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  1. Yes, this makes sense and speaks to some issues I was puzzling about over the summer as I was trying to figure out what writing my 7th grader should be doing. Hmm, I already have a basket of books my independent readers have to pick from during quiet time, but this would definitely take things up a notch. Hope your little ones are on the mend soon!
  2. Doesn't Fr. Donnelly have some outlining in Model English? Did you see this piece by Edwin Miller, ElizaG? A Week's Work in English. Students came up with their own specific topics within a general theme, so in that case, presumably they picked things they were already familiar enough with to write about. But in his third book, I also noticed that some of the themes included a day for "study of subject and materials" on the suggested schedule, so where needed, it sounds like some time was allotted for research. Zooming out for a minute, here are some of my big-picture takeaways from
  3. That's interesting, ElizaG, thanks for digging it up. Maybe what we need is a rhetorical gap year program to send our kids to before they head off to more conventional college, like this kind of thing except Fr. Donnelly-style. So if someone could get to work on that, that would be great, lol. An acquaintance who teaches English looked at Model English and her assessment was "maybe" an advanced high schooler could do it. But Fr. Donnelly seems to have seen it as appropriate work for high school (Persuasive Speech, on the other hand, sounds like it was always intended for use in college).
  4. I was able to read this last summer, but don't have access to it any more - I should go back and look through my notes. I know of some people very proficient in Greek and Latin who could teach it in a communicative style that would emphasize that they are languages to be used for communication and that we can develop our own ability to communicate in them, but I don't know of anyone who sees the goal of language study as the development of the student's own skill in communication the way Fr. Donnelly does. Even at places currently pushing the renaissance of "living" methods of classic
  5. I thought I would bring this thread back to talk about what a Fr. Donnelly-inspired education for the over-12 set might look like. There are several different questions that seem to come up when we think about making use of his methods, and the first two that I was mulling over were how his approach fits into a modern comprehensive high school curriculum and then, secondly, to what extent we would want to update the genres or media covered to reflect the last 100ish years of history. As far as the first question goes, I could imagine two possible tracks - a straight up, old school, classi
  6. This distinction makes sense to me. I just dug up an old Fr. Donnelly thread to resurrect, and apparently we discussed the content subjects in middle school back then, lol.
  7. This is just one state, but where I live, attendance is compulsory from age 6 until you turn 18, but kindergarten is also required and you are not allowed to enroll your child directly in first grade without them having completed a kindergarten program. Homeschooling kindergarten "counts," but I've never filed paperwork with the state for my five year olds (because attendance is not yet compulsory), just for 1st grade when they turn 6, and I've always wondered if I had to send a 6 year old to school if they would make me enroll them in kindergarten since I have no "proof" of completing kinderg
  8. That would be so kind! I will email you. I had another idea to bounce of you, too. I actually would like to get into a broader discussion of the post-EFL years, implementing Fr. Donnelly methods, classical languages, etc, etc, but perhaps I will start a new thread or resurrect one of the older ones for that because I also still have a couple things to say about the last two chapters of Bookless Lessons.
  9. I share this habit or temperament, and the only thing that has ever made it better is when I go ahead and block out a chunk of every day when I MUST BE LEFT ALONE. Not possible to do in every season and takes some time training everyone to STAY AWAY FROM MOM, but if I know I have some guaranteed solitude coming, it is easier not to excuse little attempts to grab solitude here and there which are just distracting, throw off my rhythm, and don't even result in satisfying aloneness. DH is also very good about making sure I LEAVE THE HOUSE BY MYSELF NOT TO GROCERY SHOP for a few hours every week.
  10. Amen to this! Are the specifics of the Vittorino Plan in The Catholic Way in Education? Are they worth me spending $30 on a copy? In poking around for that, I found a bunch of Jesuit theses from the 30s on the Ratio and Jesuit pedagogy that look pretty interesting...
  11. Ivan Illich, with whom Gatto was familiar, favored universal educational access, but not compulsory attendance. So everyone has equal rights to educational resources (which he understands to include many, many things beyond schools), but no one has to make use of any particular ones. He proposed access would come in the form of an "edu-credit card" that is good for life. Illich had all kinds of other interesting ideas for how this could work in practice in his book Deschooling Society. He also thought that discrimination in hiring based on previous schooling should be made illegal: "Laws, of c
  12. It's only counterintuitive if you assume that learning is largely the result of being required to be present in a class, which I don't. Your have often referred to your own experience of teaching students who have been in many years of math classes without grasping foundational concepts. Of course, some people learn some things in required classes - people are naturally learning creatures and will learn all kinds of things at all times wherever they are. But this seems like another example of what I noted above - compulsory schools get to take credit for any learning that does happen to happen
  13. My hunch is that it is not the presence of different perspectives that concerns mms, but the absence of good faith.
  14. A while back, I tried to get a better handle on literacy rates, but I still find those metrics confusing and not clearly standardized. My understanding is that by one measurement, the US also has a 99% literacy rate, for example. In any case, I didn't mean it would be impossible for a highly "literate" society to co-exist with compulsory education laws, but that compulsory attendance laws are not the instrument of education - you don't cause education with compulsory attendance. I doubt my local high school graduates would be technically illiterate by UNESCO's definition (being able to write a
  15. I don't agree at all with this characterization of Eliza's contributions to this conversation. My goal here was to better understand some of the practical things I could do to avoid shallow, rote science education as my children get older, and I think I've gotten what I can along those lines from this discussion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience.
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