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Ordinary Shoes

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Ordinary Shoes last won the day on April 20

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  1. I don't remember what I thought when I read the book the first time. Narnia wasn't elevated to quite the same height when I was a kid. They were just books that most of us read, not books that we had to read, KWIM?
  2. One thing to keep in mind is that all of the novels that everyone says we "must" read are about 200 years old. The so-called children's "classics" are even newer. Novel reading was criticized in the 19th century as frivolous. Novels were not used in education until the modern era. The children's books you mentioned are not "classics" using a historic use of the word. Narnia (apologies up front) is overrated. Famously, Tolkien hated the Narnia books. Ask yourself how quickly you figured out that Aslan was an allegory for Jesus when you read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. In a better book, it would not be so obvious and heavy-handed. Little House on the Prairie - sigh...when did these books become "classics?" My theory is that these books became *the* homeschooling books because all of the moms who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s read them. We ALL read them. It was the biggest TV show of the 1970s for little girls. We loved everything prairie and "olden days" because of those books and TV shows. There was even a style in the early 1980s where we wore prairie skirts. But they are not classics. Good books? Yes. Essential? No. The same for the other books you mention other than Arabian Nights. Good books liked by bookish little girls who grew up to become teachers with fond feelings for Anne Shirley or Laura Ingalls. Arabian Nights is different. Those are old tales but no one read fairy tales as literature until fairly recently either. Perrault collected fairy tales that were part of popular culture. The same with the Brothers Grimm. It is a bit ironic to see people promote reading fairy tales and then decry pop culture. Fairy tales were low brow culture. I have a lot of issues with the "Christian Classical Education" movement (excepting SWB who is a cut above the rest of them) for many reasons. One being the over-reliance on modern novels in education while claiming that it is "classical." Even the idea of reading widely is not classical either. I can't find the quote anymore but John Cardinal Newman addressed this in his book, The Idea of a University. He criticizes young men who read widely in a frivolous manner. Ranting a little bit here but books we see as "classics" today like Oliver Twist were originally serialized in the newspaper. They were the 19th century equivalent of the Babysitters' Club.
  3. It surprises me how many parents do not read to their children. When my daughter began school, the other parents were surprised that I continued to read to my daughter after she began reading. My mother was an English major and she always read picture books to us. I read Anne of Green Gables, Little House, Secret Garden, and Narnia as a child. I'm not sure why. Did I choose them or were they recommended? IDK. All little girls read the Little House books during my 1970s childhood. I'm sure that I also read a lot of junk. I remember reading the Nancy Drew books. Babysitters' Club was after my time. I read many historical fiction novels. I also read contemporary tween books by authors like Paula Danziger (anyone remember the Pistachio Prescription?). This is probably because our library wasn't great but I remember reading many 1950s and 1960s teenager books. I remember one series about identical twin sisters who would switch places. I just googled and found the series; the Pam and Penny Howard series by Rosamund du Jardin. I don't remember booklists from when I was a child. We went to the library (school and public) and chose what we wanted. My mother was always very hands off about what we read. When I was about 12, I started choosing library books from the adult section because I'd read all of the interesting books in the young adult section. I remember reading all of the Jackie Collins books at that age. I always say that's where I learned how to cuss. I remember when I began choosing books from the adult section feeling very lost. No one recommended books and there were so many to choose from. At that time, I think I would have really benefitted from some guidance about what to read next.
  4. David Copperfield - I'm sure it's a fine book and I would probably appreciate it now. What ruined it for me was how we read it in the 9th grade. We sat in rows of desks. Each student read a paragraph, then on to the next student. It was pure torture.
  5. How old were your kids when you let them get a phone? My daughter is 10 and her best friend (also 10) just got an iPhone. DD tells me that all of her friends have phones. I'm sure that's an exaggeration but I'm beginning to suspect that it's largely true. We keep saying no but it's getting harder to put this off.
  6. Nope! I'm sure that I've engaged in a little bit of husband griping here. 🙂
  7. He's getting better and it's a big relief to not have to deal with math. I work full time and homeschool. I really need my DH to do his share.
  8. Elizabeth Foss inspired me to read St. Edith Stein as well. I'm about halfway through her essays about Women. It's a bit weird reading her thoughts on reforming German education knowing what will happen to her in the future.
  9. Not sure. I've never heard of them before. I'll have DH check it out. Part of our issue is that I'm the one who does the research but my DH is the one who does the work.
  10. Learning about in math or her other subjects? In math, I think they are working on fractions and decimal points now. They got a little behind in math last year because my DH had back surgery last year. I would say that she's always indifferent about math. It was always her best subject in school in terms of performance but she would always say it was her least favorite subject. Sometimes she will say that she "hates" math and other times she says she says she doesn't like math. When she was in school, the teacher had a math club and had puzzles and extra questions for kids who liked math but DD was never interested. I never pushed about that. Her 1st grade teacher told me that she didn't give DD math puzzles to do because DD was slow to finish her math in class. I asked DD about this and DD asked why she would want to get her work done earlier just to get more work. It's hard to argue with that logic. In her last year of school (3rd grade), she began saying that she was not good at math. 3rd grade was a hard year for DD overall. The class had 30 kids so it was way too big. She was unhappy most of the year and her grades fell except in math. Her grades fell because she stopped turning in all of her work. I found the work in her backpack but she didn't turn it in so she got zeroes. In 3rd grade, she started claiming that she was not good at math. The kids she said were good in math were all boys. IDK - it was just a bad situation overall which is why we pulled her out of school for 4th grade. What does it mean - "good at math?" IDK. Her math scores on standardized tests have always been high. Her last standardized test was the Iowa Test in 3rd grade. I can't remember her math score but it was in the mid 90th percentile. My DH was a math major. My father was a math major. They're very mathy. I would said the same thing about math in elementary school that my DD says about it now. I don't remember it being hard but I never liked it. I took only as much math as I was required to take. I got through calculus and that was it. I'm sure that I never understood the concepts behind what we did. For example, what were we doing when we borrowed and carried? I didn't understand that until I worked on regrouping with my daughter. Huge lightbulbs went on for me then.
  11. I've recommended that book to my DH. My DH does not geek out about pedagogy like I do. He's mathy but I don't think he's ever thought much about teaching math, KWIM? DD did MiF when she was in school. She didn't like that much either. She's not a big complainer but what she really wants to do is spend all her time playing role playing games on Roblox with her friends while chatting on Facetime. DH actually did some of this with DD last year.
  12. Apparently some of what we studied last year was actually retained. My daughter remembered the difference between a clause and a phrase. And I gave a screening spelling test this morning and my bad speller kiddo scored in grade 4.5. I'm like...what?
  13. Our first day went well. (relief) We got through our work quickly. No whining or complaining from kid or mom. 🙂
  14. I think she was okay with puzzles. She didn't love them but didn't hate them either. She doesn't need manipulatives anymore and they haven't used them since last year. DH has never done anything like you mention. I know they discussed prime numbers last week and DH reminded DD that Skye recites prime numbers before soccer games in the Penderwicks on Gardam Street. Honestly math is not my thing so I generally stay out of the way.
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