Friday, March 8, 2013

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

Opportunities, Inspiration, and Food for Thought

::  What do employers really want from college grads? @

The training covers basics – like how to write an effective business document – and throws in some philosophy and history

“We ask people to read Cato the Elder,” Boyes says. “We ask people to read Suetonius.”

Jobseekers, take note: you better brush up on your on your early Roman history.

“We do that because we ask them to look at the process – the abstract process – of organizing ideas,” Boyes says.

Sounds a lot like an argument for liberal arts education, at a time when more students are being told to study science and technology as a path to a career. Maguire Associates, the firm that conducted the survey, says the findings suggest colleges should break down the “false dichotomy of liberal arts and career development,” saying they’re “intrinsically linked.”

Or, as Boyes puts it: “We don’t need mono-focused people. We need well-rounded people.” And that’s from a tech employer.

::  Principal: ‘I was naïve about Common Core’ @ The Washington Post. Such a complex issue. Though we are subject to testing with our (public) distance learning program, I am able to set the tone for our learning atmosphere. I am so thankful that I am not a public school teacher trying to balance content, implementation, and testing under the extensive regulations of bureaucracy. I choose a rich curriculum and spread the feast. It works for us. I recently read through the reading selections for all grade levels recently (in literature, informational texts, science/technical subjects, and history/social studies), and I think they look excellent for the most part. It will be unfortunate if the implementation and testing does indeed go awry.


::   The Orchard: An apprenticeship for parents through Classical Conversations:

::  The Qualities of the Best Schools by Andrew Kern @ Classical Conversations:

"The atmosphere and environment correspond to and support the teaching. Both are leisurely, orderly, beautiful, and focused. High standards for communication, participation, and thought are implemented in a loving, patient, and consistent pattern."

::  Why We Love Beautiful Things @ The New York Times (Score one for the beauty of mathematics!):

“Simple geometry is leading to similar revelations. For more than 2,000 years, philosophers, mathematicians and artists have marveled at the unique properties of the “golden rectangle”: subtract a square from a golden rectangle, and what remains is another golden rectangle, and so on and so on — an infinite spiral. These so-called magical proportions (about 5 by 8) are common in the shapes of books, television sets and credit cards, and they provide the underlying structure for some of the most beloved designs in history: the facades of the Parthenon and Notre Dame, the face of the “Mona Lisa,” the Stradivarius violin and the original iPod.”


::  Oregon readers, Veritas School's annual Teaching Conference will be held August 1 and 2 on the campus of George Fox University. Registration is now open.

It's our great pleasure to announce that Dr. Leland Ryken of Wheaton College will be the featured plenary speaker at Veritas School's 2013 Teaching Conference, August 1 & 2, 2013.

The conference will be held on the campus of George Fox University (conference co-sponsor), Newberg, Oregon, in the heart of the beautiful Willamette Valley wine country.

Subjects of Dr. Ryken's (all-new) talks will be:

-Why and How We Should Value the Classics
-Teaching a Classical Text: Homer's 'Odyssey'
-The Classics as Enlightened Leisure: Dickens' 'Great Expectations'
-The Student's Calling and the Teacher's Role in Fostering It
-Teaching a Christianized Text: Milton's 'Paradise Lost'
-Teaching a Misrepresented Christian Classic: 'The Scarlet Letter'

The conference will also include break-out sessions in a variety of subjects and topics for elementary and secondary teachers, home-schooling parents, and anyone else interested in classical, Christian education.

Dr. Ryken has served as professor of English at Wheaton College for over 43 years. He has authored or edited over three dozen books, including 'The Christian Imagination' and 'Realms of Gold'.


::  Five Best Excuses Not to Attend a Math Practicum @ Classical Conversations (just for fun)
(Salem, Oregon practicum is May 20-22. Albany, Oregon practicum is July 29-31)

Excuse #2: Pi is something you cook in the kitchen. Wow. This one really takes the cake (pun intended!). I suppose this is intended to indicate that higher-level math is not practical enough to necessitate study. If math was simply something we learned in order to make our way through consumer shopping (making change at McDonald’s, for example), then this excuse might be valid. Math, however, is the language of the universe. It expresses beauty just as it serves a practical function. We are missing out on the beauty of math when we limit its study to solely utilitarian and pragmatic things. The Parent Practicum is the perfect place to find out that Pi is something worth tasting, even outside the kitchen.

::  CiRCE Institute is holding a Lost Tools of Writing Workshop in Eugene, Oregon on April 20th.


::  Ask Andrew @ CiRCE [whoa]

Ask Andrew - 11-12 from CiRCE TV on Vimeo.

::  Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Canadian doctors Neufeld and Maté

“What they learn, however, is not the value of thinking, the importance of individuality, the mysteries of nature, the secrets of science, the themes of human existence, the lessons of history, the logic of mathematics, the essence of tragedy. Nor do they learn about what is distinctly human, how to become humane, why we have laws, or what it means to be noble. What children learn from their peers is how to talk like their peers, walk like their peers, dress like their peers, act like their peers, look like their peers. In short, what they learn is how to conform and imitate."

::  America’s Baby Bust @ The Wall Street Journal:

"But then, parenting has probably never been a barrel of laughs. There have been lots of changes in American life over the last 40 years that have nudged our fertility rate downward. High on the list... is the idea that "happiness" is the lodestar of a life well-lived. If we're going to reverse this decline, we'll need to reintroduce into American culture the notion that human flourishing ranges wider and deeper than calculations of mere happiness."

::  How home schooling threatens monopoly education @ USA Today

Does this mean the end of public education? No. But it does mean that the old model -- which dates to the 19th Century, when schools were explicitly compared to factories -- is at risk. Smarter educators will start thinking about how to update a 19th Century product to suit 21st Century realities. Less-smart educators will hunker down and fight change tooth and nail.

