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Christian thoughts to follow- feel free to skip if you are so inclined.

 

I think part of why I have floundered so often these past few years of homeschooling is because I have not understood the big picture. As others have said, although I hold core beliefs that are very sacred to me and are centered in the true, the good, the beautiful and the wise, I have struggled with living these beliefs in a world that is chasing other prizes.

 

I also have been taken in by the modern educational philosophies of unschooling and child-directed learning. It has left me completely confused many times.

 

It is finally coming together for me that we all have a duty- every minute of every day we are bound by that duty. We are all called to know, love and serve God. As far as education goes, it is our duty to FIND the good, the beautiful, the wise and the true. And once we find it, to apply it. To grow in virtue.

 

As parent-teachers, it is our duty to help reveal those things, and our students are under a duty to seek and discover them. I believe in my heart that this will result in great joy and lead to (in fact, be based upon) peace and harmony. I have lived it in the past (on and off) and I have experienced that joy, that peace. It is NOT doing nothing. It is NOT strewing great resources and hoping our children will grab them and learn. It is NOT letting each child follow his own will. It is seeking His will. It is traveling (and learning) as a family. It is cheerfully accepting this duty we all share- and finding great joy in the process. In fact, it is the PROCESS that matters. The journey only ends at our last breath here on earth. And I know where I want all of us to be when that journey ends!

 

Now to remind myself of that often enough to live it consistently.

 

Only with the grace of God...

 

A thousand times, YES. Beautifully stated.

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If you are looking for practical appplication of what Andrew describes in his lectures, essays, and blog posts, take a look at his curriculum, The Lost Tools of Writing. He led a webinar several months ago, which gave me ideas about how to use LToW with history, science, and Bible. Camille Goldston is leading a webinar on April 28 -- Using Writing to Integrate the Curriculum.

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I have to thank you, but with a bit of a bemused smile, for liking that talk on analytical teaching. I remember being extremely disappointed with it after I gave it, so I tried to listen to it yesterday. I must say, the high point is when I read the quotation from Burke. So far as I could tell, it went rapidly downhill from there.

 

So I thank you for the comforting realization that our Lord still uses things we do even when we do them rather poorly. Somehow the truth itself can overcome our delivery of it.

 

I think we can all find comfort in that as teachers, right?:001_smile:

 

 

 

I have to tell you Andrew, that in this particular lecture you had me in tears and gave me the chills when you were talking about how our hope as Christian parents is to stand before the judgment seat someday and hear our Savior say to our children, "Well done, good and faithful servant". THAT right there is the single driving force behind everything I do as a parent and teacher. For me there is no other goal beyond that. Thank you for putting it into words for me.

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Mrs. A, thank you for bringing that point up about the Judgement Seat. That helps put it in perspective, doesn't it?

 

Any way some of us could get together in Cincinnati next moth?

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1- I am no longer going to incorporate historical fiction. My boys, especially, b/c they were not avid readers, wasted so much precious time reading historical fiction that could have been spent reading great children's literature.

 

2- Literature is going to be the driving force behind our K-8 studies. Typically I have fallen into the history pattern. (you know......pick lit to match up w/whatever history we are studying. :tongue_smilie: ) I'm not suggesting that we will not be studying history. It is simply not going to be taking history and wrapping lit around it. This yr I have taken literature and wrapped history around lit and it has been truly the best homeschooling yr I have ever had.

 

 

The bolded is something I have been considering, but I wondering what this looks like in your house. Can you elaborate on this a bit? I get how to let literature be the driving force, but I am wondering how plan literature and then wrap history around it.

 

TIA.

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it is finally coming together for me that we all have a duty- every minute of every day we are bound by that duty. We are all called to know, love and serve god. As far as education goes, it is our duty to find the good, the beautiful, the wise and the true. And once we find it, to apply it. To grow in virtue.

 

As parent-teachers, it is our duty to help reveal those things, and our students are under a duty to seek and discover them. I believe in my heart that this will result in great joy and lead to (in fact, be based upon) peace and harmony. I have lived it in the past (on and off) and i have experienced that joy, that peace. It is not doing nothing. It is not strewing great resources and hoping our children will grab them and learn. It is not letting each child follow his own will. It is seeking his will. It is traveling (and learning) as a family. It is cheerfully accepting this duty we all share- and finding great joy in the process. In fact, it is the process that matters. The journey only ends at our last breath here on earth. And i know where i want all of us to be when that journey ends!

 

Now to remind myself of that often enough to live it consistently.

 

Only with the grace of god...

 

yes, yes, yes!

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Don't feel bad - I have three kids who will sit still for endless read alouds and none of them would be able to sit through or enjoy those either in K -I can't imagine trying with a wiggle worm K'r :001_huh:

 

Mine wouldn't even sit for some of the 3yo list - I'm reading the Peter Rabbit series now and none of them are liking it or will sit for it yet I can pull out any non-fiction book of any length and they won't move a muscle till I've read every word. I'm having a hard time getting my kids interested in the classics. It seems they will listen forever to anything I read aloud so long as it isn't a classic :glare:

I have a great deal of admiration for Dr. Senior, but (as mentioned in the thread on the Angelicum study guides) I think we need to use our own judgment about grade levels. His list was never supposed to be rigid. We might choose to introduce some of the books a few years later than the suggested ages, and as I understand it, that's fine.

 

In our family, we don't even "do" fairy tales and fantasy stories until the children are close to age 6. If they listen in on something being read to a sibling, fine, but I wouldn't choose these books specifically for them. This is something I picked up from Montessori, and although most people are baffled by it, to me it does fit with what Dr. Taylor says about the poetic mode. Dr. Montessori found, as you did, that very young children are naturally drawn toward learning about real life when they are offered the choice. We start by making sure they have some knowledge of real frogs and rabbits -- which, in our built-up neighborhood, tends to mean realistic picture books, interesting non-fiction, trips to the pet store. Then they can bring that understanding to their first experiences of "Froggy went a Courting" and Peter Rabbit.

