Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Morning Time

We've been pretty consistent with Morning Time this year, and we're all really enjoying it and learning a lot!  We spend a few hours each day reading from several different books, parsing and diagramming a sentence, working a little on French, practicing reading aloud, scanning poetry, memorizing Scripture and poetry, and talking about everything!

Here's the list of what we're doing:

Scripture: We try to read the text of next Sunday's message; right now our pastor is slowly teaching through the Beatitudes, so we read and are memorizing them.

Grammar: We parse (according to Shurley Grammar and K.I.S.S. Grammar) and diagram one sentence each day.  We finished working through the Beatitudes yesterday, so this morning, I pulled a sentence out of Cranford, which the older kids are reading for humanities.

Psalm: We listen to one Psalm each day from the ESV Bible website (they have high quality recordings of every verse in the Bible), then we read the same psalm from The Sidney Psalter.  Finally, we sing it from our metrical psalter or from our plainchant psalter.

R. reads aloud.

Poetry memorization: We finished 'Charge of the Light Brigade' today and will start 'Five Kernals of Corn' tomorrow in honor of Thanksgiving.  In December, we hope to learn Isaac Watts' 'A Cradle Hymn' and the classic ''Twas the Night Before Christmas'.  I set up a project in the Index Card app in my iPad so that we continue to review what we've already memorized.  It's set up according to Charlotte Mason's method of organizing memory work.

J. reads aloud.

Literature: We're currently reading Sir Walter Scott's The Antiquary.  We stop a couple times each day, and someone narrates so I can be sure that the younger ones are following the story.  The next book won't have so much Scottish brogue - it's a killer!

Poetry: Using some of the tips and techniques in the 1952 book, Practice: A Pool of Teaching Tips, we do something to learn about poetry each day.  This week, we've been scanning 'Charge of the Light Brigade' and learning about dactyls and spondées.  Cool stuff!

Poetry: We read one poem each day by a poet in our time period; this year, it's Modernity.  We started with Sir Walter Raleigh and are currently working on William Cowper.  We'll move onto the Romantics when we've read some Cowper.  I wanted to start before the Romantics so the kids could have something for contrast.

Science: Benjamin reads aloud from Jack's Insects.  We often look up the insects discussed.

French: We're working through Ernest et Célestine, a French children's book about a bear and his adopted mouse daughter.  We look at, translate, and discuss one sentence per day.  I wasn't sure if this would be enough (and I'm still not sure, but time is at a premium), but today the kids read the sentence all by themselves, understanding that is was a second person formal inperative and recognizing most of the vocabulary.  There were able to understand it without much help from me.  Score!

Historical Christianity: We finished memorizing the Apostles' Creed today.  Tomorrow we'll start on either the Nicene Creed or the one I remember reciting each week in church as I grew up (I can't remember the name).

Faërie: We started by reading George McDonald's The Light Princess and now are reading through Solomon Kane.  I'm not sure where we're going after this, but I'm considering the Grimm Brothers, Pereault, Hans Christian Anderson, or Andrew Lang.  Suggestions?

Theology: Grace: God's Unmerited Favor by Charles Spurgeon

Memory work: This is when I pull out Index Card and we review whatever is on tap for that day, depending on the date and the day of the week.

Economics and Gov't: How an Economy Grows, and Why it Fails by Peter Schiff

Rhetoric: We work through a small section of Writing with Clarity and Style.  So far, we've learned parallelism, antimetabole, asyndeton and polysyndeton, how to emphasize parts of a sentence, and a few other schemes.  Because we take so long to work through each trope and scheme, we have lots of time to find examples in daily conversation, other reading, and even in some movies that we watch.

History: Empire by Niall Ferguson

At this point (except on Thursdays, see below), the older kids are dismissed and I continue on with the two younger girls.

Etiquette: Everyday Graces, edited by Karen Santorum (I skip her glosses and just read the literary exerpts and poetry).  On Thursdays, I read a short chapter from Tolkien's Ordinary Graces (the older kids stick around for this).

M. reads aloud.

Grammar: I keep a list of incorrect sentences from the kids' writing.  We put one on the whiteboard each day and discuss why it's wrong and how to make it right.

E. reads aloud.

For fun: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

This may seem like a lot (and it is!), but we try to keep each thing short and keep things moving.  The kids are great at asking if they don't understand something, and it's been great to see how the different threads in the various works relate together and give us much to talk about.  It's becoming my favorite time of the school day!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Charge of the Light Brigade

We've been memorizing 'Charge of the Light Brigade' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.  Since the older kids have a poetic lament project coming up next semester, we've been using some of the tips from Practice: A Pool of Teaching Tips to learn a little about poetry each day during Morning Time.

Today, we scanned the first stanza of 'Charge of the Light Brigade' and learned about dactyls-appropriate for the poem as they sound like galloping horses!
All I did was Google 'stressed unstressed unstressed' and there was a complete list of the kinds of metrical feet used in poetry. Very cool!