Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mt. Hope Academy @ The Live & Learn Studio ~ January 2013

(And a bit from the end of December 2012.)

Bits and Pieces

::  An “Educational” Video Game Has Taken Over My House @ Slate
Minecraft inspires creativity and problem-solving. But my [sons] are obsessed.

“One minute I’m mesmerized with its potential for encouraging children to get creative, explore, and think critically about what it takes to build new communities. The next I’m shrieking at my kids and issuing ridiculous threats.”


::  Why Can Some Kids Handle Pressure While Others Fall Apart? @ The New York Times
A fascinating look at the science of test-taking.

“Like any kind of human behavior, our response to competitive pressure is derived from a complex set of factors — how we were raised, our skills and experience, the hormones that we marinated in as fetuses. There is also a genetic component: One particular gene, referred to as the COMT gene, could to a large degree explain why one child is more prone to be a worrier, while another may be unflappable, or in the memorable phrasing of David Goldman, a geneticist at the National Institutes of Health, more of a warrior.”


::  Grammar and Punctuation Quiz @ The Guardian
Only 14 questions. You can do it! (I disagree with one of the questions/answers, but it turns out it may be a difference between British and American English grammar.)


::  But vs. Though: a Distinction That Matters @ The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Here’s the distinction: What follows But is the author’s main point. What follows though is a subordinate point.

(a) I would follow you anywhere in the world you’d care to go. But I don’t trust you.

(b) I would follow you anywhere in the world you’d care to go, though I don’t trust you.”

:: Take the Who or Whom Quiz! @ Write At Home (Lots of fun grammar quizzes on his blog!)


::  CiRCE Institute: Lost Tools of Writing Workshop
Local friends, CiRCE is holding a workshop in Eugene on April 20th. I’d love to see you there!!


::  Speaking of CiRCE Institute, you’ve signed up for their magalog, haven’t you? I can’t wait to receive mine!


:: We Can Measure Educational Value in Words @ The Imaginative Conservative

"The how-to-ists understand people, you might say, as productivity machines. They don't account for the distinctive capabilities and joys of the being given speech, the being with a name who can name. It's through naming people and things with increasing precision and enjoying the pleasure of sharing what we can know in common through words that we come both to know more and to think better."


::  And a funny story from our house:

Sometimes I worry about Leif getting the short end of the stick when it comes to lessons around here. One morning he was playing Sushi Monster Math on the ipad. It shows several plates of sushi with numbers on them. A sushi monster has a sign around his neck with another number, and the player chooses two plates that equal the number on the sign (and then the monster eats them). It has an addition level and a multiplication level. His brother asked him why there isn't subtraction or division. Leif answers, "Because they aren't commutative." I think I'll stop worrying about him.


Lessons, Activities, and Book Lists

Classical Conversations (Cycle 1, Weeks 13-16) Foundations: One morning each week. Memory work in timeline, history, science, Latin, English grammar, math, and geography. Includes weekly hands-on science projects/experiments, fine arts projects, social time, and public speaking. Essentials: (Levi) One afternoon each week; includes grammar, vocabulary, writing, public speaking, and challenging math games.


The 21 Rules of This House by Gregg & Joshua Harris
God Our Provider (CD) (Bible memory songs)
The Children's Illustrated Bible (reading through together, again)
The Action Bible (Luke) 
Boys Bible (Levi)
The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments (Leif)
Telling God's Story: Year Two

CC weekly math memory work: measurements and equivalents
Teaching Textbooks (daily lessons for all three boys)}
Life of Fred (always)

CC weekly science memory work: Earth Science
Earth Science: Rock 'N Learn (my boys learn so much from these videos!)
Dig and Sow! How Do Plants Grow?: Experiments in the Garden (At Home With Science)
The Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature (So excited to see this now available on Amazon. Our first copy was read into shreds.) 

Swim team practices and meet

Fine Art:
13 Photos Children Should Know
CC Fine Arts—Famous artists and art projects

Language Arts:
Classical Conversations Essentials of the English Language (Levi)
IEW writing (theme-based: Ancients, Levi in CC Essentials Class) 
CC grammar memory work (helping verbs)
All About Spelling (Levi and Luke Level 3: lessons 23-25, Leif Level 1: step 17-18)
Handwriting Without Tears workbooks (cursive for Luke and Levi)
MCT Language Arts, Voyage level (just getting started)

Latina Christiana (reviewed lessons 1-10, lesson 11)
Minimus: Starting out in Latin (What a fun Latin book for the boys! We are enjoying reading it together.) 

CC geography memory work (Africa)
Map drawing/tracing

History/Literature/Historical Fiction:
CC weekly memory work: history sentences and timeline
(Levi ancient history-themed writing with IEW) 
The Story of the World: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor (chapters 16-20)  
Pages of History: Secrets of the Ancients by Etter & Detweiler (Veritas Press)
Confucius: The Golden Rule
The Elephant's Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth
The Minotaur of Knossos (Journey Through Time)
Esther's Story
DK Readers: Greek Myths
Gods of Olympus (Reading Discovery Level 3)
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths (literature)

(We had quite a few more books, but I’m going to lump them in with February’s book list.)

