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Everything posted by Publia

  1. K.M. Briggs' Hobberdy Dick (out of print, unfortunately)
  2. These have come in handy: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/ https://www.bartleby.com/fiction/ @Hunter Kanopy sounds really interesting!
  3. We mostly pull poems from poetry anthologies, selecting poems that we particularly like. For the past few years, we've also done something longish from Shakespeare. Since we’re not using a curriculum and our memorized poems are scattered across a bunch of different books (with bookmarks/post-its marking them that are perpetually in danger of being removed by a younger sibling in the course of bookshelf unloading…), I put them all in a document and get it printed and bound each year. Then once a month or so, we read through some of the past things to review.
  4. Like @ScoutTN, I reserved picture books online and picked them up at the library periodically. If you're planning to tie literature to the historical time period, then it is useful to plan that out a little in advance so you know what order you want to read things in, since those tend to be longer books. The list in TWTM is a good place to start!
  5. I should preface this with a note that Publius is the Latin master here. But I talk with him about their plans and sometimes hear the Latin discussions. They use only the main text (Familia Romana) and the goal is to get DS to decipher meaning and understand verb structures from context. They’re focusing on absorbing as much of the Latin (meaning of text/grammatical structures Oerberg features in the text) as they can through reading and re-reading. DH points out where Oerberg is plainly trying to show a grammatical structure and discusses the structure of language generally, like you do with English. It's not a good way to study grammar comprehensively, but it is a good first step. They will follow it up with a more comprehensive study of grammar in subsequent studies. Their method specifically (from DH): We read together a passage from the text several times out loud, back and forth. The student focuses on trying to understand the meaning of the text directly and without mental translation in the first instance. And then we look at the other clues that the author puts in the margin notes. The student has for an assignment to read and re-read several times the passage for meaning overall, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. The student is expected to have understood that passage, the vocabulary, and the grammar and be capable of explaining those aspects. The first part of our discussion is a review to make sure that the student has mastered those elements of that passage. If not, we rework the passage and review the elements. We move forward if it looks like he has mastered the text.
  6. Math: continue From Quantity to Number (DH's book, beta testing almost complete! 😉 ) Piano: lessons/practice Literature: Medieval - home-made list of books, discussions and narrations; also some (largely not medieval) poetry memorization Writing: copywork moving into dictation, probably some exercises out of Serl’s Primary Language Lessons Outside: hiking, swimming, gardening, biking Art: lots of drawing and painting with some super informal technique discussions Regularly, but not daily: History: Medieval - SOTW/Usborne encyclopedia and SOC (just the texts), lots of picture books Science: probably a project/presentation for the homeschool fair, otherwise mostly reading books Movie Night: most Saturday nights!
  7. Math: continue through Euclid Piano: lessons/practice Latin: continue Lingua Latina Literature: Ancients - home-made list of books, discussions and probably some written responses; also some (not ancient) poetry memorization Writing/grammar: mostly working towards increasing the length/complexity of expository writings Outside: swimming, gardening, biking, hiking, etc. Regularly, but not daily: History: Ancients - still working on syllabus, mostly done through reading/discussion Art: super informal drawing technique exercises and playing around with watercolors and pens Science: probably a project/presentation for the homeschool fair, otherwise reading books Movie Night: most Saturday nights!
  8. Harry Potter (Honestly, Jim Dale *makes* these books for me!) Narnia series (the series that has Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York, and Kenneth Branagh) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Dale, who is always good, but he's not quite as essential here as he is to HP) We've done this with some Shakespeare too, although not a full play yet, just scenes, and sometimes I use a film clip instead of audio. I think the audio of plays tends to be faster than the audio for novels, especially the ones read for children, and I think it would be potentially hard to keep up with the words on the page at the same time unless you were already relatively familiar with them. We'd already read and gone over the meanings of the words before I turned on the audio/film.
