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Everything posted by Genevieve

  1. Thank you! This is the same boy who enjoyed your recommendations on Chinese history I had asked on your blog. Here’s hoping he will enjoy these resources just as much!
  2. Ahhhh... My kids love those books and it has influenced at least one to read books he wouldn’t have necessarily have picked up... gotta love all those literary allusions!
  3. wouldn’t you mind sharing what you have used for world history? If it’s a large list of resources, then perhaps the core books/teaching company courses/series?
  4. I appreciate the lazy! I have eight kids of my own - five I’m currently homeschooling and three kindergarten and under. I need things efficient! It would have never occurred for me to go down to initials, just numbers and just a word or two. It seems so obvious now that you have explained it! Also, what are your expectations when you write “Identify Archduke Ferdinand†in their lesson plans? Gosh! What an unexpected wealth of information regarding annotation! I feel like you have taken Adler’s approach and commonplace book which I took to be more copywork and took it up a notch. It reminds me of how my understanding of copy work/writing and grammar took a giant leap forward when I used TC. So to clarify, you have notes in your planners, annotated books, and spiral notebooks. Do you have a spiral notebook per child? Per book? How do you keep it organized? I’m trying to imagine keeping my notes for five students simple but effective. Truly, thank you for being so patient and generous.
  5. Thought of another question, when you ask the student to annotate 20 000, I assume you are providing him with his own copy to mark. What about books like Journey through Bookland? My seventh grader and I love the series but they are too expensive for us to mark up. Do you use post-it notes like those in your history/science books? I appreciate you walking through the practical aspect of recording teaching notes. I can foresee even using the planner to record literature paper topics as they come up in our discussions instead of trying to guess what topics my children will be passionate about before reading. I’m hoping that by trying out some of your methods we will see a more purposeful yet organic discussions/lesson plan with my children.
  6. Yes it does! I appreciate how you have different methods for attaching the various levels of detailed teaching notes to your planners. Do you mind sharing what your shorthand notes looks like?
  7. I am re-reading your book Homeschooling at the Helm and I have a “technical†question. I believe you use the Catholic pfaum planners for your children. However in your book, the daily lesson plans are long. How do you manage to squeeze them into your planner? Do you have in two planning tools for your students to refer to? The pfaum planner and a detailed daily plans as written in your book? Also you mentioned buying your own copy and annotating Here be Dragons. Do you also buy your own copy of the history, science and literature books?
  8. Laura, Thank you for reminding me of your list. I'm currently building a short course on ancient China for my sixth grader. I never thought to check out the more mature works. historymatters, THank you for another good suggestion. I just wanted to add that SIngapore had "insert number" child policy. The number varied according to the government's agenda. ANother cheery thought. Penguin, Definitely including Art of War. I'm toying with adding a few more philosophical books like Anatelects. KarenNC, Thank you for reminding me to check out Norton editions. I'm going to see whether they have good critical essays on CHinese literature. I also signed up for the COursea course and am taking notes now just in case it isn't offered again next year. Sebastian, Thank you for more science-fiction books. My son and I are toying about comparing CHinese sci-fi with Western ones. Are they different? Do they reflect different philosophical thought? He's right now devouring Lewis' Space trilogy. Farrar, I really appreciate you focusing my thoughts on this course- literature written by Chinese and their self-reflection of their culture and philosophy. That is why I"m leaning towards the MIT courseware. The syllabus has you reading Chinese poetry and excerpts from the Classics. Those Classics are long! As least the excerpts are taken through the books so you can see the progression of the novel as oppose only the first book. I'm toying with spending a quarter on Chinese poetry, another on the Classics, another on Philosophical works like Art of War and Analects, with the final quarter on science-fiction and modern novella that you and Sebastian recommended. It seems a lot. But then again, my son might just want a more narrow focus.
  9. Sebastian, Thank you for your suggestions! My son would love some sci-fi and mystery novels thrown in the mix. Perhaps he could even read them in Chinese! HistoryMatters, Yes, I am founding a wealth of books based around the cultural revolution/communism. It is a horrific period in Chinese history but would be akin to studying World War II and the holocaust. I might include one or two books during that time period but won't want to dwell on it for too long. Thank you for reminding me about the missionaries in China as another angle to pursue. Lightening Literature also has the sample of A Thousand Pieces of Gold study for preview!
  10. Thank you for the list! The books you mentioned are not on the list above. Most of them are Chinese classics like Monkey, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, some Chinese poetry like Mulan, philosophical works like Confucius etc. I'm have to refresh my memory of the other two great Chinese classics - Water Margin and Dream of the Red Chamber. Thank you for reminding me of Pearl Buck; I remember reading her Good Earth book which is appropriate. I'll have to check out Chinese Cinderella and Homesick. They seem less tragic/mature than Wild Swans etc.
  11. My rising 9th grade son expressed an interest in Chinese history and literature . I'm trying to put together a course based on the Teaching Company's lecture series From Yao to Mao and some recommendations from this board. However, I'm stumped on Chinese literature. Some of the classics would be too depressing for his relatively innocent mind. Also, my weakest subject is literary analysis. I found some suggestions from WTM board Openware MIT But I'm unsure what to do with the books as we read through them. Great courses do have some isolated lectures on a few Chinese philosophical books. I would love to have some guide to go along with the guide or perhaps I can apply the WEM and the Windows to the World method to these books? Wikipedia helps a little as I pre-read the books. Appreciate any help given!
  12. I think you need to decide how much time you are willing to commit to school and also how fast a student he is. Another dynamic is how often can you teach and correct. I say that because I school 7 currently and am pregnant. Life situations are all factors. Some people do one hour per grade as a guide. My middle schoolers spend 6-8 hours depending on grade but at the same time they built up to that stamina which might something else to consider. My bare minimum has been math, foreign language, writing and free reading. Then I build up from there. I add subjects, choose curriculum that meets my standard of rigor, appropriate repetition and self-study. The answer isn't specific because everything depends. For example, the kids read rod and Staff grammar and complete the corresponding worksheet not the written exercises but that's because it's too much writing and I don't have time to do things orally with them. They take the chapter test closed book and I can gauge from there whether we need to redo certain lessons. I don't worry about completing the book within a year and I've been known to skip a grade. I discuss the grammar in context in their writing - errors and copia arrangements. I discuss their grammar and the differences in Chinese. I've even diagrammed Chinese sentences In my situation, I spend less time teaching but much more on correcting. So my materials either have well-written text with very explicit instructions directed at student - very parts-to- whole since my holistic learners can adjust but my sequential learners can't. And I correct, correct, correct.
  13. Forester Algebra 1 Chinese made easy 3 Writing with skill 2 Rod and staff grammar 7 OLVS spelling and handwriting Caesar English 2 OLVS religion 7. Mills's Book of Ancient Israel. Light to the nations 2 Teaching the classics with Windows to the World Continue our second year of using selected chapters from Hewitt, suchocki, tarbuck and Campbell according to interest.
  14. Miquon Math. Rod and Staff math 3 Chinese Made Easy for Kids 2 Writing with ease 2 First language lesson 2 OLVS spelling and handwriting 2 OLVS religion 2 SOTW 2 Mater Amabilis Level 1B literature selections Science books from library with emphasis on increasing length and details on oral narrations
  15. Rod and staff 5 with hands on equations Chinese made easy for kids 3 Treasured conversations second half. School composition by Maxwell. First language lessons 4 OLVS spelling and handwriting 4 OLVS religion 4 and Christian Studies 2 Story of the World 3-4 Narnia with ROAR and Family Guide. Mater Amabilis Literature 2 Science books from library according to interest but emphasis on taking notes and increasing reading levels.
  16. Could someone explain to me the attraction towards these sets of books? Aren't they the same as reading the original full versions? Is it lack of time - better to read the best snippets of literature than whole works? Or convenience? I purchased the My Book House as my first set and we were not engaged. I'm hesistant to buy any more sets but wanted an enlightened view.
  17. 8, I was never offended by your comments about plans. If anything, I am encouraged by them. I was thinking out loud elements of Memoria Press plans that I might want to incorporate into my existing plans. When I read your posts, I can see how you do have plans but they serve to educate you. When you have internalize the information, you tweak the existing purchased plans beyond recognition. You have always been very careful to remind us that curriculum and programs are not the magic pill. You can't just swallow it wholesale. Providing an education to our children is organic and unique. We, as teachers, need to educate ourselves and not just switch off our brains when we tick off the box. I understand completely about coping out because now the plans will do its magic. Excitement in learning alongside my children has kept me going. I never teach any grade the same way twice. I personally can't be excited about approaching the same subject in the same way. So don't feel like your comments are counter-productive to this thread or that your advice are as restrictive as pre-fab program. I don't think you bash up pre-fab programs, just the temptation to hand over the reins when you will do Grade X from School Y. I hope this was somewhat clear. I'm desperately eager to read a few books and think through ideas. I think I need to pause all these illuminating thoughts till I process what I have. :001_smile:
  18. I actually think it is helpful to look at different curriculum and lesson plans. It's like gathering collective wisdom into different people's quests for the ideals of truth and beauty. I appreciate Andrew for taking the time to guide our considerations when choosing our materials and teaching approaches. At the same time, there is much to learn in studying pre-fab programs. For example, I, too, was inspired by Dr Taylor's talk on good books. I went in search for the definition and examples of good books. It was like Andrew Kern's illustration on the poetic knowledge of science. You can give a student a dissection of a frog but in the end, it is only a frog's body and not a frog. However, it was only when I read "Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination" did I found peace in my quest. The book has a finite booklist, abeit a very small one. But it is in the author's illustrations and explainations that has helped me recognize a good book when I see one. And this is the part where the broadness of the definition results in such large booklists. A good book has to meet the child at where he is, which brings me back to Dr Taylor's point. Not all books are able to awaken a child's perception of truth. It requires experience and expertise. In our household, we study fairy tales, Little House books, Narnia and Lord of the Rings. These are the core books in our literature program. That's a lot of repetition for me because I have a large family, but these are the books that have spoken to my children best. They are, in my family, the best of the good books. I am comfortable in letting the other good books speak quietly to my children. Not all good books are discussed formally here. Plenty are referred to in those eureka moments. I admit to studying Highland Latin School curriculum after Andrew's endorsement of Memoria Press products. I wanted to know how they have gone about in the pursuit of truth and honestly, I am impressed. In my analysis, I can see why and how they do certain things through Andrew's lens. Take, for example, their flow in their classical studies chart. It makes sense to me that if you want student to appreciate Greek and Rome classics, you need to understand Greek and Roman history. But why Greek and Roman classics. You could use any of the Great Books to teach Truth and Beauty. And here lies Highland Latin's explanation . "The classical civilization of Greece and Rome is the perfect civilization for the student to study and the teacher to teach. It has been thoroughly studied by many generations, and the lessons have been learned and are there for all to see. And we know the end of the story, and therefore we can see consequences and draw conclusions. In addition, all of the issues that we struggle with in the modern world – economic, political, religious, and social – are present in the ancient world in their simplest form. In Greece and Rome, the perennial problems of the human condition can be seen at their beginning, while it is still possible to grasp them, to understand them, and to really see the heart of the matter." Another enlightening moment was when I studied their workbooks. They are very simple, mainly memory and comprehension exercise. I appreciate this more because of Andrew's podcast on memory. Sometimes bringing attention to someone is enough to inspire contemplation and comparison. And Andrew and even Susan have given very simple questions to awaken contemplation. You don't need to have many thought-provoking questions. Sometimes, all it takes is one. The same goes for studying their lesson plan layout. The proportion of the seven liberal arts relative to the sciences shows me an example of priorities according to Circe's recommendations on the order of learning. Of course, it doesn't capture poetic knowledge which is the foundation of a classical education prior to the liberal arts but it does show me one tangible example to guiding principle to " When should we begin the study of the sciences? ", again lifted from Circe website. I've been known to follow closely what I am quietly deemed mentors on this board. But I think they, like pre-fab programs and lesson plans, can only be mentors if I ponder on their suggestions in a state of rest and not one of anxiety. We can never really capture everything in another person's homeschool or curriculum package. But in a state of rest, we can make small changes that can be fundamental in their outcomes.
  19. I've been pondering on this for a long time. Just to be clear, I realized our literature selections have been classic children books regardless of time period we are in. History are mainly biographies and non-fiction books that traces the development of different aspects of human culture like weaponary, food, agriculture and diseases. Historical fiction have unintentionally, yet naturally been moved to "light" and free reading. However, this evolution of our book selections have been made due to time constraints. We just can't read all those books and I'm protective of their free time. Another reason is my own familiarity with classic literature. I was schooled in Asia and read a lot of classic children books. I want to introduce my children to books that have not only survived through time but are also international in their appeal - Grimm Brothers and Robert Louis Stevenson are authors a well-read child in Asia, Europe and America would be familiar with. Madeleine Takes Command, as fascinating as it was, not so much. :001_smile: Can a historical fiction be a good book too? I wonder whether I am missing a point on what makes a good book. I looked at Angelicum's literature list and they do include a few historical fiction though I won't consider GA Henty's books equal to their other selections. The ClassicalHomeschool and AO booklists linked by Circe contain plenty of historical fiction. WTM's literature section list historical novels in the supplementary section. I love John Senior's and the other Circe talks but when I read their recommended reading list, I find a disparity. Perhaps I misunderstood the underlying philosophy. Or is it I misunderstand the purpose of their recommendations? Hope someone can help untangle this mess in my head. :bigear:
  20. It was in "Andrew Kern – Mimetic Teaching and the Cultivation of Virtue". I love his paradigm - " Attention, memory and contemplation leads to creativity" His disapproval of Shurley, Saxon and any grade-school science textbooks was because they don't encourage contemplation with the information. They do quite well with the attention and memory aspect but without actively engaging with the material, there is no ownership and manifestion of these ideas. This last part speaks to the creativity part of the process.
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