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In a recent thread I was introduced to a course that would be a good fit for my son....Movies as Literature.

 

This got me thinking. What other unusual High School courses are there out there? Things that your child would NOT meet in ps.

 

I know this is a classical board, but i am thinking outside the classical arena here....although fun, unusual or unique approaches to classical stuff is also welcome. :)

 

 

Willow.

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There was a great thread recently on designing a class based in science fiction/Star Trek.

 

Corraleno, Nan, and JennW all have kids pursuing unusual and fascinating courses of study and I hope they will chime in here.

 

Dd is currently learning about the historical of musical theater, from vaudeville and minstrel shows to the present. Along the way she's learning a lot of cultural and political history and it is spinning off in unexpected ways.

 

Although it's not conventionally or narrowly academic (and it's not a "course" that will go on her transcript), dd is also doing a work-study type of program at the riding school where she takes lessons. She is taking occasional classes on the medical care of horses, getting to observe the vet, farrier, horse chiropractor and acupunturist (yes indeed), learning horse anatomy, and oodles of other things pertaining to the care and training of horses. She's also done a bit of reading about the history of horse domestication and training, the invention of stirrups and a body harness and their tremendous impacts on warfare and farming.

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Here are a few possibilities:

 

Alternative social studies courses:

*History of Science

*History of Philosophy & Ideas

*History of Technology & Invention

*History of Weapons & Warfare

History of Mathematics

History of Finance/Money/Economics

*Cultural Anthropology

Intro to Archaeology

Classical Archaeology

*Comparative Religion

Comparative Government

Contemporary Global Issues

History of Music

Asian/African/Latin American Studies (or History & Culture)

 

 

Alternative science courses (beyond the usual Bio/Phys/Chem):

Historical Geology

Cosmology

*Paleontology

Environmental Biology / Field Biology

Natural History

Kitchen Chemistry

Caveman Chemistry (there is a textbook with this title — very cool!)

 

 

Alternative Lit courses:

*Utopian & Dystopian Literature

Existentialist Literature & Philosophy

*The Epic Hero in World Literature

*Science Fiction & Fantasy

Gothic Literature

 

The topics with asterisks are those I've researched and have good lists of resources for. If anyone is contemplating one of these courses, I can post the resources I have.

 

Jackie

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I can't remember the exact title, but there's a course called Language Lessons from Lord of the Rings, or something like that. Seems unusual to me, but then I have NO idea what the public schools are doing nowadays!

 

We're doing Lit lessons from Lotr. It has been good except for some editing issues that we've had to overlook. MIT open courseware has some great free classes. We're doing Kitchen Chemistry and it is a lot of fun and educational. Many colleges offer open courseware classes. We're taking a Roman Architecture course from Yale open courseware too. Universal Class has a lot of interesting and unique courses. We've done a few of those too. The Jason Project has some interesting and free science units. We just did the meteorology one this summer. Freely Educate has a lot of interesting and mostly free courses.

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I just put together a course for my ds called Medical Ethics in Literature. It includes Frankenstein, Coma, Brave New World, some Anton Chekov stories/plays. It should provide some interesting discussions since he has always wanted to be in the medical world.

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My eldest is doing Principles of Agroecology and World Agriculture Systems through a local college. She hopes to do an Environmental Math class, Biointensive Urban Food Production, and a sustainable agriculture internship in the spring.

 

She's also taking a computer hardware class and is trying to choose which programming related classes to do these next couple of terms.

 

At home, her most unusual course was a spontaneous add-on we did while she was doing American Literature - she sidetracked onto the Transcendentalists... and later did a quarter credit of American poetry. I haven't decided whether to list it separately or not, but she did a block of early Celtic literature when she started her British literature (it took us *much* longer to get to Beowulf than I had intended!).

 

Dd#2 is presenting me with greater transcript challenges - her courses are more eclectic and harder to put in standard terms... I'm keeping notes and pondering.

 

Ds#1 will be even more challenging, I suspect, but he's in 8th grade this year, so I don't have to figure his course titles out yet!

