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  3. Hello I am interested in teaching the Great Books in a school and I am considering doing it in a book club form. Has anyone had any success doing this? Thanks in advance.
  4. Mortimer Adler (and Susan Weis Bauer) recommend reading a book through three times before fully forming your thoughts on the book. Joshua Gibbs lesson plans consists mostly of "Read and Discuss" even if that reading is only ten words. My question is are these methods at odds with each other? Should we discuss whether Odysseus is a hero before we know what he does to the suitors? Is the Adler method practical for a school, even a Classical one. Thank you in advance.
  5. I am currently going through this course online. I am wondering what would be the best latin dictionary to buy and are there any dictionaries that I should steer clear of? I am looking for the easiest to read and understand for both myself and my students. Thank you!
  6. Welcome, Sara! What has brought you to ClassicalU Forum?
  7. Thanks, saraluck9090. I decided to do Midsummer Night's Dream with the 8th grade after Lord of the Rings. I'll do some compare/contrast of the fairy story aspect in both. I decided to move forward with Kidnapped after the three Lewis books in 7th grade. I'm still not sure that it's a great choice, but saving the school some money by using what they already have is probably paramount at this point. I'm hoping that the difficult language will get them ready for deeper books in the upper grades.
  8. For me the best place to buy books and all educational stuff is school supplies sale, I customized all my kid's stuff from there and its a quite good place to save much amount through coupons. Once check there and buy also you will also found it a good place.
  9. I personally read The Abolition of Man and Only the Lover Sings and I found both of them quite good.
  10. I suggest you to read Tolkien and Lewis, it's a great book no doubts.
  11. Hey everyone, I am a newbie here.
  12. Hi! We are a small schole group in Kansas and several of our kids would love to find some penpals. Anyone else out there have kids that would like to write letters?
  13. I am trying to think in the ways that Joshua Gibbs suggests about covering a book. He says you read the book in class (or together in a homeschool) more than they would read on their own. He stops and makes comments or observations, asks questions, and "waits" to see where the conversations might lead. I don't think he means that a book shouldn't be finished, so there is a sort of tension between making sure to enjoy and glean from the book, while also being timely. In math, we "get on the road." So, we may never make it to calculus: that is not my goal in my home. But it is my goal that we proceed consistently and with our best abilities. While we are on "the road," and because we don't have such a strict destination, we make humane and divine observations along the way - especially once we reach abstract concepts that aren't easily made concrete. geometry is especially a fun place to find such attractions, but so is algebra. - For example, as I was reviewing for myself in Saxon's Algebra II, I began to ponder the concept of absolute negative five |-5|. In my mind I was remembering two things: One was some propositions Dorothy Sayers makes in her book, The Mind of the Maker. She was reviewing the differences between natural law (the laws established by God) and moral law (laws established by man that may not coincide with natural law - dress codes, for example). The other thing brought to my mind that commingled with Sayers and absolute value was a heated discussion with an agnostic facebook friend about a news story of an 11-year-old girl who had stolen a backpack full of food, was belligerent to the arresting officer, and tried to run. My friend's outrage was with the officer's light reprimand for using a TAZER on the girl for running. I had argued that she broke the law, blatantly, on multiple accounts. He steamed that a grown man, and an official, should have been able to take care of the situation without using a dangerous weapon. I just couldn't see his point, or the reason for his outrage. She was cognizant of her actions and the possible outcome. The Law had been broken. He didn't care about the food, or the stealing, or the belligerency. It was the man's responsibility. I was concerned about bedlam. Days, later, after pondering whether my fb friend was just being an agnostic, anti-police, anarchist, or whether he may have a deeper truth that I, the Christian, the Sayers argument came back to my mind and coalesced into: The higher law is the humanity of the girl. Her dignity was more valuable than all the food in the backpack. The officer, and society at large, has been trained, deadened and hardened to love law more and people less. And the law they love is often a man-made mutable policy. When I began to spend time pondering |-5| - I realized this helps me see the absolute value of a human being. Whether they are in the womb, lacking a chromosome, or lost their mental faculties, they have absolute value in the sight of God! But I can't think that if I don't understand "absolute value". So, if enough time isn't spent on a math concept, it will be hard to meditate on it's invisible and farther-reaching attributes. But, if I had to hurry up and finish those lessons because I had to complete so many in a day, in a week, in a year, in my school career, so I can hurry up and get the right grades, for the right college, for the right job... I wouldn't have thought about the right value of a wretched, or weak, or wrongful soul: Absolutely Imago Dei.
  14. How do you make haste slowly in your lesson planning? What does it look like in your classroom or homeschool environment?
  15. @rebeccarholland Have you looked at what Ambleside Online uses. They have identified some excellent options.
  16. Anthea, I've not read The Black Arrow, so I can't honestly comment on its value. The nice thing about Dickens (or Shakespeare) is that there are inexpensive editions. I hope whatever choice you make turns out well!
  17. I agree, JTB_5 - I don't want to do too much Lewis and Tolkien for the same reason. The budget is very tight, so I can really only purchase one or two books for this class. I'd like to use what is already there, hence The Lord of the Rings. Adding Midsummer Night's Dream or Great Expectations would round out the year better than Lewis. Any thoughts on The Black Arrow? I have not read it.
