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  1. Today
  2. Cheryl Floyd

    Homeschooling and self-care

    One of Father Tom Hopko's 55 Maxim's of the Christian Life is have a wholesome hobby and do it! So, one that I am working on is choreographed exercise! REFIT is just about in any city across the nation (around the world in areas) and it is a great get-away from the house while benefiting me through exercise. But, because it's choreographed movement to positive songs, I have to engage my mind to remember the motions. This allows me to not think about other things while I fully concentrate on this one thing. Completing the workout of my body and mind gives me a great burst of confidence and energy. The company motto includes building community so you get to know a wonderful group of people in the process. All in an hour! I go 2-3 times a week while my children are at their tae kwon do class. They do have a youtube channel, so if I am unable to go to class, I can still glean some of the effects at home.
  3. Yesterday
  4. JTB_5

    Rhetoric Resources

    I want to add another resource that has been particularly helpful for me since I use a lot of Shakespeare for student recitations. Playing Shakespeare by John Barton. There is a book (which I have but isn't as helpful) and a DVD series. The DVD series is a bit hard to come by, although YouTube has (or had at one time) videos from the series. It is basically John Barton laying out his philosophy of how to direct actors in Shakespeare plays. He covers the traditions of acting (Elizabethan and Modern), the use of verse, language and character, use of prose, set speeches and soliloquies, use of sonnets, irony and ambiguity, passion and coolness, rehearsal, exploring character, contemporary appropriation of or response to Shakespeare, and poetry. It is marvelously helpful in getting students to move beyond generalizations of emotion or intention in the speeches from Shakespeare that I have them recite, and I believe it pays dividends beyond those imitations into their original speeches as well, as they think about the sort of intention and emotion they want to illicit with their words.
  5. Cheryl Floyd

    Seeking Autumn Beauty

    Having children of varying ages, I have found it difficult to put in time to do nature walks and activities consistently. I don't like when we are not all together, but I know I eventually have to allow for the older ones to break off on their own. But is that when I should do nature walks? And then I have a middle one: do I start letting her do her own thing, or keep her with my younger ones? I am also taking some online classes. Trying to fit everything in is hard. Is there a better time of day, as far as nature walks, during the fall and winter? My thought was the afternoon because it would be a little bit warmer. And then early in the Spring/Summer - Summer in the south starts in April and doesn't end till October.
  6. Isocrates is a great read, and presents a different picture than you get from Aristotle and Plato. He strikes me as more of a Cicero-like statesman. I've read all of the original sources (except for Quintilian, of whom I've only read portions), and portions of the historical sources on particular topics of interest. As for the last two, it depends on what you are interested in. The Clark book is broad and gives a good overview of the place of rhetoric in the entire educational program of Greece and Rome over a large period of time. The Russell book more narrowly focuses on the way declamation exercises worked and what they meant for the education and culture of Greece. If you are looking for potential rhetoric exercises, I'd go with Russell, but if you want a big picture of the place of rhetoric in education, I'd go with Clark.
  7. kweitz

    American Literature Texts

    Great question! In addition to the Scarlet Letter and Huck Finn, we use a good number of short stories by Hawthorne (Young Goodman Brown, The Minister's Black Veil, Earth's Holocaust), Cooper (Eclipse), Melville (Bartleby Scrivener), Poe (Pit & Pendulum, Tell-Tale Heart, Purloined Letter, Gold-Bug, Masque of the Read Death, Fall of the House of Usher), and others like Twain, Harte, Bierce, London, O Henry, etc. We always read Moby-Dick (yes, every word of it – I have been surprised how much the students come to love it). We read many American poets from the Oxford Book of American Verse (edited by Mattheissen). We also include quite a few American hymns along with our primary source reading. We actually do To Kill A Mockingbird with our Modernity year, as we follow a Great Books approach. I am planning to include Wendell Berry in our next Modernity rotation as well; perhaps Hannah Coulter or a collection of his short stories like A Distant Land.
  8. Thanks for the list! I did glean a couple of new ideas from here! Special thanks for mentioning the Antidosis. I've always wanted to read Isocrates because David Hicks mentions him a lot. There didn't used to be anything online, and now there is! I'm enjoying this already, and I've only read the introductory remarks about his fake trial. I'm enjoying his voice! Quintilian is a long-time favorite of mine. I have the Marrou and have never made it all the way through.Still an object, though. Have you read them all? Which of the last two on the list--Rhetoric or Greek declamation--would you recommend first?
  9. KarenG

    "Why do you read all these books by pagans?"

