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Little Green Leaves

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Everything posted by Little Green Leaves

  1. Good question. I'll probably read more, and if so, it'll definitely be in French. After all, I did spend years studying the language, and I have French family, so I feel obliged. But it'll be out of order and with long gaps in between books. I've read La Cousine Bette, and then years went by before I picked up Le Pere Goriot. I'm curious to read Eugenie Grandet, but I'm in no rush. Editing to add -- which of the novels have you read? Is there one you'd recommend?
  2. I just googled "banned books" and found that Maurice Sendak's "In the Night Kitchen" was banned by various library systems, apparently because of the little boy being naked in one scene. That was one of my kids' favorite picture books. I've finished no books this week. Still reading Le Pere Goriot, very slowly but with a lot of delight. I started reading Robinson Crusoe to my kids, which is really refreshing. I had gotten used to hearing it described as a book about capitalism, which may well be true, but reading it with kids makes me realize that it's also a book about adventure, danger, dealing with emotions, and so much more.
  3. Like Silver Moon said, I use the guideline of about an hour per grade. I don't want to be a slave to that idea, but it gives me a useful estimate of what's reasonable to expect. Right now I'm working on extending my fourth grader's school days. I'm having him spend longer on core subjects like writing, history, and science (he already spends lots of time on math and reading). But I'm ramping up the time slowly, because I know the work I'm giving him is also harder this year. I'm also adding some more fun stuff for us all to do together.
  4. I still live in the city I grew up in. But it's changed so much. I miss every single corner store and pizza parlor that's been swallowed up by a big chain. I miss those dusty little stores that sold odds and ends. I miss seeing people hanging out on their stoops (pre-COVID), I miss cheap Ukrainian food and diners and real street fairs and I miss being able to see a little more of the sky. I'm sure some of this is simple nostalgia for being younger, but the city really has changed.
  5. This is very true. I had forgotten how different French is from English -- not only the vocabulary but the verb tense and the idioms. There's been at least one sentence where I really couldn't figure out the meaning even though I understood all the individual words. Thankfully it's getting easier now that I am past the early descriptive scenes and the action has started. I know the feeling! It's a bit of a mind warp when you realize that you've misread something. I think it must be good for our brains, this act of searching for meaning, grasping at it, missing it, and finally discovering it.
  6. I am still reading Le Pere Goriot and I won't be done with it for a while, probably. My French is not what it should be. I found an English translation of the book, free online, and I look at it pretty often just to back myself up and to make sure that I'm not missing anything. I think the translator also tried to simplify the book a little bit -- they added paragraph breaks and spelled out the action here and there ("he took a vacation" as opposed to "during his vacation"). It's kind of a pleasure to read slowly like this. I feel silly saying that I love the writing, since I'm obviously missing a lot of it, but still, I really love the writing.
  7. It sounds like she's doing really well! That's awesome. I didn't really do formal phonics lessons with my kids. I taught them the alphabet, and we had a lot of those "a is for apple" kinds of books, magnetic letters, etc around the house. Then, because they were interested, we played lots of rhyming games and pre-spelling games. We also read out loud a lot. Both ended up being early readers.
  8. I'm very late to this thread, but I think I can figure out vaguely what happened just by reading everyone's comments. I just wanted to say that I am so sorry!! OP, sending you lots and lots of sympathy.
  9. My son is just a year younger than your daughter and I had a very similar conversation with my husband just last night! So I sympathize. I think it really depends on which areas you want your daughter to work on. Maybe that means having her do longer, more detailed written narrations. Maybe creating a timeline for her history. Maybe doing a detailed nature study. I don't really follow Charlotte Mason but I know there are lots of ways to make the Charlotte Mason approach very rigorous!
  10. Thinking it over, I wish that our high school English classes had been more about analysis ( I don't mean identifying symbols, I mean looking at how the book works) rather than about personal response to the literature. I think actually that approach would make it easier to read more broadly. I've only read The Last Picture Show by McMurtry. Which I can see would be hard to teach to a class of high school kids...
  11. In case any French language learners are interested -- we've been watching episodes of "Maigret," with Bruno Cremer. It's a show made in the 90s and set in the 50s, based on the detective books by Georges Simenon. I love those books, so I am probably biased for the show, but it's also really good for practicing French -- there's lots and lots of dialogue, and the actors speak very very clearly. Editing to say that I wouldn't watch the show with kids. It's got a lot of adult material -- presented in a very restrained way, but still. @PenguinI would love to hear more about Norwegian literature. I love Knut Hamsun but beyond him and Ibsen, I don't know anyone. So interesting to see the discussion here about how the language changed over time.