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I just put together a course for my ds called Medical Ethics in Literature. It includes Frankenstein, Coma, Brave New World, some Anton Chekov stories/plays. It should provide some interesting discussions since he has always wanted to be in the medical world.

 

You should consider adding Connie Willis's Passage, Eliot's Middlemarch, and, for humor, Moliere's Le Medecin Malgre Lui (often translated as The Doctor in Spite of Himself).... I will restrain myself from further suggestions.. but what fascinating potential there is in such a course!

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Caveman chemistry? Really? Cool! :)

 

I so have to look this one up!

 

Great responses. Thank you. I am feeling so much better about High school already.

 

I did wonder about a practical course in earthquakes with a specialism on liquefaction in urban areas.......:tongue_smilie:

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How about some CoastGuard courses (i.e. DaySkippers, etc.) or Mountain Safety courses (Basic BushCraft,etc.) or first aid courses? Some of these you can even get NZQA credits for. My dc found having a current 1st aid certificate very helpful when applying for jobs. Some of these can be done over the internet (CG Dayskippers, SSI OpenWater diver, etc.) If your ds is a bike rider, maybe look at him doing a course on bike maintaince.

 

Keeping with the earthquake theme, how about making a study of the types of earthquakes, high risk zones (NZ & overseas), civil defence procedures (compare the Chch earthquake & the Haiti eathquake), etc. Maybe have your ds make a book about the earthquake from his experience to help inform young children about earthquakes. It could be a picture book for kindy or primary kids. This could be expanded into a short film to take in his filming interests. Maybe a photo essay about the quake as well.

 

Tons of options. It's funny that people think that LLfLOTR is a far out study. In highschool (PS) I took a 6 month English course titled "Beowulf to Tolkien." This was my favorite & most memorable course of all 4 years.

 

Blessings,

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Caveman chemistry? Really? Cool! :)

 

I so have to look this one up!

 

Here's the link to the book on Amazon (you can "look inside") and here's the link to his website. The book is very funny and irreverent.

 

Jackie

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Here are a few possibilities:

 

The topics with asterisks are those I've researched and have good lists of resources for. If anyone is contemplating one of these courses, I can post the resources I have.

 

Jackie

 

Yes, please!!!

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Yes, please!!!

 

I would not have thought to try and do Cultural Anthropology on our own, but Jackie set us up beautifully and my dd loves the reading. Jackie, we appreciate that there is lots to think about and question and yet, not a lot of busy work. Dd is happy with the essay topics and questions, but what we do the most of is talk, talk, and talk some more. The ethics part particularly fascinate her.

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I would not have thought to try and do Cultural Anthropology on our own, but Jackie set us up beautifully and my dd loves the reading. Jackie, we appreciate that there is lots to think about and question and yet, not a lot of busy work. Dd is happy with the essay topics and questions, but what we do the most of is talk, talk, and talk some more. The ethics part particularly fascinate her.

 

Okay, you've sold me on this one; please, Jackie! I already ordered the book about the anthropologist in the Himalayas after it was mentioned yesterday or today; how did I ever miss that???

 

I have always dreamed about, but never made a syllabi for, a course on the history of books, from the earliest preserved codexes and tablets through medieval manuscripts and Renaissance manuscript circles to print culture and the electronic era. At one time I had a list of articles about literary copyright, the shift to professional authorship, the rise of literary agents, etc. It would take a kid with a specific (and somewhat offbeat) interest, but I'm hoping I can interest dd in this at some point during high school.

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We're looking at doing some unusual courses as well.

 

The Star Trek one for instance, other possibilities include:

 

Electronics

Film studies with stop motion animation

The skill of construction (my dh is a carpenter, probably an extra curricular)

Asian Studies (we are doing that this year, not a credit class)

History of the Arts ( use book The Creators) *idea from Corraleno

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Okay, you've sold me on this one; please, Jackie! I already ordered the book about the anthropologist in the Himalayas after it was mentioned yesterday or today; how did I ever miss that???

