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hswarden

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  • Biography
    Combining principles from TWTM and Oliver DeMille
  • Location
    Southern California
  • Interests
    Missions, animals, and the future of the human race
  • Occupation
    Wife, mother of 4
  1. A popular curriculum asks my student to read 12 medieval lyric poems from the Norton Anthology of Western Literature which I do not have and will not buy. I am astonished that I cannot find ONE of these assigned poems on the internet. I am thinking that poems over 900 years old are probably in the public domain, but I have spent this afternoon trying to find them to no avail. For example, "Summer" by Judah (sp varies) Halevi, "Spring Song" by William IX, "The Art of Love" by Arnaut Daniel, "Love and Nobility" and"An Encounter" by Guido Cavalcanti, "Sonnet" by Dante Alighieri (he only wrote one??), "Alone in Martyrdom" by Christine de Pizan, and "A Hymn to St. Maximinus" by Hildegard of Bingen. I am about to say, "Read any two poems by any two of these writers, and we will call it a day." But I wonder, am I just unlucky today? Does anyone else know where to find medieval poetry online?
  2. Anyone have a recommendation for well-written, accurate and interesting books on the Islamic empire for Year 2? The books I used last time are gone from the library and I can't remember their titles. I only know what they were not. Irene
  3. I am not trying to be restrictive, but I am sure people are on this forum because they are inspired by WTM philosophies, techniques, and approaches. I am really wondering about the use of the very simple format of writing a one page summary of the historical context of a "great book" (realizing that SWB is not restrictive about what books you choose) based on a spine that covers either the history of western civilization, or a broad era (such as SWB's texts) I find it extremely difficult to not read, and ask my high-school aged children to read, books focusing narrowly on people, problems, events, and countries within the era, and write about them. (I could not resist starting this school year with Asimov's 250-page book on Constantinople.) This is not TWTM's highschool format. The poll, and my question, is to explore the experiences of people who are using what seems to me her very trimmed-down history study for high school. I realize that in TWTM, she gives an example of a student writing a "great books" paper on technical aspects of Greek drama. How the student might have developed that question is not explained, as I don't think it would have arisen from Timetables of History or any Western Civilization spine. Using no other resources, the great book's historical context summary would indeed be one page. It seems that history in TWTM high school is a backdrop for literature, not really a study in iteself. Unless I have missed something. I would to love hear more of your experiences.
  4. I don't think Mr. Jacobs would mind me re-printing here the message he sent 4 years ago when I asked him whether my daughter ought not to be doing ALL the exercises in Geometry: Seeing, Doing 2nd Edition. Unfortunately the Word doc he sent is too large to attach here, and the formatting doesn't work if I paste it. So you will still have to PM me for the list of problems he recommends. The note shows what a kind an approachable teacher he is, and he encouraged me to keep in touch with him if I needed any further help. Which I did not, since I had my daughter studying geometry with someone else's mother.:hurray: I have heard from many teachers and students with regard to this, causing me to realize that I should have included lists of suggested assignments in the Teachers Guide. (In the earlier editions of the book, it was much easier to pick and choose exercises to do.) In writing the new edition of Geometry, I tried very hard to make all of the exercises appealing and useful. As with any subject that one wants to master, the more practice the better. However, as your tutor realizes, I did not envision any student doing all of the problems. Such a task would indeed be burdensome. To help in deciding which exercises your daughter might do, I am enclosing two suggested assignment lists as a Word attachment. I have also pasted it at the end of this letter in case you are unable to open the attachment. One list is for regular geometry classes and the other is for honors classes. (No Set III exercises are included in these assignments. I intended them to be optional on the student’s part. Some of them are comparatively easy and others quite a challenge, but most provide a good feeling of accomplishment to the student who has figured them out.) A suggestion. In the classroom, some teachers use some of the Set I exercises as oral exercises to check the students’ understanding of the basic ideas of the lesson. As you look through the Teachers Guide answer sections, you or Emily's tutor might want to do the same with some of the exercises that have very short answers. This would take the pressure off your daughter in having to do so much writing. After **** has read the lesson and taken some brief notes, you could launch her into the assignment by letting her give you oral answers to the opening exercises before she continues with the written work. With best wishes, Harold Jacobs
  5. Mr. Jacobs sent me an email with the exercises he recommends. I would be glad to email it to you if you PM me with an email address. Update: I apologize for the confusion. My list of exercises is for the 3rd edition. I have a half-shelf of Jacobs texts, and I did not go 'round the couch to look at them. I do encourage you to contact Mr. Jacobs yourself for encouragement and help sorting out the editions. He is very kind. http://bcs.whfreeman.com/geometry3e/default.asp?s=&n=&i=&v=&o=&ns=0&uid=0&rau=0
  6. On p. 474 of my copy of The Well-Trained Mind, directions for high school history students are to select a work of literature from the era, glance at years in which it was written in the Timetables of History and the DK History of the World, read a corresponding section in a history text, and write a one-page summary of the historical context in which the literary work was written. For, example, the Magna Carta. Or Sir Gawain. The one-page context paper would describe contemporaneous events in England, with a final paragraph on events "elsewhere." That is it for history lesson until the Magna Carta or Sir Gawain are completed. The student goes on to discuss and write a paper about each book. SWB recommends about 8 or 12 great books to be read each year. In the spring, student writes a research paper on a historical topic. I would like to hear from anyone who is following this approach. Does writing a 1 page summary of contemporary events, drawn from these 3 sources, built on top of a grammar & logic stage tour through the era at 4-year intervals preceding this year, seem to produce an adequate grasp of history? Do 10 "Great" books for literature per year, with their accompanying 1 page summaries, seem to work well for most high school students? Have you found that this approach does indeed train the mind?
  7. Sorry--I got on a rabbit trail and was looking at their spanish class, which ordains a textbook that is running about $100 at the few websites I pulled up. I wish I could find a good, one-year Spanish program for about $250, including materials. Rosetta STone and Live Mocha and so forth aren't really working for us.
  8. Tapestry of Grace. This is my fourth year; for 6 or 7 years I made it up a la SWB. The schedule & book selection helps me a lot although I do substitute and add a lot. I never knew when to quit before, and took too long to get through an era. TOG keeps me disciplined. I am going to try to blend it with SWB literature approach more this year.
  9. Would she like it if you dragged out the old home movies and photo albums and went over how treasured she has been all her life?
  10. MY dd took an online geometry class from Karena Flynn at http://www.libertytutorials.com. They used Jacobs' text. I was very pleased with it. She is very organized, but flexible; very kind and student-centered, yet clear about expectations and standards. It was a very positive experience for my DD who had not had any outside math instruction ever. The interface was very easy, with no problem. When we had to miss class, she made a recording of the class available. She teaches Algebra & Algebra 2 and advanced math as well.
  11. I started homeschooling because SWB's book, "The Well-Trained Mind" made it seem do-able to me. Have you read through her chapter on how to teach reading and writing? It is really not that difficult to pick an era that appeals to you, choose a level that seems good for your child, and start reading from that list. I recommend you reading one of the books first, and then read it again with him. It is never to late to start this approach. I don't think she was writing only for literature pros; but for parents who believed a solid education could be gained at home. I think it's good to pick a number of hours a day YOU will commit to study, and stick to it. I would be glad to keep telling you this if you need more than one push.
  12. I am looking for people who are reading from SWB's Year 3 High school list. My dd age 15 would like to have people to "talk and write about" books with this year. Anyone?
  13. I don't mean to be snide or disrespectful, but if there are schooled students at the family gathering, they may be your best defense. In the presence of the other pro-school adults, attempt a serious conversation with one or two of them.
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