  9. Yes, I agree with this. I have had DS read along with an audio version for some books, and it works really well!
  10. Maybe some audio books read by really great readers would be a good way to approach this? I think that this is something that is best taught mostly by modeling and imitation. For example, I read Treasure Island better because I've listened to Alfred Molina. 😉
  11. Another vote for Snap Circuits. I think 7 is a great age to help start/maintain a container garden or a native plant garden, and it's outside and requires some daily maintenance, so it's perfect for a "camp" activity. I’d do at least a couple of edible things because it’s fun to eat stuff off of plants you’ve grown. A couple of plants for "cutting flowers" are nice, too. This website is a good starting point for research on native plants in your area: https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder (Plus, it lists--with pictures--the caterpillars and butterflies that each species hosts, so you can look for them.) Binoculars and a bird guide. A magnifying glass and an insect guide. Solar oven. There are kits available, but you can make one yourself: https://climatekids.nasa.gov/smores/ A microscope, bucket, and dip net.
  12. From DH 😉 Just to clarify, I am not advocating the terminology "with remainder." To the contrary, part of the problem on this topic is the ambiguity of that term but I think we can avoid that issue in a worthwhile way. What I described in the prior post was offered as an option to enable students to make sense of divisions "with or without remainder" (and without even having to use that term). It might come in handy. For example in a discussion of division a student asks---but what about 16/3? A few additional comments. - Certainly I agree that the teacher is in the best position to know the best ordering of topics and their timing. Working through fractions and then circling back to division clearly works. - I think it is beneficial to the student to see the same topic treated from different perspectives early and to become familiar with the idea that one perspective might be useful in one context and another in a different context. The different perspectives often lead to interesting insights and I think that this versatility is good to practice early on. To the extent that a different perspective did cause confusion, that would be an opportunity to make the student's model more robust. - As I mentioned in the prior post, since we were coming at this from the perspective of counting the denominator, the discussion flowed naturally to the idea of fractions because we were confronted with the need to count a part of the unit. For example to count 1 with 8 (so we needed the idea of counting pieces of eights 🙂 ). So division here offered a way to get the idea of fraction rolling.
  13. I have some suggestions based on what battleship/plane-loving DS has liked. First, visual encyclopedias are worth it in this situation. These books have basically lived on our coffee tables, open and often browsed, for well over a year now and are a fruitful source of discussions of various designs and specifications, and why those would be well-suited for particular circumstances. Ships: Visual Encyclopedia, David Ross Military Aircraft, Tanks & Warships: Visual Encyclopedia, Jim Winchester Second, other “picture” books: The Marine Art of Geoff Hunt Dover coloring books of various ships and planes — These have short descriptions and good outline drawings, and they’re cheap. DS has used both of the above, along with the visual encyclopedias to do many drawings. The coloring books are rarely actually colored in, but they get plenty of use, so I'd buy a few interesting titles even if you don't think your child would want to color. Non-fiction: William Shirer, The Sinking of the Bismarck: The Deadly Hunt Jay Williams, The Battle for the Atlantic Frank R. Donovan, Ironclads of the Civil War Fiction: Biggles series - Definitely not amazing literature (!), and not always easy to find, but these have had high appeal in recent years. C.S. Forester, The Good Shepherd — Not a children’s book, but free of the occasionally problematic bits in Forester for 10 year-olds (I’m thinking primarily of Hornblower). The Tom Hanks movie version, Greyhound, is well done. Caveat: there is death, the imminent threat of death, and some gore, so proceed accordingly. Fun: If your child is into Legos, Cobi has many models of historical planes and ships.