Here is the resource list:

 

SPINES

Peoples & Cultures of the World, Prof. Edward Fischer, Teaching Company (24 lectures)

Conformity & Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology, Spradley & McCurdey

 

ETHNOGRAPHIES & ADDITIONAL READINGS

Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman, Marjorie Shostak (Africa, women's issues, biography)

The Yanomamo, Napoleon Chagnon (South America, warfare and aggression, classic ethnography)

Yanomami: The Fierce Controversy, Rob Borofsky (discussion of anthropological ethics relating to Chagnon's involvement with the Yanomamo)

The Serpent and the Rainbow, Wade Davis (rural Haiti, vodoun culture & colonialism, ethnobotanical research)

Love and Honor in the Himalayas, Ernestine McHugh (Asia, Nepalese village life, anthropological memoir)

Coming of Age in Second Life, Tom Boellstorff (U.S., ethnography of virtual communities, modern ethnography)

 

I chose the additional readings to cover a broad range of geographic areas, cultural topics, and genres. I can email you the syllabus I created for Lisa's DD, which correlates the additional readings with the spines, and provides a rough schedule and suggested writing assignments.

 

Jackie

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Yes, please!!!

Let me know which ones you're interested in. Anthropology is the only list that's already done, the others I will have to go pull the books off the shelves and type up the list.

 

Jackie

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Here is the resource list:

 

SPINES

Peoples & Cultures of the World, Prof. Edward Fischer, Teaching Company (24 lectures)

Conformity & Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology, Spradley & McCurdey

 

ETHNOGRAPHIES & ADDITIONAL READINGS

Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman, Marjorie Shostak (Africa, women's issues, biography)

The Yanomamo, Napoleon Chagnon (South America, warfare and aggression, classic ethnography)

Yanomami: The Fierce Controversy, Rob Borofsky (discussion of anthropological ethics relating to Chagnon's involvement with the Yanomamo)

The Serpent and the Rainbow, Wade Davis (rural Haiti, vodoun culture & colonialism, ethnobotanical research)

Love and Honor in the Himalayas, Ernestine McHugh (Asia, Nepalese village life, anthropological memoir)

Coming of Age in Second Life, Tom Boellstorff (U.S., ethnography of virtual communities, modern ethnography)

 

I chose the additional readings to cover a broad range of geographic areas, cultural topics, and genres. I can email you the syllabus I created for Lisa's DD, which correlates the additional readings with the spines, and provides a rough schedule and suggested writing assignments.

 

Jackie

 

Professor Fischer is one of our favorite TC lecturers so far.

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I would not have thought to try and do Cultural Anthropology on our own, but Jackie set us up beautifully and my dd loves the reading. Jackie, we appreciate that there is lots to think about and question and yet, not a lot of busy work. Dd is happy with the essay topics and questions, but what we do the most of is talk, talk, and talk some more. The ethics part particularly fascinate her.

I'm so glad she's enjoying the course! Didn't you love Laura Bohannan's account of explaining Hamlet to the African village elders? :lol:

 

(For anyone else interested in reading it, it's available online here.)

 

Jackie

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We're looking at doing some unusual courses as well.

 

The Star Trek one for instance, other possibilities include:

 

Electronics

Film studies with stop motion animation

The skill of construction (my dh is a carpenter, probably an extra curricular)

Asian Studies (we are doing that this year, not a credit class)

History of the Arts ( use book The Creators) *idea from Corraleno

 

Hey Paula, I think this would be a fascinating course. When Swimmer Dude read The Landmark History of the American People, he was intrigued by the chapters on "Instant Cities" and "Every Man His Own Carpenter." They addressed how changes in construction methods affected our growth as a country. Amazing and it is certainly an idea one could expand on. We have been playing with Mario Salvadore's The Art of Construction for a different take on physics for science. Your ds could look at what happens with post-construction waste and do some brainstorming. Obviously just talking off the top of my head.:D

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Hey Paula, I think this would be a fascinating course. When Swimmer Dude read The Landmark History of the American People, he was intrigued by the chapters on "Instant Cities" and "Every Man His Own Carpenter." They addressed how changes in construction methods affected our growth as a country. Amazing and it is certainly an idea one could expand on. We have been playing with Mario Salvadore's The Art of Construction for a different take on physics for science. Your ds could look at what happens with post-construction waste and do some brainstorming. Obviously just talking off the top of my head.:D

 

The Art of Construction is on the schedule for sometime this year. I also like Engineering the City in the same series. I learned a lot reading that book.

