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ElizaG last won the day on February 24 2014

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  1. Both Model English and Persuasive Speech were still being used in the early 1960s, according to Neil M. Whitney of the Scranton Times. He mentioned this in two columns, on March 11 and June 8, 1963. The latter column was quoted in full in the June 13 Congressional Record. (In looking up that reference, I also found a memorial that mentioned that Father Donnelly, as a boy, had read adventure stories and "the Griffen Writings" until a teacher directed him to more serious literature. After some searching, I think this must be referring to the works of Gerald Griffin, a popular Irish writ
  2. I’ve taken another look at Persuasive Speech, and the material seems doable for my high schoolers, so I’m going to take the plunge and start it next week. (The English plan we were following in the fall wasn’t very satisfactory.) I’d prefer to have done more of Model English first, but it’s not a requirement, and I think it’s important for us to keep to the overall schedule and not get bogged down. I’m not at all sure about scheduling and other practicalities. Since we’re starting late in the year, and I’ll be learning as I go, I’ll plan on spreading it out over the next 1.5 years.
  3. It's hard to say, as the younger ones are still in the elementary years, and I haven't done heavy academics at that stage with either group. It does seem to me that the older ones were more "prodigious" in the early years, in the sense of voluntarily reading stacks of books, memorizing lists of information, and doing various art and writing projects. On the other hand, the younger ones tend to be more sociable and observant, with more common sense, and spend their free time just playing or hanging out. But some of that could be because they have a built-in crowd to socialize with, and more
  4. As for what her system looks like five years down the road, I can't say much from my own experience. For one thing, I've only been able to follow her advice to a limited extent. For another, there have been many other changes in our family situation, and it's hard to know what caused what. I've just been reading some of my own EFL posts from five years ago, and was surprised to see that my current challenges are very similar to the ones I was writing about back then. In particular, I don't think my attempts to implement her methods with the older children had much of an effect. This
  5. Searching archive.org for "course of study" turns up many examples, but they're usually specific to one subject. I guess English would be a good one to start with. Course of Study in English, Public Schools, Rochester, NY, 1914 This one, for parochial schools, was published in one volume, but it's also organized by subject rather than by grade. Course of Study for the Elementary and Grammar Grades, Archdiocese of San Francisco, 1922 Please feel free to post others.
  6. This is just a simple question that I've been wondering about for a while. EFL, as well as many leaders in the public and Catholic schools of her time, believed that an average pupil who was a native English speaker could easily finish grades 1-8 in 6 years. So what I'd like to understand is: What did the typical American 8th grade curriculum look like, circa 1920? How did it differ from current expectations? I've seen some "can you pass this vintage 8th grade exam?" pages, but nothing that gives a thorough list of the subjects and requirements. I'll post information as I f
  7. I think this is a very reasonable expectation. Father Donnelly's books were intended to fit into the educational system of the early 20th century, which was itself in a state of transition, with a lot of experiments going on in both English and classical teaching. Our educational system is different. On the one hand, writing pedagogy is even more firmly oriented toward university methods, college admissions are much more competitive, and really competent teachers and tutors for classical languages are hard to find. On the other hand, as homeschoolers, we have more flexibility in some ways
  8. A few years ago, I had a thorough and reasonable-looking middle and high school plan worked out along the above lines. But then we got into a vicious cycle where I got more and more burned out, and the children became less and less cooperative. And it turns out that one big problem with trying to follow an old-school plan is that (in my case, anyway) there is zero outside support IRL, whether moral or practical. Literally everyone -- from family, to fellow homeschoolers, to professionals -- told me to that the solution to my problems lay in outsourcing, or (if I unaccountably refused to d
  9. Thanks for the translation! I find that passage hard to understand as well, but one thing I'm sure of is that the traditional US college curriculum was classical, not professional. Perhaps he meant that the colleges were no longer getting enough qualified students for that program, so (from a business POV) they made up for this by shifting their emphasis to providing pre-professional training. In the early 20th century, the professional schools were becoming more exacting about their entrance requirements. There's a catalogue here, from 1920, that gives some examples. As for juni
  10. Happy Epiphany! I haven't finished Chapter 1, and don't know if I'll get through it today, so will start with the prefatory material. Feel free to talk about the first chapter as well, if you like. The book has a Latin inscription that starts "Magistris Artium." LostCove, or someone else whose Latin is better than mine, maybe you can translate this? Then the introduction raises several interesting points. First of all, Father Donnelly says that PJEP can serve as a supplement to two other recent books on the subject. 1) "For history, (...) for theory and for a fine and comple
  11. I guess it's still Christmas for a few more days, but maybe that's not the definition you had in mind. 😄 Let me know when you'd like to start. Although I'm looking forward to the discussion, I'm also sort of unsettled about it, because it's going to remind me of all the methods and content that I'm not currently able to use in our homeschool. At the same time, I'm very much aware (as 8FilltheHeart posted years ago) that the restoration of traditional classical education has to be a group effort. And over the holidays, I've become increasingly ticked off with the neo-classical ed
  12. I hope your husband-convincing project is going well! 😄 A book discussion of PJEP would be great. There are 26 chapters. Do you think we should try to follow a schedule, or just take as long as it takes?
  13. Just found a tidbit in the booklet Home Instruction: A Growing Alternative to Public Schools by Jim Buchanan, which can be previewed on archive.org. It was published in 1984 by Vance Bibliographies. It has a brief introduction about the history of homeschooling in the United States up to that point, and then the rest of the book is a bibliography. Almost all of the items are magazine articles about homeschooling from the 1970s and 80s (some of which might be worth reading in their own right), but page 8 has this entry: "Lynch, Ella Frances. Educating the Child at Home. New York: Go
  14. I had a good time taking a mini course in journalism at that age. Just basic things like the 5 W’s, how to interview people, and how to write a story. Maybe they could make a page of a newspaper with Christmas related articles? Could be real (e.g. phone interviews with relatives about what’s going on with them) or made up (e.g. news from Santa’s workshop). Around the same time, I signed up for an in-school elective class in which the teacher played us songs (mostly older folk type stuff) that had very evocative lyrics, describing a character, event, or scene. We discussed what the son
  15. That does seem like the best of the current options, but I don’t entirely trust the risers. My children seem to have a knack for injuring themselves (or others) when playing around tables. Will have to think about this some more.
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