Thursday, March 26, 2009

Annual Reading List, 2008/2009: Nathan

Fiction and Literature:
Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen (read aloud by Mama)
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë (August)
Silas Marner, by George Eliot
Inferno, by Dante (July)
Purgatorio, by Dante (September 23)
Paradisio, by Dante
The Antiquary, by Sir Walter Scott
The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis (September)
Eldest, by Christopher Paolini (August)
The Man Who was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton (August)
Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis (August)
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
1984, by George Orwell
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Song of Albion, by Stephen Lawhead
The Edge of Eternity, by Randy Alcorn
Taliesin, by Stephen Lawhead
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

More than Dates and Dead People, by Stephen Mansfield
Empire, Niall Ferguson
Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton
What's Wrong with the World, by G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Annual Reading List, 2008/2009: Eliza

Literature (read by herself):
Mouse Soup, by Arnold Lobel
Serving in the Shadow of Death, by Laura Blakey
Bright Night, by Nancy Wilson
The Chick and the Duckling, translated from the Russian of V. Suteyev by Mirra Ginsburg (10/8/08)
The Little Bear Treasury, by Else Holmelund Minarik (including Little Bear's Visit, Little Bear, and Little Bear's Friend

Literature (read to her):
Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen (read by Mama)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis (read by Judith, finished 28 Sept.)
Grimms' Fairy Tales, by the Brothers Grimm (read by Joel)
Prince Caspian, by C.S. Lewis (read by Judith)
The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster (read by Jared)

A Child's History of the World, by V.M. Hillyer (read by Mama)

Jack's Insects, by Edmund Selous (read by Mama)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rhetoric, Logic, Grammar Update

It took us a week and a half to parse and diagram our way through Portia's courtroom monologue from The Merchant of Venice, but we made it.  

Then we shifted to looking at the flow of argument in the speech.  I pulled in the basic list of topics from Andrew Kern's Lost Tools of Writing.  We also found a couple more figures of speech: simile and metonymy.  

The younger kids have been working on copywork while the older are beginning a writing assignment.  They have to come up with a conflict (from a book or film) and step into the shoes of one of the characters and write a speech, letter, or persuasive essay based on the passage we've been studying.  Nathan chose a situation from a book he's writing.  Judith chose Cars, the conflict between Lightning McQueen's self-centered desire for fame and Sally's desire for him to help her save the community of Radiator Springs.  Benjamin got a bit stuck, so I chose The Patriot for him, the conflict between Lord Cornwallis's desire to defend civilization from the rebels against the king's authority and Tavington's desire for personal advancement by any means available.  

These may not seem like conflicts of opposites, but that's part of how Portia approached Shylock's request for 'justice' (which was really personal vengeance dressed up pretty).  She placed mercy over against justice and showed how mercy really is the greater virtue.  

The little ones still seem to be listening in and paying attention.  This morning, as they worked on copywork, they continually asked questions about what the older kids and I discussed as we looked at the topic questions in LT.  I'm amazed at the depth of the questions I'm getting from my 10, 9, and 7 year olds.