 

That also reminds me the book Critical Lessons by Nel Noddings is another great place for looking at out of the box type classes. One area she discusses is the aspect of Home and somewhere in my stack of notes is some ideas I had to tie that aspect into the construction, something like the evolution of the home, something like that.

 

ETA: Popular science also had a few recent articles about the cities of the future. They were an interesting read.

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I just put together a course for my ds called Medical Ethics in Literature. It includes Frankenstein, Coma, Brave New World, some Anton Chekov stories/plays. It should provide some interesting discussions since he has always wanted to be in the medical world.

 

Any more details on this would fall on welcome ears :bigear:

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When Swimmer Dude read The Landmark History of the American People, he was intrigued by the chapters on "Instant Cities" and "Every Man His Own Carpenter." They addressed how changes in construction methods affected our growth as a country. Amazing and it is certainly an idea one could expand on.

 

Lisa, I know you're just looking for another reference, right? I recently finished Bill Bryson's latest book, A History of Private Life, and one of the main themes running through the book is construction materials/techniques (sheet glass, steel girders, concrete) and architecture in Victorian Britain. He was struck by (and so is his reader: this one at least) how many of the inventors, architects, major landscapers, and builders during this time were theology graduates making a cushy living in rural or semi-rural "livings" with a ton of spare time and some connections to prominent people from their university years. The guy who designed the Crystal Palace for the Exhibition of 1851, for instance, had no architecture training at all -- and it's relevant to all of our recent musings and discussions that in Bryson's opinion it was this outsider status, the lack of formal training in the field, that allowed him to circumvent all the things that posed obstacles for the other designers and to imagine a radically new design.

 

This book is going to form the base for dd's history next year.

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Peace Studies

Native Anmerican Studies

 

I will eventually have to figure out how to label my son's history, which might be tricky because we are using French middle school history books as a spine. They are very cool and teach history almost entirely through short primary sources.

 

My older one has intersesting gym courses - rock climbing and snow boarding (things he received instruction in).

 

Some of the others have ordinary sounding names but weren't done in an ordinary way at all.

 

-Nan

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I will eventually have to figure out how to label my son's history, which might be tricky because we are using French middle school history books as a spine. They are very cool and teach history almost entirely through short primary sources.

 

 

 

Titles.....? (or, even better, Amazon links?)

 

These threads do nasty things to our budget....

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Lisa, I know you're just looking for another reference, right? I recently finished Bill Bryson's latest book, A History of Private Life, and one of the main themes running through the book is construction materials/techniques (sheet glass, steel girders, concrete) and architecture in Victorian Britain. He was struck by (and so is his reader: this one at least) how many of the inventors, architects, major landscapers, and builders during this time were theology graduates making a cushy living in rural or semi-rural "livings" with a ton of spare time and some connections to prominent people from their university years. The guy who designed the Crystal Palace for the Exhibition of 1851, for instance, had no architecture training at all -- and it's relevant to all of our recent musings and discussions that in Bryson's opinion it was this outsider status, the lack of formal training in the field, that allowed him to circumvent all the things that posed obstacles for the other designers and to imagine a radically new design.

 

This book is going to form the base for dd's history next year.

 

We could get into this! Did you happen to hear this report on social entrepreneurship on NPR today? This made me think about this thread. I love the fact that Jock Brandis is mentoring a high school student. Those of you with mechanically-minded young people may want to follow up on other articles in the series.

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I thrive on threads like these. :D Even though my dd is only in Gr. 6, I am eating up these kinds of threads and starting to put together my own list of 'unusual courses' for the future.

 

Jackie, I love your lists, especially the literature ones. I would love to do a dystopian lit course as well as one on existenialism through lit. These sound so much fun.

