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As I reread the OP, it is so encouraging that the entire thread seems to support the notion that, although the "what" (i.e which books, curriculum, etc.) is certainly relevant, the "how" is what is at the core.

 

I find that freeing. In the past, I have spent a considerable amount of time and money trying to find the perfect things to use in our homeschool. I have chased other people's ideas, purchased the books that other people loved and tried to school as others did. With all the ideas, inspiration and book suggestions here and in s/o threads I needed to check myself so that I do not start doing that again.

 

How much better off I am concentrating on HOW to discuss the true, the good and the beautiful, instead of worrying that I have the "wrong" book or curriculum. In fact, I have experienced so much confidence (and grace) simply by making the decision that this is what I want to do. I am even better off "doing" it and readjusting, learning as I go, instead of worrying about doing it wrong.

 

There are a lot of classics out there and only so much time to read them. Better for me to select a few and get to work on them then to agonize over the choices I make. The very fact that a definitive list does not exist is evidence of this, right?

 

Better for me to spend my time reading threads like this, listening to the lectures that are linked and contemplating and gazing on the vision of how I want to teach my children.

 

This process is also so much more fulfilling. It feels like what I was made to do. I did not find homeschooling very fulfilling this past year- a year in which I selected curriculum (carefully) and wrote lesson plans and my children largely worked independently to complete it. Why was I doing this if I was not offering a part of myself in the process? Something was missing and this thread has been leading me to the answers.

Equally as encouraging is the fact that I get the sense that we are all continuing this work while we make these adjustments. No one seems like they are throwing in the towel and starting from scratch. We are working with what we have, where we are at, and doing our best to move in a refined direction.

 

Thank you all for your continued thoughts. This entire conversation has been invaluable.

 

:iagree:

I have been lurking and reading this thread as it has developed and I want to say thank you to everyone who has posted. The above quote really pulls this all together for me. I am evaluating where I want to go from here.

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Justamouse,

 

Alright, so how will you take the discussions to a deeper level? What tools, questions, etc. will you use?

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It's dawned on me that the modern classical education movement has in large part been a response to the dismal history instruction that is going on in schools today, but that maybe they've gone to the other extreme of making everything about history.

 

 

Yes, very true.

 

Now what else needs WTM Awesome Thread Tag?

The Breadth vs. Depth thread. It also goes along with this one well.

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This is a great book (the author has several lectures on the Circe website)...it's expensive on Amazon, but I found it at the library:

 

Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination by Vigen Guroian

 

Enjoying this thread!

Jana

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Justamouse,

 

Alright, so how will you take the discussions to a deeper level? What tools, questions, etc. will you use?

 

I can't answer this right now, but I wanted you to know I saw it and when I get a chance later tonight I'll come back. :001_smile:

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FWIW (which admittedly may be nothing), here is where I am on the question of “how.”

 

Since the how is rooted in the why, I am staying focused on why we are doing this homeschool thing in the first place. I read aloud almost daily and reading aloud does afford us a chance to stop and discuss. It also allows us to connect – with one another and with the material. In addition, my boys tend to bring things up to me from their own reading and that affords us a chance to discuss. We make connections between things we have read, sermons we have heard, thoughts we have had and we share them with one another often.

 

 

 

We cover other subjects and the boys have independent work, of course.

 

 

Sorry, but I have a toddler who needs a bath, books and bed.

 

I hope there was something in here that answered the how a little.

Edited by Connections
Edited to delete specifics. I was uncomfortable sounding like I have this figured out.

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As I reread the OP, it is so encouraging that the entire thread seems to support the notion that, although the "what" (i.e which books, curriculum, etc.) is certainly relevant, the "how" is what is at the core.

 

I find that freeing. In the past, I have spent a considerable amount of time and money trying to find the perfect things to use in our homeschool. I have chased other people's ideas, purchased the books that other people loved and tried to school as others did. With all the ideas, inspiration and book suggestions here and in s/o threads I needed to check myself so that I do not start doing that again.

 

How much better off I am concentrating on HOW to discuss the true, the good and the beautiful, instead of worrying that I have the "wrong" book or curriculum. In fact, I have experienced so much confidence (and grace) simply by making the decision that this is what I want to do. I am even better off "doing" it and readjusting, learning as I go, instead of worrying about doing it wrong.

 

There are a lot of classics out there and only so much time to read them. Better for me to select a few and get to work on them then to agonize over the choices I make. The very fact that a definitive list does not exist is evidence of this, right?

 

Better for me to spend my time reading threads like this, listening to the lectures that are linked and contemplating and gazing on the vision of how I want to teach my children.

 

This process is also so much more fulfilling. It feels like what I was made to do. I did not find homeschooling very fulfilling this past year- a year in which I selected curriculum (carefully) and wrote lesson plans and my children largely worked independently to complete it. Why was I doing this if I was not offering a part of myself in the process? Something was missing and this thread has been leading me to the answers.

 

Equally as encouraging is the fact that I get the sense that we are all continuing this work while we make these adjustments. No one seems like they are throwing in the towel and starting from scratch. We are working with what we have, where we are at, and doing our best to move in a refined direction.

 

Thank you all for your continued thoughts. This entire conversation has been invaluable.

 

Thank you! This was lovely!

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Goodness, thank you all. I want to say how the simple "Should _______ have _______." has led to so much discussion already. I have always felt so much pressure to get through the read aloud time. Faster,faster,more,more. Well no more. We can't do it all so I'm letting that go and going for enjoyment, discussion and relationship. I quit trying to direct dd at the library and let her get the loads of beautiful fairy tales. If the messages contain truths it shouldn't matter she's 8 and too old. DS and I got from Rikki Tikki Tavi to Civil Disobedience and moral dilemma today. That's not in curriculum.

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Phew......this thread has grown so rapidly. I had so many thoughts while reading multiple pages. I hope I managed to go back and find most of the ones that spurred thoughts while I was reading.....(though I am sure I missed several b/c there were so many!)

 

And my reply is too long, so I am going to have to break it into 2 posts!

 

 

........It doesn't matter HOW large or small we make the circle. It will always do this bit of magic. Isn't that, you know... beautiful in its own way? Kind of mind-boggling? Something that deserves a moment of awe?

 

I love this description!!

 

That quote was quite disturbing. I read Screwtape so long ago I hardly remember a thing about it. Obviously I need to remedy that.

 

I can't believe how incredibly prophetic and true this is. And I've read Screwtape, too, but don't even remember it.

 

Doesn't it cause you to tremble (even if it is just slightly?) Goodness, it even makes me shudder at the title "no child left behind." Prophetic? Yes.

 

 

I also want to thank you personally for your thoughts and wisdom about how to best approach this thing we call Classical Education. I have been thinking about your point about wrapping history around literature rather than the other way around from the beginning of this whole conversation. That was the first "a-ha" moment I had while following this thread (which I'm so glad I've done). It's dawned on me that the modern classical education movement has in large part been a response to the dismal history instruction that is going on in schools today, but that maybe they've gone to the other extreme of making everything about history. Maybe the point is that we need to let history be history and let literature be literature. Maybe it's even an abuse of a good or great book to read it purely for it's historical value or relevance. I'm starting to think that maybe this relates to what Kern is talking about in his talk on The Contemplation of Nature that this falls under the category of misunderstanding the nature of a thing.

