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Violet Crown

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Everything posted by Violet Crown

  1. Haven't posted in a while; catching up now. Since the bluebonnets first appeared, I've read: 23. Emma Tennant, The Bad Sister. Modern re-take of the classic James Hogg novel, Confessions of a Justified Sinner, taking up the themes of class, witchcraft, and identity confusion in a 1970s feminist context. Category: Scots Wha' Hae. 24. Kenneth Fearing, The Big Clock. Noir, as written by a poet, and very good, though ending abruptly. Category: Crime & Punishment. 25. Gerard de Nerval, Selected Poems. Dual language. Late Romantic, or early Surrealist? Maybe if my French were better, I could tell. Category: Dramatic, Lyric, & Epic. 26. Elaine Dundy, The Old Man and Me. American girl in London, looking for ... love? sex? revenge? Not as wonderful as The Dud Avocado (American girl in Paris), but awfully fun. Category: Little Oval on the Spine. 27. S. T. Bindoff, Tudor England. A Pelican history, unfortunately now badly dated due to later scholarship on the English Reformation; also taking for granted the reader's Englishness and Protestantism, which make Bindoff both frustratingly under-informative (taking too much English historical knowledge for granted) and irritatingly chauvinistic. Category: Plucked From the Air. 28. Honore de Balzac, Cousin Bette. One can't get too much wallowing in La Comedie Humaine. Balzac laments and moralizes on the awful behavior of the French of all social classes in the decadence of the Restoration Period, shaking his authorial head sadly as he spoons up more for his greedy reader. Bette is as bad as they come; but she has a lot of competition in this novel. Virtue really should overcome, but what can you do? Category: Brexit Special. 29. St. John of the Cross, Poems. Dual language. I actually did quite a lot of Lent-appropriate reading, it's just most of it wasn't the kind of books that one reads all of. But I did read the mystical poetry of San Juan de la Cruz, and about time. Too bad I have no real Spanish. Categories: Dramatic, Lyric, & Epic; Brexit Special. 30. Trollope, Is He Popenjoy? Okay as a Trollope novel, though somewhat recycling the plot of He Knew He Was Right, a superior novel. Ripped from the headlines of 1870s London, a Marquis who is possibly Trollope's most thoroughly nasty, vulgar character ever wreaks havoc on his family as he may or may not be passing off an impostor as his legitimate infant son, Lord Popenjoy. The scandal doesn't age well, the action never quite rises to a crisis at any point. and the thing is 600+ blessed pages long. I know Trollope wrote primarily for the money, but it rarely shows quite so much. No 10x10 categories, even. Currently reading Swift's Gulliver's Travels, and simultaneously reading the children's version to Wee Girl. It's a little surreal, reading the original of each chapter and then the bowdlerized version. I keep wanting to pause and say, "You know, sweetie, this part is really about the Treaty of Utrecht and the English betrayal of Oxford and Bolingbroke." But I don't. I do think they shouldn't have edited out Swift's scatological passages; it's just the kind of thing kids would like.
  2. Mine is for "The City of the Violet Crown"; the cultural center of civilization; the finest place on earth to live. No, not that one ... the other one.
  3. It is not. It's been updated so many times since the original version Hillyer wrote that it's pretty anodyne. I would recommend, though, if buying used, getting a recent edition.
  4. My opinion is your opinion. We've never found a separate grammar program to be necessary. We use a Latin program that teaches English grammar as it goes, and have found that to be easily sufficient. It is useful to be able to refer to parts of the language (e.g. subordinating conjunction; personal pronoun; compound predicate) just because it's useful to know the names of anything you might want to talk about. And if you're not going to teach how English operates in the course of studying a foreign language, you should probably teach it separately. But that doesn't seem to me like a thing that has to be done every single year. Middle Girl is taking an introductory linguistics course and learned in a short time anything she missed when learning grammar via Latin.
  5. Wee Girl and Middle Girl loved CHOW at that age. Do you have the Workbook for it? I'm not usually a big fan of workbooks that accompany narrative texts, but this one is full of activities that they loved. And the "fill in the blanks" make-an-outline approach was surprisingly successful in helping MG gently learn how to take notes in later years.