 

So I'm somewhat of a heretic about the fairy tales for early childhood -- but in a way that I think is in keeping with the ultimate goal.

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The bolded is something I have been considering, but I wondering what this looks like in your house. Can you elaborate on this a bit? I get how to let literature be the driving force, but I am wondering how plan literature and then wrap history around it.

 

TIA.

 

I, too have been inspired by this thread. I've pulled out my copies of the Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare along with Anderson's Fairy Tales & A Child's Book of Stories. Having all boys, I know I need to start in small doses but I'm excited about this new direction.

 

My question is practically, how do you deal with the language in many of these books? We're reading Rosemary Sutcliffe's In Search of a Homeland and I'll occasionally stop and explain the meaning of a word or phrase. What do you do however when much of the language is so different? Do you stop occasionally to explain important words or do you just read through with the hopes that in time, they'll become much more comfortable with the language and vocabulary? Stopping frequently to explain something would seem to suck the joy and beauty out of these books.

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I have to thank you, but with a bit of a bemused smile, for liking that talk on analytical teaching. I remember being extremely disappointed with it after I gave it, so I tried to listen to it yesterday. I must say, the high point is when I read the quotation from Burke. So far as I could tell, it went rapidly downhill from there.

 

So I thank you for the comforting realization that our Lord still uses things we do even when we do them rather poorly. Somehow the truth itself can overcome our delivery of it.

 

I think we can all find comfort in that as teachers, right?:001_smile:

 

I am a parent at an ALE for the time being, we attend the site 3 days a week, the rest is home school. Andrew Pudewa had a visit to this ALE, there is an enormous photo display there of his visit on up on the wall.

 

Yesterday, I was talking with the librarian there who is an absolute wonder, and I brought up CIRCE, asked her if she'd heard about it. It was vague for her, but she became very interested after a bit. I'd imagine she'll be hitting the CIRCE site here shortly.

 

I told her to watch out for that particular talk as my opinion of it is pure glee.

 

There are 400 kids in that ALE, they expect more growth next year.

 

I told her about the way I was personally affected by the question, "What does your curriculum say about your teaching focus?", and the resulting reaction when I stood in front of my collection and really took that question to task.

 

I've been returning my materials, donating to the library, giving things away since then, and replacing the books with texts of a different quality ever since. The librarian wanted to know what was behind this, so I told her; and I knew I wasn't doing it justice, so I shared the source of CIRCE because I was fumbling around.

 

What does your curriculum say about your goal as a teacher?

 

What would it be like if communities that instruct children asked that question and contemplated it before instituting them at large?

 

Man that's a heavy question.

 

When I first stood there looking at my shelves, internalizing that, I felt the answer for me was:

 

"You know what, you are cheap. You lean on others to do your thinking here. Her books are the nails in the wood that are building her house...or...if you want to be honest about it...this is a rickety shack when both of you deserve so much more. Grow up."

 

Out they went. Buh-Bye. :001_tt2:

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What does your curriculum say about your goal as a teacher?

 

What would it be like if communities that instruct children asked that question and contemplated it before instituting them at large?

 

Man that's a heavy question.

 

When I first stood there looking at my shelves, internalizing that, I felt the answer for me was:

 

"You know what, you are cheap. You lean on others to do your thinking here. Her books are the nails in the wood that are building her house...or...if you want to be honest about it...this is a rickety shack when both of you deserve so much more. Grow up."

 

Out they went. Buh-Bye. :001_tt2:

 

:iagree: My amazon cart looks a whole lot different this morning than it did a few days ago, and my shelves were condemning me too. Sounds like there are going to be a whole lot of new things on the For Sale boards soon.:tongue_smilie:

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What does your curriculum say about your goal as a teacher?

 

What would it be like if communities that instruct children asked that question and contemplated it before instituting them at large?

I think they used to do this, but the goals weren't necessarily ones that we would consider the highest good. Business interests and social conformity often took the upper hand, even if this was expressed idealistically such as in Dewey's "education for democracy." I'm reading a book on public schools in the 1920's, and it is saturated with this sort of thinking. There was a vision of human nature behind every innovation they were implementing, and many in the general public were on board with it. It's just not a vision that's consistent with historical Christian belief and thought.

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Ok I am confused. I looked at this site and this is the GOOD books list for K. Really? The Fairies books are over 300 pages! Find me a Kindergarten boy who will sit for that because mine sure won't. He might sit for Wind in the Willows. This whole book thing appeals to me because I love to read but the time involved in reading aloud to the younger kids makes me shudder! How in the world do you do it???

 

No way would my kids sit for Lang's Fairy books at that age. And I think that's okay. I use short, well-illustrated picture books for my littles. And not too many words on each page, either. In fact, I disagree with the grade levels given to most of the books on that list. My daughter is/was ready for those books a good 2 to 3 years later than the list suggests. But I'm okay with that.

 

 

I stopped sneaking:D. I have come to a place where I am just honest....you have to learn xyz because all educated people know xyz, and God wants you to use the excellent brain he gave you. It is stewardship of your body and brain.

 

:iagree: (Except I'm not Christian, so I leave God out of it.) I have come to this point with my 9yo. There are many, many times lately when I have flat-out told her, "It is my job as your mother to ensure that you grow up to be educated and able to function in this world. Therefore, you must know how to do division/spell/communicate your thoughts well/etc."