    I'm reminded of a lengthy passage in which Charlotte Mason discuss this, too. The question has been asked forever, hasn't it? My short answer is that all truth has its origin in God, and all the truth given by direct revelation in Scripture is not all the truth that there is to know (mathematics and language--the liberal arts--being cogent examples). Daniel in Babylon refused to eat the king's meat and wine, but he didn't refuse to learn everything they wanted to teach him.
  10. I'd love to hear what some of your schools have done for fundraising needs. What have been the most effective things you've done and have been able to repeat with consistent results?
  11. megandunham

    How do you keep school at school?

    We do spend a lot of time at school already. Some background: my husband is the headmaster. We have four daughters, two of whom have already graduated, and the other two are in 10th and 9th grades. Between drama and sports we manage to be there until 5:30 most days (2 hours after school ends). I usually have at least 30 minutes of planning each day, but that time is all taken by current in-class admin needs (quick homework checks, sorting papers, etc.). I try to do as much as I can in that window, but inevitably end up bringing some things home. I'm seriously hopeful that year three will see more of a settling into things. One can always hope!
  12. megandunham

    Teaching Reading

    What do your schools use for phonics/reading/spelling? Have you been happy with it?
  13. megandunham

    "Why do you read all these books by pagans?"

    Here's a video our Academic Dean did to answer this question for our families:
  14. JTB_5

    American Literature Texts

    I don't teach literature at our school, but my colleagues have their favorites. One teacher loves teaching Hemingway, another loves teaching Golding's Lord of the Flies (British, but modern). One teacher enjoys The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird, though I think we've only done those as extra curricular books. Our younger students read The Call of the Wild and a couple of Twain books.
  15. Paul Dixon

    American Literature Texts

    I'm in my second year of teaching American literature, and I'm curious what other classical teachers are reading in their classes. In classical education circles, we talk a lot about classic texts without much discussion of modern books. So, what books are you teaching and how do you teach them? In my classes, we just finished Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and we're set to start Scarlet Letter next week. With Huck Finn we focused on the American identity and how it evolved through the 19th century with a focus on the movement from Romanticism to Realism. We'll revisit Romanticism with Scarlet Letter. What are your favorite American texts to teach?
  16. Last week
  17. kweitz

    "Why do you read all these books by pagans?"

    I have wrestled quite a bit with this. I actually wrote an entire paper on this for my MACCS class on Augustine, and it includes the main resources I use when I am asked this question. These are: Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Book I.40 John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, II.ii.xv Lewis, “Is Theology Poetry?,” Weight of Glory Lewis, Prince Caspian If you want to read my paper, I posted in on my blog.
  18. I'll add a few classical period texts that are about education: Isocrates' Antidosis Plato's Republic Quintilian's Institutes of Oratory Tacitus' Dialogue on Orators provides good context on education after the Roman Republic has collapsed. A couple of good historical sources that are helpful to know what the classic period education looked like are: Education in Ancient Rome by Stanley F. Bonner Education in Antiquity by H. I. Marrou Rhetoric in Greco-Roman Education by Donald L. Clark Greek Declamation by D. A. Russell
  19. Plutarch's "Demosthenes" has some interesting thoughts on education drawn from his study habits. Also, you probably already know/have this, but The Great Tradition by Richard Gamble is a very good anthology of ideas about education through the ages.
  20. JTB_5

