Friday, March 30, 2012

Mt. Hope Academy @ The Live and Learn Studio ~ March 2012

Food for Thought:

:: The Greatest of All Things by Andrew Kern at CiRCE Institute:

”Who cares if Jane runs? I sure don’t. But everybody wants to know whether the ants should have fed the grasshopper, whether Caesar should have crossed the Rubicon, and whether Odysseus should have slaughtered the suitors. These things matter because they arouse the right questions. They help students clarify their thoughts about what is just and fair, what is wise and prudent, and what is noble and honorable.”

:: The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction @ The New York Times:

It is an exercise that hones our real-life social skills, another body of research suggests. Dr. Oatley and Dr. Mar, in collaboration with several other scientists, reported in two studies, published in 2006 and 2009, that individuals who frequently read fiction seem to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and see the world from their perspective. This relationship persisted even after the researchers accounted for the possibility that more empathetic individuals might prefer reading novels. A 2010 study by Dr. Mar found a similar result in preschool-age children: the more stories they had read to them, the keener their theory of mind — an effect that was also produced by watching movies but, curiously, not by watching television.

:: The Goal of Education by Matt Bianco @ Classical Conversations:

“Of course, the other question is how well can I model the Imago Dei in the world around me when I am half a person; when I am only left-brained or only right-brained? Face it; we will be hard-pressed to argue that God is only left-brained. So how can we properly image a whole-brained God (speaking anthropomorphically, of course) when we are only a half-brained image?”

:: Dear Eighth Grader: So You Want to Apply to Harvard? Some Words of Advice… by Andrew S. Doctoroff @ Huffington Post:

Given that so many candidates have outstanding credentials, you may think that it will be impossible for you to stand out. Not true. The special kid announces herself boldly, unmistakably; she can't be missed -- like a flare streaking across a starless nighttime sky.

What do I look for? Qualities that are hard to spot on admissions applications, but ones that scream out during probing conversation: passion, intellect, curiosity and mettle.

:: Hours and hours of listening. 2011 Conference Recordings at the Society for Classical Learning.

:: On the Assumption That I Am a Perfect Teacher by David Kern @ CiRCE Institute:

‘But what those kids do have is a soul. And a heart that beats and lungs that help them breath and emotions that can be raw and uncompromising at times. Even in their worst moments, even when it doesn’t seem possible, they are human. As my dad has said on occassion, kids are “individual souls with a lot going on in them”.’


:: I have a not so secret obsession with sentence diagramming. So, of course, I adored the article, A Picture of Language, by Kitty Burns Florey at The New York Times. Makes me want to read her book again. In fact, I’m taking it down off the shelf right now.

:: Catechisms With Flesh On by Marvin Olasky @ World Magazine (interview with Nate Wilson)

‘But we look at Frodo and we can say, "You idiot. It's a good story. The evil is here to be beaten. It's here to be overcome. It's here to be broken—break it. Go throw the ring in the volcano. Don't sit there and look at it and say, "There is no Tolkien, because if there was, how could such an evil exist?"’

:: And, last but not least, the fabulously funny SeussSpeare at Millman’s Shakesblog.


Classical Conversations (Cycle 3) Weeks 20-22 (One morning each week; includes social time and public speaking.)


CC Memorizing John 1:1-7 (in Latin and English)
The Children’s Illustrated Bible (reading together)
Telling God's Story
(Luke: weekly hymns on piano)

Teaching Textbooks
The Critical Thinking Co. math workbooks
Khan Academy videos and practice
Math-Whizz (online math)
MathTacular 3 (DVD)
Perimeter, Area, and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions by David A. Adler
Just a Second: A Different Way To Look At Time by Steve Jenkins 
A Fraction’s Goal—Parts of a Whole by Brian P. Cleary
CC weekly memory work (skip counting/formulas/laws)

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry (Read lessons 13-19 with oral review)  
Fun science experiments with Alka-seltzer and egg/vinegar
CC weekly science memory work (science theories)
CC weekly science projects and experiments (probability lab)
A bunch of Bill Nye DVDs and other science shows (Myth Busters, etc.)