 

What do you do however when much of the language is so different? Do you stop occasionally to explain important words or do you just read through with the hopes that in time, they'll become much more comfortable with the language and vocabulary? Stopping frequently to explain something would seem to suck the joy and beauty out of these books.

 

Well, I'm no expert, but I do a little of both. If I feel that the meaning of the word is conveyed through context, I just keep reading. If it is an unfamiliar word and the context doesn't provide many clues, I will stop and explain. And my kids have absolutely no problem interrupting me to ask what something means, so I know that if they're really puzzled, they'll ask.

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:iagree: My amazon cart looks a whole lot different this morning than it did a few days ago, and my shelves were condemning me too. Sounds like there are going to be a whole lot of new things on the For Sale boards soon.:tongue_smilie:

Just curious, what is in your Amazon cart? :)

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:iagree: My amazon cart looks a whole lot different this morning than it did a few days ago, and my shelves were condemning me too. Sounds like there are going to be a whole lot of new things on the For Sale boards soon.:tongue_smilie:

 

My Amazon bill is going to look a lot different next month. I am awaiting MANY boxes. We just got the "Young Folks' Shelf of Books" (Collier's Junior Classics) this AM. We jumped right in with #1 and my 5 year old has announced that he will be sleeping with the book. He said it was "just like having the library in our house!" :lol:

 

Seriously, though, I have been so re-invigorated by this thread. My husband says I've got "the fire back in my belly." That's about right.

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If you are looking for practical appplication of what Andrew describes in his lectures, essays, and blog posts, take a look at his curriculum, The Lost Tools of Writing. He led a webinar several months ago, which gave me ideas about how to use LToW with history, science, and Bible. Camille Goldston is leading a webinar on April 28 -- Using Writing to Integrate the Curriculum.
Can you provide a link? I looked at the webinars listed and there is not one on the 28th. I see 4/13 and 5/18 but not the subject you mentioned.

 

The bolded is something I have been considering, but I wondering what this looks like in your house. Can you elaborate on this a bit? I get how to let literature be the driving force, but I am wondering how plan literature and then wrap history around it.

 

TIA.

I would also love to hear more about this. I just have 2 years left with my dd before high school and I would love get her well prepared (as much as I can in this short time) for Great Books.

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:iagree: My amazon cart looks a whole lot different this morning than it did a few days ago, and my shelves were condemning me too. Sounds like there are going to be a whole lot of new things on the For Sale boards soon.:tongue_smilie:

 

Norms and Nobility came today. :001_smile:

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That sounds great. I'd be in.

 

Last year there was a social group for chatting about workshops and a join up.

 

One comment from Peter Enns last year's was, "What if God really loves your children and wants to draw them near to him? It isn't all about what curriculum you use."

 

I can feel amlot of pressure to Do It Right lift when I remember this. There is redemption from many less than ideal situations, including having me as teacher.

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Okaaaayyy! I will defer to my more wise friends and give it a try!:001_smile: Perhaps the little monster will surprise me!:tongue_smilie:

 

Hahahaha!! Start small....50 Stories by James Baldwin, or Aesop's Fables, or a shorter Fairy Tale. Make him BEG for " just one more".

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Can you provide a link? I looked at the webinars listed and there is not one on the 28th. I see 4/13 and 5/18 but not the subject you mentioned.

 

I would also love to hear more about this. I just have 2 years left with my dd before high school and I would love get her well prepared (as much as I can in this short time) for Great Books.

 

 

http://circeinstitute.com/webinars/

 

Scroll down to Featured Webinars after the Free Webinar list. This one is $20.

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Ok I am confused. I looked at this site and this is the GOOD books list for K. Really? The Fairies books are over 300 pages! Find me a Kindergarten boy who will sit for that because mine sure won't. He might sit for Wind in the Willows. This whole book thing appeals to me because I love to read but the time involved in reading aloud to the younger kids makes me shudder! How in the world do you do it???

 

In small doses as she is doing other things. Sitting in the bath, while she is doing doing jigsaw puzzles or her Kumon pages... Sometimes it will take me a few months to get through the heavier reads. But then it may go on the shelf for dh to read as bedtime stories, and if I can find an audiobook version, I'll play it in the car. That way they get the beneficial repetition without me having to reread books I read to death as a child myself.

 

All books get much the same treatment here, but we move through the easier and more familiar ones faster.

 

Rosie

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Norms and Nobility came today. :001_smile:

 

How does it look? I am seriously eyeing it on Amazon right now, but struggling with the price tag.

 

There's a review by this person that almost has me convinced (it's after the cookbook):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2EPYMSUR3YP9I/ref=cm_cr_pr_auth_rev?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

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I have Norms and Nobility but I've only read up to chapter 5 or so. It is a dense read. I have, however, poured over the suggested curriculum in the second part. I put this back on my stack of books to be read. Now it sits next to How to Read Literature Like a Professor, How to Read a Book and Six Walks in the Fictional Woods.:001_smile: I have a lot of reading to do!

Also, besides the Ask Andrew page with first written answers to questions and then two podcasts with questions and answers I mentioned in the other thread, I also found (as I've been reading everything at Circe) a recorded interview with David Hicks, the author of Norms and Nobility. I had listened to about 1/3 of it when my computer cut off. I hope to go back and listen to it later.