    Rhetoric Resources

    In recent years classical presses have put out some very excellent textbooks on rhetoric and writing. Many rhetoric teachers also know (and some make use of) classic treatises or dialogues on rhetoric (Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Augustine). I'm sure quite a few folks have also used some modern textbooks that adapt traditional rhetoric (Corbett's Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student and Crowley and Hawhee's Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students). I do wonder how many teachers of rhetoric (including homeschool and co-op folks) are aware of modern supplementary rhetoric texts? Here are some books that I've made good use of as a teacher, and which I've also developed some lectures and assignments from: Silva Rhetoricae (rhetoric.byu.edu) - has good summaries of the canons, figures of speech, rhetorical exercises, etc. Figures of Speech: 60 ways to turn a phrase, by Arthur Quinn - a short, pithy handbook on figures of speech. A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms, by Richard A. Lanham - a short handbook that includes many rhetorical terms, including figures of speech and argument forms. A Dictionary of Literary Devices: Gradus A-Z, by Albert W. Halsall - a well-stocked treasure trove of literary terms and devices. Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric, by Ward Farnsworth - the best modern treatment of figures of speech. Farnsworth's Classical English Metaphor, by Ward Farnsworth - the same of the figures book, but for metaphors. The Legal Analyst, by Ward Farnsworth - an excellent modern resource for forensic topics / thinking. The Office of Assertion, by Scott F. Crider - a superb treatise on academic writing. There are definitely more, but these are ones I've found most helpful to me. What resources do you use in class, use to supplement what you are doing in class, or use to create lectures/assignments?
  21. One of my favorites is Augustine's On the Teacher (De Magistro).
  22. JTB_5

    A Classical Study of Film?

    I wasn't arguing that classical educators having debates about the canon is what made the existing canon of literature. I am saying that if we want to have a film studies course then the conversation of what should be taught (what meets the "standard") should be happening. If the only preparation for the viewing is to come and see, then I agree. However, I don't think that analysis is unwarranted given preparation and preliminary guidance. We judge things all the time based upon our first exposure. It isn't wrong to do so, provided we understand that our conclusions are limited and tenuous. Our school does this, but limits the ages to 9th - 12th. It all depends on what one means by analysis. I don't agree with analysis that attempts to condemn or dismiss any work (prior to understanding it, in the least), but analysis--the discussion of what is happening and what it means and how it can be applied--does not seem antithetical to classical objectives. I also recognize that over-analysis ruins the formative power of stories, as the quote from Hicks exposes, so I have in mind something like a golden mean. It is a fruitful discussion and reflects well upon the content and methods classical educators are using in other areas.
  23. Because I'm interested in classical education, I try not to let all my reading about education be from the 20th century or even more recent. It used to be really hard to find the old texts, but one of the wonderful things about the internet is the access we have to out-of- print texts. What pre-20th century classical educators have you read? Or do you want to read? Or are currently reading? (I'm really fishing for suggestions.) I'm currently wrestling with Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold. I actually have a special fondness for the wordy Victorians, but this is unusually dense. Just for fun, here is one sentence I marked: Anyone else want to share a bit from what you're reading?
  24. KarenG

    A Classical Study of Film?

