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Little Green Leaves

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Everything posted by Little Green Leaves

  1. I thought that outlining/ note taking was an upper elementary skill too! But I recently checked and saw that WTM doesnt recommend it until 8th grade. Now I'm confused all over again. I have my kid write about history and science but where possible, I try to make it creative. Like, write a letter imagining that you are a certain figure in history. Or write a newspaper article about X event in history. Those are fun for him to write, and fun for me to read.
  2. I just went to Amazon to look for the series. Turns out the BBC also made a North and South series in the 70s, starring a young Patrick Stewart!
  3. What would the next step be? What's in the next level of Writing and Rhetoric?
  4. Yes! it is Elizabeth Gaskell. Sorry, I should have said that. I'll definitely look for the series once I'm done with the book.
  5. Congratulations @Junieand @Lady Florida.! This thread is very inspiring and has gotten me to read more than I had in a long time. I'm really enjoying it. Thanks to all of you. I had a busy start to my week, with a little too much work and not enough time to read. I just came here to say that I started North and South and it's wonderful. Especially after my struggles with Balzac, this novel feels so cozy and warm. So much emotion, so much inner life, and so many likable characters. It's the story of a pastor's daughter whose family is uprooted from their home in the south of England after the father has a crisis of faith; they relocate to the industrial North. So it's a social novel as well as (I think) a romance. Even the footnotes are fun to read and I find myself learning a lot from them. I really recommend this book.
  6. You know, I had always assumed that foot washing in the Bible was a symbolic act. But I guess not. It's amazing when a symbol turns out to be REAL. Also I had no idea Rudolph Steiner taught the children of factory workers...totally changes my opinion of him. This is all very liberating. I'll be looking into growing garbage. Thank you.
  7. Thank you! I did not know that about teachers in urban areas. It's very inspiring. Life in a desert sounds romantic although, I'm sure, very hard. I've only seen a desert once and it was one of the most gorgeous experiences of my life.
  8. I guess more people lived in the countryside in the late 1800s, early 1900s too. A few years ago I bought the Handbook of Nature Study because Ambleside Online recommended it. It's still on the shelf but I haven't used it much because it suggests things like having kids study the hens in your yard -- they seem to assume that everyone lives on a farm. Even their suggestions about studying dandelions assume that you have your own back yard. I got kind of discouraged by that book! BUT yes I do agree that even in a big city you can get a lot out of observing nature. We look at ant hills in the park, moss growing on trees on the sidewalk, seagulls by the river, etc etc etc. We just have to look harder for nature than most people did a century ago. I like your point about including books and video as part of the nature study, too.
  9. You know, part of why my husband and I decided to teach our son note taking is that he desperately wants to join in on our conversations about history and politics. The thing is, he wants to come up with grandiose statements and sweeping theories and make a big splash in the conversation. He's the oldest kid. For his age, he knows plenty about history and politics. He loves reading newspapers and history books. But I got worried that he was gulping down books too quickly and not really digesting them -- that's why I wanted to slow down the process with note taking. He doesn't so much get facts wrong, but he pays attention to the facts that will "tell" well. I think both my husband and I were that way at his age too -- I definitely used to gobble up books too -- but we had school as a natural corrective; we were forced to slow down, take notes, write essays, etc etc. Anyway, this thread is giving me a lot to think about. I guess conversation can be a corrective to that also.
  10. Hm, what skills am I trying to develop. Organization and attention to detail, really. And of course, the skill of note taking itself. I'm not pushing it hard. It's been a nice, chatty way to sit together with a history book and talk about what's an important fact and what's not. I had thought note taking was an upper elementary skill -- I definitely had to do it myself at that age. Maybe that was a public school thing.
  11. Thank you! This makes sense, especially the idea of reading first and then going back to make an outline. I also like your way of making connections right there on the page!
  12. Thank you! It is always so helpful to hear what others have done. I really appreciate it. Also the reminder not to go overboard with a new skill.
  13. It's so true. Maybe there was a real snow 3 years ago? 4? I mean, my kids have definitely experienced real snow. But not as much as I did, growing up in the same city. I remember heaps of snow on the sidewalks; it'd stay there for weeks and we'd have to climb over it to cross the streets. Now, that's a real rarity.
  14. I've been thinking about this too. There's a small group of people who've been camping in our local park since the start of the summer -- they've strung up a few hammocks and have their things in shopping carts nearby. I wonder what's going to happen to them in the winter. For us, winter is just a matter of getting warm gear -- my kids are hoping for lots of snow -- but yeah, obviously it's much more complicated for people without reliable shelter.