 

Here are the links for both of these:

 

I really learned a lot about from these:

http://circeinstitute.com/ask-andrew/

 

 

Interview with David Hicks...he discusses his book Norms and Nobility

http://circeinstitute.com/2011/11/david-hicks-interview-with-leigh-bortins/

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Just curious, what is in your Amazon cart? :)

 

Well, just this minute

 

 

Sleeping Beauty - Mahlon F. Craft;

The Lord is My Shepherd - Gennady Spirin

The Tale of The Firebird - Gennady Spirin

Cupid and Psyche - M. Charlotte Craft

Snow White: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm

The Midnight Folk - John Masefield

Orchard Book of Roman Myths - Geraldi Mccaughrean

And for me:

The Death of Christian Culture - John Senior

The Restoration of Christian Culture - John Senior;

Beauty for Truth's Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education - Stratford Caldecott

The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind the Lord of the Rings - Peter Kreef

 

 

I've also loaded my iPad up with all the Lang books we don't already have, and pulled all our folk and fairy tale books together. What is remarkable is what is NOT there anymore. I had a long list of historical fiction for next year's history class, and some geography workbooks. I'm also considering adding this I am sure the list will grow as I keep reading and thinking...:tongue_smilie:

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Btw, just wanted to share something. Today, literary analysis spontaneously erupted at our house whilst reading Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen." As we were reading, ds pipes up with, "Hey! That sounds like Edmund and the White Witch from Narnia!" We followed that comparison as far as we could and then talked about why they might be so similar, what that might mean, and what the glass shard might be. Two days in and we had a better conversation than we ever have before, entirely spontaneously. :thumbup:

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Awesome list there U. Mommy - I was reading to the kid today out of Caldecott and we were jonesing around with the idea of "music of the spheres".

 

She totally bugged out mentally on that one, gave me the side eye and said, "This is impossible mom, planets don't make songs.."

 

Um, ya kiddo, they do.

 

"Well, have YOU ever heard any of these planet sounds?"

 

"Sure."

 

"Really?"

 

"Yep."

 

"Why can't I hear them?"

 

"I don't know."

 

"Mom, I want to hear them too! Teach me how!"

 

"Not now dear, the bus is coming..."

 

"Mom, I'm serious, I want to hear them."

 

"Okay, remind me later when we get home, I'll teach you how.."

 

"No, now Mom, right now."

 

lol, Caldecott is awesome-Let me know if you have to take Tylenol after that one....

 

I spent about 6 hours on a plane with Norms and Nobility, and I think I'm on around page 15? We are talking entirely focused time as well...that's a hard read.

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Awesome list there U. Mommy - I was reading to the kid today out of Caldecott and we were jonesing around with the idea of "music of the spheres".

 

She totally bugged out mentally on that one, gave me the side eye and said, "This is impossible mom, planets don't make songs.."

 

Um, ya kiddo, they do.

 

"Well, have YOU ever heard any of these planet sounds?"

 

"Sure."

 

"Really?"

 

"Yep."

"Why can't I hear them?"

 

"I don't know."

 

"Mom, I want to hear them too! Teach me how!"

 

"Not now dear, the bus is coming..."

 

"Mom, I'm serious, I want to hear them."

 

"Okay, remind me later when we get home, I'll teach you how.."

 

"No, now Mom, right now."

 

lol, Caldecott is awesome-Let me know if you have to take Tylenol after that one....

 

I spent about 6 hours on a plane with Norms and Nobility, and I think I'm on around page 15? We are talking entirely focused time as well...that's a hard read.

 

 

That is an excellent teaser...:D

I am thinking that when the books finally arrive, I'll need a bottle of Tylenol and a stiff drink or two.

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Btw, just wanted to share something. Today, literary analysis spontaneously erupted at our house whilst reading Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen." As we were reading, ds pipes up with, "Hey! That sounds like Edmund and the White Witch from Narnia!" We followed that comparison as far as we could and then talked about why they might be so similar, what that might mean, and what the glass shard might be. Two days in and we had a better conversation than we ever have before, entirely spontaneously. :thumbup:

 

Yay!! This is exactly what I want more and more of in our days. Our best educational experiences are exactly what you just described.

 

I guess for me what it boils down to is engaging, discussing, and teaching. Those are living and fluid and not easily captured/described in words. Nor are they in a workbook or a curriculum box (at least none that I have ever encountered......btw, we had a similar experience when we read it last yr. :001_smile:)

 

Earlier in the thread I described our Anne of Green Gables and Inception studies. The reasons the studies have been so successful is b/c the kids are the ones making the connections. They get so excited and energized when they see things they had missed before. They become literary detectives seeking out meaning/experiences/references beyond what is encountered initially on the surface. They are the ones doing the thinking/analyzing.

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This brings me to another application I want to offer you. How do you ensure that your students are engaged, that your curriculum is integrated, and that you are all actually learning and not just having either fun or misery?

 

There's a natural course a child goes through to learn something (and for adults too). It applies to every lesson that is oriented to knowing a truth, from the simplest to the most complex. And it begins with you preparing them to receive it.

 

A lesson will natural walk through five stages on the way to the truth. Those stages have been described by Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and even early proto-progressives like Herbert Spencer. If you teach successfully you will have gone through these stages, whether you knew it or not.

 

Stage 1: Preparation of the student's mind. During this stage you raise to your child's mind as much as you judge beneficial of what they already know about the truth to be learned. For example, if you are about to teach them how to add two digit numbers together, let them enjoy how much they already know about one digit numbers, + signs, = signs, etc.

 

If you are about to read a fable (Grasshopper and ants, say) ask them what they know about grasshoppers, ants, fiddles, etc. and ask them if they've ever had to work hard or if they've ever wanted to listen to music while they worked, etc.

 

Stage 2: Present types (illustrations, examples, analogies, etc.) of the truth. These are specific embodiments of a truth to be learned. In math, you would present a few two column addition problems to them and work through them while they watch, gradually handing them over to the students.

 

In the fable, you would read the story (which is a type of a truth).

 

Stage 3: Compare types.

 

In math, you'd ask your children: what did I do this time and this time and this time? What did I do differently this time compared to this time. etc.

