Thursday, September 5, 2013

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

(Maybe I should get our summer round-up list posted now that it is September and we’re gearing up for a new start!)

Food For Thought



::  Teachers, Remember to Breathe: 4 Books Worth Reading as School Begins @ CiRCE:

“As another school year begins, teachers once again begin spending themselves, pouring themselves out to nurture the souls of their students. But it is an oft-forgotten truth that we breathe out what we breathe in, and far too many teachers spend the school year in a state of constant exhale, an unfortunate reality that is just as problematic for students as it is for their teachers. Teachers, parents: don't forget to breathe deeply.”

::  The Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf: 100 Must-Reads For Kids 9-14 @ NPR Books. This is an interesting list with a ton of family favorites. The age range is tough. There are many books listed that would be great for 9 and under, and several that should be read closer to 14 and up. There are also a few books on the list that we won’t be reading. What do you think of the list?

::  Ten Things I learned From Loving Anne of Green Gables @ Los Angeles Review of Books:

“But while Harry and Lucy and Dorothy offer heroism, they offer it only when the right contexts, and the right mentors, present themselves. Anne, however, has no Dumbledore or Aslan to initiate her into a larger understanding. Instead, Anne herself is the portal — the tornado, the wardrobe — who helps the characters around her understand that the “mundane” world, itself, was always already full of deep magic.”

::  Harry Potter, Homeschooling, and a Pink Professor @ The Mango Times (on engaging the culture—must read):

‘Theory of engagement with the world is and should be taught, yet for some families that is where they stop (and this is where I swing down a few branches on the tree).  Here's what I've personally witnessed:  These families never use their training in the real world.  In an "us vs. them" mentality they continue to sterilize their children by raising them to avoid any engagement with the world.  They disengage from anything to do with popular culture instead of entering the culture equipped with a Christian worldview and practicing the skills of defense (read: Gospel living).  After pulling away from the philosophies of the world, they never return to engage the world with sound Biblical philosophy.  Even after equipping their families with the tools to engage, their energies are spent avoiding the world and living in a "secure risk-free way."’

::  C.S. Lewis as Student, Apologist, and Story-Teller: Convocation Address at Augustine School @ The Imaginative Conservative:

Reading good and beautiful and imaginative stories is not simply “filler” between the real classes like math. Rather, reading good stories is at the heart of a real education. Lewis made clear that real, or true education must be concerned with the training of a student’s sentiments, their dispositions. Ultimately, education must be concerned with the students’ heart. Lewis can write—turning to our namesake, Augustine: “St. Augustine defines virtue as ordo amoris, the ordinate condition of the affections in which every object is accorded that kind and degree of love which is appropriate to it.” Lewis goes on: “Aristotle says that the aim of education is to make the pupil like and dislike what he ought.”

::  A Place for Conversation @ CiRCE

"Made in the image of God, the Storyteller whose tale is spun through history in real lives and real events, people need stories. We thrive upon them, find our place in them, and are taught through them. We all need dialogue and conversation: from my own young children and my high school students to us “grown-ups” who have been taught to forget."

::  Has Fiction Lost Its Faith @ The Rabbit Room (Interesting links and discussion in the comments.)

::  Peace Hill Press status update on Facebook (If you haven’t “liked” them, you are missing out on some of the best entertainment on Facebook):

‘Look, we're all about the classical education. We've got "Art for art's sake" tattooed on ourselves in Homeric Greek, next to the picture of Socrates and the diagram of a compound sentence. But that DOES NOT mean that every student needs to go to a four-year liberal-arts university and major in Early English Literature. If they all did that, we'd starve in the dark. Rather than try to make your budding engineer or technician into a poet, help her become an engineer who writes well or a technician who reads.’

::  The STEM Crisis Is a Myth @ IEEE Spectrum (good stuff):

'Emphasizing STEM at the expense of other disciplines carries other risks. Without a good grounding in the arts, literature, and history, STEM students narrow their worldview—and their career options. In a 2011... op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Norman Augustine, former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, argued that point. “In my position as CEO of a firm employing over 80 000 engineers, I can testify that most were excellent engineers,” he wrote. “But the factor that most distinguished those who advanced in the organization was the ability to think broadly and read and write clearly.”

::  School Has Become Too Hostile to Boys @ TIME Ideas

‘Across the country, schools are policing and punishing the distinctive, assertive sociability of boys. Many much-loved games have vanished from school playgrounds. At some schools, tug of war has been replaced with “tug of peace.” Since the 1990s, elimination games like dodgeball, red rover and tag have been under a cloud — too damaging to self-esteem and too violent, say certain experts. Young boys, with few exceptions, love action narratives. These usually involve heroes, bad guys, rescues and shoot-ups. As boys’ play proceeds, plots become more elaborate and the boys more transfixed. When researchers ask boys why they do it, the standard reply is, “Because it’s fun.”’