Swim Team practices and meet (Levi), Swim Lessons (Luke and Leif)

Fine Arts:
CC weekly famous composers and instruments of the orchestra
Monthly Fine Arts Study (Rene Magritte, Carl Sandburg, and George Gershwin)
Dinner at Magritte’s by Michael Garland
Imagine That! Activities and Adventures in Surrealism by Joyce Raimondo
Poetry for Young People: Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg: Adventures of a Poet
by Penelope Niven
Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg (176 pp, Levi and Luke-IR)
More Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg (158 pp, Levi and Luke-IR)
The Huckabuck Family and How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska… by Carl Sandburg
Never Kick a Slipper at the Moon by Carl Sandburg
Piano practice and lessons (Luke)
Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue by Anna Harwell Celenza
(One of my all-time favorite videos:)

Language Arts:
IEW Writing (Levi: Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales Writing Lessons)
MCT Caesar’s English (vocabulary)
MCT Practice Town (4 level sentence analysis + diagramming)
Writing With Ease (Luke and Levi)
CC grammar memory work
All About Spelling Level 3 (steps 1-4) (Leif: Level 1, steps 1-7)
Handwriting Without Tears workbook (cursive-Levi)

Latina Christiana I (lesson 1…just getting started)

CC U.S. geography (states, capitals, mountains, rivers, lakes, features, and more)
Geography games (capitals, states, landscapes)
Place the State online game
Map drawing and 'blobbing' continents (CC)

History/Literature/Historical Fiction:
The Story of the World: Early Modern Times (chapters 38-42, FINISHED!!)
The Story of the World: The Modern Age (chapters 1- 3)
CC weekly history memory work (American history)
The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (select pages, Luke)
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (select pages, Levi)
DK Children's Encyclopedia of American History (select pages)
Industrial Revolution (Living History)
The Gate in the Wall by Ellen Howard (historical fiction, industrial revolution, England, 146 pp, Levi-IR)
John Jacob Astor and the Fur Trade (American Tycoons) by Lewis K. Parker
The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal by Cheryl Harness 
The Story of the Erie Canal by R. Conrad Stein
The Trail of Tears by Joseph Bruchac
The Journal of Jesse Smoke, A Cherokee Boy  by Joseph Bruchac (historical fiction, The Trail of Tears-1838, 195 pp, Levi-IR)
Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (historical fiction, Crow Indians, 247 pp, Levi-IR)
Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears by Cornelia Cornelissen (historical fiction, 110 pp, Levi-IR)
Spring Pearl: The Last Flower by Laurence Yep (historical fiction, Canton, China-1857, 205 pp, Levi-IR)
Susanna of the Alamo: A True Story by John Jakes
Inside the Alamo by Jim Murphy (non-fiction, 110 pp)
Welcome to Josefina’s World * 1824: Growing Up on America’s Southwest Frontier (excellent non-fiction picture book!!!)
Tucket’s Travels: Francis Tucket’s Adventures in the West, 1847-1849 by Gary Paulsen (5 books, historical fiction, Levi-IR)
The Legend of the Poinsettia retold by Tomie dePaola (Mexico)
The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush retold by Tomie dePaola (Texas)
The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola (New Mexico)
Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi (Capistrano, California)
The California Missions (Events That Shaped America)
And it is Still That Way: Legends told by Arizona Indian Children collected by Byrd Baylor
A Boy Named Beckoning: The True Story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American Hero by Gina Capaldi
The Ancient Cliff Dwellers of Mesa Verde by Caroline Arnold
In the Days of the Vaqueros: America’s First True Cowboys by Russell Freedman
The Mask of Zorro (DVD, Surely this counts as historical fiction, no? {grin})

The Journal of Wong Ming-Chung, A Chinese Miner: California, 1852 by Laurence Yep (Levi-IR)
Chang’s Paper Pony by Eleanor Coerr (Gold Rush, Chinese immigrants)
Striking it Rich: The Story of the California Gold Rush by Stephen Krensky
The California Gold Rush: Would You Go for the Gold? by Elaine Landau
The California Gold Rush: An Interactive History Adventure by Elizabeth Raum
Gold Miners of the Wild West by Jeff Savage
Hurry Freedom: African Americans in Gold Rush California by Jerry Stanley
Gold! Gold From the American River: The Day the Gold Rush Began by Don Brown
The Great American Gold Rush by Rhonda Blumberg
Hot to Get Rich in the California Gold Rush by Tod Olson
Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory~1849 by Kristiana Gregory
The Ghosts of Luckless Gulch by Anne Isaacs
Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea by Tony Johnston
Was There Really a Gunfight at the O.K. Corral? and Other Questions about the Wild West by Ann Kerns
How to Get Rich on a Texas Cattle Drive by Tod Olson
Ghost Towns of the American West by Raymond Bial
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express by Eleanor Coerr
They’re Off: The Story of the Pony Express by Cheryl Harness
Pioneer Girl: Growing Up on the Prairie by Andrea Warren (Levi)
The Tragic Tale of Narcissa Whitman and a Faithful History of the Oregon Trail by Cheryl Harness (Levi)
Yellowstone Moran: Painting the American West by Lita Judge
Down the Colorado: John Wesley Powell, the One-Armed Explorer by Deborah Kogan Ray
You Wouldn’t Want to be an American Pioneer! by Jacqueline Morley
Samuel Morse and the Telegraph by David Seidman
Hidden Music: The Life of Fanny Mendelssohn by Gloria Kamen (Levi)
The Swoose by Dick King-Smith (historical fiction, Queen Victoria)
Victoria, May Blossom of Britannia: England, 1829 (The Royal Diaries, historical fiction, 218 pp, Levi-IR)
Louis Braille: The Boy Who Invented Books for the Blind by Margaret Davidson
Born in the Year of Courage by Emily Crofford (historical fiction, 1880s Japan, 160 pp, Levi and LUKE!-IR)
Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun by Rhoda Blumberg (1850s Japan, 119 pp,
Shipwrecked! The true adventures of a Japanese boy by Rhoda Blumberg
Heart and Soul: The Story of Florence Nightingale by Gena K. Gorrell (I loved this one!)
Florence Nightingale by Dorothy Turner