 

In a fable, you'd compare the grasshopper to the ants (how are they alike, how different? what did the g do? what did the ants do? what did each get? who would have been happier/wiser/etc. at the end?). Then you can compare stories. For example, you could compare this fable with one you've already read, or you could ask, does this remind you of any other stories or events from anything you've ever read or experienced?

 

Stage 4: Student expresses the truth in her own words

 

In math, ask: when I make you do 1000 of these tonight, how will you do it?

 

In a fable ask: what is the point of this story? (I never tell students the moral).

 

Stage 5: Student embodies the lesson learned in an artifact or action

 

In math, give them 1000 problems to practice the lesson learned

 

In the fable, tell them to apply the moral somehow in their own actions. Note: Do not ask them to write a fable after this lesson for the simple reason that you did not just teach them how to write a fable. That would be a good lesson, but it isn't the one I just described.

 

This applies across the curriculum and is surprisingly easy to do once you get the hang of it. The benefits are endless, not least that you'll see how things fit together across subjects and kids love that. Plus you remember more because you are constantly reviewing everything you've ever taught.

 

I'm off for Greenville tomorrow, so I probably won't be able to play with you ladies and gentlemen for a while, but thanks for letting me in this week. I hope it's had some value for you.

 

Remember, as the one poster quoted Proverbs: Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom!

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This brings me to another application I want to offer you. How do you ensure that your students are engaged, that your curriculum is integrated, and that you are all actually learning and not just having either fun or misery?

 

There's a natural course a child goes through to learn something (and for adults too). It applies to every lesson that is oriented to knowing a truth, from the simplest to the most complex. And it begins with you preparing them to receive it.

 

A lesson will natural walk through five stages on the way to the truth. Those stages have been described by Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and even early proto-progressives like Herbert Spencer. If you teach successfully you will have gone through these stages, whether you knew it or not.

 

Stage 1: Preparation of the student's mind. During this stage you raise to your child's mind as much as you judge beneficial of what they already know about the truth to be learned. For example, if you are about to teach them how to add two digit numbers together, let them enjoy how much they already know about one digit numbers, + signs, = signs, etc.

 

If you are about to read a fable (Grasshopper and ants, say) ask them what they know about grasshoppers, ants, fiddles, etc. and ask them if they've ever had to work hard or if they've ever wanted to listen to music while they worked, etc.

 

Stage 2: Present types (illustrations, examples, analogies, etc.) of the truth. These are specific embodiments of a truth to be learned. In math, you would present a few two column addition problems to them and work through them while they watch, gradually handing them over to the students.

 

In the fable, you would read the story (which is a type of a truth).

 

Stage 3: Compare types.

 

In math, you'd ask your children: what did I do this time and this time and this time? What did I do differently this time compared to this time. etc.

 

In a fable, you'd compare the grasshopper to the ants (how are they alike, how different? what did the g do? what did the ants do? what did each get? who would have been happier/wiser/etc. at the end?). Then you can compare stories. For example, you could compare this fable with one you've already read, or you could ask, does this remind you of any other stories or events from anything you've ever read or experienced?

 

Stage 4: Student expresses the truth in her own words

 

In math, ask: when I make you do 1000 of these tonight, how will you do it?

 

In a fable ask: what is the point of this story? (I never tell students the moral).

 

Stage 5: Student embodies the lesson learned in an artifact or action

 

In math, give them 1000 problems to practice the lesson learned

 

In the fable, tell them to apply the moral somehow in their own actions. Note: Do not ask them to write a fable after this lesson for the simple reason that you did not just teach them how to write a fable. That would be a good lesson, but it isn't the one I just described.

 

This applies across the curriculum and is surprisingly easy to do once you get the hang of it. The benefits are endless, not least that you'll see how things fit together across subjects and kids love that. Plus you remember more because you are constantly reviewing everything you've ever taught.

 

I'm off for Greenville tomorrow, so I probably won't be able to play with you ladies and gentlemen for a while, but thanks for letting me in this week. I hope it's had some value for you.

 

Remember, as the one poster quoted Proverbs: Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom!

 

This post is priceless! This the essence of everything I have read about the role of the classical teacher in such easily identifiable terms.

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How does it look? I am seriously eyeing it on Amazon right now, but struggling with the price tag.

 

There's a review by this person that almost has me convinced (it's after the cookbook):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2EPYMSUR3YP9I/ref=cm_cr_pr_auth_rev?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

 

I haven't been able to crack it yet :001_smile: I will tonight!

 

 

I have Norms and Nobility but I've only read up to chapter 5 or so. It is a dense read. I have, however, poured over the suggested curriculum in the second part. I put this back on my stack of books to be read. Now it sits next to How to Read Literature Like a Professor, How to Read a Book and Six Walks in the Fictional Woods.:001_smile: I have a lot of reading to do!

 

that's an awesome book.

 

Also, besides the Ask Andrew page with first written answers to questions and then two podcasts with questions and answers I mentioned in the other thread, I also found (as I've been reading everything at Circe) a recorded interview with David Hicks, the author of Norms and Nobility. I had listened to about 1/3 of it when my computer cut off. I hope to go back and listen to it later.

 

Here are the links for both of these:

 

I really learned a lot about from these:

http://circeinstitute.com/ask-andrew/

 

 

Interview with David Hicks...he discusses his book Norms and Nobility

http://circeinstitute.com/2011/11/david-hicks-interview-with-leigh-bortins/

 

 

thank you for the links!

