Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mt. Hope Academy @ The Live & Learn Studio ~ Summer 2012 Edition


July and August came and went. Whoooooosh. Leif turned six. SIX. Whooooooosh. We find ourselves staring down a new school year. Whooooooooosh. Lola is on the brink of her second birthday. Whoooooooosh. Levi is teetering on the edge of the logic stage; we have to up our game. Whooooooooosh.

We are just wrapping up our 2011-2012 studies so that we can start fresh next week. It will be strange going from modern history back to the ancients!

Today is house-cleaning and organizing, grocery shopping, and errands. Tomorrow is the run-through of our routine—the fun first day of school without all the work. Saturday and Sunday will be full with the Renaissance Faire, a BBQ/birthday party for my brother-in-law, church, and my niece’s birthday party. On Monday our school year officially begins with Classical Conversations—week one. Tuesday is homeschool day at the Oregon Gardens. Wednesday is the day to buckle down and get to work!!

But let’s tie up loose summer ends, shall we?

First up: the links.

On Classical Education and the Trivium

::  Themes of Beauty in the Word (1) by Stratford Caldecott @ The Imaginative Conservative (Beauty in the Word is the sequel to Beauty for Truth’s Sake, and I have it calling to me from the to-read tower (as opposed to the stack)):

"The key for me was to discover that the three elements of the Trivium link us directly with three basic dimensions of our humanity. No wonder they are so fundamental in classical education! ...To become fully human we need to discover who ...we are (Memory), to engage in a continual search for truth (Thought), and to communicate with others (Speech)."

::  Themes of the book: 2 @ Beauty in Education:

"The aim of the Law is goodness, the aim of Language is Truth, and the aim of Religion is (spiritual) Beauty -– that is, holiness. Culture is the result of all three; of Law, Language, and Religion acting in concert (body, soul, and spirit, as it were)."


On Grammar

::  It’s Not Just Rules; It’s Clear Thinking @ The New York Times:

“But without grammar, we lose the agreed-upon standards about what means what. We lose the ability to communicate when respondents are not actually in the same room speaking to one another. Without grammar, we lose the precision required to be effective and purposeful in writing.”

::  I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why. @ Harvard Business Review

"Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence."

On Reading, Writing, Boys, and the Nature of Heroism

::  College Bound Reading List by Lee Binz @ The HomeScholar

::  100 Best Children’s Chapter Books of All Time @ Children’s Books

::  Imago Dei and the Redemptive Power of Fantasy – Part 1 by Angelina Stanford @ The Circe Institute:

“When a carpenter creates, there is a sense in which he destroys the original in order to create something new. When he makes a table, he has to first destroy the tree. The author, on the other hand, does not destroy Hamlet in order to create Falstaff. This is the closest we experience creation out of nothing. Sayers is echoing the teachings of the church fathers who taught that in creating something orderly and beautiful that did not previously exist, the artist is paralleling what God did in the act of creation.”

::  The Dangerous Article for Boys by Martin Cothran @ Memoria Press (and another book list):

“But in the modern era, we are not supposed to admire great men, largely because we are uncomfortable with the whole idea of greatness. So today we must relegate our heroes to the realm of the fantastic. They are now figures who could never really be, doing things that can never really be done.”


“Most boys are born cynics and are rightly suspicious of moralistic platitudes. They respect words only to the extent that they see them followed by actions. Tell them (in mere words) what the right thing to do is, and they will look at you suspiciously and walk away. Do the right thing—preferably at the risk of your own person or reputation, and they will follow you in zealous allegiance.”

::  How to Write Great @ The New York Times:

“To live above the merely personal does not require plying oars against colossal currents, either. “Harold and the Purple Crayon” is a great little book and deals with its own verities — the world is not in your control; courage begins at free fall; the best path is not the straight path. The lessons of the “Odyssey,” minus the sex. Harold draws his dream in crayon and then wants to go home, to his window, which has been there all along. The key to his destiny is that window, which is something to look out of, away from himself. At no time is Harold self-­conscious, self-pitying or self-congratulatory. He knows how to draw a life, and how to live.”

