Thursday, October 10, 2013

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


Lola: preschool, Leif: 2nd grade, Luke: 4th grade, Levi: 6th grade (oh, my!!)

Food for Thought

:: George Orwell’s Despair by Russell Kirk @ The Imaginative Conservative (A very interesting explanation of why I disliked 1984. While I have appreciated many other dystopian books (The Giver, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World), I found 1984 to be devoid of hope.)

Orwell saw the Church in disrepute and disorder, intellectually and morally impoverished; and he had no faith. He could not say how the total corruption of man and society would be produced; he could not even refer to the intrusion of the diabolical; but he could describe a coming reign of misrule wonderfully like the visions of St. John the Divine. He saw beyond ideology to the approaching inversion of humanitarian dogmas. All the norms for mankind would be defied and defiled. Yet because he could not bring himself to believe in enduring principles of order, or in an Authority transcending private rationality, he was left desperate at the end. A desperado, literally, is a man who has despaired of grace.

::  From Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

“It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were in books…Three things are missing.

“Number one: Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion…Well, there we have the first thing I said we need. Quality, texture of information.”

“And the second?”


“Oh, but we’ve plenty of off-hours.”

“Off hours, yes. But time to think?…The televisor is ‘real.’ It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, ‘What nonsense!’”

“Where do we go from here? Would books help us?”

“Only if the third necessary thing could be given us. Number one, as I said: quality of information. Number two: leisure to digest it. And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two.”

Quality, texture of information. Leisure to digest it. And freedom to act on what we learn from the interaction of the first two.

Sounds like an Andrew Kern lecture to me… Or a Stratford Caldecott book:

Fahrenheit 451 p. 164

“And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering.”

::  You Can’t Do Simple Maths Under Pressure (a fun online game—see if you can beat it!)

::  The map that shows where America came from: Fascinating illustration shows the ancestry of EVERY county in the US @ Daily Mail

::  No Happy Harmony: Career and motherhood will always tragically conflict by Elizabeth Corey @ First Things

"We are limited, embodied creatures. These limits mean that we cannot do everything to its fullest extent at once, and certain things we may not be able to do at all."

::  When your children’s dreams are different than your own @ Simple Homeschool

“No matter how happy our childhood, we always want our children to have it better than we did. We want more. More choices, education, opportunity to explore interests, freedom for them to soar and realize their full potential.  I don’t know what grand scheme I had in mind for my eldest, but I wanted him to soar!”

::  I’m an introvert and I don’t need to come out of my shell @ The Matt Walsh Blog

"Maybe it’s a stretch to try and connect techno and roast beef with our society’s obsession with being extroverted, but I think it all grows from the same root: We’ve decided that small talk is better than real talk, noise is better than silence, and we’d all rather be — or we’d rather our kids be– Tony Robbins than, say, Leonardo Da Vinci (a notable introvert)."

::  The awesome books my literature students read @ Write at Home (because you know I love a book list)

::  Stories Are Makeshift Things @ CiRCE

"John Gardner wrote that 'The great artist . . . is the [writer] who sees more connections between things than [ordinary people] can see.' I finally think our need for stories is our need to find those connections, and to have confirmed for us the theology we hold secret in our heart, that even the least of us are necessary to the great universal plot in ways we hadn't imagined."

::  School Is No Place for a Reader @ Canadian Notes and Queries

During library period in grade 4 the librarian teaches the children computer skills: making their names appear in various colours and fonts on the screen and designing brochures. At the end of the period there are a few minutes to check out two books. Most children decline the offer. The child sees a book she wants high on the top shelf and asks the librarian to reach it for her. “No. You can’t have anything with a yellow sticker. They are too hard for you. You might be able to read it, but you wouldn’t understand it. Pick one of the books with green stickers.” Green stickers mark the spines of The Magic School Bus, The Babysitters’ Club and The Pokemon Guidebook. The book the child has just finished reading, Oliver Twist, is not in the library at all.

Which leads us to…

::  Shakespeare’s Language and the Evolution of Human Intelligence @ CiRCE

The reason we can’t understand Shakespeare or read the King James Version of the Bible or grapple with Milton or almost any poetry is because we systematically school children in our culture to become increasingly stupid. Charlotte Mason uses the term “stultify” to describe what we do.

::  Some Thoughts on Jaden Smith’s Tweets on Education @ Write at Home

If Jaden meant that education in this country is a mess that needs to be revamped, I’m with him. If he meant that knowledge-hungry teens seeking to satisfy their cravings through independent study at home is better than the insipid fare offered in too many of our nation’s schools, I’ve got his back.

::  Oregon test scores nose-dive, 40 percent of high school juniors failed writing @ Oregon Live

Reading performance dropped in every grade from third through eighth. Passing rates in math fell in five of seven grades tested, including 3 points in third grade and 2 points in seventh grade.

