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Am I Crazy? 6th Grade English

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Languages in general are not my subject. On the foreign language front, we have found a couple publishers that really work well and I am sort of blindly trusting that they are not total quacks.  So far, they appear not to be.  However, I still do not have a publisher/company that I'm really sold on for English.  As such, every year it is a bit up in the air for what we will do next year.  My inner planning freak doesn't like this.  I know enough to realize that it works very well to have a general theme to the school year and a specific goal we are trying to accomplish.  From there, I can normally make it work pretty well. This year was literary analysis essays and reading of classic short stories.


Today I stumbled upon this really gorgeous chart linking up a bunch the YA book retellings of fairy tales, mythology, Shakespeare and Classics.  The chart is free by the way!


Would it be insane to have this be the focus of our English and Literature next year?  We would read the retellings and the originals, then focus on the Compare/Contrast essay.  It could build off of the literary analysis stuff we did this year by showing how each author took the same basic idea or plot and turned into their own voice.


There are a few classics that we would skip because Ds is not there yet.  He has no care about Gatsby, Austen, or the Bronte Sisters.  Those we can just save to another time in the future.  But the mythology, fairy tales, Shakespeare, and many of the Classics he knows the central plot for already.  We have read a few of the originals as read alouds when he was younger, but would do a much more comprehensive study.


So is this totally crazy?  Feel free to let the criticism fly if I am going to totally melt my son's brain with this level of drivel and it only seems like a fun idea to me, but not in reality.  Or if it is Disney-ifying school too much with fluffy fun and not enough academics.


ETA: I realize I need to pre-read a lot of the YA so that we are not bombarded with soft core Vampire pOrn.

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  • 4 months later...



I was wondering if you decided to do this for 2015-16! I think I am going to work out a similar study for my dd12, using this book as a jumping off point in combination with the chart you linked. I can add in movie versions, etc., and I think she would really enjoy it!


Yep!  We are going for it.  I'm currently getting all the Great Courses lined up and figuring out which books our library has on hand.  Ds is excited as he feels like the year is going to be a lot of fun and not just reading.  I'll come back this evening with more specifics.

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Yep! We are going for it. I'm currently getting all the Great Courses lined up and figuring out which books our library has on hand. Ds is excited as he feels like the year is going to be a lot of fun and not just reading. I'll come back this evening with more specifics.

Please do; it sounds fascinating to me!
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Here's the really down and dirty plan for next year.  Ds is really excited, so he wants to do Mythology and Fairy Tales over the summer.  No biggie there.  Summer is perfect for lots of Disney!  I do not have all the Fairy Tales worked out, but here is the mythology.


Mythology (Summer)
Greek Mythology
Using Bulfinch for the initial readings.  He knows most all of these already since he is a bit of a Greek Mythology freak.
          Helen of Troy

Starcrossed Trilogy by Josephine Angelini (I am prereading to check on this series)

 Cupid and Psyche


Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Egyptian Mythology 
Using Plutarch's Osiris and Isis and Herodotus' Book of the Dead as the initial reading.  Both were read as part of Ancients this year.

The Chaos of the Stars by Kiersten White
Possibly the Kane Chronicles though he have not shown much interest yet.
Norse Mythology
Using The D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths and The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland for initial readings.
          Stork Trilogy by Wendy DelSol (I am prereading this series too)

During the school year, we are going to spend from September till January doing various classics:


Robin Hood - Read Howard Pyle Version
Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen
Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
 - Watch Robin Hood Men in Tights and Disney's Robin Hood
Frankenstein - AudioBook Original
Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron
This Dark Endeavor: Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel
Great Gatsby - Read Original
Jake Reinvented by Gordon Korman
Great by Sara Benincasa
 - Watch the Leonardo DiCaprio movie
Epic of Gilgamesh - (Previously Read)
Gil Marsh by A.C.E Bauer
Old Man and the Sea - (Previously Read)
Young Man and the Sea by Rodman Philbrick
From January through June we are going to do Shakespeare.  I plan to have us Audiobook the plays for now, as Ds will more than likely read them all in high school later.
Macbeth - AudioBook Original
Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Clooney
Watch parody movie: Scotland P.A. & the Patrick Steward WWII version
Twelfth Night - AudioBook Original
Fool's Girl by Celia Rees
MidSummer's Night - AudioBook Original
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Possibly read A MidSummer Tights Dream as I love everything by Louise Rennison.  I do not know if Ds will like it (as middle school and early high school have not completely hit yet, so it might not be as funny to him) but I am definitely going to read it.
Hamlet - AudioBook Original
Ophelia by Lisa Klein
Romeo & Juliet - AudioBook Original

Street Love by Walter Dean Meyers (hopefully he will like it.  It is written in iambic pentameter with modern language discussing love in Harlem)

Star Crossed by Mark Schrieber (if he hates Street Love)


Movies for Shakespeare have not been figured out much since there are just so many.  That gets to be my next job!  I'll come back and update more as I figure it out.

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