|Posted on June 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM||comments (0)|
Today I am most grateful for my youngest's Charlotte Mason education. Here is a little example of why. Yesterday she was reading The Wanderings of Odyssseus in preparation for her literature class at a fellow CMer's house. She got to page 40, stopped reading and asked me to join her. She then asked if she could (verbally) narrate the story back to me...so that she wouldn't forget it by the time she got to class. I hear she did excellent in the class discussion and provided some valuable insights about the story.
It just made my little heart all warm and fuzzy knowing that she is taking what she has learned via her at-home CM education and applying it to other settings and purposes. I think Ms. Mason would be quite pleased by this. I know that I am quite happy that my daughter has found a way of addressing her memory/recall issues that makes sense and works for her. Yay Kody Girl! I must admit that I never once thought of using narration to help her with this aspect of dyslexia. The more I see how CM style narration has impacted my kids the more I think it should be the core of any education, regardless of philosophy or style.
|Posted on December 31, 2010 at 11:52 PM||comments (1)|
I came across this reading list and thought it would make a good list for either personal or group reading. Unlike many great book lists this one seems manageable. Since it matches up fairly well with my kids' history/literature cycle I think I'm going to try to do Year 1 this coming year. Story of Art and Gilgamesh were already on our list for this year so that's two down. One of the girls has been wanting to do Lewis Carroll as an author study so that's three. Piece of cake, right?
|Posted on September 29, 2010 at 12:00 PM||comments (0)|
An interesting, thought provoking, blog article for banned books week.
I confess that both books mentioned are/have been on our reading lists (most banned books are). For our family, the solution is to be widely read with plenty of informal discussion about historical context and biases in books. Author studies really help with this since you learn about the society/context within which the author is writing their stories. I think the problem comes in when you read only the biased books and nothing to counterbalance them. This is one reason I include plenty of modern literature with our (more typical CM) classic readings. We sometimes read both the original and the revised versions and discuss the reasons for the changes. For every biased book you can usually find another book to counterbalance it. I rarely cut or ban my kids from reading biased books but I often add books to balance out their readings. As I've mentioned in past writings, when my daughter was interested in Little House and the Prairie (mentioned in this article's comments) we also read the Birchbark House books as a way of balancing the racial biases.
Would love to hear your thoughts on the topic!
|Posted on May 5, 2010 at 12:26 PM||comments (1)|
Here is my personal bias on Shakespeare. This is my write-up from the Shakespeare portion of the recent PDX Charlotte Mason Support Group meeting. I will, eventually, update the website's Shakespeare page to include these resources along with some others but thought you all would appreciate getting the nutshell version now.
We discussed the best way to enhance our children's enjoyment of Shakespeare. I think we all agreed that:
1. Shakespeare is meant to be experienced/seen and not read. Read the actual
unabridged plays only if your child wants to.
2. It was a 50/50 toss up as to whether we need to read a brief version of the
play prior to seeing it. My kids really seem to need to "prepare" before seeing
the plays but not all kids seem to have this need. Some kids have gone to see
the plays cold and enjoyed them immensely.
3. Most definitely take your children to see a live production! This is what
makes Shakespeare fun! Shakespeare in the Park and the Shoebox Theater in
Portland were both mentioned.
4. Someone recommended taking children to see other productions while they are
young (the children's puppet theater was mentioned) so that they will be use to
live performances prior to experiencing Shakespeare.
5. Start with the comedies in the young years slowly working your way up to the
tragedies in high school. The families who have Shakespeare fans seem to have
all started with A Midsummer Nights Dream as their children's first experience
Here are my favorite resources, you will notice that the two books most
recommended on CM lists are not on my list (the version by Charles & Mary Lamb
and the one by E. Nesbit). This is because I think those versions are too skimpy
and don't fully convey the feel of each play. I use them only when my other
resources fail me (which has happened for a couple of plays).
Shakespeare Stories by Leon Garfield. My kids love this set of two books, even
my child who is not a Shakespeare fan will listen to this version.
King of Shadows by Susan Cooper is historical fiction related to A Midsummer
Night's Dream. Another fictional Shakespeare book is Shakespeare Stealer or
something like that. We have not read that one yet. My kids recommend Terry
Deary's Shakespeare Stories which is similar in format to his Horrible Histories
The National Endowment for the Arts has a free resource for teachers called
Shakespeare in American Communities. I love the timeline that is included. The DVDs will be too dry for some kids. This is worth getting, esp. as it is free. I no longer have the link so you'll have to google it.
There seem to be a plethora of Shakespeare biographies. I happen to use
Shakespeare: The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson and Young Shakespeare by
Russell Fraser; mostly because I found them at a decent price. Both seem to be
for young adults.
My son recommends the Folgers Shakespeare Library editions of all the plays. It
is the version his class uses. We've looked at others but he prefers these
because they include explanations of every stanza. He says he'd be lost without
Standard Deviants Shakespeare Tragedies. My son likes the SD goofiness. We use
them for multiple subjects.
Isaac Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare. I use this only as a reference when we want
to clarify something from one of the plays. Of course, it helps that my son
Shakespeare in the Movies by Douglas Brode. My son and I watch a fair amount of
Shakespeare and wanted to expand his horizons beyond the versions that have most
recently been made. This includes references to some obscure versions that my
old movie loving friend assures me are great.
|Posted on May 4, 2010 at 8:51 PM||comments (0)|
Since I often do our poetry as poet studies or within our mini-unit studies I do not use general poetry anthologies but I understand why so many find them to be a valuable resource. Since I do not have any recommendations of my own I am wondering if our site and Facebook members could post their favorite (general topic) poetry anthologies. Just to be clear an anthology is a collection of poems by a variety of poets.
|Posted on May 4, 2010 at 5:50 PM||comments (3)|
This idea is courtesy of my son.
At some point in the last year I handed him a couple of lists of Great Books that I had been given. I told him for his free reading he really should chose some books from these lists along with his usual reading faire. He was amendable but when he saw the lists he drew a complete blank. At first I couldn't understand his blankness. Then, just as I began to realize what the problem was he started to explain that the lists alone were meaningless to him. While he had heard of some of those books/ authors there were just too many that he knew nothing about. How was he suppose to tell which ones were most likely to be interesting? Yes, a list with just the book titles and author's names is rather meaningless since the students do not have an adult's experience with such lists. Luckily, the Dover literature and humanities catalog came that very day. My sonwas looking through the catalog when he had a brilliant idea. Since the catalog include pictures and/or brief descriptions of many of the same books he would just choose his free reading from the catalog rather than the lists. Brilliant! You could do this with many other catalogs or bookstore fliers as long as the books they feature are of the quality you want your child reading.
Yep, seeing those lists today and then getting the Dover Spring Sale email reminder reminded me of this idea from earlier in the year.