 

Everyone please read this:

I emailed the Circe Institute telling them that they seriously need to consider setting up a forum (so we aren't stuck discussing these things in a single thread forever). They said that they are working on it and plan to have it up by the end of April. :hurray:

 

I thought I should explain the "wrap history around the lit" approach that I am describing. I believe that there are instances where lit should be lit and history should be history. But, there are times where understanding the context of the history sheds so much light on the lit that the connections to the lit are made through the history. It is the rabbit trail approach that takes you down paths that are meaningful to what you have encountered. But neither is meant to dominate or control the other, simply enhance. What I do not want to get back into is feeling an obligation to mesh the 2. Does that make sense?

 

For example, we just finished a Shakespeare study that has been one of the best lit studies we have ever done. Exploring the events of Elizabethan England and the context of Shakespeare's life brought levels of understanding to his works that I would never have connected w/o the history. (reading it simply literarily w/o that history removes the "play on words" (as dd titled her essay on this subject. :001_smile:)

 

I noted last night after reading this that your name gets to be right beside his in the list of tags. You must feel very honored. Or perhaps Kern should feel very honored. :D

 

I noticed that in the tag and I am actually very embarrassed by it. Trust me.....I'm just simple old me and unworthy of any tag. :blushing:

 

 

Here are a couple of C.S. Lewis quotes from Linda Dey's talk. The first, I think, has to do with the bolded above... how the wrong intent can get in the way.

 

"Those who do things to become cultured are the least likely to do so."

 

"The true aim of literary studies is to lift the student out of his provincialism by making him 'the spectator', if not of all, yet of much, 'time and existence'."

...and goes on to say...

"'History' alone will not do, for it studies the past mainly in secondary authorities. It is possible to 'do History' for years without knowing at the end what it felt like to be an Anglo-Saxon eorl, a cavalier, and eighteenth-century country gentleman. The gold behind the paper currency is to be found, almost exclusively in literature. In it lies deliverance from the tyranny of generalizations and catchwords. Its students know (for example) what diverse realities-Launcelot, Baron Bradwardine, Mulvaney-hide behind the word militarism."

 

 

Thank you for those quotes!! THe more I read of Lewis, the more fascinated I become. I understand why Kreeft dwells in Tolkien and Lewis so much.

 

8Fill, thank you for the Lewis quotation. Add me to the list of those who haven't read his work in years. The mention of the role of the middle class reminds me of Charles Murray's Coming Apart, which DH and I have been discussing recently. Disheartening as it might be, we can't just ignore the "system." We have to take an interest in the education of all children, because they are our neighbors. This is one of the great benefits of CiRCE -- that they don't encourage the attitude of division between schools and homeschoolers. There's a great deal we can learn from one another, regardless of where we do our teaching.

 

Another benefit of an active CiRCE forum would be that we share a basic worldview, which allows for deeper discussion without all the explanations and qualifiers. So I think it's a great idea, and doesn't take away from the importance of these boards. Susan has created a sort of "public square" where people with very different beliefs and assumptions can all come together, share what they have in common, and express disagreements in a (usually) civil way -- which I think is amazing in itself. :)

 

I'm not sure where you are going with this Eleanor. My reality is that my sphere of influence is very small. My influence only goes as far as my kids, how they learn, how we want to impact their development and intellectual/spiritual formation.

 

I don't believe we can "ignore" the culture of our society (nor was I attempting to suggest that we should), but my making the decision to classically educate my kids is not an implication that I am ignoring society's educational objectives. I am not ignoring them; I am rejecting them. That is a significant difference. It does not, however, mean that I am advocating division. It simply means taking ownership over educational decisions and pursuing excellence w/o fear. It really has nothing to w/anyone else at all. :confused: Did you think I was suggesting that these beliefs are meant to be divisive?

 

As I reread the OP, it is so encouraging that the entire thread seems to support the notion that, although the "what" (i.e which books, curriculum, etc.) is certainly relevant, the "how" is what is at the core.

 

...........

 

How much better off I am concentrating on HOW to discuss the true, the good and the beautiful, instead of worrying that I have the "wrong" book or curriculum. In fact, I have experienced so much confidence (and grace) simply by making the decision that this is what I want to do. I am even better off "doing" it and readjusting, learning as I go, instead of worrying about doing it wrong.

 

.................

 

This process is also so much more fulfilling. It feels like what I was made to do. I did not find homeschooling very fulfilling this past year- a year in which I selected curriculum (carefully) and wrote lesson plans and my children largely worked independently to complete it. Why was I doing this if I was not offering a part of myself in the process? Something was missing and this thread has been leading me to the answers.

 

 

Absolutely! I agree.

 

Working directly w/my kids goes to the heart of every homeschooling success we have had. (ok.....that isn't quite true. ;) I do need to stay out of the way of certain higher level math/sciences, but on the K8 board, I can affirm it as truth. :001_smile:)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart

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Connections and Others,

 

So, exactly what does the "how" look like for you? Exactly what do you plan to do with all the books in your bookcarts? Read them aloud or just get your children to read them? Will you read them first to develop discussion points? Will you read them aloud and stop your reading to ask questions? Will you wait for your children to see what is valuable, true or beautiful? In other words, how do you plan to make concrete the lovely ideas and inspiration?

 

Gosh, did I make it to the end? :D

 

The answer to the question depends on the *what* we are reading. I read aloud to my kids for hrs daily (everything from lit, to science, to history). If it is something I am firmly grounded it, we simply read. I do stop and interject myself in places.

 

(and so do my kids. I love it when they stop and point out something! For example, today we were reading the 5th canto of Marmion and dd realized at one pt that a convent mentioned was built by Duncan, Earl of Fife. During our Shakespeare study we discussed the double meaning of much of Macbeth and what the messages were. She about jumped out of her seat today when she made the connection between a historical Duncan being Catholic and King Duncan being murdered by Macbeth and the lines said by Macduff (who is the Thane of Fife in the play)

Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope

The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence

The life o' the building!

and its allusion to Catholics being forbidden to celebrate Mass and the Holy Eucharist.

 

For things I am unfamiliar with, I spend time doing "prelection" pre-studying so that I can bring context into our studies.

 

When I have tried to use pre-fab plans (which I have never been able to do!!) I become disconnected from the entire above process. So many opportunities lost! I NEED resources and guidance. But, I need to make sure that I am deeply involved in what we are doing. (and WE is one of the operative words here. )

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I'm not sure where you are going with this Eleanor. My reality is that my sphere of influence is very small. (...) Did you think I was suggesting that these beliefs are meant to be divisive?

Wow...ummm... no. I just wanted to thank you for posting the quotation.

 

The part after that was a series of thoughts that C. S. Lewis's words brought to mind. None of that was meant as a comment on anyone's personal life here.

 

I am really sad that you thought this, and hope we can continue to talk about ideas.

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Wow...ummm... no. I just wanted to thank you for posting the quotation.

 

The part after that was a series of thoughts that C. S. Lewis's words brought to mind. None of that was meant as a comment on anyone's personal life here.

 

I am really sad that you thought this, and hope we can continue to talk about ideas.