  14. Regarding supplementing, Publius is the math instructor in our house and he creates his own math lessons for our children. These are his thoughts on introducing division and division with remainder, in case they’re helpful. 🙂 A key idea in our discussion of division was to understand division as a counting. For example, in this perspective we would consider 12/3 to mean “how many times must we count 3 to get 12?” The student who is comfortable counting groups has no difficulty with this approach of understanding *division as an expression of counting* and this approach also reinforces the idea of counting groups. Notice also that with this approach it easy to explain the term "denominator"---literally, this means *what we are counting*. It is the *denomination* in our division. In this perspective, we are interested in expressing a given quantity (the numerator) as a counting of the denominator. We did a lot of work circling around this idea of division as an expression of counting and also incorporating other elements such as visualizing division and patterns in division. At some point of comfort we moved onto bigger divisions by breaking these down into smaller divisions using distributivity (similar to what we did in multiplication). We then moved into division with remainder because this is easy to step into from the division-as-a-counting perspective. For example, when the student is comfortable with an expression like 24/8, it is natural that at some point you (or the student) will say, okay but what if we want to count 8 into 25 instead? What is 25/8? The answer is 3 with a remainder of 1. At this point we considered what does it mean to say "3 with a remainder of 1"? This is the fun part of the discussion (and it is a good preview for the fractions discussion). We can make the statement more clear with a purely mathematical expression of what is going on. For this, we focused on counting. We are simply counting 25 with 8. We get most of the way with 3 eights; we get to 24. But we haven't finished counting. We've still got 1 left to count and we are still counting with 8. So we asked, how do we express the idea of counting 1 with 8? What is 1 in terms of 8? We know that 8 * 1 = 8. So one is (what we will call) an eighth of eight. 1 = (1/8)*8. This lets us rewrite the division 25/8 without the remainder language or, you could say, with the remainder language more clear: 25/8 = 3 + 1/8. After counting three eights, there is still this piece of eight that we must count for the full 25 that we want. Now we can think of division in two steps: first a counting of the whole denominator: for example counting three eights to get to 24. And then, if necessary, a counting of a part of the denominator to complete the counting of the whole numerator. Notice also from 25/8 = 3 + 1/8 we can see the complete counting of 25 by 8 like this: 25 = 3*8 + (1/8)*8 = 24 + 1. I think this is a worthwhile discussion for two reasons. First it enables the student to make sense of divisions like 25/8 as well as 24/8. And also it is a great case featuring the practical need to count a part of a unit (here 8), so it is a good preview for the fractions discussion. Additionally it lets you get into the cyclic remainder patterns. For example, you can discuss how the range of possible remainders for division by 8 will be 0 through 7 and so on. It's a neat pattern for numbers and you can think of ways to use this pattern practically. For example, if you wanted to sort numbers (or things designated by numbers) into 8 different categories.
  15. We’re right with you. I’m leaning towards not having a spine-type book next year. I haven’t found one I love (still looking!), so I’m working on an outline of the events/topics/people I want to cover and hunting for interesting topical books. I also have another child in the mix, although she’s only 6. This year I am doing Ancients with her and I plan to move her into the SOTW2 time period next school year. I am planning to assign most of the history reading to my oldest rather than doing it aloud with him. I’m not sure if it will work, but that’s the plan!
  16. SOTW3: Russell Freedman's topical books, esp. the one on Valley Forge. Diary of an Early American Boy, 1805, Eric Sloane (technically historical fiction) Fairy tales from Brothers Grimm Dickens, A Christmas Carol (P.J. Lynch’s illustrations, or Rackham’s) SOTW4: George MacDonald, The Light Princess, The Golden Key Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island (N.C. Wyeth’s illustrations) Howard Pyle, Twilight Land, Bearskin (there is a picture book version of the latter done by Trina Schart Hyman) John Masefield, The Box of Delights, The Midnight Folk Tolkien, The Hobbit, Farmer Giles (Pauline Baynes' illustrations)
  17. First, I apologize for disappearing for a month! I hadn't intended to do that. Second, I should have made clear that we’re only on the home stretch of mid-elementary (oldest is 10/would be in fourth grade), so I’m trying to get our bearings for the next year/four years. 😉 To this point, I’ve viewed our history studies as more of a supplement to our literary ones. We follow the spirit more than the letter of TWTM, but one of the things I really appreciate about TWTM approach is that the “cycle” concept has imposed helpful discipline on our reading. As for the next round, I had thought my designs would be largely literary too, at least for the next few years. JHLWTM’s excellent posts have me rethinking that emphasis because I see the value in upping the ante on assessment of historical events in the near term, and I think my son would enjoy that. I’ve been slowly working on building out an outline of history for the next four years. I think we’ll forge ahead with a collection of topical books and literature from the relevant periods and finally make a real effort to have him build a timeline/outline in a binder. I’m still thinking through the writing component. It will probably look like a continuation of the daily short writing assignments he’s doing this year, which frequently feature historical topics (he picks the topic). I’ve noticed that those are occasionally moving into more analytical territory, so perhaps we can use the history studies to sharpen that some this year. I think we will probably spend more time reading various perspectives and debating things before we get into full-blown essays on historical topics.