  18. I love Tolkien and Lewis, but your list is pretty heavy on fantasy. Shakespeare would be a good choice, but only if you have the students read it in parts (or watch the play before or after reading). What about something like Robinson Crusoe or a Dickens book like Great Expectations? Lord of the Flies would be an appropriate choice for that age, as well.
  19. I could also try a Shakespeare play such as Midsummer Night's Dream instead of another book.
  20. I would appreciate some help choosing literature for an eighth grade English class. I will be teaching this coming year in a Christian school that is not classical. The current curriculum is Abeka, but the principal has given me flexibility to teach outside the curriculum because they are desperate for teachers. I taught the Abeka curriculum twenty years ago, but I'd like to give the students more than what Abeka offers for literature at this stage. I have been classically homeschooling my children for fourteen years, so I am familiar with classical and Charlotte Mason methods. I plan on teaching The Lord of the Rings trilogy because the school already owns it. I am considering these other options to fill out the year: The Hobbit, The Silver Chair, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Last Battle, The Black Arrow, or The Call of the Wild. We'd have to order The Hobbit, but I thought it would be good background for The Lord of the Rings. The Lewis books would also have to be ordered, but I will be teaching three other Narnia books (LWW, Prince Caspian, and The Magician's Nephew) to the seventh grade. The Black Arrow and The Call of the Wild are owned by the school. My concern with teaching The Hobbit is that Tolkien would be the primary author for the whole year which may be too much of a good thing. Although I am teaching three Narnia books to the seventh grade, the eighth graders of this year will not have the first books for context. I am not a big fan of the The Black Arrow or The Call of the Wild but they would not cost the school anything. I will also be teaching a month-long poetry unit and several weeks of short stories. Do you have any wisdom for me?
  21. A couple of years ago, I moved away from all multiple choice assessments. As has already been stated, I don't believe that multiple choice assessments test anything more than a student's ability to memorize information long enough for the test. My only assessments in literature are "reading quizzes" which are open ended questions testing how well a student is keeping up with the reading and essays. My assessments in history consist of a terms section in which they define terms, a short answer section based on document excerpts provided on the test, and an essay section. They do take a while to grade them well, but I am blessed with small classes, so it isn't too much of a burden. The ClassicalU class on assessments was very helpful for me in redefining how I approach assessments. It's difficult, but it's worth it.
  22. I'm not sure if this counts since James K.A. Smith is so often associated with Classical Christian schools, but Desiring the Kingdom is a helpful book for educators. Karen Swallow Prior is another name often tied to the movement these days, but her book On Reading Well provided some excellent material for lesson plans! Both books are fantastic for how they put words to many of the difficult concepts we classical educators try to carry out on a day to day basis. Orienting the hearts and minds of children is difficult, and these books help.
  23. We have been on a "drop day" schedule where each class meets 4 days/week for 52 minutes. For instance, Monday's schedule consists of periods 2-8, Tuesday 1-8 and drop 2nd, Wednesday 1-8 but drop 3rd, and so on. It can be confusing at times. Next year we're moving to a Copernican block schedule where all academic classes will meet in the morning and electives and study halls after lunch. We'll see how it goes!
  24. All my best to you and your school as you begin to rethink your approach and curriculum. A bit of advice, it's really difficult (and perhaps unwise) to try to change everything in a school all at once, so I'd recommend patience above all else. I use a textbook for my history class because that is what the history department decided on, and while I don't think it is the best way to approach the subject, the textbook can be a useful way for the students to gain a cursory understanding of the events and timeline. The textbook for my class is only used for homework assignments. The students read a section and answer questions. The questions in the book are generally helpful in aiding the students' understanding, and I find that the homework prepares them for lecture/discussion/debate the next day. One of these days I'd like to move beyond the textbook, but I work with what I have for now. I'd hesitate to teach Boethius to 7th graders because it may be too difficult of a text to wade through at that age. The 7th grade at my school reads poetry, Tom Sawyer, and a smattering of other texts. Teachers must constantly make decisions concerning the content of their courses - the only limit to what we introduce and emphasize is time. So, if your school wants to emphasize forgotten missionaries, there certainly is a way to do that. Perhaps their study of history could include a sort of timeline that lists these various missionaries with biographies. I could envision a project in which the students must research a missionary and present their findings to the class. Hopefully some others can chime in and provide their own experiences.
  25. I've seen the same thing happening in our school; we don't have many field trips for upper school, but we are trying to change that. There is a good theater company in our region and they have morning performances for student groups, so I'll be taking our sophomore class to see Macbeth in the fall. There's also a nearby university that has excellent performances that we try to take advantage of. Touring artist's and author's homes is a good field trip for high school if there are any nearby. Thomas Wolfe grew up in our area, and so we try to tour his home every year. Of course, if you're in the eastern part of the country, there are many battlefields to choose from. Unfortunately, we've gotten away from taking trips, but we're trying to make those regular occurrences once again.
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