Princess E has been scrambling to finish unit ten. She is a bit behind due to some poor choices, but I am hopeful that her new school surroundings will help prevent that. Although she wants to do school in her room, she has proven over the last several months that she cannot handle that, no matter how much she kicks and screams and cries to the opposite. So, DH moved her back up to the desk in the living room/school room, moving all of Princess L’s stuff to a basket. (She ends up doing her work mostly at the kitchen table anyway.)
Princess E has been learning about the kings during the Seven Years’ War – George III, Frederick II and Louis XV. She read about the Boston Massacre and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. She is finishing up learning about the effect the Declaration had on Europe. She has really enjoyed her story time books – The Secret Wish of Nannerl Mozart and John Paul Jones The Patriot Pirate. She is starting The Reb and the Redcoat. For science, she built a circuit. But, she did this while I was otherwise occupied so I have no photos of it. She has been reading about Thomas Edison and his contributions to American science and our way of life.
In math, she finished the Middle School One class, and was pleasantly surprised to begin Middle School Two at 80% proficiency. She is aiming to begin Middle School Three after Christmas, and Pre-Algebra by Easter.
I promised to talk a bit about our literature classes. We are using Teaching the Classics (TTC), the literary analysis method used by Adam Andrews in his Center For Literature as well as offered by IEW. We spent the first five weeks watching the DVDs and following A Syllabus for Literary Analysis. We only did the part that covers TTC. We will do the Windows to the World portion in another year or two. I want them to be a little bit further along in their writing skills before tackling that part. For the last two weeks, and until our Thanksgiving break, we are using children’s stories to practice making Story Charts and answering questions from the Socratic list that is included in TTC.
Here is what we do on the whiteboard.
Then we fill it in.
Here are two more for other stories.
One thing that we do with each story that the princesses are having a lot of fun with is identifying the conflict. In his seminar, Adam Andrews suggests listing the conflict as a question. Since my kids have watched a lot of old Underdog cartoons (because it is DH’s favorite cartoon from childhood) they are used to the narrator cliffhanger questions right before they went to a commercial. They have fun picking this out and reading them very dramatically.
After our break, we will work with a few easier chapter books that I hope to take two weeks for each book. After February, we will pick out a few longer and more difficult novels to finish out our year. I own Reading Roadmaps, so we will pick some from there. I will use this to plan out our next year’s books. I hope to eventually work in Laurie from Teacups in the Garden’s idea of a Literary Club Café. My kids LOVE hot chocolate, so I think we’ll plan to sip hot chocolate will we have our Socratic discussions after we have done our story chart on the whiteboard.