 

I've also loaded my iPad up with all the Lang books we don't already have, and pulled all our folk and fairy tale books together. What is remarkable is what is NOT there anymore. I had a long list of historical fiction for next year's history class, and some geography workbooks. I'm also considering adding this I am sure the list will grow as I keep reading and thinking...:tongue_smilie:

 

Those are such gorgeous books! And Geraldine's Questing Knights is gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful. It's one of my kid's favorites.

 

There is a LOTLOTLOT for free on kindle. I mean, I must have 500-700 books I got all free, that are classics.

 

 

I'm off for Greenville tomorrow, so I probably won't be able to play with you ladies and gentlemen for a while, but thanks for letting me in this week. I hope it's had some value for you.

 

Remember, as the one poster quoted Proverbs: Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom!

It's been amazing. Thank you for your time!

Edited by justamouse

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This brings me to another application I want to offer you. How do you ensure that your students are engaged, that your curriculum is integrated, and that you are all actually learning and not just having either fun or misery?

 

There's a natural course a child goes through to learn something (and for adults too). It applies to every lesson that is oriented to knowing a truth, from the simplest to the most complex. And it begins with you preparing them to receive it.

 

A lesson will natural walk through five stages on the way to the truth. Those stages have been described by Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and even early proto-progressives like Herbert Spencer. If you teach successfully you will have gone through these stages, whether you knew it or not.

 

Stage 1: Preparation of the student's mind. During this stage you raise to your child's mind as much as you judge beneficial of what they already know about the truth to be learned. For example, if you are about to teach them how to add two digit numbers together, let them enjoy how much they already know about one digit numbers, + signs, = signs, etc.

 

If you are about to read a fable (Grasshopper and ants, say) ask them what they know about grasshoppers, ants, fiddles, etc. and ask them if they've ever had to work hard or if they've ever wanted to listen to music while they worked, etc.

 

Stage 2: Present types (illustrations, examples, analogies, etc.) of the truth. These are specific embodiments of a truth to be learned. In math, you would present a few two column addition problems to them and work through them while they watch, gradually handing them over to the students.

 

In the fable, you would read the story (which is a type of a truth).

 

Stage 3: Compare types.

 

In math, you'd ask your children: what did I do this time and this time and this time? What did I do differently this time compared to this time. etc.

 

In a fable, you'd compare the grasshopper to the ants (how are they alike, how different? what did the g do? what did the ants do? what did each get? who would have been happier/wiser/etc. at the end?). Then you can compare stories. For example, you could compare this fable with one you've already read, or you could ask, does this remind you of any other stories or events from anything you've ever read or experienced?

 

Stage 4: Student expresses the truth in her own words

 

In math, ask: when I make you do 1000 of these tonight, how will you do it?

 

In a fable ask: what is the point of this story? (I never tell students the moral).

 

Stage 5: Student embodies the lesson learned in an artifact or action

 

In math, give them 1000 problems to practice the lesson learned

 

In the fable, tell them to apply the moral somehow in their own actions. Note: Do not ask them to write a fable after this lesson for the simple reason that you did not just teach them how to write a fable. That would be a good lesson, but it isn't the one I just described.

 

This applies across the curriculum and is surprisingly easy to do once you get the hang of it. The benefits are endless, not least that you'll see how things fit together across subjects and kids love that. Plus you remember more because you are constantly reviewing everything you've ever taught.

 

I'm off for Greenville tomorrow, so I probably won't be able to play with you ladies and gentlemen for a while, but thanks for letting me in this week. I hope it's had some value for you.

 

Remember, as the one poster quoted Proverbs: Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom!

 

This is so good! Thank you.

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Whew! I got to the end of the thread. Good thing I was in bed sick or I would have never found the time. So glad I did even though I haven't listened to any of the talks yet.

 

The cost of my up and coming 'to get' list has dropped since I've added in more classics---that happened to be free on Kindle! Love, love the booklists linked in here! Still have a couple of historical fiction in there but only because they're 'good books' that just happen to fit our next history era. This is something I'd been struggling with inside already since my list of 'want to read' books was way too long to even think about with historical fiction in there as well. Thanks for freeing me! :001_smile:

 

I really appreciate what Andrew said about not wanting to say too much about curriculum so we can teach to our particular children's needs. My kids' needs are quite different at times! Recently we read Jean Fritz's Homesick and was amazed at the things my own child who's been raised overseas resonated with. Now we're reading The Secret Garden and he instantly identified with Mary since the book started out in India (it was also an interesting look into the country under the British Empire because my ds's experience is quite different!) and how she moved to a different culture. Seeing kids connect with what they're learning..........ahhhhhhh. And watching my youngest loving to read for the first time is even better.

 

Thanks so much for this thread!

Edited by Bula Mama

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When I first got going on WEM, I was reading about Thomas Jefferson in the opening pages. I paused long enough (this pause was about 3 weeks?) to go and refresh my knowledge of him, his times, his education, etc.

 

Long story short, here is a link to one of his library collections for inspiration.

 

http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/toc/becites/main/jefferson/88607928.toc.html

 

and here's another, the Loeb collection

 

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/collection.php?cpk=1031

 

I have to go get ready for the day now, but did a little boost listening again this morning, it's the Kern talk on:

 

AndrewKern-RhetoricAsTheEssentialArt

http://www.societyforclassicallearning.org/index.php/resources/media/15-2011-conference-recordings

 

If you watch the little timer on the side as you play, minute marks appear. Right at counter 1212, Kern starts talking about curriculum and the statement your collection makes, I'd transcribe, but I'm pressed for time now.

 

It's the second talk down on the list. This is a terrific podcast.

 

I found the last ten minutes like a roller coaster, but that was at first due to my unfamiliarity of the breakdown of Rhetoric divisions. There's books out there that cure that. :)

 

Bust out your notepad for that one, tons of good thinking in it. :)

Edited by one*mom

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Firstly, please everyone stop responding to this thread for the next 24 hours so I can catch up! (I've made it to page six and noticed its grown about that many pages since I started).