::  Honor Code by David Brooks @ The New York Times:

“Henry V is one of Shakespeare’s most appealing characters. He was rambunctious when young and courageous when older. But suppose Henry went to an American school.”


"The basic problem is that schools praise diversity but have become culturally homogeneous. The education world has become a distinct subculture, with a distinct ethos and attracting a distinct sort of employee. Students who don’t fit the ethos get left out."

Speaking of schools and praise…

::  School and Self-Esteem, or: ‘Thank you for making those socks!’ @ The Huffington Post

“Authentic gratitude is enough of an acknowledgment to foster self-esteem without leading to the kind of dependency on others that "good job" seems to do. In saying "thank you," a teacher says to a child "I see you. I see that you are doing something positive." In an ideal world, that kind of acknowledgment is all that is needed for the seeds of self-esteem and self-confidence to take root and grow in a healthy, non-narcissistic direction. Children cultivated toward dependence on external praise through constant positive stroking are at risk for growing into poorly-adjusted adults who must always look to others for approval. They never have a chance to develop their own internal resources.”


The Summer (Mostly Books) List

Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? Words to Make Us Wise! Psalms, Proverbs, and the Writings (DVD)

Not much. Sigh.
Life of Fred (independent reading)

Marconi’s Battle for Radio by Beverly Birch (1901)
Marie Curie’s Search for Radium by Beverly Birch
Marie Curie: More Than Meets the Eye (The Inventors’ Specials) DVD (historical fiction--WWI)
Who Was Albert Einstein? by Jess Brallier
Albert Einstein: Genius of the Twentieth Century by Patricia Lakin
Einstein: Light to the Power of 2 (The Inventors’ Specials) DVD (historical fiction—love these DVDs!)
(I.Q. (movie) just for fun {ha!})
Bill Nye and Popular Mechanics for Kids DVDs
Mythbusters and other science-related shows
Exploring the World of Physics by John Hudson Tiner (Levi)
Physics: Why Matter Matters! by Dan Green
Mechanical Harry by Bob Kerr (fun physics picture book)
Eureka Physics videos (free online)
Reader’s Digest How Things Work by Neil Ardley
The Way Things Work by David Macaulay

Fine Arts:
Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles—Think of That! by Leo and Diane Dillon
Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman

History/Historical Fiction/Literature:
The Story of the World: Modern Times (ch 22-42…finished!)
Remember the Ladies: 100 Great American Women by Cheryl Harness
Journeys in Time: A New Atlas of American History by Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley
A Farm Through Time: The History of a Farm From Medieval Times to the Present Day by Angela Wilkes
Teddy Roosevelt: The People’s President by Sharon Gayle
The Long Way to a New Land by Joan Sandin (historical fiction, 1868, Sweden to America)
The Long Way Westward by Joan Sandin (historical fiction, New York to Minnesota)
Alice Ramsey’s Grand Adventure by Don Brown (New York to San Francisco, 1909)
The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel With Louis Bleriot by Alice and Martin Provensen
The Mystery at Kill Devil Hills by Carole Marsh (historical fiction, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Levi-IR)
My Brothers’ Flying Machine: Wilbur, Orville, and Me by Jane Yolen
If You Lived at the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake by Ellen Levine
World War I by Carole Marsh
Marie Curie: More Than Meets the Eye (The Inventors’ Specials) DVD (historical fiction)
Cracked Corn and Snow Ice Cream: A Family Almanac by Nancy Willard (Midwest-1920ish)
Gandhi: Peaceful Warrior by Rae Bains
Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz (autobiography, China-1925, 159 pp, Levi-IR)
Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis (historical fiction, China-1920s, 279 pp, Levi-IR)
These Are My People by Mildred T. Howard (biography of missionary to China during war with Japan-1930s, 141 pp, Levi-IR)
The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong (historical fiction, Japanese occupation of China, 189 pp, Luke-IR (Levi read last year))
Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift (historical fiction, Indiana-1932, Levi-IR)
Dust for Dinner by Ann Turner (historical fiction, Dust Bowl to California)
Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards (historical fiction, Texas-1935, Levi-IR)
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (historical fiction, Michigan-1936, 243 pp, Levi-IR)
The Education of Little Tree: A True Story by Forrest Carter (Cherokee boyhood of 1930s, 216 pp, Levi-IR)
The Day of Ahmed’s Secret by Heide & Gilliland (Cairo)
Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner (fiction set in Germany, 160 pp, Levi-IR)
If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island by Ellen Levine
The Memory Coat by Elvira Woodruff (Russian immigration)
Watch the Stars Come Out by Riki Levinson
When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest
Journey of Hope: The Story of Irish Immigration to America by Miller
Passage to Liberty and the Rebirth of America: The Story of Italian Immigration by Ciongoli and Parini
A Picnic in October by Eve Bunting
The Impossible Journey by Gloria Whelan (historical fiction, Russia-1934, 248 pp, Levi-IR)
26 Fairmount Avenue (series) by Tomie de Paola (autobiographical, childhood during WWII era in America)
October 45: Childhood Memories of the War by Jean-Louis Besson (autobiographical, 1989-1945 France, love the illustrations!)
The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Camen Agra Deedy
The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey by Louise Borden
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot: A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy That Dropped From the Sky by M. Theis Raven
World War II (DK Eyewitness)
World War II for Kids by Richard Panchyk
Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop (WWII)
D-Day Landings: The Story of the Allied Invasion by Richard Platt
The Good Fight: How World War II Was Won by Stephen E. Ambrose
The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (historical fiction-Holocaust, 170 pp, Levi-IR)
The Big Lie: A True Story by Isabella Leitner (WWII)
The Little Riders by Margaretha Shemin
Pearl Harbor by Stephen Krensky
Winston Churchill: Soldier and Politician by Tristan Boyer Binns
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr (Hiroshima)
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord (historical fiction, Chinese immigrant in NY-1947, Levi-IR)
Hill of Fire by Thomas P. Lewis
Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan (illustrated by Brian Selznick)
Eleanor by Barbara Cooney (Eleanor Roosevelt) 
Cowboy on the Steppes by Song Nan Zhang (Mao’s Cultural Revolution-1968)
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (historical fiction, Black Panthers-1968, 215 pp, Levi-IR)
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles (Black Segregation)
Mary McLeod Bethune: Voice of Black Hope by Milton Meltzer
If You Lived At the Time of Martin Luther King by Ellen Levine
Roll of Thunder, Hear My cry by Mildred D. Taylor (historical fiction, civil rights, 276 pp, Levi-IR)
The Road to Memphis by Mildred D. Taylor
A Picture Book of Thurgood Marshall (Civil Rights)
Leaving Vietnam: The True Story of Tuan Ngo by Sarah S. Kilborne
The Wall by Eve Bunting (Vietnam Memorial)
Spacebusters: The Race to the Moon by Philip Wilkinson
Neil Armstrong: Young Flyer (Childhood of Famous Americans series) by Montrew Dunham (187 pp, Levi-IR)
Space Station: Accident on Mir by Angela Royston
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman (September 11, 2001)
LIFE: Our Century in Pictures for Young People
(Levi read many chapter books (Escape From Warsaw by Ian Serraillier, The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig, I Am David by Anne Holm, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr, etc.) from this time period when we covered it with CC last year, so we sped more quickly this time around.)

Levi’s Free Reading List:
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (WWI historical fantasy)
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (485 pp)
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (543 pp)
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull
Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull
Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (526 pp)
Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison (606 pp) 
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Mary Poppins Comes Back by P.L. Travers
Mary Poppins Opens the Door by P.L. Travers
Solomon Snow and the Silver Spoon by Kaye Umansky
Solomon Snow and the Stolen Jewel by Kaye Umansky
In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen Lawhead
The Sword and the Flame by Stephen Lawhead
The Warlords of Nin by Stephen Lawhead
Taliesin (Book 1 of the Pendragon Cycle) by Stephen Lawhead (539pp)
Merlin (Book 2) by Stephen Lawhead (445 pp)
Arthur (Book 3) by Stephen Lawhead (446 pp)
Pendragon (Book 4) by Stephen Lawhead (436 pp)
Grail (Book 5) by Stephen Lawhead (452 pp)
43 Old Cemetery Road: Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise
43 Old Cemetery Road: Till Death Do Us Bark by Kate Klise
43 Old Cemetery Road: The Phantom of the Post Office by Kate Klise
Ghost Kight by Cornelia Funke
The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
More Adventures of the Great Brain by Fitzgerald
Me and My Little Brain by Fitzgerald
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (351 pp)
Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome (448 pp)
The Secret School by Avi
Man of the Family by Ralph Moody
The Home Ranch by Ralph Moody
And a bunch of re-reads off of the bedroom shelf
(He was a reading machine this summer!! At least 16 of the history/historical fiction books he read were chapter books, also!)

