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cintinative

CLRC great books work load/reasons I should not consider

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I have been tossing around putting together a lit class with a writing class and  a history class at home and decided to take a look at this again. We do need writing, and compared to the TPS class I was considering, the book list is less (if you can believe that).

I just need some input--about how much reading is there per day/per week? about how much work total?

What would be some good reasons to avoid this class (note: we don't have the need for a secular course)?

 

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My dd is in the class and it takes her about 5 hours a week, which is about as long as I believe Sue Ellen expects it to take. I think if your child has done a lot of reading over the years and isn’t new to writing, and isn’t especially young for the class, 5 hours is on target. My dd did spend extra time when she first started the class getting acclimated to the writing requirements, which are fairly heavy. The teacher is scaling back a little on the writing requirements in my dd’s class due to some students feeling the workload is too heavy. Some students are happy about that and others are not, but anyone who wants to keep up with the current amount of writing can still continue to.

Look at the books and see if they are ones you think your student will enjoy. My dd’s classmates are very active and engaged in the class and most seem to really enjoy the material, but some of that will depend on the luck of the draw, of course. I can honestly say this has been the best and most worthwhile class my dd has taken in all her years of homeschooling. Sue Ellen invests a tremendous amount into offering something really special, IMO. She has also been absolutely wonderful about writing college recommendations for my dd. She has written a number of them and has done them very promptly after my dd has asked, which is a huge blessing to us with all the other stress that goes on with college applications.

 

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The writing doesn’t take my DS a long time at all but that’s one of his strengths. The reading takes a lot of time not least bc it can be often quite dense, and therefore it needs spread out over several days. I’m a huge fan of the CLRC great books classes and have thoroughly reviewed them in other threads. 

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Avoid this class if your student hasn’t steadily built up the ability to read challenging classics quickly and with good understanding. Avoid this class if your student isn’t a quick and a reasonably good writer. Avoid this class if your student wouldn’t enjoy the requirement to think critically and support her assertions with examples from the texts in discussion and in writing.

Otherwise, take this class! My DD couldn’t continue with the classes due to a schedule conflict. Instead, she jumped right into AP Lang as a 10th grader and is doing very well. It was reading/writing boot camp, and I’m thrilled we had the opportunity to take it.

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2 hours ago, fourisenough said:

Avoid this class if your student hasn’t steadily built up the ability to read challenging classics quickly and with good understanding. Avoid this class if your student isn’t a quick and a reasonably good writer. Avoid this class if your student wouldn’t enjoy the requirement to think critically and support her assertions with examples from the texts in discussion and in writing.

 

I think this might help sway me. My oldest can read classics fairly quickly. My youngest is pokey, and struggles with understanding. Both are not quick writers.  My oldest is really developing as a writer but he is pokey.  My youngest is even more so and lacks confidence. Both are learning a lot this year but neither are good at writing a lot quickly. 

I love the idea of this class but maybe I just don't have the kids for it. 

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1 minute ago, cintinative said:

 

I think this might help sway me. My oldest can read classics fairly quickly. My youngest is pokey, and struggles with understanding. Both are not quick writers.  My oldest is really developing as a writer but he is pokey.  My youngest is even more so and lacks confidence. Both are learning a lot this year but neither are good at writing a lot quickly. 

I love the idea of this class but maybe I just don't have the kids for it. 

Although, the possibility exists that your oldest would rise to the challenge and would increase his writing speed. I find that with each passing year, my kids are far more capable than I expected/gave credit for. Maybe not, but just wanted to put that out there. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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1 hour ago, fourisenough said:

Although, the possibility exists that your oldest would rise to the challenge and would increase his writing speed. I find that with each passing year, my kids are far more capable than I expected/gave credit for. Maybe not, but just wanted to put that out there. Good luck with whatever you decide.

 

You are right of course but I am scared to experiment with a kid when it counts for a college transcript. 

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And I want to say that this class would have taken my ds a ton of time had I put him in it in 9th grade. He could have done it and it would have been good for him, but I would have had to really pare down his schedule and I probably would have had to help him, especially with the writing. Keep in mind this class is worth at least a full literature credit AND a history credit. Sue Ellen also says you can give a composition credit. 
 

Instead, he took an Omnibus class in 9th that included heavy reading but MUCH less writing than the GB class and then in 11th and 12th took a Literature class that had him doing tons of reading (that was easy for him after a couple of years of the Omni class) and tons of writing that he was much more ready to do at that point. He always struggled horribly with writing when he was younger and now he’s in college and easily cranking out really good papers. It amazes me. 

And my dd who loves GB, took AP English in 9th and loved the class BUT spent an absolutely crazy ridiculous amount of time on the class. Very stressful because she had way too many hours of schoolwork that year. That was a big mistake on my part.

I see your boys are taking TPS classes and I know those are very good sound preparation as well.
 

 

Edited by Mom0012

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1 hour ago, cintinative said:

 

You are right of course but I am scared to experiment with a kid when it counts for a college transcript. 

This is not a reason to avoid it IMO. I would avoid it if you think it will be too much for your kids, but I really wouldn’t miss it because of fear of a grade on the college transcript. (My thought as the Mom of one in college and one applying to college right now. I would have had the same fears as you when my kids were younger too, but I can now see how unfounded they were.)