::  Schools put genius child in special ed, tell mom he can’t learn. Now he’s free, and he’s on track to win a Nobel Prize. @ The Libertarian Republic. (I greatly enjoyed both videos in this post. I had a huge smile on my face all the time. Our new motto, perfect for classical education, is “Learn, think, create.”) 

::  Writing the Right College-Entrance Essay @ The Wall Street Journal:

My students always asked me, What should I write about?

I'd answer: You are a student of the world. What is it that moves you? What incites you, enrages you? The first-person pronoun is a mighty tool. Use it.

::  40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World (fascinating!!)


::  It’s Good To Know Stuff, Part 1 @ Write at Home

“There’s an assumption underlying the question, Why do I have to know this? The assumption is that the purpose of acquiring knowledge is to use it in some practical way in the future. The implication is that there’s no point in learning something that you aren’t going to eventually use. How may of us have complained that we spent all those years learning algebra (or history, or biology, or British literature, etc.) but never once used it in our everyday lives? If that’s true, was our classroom experience simply a waste of time?”

::  It’s Good To Know Stuff, Part 2 @ Write at Home

“Deep down we all love to know stuff.”

::  It’s Good To Know Stuff, Part 3 @ Write at Home

"And keep in mind that it’s not necessary to get a college degree in the arts in order to benefit from them. It makes sense to get your degree in computer engineering, get a job that you find fulfilling and rewarding, and pursue the arts at... your leisure. It’s silly to think one can only learn about music and fine art by studying it in school. There are museums and libraries and websites and organizations of all kinds that can help us pursue knowledge of these things."

::  A free e-book from Write at Home: Top Ten Mistakes Teen Writers Make

::  Kids, go to college or you’ll die alone in misery @ The Matt Walsh Blog (Go read the whole thing. It is outstanding. And funny.)

"Education is something that happens in buildings specifically designed for that purpose. Then, after a few years, you walk across a stage and — POOF! — you’re educated. You’re done. Education complete. You are officially an educated person. You completed all the steps, followed the path, solved all the puzzles, made it to the final boss and killed him, and now you’ve beaten the game. Time to kick back and take it easy!"

::  1912 Grammar Test for 8th Graders @ Grammar Revolution

::  10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science

8. Plan a trip – but don’t take one

As opposed to actually taking a holiday, it seems that planning a vacation or just a break from work can improve our happiness. A study published in the journal, Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as employees enjoyed the sense of anticipation.

::  Foreign words with no specific English translation, describing experiences we all have [11 pictures] @ 22 Words (delightful) 

::  7 Secrets of Highly Happy Children @ Huffington Post:

"When it comes to kids, people just don't think about happiness enough these days. They think about success. They think in comparisons. They think about milestones, graduations and shiny trophies... They think about things like redshirting a potential Kindergartener -- not so that he will be happy, but so that he will have an advantage on the playing field or in the classroom."

::  Obvious Secrets @ CiRCE (In response to the above article):

‘Hurley's "secrets", for the most part, were once universally practiced patterns of life.  Among the seven enumerated (told you the title gives it away) are regular eating and sleeping patterns, and cultivating active, well-used imaginations.  She also adds just enough terrible advice to keep it interesting (see #4 on her list where she labels foot-stomping, public temper tantrums as simple "expression" and encourages parents to let it happen).’

::  How To Talk With Your Sons About Robin Thicke @ Eric Clapp

::  So, There Was Someone ELSE On The Stage, Right, People? @ Some Ordinary Readers 

::  23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert @ Huffington Post (Yes, yes, and 21 more yeses…)

You may not pick up your phone even from people you like, but you’ll call them back as soon as you’re mentally prepared and have gathered the energy for the conversation.

"To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go 'BOO!,'" says Dembling. "I do like having a long, nice phone call with a friend -- as long as it's not jumping out of the sky at me."

::  America's Real Criminal Element: Lead @ Mother Jones (surprising. fascinating.):

"If childhood lead exposure really did produce criminal behavior in adults, you'd expect that in states where consumption of leaded gasoline declined slowly, crime would decline slowly too. Conversely, in states where it declined quickly, crime would decline quickly. And that's exactly what she found."

::  Study Shows Millennials Are More Forgetful Than Seniors @ Huffington Post:

‘"Stress often leads to forgetfulness, depression and poor judgment," she said. “We find higher rates of ADHD diagnoses in young adults. This is a population that has grown up multitasking using technology, often compounded by lack of sleep, all of which results in high levels of forgetfulness.”’

::  With Little Kids, You Take Trips, Not Vacations @ Huffington Post (okay, this one won’t stretch your brain, but I feel the need to put in a hilarious treat for those of you who brave my long list of posts and make it to the end…):

"We turned on some music to drown out the crazies in the back, and said a silent prayer of thanks for our life (not really, but refraining from losing it at your screaming kids while on road trips counts as prayer). There will be seasons for vacations, sometime in the future. But the season in which we live right now involves trips. And we will take more of them, to God be the glory, great things he has done."