 

I have a 2 yr old all over me right now and probably didn't post my thoughts clearly. I didn't think I understood your post correctly, so I was really just asking for more clarity. I absolutely had NO negative thoughts at all, so I apologize if my post conveyed something to the contrary. ETA: And thank you for clarifying! :)

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I have a 2 yr old all over me right now and probably didn't post my thoughts clearly. I didn't think I understood your post correctly, so I was really just asking for more clarity. I absolutely had NO negative thoughts at all, so I apologize if my post conveyed something to the contrary. ETA: And thank you for clarifying! :)

Okay, phew. :)

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Ok, I considered myself fairly well-educated (well, self-educated) and wordly until this thread. I read the nerdiest books for fun and have taken soooooo many college courses. I was raised ON books. But I have to admit...I have no idea how to do all of this!

 

8FillTheHeart-where do you get the ideas and the background knowledge for these things. I mean an Inception focused unit and the double meanings of Macbeth....HOW??????

 

So can someone give me tips on how best to get myself ready to do this and to get the knowledge or ability to do cool stuff like this? We already talk a lot and go off on tangents about things like the Treaty of Versailles and it's influence on WWII or the politics behind Queen Elizabeth I's choices, etc. but I feel woefully stupid after this thread!

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Ok, I considered myself fairly well-educated (well, self-educated) and wordly until this thread. I read the nerdiest books for fun and have taken soooooo many college courses. I was raised ON books. But I have to admit...I have no idea how to do all of this!

 

8FillTheHeart-where do you get the ideas and the background knowledge for these things. I mean an Inception focused unit and the double meanings of Macbeth....HOW??????

 

So can someone give me tips on how best to get myself ready to do this and to get the knowledge or ability to do cool stuff like this? We already talk a lot and go off on tangents about things like the Treaty of Versailles and it's influence on WWII or the politics behind Queen Elizabeth I's choices, etc. but I feel woefully stupid after this thread!

 

Well, I can't take credit for either!! The Inception study idea I stole from Elegant Lion (Paula here on the boards!) She posted that she had thought about doing something on it and it was at the exact point where I was planning for our next quarter. I simply took her suggestion and started researching it. Via my researching Inception, Christopher Nolan mentions Plato's Allegory of the cave. Reasearching mythology and the labyrinth was an obvious connection for me and that is when I found out that Ariadne was actually associated w/the labyrinth. Then I simply started researching options based on illusion and created the rest of my list.

 

For the Shakespeare study, the Catholicism of Shakespeare is a commonly held view. Via Michael Wood and In Search of Shakespeare, Joseph Pearce and The Quest for Shakespeare, and the book Shadowplay, we were exposed to lots of historical data and interpretation (we spent 2 weeks just on history prior to reading the plays!) However, neither dd nor I ever made the connection she did before today (the quote, yes, that is definitely an allusion the banning of Mass and Holy Eucharist, but the Duncan being a real Scottish individual that was not only Catholic but the Earl of Fife (and that relation to King Duncan and Macduff) definitely not.

 

This is what I love about being so involved in my kids' education. Their making connections like dd did today is what inspires me.

 

FWIW, my motto for myself is "prelection" (meaning I spend hrs researching what I am going to teach, not curriculum options:lol:) and being very well resourced (I need to have the materials that will guide us where we are going.......before this Shakespeare study I didn't know any of this about Shakespeare!!)

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I spend hrs researching what I am going to teach, not curriculum options

 

 

(Just because it stood out as quote-worthy.)

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I think I should go call my Dad right now and thank him for all the C.S. Lewis he made me read as a teen...and also ask to borrow a few of those Lewis books again as I am loving all the quotes, but, unfortunately, am unable to remember ever reading them before. :glare:

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I tried an approach the other day with the kids that worked out alright.

 

We were having a study on art, jewelry to be specific about it. Our topic of the day was patience <--- as the core focus/thought. We started out with illustrations of instances in stories we knew, of famous Bible stories with patience as the focus, and spoke openly of the duty of the teaching to be about patience and it's qualities.

 

"Think ahead, don't rush."

 

"Can you think of a jewelers job and why they might need to be patient?"

 

"Can you think of any job where patience isn't needed?"

 

The kids were stumped on that one, but they sure came up with a lot of ideas of jobs where patience was needed.

 

--

 

Today, we spoke again, and they were the ones to bring the topic up.

 

"We still can't think of a job where you can rush and not be patient." So, they weren't talking about the "stuff" they were doing, but remembered that portion of the teaching. It *stuck* and *struck* a cord of understanding with them.

 

I thought that was pretty cool. :)

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FWIW, my motto for myself is "prelection" (meaning I spend hrs researching what I am going to teach, not curriculum options:lol:) and being very well resourced (I need to have the materials that will guide us where we are going.......before this Shakespeare study I didn't know any of this about Shakespeare!!)

 

Thank you for this thought, and all of you for this thread. I have been reading and marinating in lovely deep thoughts for several days now and finally feel I can put into words what I have been struggling with this school year. This was the first year that I relied on purchased curriculum over my own homemade offerings. We've accomplished quite a bit, but I do not feel that the kids have absorbed or retained as much as usual. Then there is my personal burn out.

 

I have always spent a lot of time planning, but this year instead of planning what material we will cover I've spent my time planning how to fit other people's plans into the framework of our family. I am worn out. I had planned a big change for next year in one area and, as I read this thread, the reason why I wanted the change, the reason why I am feeling a certain level of frustration, has crystallized for me.

 

We will keep several programs that are working and help me shore up an area where I am less confident. We will keep our 5 year spiral for Artist/Composer Studies, History, Science, Civics, and Health. We will not be keeping the things that have crept into our lives as sneaky time and joy thieves under the guise of importance or enrichment.

 

Thank you all for so much to ponder and also for some longed for validation.

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Gosh, did I make it to the end? :D

 

The answer to the question depends on the *what* we are reading. I read aloud to my kids for hrs daily (everything from lit, to science, to history). If it is something I am firmly grounded it, we simply read. I do stop and interject myself in places.

 

(and so do my kids. I love it when they stop and point out something! For example, today we were reading the 5th canto of Marmion and dd realized at one pt that a convent mentioned was built by Duncan, Earl of Fife. During our Shakespeare study we discussed the double meaning of much of Macbeth and what the messages were. She about jumped out of her seat today when she made the connection between a historical Duncan being Catholic and King Duncan being murdered by Macbeth and the lines said by Macduff (who is the Thane of Fife in the play)

 

Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope

 

The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence

 

The life o' the building!

and its allusion to Catholics being forbidden to celebrate Mass and the Holy Eucharist.

 

For things I am unfamiliar with, I spend time doing "prelection" pre-studying so that I can bring context into our studies.

 

When I have tried to use pre-fab plans (which I have never been able to do!!) I become disconnected from the entire above process. So many opportunities lost! I NEED resources and guidance. But, I need to make sure that I am deeply involved in what we are doing. (and WE is one of the operative words here. )

 

I wanted to tell you that the Ignatius Critical Editions of Macbeth the study guide are amazing (both edited by Joseph Pearce). I will be adding all of them (the Critical Editions) to my library, for certain. Pearce's other books will also be on my shelves soon. :001_smile: I don't think any of your insights would have been gleaned without reading his other books and listening to the podcasts.

 

The first half of the study guide is 'Bare Bones' just a quick overview of the high points of each act. Then there are essays written one by Pearce himself, and questions, but within the essays is no mention of the dual meaning of those lines, so the other books you mentioned would be needed to flesh out the study.