  18. Camus wrote interestingly about the French Revolution in The Rebel. Possibly for high school! It's not exactly a history text. Have you also recently covered the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment? (I'm not fishing 😉 , just curious if you're going chronologically too and interested in approaches after early/mid-elementary. We were until I recently decided to bail out of studying the 20th Century. We'll get back to it, but we're going to take a detour first.)
  19. Yes, it has pictures of paintings, plus some sculptures and architecture, and Vasari’s text. There are many images and they are very good quality. I bought it for the pictures. It’s a big, heavy book (probably 14 in tall), and some of the pages fold out. The ISBN is 0-88363-302-7. Less than $4 is a great deal! However, if you really want to read Vasari’s text, you might also want a book that’s easier to hold in your hand. But apropos of the other thread, the dust cover is The Birth of Venus, and she’s there in all her resplendent perfection, as are many others. 😉
  20. David definitely is not, not even the complete figure. 😉 A framework for thinking about this question with a child might be: Does the image in question appeal to what is transcendent in man, or what is animal? It’s a common experience that some things tend to move us toward the transcendent and some tend to move us in the other direction. Art is part of humankind’s search for truth. We are capable of reaching into transcendent truth but we are also capable of dwelling in the purely animal. Meaningful art will extract us from the purely material by directing us to a higher purpose. David is a good example of that. Obscenity does exactly the opposite; it mires the human spirit in the basest elements of its animal nature.
  21. This is really nicely done. Thank you for sharing! If you're looking for more art to look at by the artists you've identified, Vasari's The Great Masters (the one I have is printed by Beaux Arts Editions) is a lovely book.
  22. My first thought on short ballets is one of the acts of Jewels by George Balanchine. “Diamonds” is probably the place to start if you’re just doing one. But there’s no story to Jewels, and I think that is a deficiency if you’re using it for an introduction to ballet. If you go for Jewels, the version that has Ulyana Lopatkina in it is excellent. Other short options might be a graduation performance from the Vaganova Ballet Academy or a production of Peter and the Wolf (which is pretty frequently done as a children’s ballet, although it was not written for that). If you might consider full-length options—it’s worth your time!—these are my favorites and they’re all fine for any age. I don’t think that any are available for free online, but maybe the library has a copy you can borrow: Swan Lake (Lopatkina) Sleeping Beauty (Hallberg/Zakharova) Marco Spada (Hallberg/Obraztsova) Don Quixote (Novikova/Sarafanov) Not a ballet, but Ballerina by Bertrand Normand is a well-done documentary. It follows around some of the principals at the Kirov (Mariinsky) and gives a taste of how hard dancers at that level work. This is a useful link to have for the story lines: https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/repertoire/ballet/
  23. Betsy-Tacy has an infant death in it--chapter 8, "Easter Eggs"--in case you want to preview it. It's a short episode, but sad. For testing the waters on talking animals, I'd try Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner. Or the Robert Lawson books Lori mentioned.
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