 

Secondly, even this meager way in I am thankful I finally clicked on this thread. If only I'd done so when it started. Last week I had made so much progress in the confidence I was feeling in regard to the changes I had been making in our home and approach to education and then the doubts started creeping in again early this week after a few frustrations (that didn't even originate with the children or educating them) but reading this thread (and the other linked in it early on) has reassured me that I truly am on the right path. I know I shouldn't need others to agree or say so but there it is. I just want to hug some of you and cry on your shoulders.

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Suggested by one of the Circe staff - How to Conduct a Recitation by Charles McMurry, Ph.D.

Thank you; just found a link to this. Uh-oh, the author speaks approvingly of Herbartian pedagogy. Charlotte Mason fans will not be amused! Possible donnybrook ahead... :D

 

Firstly, please everyone stop responding to this thread for the next 24 hours so I can catch up! (I've made it to page six and noticed its grown about that many pages since I started).

 

Secondly, even this meager way in I am thankful I finally clicked on this thread. If only I'd done so when it started. Last week I had made so much progress in the confidence I was feeling in regard to the changes I had been making in our home and approach to education and then the doubts started creeping in again early this week after a few frustrations (that didn't even originate with the children or educating them) but reading this thread (and the other linked in it early on) has reassured me that I truly am on the right path. I know I shouldn't need others to agree or say so but there it is. I just want to hug some of you and cry on your shoulders.

SCGS, I know exactly what you mean. And I'm sorry for responding so soon. ;)

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Thank you; just found a link to this. Uh-oh, the author speaks approvingly of Herbartian pedagogy. Charlotte Mason fans will not be amused! Possible donnybrook ahead... :D

 

 

LOL! Herbartian Psychology is discussed in this week's CM reading. How timely!

 

CM--Herbartian psychology is rich in suggestion, but we cannot take it up as it stands without losing the educational value of the two or three leading principles which are, as we say, 'in the air' for the teaching of mankind.

 

:boxing_smiley:

 

(I didn't even read what was in the link yet, so this is all in jest--at least for now. :tongue_smilie:)

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How do you ensure that your students are engaged, that your curriculum is integrated, and that you are all actually learning and not just having either fun or misery?

 

:svengo:YES. This is the kind of question that keeps me awake at night. (In a good way!!!)

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Long story short, here is a link to one of his library collections for inspiration.

 

http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/toc/becites/main/jefferson/88607928.toc.html

 

and here's another, the Loeb collection

 

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/collection.php?cpk=1031

 

I have to go get ready for the day now, but did a little boost listening again this morning, it's the Kern talk on:

 

AndrewKern-RhetoricAsTheEssentialArt

http://www.societyforclassicallearning.org/index.php/resources/media/15-2011-conference-recordings

 

If you watch the little timer on the side as you play, minute marks appear. Right at counter 1212, Kern starts talking about curriculum and the statement your collection makes, I'd transcribe, but I'm pressed for time now.

 

It's the second talk down on the list. This is a terrific podcast.

 

I found the last ten minutes like a roller coaster, but that was at first due to my unfamiliarity of the breakdown of Rhetoric divisions. There's books out there that cure that. :)

 

Bust out your notepad for that one, tons of good thinking in it. :)

 

Thank you!

 

Firstly, please everyone stop responding to this thread for the next 24 hours so I can catch up! (I've made it to page six and noticed its grown about that many pages since I started).

 

I know I'll keep coming back and reading it probably even in to next year. :001_smile:

 

Thank you; just found a link to this. Uh-oh, the author speaks approvingly of Herbartian pedagogy. Charlotte Mason fans will not be amused! Possible donnybrook ahead... :D

 

:lol:

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This brings me to another application I want to offer you. How do you ensure that your students are engaged, that your curriculum is integrated, and that you are all actually learning and not just having either fun or misery?

 

There's a natural course a child goes through to learn something (and for adults too). It applies to every lesson that is oriented to knowing a truth, from the simplest to the most complex. And it begins with you preparing them to receive it.

 

A lesson will natural walk through five stages on the way to the truth. Those stages have been described by Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and even early proto-progressives like Herbert Spencer. If you teach successfully you will have gone through these stages, whether you knew it or not.

 

Stage 1: Preparation of the student's mind. During this stage you raise to your child's mind as much as you judge beneficial of what they already know about the truth to be learned. For example, if you are about to teach them how to add two digit numbers together, let them enjoy how much they already know about one digit numbers, + signs, = signs, etc.

 

If you are about to read a fable (Grasshopper and ants, say) ask them what they know about grasshoppers, ants, fiddles, etc. and ask them if they've ever had to work hard or if they've ever wanted to listen to music while they worked, etc.

 

Stage 2: Present types (illustrations, examples, analogies, etc.) of the truth. These are specific embodiments of a truth to be learned. In math, you would present a few two column addition problems to them and work through them while they watch, gradually handing them over to the students.

 

In the fable, you would read the story (which is a type of a truth).

 

Stage 3: Compare types.

 

In math, you'd ask your children: what did I do this time and this time and this time? What did I do differently this time compared to this time. etc.

 

In a fable, you'd compare the grasshopper to the ants (how are they alike, how different? what did the g do? what did the ants do? what did each get? who would have been happier/wiser/etc. at the end?). Then you can compare stories. For example, you could compare this fable with one you've already read, or you could ask, does this remind you of any other stories or events from anything you've ever read or experienced?

 

Stage 4: Student expresses the truth in her own words

 

In math, ask: when I make you do 1000 of these tonight, how will you do it?

