! 😊
  21. I will certainly tell her. Your words will make her day! Thank you!
  22. @Mrs Twain, I love these words of yours. Thank you very much for them. I'm in the middle years of homeschooling (we just finished our seventh year), and we're just happily moving along on our WTM-inspired education. Your words inspire me to keep on the path.
  23. Just a quick note to everyone who has helped on this thread: We're moving along. We bought the Shot Blocker, and we're trying to do a little bit of visual desensitization every day. @KSera, I especially wanted to let you know that she's taken the Claire Weekes language to heart, and reminds herself to let the anxiety "float". She'll get that vaccine somehow, I'm sure. Thanks, everyone, for your help! I'll make sure to update again when there's success! (And we'll have a huge party for her!)
  24. Hi @ktgrok. Yes, it does seem confusing, doesn't it? That's the thing, this is a phobia so it is completely irrational. The longer I walk through this with her, the more that I realize how serious a phobia it is. It's not about the pain - she normally has a very high tolerance to pain. It's not about fear of the vaccine itself - she's very pro-vaccine and really wants to get it. It's The Needle, and she's been like this for years now. Numbing cream, freezing spray, even Buzzy all represent The Needle to her, and even knowing how irrational it is, she can't talk herself out of the anxiety. She's working hard on this, though.
  25. @Laura Corin, this is wonderful! Thank you! (Please excuse me for taking so long to get back to you.) We listened to the whole thing so that we could get the lady's whole story. My daughter was so glad to hear of someone else with needle anxiety as serious as hers. We're going to implement many of the ideas mentioned. She's still trying!
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