 

Oh, the possibilities! :001_smile:

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I am thinking of environmental economics for next year as a course to teach basic econ. with a component about how the environment affects econ. choices. I'd like to may be tie in some marine science somehow. Any ideas?

Another idea is to do a econ/lit juxtaposition. I'm thinking of books like Jane Austen and Dickens and some of the classics.....the 19th century seemed to be all about money lit-wise.

The 3rd idea is to tie marine science and physics together. The biggest problem here is to try to stay basic and not-too-specialized with the physics. Dd wants to major in Marine Bio in college but, will need some basic physics first.

Before I start dreaming next year's curriculum I need to syllabus (uh oh, a new verb) this spring's!

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Let me know which ones you're interested in. Anthropology is the only list that's already done, the others I will have to go pull the books off the shelves and type up the list.

 

Jackie

 

Well, I'm considering moving in w/ you to soak you up. We don't have the same style (and you're WAY TOO SMART to ever be friends w/ me IRL, but I want to learn from you!) but I'll take whatever you have.

 

I'll send you a PM w/ my email addy, if you'd be so kind to send me that syllabus. (And that would delay my moving in w/ you, ya know!)

 

Thank you, Jackie!

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Yes, please!!!

How about the History of Technology & Invention and the enviromental/field biology?

 

Here are a few possibilities:

 

Alternative social studies courses:

*History of Science

*History of Philosophy & Ideas

*History of Technology & Invention

*History of Weapons & Warfare

History of Mathematics

History of Finance/Money/Economics

*Cultural Anthropology

Intro to Archaeology

Classical Archaeology

*Comparative Religion

Comparative Government

Contemporary Global Issues

History of Music

Asian/African/Latin American Studies (or History & Culture)

 

 

Alternative science courses (beyond the usual Bio/Phys/Chem):

Historical Geology

Cosmology

*Paleontology

Environmental Biology / Field Biology

Natural History

Kitchen Chemistry

Caveman Chemistry (there is a textbook with this title — very cool!)

 

 

Alternative Lit courses:

*Utopian & Dystopian Literature

Existentialist Literature & Philosophy

*The Epic Hero in World Literature

*Science Fiction & Fantasy

Gothic Literature

 

The topics with asterisks are those I've researched and have good lists of resources for. If anyone is contemplating one of these courses, I can post the resources I have.

 

Jackie

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Here is a list of courses we are considering for the boys for high school. They are available online at www.mit.ocw.edu (MIT opencourseware). We will be making a donation to the cause for each course we use. It will probably be more expensive than typical curriculum because some of the texts are quite costly but we hope to find them used on ebay.

 

Oh, and at the bottom of the list is a course ds (now 8th grade) will be starting in the spring.

 

A Gentle Introduction to Programming using Python

Introduction to Copyright Law

Kitchen Chemistry and Advanced Kitchen Chemistry as additions to our high school chemistry program

Introduction to Geology

The Solar System

Introduction to Astronomy

Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

Introductory Analog Electronics Laboratory

Physics I: Classical Mechanics with a Mechanical Focus

******Lego Robotics – This is SOOOOOOOO on the docket or all three musketeers

Art of Color

American History to 1865

Electricity and Magnetism

Practical Electronics

Calculus for Beginners and Artists

(MIT online Calculus textbook)

Also, from Timberdoodle – Practical Drafting

 

 

Faith

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I am not sure how well this suggestion will go over, but my nephew does teach a course entitled "Vampires: Blood and Empire." It covers the history and context of literature that depicts the undead, the cultures that generate these stories along with changes in various media. So one could start with the vampire myths and fairy tales and follow the trail up to today's Twilight obsession.

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I loved the Jock Brandis story as well.

 

How about the History of Food? I would LOVE that!