  15. My fourth grader is learning to take notes this year. Up until this year we took a more Charlotte Mason approach (reading and then narration) so this is new to him and I am introducing this gently. I'd love to know how others teach this! So far, I've been having him take notes on his history readings -- I read aloud while he takes notes. We're going slowly and stopping regularly to talk about which things are important enough to make note of, how to organize notes, etc etc. Separately, I'm having him read a biography of Lafayette (he is learning about the French revolution and picked a figure to study further). He's going to write a short essay about Lafayette after reading the biography. He's really enjoying the book and is basically gulping it down whole. I haven't made him take notes while he reads. My plan is that once he's finished the book, we'll talk it over together and decide what he'll write his essay about. Then I'll help him make a simple outline and at that point, he'll probably have to go back through the book to find details for his report. I hesitated over whether to require him to take notes WHILE reading the book, because I do remember having to do that for my reports in elementary school. But then again, I had to take notes because I was getting my information from the encyclopedias in the school library, not from a book in my own home. What do you guys do? In general, how do you approach note taking for this age?
  16. You made me doubt my own memory! 🙂 I just double checked in the my book of lab sheet annotations. At the first grade level, they suggest that students clap and tap out patterns -- I agree that it'd not a huge part of the program and you can take it or leave it. There is a fair amount of number line work. I don't see that as a bad thing at all -- it really helped my daughter with her number sense.
  17. Yeah, I wonder about this too! My son disliked Miquon when I tried it with him. He found all the clapping, the number lines, etc in the beginning level really annoying and he was much happier with Singapore math. I think maybe because he already had his own way of thinking about numbers? My daughter responds really well to it. And it's not just the manipulatives, because we haven't used those much in a while. It's the whole structure of the program. (Obviously I agree with everyone that the teaching is the most important part and a program on it's own can't do it all.)
  18. I use Miquon with my daughter, who's also 7. She's not especially mathy but she really enjoys it. It's beautifully planned out and it almost feels like the math equivalent of a language immersion program, if that makes sense.
  19. I love this week's topic! Especially interested in the list of authors over 40. I just got North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell. It's a 19th century novel about factory workers -- and factory owners -- in the north of England. I read and really liked Mary Barton by the same author, so I'm excited about this one.
  20. I finished Le Pere Goriot today! I had to work hard at it, because of my struggles with French, but I'm so glad that I did. The writing is so strong and confident. Nothing is abstract. Even feelings and ideas and sympathies are described in physical terms. There's no malaise, or anxiety; when the characters are upset, it's always for a concrete reason. The world is dark, but it's not at all not bleak or grim. Some of the characters and scenes will stay with me a long time.
  21. I haven't posted here this week because I am STILL making my way through Le Pere Goriot. But here I am. @Penguinthank you for the news about Louise Gluck yesterday. Personally, I don't feel very excited about Gluck's poetry (I should read more though) but for some strange reason it got me thinking about Laura Riding, a poet I hadn't read since I was a teenager. Laura Riding eventually abandoned poetry to devote herself to linguistics. She was often accused of being too abstract, too elitist, and gets written off as a kind of Ivory Tower figure, but I think there's something gorgeously sincere about her. I was very happy to find this piece in the Brooklyn Rail about Laura Riding and the complicated ways we all talk about a poet's role: https://brooklynrail.org/2014/07/books/looking-for-mrs-laura-riding-jackson-the-anti-social-peoples-poet-from-jamaica-queens-to-woodruff-avenue-brooklyn
  22. This thread has done me good! I taught my son division a few years ago, and I made sure that he really knew what he was doing. Fine. But recently, I have been indulgently turning a blind eye while he does division (and multiplication) in his head, rather than on paper. This process can be either weirdly fast or surprisingly slow. It is mostly very accurate, which is why I've allowed it to go on so long. It is also kind of cute and he gets a kick out of it. Anyway this week, with this thread in mind, and after he made a few mistakes in his mental division, I've made him spend lots of time working long division problems on paper, and checking them on paper. At first there were lots of grumbles. He had half-forgotten how to do things on paper, but it was actually a lot of fun refreshing his memory. He'd been basically doing it in his head the way you'd do it on paper -- so he understands the concept, but he had forgotten the method, if that makes sense. Editing to add that I haven't timed him at all. Maybe after a little more practice I will, I don't know.
  23. Lately we are doing "observation" walks. My kids take after me in the sense that they are usually half in a daydream and default to being oblivious of their surrounding... So I have been using our morning walks to strengthen our observational skills. We walk along, collecting leaves or whatever, and then perodically we stop and each describe in detail 3 things that we see. We live in a big city, so this isnt always nature - it could be a rusty bicycle chained to a post, or it could be a brick wall. The point is, we are looking and describing. It's been cool to see how much more observant they're getting already. Lots of times this does end up being nature study, which is why I'm mentioning it here. Also I really like the idea of reading more books about nature. Any particular books to recommend for elementary ages?
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