  6. Brief post; Wee Girl and I are down with head colds and are watching Blue Planet 2 and sharing a box of kleenex. Miserable yet snuggly. This week read one of the great 20th-century Texas novels, Edward Anderson's Depression-era noir, Thieves Like Us. Re-read James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Classic and deeply strange exploration of identity and duality in a hyper-Calvinist context. Now reading Emma Tennant's 1978 gender-switched version of Hogg's famous novel, The Bad Sister. Jenn, I have not read any Ossian, though now and then I feel I ought to get to the library and dig it up.
  7. deleted; getting too emotional & ranty, sorry
  8. This happened to us with our non-verbal child. We promptly got a couple of Road ID wristbands saying: "NON-VERBAL / Mom: [phone] / Dad: [phone] / No known allergies". And we quietly cursed the TSA and their officious expansion of their mandate beyond preventing terrorism. But the wristband is a good idea in general with a child who has trouble verbalizing. What if she gets lost?
  9. ETA: I just finished reading Texas writer Edward Anderson's 1937 novel Thieves Like Us. It's set in Texas and Oklahoma in the 1930's, and Anderson presents as a matter of course a brutal and corrupt police force, prison system, and courts, enabled by a subservient and mendacious press, which is owned by corrupt petty officials. While all this is naturally exaggerated for the sake of the genre, it would be hard to argue that the underlying native distrust of the government in its various forms isn't fully on display.
  10. Dh and I buy used books online all the time, but rarely books for homeschooling. The only time there's been an inaccuracy in condition involved a seller that turned out to be a homeschooling family. It was a blank timeline, listed as "like new," but arrived with all the Sonlight timeline stickers glued into it and lots of events written in. When I insisted on a refund, I was told to send the original back at my own expense. When I explained to them what I was actually going to do, the seller immediately refunded my money and explained that her kids handled the sales and it was their fault.
  11. First, it's not very likely that subject matter expertise will affect discussion. My daughter's group will be reading William James on psychology soon, but even if one of them had special training in psychology, there's not much to contribute other than "by the way, modern psychology isn't much interested in the same ideas James was interested in." Second, if the discutants want to step outside the (firm) rules of Shared Inquiry, of course nothing can stop them. But when her group has, despite the rules, allowed a girl who studied a writer's works previously to give lots of information extrinsic to the text, they've discovered that the free exchange of ideas quickly turns into sitting at the feet of the "expert." And nobody actually enjoys that.
  12. I hate to be part of the crowd jumping on you, Bluegoat, because I nearly always agree with your thinking. I honestly believe there's a cultural disconnect here: Canadians and Texans are just differently wired. Now I'll jump on you. I think you're just wrong; Texas has in fact maintained its society for nearly two centuries under the model we're discussing. And if anything, trust level of local authorities, particularly law enforcement, is higher, because police corruption has been increasingly dealt with. I don't think this is just Texas, either; my mother remembers, during the few miserable years she lived in Chicago in the 1960's when it was ruled by Mayor Daley, how when the police pulled you over you would lock your door, roll down the window a crack, and give the officer a twenty "to pay the ticket right here, thank you officer." That level of widespread official corruption is just unimaginable now. Throwing another thought out here, since you're still game for this discussion (and thank you for making all of us think!). When I started homeschooling in the '90s, it wasn't yet mainstream enough to be immune from possible new attempts at interference from the schools; but we all knew we were immune because the public schools had gone from a funding peak in 1985 to serious underfunding, more so each year. The ISDs themselves said they had no interest in going after homeschoolers because they barely had enough money to function. I have a close friend who's a state judge in the family law court system, and an old homeschooling friend worked for the CPS for her whole career. Both of them laugh at the idea of Texas CPS targeting homeschoolers, because they don't have enough funding to deal with genuine cases of abuse and neglect. So the lesson here seems to be, The way to protect yourself from the arms of the state bureaucracy that pose a possible threat to your freedom to raise your own children as you see fit, is to starve those agencies. Note that I'm not saying it's a good thing to underfund public schools or child protective services; I don't think it's a good thing. What I'm saying is, when the reason consistently given for the non-harassment of the law-abiding citizenry is that there isn't enough money to harass them, people will draw the obvious conclusion.