 

Justamouse,

 

Alright, so how will you take the discussions to a deeper level? What tools, questions, etc. will you use?

 

As far as teaching the kids

 

I think reading so much to them, and the discussions, is how I arc 'school' and the ages of my kids-each one is not doing something different (apart from subjects that are strictly grade level)-that is the way of a crazy mommy. Each one will take from it what they are able, the littles learn from the olders, and don't kid yourself, the littles come up with some amazing insights themselves. But when I read them Shakespeare, they are ALL sitting around. Each one eats what they are able to, but the feast is spread. The same happens when I read them fairy tales-they are much more rich and complex to the 12 yo, but the 6 year old is no slouch. She just has less of a mental library from which to draw.

 

I did purchase a bunch of the Great Books study guides, but for me, they are never all we do and I don't feel bound to them. I use them as a research tool, they'll be my first stop. But then I keep checking shelves, and the bookstores, and reading what else I'll add. So when I say I bought them, yes, I did, but they're not going to be a box for me to check.

 

As to how I will deepen the discussions, I'm not going to be so relativistic. :-) I think Andrew Kern's question of Should ___ have ____ is perfect for that. I was calling a spade a spade, but it was our own study of Macbeth that threw me down the rabbit hole of this thread. I think it was just last week that I posted on my blog that as I was reading literary essays on Macbeth to further our study, I eventually became furious with the shallow, relativistic arguments and had just had enough. There had to be a better way to do things. In my frustration of looking for that way, I found the Ignatius studies and Joseph Pearce's work. Had I wrapped myself the other way--had I decided to use Macbeth as the launch for history, I would have read Mr. Pearce's books FIRST, because I wouldn't have been reading Macbeth as a Shakespearean play within the Elizabethan era and pinning it that way, you see? That slight change of focus that makes all the difference.

Edited by justamouse

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When I have tried to use pre-fab plans (which I have never been able to do!!) I become disconnected from the entire above process. So many opportunities lost! I NEED resources and guidance. But, I need to make sure that I am deeply involved in what we are doing. (and WE is one of the operative words here. )

 

 

It is reassuring to hear both that you NEED resources and that you have never been able to use pre-fab plans. That is exactly where I fall. (I think I need to be reassured every time I hit a new milestone with my oldest.)

 

 

 

 

FWIW, my motto for myself is "prelection" (meaning I spend hrs researching what I am going to teach, not curriculum options:lol:) and being very well resourced (I need to have the materials that will guide us where we are going.......before this Shakespeare study I didn't know any of this about Shakespeare!!)

 

 

I think I need a reminder to research what I'm going to teach, not curriculum options. See above - I never follow the pre-fab currics anyways.:lol: (I do learn from them though.)

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As far as teaching the kids

 

I think reading so much to them, and the discussions, is how I arc 'school' and the ages of my kids-each one is not doing something different (apart from subjects that are strictly grade level)-that is the way of a crazy mommy. Each one will take from it what they are able, the littles learn from the olders, and don't kid yourself, the littles come up with some amazing insights themselves. But when I read them Shakespeare, they are ALL sitting around. Each one eats what they are able to, but the feast is spread. The same happens when I read them fairy tales-they are much more rich and complex to the 12 yo, but the 6 year old is no slouch. She just has less of a mental library from which to draw.

 

.

 

:iagree: I have always included all of my children in the reading of Shakespeare. My youngest has been listening to Shakespeare's plays since she was 6 and she understands alot of what is going on.

 

Since reading this thread, I have decided to teach my kids as a group in many different areas. We have started imitating sentences from our read alouds. This week it is Alice in the Wonderland. My youngest is doing very well at this. I had planned on doing a year long study on the Six Great Ideas with my oldest but we just didn't have time to get to it. I decided to do it now but as a group thing. There is no reason why my 9 yr. old can't benefit from this as well as the 12 yr. old. She may not get the same understanding as my oldest but the seeds will be planted. I am doing more group things in a relaxed manner, more emphasis on discussion and exploration. This just seems a more natural way to teach.

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I need to make sure that I am deeply involved in what we are doing. (and WE is one of the operative words here. )

 

Do you have any practical pointers on how you do this with multiple children?

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I thought I should explain the "wrap history around the lit" approach that I am describing. I believe that there are instances where lit should be lit and history should be history. But, there are times where understanding the context of the history sheds so much light on the lit that the connections to the lit are made through the history. It is the rabbit trail approach that takes you down paths that are meaningful to what you have encountered. But neither is meant to dominate or control the other, simply enhance. What I do not want to get back into is feeling an obligation to mesh the 2. Does that make sense?

 

For example, we just finished a Shakespeare study that has been one of the best lit studies we have ever done. Exploring the events of Elizabethan England and the context of Shakespeare's life brought levels of understanding to his works that I would never have connected w/o the history. (reading it simply literarily w/o that history removes the "play on words" (as dd titled her essay on this subject. :001_smile:)

 

 

So what you're saying is that sometimes it can be almost essential to study literature in it's historical context, but just not with everything? Is there a book that you can think of that it would be a clear bad idea to do this with? I know initially you were saying you learned to drop all the historical fiction so as to not crowd out the literature, but clearly you still use literature if it fits into the period you are studying. Am I understanding this correctly?

 

I'm actually thinking that Shakespeare is one where you wouldn't want to do this with all the time. I hope, or at least have the goal, to always be reading Shakespeare no matter what time period we're in. Right now we're just very slowly reading through Lambs' versions, but we're thoroughly enjoying it. I will probably post later about the most recent "play" we read and the amazing conversations it brought up.

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Just because

 

bookhug.jpg

 

Oh my goodness! I was just trying to convince dh this afternoon that books are friends!!!!!!! I must show him this!!!!!!

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So what you're saying is that sometimes it can be almost essential to study literature in it's historical context, but just not with everything? Is there a book that you can think of that it would be a clear bad idea to do this with? I know initially you were saying you learned to drop all the historical fiction so as to not crowd out the literature, but clearly you still use literature if it fits into the period you are studying. Am I understanding this correctly?

 

No. I don't think you are understanding me correctly. This yr has been one of its own ebb and flow. This yr dd is studying British and Canadian history. The Shakepeare study arose from Anne of Green Gables, not the British/Canadian history (b/c at the beginning of the yr we were in the late 1800s.) However, Anne quotes Shakespeare so much that we started incorporating the plays she was referencing. (It is pretty much impossible to ignore Cordelia. ;) ) Originally, we studied King Lear and Othello b/c of that. However, dd was enjoying Shakespeare so much that she wanted to study more plays. Ds was scheduled to study Shakespeare anyway (independent of dd), so I decided to have him join us and do a high school credit worthy study of Shakespeare. (In my opinion, there is a huge difference between what is 7th grade worthy and what is 10th grade worthy.)

 

FWIW, what she and I both got from the Lear/Othello study was significantly "less" than from Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing (the 2 we studied w/ds and the historical background). Context/perspective changed how we understood the plays. Not to mention, the connections it made for us b/c we are Catholic. (I had never learned anything about recusant Catholics in relation to Shakespeare before, so the allusions to Catholic beliefs were completely lost on me. Once I understood, goodness, there are many. ETA: For example, the lines in Othello, "Let her have your knees. Hail to thee lady! and the grace of heaven, Before, behind thee on every hand Enwheel the round!" Cassio's words understood w/in a Catholic context definitely brings up images of "Hail, full of grace!" and the rosary beads encircling the hand kneeling in prayer. In a historical context, one needs to place this scene w/in the understanding of Battle of Lepanto, Turks, and Our Lady of the Rosary. http://catholicradiodramas.com/articles/the-battle-of-lepanto-gilbert-k-chesterton/ All of that was missed by us when we originally studied Othello. But, knowing it and seeing the play now.....there is so much more meaning to Othello than originally encountered.)