Meet Marie-Grace, 1853 (The American Girls)
Marie-Grace Makes a Difference
Marie-Grace and the Orphans
Welcome to Kirsten’s World, 1854: Growing Up in Pioneer America
Meet Kirsten
(The American Girls)
Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys by Matt Phelan (late 1880s)

Literature Study:

Book Detectives (literary analysis book club)
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (Levi-IR)

Levi’s Free Reading:
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld
The Sword, the Ring, and the Parchment (Terrestria Chronicles) by Ed Dunlop
The Dead of Night (Cahills vs. Vespers, Book 3) by Peter Larangis

Luke’s Free Reading:
Secret Agents Four by Donald J. Sobol
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: 14 Amazing Authors Tell the Tales
Freddy Goes to Florida
by Walter R. Brooks
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Leif’s Free Reading:
George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl
More Magic Tree House books and others…

Miscellaneous lovely picture books the boys have enjoyed this month:
Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer by Carole Gerber
The Man Who Made Parks: The Story of Parkbuilder Frederick Law Olmsted by Frieda Wishinsky
Dark Fiddler: The Life and Legend of Nicolo Paganini by Aaron Frisch & Gary Kelley
Francis Woke Up Early by Josephine Nobisso (St. Francis of Assisi)
Jingle Bells: How the Holiday Classic Came to Be by John Harris
Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman
The Little Chapel That Stood by A.B. Curtiss (St. Paul’s Chapel, NYC, September 11, 2001)
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman (September 11, 2001) 
The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont by Victoria Griffith
Marcel Marceau: Master of Mime by Gloria Spielman
Magic Trash: A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art by J.H. Shapiro
To Go Singing Through the World: The Childhood of Pablo Neruda by Deborah Kogan Ray (gorgeous book!)
Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies
Goran’s Great Escape by Astrid Lindgren (Sweden)
The Birds of Killingworth by Robert San Souci (based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Chirchir is Singing by Kelly Cunnane (Kenya)


Sarah said...

Your blog is such an inspiration to me, Heidi! Thank you for all that you share. One quick question: when you list books (as in this post), are ALL the books listed the ones that have been read in a single week? Or is this a list for the month? You motivate and challenge me to utilize my library even more than I already do! :)

Heidi said...

It's a list for the whole month. :) I used to do weekly reports, but it is much easier for me to do just one post for the month.

Sarah said...

Well that is good to know. I was thinking to myself, "Man, I must be an underachiever!" :)

I, too, have three boys. I live in the midwest and we have always homeschooled. Next year will be our first year in CC and I am SO excited! My oldest will be in Challenge B and my youngest two will be in Foundations/Essentials. Thank you for all you have posted about CC. Again, very encouraging!

This is also our first year using MCT. I heard him speak at the Cincinnati Convention last April and I was smitten. So smitten, in fact, that I ended up going to all four of his sessions and hanging out around the MCT booth quite a bit. We have loved every minute of MCT this year.

Have a great day! :)

G said...

Even though it's a month, that is STILL a very impressive list of books!

I love Rhapsody in Blue, and thanks to Fantasia 2000, my kids love it too!

CC Jen said...

I'm so glad you said this is for a month - I was thinking it was for a week, and feeling quite inferior! :)

LOVE the links, especially "Catechisms with flesh on" - marvelous!

Hannah said...

Dazzling, as always, my dear.

I have to say, I'm really impressed that your boys will read, and not turn up their noses at, the American Girl books. Good for them for not being put off by the series title!