 

I am about to develop a Social Entrepreneurship course for ds. Lisa, the recommended NPR series is a nice supplement. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130593764 as well as the documentary, The New Heroes, that another member posted the other day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU5g0X_Qjtw

 

Other resources:

http://socialentrepreneurship.change.org/

http://csi.gsb.stanford.edu/social-entrepreneurship

http://www.ted.com/ (ds has attended a local TEDx event and will attend another next week)

http://www.pbs.org/opb/thenewheroes/

http://ecorner.stanford.edu/

http://socialstartup.tumblr.com/syllabus

http://fora.tv/conference/Social_Entrepreneurship_in_America (awesome site)

http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=2334 (ds likes this site http://37signals.com/svn )

http://www.behance.com/ (ds has applied to attend their 2011 conference)

Required books.

http://www.amazon.com/Dragonfly-Effect-Effective-Powerful-Social/dp/0470614153/ref=amb_link_354314762_1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=top-1&pf_rd_r=1X1FRZ35Q45F03BS4NDK&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_p=1278222322&pf_rd_i=social%20entrepreneurship

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_i_0?rh=k%3Asocial+entrepreneurship%2Ci%3Astripbooks&keywords=social+entrepreneurship&ie=UTF8&qid=1289489388#%2Fref%3Dsr_st%3Fkeywords%3Dsocial%

 

http://www.amazon.com/Social-Entrepreneurship-What-Everyone-Needs/dp/0195396332/ref=sr_1_16?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289489768&sr=1-16

 

 

In addition, ds is creating an online network for social organizations to collaborate and share ideas.

 

Please let me know if you have any other ideas!

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I am not sure how well this suggestion will go over, but my nephew does teach a course entitled "Vampires: Blood and Empire." It covers the history and context of literature that depicts the undead, the cultures that generate these stories along with changes in various media. So one could start with the vampire myths and fairy tales and follow the trail up to today's Twilight obsession.

 

The local university extension here is offering nearly this same course in the winter. I thought it sounded fantastic.

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How about the History of Food? I would LOVE that!

 

 

There was a recent thread in which we were discussing just that -- I don't remember the title, but Jackie probably would.

 

One book that just came out is Marc Aronson's Sugar, which is a study of the worldwide history of sugar production, cultivation, and consumption, with a heavy but not exclusive emphasis on the workers (mostly slaves, but not entirely) and how movements for workers' rights evolved.

 

I also mentioned a book, For All the Tea in China, about the British sneaking into China to steal plants they would eventually make into plantations in British-owned India, breaking the Chinese monopoly on tea.

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There was a recent thread in which we were discussing just that -- I don't remember the title, but Jackie probably would.

 

One book that just came out is Marc Aronson's Sugar, which is a study of the worldwide history of sugar production, cultivation, and consumption, with a heavy but not exclusive emphasis on the workers (mostly slaves, but not entirely) and how movements for workers' rights evolved.

 

I also mentioned a book, For All the Tea in China, about the British sneaking into China to steal plants they would eventually make into plantations in British-owned India, breaking the Chinese monopoly on tea.

 

I'll have to check out that thread! I just heard an interview about the history of Salt on NPR this weekend. http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/

 

I love food...

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You could start with the kids' book It's Disgusting and We Ate It.

 

Ds11 is planning to come home from ps in January. He would like this!

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I am loving this thread but my budget is about to die horribly....

 

On the plus side, for once the exchange rate is in our favour and I can spend the homeschool allowance on books from the US despite the appalling postage rates.

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This year I have made up a Jane Austen Literature elective for my dd16 and her friends. We are reading through the 6 main novels of Austen, meeting for discussion & tea, and doing a "hands on" Regency era project for each book, and then attending a Regency Ball next summer at the end of the course. They are sewing their own gowns for the ball. I wanted to change the normal writing up a bit, so they are keeping a blog and are posting a project on it for each book they read, plus all their favorite quotes from the books. We will have our fourth meeting tomorrow and it has turned out great! Our hands on project for Sense & Sensibility was making silhouettes and our hands on for Northanger Abbey will be fashion plates.