Luke’s Reading List:
The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam by Huynh Quang Nhuong (not for the faint of heart, but Luke loved it and Levi gives it a thumbs up)
Water Buffalo Days: Growing Up in Vietnam by Huynh Quang Nhuong
(The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong (China))
The Most Beautiful Place in the World by Ann Cameron (Guatemala)
The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck (Japan)
The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson (Paris)
All Alone by Claire Huchet Bishop (French Alps)
Time Warp Trio, Geronimo Stilton, Magic Tree House, Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures (many books in the series)
43 Old Cemetery Road: Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise
43 Old Cemetery Road: Till Death Do Us Bark by Kate Klise
43 Old Cemetery Road: The Phantom of the Post Office by Kate Klise
The Six Crowns: Fair Wind to Widdershins by Allan Jones
The Wonderful O by James Thurber

Leif’s Free Reading List:
Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill
Jenny’s Moonlight Adventure by Esther Averill
The School for Cats by Esther Averill
26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie de Paola
Geronimo Stilton (many)
Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures
Magic School Bus (science chapter books—several)
Life of Fred (Ice Cream, Jelly Beans, Decimals and Percents, Fractions)
Magic Tree House (many)

Miscellaneous Picture Books: 
Lady Hahn and her Seven Friends by Yumi Heo (Korean)
The High Street by Alice Melvin (darling fold-out illustrations of the inside of shops on “High Street”)
House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser

A trip to California
VBS: Sky High & Sonlight Express
Family reunion
Boys’ Camp
3-day Science Camp (Levi and Luke)
Swim Meet/Camping weekend in Bend
Bard in the Quad (live performance of Taming of the Shrew for Levi and me)
The King’s Bean Soup (a play put on with friends)
Art and Air Festival (balloon and airplane rides and Styx concert)



Rebecca said...

Heidi, you are the best.

Love the photos you always take.
Love the realness you always exude.
Love the wealth of information you always share.

Thanks for it all.

And- a question for you (if ever, whenever you have the time...) We follow the same pattern for History and I have been pondering what will happen the second go-round. It seems like SOTW is written for a younger "stock" and might be too juvenile for older children on the second rotation. Or maybe just expect more from them the second time while using more supplemental things? Or even dropping SOTW altogether and using the time period and older resources within that time period?

Curious to know whether you plan to follow the time period with different resources or to continue with SOTW; really, what your plans are.

Because basically, you are my hero.

Heidi said...

Thanks, Rebecca. :)

We are going back to the ancients this year. In pushing through to the end of SOTW 4, I didn't realize just how much higher of a level it is than SOTW 1. It had been a long time since we read the first volume! I'm actually looking forward to the shorter, more simple chapters, LOL! The plan is to include all 3 boys in reading through SOTW 1 together. The 1st grader will do some simple copywork, read the supplemental picture books, and enjoy any crafts or projects we do. The 3rd grader will read more challenging books. My 5th grader will do quite a bit of independent reading at a higher level (including The Story of Science which has a lot of history) along with outlining from the History Encyclopedia similar to what is recommended in The Well-Trained Mind. It won't take us very long to read the SOTW chapters, and I see no reason to exclude the 5th grader. (It will be perfect for the other two boys.) It will be nice to have our schedule of topics all laid out for us and to all be on the same schedule. We are also creating our own timeline notebook this year. I think the only reason I would drop SOTW is if I had only older children (5th and up) or if my older child couldn't stand being read to from SOTW. I have a pretty easy going son. I know he will enjoy it. :)

Rebecca said...

Thanks Heidi!