:: Math and the Nature of Reality @ Classical Conversations

“So think about this: do poems follow rigid logical forms? How about allegories? What about irony? These are all forms of thought which contain truth, but do not lend themselves to the analyses of formal logic and mathematics. Nonetheless, logical positivism became one of the most powerful driving forces in modern philosophy. And with it, came the death of many of the deeper forms of human thought in academics and, to a lesser extent, society as a whole.”

::  The complementarity (not incompatibility) of reason and rhyme @ Quantum Frontiers (physics + poetry = lovely)

::  Students Who Get Moving Boost Memory, Study Finds @ Education Week

::  Six Words You Should Say Today @ Huffington Post (fantastic parenting advice!)

::  Let’s be gentle with each other. Let’s read each other’s signs. @ Mamamia (Yes, let’s.)

::  Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy @ Wait But Why

Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has "unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback," and "an inflated view of oneself."  He says that "a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting."


Lists and Lessons


Classical Conversations (Cycle 2) Weeks 1-4 Foundations classes (includes public speaking). Essentials: (Levi and Luke)

Telling God's Story, Year Two: The Kingdom of Heaven
Buck Denver Asks: What's in the Bible?
Independent Bible Reading

Teaching Textbooks (Levi—level 6, Luke—level 5, Leif—level 4)
Life of Fred (Kidneys, Liver, Mineshaft, Fractions, Decimals and Percents, Elementary Physics, Pre-Algebra with Biology)


The Oregon Garden field trip
CC memory work (biomes, consumers, food chain, natural cycles)
The Magic School Bus: The Food Chain (DVD)
Food Chain Frenzy (The Magic School Bus Chapter Book, No. 17)
Desert (Eyewitness Videos) (+Arctic & Antarctic, Seashore, Pond & River, Ocean, Jungle)

Swim team practice
(hiking and swimming) 
Fine Arts:
CC Drawing
Joyful Noise Choir (weekly rehearsals + music theory homework)

Language Arts:
CC memory work (parts of speech, pronouns)
Essentials (Levi and Luke) grammar
IEW Medieval history-themed writing 
All About Spelling (Levi and Luke: level 4, –step 13; Leif: level 2, –step 7) 

CC memory work (conjugations)
Song School Latin DVD (Leif)
First Form Latin DVD lessons (Luke and Levi (Levi completing workbook lessons), lessons 1-3) 


CC memory work (Europe)


Renaissance Faire
CC memory work (timeline and history sentences)
The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages (Ch 14-15) 
Man Who Loved Books by Jean Fritz, illustrated by Trina Hyman (Saint Columba)
The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow (historical fiction, chapter book)
Myths Of The Norsemen by Roger Lancelyn Green (literature)
Nordic Gods and Heroes by Padraic Colum (literature)
Favorite Norse Myths by Mary Pope Osborne (literature)
Odin's Family: Myths of the Vikings (literature) (library)
Leif Eriksson
Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky
Leif's Saga: A Viking Tale
Leif the Lucky by D'Aulaire
Viking Times (If You Were There)
History News: The Viking News
Viking Adventure
Who in the World Was The Unready King?: The Story of Ethelred
The Edge On The Sword (historical fiction, chapter book, Levi IR)
The King's Shadow (historical fiction, Battle of Hastings, chapter book, Levi IR)
William the Conqueror
Hastings (Great Battle and Sieges)
Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction by Macaulay
Cathedral (DVD)
Cathedrals: Stone upon Stone
Don't Know Much About the Kings and Queens of England (William the Conqueror)
Famous Men of the Middle Ages (selections)
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (literature)
The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur (literature)
Merlin and the Making of the King (literature)
Knight prisoner: The Tale of Sir Thomas Malory and His King Arthur (literature)
King Arthur (Eyewitness Classics) (literature)
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain (historical time-travel fiction, *literature, Levi-IR, 540 pages)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Tolkien (*literature, read selections aloud)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Selina Hastings (literature)
Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady by Selina Hastings (literature)
(And other King Arthur books…)
The Princess Bride (DVD, just for fun)

Literature Studies:

Miscellaneous Picture Books:

(I didn’t keep a close track of independent reading this month!)

Levi’s Free Reading
Chasing the Prophecy (Beyonders) by Brandon Mull (library)
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
Messenger by Lois Lowry
The Prince And The Pauper by Mark Twain

Luke’s Free Reading

Leif’s Free Reading

McDowell Creek Falls (hiking and swimming)
OAKS Amusement Park
House Rock (hiking and swimming)
Birthday parties
The Oregon Garden
Renaissance Faire (and outdoor movie night with friends) 
Bowling with charter school friends

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