Memorizing the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Levi’s Free Reading: 
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness: Adventure Peril, Lost Jewels, and the Fearsome Toothy Cows of Skree (The Wingfeather Saga)
North! Or Be Eaten: Wild escapes. A desperate journey. And the ghastly Fangs of Dang. (The Wingfeather Saga)
The Monster in the Hollows (Wingfeather Saga)
Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I by Colin Meloy
Under Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book II
The Crown of Kuros : An Allegory ( The Terrestria Chronicles, Book 4 )
Flora's Fury: How a Girl of Spirit and a Red Dog Confound Their Friends, Astound Their Enemies, and Learn the Importance of Packing Light
Dragon Keepers #1: The Dragon in the Sock Drawer by Kate Klimo
The Dragon in the Sea
The Dragon in the Volcano
The Dragon in the Driveway
The Imagination Station (books 1,2,8, and 9)
How to Train Your Dragon: How to Steal a Dragon's Sword
The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, Book 3)

Luke’s Free Reading
Maggie Rose: Her Birthday Christmas
The Imagination Station (books 1,2,8, and 9)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming
I, Houdini by Lynne Reid Banks
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier (381 pp)
How to Train Your Dragon: How to Steal a Dragon's Sword

Leif’s Free Reading:
The Imagination Station (books 1,2,8, and 9)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
The Enormouse Pearl Heist (Geronimo Stilton, No.51)


Listening Pleasure (all boys):
The Chronicles of Narnia (Radio Theatre)
Oliver Twist (Radio Theatre)
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne (audio book)



Miscellaneous Lovely Picture Books Enjoyed by All: 
Lost Boy: The Story of the Man Who Created Peter Pan by Jane Yolen
Heroine of the Titanic: The Real Unsinkable Molly Brown by Elaine Landau
Annie and Helen by Deborah Hopkinson
Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller by Doreen Rappaport
The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel
Castle: How It Works (My Readers) by David Macaulay
Jet Plane: How It Works (My Readers) by David Macaulay 
George Bellows: Painter with a Punch! by Robert Burleigh
The Giant and How He Humbugged America by Jim Murphy
Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John "Appleseed" Chapman by Esme Raji Codell
Martin de Porres: The Rose in the Desert (17th Century Peru)
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain


The Herd Boy by Niki Daly(South Africa)
Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind by Gary Ross (An epic poem full of imaginative adventure)
Look . . . Look Again! by John O'Brien (So quirky and clever! Visual puns and jokes. The boys LOVED this one.)

Miscellaneous Activities:
Lego League (Levi and Luke)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe high school drama production


RMann said...

I am looking in to joining a CC community for next school year. I am wondering what did you end up purchasing for home use, and which items do you think are unnecessary to purchase for home?

Thank you so very much for your time and assistance! I have followed your blog for some time now and I have gained so much inspiration from it.


Heidi said...

For Foundations you will need one Foundations Guide for the whole family and a tin whistle for each child participating in class. That is all that is absolutely necessary for all three cycles of Foundations. I personally find the audio CDs to be a necessity. The songs greatly facilitate memorization (and enjoyment). The timeline is now listed in the Foundations Guide, but the cards are beautiful and have additional information on them. I'd highly recommend them if they are in the budget. The geography tables are quite helpful for map tracing, etc. but you could always make your own copies from the Foundations Guide and use page protectors or have them laminated. The geography tables are just a great convenience. :) The rest of the materials are nice to have, but certainly not absolutely necessary.

Heidi said...

By the way, I do use the flashcards (moreso now that I have two boys working toward Memory Masters) and I have found the iPad app to be useful, as well. I tend to forget about the Science Cards, even though they are lovely. I have the Latin Tables, but haven't used them. I don't have the resource CD. I purchased it the first year and never used it. I think the iPad app has the same audio/visual content as the resource CD, and it is much more useful to us as an app.

Shannon said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this. We have been blessed by many of the things you post (my boys love many of the same books as yours).

I am going to a "Windows into Challenge" meeting tomorrow. Looking forward to learning more about the next chapter of CC.

Anonymous said...

A word of caution for fellow mamas regarding Minecraft... My son is a huge fan of the game and we let him purchase a downloaded game as well as play on multi-server sites online. We found lots of off color (or just down right "adult") language in the chat streams that weren't well moderated. He bounced from server to server finding the same issue on many. We then decided we would limit his playing to just his downloaded game, only to have his little brother ask me, "Mom, what does 'slow-bot humping hobo' mean?" The phrase was scrolling by on the title page when he logged on. That's when we finally decided to nix Minecraft in our house. Just a friendly heads up. ~Sarah W.