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Naomi Israel

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  1. Sorry, yeah, I meant general mechanics of writing and also writing style when I said grammar/comp. I am not sure how much more she needs. Having graded and read college papers, she is kind of close to on par with that. Which probably says more about my former students than her. But still, she may really not need much more writing-focused instruction, but rather practice expressing and conveying her thoughts/opinions, writing research papers, etc.
  2. Yeah, and if they are spending 1/4 of their year on Ayn Rand, that tells me that politically, they aren't where I am at, which is fine. But I'd rather have her read Chinua Achebe, Jane Austen, and others. Sure, it's great to read differing viewpoints, such as Anthem, and discuss literary and political aspects, but I don't want to spend that much time on one author. Besides, my husband would probably make me stop homeschooling if we did a unit on Ayn Rand! (kidding sort of) I really liked the background material I saw in Lightning Literature, as an aside. They have a really nice contextualization (in their sample unit on Things Fall Apart) for African literature, at least from my perspective as a cell biologist, but you're right, a lot of the work is basically reading comprehension questions. Part of my nervousness about this whole "English situation" is that I was homeschooled myself, and we older kids basically were told to read "stuff" (this was haphazard and self-directed - I went on a Holocaust autobiography kick, a geology kick, etc) and we didn't do any significant history during high school. My mom had twins when I was 14, I had a little brother with some learning disabilities, and... basically it was math, reading, and music for the next 4 years. I got super "in" to cleaning, organizing our family, and that's kind of it. Oldest child syndrome. (Important life skills, by the way. My husband and kids all tease me about yet live by my lists.) My younger siblings seem to have fared better on the education front. I went a math/science and music route anyway (all but dissertation in molecular/cell biology/infectious disease, ended up teaching high school science and now am a violin teacher in my copious spare time). However, I so love to study history now, and I missed so much important literature (my husband went to a public magnet school in NYC, and I'm envious of some of what he covered in HS). Even in college I didn't do a lot of humanities courses, since I was so science-driven. I don't want my daughter to miss out. Especially since she's more of a music/art/writing/history person, mostly-ish. If she ended up going to some sort of music conservatory to pursue her violin, I want her to have a background in this stuff, just to be well-rounded. I, on the other hand, am kind of trapezoidal, maybe even trigonal, even though I am trying to work on that, as an adult. Trying to be a bit softer 'round the edges. Generally. 🙂
  3. Maybe I'll take another look at Mosdos, or at least think about using it for my first-grader as he moves along the next few years. I got a sample of one of the books, the 3rd-4th grade level, because a friend of ours' son was involved in the editing! It is indeed well done, but I happened to get that sample a year or two after my oldest was beyond that particular grade level. I should have looked into it more thoroughly. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂 And yes, my understanding is that it's geared toward Orthodox/Traditional day schools, but does not have any overtly Jewish/religious content.
  4. Thanks for the warning on Calvert. As far as BYL, I think it is basically a very nice reading list, but not for rigorous study, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Oak Meadow will stay on my list! It also looked pretty solid. Your lit/history program looks awesome. I am intrigued. (Maybe you could throw in an Agnon short story, in the Middle East portion?) 😉 Do you intend it to function as a Literature/History program while Grammar/Comp is going on through other means (IEW)? Based on my cursory peek through it, it looks like it would work well like that. I had never seen Edu-Together. I will have to see if I can figure out more about them. Thank you for the tip! They even have 2 semesters of Jewish History (looks like maybe a late high school elective), which for me is super-exciting. 🙂
  5. Thank you so much! I will look at those guides and your other suggestions! Yes, I definitely want to work through poetry, plays, short stories, novels, from a broad time frame and different historical and cultural contexts. In addition, I like how IEW is working for us, and was planning to continue it but supplement with a literature course. I was worried about overburdening with busywork from a "full English" course as she keeps working through IEW which is already accomplishing the grammar/comp/style aspects, and doing that well. Considering that we may need to keep on with IEW for one or two more years, though, your suggestions of cherry-picking some units to work through might really be effective, customizable, and enjoyable. Thank you again!
  6. Yes, I love the selections at BuildYourLibrary -- and may require them for basically "fun" reading over the next couple years! We have read many of the books, anyway! I didn't think it looked like she did a lot with literary analysis or anything, but still. Fun. And if I go with some of the later responders' suggestions, this could fill out a deeper, but slower study of other classics. Thanks!
  7. Hi (posting this both here and in the K-8 forum, for reasons you will see below), I have a rising 8th grader. We are Orthodox Jews but politically lean left (I don't know if that's unusual compared to other religious groups), and cannot use Christian curriculum. We do, however, love the IEW curriculum and are using their SSS program, which is a high-school level course. I tell everyone to use it -- our daughter LOVES it and is writing at a very advanced level! For next year, we are looking for a rigorous literary analysis curriculum that will work with our "worldview" (I imagine that the best option is secular, and although I'm a fan of reading the classics, I'd love to see modern important authors included, such as Chinua Achebe, etc). I want breadth (she's a bookworm; she can read a lot) and depth (real analysis, something rigorous, with challenging and interesting assignments). Is Lightning Literature a good choice? Excellence in Literature/Windows to the World/Teaching the Classics - I've already read all the threads on this forum about trying to bypass the worldview aspects or "secularize" it (I actually thought the Biblical and Classical references thing is a great idea). I have thought about trying to use EiL/WttW/TtC, but its reading list has a lot of CS Lewis and GK Chesterton, both of whom I do not think are priorities, literature-wise and lacks important modern literature (I do understand about Lewis' and Chesterton's inclusion based on the worldview of the author of the curriculum). Calvert School? Is it rigorous? Not a huge fan of having to do more stuff online, but if it's awesome, I'll consider it. Does BuildYourLibrary.com have rigorous assignments? Oak Meadow? Are there Pearson/Prentice Hall/McMillan/Insert Other Big School Publishers that have high school literature texts that are worth using? I'm fine with either an 8th grade or high school recommendations! Just something that works and is a good challenge for a good reader and writer. Thanks so much!
  8. Also posting this in the high school forum. To clarify: I'm fine with an 8th grade or high school level curriculum.
  9. Hi, I have a rising 8th grader. We are Orthodox Jews but politically lean left (I don't know if that's unusual compared to other religious groups), and cannot use Christian curriculum. We do, however, love the IEW curriculum and are using their SSS program, which is a high-school level course. I tell everyone to use it -- our daughter LOVES it and is writing at a very advanced level! For next year, we are looking for a rigorous literary analysis curriculum that will work with our "worldview" (I imagine that the best option is secular, and although I'm a fan of reading the classics, I'd love to see modern important authors included, such as Chinua Achebe, etc). I want breadth (she's a bookworm; she can read a lot) and depth (real analysis, something rigorous, with challenging and interesting assignments). Is Lightning Literature a good choice? Excellence in Literature/Windows to the World/Teaching the Classics - I've already read all the threads on this forum about trying to bypass the worldview aspects or "secularize" it (I actually thought the Biblical and Classical references thing is a great idea). I have thought about trying to use EiL/WttW/TtC, but its reading list has a lot of CS Lewis and GK Chesterton, both of whom I do not think are priorities, literature-wise and lacks important modern literature (I do understand about Lewis' and Chesterton's inclusion based on the worldview of the author of the curriculum). Calvert School? Is it rigorous? Not a huge fan of having to do more stuff online, but if it's awesome, I'll consider it. Does BuildYourLibrary.com have rigorous assignments? Oak Meadow? Are there Pearson/Prentice Hall/McMillan/Insert Other Big School Publishers that have high school literature texts that are worth using? Thanks so much!
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