 

In a fable ask: what is the point of this story? (I never tell students the moral).

 

Stage 5: Student embodies the lesson learned in an artifact or action

 

In math, give them 1000 problems to practice the lesson learned

 

In the fable, tell them to apply the moral somehow in their own actions. Note: Do not ask them to write a fable after this lesson for the simple reason that you did not just teach them how to write a fable. That would be a good lesson, but it isn't the one I just described.

 

This applies across the curriculum and is surprisingly easy to do once you get the hang of it. The benefits are endless, not least that you'll see how things fit together across subjects and kids love that. Plus you remember more because you are constantly reviewing everything you've ever taught.

 

I'm off for Greenville tomorrow, so I probably won't be able to play with you ladies and gentlemen for a while, but thanks for letting me in this week. I hope it's had some value for you.

 

Remember, as the one poster quoted Proverbs: Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom!

 

 

I had to print this to put in my teacher notebook. Great post.

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Okay, just starting to read this and not entirely sure I get it. I did want to add this book list link, though, because I think it sounds like it's along the right lines. I love the ideas here, it does seem in large part how I started out.

After we stopped unschooling and before I got caught up in "all we had to do" I think we had some truth, beauty, and wisdom in our days.

 

 

http://www.greatbooksacademy.org/curriculum/good-books-list/

 

ETA: and if I'm way off base just ignore me. I'll catch up eventually. :)

Edited by woolybear
thought of something else

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Thank you; just found a link to this. Uh-oh, the author speaks approvingly of Herbartian pedagogy. Charlotte Mason fans will not be amused! Possible donnybrook ahead

 

Can I just say I love being able to talk with people who actually say things like this????:D. You are all so funny and smart. Go pat yourselves on the backs!

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I just found out you can download the free Kindle App onto an IPad. I couldn't access the Kindle store from the IPad app, however. Instead, I went onto Amazon's Free Kindle Classics section, found the book and with 1 click, The Princess and the Goblin was immediately downloaded onto my IPad! Awesome!! Now I'm off to search for other classics mentioned in this thread...

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This is kind of an out-there suggestion, but I've been getting a lot of inspiration from The Home-maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.

 

This book is part of a very small and didactic genre, the Montessori novel. :lol: It looks like some sort of early feminist treatise, but it's really more about education, self-education, how to have productive relationships with children and adults, and the importance of finding one's own purposeful work. Sort of like a grown-up version of her children's book, Understood Betsy.

 

The husband in the story is regarded as a failure in the business world, but he turns out to be a wonderful parent and teacher to his own children, getting to know them deeply and sharing his imagination and love of literature. In the end, The Home-maker is mostly about what happens when he grasps on to this straw:

 

Originally Posted by urpedonmommy

teaching is the spontaneous overflow of the teacher's soul into the life of the child

I don't think there's a better straw out there, so we might as well grasp on to this one too (and we don't even have to go through all the dramatic plot twists the family endures in the book :)).

 

I haven't read either of these books but the quote reminded me of something I read in A Mathematician's Lament:

[Teaching is] about having an honest intellectual relationship with your students. It requires no method, no tools, and no training. Just the ability to be real. And if you can’t be real, then you have no right to inflict yourself upon innocent children. [..] you will never be a real teacher if you are unwilling to be a real person. Teaching means openness and honesty, an ability to share excitement, and a love of learning. Without these, all the education degrees in the world won’t help you, and with them they are completely unnecessary.

 

 

(I'm up to page 13 of the thread now and taking a break to share a passing thought briefly and then to consider feeding my family).

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Finally, I believe that CM takes the parent-teacher a little too far out of the equation. Not getting between the child and the book, to me, often loses a lot of benefits that discussion with a parent-teacher can provide. I think there is a balance there that might be lost if one simply follows the "assign books to be read slowly, ask for narrations (oral or written depending on the age of the child) and move on" approach.

 

I think this may have been the first thing for me that had me doubting I could give full allegiance to CM (I am unfamiliar with her teaching on many subjects, reading included). Being a self-doubter though, I was pleased when I found a contemporary (of hers) sharing his (or her?) criticisms (on parts, not all, of her methods) and this was one of them considering the level of literature she was wanting read to the child. Personally I try to discern what the need of the moment is - to instruct, initiate a discussion or to leave my child with it, commenting only if asked.

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(I'm up to page 13 of the thread now and taking a break to share a passing thought briefly and then to consider feeding my family).

:lol: I kept complaining to DH about how there was nobody I could talk to about some of this stuff. Then I just accepted it. And poof, this thread came up. Funny how that happens.

 

And speaking of coincidence, I just came on here to share the following beautiful post. It speaks of the relationship between student and teacher... and also about the isolation we feel at times.

 

'A School for the Lord's Service': St. Benedict's Rule and Classical Education

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Ok, I just came out of the attic carrying a huge stack of books. I didn't find everything I was looking for b/c some of the boxes of books simply didn't get unpacked when we moved here 4 yrs ago! But, I have 5 bookshelves in my attic (I am my own small library w/no place for all the books in my house!) and I did pull out some books that I bought several yrs ago and never used. (huge shame on me!!)

 

Anyway, The Great Ideas Program series http://www.thegreatideas.org/gip.html actually includes some information and self-check questions.

 

The Gateway to Great Books includes introductions and shorter/less-"intense" works. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_to_the_Great_Books (I could only find 2 of the 10 volumes. The rest of the books must be in one of the unpacked boxes.)

 

Another title I pulled out is THe Great Conversation.

 

(But, unfortunately, the reality is that more than likely the majority of the wisdom in these books will be remaining between their covers b/c I just don't have that much free-reading time. But I thought someone else might enjoy knowing of their existence. :) )

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