::  What Being Homeschooled is Actually Like @ BuzzFeed (just for silly)

::  We get in the car and I pass a book back to Levi for assigned reading—telling him to put down whatever book he is currently reading. "That's okay, Mom. The other story pales in comparison to the Trojan War." (My heart swells with delight.) Later he tells me that he had finished the book anyway. I ask him what he had been reading. "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel," Levi replies with a grin.


Our Books Lists and Lessons from February

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
Granny Han's Breakfast
Catching Their Talk in a Box: The Life-Story of Joy Ridderhof

CC weekly math memory work: geometry formulas 
CC Essentials challenging math games (Levi, in class)
Teaching Textbooks (daily lessons for all three boys)
Life of Fred (always)
Beast Academy
Various ipad apps
On the Scale, a Weighty Tale (Math Is Categorical)
A-B-A-B-A A Book of Pattern Play (Math Is Categorical)


CC weekly science memory work: Earth Science
A Rock Is Lively by Dianna Hutts Aston
Exploring Planet Earth by John Hudson Tiner
Voyage to the Volcano (Magic School Bus Chapter Book)
DK Readers: Volcanoes and Other Natural Disasters (Level 4: Proficient Readers)
Let's Go Rock Collecting (Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science: Stage 2)
Will It Blow? Become a Volcano Detective at Mount St. Helens
I Wonder Why the Wind Blows and Other Questions About Our Planet
And various other books about planet Earth and our weather
Exploring the History of Medicine by John Hudson Tiner
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine (Living History Library) by Jeanne Bendick

Swim team practices

Fine Arts:
Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Symphonies
Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists (many in the series)
The Music Box: The Story of Cristofori
CC Fine Arts—Famous artists and art projects, composers and instruments of the orchestra

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 finished Level 3 (finally!!))
Handwriting Without Tears workbooks (cursive for Luke and Levi)
MCT Language Arts, Voyage level

Latina Christiana (some review)
Minimus: Starting out in Latin (What a fun Latin book for the boys! We are enjoying reading it together.)

CC geography memory work
Map drawing/tracing
Maps and Globes (Reading Rainbow Book)
Legends & Leagues: Or, Mr. Tardy Goes from Here to There


History, Literature, and 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
Hadassah: The Girl Who Became Queen Esther(Levi-IR, historical fiction) 
Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson (Levi-IR, historical fiction)
The Trojan Horse by Albert Lorenz
Iliad and the Odyssey retold and illustrated by Marcia Williams
Tales from the Odyssey by Mary Pope Osborne (books 1-6)
The Iliad translated by Robert Fagles (audio by Derek Jacobi)
The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tale of Troy by Padraic Colum
Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of the Odyssey by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Trojan War by Olivia Coolidge (Levi-IR, 253 pp)
The Hero Schliemann: The Dreamer Who Dug for Troy
Trojan Horse (Eyewitness Readers)
Olympics (Eyewitness Books)
Olympic Games in Ancient Greece
Asterix at the Olympic Games (just for fun)
Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #10: Ancient Greece and the Olympics: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #16: Hour of the Olympics
Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick
The Master Swordsman & the Magic Doorway: Two Legends from Ancient China
Herodotus and the Road to History by Jeanne Bendick
Ancient Greece (Discoveries)
A Children’s Treasury of Mythology illustrated by Margaret Evans Price
Of Numbers And Stars: The Story of Hypatia by D. Anne Love 
Greek Myths by Ann Turnbull (gorgeous illustrations!)


Literature Study
Book Detectives literary analysis book club: Ming Lo Moves the Mountain by Arnold Lobel and Five O'Clock Charlie

Levi’s Free Reading:
The Dragon in the Library (Dragon Keepers #3)
Horten's Incredible Illusions: Magic, Mystery & Another Very Strange Adventure
The Case of the Deadly Desperados: Western Mysteries, Book One
He read a bunch of other books (including books on Luke’s list) plus several re-reads. Didn’t keep track of titles.



Luke’s Free Reading:
The Dragon in the Library (Dragon Keepers #3)
Classic Starts: The War of the Worlds retold from the H.G. Wells original
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Horten's Incredible Illusions: Magic, Mystery & Another Very Strange Adventure
The Great and Terrible Quest by Margaret Lovett
The Light Princess by George Macdonald, illustrated by Maurice Sendak
The Golden Key by George Macdonald, illustrations by Maurice Sendak
Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Assassins of Rome (The Roman Mysteries #4) by Caroline Lawrence)
Raging Robots and Unruly Uncles by Margaret Mahy
The Greatest Show Off Earth by Margaret Mahy
Tick Tock Tales: Twelve stories to read around the clock by Margaret Mahy
The Pirate Uncle by Margaret Mahy

Leif’s Free Reading:
Dragon Slayers’ Academy books

Miscellaneous Lovely Picture Books:

Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda
Saint Valentine by Ann Tompert
Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington
Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
Moby Dick: Chasing the Great White Whale

Standardized Testing (glad to have that off the check-list for another year)
Valentine’s party with distance learning charter school friends
A relaxing trip to Bend for a few days

1 comment:

Jessica Stock said...

HI Heidi, thank-you for this blog and all of your wonderful information! I have a question I wonder if you could blog about sometime: first, how/when do you prepare the materials you will need for each week? Do you know ahead of time what books you want to use, or do you pick them off the shelf at the library? Do you take the kids along when you go to the library? And then, how/ where do you keep your materials so they are available? I am only homeschooling one first grader and I can't imagine when we get to three how I will keep track of all of the books, cds, papers, etc!