 

Ds, otoh, he was in the middle of late Middle Ages/early Renaissance in history. So, whereas for dd the history we studied in conjunction w/the plays was history, for ds the history surrounding Shakespeare was actually his lit. Does that make any sense?

 

 

 

I'm actually thinking that Shakespeare is one where you wouldn't want to do this with all the time. I hope, or at least have the goal, to always be reading Shakespeare no matter what time period we're in. Right now we're just very slowly reading through Lambs' versions, but we're thoroughly enjoying it. I will probably post later about the most recent "play" we read and the amazing conversations it brought up.

 

:confused: I can't imagine needing to do it like that again b/c they already know the history now. And, again, what age are we discussing? Reading Lamb and Garfield and watching Shakespeare w/elementary age kids has completely different objectives than a high school level course.

 

As far as the question Is there a book that you can think of that it would be a clear bad idea to do this with? Obviously many (if not most), especially if you are discussing lit and young kids. Now, if you are discussing me and my prep in understanding the background of the author, etc......again, that is a different answer. Simply b/c I spend time putting lit in context of the author so that I have the information does not mean that I need to expect my children to have or need that same information. Yet, my possessing that knowledge may (or may not) help me discuss the story better.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart

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Do you have any practical pointers on how you do this with multiple children?

 

Everyone has to figure out what works for them. The older kids and I get up at 5 and try to get some one on one done before the toddler wakes up, etc. Every stage requires new strategies. Right now my toddler is in the "I need a nap b/c I am so miserable" but "if I take a nap I will be up until midnight" stage. It is making school, um, interesting. ;)

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8Fill-

 

Another question about how you successfully manage your school days...

 

If I am reading your posts correctly, you indicate that you often read aloud for hours a day, correct? Then, you indicate in another post that your DD and DS are studying different historical periods (and came together for the Shakespeare study). Do you tackle history together with them (by together I mean you with each individual child) through read alouds and discussion, or does each child read on their own and then come together with you? I know you are intimately involved with them, and I would love to know more about how your days unfold. Assuming, of course, that you do not mind providing such information!

 

Ironically, I find that our simplified plans are actually resulting in a "longer" school day and that the lines between school and "break" are more and more blurred. I love that! For example, when I have my DS chanting for "Literature over Lunch," and we continue reading aloud, is it break or is it school? Who cares, right?

 

So, although I do not want to pin you down on specifics, it is helpful to hear about your overall plans.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Depends on the age of the child and what they are doing. My 10th grader does it on his own. My 7th grader....it depends. We are currently watching Tudor/Stewart lectures together, but earlier in the yr she read books on Pere Marquette, Cartier, Queen Victoria, etc on her own. W/her it is more along the lines of does she need me or will it benefit her more if we do it together. My 4th grader I read to.

 

That said, I am thinking that what I am going to have my 10th grader do in 11th grade might be far more "me" involved. I have been looking through the Great Ideas Program and I am thinking that I might make this a joint study that we do together--to spur me on to actually do it. (I'm actually rejoicing that the weather is going to be bad and that dh is out of town b/c I am going to use it as an excuse to spend the day reading more about the program and see if something like this is feasible.)

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:iagree: I have always included all of my children in the reading of Shakespeare. My youngest has been listening to Shakespeare's plays since she was 6 and she understands alot of what is going on.

 

Since reading this thread, I have decided to teach my kids as a group in many different areas. We have started imitating sentences from our read alouds. This week it is Alice in the Wonderland. My youngest is doing very well at this. I had planned on doing a year long study on the Six Great Ideas with my oldest but we just didn't have time to get to it. I decided to do it now but as a group thing. There is no reason why my 9 yr. old can't benefit from this as well as the 12 yr. old. She may not get the same understanding as my oldest but the seeds will be planted. I am doing more group things in a relaxed manner, more emphasis on discussion and exploration. This just seems a more natural way to teach.

 

I have ALWAYS taught my kids together as a group other than Math and Language Arts. It just made sense to me.....and kept me from going insane. Sheeesh, I feel if I can learn something new from Frog & Toad (You can not scream at "Plants" to make them grow," then my kids can all learn from our Bible readings, Shakespeare, Plutarch, Greek mythology, or whatever we are reading. They might have different copywork, or dictation assignments, but a noun is still a noun and all sentences need to be punctuated correctly.

 

As my kids get older, they have more independent studies...but family school time is still required by all.

 

This year, in some hairbrained moment, I decided to do 2 separate and complete programs...GAH!!!!! That was definitely a recipe for burnout and disaster. DD wanted to do all the cool qrt projects that came with dss' program and dss wanted to listen in on all sister's read alouds...LOL!! It was CRAZY!!! and it set me back MONTHS in my recuperation and their schoolwork.

Total headbanging moment!!!! LOL. You would think after 17+ years of doing this I wouldn't fall into old traps...but some of these smarter ladies on these boards can be OH SO CONVINCING!!!!

 

So, our day to day has changed back to a more manageable lifestyle of learning....we are not working according to anyone else's timetable....and we may just have some time left over for Latin or French:D

 

Faithe

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Wow. My brain is in complete overload. .... I'll have to reread this. So, does this mean instead of spreading out authors (say the Chronicles of Narnia) that we should read them in a row? I get the feeling this is gold, but I can't quite grasp it. 8FillTheHeart - I'd love to hear more about your studies!

 

I read Narnia to EACH of my kids when they turn 6, so yes, I have read the entire series to my kids...7 TIMES over...with the olders listening in each time...excited for their younger sibling...and yes, with the younger there to absorb what they would. I have them read them again later on, on their own, asking questions, going over parables, writing responses to Edmund, the White Witch, Aslan, Lucy etc. We ask tons of should ~~~~~~have done ~~~~~ and what if ~~~~~ did ~~~~~ instead.

 

I am not 8, so sorry for butting in. These books are such an imprtant part of my children's childhood....and I catch them reading this series, along with Tolkein and L.I. Wilder, to each other repeatedly...discussing virtues and character traits etc.

 

We are a weird family:tongue_smilie:

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I have ALWAYS taught my kids together as a group other than Math and Language Arts. It just made sense to me.....and kept me from going insane. Sheeesh, I feel if I can learn something new from Frog & Toad (You can not scream at "Plants" to make them grow," then my kids can all learn from our Bible readings, Shakespeare, Plutarch, Greek mythology, or whatever we are reading. They might have different copywork, or dictation assignments, but a noun is still a noun and all sentences need to be punctuated correctly.

 

As my kids get older, they have more independent studies...but family school time is still required by all.

 

This year, in some hairbrained moment, I decided to do 2 separate and complete programs...GAH!!!!! That was definitely a recipe for burnout and disaster. DD wanted to do all the cool qrt projects that came with dss' program and dss wanted to listen in on all sister's read alouds...LOL!! It was CRAZY!!! and it set me back MONTHS in my recuperation and their schoolwork.