  12. I think all kids are really different. My kids play all the time, but they are not discovering scientific principles. They're making up languages and creating imaginary worlds, that kind of thing. Sometimes I hear them using math in their games. I would have totally agreed with you about not introducing "fun" stuff to slow down lesson times. But it turns out that playful stuff can be really helpful for my kids when they're a little leery about a subject, for example. But yeah, I guess the main thing is that everyone is different!
  13. I always thought "learning through play" meant when kids play games that imitate what they see adults doing -- like when they play house, or pretend to be teachers, etc etc. My kids are small, and we give them lots and lots of time for free play. I have really good memories of playing with my own brother, and it's fun for me to see my kids developing these elaborate imaginative worlds together. I don't know if they're building skills or learning, but I love to see it. I do, also, sometimes play "games" with them as part of their school work. I'm putting "games" in quotes because they're not necessarily going to be anyone's favorite games. It's more like I try to find playful ways for them to practice skills, but I'm in control the whole time; this is a formal "game" with rules. Sometimes this goes really well, and sometimes it backfires -- it really depends on how I present it. I used to say "we're going to play a fun game!" and then they'd see through me and feel disappointed. Now I just plow ahead with my plan and they are pleasantly surprised by the playful stuff.
  14. It's strange to realize that we (NYC kids) didnt read a single book set in Texas all the way through high school. And I think most of what we read was set in the north east, unless it was British. I'm sure we missed out on a lot. I'd love to know what kids read in other parts of the country.
  15. Long Island City is the part of Queens just across the river from Manhattan. Queens is part of the same land mass as Long Island, where Gatsby and the others all live, but Queens is part of NYC while Long Island is not.... When Fitzgerald wrote, the Queensboro Bridge between Queens and Manhattan was relatively new, which might be why he is so rhapsodic about it.
  16. Inspired by the language learning thread, I've started reading Le Pere Goriot, by Balzac. It's been sitting on my shelf for a looooong time so I'm happy to finally get to it. @Violet CrownI love The Great Gatsby -- I also appreciate that Fitzgerald has his characters visit Long Island City, not a part of NY that usually gets a lot of play in literature.
  17. I know, I find this absurdly fascinating. I've never seen the "vos" in Chilean literature although I'm sure writers have used it in dialogue. And it definitely shows up in folk songs and pop songs. I can't say about Argentinian conjugations. I really only know their vos from hearing them speak, and for the life of me I can't remember what the past tense sounds like except that I think they tend to add an extra s to endings? The Argentinian lit I've read is mostly Borges and Cortazar which is super low on dialogue. And you know, I've never read Allende. I should try. Thanks for the suggestion!
  18. Oum Kalthoum is amazing. Thank you for reminding me about her...I found a version of Enta Omri with subtitles.
  19. I finished Return of the Native. Big thanks to @Violet Crownfor mentioning that it has two endings, because my edition didn't include Hardy's footnote and I'd never have known otherwise. His original ending (without the wedding) is better -- his version of a happy ending is also not super convincing in my opinion. I loved this book. I love Hardy's descriptions, the way he follows each idea through to its end; I was hooked from the first paragraph. As a novel, the book is strange and gave me the feeling of one of those ancient Greek dramas, where the outcome is inevitable and the figures are just struggling against the backdrop. I don't know how to put it better. The characters are complex but also doomed. Not like in Wuthering Heights, though. The characters here are more machine-like, with buttons that can be pressed to provoke things. Oh, I don't know. Probably I'll buy my own copy and reread this book later.
  20. I found this on the Chilean vos: https://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/i.e.mackenzie/chiler.htm I love Mafalda too!
  21. I speak pretty good French and Spanish, so my goal there is to maintain and improve. At various times in my life I've tried learning Arabic -- I think Arabic is a gorgeous language -- but I have never gotten past the early stages. One day I'd like to spend more time on it. I listen to French radio (rfi.fr) and sometimes watch old French TV shows; I'd like to read more also. I speak to my parents in French sometimes. My husband also speaks French and Spanish, so we use both languages when we want to talk about something without the kids understanding. But I don't know if that really counts as practice, since we also know each other well enough to figure out meaning through a thicket of mistakes!
  22. I love this. In Chile they use both tu and vos, but the vos is only used for very informal moments. They kind of swallow the s at the end and they don't conjugate the verb the same way that Argentinians and Uruguayans do. So instead of saying "vos tenés," like in Argentina, they say "vos tení". Instead of como estás, como estai...
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