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10 hours ago, Mom0012 said:

 

Instead, he took an Omnibus class in 9th that included heavy reading but MUCH less writing than the GB class and then in 11th and 12th took a Literature class that had him doing tons of reading (that was easy for him after a couple of years of the Omni class) and tons of writing that he was much more ready to do at that point. He always struggled horribly with writing when he was younger and now he’s in college and easily cranking out really good papers. It amazes me. 

 

Where did he do Ominbus? Veritas or WHA or self-paced?  We did GC1 at WHA last year (for my oldest) but I really felt like he needed writing from someone other than me. Also he was missing a lot of the broader themes, etc. due to his age and maturity. He could read the books, but not necessarily enjoy them.

I was hoping to put my oldest in TPS' Medieval/Renn/Reformation history/lit and comp next year but when I emailed for a list of the books read in full versus excepts it was really surprising how much they were reading (just for the lit side).  I have another thread on here about that though.  😃

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41 minutes ago, cintinative said:

 

Where did he do Ominbus? Veritas or WHA or self-paced?  We did GC1 at WHA last year (for my oldest) but I really felt like he needed writing from someone other than me. Also he was missing a lot of the broader themes, etc. due to his age and maturity. He could read the books, but not necessarily enjoy them.

I was hoping to put my oldest in TPS' Medieval/Renn/Reformation history/lit and comp next year but when I emailed for a list of the books read in full versus excepts it was really surprising how much they were reading (just for the lit side).  I have another thread on here about that though.  😃

It was a local class. There were two or three papers a year. I’ll post the reading list for the years he did below.

It’s okay if he is missing some of the broader themes,. I’m betting most students do. The idea is to prepare them to be able to read and analyze on a high level, but it is a process. I’m not going to say my kids have enjoyed everything they’ve read in these classes, but they have always been fortunate to have some other engaged students in the class with them, which really helps, I think.

I think focusing on raising those reading levels is the most important thing I did for my ds. He had a pretty average looking transcript in that he didn’t take any AP or DE classes or have any awards other than for Eagle Scout and his volunteer work, We stuck mostly with the basics and he met the normal requirements for a high school diploma. He really stands out in this area in college now and he stood out at another local coop in 11th and 12th because he has strong reading, writing and math skills. Many of the other students he’s got in his classes have struggled because they have not been challenged to read difficult material. It’s been a major confidence booster for him. My ds has really struggled with things when compared to my dd, and he does have some lds, but he really shines now because of all the work he did in high school.

As far as writing goes, I always preferred an outside writing class as well. I found it really tough to work with my kids on that. My ds took IEW classes locally through middle school and then we floundered a bit. The type of writing he did in 11th and 12th was similar to what Sue Ellen encourages in answering the discussion questions. It involves making a claim, supporting it with an example from the reading (a quote) and then explaining/analyzing, This is an important and great skill to develop but it takes time. It is the key to writing papers with substance and goes beyond just focusing on style and structure. It’s about making strong arguments.

I’m not sure any of this is helpful to you because every kid is different, but this is my experience with my ds, who I thought would always be hindered by his lds and never able to write papers in college. It doesn’t sound like that is the case for your boys at all. I’m just trying to illustrate how really focusing and putting time into the basics helped him. He was accepted at every college he applied to — GMU, CNU, UMW, etc. Mostly state schools, nothing super selective, but all good solid schools. He wound up with a 29 ACT score, but his reading score was a 34 or 35.

Here’s the reading list. It’s probably got fewer books each year than some of the online classes.

Omnibus I:  Ancient Cultures 
Required summer reading: George Orwell’s Animal Farm
Unit I: George Orwell’s Animal Farm -- the power of language & introduction to the Paideia discussion method
Unit II:  Homer’s The Iliad & Odyssey -- the oral tradition, story structure, heroic themes
Unit III:  Herodotus & Thucydides (selected readings) -- transition to the written tradition, the beginnings of the study of history 
Unit IV:  Plutarch, Livy & Suetonius (selected readings) -- moral biographies, comparisons, studies of character 
Unit V:  Vergil’s Aeneid -- creating a composite history; the written epic, the secondary epic 

Omnibus II:  Medieval and Renaissance 

Required summer reading:  Famous Men of the Middle Ages
Unit I: Introduction to the Paidaea method, Medieval drama -- Everyman -- a medieval morality play
Unit II: Bulfinch’s Age of Charlemagne -- the Song of Roland -- introduction to the Middle Ages:  the rise of education, culture 
Unit III:  Beowulf (Trans. Seamus Heaney) -- Anglo-Saxon England, Old English, the heroic epic continued, the Dark Ages   transition from pagan to Christian culture 
Unit IV:  Bulfinch’s Age of Chivalry, (the Arthurian Legends) -- the heroic quest, the Crusades, Saxon England continued,   Norman England, Chretien de Troyes
Unit V:  Dante’s Divine Comedy -- feudal Italy, the beginnings of the Renaissance, classical allusions, courtly love continued
Unit VI:  Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (selected readings) -- the triumph of Middle English, the tumultuous 14th century, William  Caxton brings the printing press in England, the pilgrimage, the romance, classical allusions, Medieval drama
Unit VII:  Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet -- early Modern English, blank verse, iambic pentameter, rhymed couplets, Pyramus  and Thisbe, Elizabethan drama

 

 

 

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@mom0012  Thank you. I only wish that there was something like that locally. You aren't near Cincinnati are you?  😃  It looks like even the WHA list is longer than what you covered.  I do think there were some very engaged, enthusiastic kids in that class. They really enjoyed the material and it showed.

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