Total headbanging moment!!!! LOL. You would think after 17+ years of doing this I wouldn't fall into old traps...but some of these smarter ladies on these boards can be OH SO CONVINCING!!!!

 

So, our day to day has changed back to a more manageable lifestyle of learning....we are not working according to anyone else's timetable....and we may just have some time left over for Latin or French:D

 

Faithe

 

That has always been my approach as well. Everything except for Math, English, Latin and piano is done group style. They get a little critical thinking skill building and edu-tainment thrown at them on the days we school on the go, and DS#1 is going deeper with history independently. I can't imagine trying to plan out more independent programs than that and have been wondering what was going to happen as we are entering the logic years. It is very good to hear that the group model can work all the way through. (No really, I feel a little giddy right now that the wheel will not need re-inventing!)

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I think 8 and I and a few others were already having these moments-it was the realization of reading good/excellent books and leaning focus there. With me at least. I fell into it backwards, a huge Aha in the conversations with the kids.

 

We talk a lot in our house, and that's how I started realizing it. The kids were bringing these thoughts and ideas from the books into our daily chatting. So no, we don't stop and ask, we discuss things all the time. What I will do with more purpose is bring the discussions deeper. I'm not one for reading and then talking about it, this happens after they digest and ponder the stories. It didn't happen after the first book, or the second, it started happening after we had enough stories under the belt to draw comparisons. Then we were able to relate them to life.

 

I think learning becomes relational. A child is not going to share his innermost thought if he does not trust completely the person he is discussing those thoughts with. I want to be that person. I can not coerce a discussion. Those ALWAYS fall flat, but it is when I am seemingly focused on something else....washing dishes, digging in the garden, walking the dog...that our deepest discussions commence. An idea or thought will pop out of one of us, from that deep place and bursts into a conversation from which we BOTH grow, mature and relate.

 

The foundation of these conversations are stories...lots of stories....and a relationship that is not encumbered by judgementalism.

 

I WANT to have this relationship with my kids, so I work at it. A Lot. All the time. Their thoughts and ideas are important. it is not all ME TELLING THEM what to think or how to think, but going back to God's Word, discussing virtue, asking our own selves hard questions, saying I don't know, let me think about it...or what do you think...and what does God's Word say on this...or Let's FIND out.

 

Table time is a very small part of learning. We owe our children that part of the equation...skill work, so that the deeper learning CAN take place. We can not throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. An educated, thoughtful person has to have the skills to read, write, spell and compute. These foundational skills can be aquired by different methods. The trick is to NOT break off the relationship with your kids over these skill subjects. These are not the "beautiful" times...but work...HARD WORK for tutor AND learner.

 

I am digressing....this thread has my thoughts all in a jumble, and my extroverted dh is jumping on the bed, asking for my attention.:tongue_smilie:

 

~~Faithe

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Adding this. I asked my question about the "how" of all this because I don't have the time to do lots of research and plan. I need something simple and powerful to guide us through the stacks of books and ideas.

 

When Andrew speaks of asking should questions, that's just the beginning. From there, his approach takes you much further; i.e. defining the terms of the question, which usually includes the main actors, deciding on and ordering support for the should question, why the should question (an issue) matters and to whom it matters, etc. The rhetorical tools in LToW work with any issue from any source; i.e. the Bible, real life, history, children's books, good books, great books, and even weak books. There's nothing like working through the above process to show a child that characters are poorly developed or there isn't a strong message/point. Also, our work with LToW was collaborative because my child had a concrete way to develop her thoughts, and I could sit back and steer. The entire process was natural, unforced, and it was definitely relational (borrowing from Mommyfaithe).

 

LToW deserves a look or second look for those of you interested in his approach. There are teachers (home school and classroom) using children's books; i.e. Lang, The Secret Garden, etc. to teach LToW to groups; there teachers using the material to lead discussions; and others are teaching the first lesson to elementary-age children. It has a wide field of application.

Edited by 1Togo

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That has always been my approach as well. Everything except for Math, English, Latin and piano is done group style. They get a little critical thinking skill building and edu-tainment thrown at them on the days we school on the go, and DS#1 is going deeper with history independently. I can't imagine trying to plan out more independent programs than that and have been wondering what was going to happen as we are entering the logic years. It is very good to hear that the group model can work all the way through. (No really, I feel a little giddy right now that the wheel will not need re-inventing!)

 

The group model worked beautifully for us all the way through high school....and beyond. Learning becomes an environment and includes everyone in the house....and sometime the UPS guy or the cashier at the supermarket:D

 

Older kids will naturally research more if given good foundational skills. They will seek their own educations and lean towrd their bents as they mature if learning and seeking Truth, Beauty and Virtue become part of their fabric, of what they are made.

 

Enjoy those upper levels...this is where it all gets interesting

:D

Faithe

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I have ALWAYS taught my kids together as a group other than Math and Language Arts. It just made sense to me.....and kept me from going insane. Sheeesh, I feel if I can learn something new from Frog & Toad (You can not scream at "Plants" to make them grow," then my kids can all learn from our Bible readings, Shakespeare, Plutarch, Greek mythology, or whatever we are reading. They might have different copywork, or dictation assignments, but a noun is still a noun and all sentences need to be punctuated correctly.

 

As my kids get older, they have more independent studies...but family school time is still required by all.

 

This year, in some hairbrained moment, I decided to do 2 separate and complete programs...GAH!!!!! That was definitely a recipe for burnout and disaster. DD wanted to do all the cool qrt projects that came with dss' program and dss wanted to listen in on all sister's read alouds...LOL!! It was CRAZY!!! and it set me back MONTHS in my recuperation and their schoolwork.

Total headbanging moment!!!! LOL. You would think after 17+ years of doing this I wouldn't fall into old traps...but some of these smarter ladies on these boards can be OH SO CONVINCING!!!!

 

So, our day to day has changed back to a more manageable lifestyle of learning....we are not working according to anyone else's timetable....and we may just have some time left over for Latin or French:D

 

Faithe

 

 

Faithe,

 

Your post goes to the heart of something that has been bothering me. It is all about finding our own path and what works for us. It is also the pt that Connections was making in this post. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3745448#post3745448

 

 

 

 

I don't mind explaining what I do or how I do it. But, my answers are basically the equivalent of pre-fab plans (which for me, destroy my enthusiasm for homeschooling.) They are simply things that work for me.

 

The absolute beauty behind the Circe lectures is that there isn't "the" way. It is "a" vast open way. For people like Faithe, Justamouse, me and others that having been doing this for yrs, we have had our major stumbles, road blocks, whacks on the head. We already have plenty of experience about what doesn't work w'our families. :tongue_smilie: It is more fine-tuning what already does work.

 

And back to the entire idea of the "good books," I have only listened to 1/2 of Linda Fey's talk that Flux quoted, but her presentation on Eustace and reading all the wrong books is the summation of this entire thread. :001_smile: (and all the Lewis love is making me think maybe I need to stick w/my original plan for my 11th grader next yr and spend the yr on Lewis on Tolkien. Decisions!!!)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart

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Faithe,

 

Your post goes to the heart of something that has been bothering me. It is all about finding our own path and what works for us. It is also the pt that Connections was making in this post. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3745448#post3745448

 

 

 

 

I don't mind explaining what I do or how I do it. But, my answers are basically the equivalent of pre-fab plans (which for me, destroy my enthusiasm for homeschooling.) They are simply things that work for me.

 

The absolute beauty behind the Circe lectures is that there isn't "the" way. It is "a" vast open way. For people like Faithe, Justamouse, me and others that having been doing this for yrs, we have had our major stumbles, road blocks, whacks on the head. We already have plenty of experience about what doesn't work w'our families. :tongue_smilie: It is more fine-tuning what already does work.

 

And back to the entire idea of the "good books," I have only listened to 1/2 of Linda Fey's talk that Flux quoted, but her presentation on Eustace and reading all the wrong books is the summation of this entire thread. :001_smile: (and all the Lewis love is making me think maybe I need to stick w/my original plan for my 11th grader next yr and spend the yr on Lewis on Tolkien. Decisions!!!)

 

It doesn't get easier does it?? It just gets different.....and we start seeing a bigger and smaller picture all at the same time.

 

I learned early on that I like formulas and methods. They make sense to me. I like steps and rigidity....however, those things do not always work in the fuidity of raising kids. It is a heart venture that I sorely lack skills and training in...yet it is not futile...I hope...:D

 

Faithe

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Just because

 

 

 

Awesome!

 

Yet, my possessing that knowledge may (or may not) help me discuss the story better.

 

One of the things I learned as an author, was that 90 % of what you know doesn't make it into the book. BUT if you DON"T know it, your readers can tell-they can see that the pool is shallow and they won't trust you to take them on the trip. So I brought that aspect into homeschooling. All of that reading and research on my part -90% of it may not be used, but I will be a better teacher because I've done the work.

 

I think learning becomes relational. A child is not going to share his innermost thought if he does not trust completely the person he is discussing those thoughts with. I want to be that person. I can not coerce a discussion. Those ALWAYS fall flat, but it is when I am seemingly focused on something else....washing dishes, digging in the garden, walking the dog...that our deepest discussions commence. An idea or thought will pop out of one of us, from that deep place and bursts into a conversation from which we BOTH grow, mature and relate.

 

The foundation of these conversations are stories...lots of stories....and a relationship that is not encumbered by judgementalism.

 

I WANT to have this relationship with my kids, so I work at it. A Lot. All the time. Their thoughts and ideas are important. it is not all ME TELLING THEM what to think or how to think, but going back to God's Word, discussing virtue, asking our own selves hard questions, saying I don't know, let me think about it...or what do you think...and what does God's Word say on this...or Let's FIND out.

 

Table time is a very small part of learning. We owe our children that part of the equation...skill work, so that the deeper learning CAN take place. We can not throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. An educated, thoughtful person has to have the skills to read, write, spell and compute. These foundational skills can be aquired by different methods. The trick is to NOT break off the relationship with your kids over these skill subjects. These are not the "beautiful" times...but work...HARD WORK for tutor AND learner.

 

I am digressing....this thread has my thoughts all in a jumble, and my extroverted dh is jumping on the bed, asking for my attention.:tongue_smilie:

 

~~Faithe

 

All of that is so beautiful and perfect. :iagree:

 

Adding this. I asked my question about the "how" of all this because I don't have the time to do lots of research and plan. I need something simple and powerful to guide us through the stacks of books and ideas.

 

When Andrew speaks of asking should questions, that's just the beginning. From there, his approach takes you much further; i.e. defining the terms of the question, which usually includes the main actors, deciding on and ordering support for the should question, why the should question (an issue) matters and to whom it matters, etc. The rhetorical tools in LToW work with any issue from any source; i.e. the Bible, real life, history, children's books, good books, great books, and even weak books. There's nothing like working through the above process to show a child that characters are poorly developed or there isn't a strong message/point. Also, our work with LToW was collaborative because my child had a concrete way to develop her thoughts, and I could sit back and steer. The entire process was natural, unforced, and it was definitely relational (borrowing from Mommyfaithe).

 

LToW deserves a look or second look for those of you interested in his approach. There are teachers (home school and classroom) using children's books; i.e. Lang, The Secret Garden, etc. to teach LToW to groups; there teachers using the material to lead discussions; and others are teaching the first lesson to elementary-age children. It has a wide field of application.

 

I've yet to look into LToW, but it is something that I may take up int he next year or so. Right now we ahve what works for us, and my children's writing is amazing, so I'm not wanting to fix what ain't broken.

 

I am glad it works so well for you! :001_smile:

 

The group model worked beautifully for us all the way through high school....and beyond. Learning becomes an environment and includes everyone in the house....and sometime the UPS guy or the cashier at the supermarket:D

 

Older kids will naturally research more if given good foundational skills. They will seek their own educations and lean towrd their bents as they mature if learning and seeking Truth, Beauty and Virtue become part of their fabric, of what they are made.

 

Enjoy those upper levels...this is where it all gets interesting

:D

Faithe

 

I remember us standing on the line at Waluniverse and talking about protagonists and antagonists, who wants what, how they get it, subtext and conflict, and the person on the line in front of us was a teacher on her break (unbeknownst to me) -she jumped in, the cashier jumped it-it was an amazing experience. The teacher glowed. I'd like to think we were excellent diplomats of homeschooling that day.

 

Faithe,

 

Your post goes to the heart of something that has been bothering me. It is all about finding our own path and what works for us. It is also the pt that Connections was making in this post. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3745448#post3745448

 

 

 

 

I don't mind explaining what I do or how I do it. But, my answers are basically the equivalent of pre-fab plans (which for me, destroy my enthusiasm for homeschooling.) They are simply things that work for me.

 

The absolute beauty behind the Circe lectures is that there isn't "the" way. It is "a" vast open way. For people like Faithe, Justamouse, me and others that having been doing this for yrs, we have had our major stumbles, road blocks, whacks on the head. We already have plenty of experience about what doesn't work w'our families. :tongue_smilie: It is more fine-tuning what already does work.

 

And back to the entire idea of the "good books," I have only listened to 1/2 of Linda Fey's talk that Flux quoted, but her presentation on Eustace and reading all the wrong books is the summation of this entire thread. :001_smile: (and all the Lewis love is making me think maybe I need to stick w/my original plan for my 11th grader next yr and spend the yr on Lewis on Tolkien. Decisions!!!)

 

SO true. (I vote for Lewis and Tolkien)<---I had a big grin there but I maxxed out my smilies for this post.

 

It doesn't get easier does it?? It just gets different.....and we start seeing a bigger and smaller picture all at the same time.

 

I learned early on that I like formulas and methods. They make sense to me. I like steps and rigidity....however, those things do not always work in the fuidity of raising kids. It is a heart venture that I sorely lack skills and training in...yet it is not futile...I hope...:D

 

Faithe

 

I am SO a check box person. I like it all Just So. I like to control it all! Control All the Things! This mommy teacher thing has been for MY learning and sanctification, let me tell you. It has been a lot of dying to (self) the way I like things done, and learning to embrace the fluidity. It's not about me.

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So if you had kids 6th grade and down, would you pick Teaching the Classics or Lost Tools of Writing?

 

We have to pick???

 

J/K....I don't own either....sigh.....

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Snipped the following quote

I am SO a check box person. I like it all Just So. I like to control it all! Control All the Things! This mommy teacher thing has been for MY learning and sanctification, let me tell you. It has been a lot of dying to (self) the way I like things done, and learning to embrace the fluidity. It's not about me.