Lists and Lessons

(I tried to keep accurate lists, but it was August, after all…)

5-day Good News Club

Mathtacular 4: Word Problems (DVD)
Teaching Textbooks
Life of Fred: Kidneys, Liver, and Mineshaft
Beast Academy

Logic in 100 Minutes (Levi watched this workshop video while reviewing The Fallacy Detective from Logic camp last month.)   

Two-day rock science class
Two-day plant science class
Focus On Middle School Geology Student Textbook (Real Science 4 Kids) (Excellent review and depth for recent geology studies)
Earth Science: Rock 'N Learn DVD (re-watched, excellent review)
Human Body (Rock N Learn DVD)
Eyewitness DVD: Human Machine
Eyewitness DVD: Skeleton


Fine Arts:
Maestro Classics: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (CD)
Maestro Classics: The Story of Swan Lake (CD)
Do Re Mi: If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido D'Arezzo


History, Literature, Historical Fiction:
The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages (Ch 11-13) 
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (Levi, assigned pages)
The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (Luke, assigned pages)
Anna of Byzantium (historical fiction, Levi-IR)
Do Re Mi: If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido D'Arezzo (The true story of the medieval monk who formulated the system of musical notation.)
Ali, Child of the Desert (fictional picture book, Sahara and Morocco) (library)
What About Me? retold by Ed Young (Ancient Middle East fable, literature) (library)
The White Stag by Kate Seredy (literature, legend of Attila the Hun, Hungary)
Hidden Tales from Eastern Europe (literature)
Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Spain (literature)
Anno's Spain (lovely wordless picture book)
The Most Magnificent Mosque (picture book, historical fiction, when Moors ruled Spain)
Son of Charlemagne by Barbara Willard (historical fiction, chapter book, Levi-IR)
Marguerite Makes a Book (picture book, historical fiction, book making in medieval France)
Valentine and Orson (retelling of medieval French romance, read aloud, literature)
Old French Fairy Tales by Comtesse De Segur (literature)
World of King Arthur and His Court: The: People, Places, Legend, and Lore (literature) (library)
*The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White (Levi and Luke both read) (literature)
The Minstrel in the Tower (historical fiction, easy chapter book)
The Sword in the Tree (historical fiction, easy chapter book)
The Whipping Boy (historical fiction, easy chapter book)
The King's Equal (fairy tale, easy chapter book)
The Midwife's Apprentice (historical fiction, easy chapter book)
Dick Whittington and His Cat by Marcia Brown (picture book legend of Richard Whittington, c. 1400-London)
Whittington by Alan Armstrong (chapter book legend of Richard Whittington, c. 1400-London, Levi and Luke-IR) (library)

Literature Study:
Book Detectives literary analysis book club ~ Yoshi's Feast by Kimiko Kajikawa (library)


Levi’s Free Reading:
(A bunch of re-reads plus…)
The Hunters: Brotherband Chronicles, Book 3 (library)
The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate (library)
Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds (library)
101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (library)
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (library)
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (library)
Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce (library)
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron (library)
Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet (library)
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce (library)
Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce (library)
Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce (library)
The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull (library)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce (library)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time by Frank Cottrell Boyce (library)
Leepike Ridge by N.D. Wilson (library)
Son of the Black Stallion by Walter Farley
Jakarta Missing by Jane Kurtz
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

Luke’s Free Reading:
(He read parts of a bunch of books, but had trouble finishing them.)
The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate (library)
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (library)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce (library)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time by Frank Cottrell Boyce (library)

Leif’s Free Reading:
(He’s reading a bunch, but mostly books we have on hand and I haven’t kept track.)
Magic Tree House #49: Stallion by Starlight (library)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming



Miscellaneous Picture Books:
Galileo's Leaning Tower Experiment (library)
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (library)
Mary Walker Wears the Pants: The True Story of the Doctor, Reformer, and Civil War Hero (library)
The True Adventure of Daniel Hall (library)
Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People (library)

The Three Golden Keys by Peter Sis—(This author is pure magic. This story is “the reworking of three classic Czechoslovakian fairy tales into a haunting illustrated fable of his lost childhood in Prague that is also a deeply felt allegory of the reclamation of a Czech cultural identity after forty-five years of Communist rule.”) (library)
Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains (library)
Once upon a Time (South Africa) (library)
One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey (One of my all-time favorite children’s book authors/illustrators) (library) 
Humphrey, Albert, and the Flying Machine by Kathryn Lasky (library)
King Arthur's Very Great Grandson (library)
Everybody Bonjours! (library)
Inventor McGregor (library)

The last concert in the park
Weekend Swim Meet in Bend (including camping out, splash park, and lots of hanging out with friends)
5 days of Good News Club with friends
Choir auditions
A day on the water
Family reunion
Foreigner concert in the park
Art and Air Festival, Young Eagles flights
Cool Pool with Friends
Several play dates

No comments: