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  1. Hi! I could really use some help deciding which books are particularily helpful in preparing students to read the Great Books. For example, I read from the LCC site that Norse Myths help with the reading of the Hobbit. I asked for 20 or so just to keep my list manageable. I would really appreciate any help! Thanks.
  2. Does anyone have any resources for studying the great works that include non-western works? I'm thinking mainly of Chinese and Vedic works, but also African and other Asian and I would include early Slavic, Gaelic, and Nordic works as not being part of the so-called Western Tradition. I notice that the intermediate level reading lists here and in WTM the book, include overviews but what about direct study. Having an almost entirely Western focused classical study seems horribly parochial in the 21st Century.
  3. Looking ahead to start planning for high school - We hope to follow the WTM plan for combining History and Literature. In TWTM (2009), it says to make a realistic assessment of how many books the student will be able to cover, and then choose 8, or 12, or 18. Of course this will vary depending on the student's reading skills and length/difficulty of the books read. But how to choose which will make up the book list? The shortest, so you can read more? Whatever looks interesting? A sampling from different time periods? Without being familiar with many of these books, we are not sure what to use as a deciding factor. Also, anyone who has followed this plan - any thoughts, suggestions, things you wish you'd done differently or that worked well? Thanks for your help!
  4. SWB was interviewed on this podcast yesterday: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/04/04/podcast-189-the-classical-education-you-never-had/ It's a wonderful and encouraging talk, as always. One topic particularly struck me as I'm planning dd's 9th grade year: the issue of - dare I say it - depth vs. breadth. Specifically in terms of Great Books study, the issue of quantity (number of Great Books covered in a year/over high school) vs. quality. Quality of reading, depth of analysis, quality of wrestling with questions, thinking analytically, reading deeply, writing clearly. I love all thing things she says - You are never "done" with the Great Conversation, you're never done wrestling about questions of the human condition, you'll never read it all, and more important than which books you read or how many you read is the depth at which you engage with them. I love it. I agree with it. It makes sense. The last thing I want to do is rush through a book list with an "Ok, that's checked off, let's move on" mentality. But at the same time, there is the expectation/pressure/reality (?) that a certain number of books "should" be covered in a year and/or that you should make it through a whole textbook worth of material in science, history, whatever. I often have a hard time squaring the two expectations - to go deep, slow, and meaningful, vs. covering the quantity of material needed for a high school credit worthy class. Anybody else think about this? How do you handle the quantity of material vs. quality/depth of engagement issue in your homeschool?
  5. Has anyone used the Norton Anthology of World Literature for high school world lit? There have been a number of discussions about Great Books literature, including following the WTM, but I haven't seen many or any discussions of using the Norton Anthology of World Literature (previously called Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces). The Norton Anthology, especially the shorter version, seems like a terrific basic text for a lot of the readings. We developed a reading list, but I don't have a lot of background in non-Western/non-Middle East ancient literature to pick particular works, translations, and provide brief background information for the literature of China, India, etc., but I wanted to provide a more global literature class (ancient in 9th grade). The Norton Anthology seems to provide all that, so I'm surprised that I don't read more about it here. Have others used it? How? What was your experience? Specifically, we're planning on using previous edition of the Norton Anthology, shorter version, Vol. 1, for the literature of China and India part of our ancient and medieval literature course (only 4 bucks including shipping). Does anyone have any suggestions to share? Thanks.
  6. I know this has been discussed before, so if anyone can direct me to a thread where it has been hashed out, that would be most welcome. I have 9th grade (yikes!) mostly planned, in concept: Geometry Biology Integrated Health & Fitness (OM) Spanish 2 But I'm not exactly sure how to manage credits for English and History. What I have planned feels like 3 distinct things, although each might not be a whole credit: English: Rhetoric & Composition English: Ancient Literature Ancient History Or, it could be 2 things, which is actually how many credits worth of work I want to do: Great Books - Ancient History & Literature - more than one credit's worth of work? English: Rhetoric & Composition - less than one credit's worth of work? How have people handled Great Books study, integrating English Lit and History? On the transcript? In practice? Do you count hours and then figure it out at the end? Do they spend equal amounts of time in the "english" and "history" pieces? Do you separate out the composition/rhetoric piece, or is it built in? I'd love to read how different people have handled this, both how you've actually done it, and how you have transcripted it. ETA: I should mention that creative writing is my dd's passion, so she will be doing that on her own time for sure, and it could easily be counted as an elective credit or packaged up with other writing stuff into a full English/Writing credit. I was trying to keep it down to 6 credits, though, to leave plenty of time for extracurricular writing and the other time consuming activities in which dd participates - theater and horseback riding.
  7. I'd like to correlate a 4-yr. WTM Great Books study with Christian Bible study, doctrine, and theology. Before I unwittingly reinvent the wheel, has this already been done? I'd love to make a plan that completely follows TWTM, utilizes SWB's HotAW or Western Civilization (Spielvogel) as the main history thread, but adds something to link Biblical history to it and Bible study (with lessons, commentary, not just a reading list of chapters/verses) as well, such as any of the following: Just the Bible section of MFW AHL (covers O.T. only, but same type of plan could be created for N.T.), TruthQuest guides, MOH, BP Companion, 100 Most Important Events in Christian History, Trial & Triumph, Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Greenleaf Guides, History Lives Chronicles, etc. I realize TOG, MFW, VP, and BP all do this (to various extents), but I really want to stick with a base consisting of the WTM plan just as it is in the book. I don't want to lose the free-flowing nature of it (i.e., the parts where the student chooses which points were most important or interesting, then chooses which to research further) by going with a program which has all of that assigned. I tried looking for correlations on the Paula's Archives of Homeschool Advice which used to be on redshift dot com but doesn't seem to exist any longer. :( Where did that go? It was such a gem. Back to my point, has anyone added a "Bible strand" to TWTM Rhetoric stage history, and more specifically, to either History of the Ancient World or Western Civilization?
  8. Huh? Never heard that viewpoint before. So now, as I'm mapping things out and looking at literature programs for middle/hi school, I'm wondering who SHOULD I include, that is a DWM (as my friend so affectionately calls them) Any input is greatly appreciated, geez, I grew up on Shakespeare, Whitman, and Dickens, for the most part.
  9. THE KNOWLEDGE MOST WORTH HAVING pages 7-8 from Book by Book by Michael Dirda “Once in a class of graduate students,†recalled the distinguished Canadian Robertson Davies, “I met a young man who did not know who Noah was.†What should a person know of the world’s literature? It has always seemed obvious to me that the great patterning works ought to lie at the heart of any structured reading program. By “patterning works†I mean those that later authors regularly build on, allude to, work against. There aren’t that many of these key books, and they aren’t all obvious classics. Here’s the roughly chronological short list of those that the diligent might read through in a year or two. For such famous works you can hardly go wrong with any good modern editions, though the Bible the Authorized, or King James, Version is the one that has most influenced the diction and imagery of the English prose. The Bible (Old and New Testament) Bulfinch’s Mythology (or any other account of the Greek, Roman, and Norse Myths) Homer, The Iliad and the Odyssey Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans Dante, Inferno The Arabian Nights Thomas Malory, Le Morte D’Arthur (tales of King Arthur and his knights) Shakespeare’s major plays, especially Hamlet, Henry IV, Part One, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Tempest Cervantes, Don Quixote Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson Any substantial collection of the world’s major folktales Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Know these well, and nearly all of the world’s literature will be an open book to you.
  10. My 12 year old is interested in doing a Great Books course this year, and I'm not sure where to start. She's read some classics on her own, but I feel like I need more structure to what she's doing - discussion questions, etc. I don't want to kill her love of classics, but at the same time, I'm working nearly full-time and don't have time to read the books along with her and discuss as we go along. I was looking at Connections Academy, and it sounded interesting. Has anyone used it before? Or does anyone have any suggestions, resources or other programs (either online or not) that would help implement a great books program for this next year? Thank you!
  11. http://vereloqui.blo...elites-are.html Above is a link to an article that stresses an interesting reason for teaching grammar. Lots of Christian content, so beware if you are opposed to reading any. Whaddya say? I, for one, am so glad that me and my kids have studied grammar so intensively!
  12. Is anyone currently using this program with their middle school/upper elementary students? I am wondering about the class load, number of books listed in their reading list and if they allow for a Kindle option. Also, I am interested in learning about the online sections that are available for class. :D
  13. A complete set of Great Books of the Western World, 1952 ed. for $60 --good deal or not?
  14. A small group on the hs/self ed board have been planning a discussion of the book Les Miserables. If you'd like to join in, come join the social group Les Miserables Discussion Group. I think we'll start with a pace of about one "book" per week (about 40-60 pages) and see if that is too fast or too slow. So try to read book one An Upright Man by July 1.
  15. The Junior Great Books anthologies/training program came up in another thread, and it seems of general interest so I thought I'd try to give it its own home ... will come back with relevant links after the littles are tucked in and the kitchen's somewhat recovered from today. :)
  16. I found these on A nice narration on the Histories. I don't know which version. It is not the Landmark version, the one I know, but you can follow along with the readings pretty well.
  17. Alright, I'm writing up my course description for this Fall's writing classes...in the past we've covered Poe, Dickens, Shelley, C.S. Lewis, Cather, Coleridge, Hemingway and others. This coming Fall I want to do an in depth study of North American authors...we generally cover 6 books together as a class and they read 4 additional books (off a recommended list) on their own...the students will mostly be 11th and 12th graders..not a time you want to be utterly depressed! Am I missing some great works that are uplifting/encouraging??? Here is what I have so far: Absalom, Absalom (Faulkner) Alias Grace (Atwood) All the King's Men (Warren) Billy Budd (Melville) Catch 22 (Heller) The Great Gatsby (fitzgerald, but many have read this one so it may be on the additional reads list) Any comments on An Enemy of the People (Ibsen) The Glass Menagerie (Williams) Native Son (Wright) Invisible Man (Ellison- I loved this book but trying to pick b/w this or Native Son which I have not read) Portrait of the Artist as a YOung man (Joyce) The Awakening (Chopin) Short Stories by Twain I'm just not seeing a lot of 'inspiring' encouraging reads here...loads of angst, philosophical musings...help!!
  18. Yes, this is another chapter in the ongoing saga of The Non-Reader in a House Full of Books. Every year, I carefully pick a wonderful list of reading material for my youngest including classics and Newberry-award winners. It is a list my oldest have either read or would love to read as I add new finds. Each year, The Boy finds little joy and the books he does love always surprise the heck out of me. So this year, I just put everything I had for the time period on shelves in his bedroom and said "Read." Oh please, just read anything. He had not read one book all summer until his sister handed him The Hunger games the night before school started. He read the whole thing. This is the kid who loved Daniel Boorstin in 4th grade and insisted on reading Macbeth in its entirety last year in the Oxford Scholar series. A couple of days ago, he asked that I read to him at breakfast. He asked for Dante and The Inferno. I have the Pinksy volume, but had been flipping through selected Cantos and their notes in an anthology I had just received. We had discussed Dante and I had opted not to read anything to him since I figured it was pointless. I forget that sometimes that is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. I spent 2 hours reading the selected cantos and engaging in a brief discussion with the elders, who had stopped everything to listen. So now, youngest and oldest want to hear the entire Divine Comedy. Honestly, I think The Boy will lose interest after The Inferno, but obviously, I am frequently wrong when it comes to his literary tastes. Quick! What do I do? He wants to start today. I have only the most basic of information about the poem on hand and it has been 30 years since I have studied it, even though I read Pinsky's translation recently. Also, after reading the excerpts from Ciardi, Pinsky feels a bit soulless or stark. Am I way off base? My son commented on the descriptive language in the cantos we read from Ciardi, a translator that I know nothing about. I suspect I may be making the usual mountain out of a molehill, but I would like to have a semi-intelligent conversation about the poem if I am going to do all that reading. You don't think he is just trying to get of "regular" school, do you?
  19. Does anyone have a link to a Great Books list that is separated by reading level or grade level? I want to start my 8th grader on an actual list but I want to be sure I'm not picking too difficult of a book to start with. I have hardly read any myself so I'm behind the power curve!
  20. I'm considering reading Gone with the Wind as part of my attempt to be more well read in the classics. It's a fairly important book, having won a Pulitzer Prize and often hailed as "the American War and Peace." At 980 page long, you could bludgeon someone to death with this book! With smaller titles, I can slog through it and move on to the next thing on my list fairly quickly, but not with something this long. We're talking a huge commitment in time, since I could be reading two or three other books in its place instead. So my question is, for those of you who have read it, is it worth it? Would you recommend it? Or was it tedious enough that you tell people to just watch the movie? :bigear:
  21. Hello all! Our oldest dd is starting 8th grade in the fall, so I'm finalizing curriculum plans for her and other dc, so while I'm planning I'm looking ahead to high school and trying to lay out a "general" plan for it as well. We follow a wtm methodology for history (4 yr cycle), but frankly Great Books scare me! I haven't read all those classics and dd really needs to mature her writing for all the essays (I've been looking at Omnibus, Great Books tutorials online, and WTM). From posts I'm read on this board, and some of my other friends are following a traditional history plan (using Notgrass, BJU or whatever). Feel like *I* am more in my comfort zone dong this (the way I did when I was in hs)...LOL! I'd like to know what are the benefits of doing a GB study as opposed to a traditional route?? The GB books look great, but I am concerned about dds ability and my ability!!! LOL! Any advice you can give would be SO helpful! :)
  22. There is a set of 40+ "Great Books" consisting of various classics at our library book sale. Not sure of the publisher but each spine is topped with "Great Books" and then the title is under that. I can get the set for $30. I've been debating about it because A. they take up so much room (but I could make room) B. I can check them all out of the library when needed and already have various editions of a few of them C. DH freaked when I mentioned buying the set ;) They are very good shape. I know we'd use them over the years but they are all books that I can access other places too. But they idea of having the set is so temping to a bibliophile :tongue_smilie: What would you do?
  23. I assigned Nesbit's The Story of the Treasure Seekers to my 9yo 4th grader with Veritas Comprehension guide. He read chapter 1 and it was a stretch for him - a lot of inferring required. She also uses British vocab and a complicated sentence structure. We decided to have him read to me so I could talk him through some things. He read it perfectly as far as phonics and fluency - it is the comprehension I need to help him with. I'll definately read along to help him understand. I would like to find other authors that would stretch him like she does. He has read widely through historical lit, so this kind of fantasyish story may be what is stumping him. Thanks!
  24. One of the hardest parts (for me) to creating a streamlined, focused, short list of books to keep curriculum in hand is deciding which books are the most important. I can list only so many must reads before I reach a point where I can't decide which is more important than another. Drew from LCC once had an article at the LCC site where he listed several books and why they were important to read and which books could be better understood because child had read this book before it. I don't have the list in front of me but I remember Norse myths being important before reading The Hobbit. Which books are important to read in the K-8 time period to better prepare for the Great Books? I would love to see any lists your willing to share and maybe which Great Book said book will prepare you for...please.:001_smile: Thank you!
  25. Hubby and I are trying to put together a list of books we'd like to buy. A sort of classics wish-list. I thought maybe you'd all like to play along and help us compile a list. Twenty seemed a reasonable number for starters although we are looking at eventually going as high as 100. You are welcome to suggest more or less than 20. I'm thinking more adult books because we are fairly well set for children's classics. Just a well-rounded set of books you'd want to have in your home if there were no access to a brick & mortar or digital library. What 20 books should every person read/own?
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