  13. So ... I agree with you, in a way. If you have a high-trust society, you'd better do the maintenance work to maintain that. But to be straight with you, I live in Texas, and this has never been a high-trust society as far as citizenry and the "gummint" are concerned. And not only can you not build yourself a high-trust society from the citizenry side, you'd be a fool meanwhile to risk sacrificing the well-being of yourself and your family by quixotically trusting behavior. I respect the police: I have called them when they were needed, and cooperated with them. Police detectives were extraordinarily helpful and personally supportive when our family dealt with a stalker. But I'm not an idiot, and I know what the history of this state tells me. I had a good friend spend the night at the state (not national) border (released uncharged) because he objected politely to having his van searched without probable cause. I can read the news and know about no-knock warrants and the fatally botched drug raid in Houston. I drive way under the speed limit through Texas towns. As far as trusting government bureaucrats, I got my first lesson when I was 18 and realized my car's registration was overdue. I went to the nearby Texas DPS office and the motherly lady at the desk asked, "How did you get to our office, sweetie?" Like a naive kid I said I drove, and she promptly wrote down an extra $100 fine for driving without a valid registration. Okay; one and done. I totally believe the CPS worker in the other thread was friendly and supportive. So was the DPS lady. But they don't get their paychecks from me. tl;dr -- I'm all for a robust, high-trust society. You first.
  14. *Crosses Bel-Ami off Quill Recommendation List*
  15. I should add that it was super-easy to get other kids for the groups. Homeschooling in our community is very STEMmy, and many of the parents speak English as a second language, so there's a consequent anxiety about literary education.
  16. Middle Girl learned about them and badly wanted to be in one: so I started one with her and half a dozen of her friends. It's something of a hybrid between the adult and children's forms: after the first session, which I led, they led it themselves, rotating the leadership, and for a while using the booklets of interpretive questions; after they got the hang of it, coming up with their own questions. (Teenagers) Later I started one for Wee Girl, which I lead in the traditional manner. I find the hardest part is to Shut Up when they head down the wrong path altogether, and wait for one of the kids to point out other possibilities, instead of taking over and "teaching." It's been amazing. (Late elementary) Both groups are girls only, which I worried would be controversial, but has been both successful and popular.
  17. To be fair, one of my children specializes in sitting there silent and terrified-looking if anyone talks to her. One of the many reasons not to put the poor kid in a school. But I've heard way too many people blame her anxieties, OCD, and (previous) muteness on her being homeschooled. My favorite anti-homeschooling remarks are about how I'm helping wreck the public school system by keeping my kids out of it ... and I'm helping wreck the Catholic school system by keeping my kids out of it. Two school systems at once! My superpower.
  18. The Junior Great Books "shared inquiry" is IMO worth looking at. I dislike most forms of "Socratic questioning" because it so readily turns into "try to read the teacher's mind/ interpret her responses instead of the text." Middle Girl is part of a Junior Great Books group and it's been a really fruitful method of investigation. https://www.greatbooks.org/what-we-do/what-is-shared-inquiry/ They have videos at greatbooks.org showing Shared Inquiry in both Junior Great Books and adult Great Books groups.
  19. Years ago, when I called the police and the officer needed to talk to my teenage daughter (she had been the victim of a hit and run), he refused to enter the house: "Just ask her to come out here on the porch." That's made me wonder ever since about the motivation of any official who requests, however nicely, to come into my house. Listen to Aethelthryth.
  20. Once again, Traditionalism is vindicated.
  21. My old Earthlink account is effectively defunct and I'm changing to gmail. But when I go to my Account and have the option to click on "change" for email, it just kicks me to a screen telling me I can do things with my account dashboard.
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