    First, I agree that films will stand the test of time and provide a powerful and formative impression of what it means to be human. Like other stories that have endured. But I would question whether the stories that are canon became canon because trained or skilled people decided they were canon. I think they became canon because the humans gathered in the dark urged "tell this story" or "tell that story"--and they asked for repetition of what they wanted to hear because those stories spoke to them, touched their hearts, and inspired or motivated or comforted them in some way. Scholars can do no more than recognize canon; they don't dictate what it is. That being the case, it's just too soon to have a canon of films, perhaps, but the best step would be for the adults in the community to share the films that they love with the next generation, so they have a chance to love them, too. As far as classical pedagogy goes, I'm strongly in favor teaching in the poetic mode for most of the years allotted to K-12. Exposure--a single viewing of a film--is no basis for analysis. I'm old enough to remember when our viewing was limited to what the networks were showing, and we looked forward from year to year to that one opportunity to see a favorite film or show. It's one reason I think that beginning analysis with fairy tales is so wise--kids are fully familiar with Beauty and the Beast or Snow White, so analyzing doesn't interfere with their poetic appreciation. Assuming that teaching in poetic mode is a classical objective, I can imagine creating a film culture in a school by mimicking my childhood limitations. Showing one film per quarter, it might be a school custom to view the same films each year (I'm just thinking of the upper school here--say, 7-12--and think how carefully you'd have to select your films). The first few years, you'd just enjoy them perhaps. And then maybe in 9th grade, you'd be asked to write about your favorite character--which one would you want to be like and why? In 10th grade, you might be asked to create alternative dialogue for a scene or write a scene that occurs off-camera. And then only in 11th or 12 grade, when you've seen the films enough times to really know them, would an analysis be attempted. I'm not sure the assumption that literature or films are meant to be analyzed is consistent with classical objectives. I've pretty much absorbed Norms and Nobility as the seminal work on classical education in our time, so my assumptions tend to come from there. I tend to think we should apply the same principle to films--to show them to our students and let them have their effect. There is a role for a teacher here, but films--and literature--were made to be enjoyed, not studied. In the poetic tradition, we have to let that level of knowledge happen first. And I've taken the discussion in a different direction from the original question--sorry about that. Unless "what other questions do we need to ask?" covers it. Because if you were going to do what I suggest--choose a small collection of films to become a part of your school's tradition, what would you choose?
  25. American Girl Bitty Baby will never be the same. My 9th grader is dressing up as the cauldron from MacBeth tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'm more proud of her education, or more disturbed by it right now. These are two of the items inside the cauldron. At least she promises the baby will go back to normal after tomorrow... *grin*
  26. JTB_5

    A Classical Study of Film?

    I think your answer assumes that the pedagogy of a film course would be identical to what a family or community can and would offer on their own. However, I don't think that assumption is warranted, since book reading can fall into the same category. The element that homes and communities lack is the skilled teacher who instructs, guides, and forms in students the skills necessary for drawing out the meaning and significance of a film. Like good literary analysis, good film analysis requires more than exposure (though exposure is necessary). But I wonder if you sense of "getting what they could get at home" stems in part from a point I was making, which is that there is no canon of film, such that the films worthy of our time and efforts have already been sifted through the history of intellectual and spiritual culture. I'll raise my hand with those who believe that there are films that will stand the test of time and scrutiny and provide to human beings a powerful and formative impression of what it means to be human in the world that God has made, but it seems that the task at hand now is for those who have been classically trained to begin sifting through the history of film and engaging in debates about what belongs in the canon and why.
  27. KarenG

    A Classical Study of Film?

    For some reason, this question conjures up in my mind a dark evening long, long ago. Everyone in the community, or nearly everyone, is gathered around a fire, quietly listening to a bard who is telling a tale. As he speaks, sometimes half singing, he uses a small stringed instrument on his lap to add a musical layer to his story--a few merry notes, or a low-keyed strum. Fast forward to a movie theater in 2018, and it's only a little bit different. A lot of people are gathered in the dark to watch/hear a story. In theory, I think films should serve the same role as the oral story-telling tradition, but if they are going to do that, it works best if you restore the element of community (instead of a group of strangers) and see the same films again a few times. The family is arguably the best place for this to occur. It's not really so much "school" material as it is enculturation. You have to ask the question about whether the precious few hours the school has are best used in this way. Kids are going to watch films anyway, but perhaps not the films their teachers would choose for them. So, I think there could be a place in the school routine for an occasional film, but as a parent, if I were paying premium tuition to have my child in a classical school, I'd be doing that because I wanted them exposed to something I couldn't easily give them at home. Another question, though, is whether the way we enjoy films isn't the same way we should approach Beowulf or the Odyssey--if they shouldn't just be read for enjoyment and appreciation first (poetically, let's say) before we make them into something to study. Lots of food for thought here.
  28. You're welcome. I agree that differences between men and women are pronounced, and I'm thankful for them.
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