 

I am convinced that my desire to control our homeschool has led me to dread and disconnection.

 

Our homeschooling days have always been both beautiful and fruitful when I have planned a little and lived a lot! As my children get older, I add in self-education (because frankly, when they are little it is easy to stay ahead of them without a lot of extra time reading, studying, learning- but that does not last for long!) But, as you and others have said, that self-education cannot be a path back to control. Self-education allows me to offer more to my children. As my children offer their thoughts, feelings and ideas from a place of vulnerability, I must meet them at that place.

 

This method of education requires fluidity, doesn't it?

 

I am just so excited to be back on the right track.

 

The reasons I got off track were likely many but they centered around societal influence for measurable results and traditional modern methods, my desire to control the process and my desire for an easier way. Little did I know that the "easier way" I followed this past year would lead me to dread homeschooling and begin thinking about sending my DC to school. No longer were the, "We love to homeschool. It is a way of life for us." statements coming from my mouth.

 

Yea! To be back here is a very good thing. And just look at the company I am in!

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The group model worked beautifully for us all the way through high school....and beyond. Learning becomes an environment and includes everyone in the house....and sometime the UPS guy or the cashier at the supermarket:D

 

Older kids will naturally research more if given good foundational skills. They will seek their own educations and lean towrd their bents as they mature if learning and seeking Truth, Beauty and Virtue become part of their fabric, of what they are made.

 

Enjoy those upper levels...this is where it all gets interesting

:D

Faithe

 

 

I love the idea of maintaining a group learning setting for most subjects. I feel relief in thinking about it. But I am unsure how it plays out. Especially when a great span of ages is involved. I hope you don't mind helping me to understand.

 

Would certain Great Books for the high schooler not be appropriate for reading aloud to the elementary students due to more adult themes? Are these kept as independent reading? Or are you just more selective in reading material so that all ages can benefit and draw what they can from the books? Or is it a blend of both approaches, allowing for the older student to explore deeper, more mature Great Books yet all digging deep in others as a family?

 

Right now my oldest is largely independent and we have Discussion time each day to talk about the things she has learned and read. But I love the idea of having MORE time together... :001_wub:

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Just because

 

bookhug.jpg

 

That's now my facebook picture. Awesome. I love paper & books.

 

I read Narnia to EACH of my kids when they turn 6, so yes, I have read the entire series to my kids...7 TIMES over...with the olders listening in each time...excited for their younger sibling...and yes, with the younger there to absorb what they would. I have them read them again later on, on their own, asking questions, going over parables, writing responses to Edmund, the White Witch, Aslan, Lucy etc. We ask tons of should ~~~~~~have done ~~~~~ and what if ~~~~~ did ~~~~~ instead.

 

I am not 8, so sorry for butting in. These books are such an imprtant part of my children's childhood....and I catch them reading this series, along with Tolkein and L.I. Wilder, to each other repeatedly...discussing virtues and character traits etc.

 

We are a weird family:tongue_smilie:

 

What a lovely idea. So I have 2 months to read it to each of the older boys, before my 5yo turns 6 :tongue_smilie: I better get going. Even though we might read "The Hobbit" first. There are so many good books.

 

That has always been my approach as well. Everything except for Math, English, Latin and piano is done group style. They get a little critical thinking skill building and edu-tainment thrown at them on the days we school on the go, and DS#1 is going deeper with history independently. I can't imagine trying to plan out more independent programs than that and have been wondering what was going to happen as we are entering the logic years. It is very good to hear that the group model can work all the way through. (No really, I feel a little giddy right now that the wheel will not need re-inventing!)

 

I have ALWAYS taught my kids together as a group other than Math and Language Arts. It just made sense to me.....and kept me from going insane. Sheeesh, I feel if I can learn something new from Frog & Toad (You can not scream at "Plants" to make them grow," then my kids can all learn from our Bible readings, Shakespeare, Plutarch, Greek mythology, or whatever we are reading. They might have different copywork, or dictation assignments, but a noun is still a noun and all sentences need to be punctuated correctly.

 

As my kids get older, they have more independent studies...but family school time is still required by all.

 

I loved that part of Frog & Toad too. I didn't expect to laugh at a children's book!

 

I agree - I love having us together. Even though I admit I'm looking forward to being able to assign a few books, instead of reading them all aloud. I keep reading this thread and trying to figure out how to apply it to us, with our crazy schedule and still spending lots of time outside. Anyway, thank everyone that has shared. I just keep reminding myself I need to s-l-o-w down and not plan out the next 10 years. I have good books picked out for this year, and the "Should X have down Y?" has already helped a lot with discussion.

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Would one of you lovely ladies be willing to give "us" a simple list of things specifically to ask/suggest in our questions? I'm having such a hard time mentally pulling all the wonderful thoughts together right now (definitely a bad mental fog going for me at the moment) and it would be OOHHH so helpful. One of these days, I'm going to read some of these suggestions of books, too. I would love to move our homeschool this direction. I come from a very literary inspired family- my dad and I have always loved books. I want classics back into our homeschool so, so badly. But, really would like a few VERY CLEAR ideas to help me cement my thinking.

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Where did ___ go wrong?

 

(Not an expert but) I asked the kids that last night after reading Traveling to Tondo (a picture book). Then I had them explain why. They actually came up with 2 good answers, one I hadn't considered. I also posed it to DS8 after he read the story of Cain and Abel.

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Would one of you lovely ladies be willing to give "us" a simple list of things specifically to ask/suggest in our questions? (...) But, really would like a few VERY CLEAR ideas to help me cement my thinking.

I find we're getting somewhere with these questions (used sparingly, as the thought occurs to me -- not repeated over and over):

 

Did you think that X was going to do Y? Why?

 

Do you think that X is a [insert virtue or habit] person? Why?

 

This brings them back to the text, and develops their powers of observation and reasoning, which will hopefully carry over into their writing skills. At this stage (early elementary), I'm not even asking them the "why," just asking it to myself and suggesting possible answers.

 

"Do you think that Tom is a kind boy?"

 

"Yes."

 

"Yes, I think he is, too. We saw him be friendly to that child that the others were teasing."

 

And once I've been modeling this, they sometimes start jumping in with the "why" on their own. :)

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Snipped the following quote

 

I am convinced that my desire to control our homeschool has led me to dread and disconnection.

 

Our homeschooling days have always been both beautiful and fruitful when I have planned a little and lived a lot! As my children get older, I add in self-education (because frankly, when they are little it is easy to stay ahead of them without a lot of extra time reading, studying, learning- but that does not last for long!) But, as you and others have said, that self-education cannot be a path back to control. Self-education allows me to offer more to my children. As my children offer their thoughts, feelings and ideas from a place of vulnerability, I must meet them at that place.

 

This method of education requires fluidity, doesn't it?

 

I am just so excited to be back on the right track.

 

The reasons I got off track were likely many but they centered around societal influence for measurable results and traditional modern methods, my desire to control the process and my desire for an easier way. Little did I know that the "easier way" I followed this past year would lead me to dread homeschooling and begin thinking about sending my DC to school. No longer were the, "We love to homeschool. It is a way of life for us." statements coming from my mouth.

 

Yea! To be back here is a very good thing. And just look at the company I am in!

 

This experience is familiar to me. The bold is just something I thought quotable. :)

Edited by SCGS
I blame the iPad

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