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This year I have made up a Jane Austen Literature elective for my dd16 and her friends. We are reading through the 6 main novels of Austen, meeting for discussion & tea, and doing a "hands on" Regency era project for each book, and then attending a Regency Ball next summer at the end of the course. They are sewing their own gowns for the ball. I wanted to change the normal writing up a bit, so they are keeping a blog and are posting a project on it for each book they read, plus all their favorite quotes from the books. We will have our fourth meeting tomorrow and it has turned out great! Our hands on project for Sense & Sensibility was making silhouettes and our hands on for Northanger Abbey will be fashion plates.

 

I hope you don't mind, but I have no officially borrowed this idea and am hoping to get dd to do something along these lines in the next year or so, as Austen is one of my favorite writers ever. I adore the idea of the fashion plates.

 

In January we are seeing a new musical based on Emma that I from my understanding is then Broadway bound -- keep your eye open for it!

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This year I have made up a Jane Austen Literature elective for my dd16 and her friends. We are reading through the 6 main novels of Austen, meeting for discussion & tea, and doing a "hands on" Regency era project for each book, and then attending a Regency Ball next summer at the end of the course. They are sewing their own gowns for the ball. I wanted to change the normal writing up a bit, so they are keeping a blog and are posting a project on it for each book they read, plus all their favorite quotes from the books. We will have our fourth meeting tomorrow and it has turned out great! Our hands on project for Sense & Sensibility was making silhouettes and our hands on for Northanger Abbey will be fashion plates.

 

Wow. Can we have access to the blog? Sounds wonderful. :001_smile:

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This year I have made up a Jane Austen Literature elective for my dd16 and her friends. We are reading through the 6 main novels of Austen, meeting for discussion & tea, and doing a "hands on" Regency era project for each book, and then attending a Regency Ball next summer at the end of the course. They are sewing their own gowns for the ball. I wanted to change the normal writing up a bit, so they are keeping a blog and are posting a project on it for each book they read, plus all their favorite quotes from the books. We will have our fourth meeting tomorrow and it has turned out great! Our hands on project for Sense & Sensibility was making silhouettes and our hands on for Northanger Abbey will be fashion plates.

 

Did you watch the movie, The Jane Austen Book Club? Seems like it should be a requirement for your class :D

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If anyone else is as attracted to the idea of a Jane Austen class as I am... when I taught undergrads they had an optional assignment to watch several of the movie and televised versions of Emma (including Clueless) and write about them. Without exception they were all astounded at how nearly all (the very long, earlier PBS versions were a bit better) ignored the absolute centrality of class and social issues to foreground the romance. (If I had to do it over again I would take Clueless out; I got a lot of papers that were basically ten pages of astonished exclamations: "Wow, Clueless really IS Emma!")

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I hope you don't mind, but I have no officially borrowed this idea and am hoping to get dd to do something along these lines in the next year or so, as Austen is one of my favorite writers ever. I adore the idea of the fashion plates.

 

In January we are seeing a new musical based on Emma that I from my understanding is then Broadway bound -- keep your eye open for it!

 

I don't mind at all! There are six girls in our study. Four are doing it for high school credit, the other two are in college but didn't want to be left out :) They are really enjoying it! If you would like, I can send you my resource list so you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Just pm if you want it. I had not heard of the musical based on "Emma," but we are planning to surprise them with a local production of "Pride and Prejudice." We are planning to watch "Clueless" when we read "Emma" and I plan for them to read "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" both to see how Jane Austen still leaves her mark on modern culture for good or ill :)

 

Wow. Can we have access to the blog? Sounds wonderful. :001_smile:

 

Pm me and I'll give you the link ;)

 

 

Did you watch the movie, The Jane Austen Book Club? Seems like it should be a requirement for your class :D

 

I have not seen it. I had hoped to watch some movies with the class, but the girls have so much to say that we are already spending three hours every time we meet :D They all get together often, so maybe over Christmas break. Thanks for the suggestion!

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Lisa, I know you're just looking for another reference, right? I recently finished Bill Bryson's latest book, A History of Private Life,

 

You might also like to look at this series - we have the first two and they are very interesting. Thanks for reminding me about them (even though you didn't mean to).

 

http://www.amazon.com/History-Private-Life-Pagan-Byzantium/dp/0674399749/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1289536805&sr=8-1

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