Saturday, November 2, 2013

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


Food for Thought

::  The Common Topics and the Universe @ Classical Conversations

"Aristotle’s common topics of invention serve as a series of lenses through which we can look at any given subject. In doing some quick research, I was reminded that the word ‘topic’ comes from the Greek topos, which means “place.” Suddenly, I understand Aristotle’s lenses more clearly. They are places in which we can look for clues for understanding anything from flowers to stars to relationships. I must also note that invention is only the first of Aristotle’s five canons of rhetoric: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery."

::  A Model for a Classical Conversation by Courtney Sanford @ Classical Conversations (a fantastic example of subject integration as well as group discussion using the “topic” of “comparison” from Aristotle’s rhetoric)

‘I drew a topic wheel on the whiteboard. A topic wheel is simply one circle in the center and seven more circles surrounding it. I wrote “water” in the center circle. The seven other circles are intended for other subjects. The idea is to provoke thought by having the group brainstorm about what different subjects have in common with the central item. (This would be the topic of comparison if you are familiar with the five common topics.)’

:: 100 Words To Make You Sound Smart (another entertaining vocabulary quiz by Write at Home—I didn’t do quite as well as I hoped)

::  Brave New World and the Flight from God @ The Imaginative Conservative

‘One mutilation he observed was a spreading mediocrity of aspiration. Demanding goals -pleasing God, living morally, partaking of high culture – were being replaced by lesser ones: “fun,” comfort, conformity.[23] Unfortunately, multitudes are not interested in having their souls stretched by either a demanding religion and morality or an inspiring high culture – hence the great danger that the majority would cheerfully make a Faustian bargain, selling their souls for bread, baubles, comfort and amusement.[24]’

::  David Smith, author. (HT: Classical Academic Press)

"Charity in reading involves avoiding quick dismissal and cheap disdain, resisting the ego satisfaction of allowing a text only to confirm one's prejudices, and seeking the good in a text, choosing its truths over its defects. Humility implies a working assumption that the text may offer wisdom that I lack, and that if the road to grasping it is stony then the fault may lie at least as much with as with the text itself. Justice involves reading fairly, working to weigh evidence before making evaluative judgments and seeking to represent the text without distortion, even when distortion would better fit my interests. The act of reading itself becomes an act in which, as in all other acts, Christian virtues out to be exercised."

::  The Joy of Being Awake @ CiRCE

“It seemingly takes me hours to work my way into the day, to arrive at a state of mind and body in which, and through which, I can achieve anything even moderately productive. I wake up sluggish and, far too often, grumpy, and, I am realizing, if I’m not careful my children will see that in me and themselves might begin to wonder if maybe this whole being alive each new day phenomenon isn’t all that wonderful after all.”

::  Peace Talks @ Classical Conversations

“These two things—joy and conflict—are indeed in tension, but they are not at cross purposes! In fact, as much can be learned to increase fellowship and learning through conflict as through joy. In conflict, we also come to understand our subject matter better and to understand each other better. In doing so, we can increase learning and deepen fellowship. The key is that we must be willing to stay the course, acting with love of neighbor as our highest priority. The dialectic that occurs in conversations is a two-edged sword, and we must learn how to value both the harmonious joy as well as the frustrating struggle. We need to learn how to manage conflict and navigate to resolution.”

::  On Language, Loss, and the Fullness of All Things @ CiRCE

"When God speaks, there is not loss of meaning, but creation of meaning."

::  Purpose, Goodness, and the Imagination of God @ CiRCE

“In being like Him – in creating, in speaking, in naming, in tending – we glorify Him. And we fulfill our purpose.”

::  20 SAT Words Quiz (The 20 words on this quiz come from a list of the most common SAT words over the past several years. See how well you know them!)

::  Why I Hire English Majors @ Huffington Post

“I love English majors. I love how smart they are. I love their intellectual curiosity. And I love their bold choice for a major. Most of all, I love to hire them.”

::  Heard at my house:
"Guess what I ordered for boys who get all their work done this week!"
(In the most enthusiastic voice you can imagine:) "Calculus?!!!!!!!"
Um, no. But thanks, Life of Fred

::  Easy? No. Kids today do not have it easy. @ The Matt Walsh Blog

‘Maybe I shouldn’t even use the word “children” anymore. I’m not sure what to call this new sort of human we’ve created; not old enough or wise enough to be an adult, not innocent enough to be a child. Entire generations are sent hurtling into this Limbo, and many never escape it.’

::  Help, doc, I’m bored by boring things. I think I’ve got the ADHD. @ The Matt Walsh Blog (another controversial post by Matt Walsh…but it sounded like he was talking about one (or two or three) of my son(s))

“Yet, I admit, some children have trouble performing well in school, and struggle to sit still and concentrate on tasks, regardless of the factors I listed. With these troublemakers, you could put them in a sound proof room with nothing but a pencil and a copy of their math text book, and they’d spend the whole time staring into space, or drawing pictures on the pages. I know those kid exist, particularly because I was one. I’m still that way. Give me a math test, sit me in a room, and two hours later I’ll come out with a cool idea for a screenplay, or a sketch of a grizzly bear, or an essay about why ADHD doesn’t exist. My wife makes fun of me because I can’t sit down without shaking my leg or scratching my head or otherwise finding a way to occupy one of my limbs. I daydream. A lot. I get lost in my own head. I forget things. I’m horrible at math. I mean, horrible. Seriously, it’s embarrassing. What’s five times five? Really, I don’t know.”

::  16 Fiction Book Characters' Myers-Briggs Personality Types @ Huffington Post (I’m Charlie Bucket married to Willy Wonka, LOL!!)

::  Stunning images of snowflakes under a (frozen) microscope [20 pictures] @ 22 Words

"On an interesting side note, man-made snow doesn’t vary in shape like natural snow does, and, in fact, doesn’t even look like natural snow at all when magnified. It’s just little blobs…"

::  Map of the world showing what each country leads the world in @ 22 Words (a fascinating way to view geography)

::  Map: Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State-by-State @ Jezebel (speaking of geography—okay this one isn’t particularly educational, but I LOVE talking about baby names and this is another fascinating interactive map)

::  Drawings of everyday objects made by typing with a typewriter [18 pictures] @ 22 Words (I adore this one!)

::  The October Homeschooling Blues @ Pioneer Woman

It’s the recognition that the bus will never come.

(On a slightly related note, one day this month I was so desperate for solitude that I slept in the car in the Old Navy Parking lot for two hours. True story.)

:: Terse @ Sesquiotica (Oh, for the love of words!!)

The word starts with a little spit of exasperation, the aspiration on the /t/. Then it’s straight into a syllabic liquid (or a neutral vowel for the non-rhotic), and quickly thereafter a hiss that can last as long as the other two phonemes combined. A jab, a sound, a hiss. And that’s it. Pressed reset. Wiped clean. Polished like a cut diamond, and just as cutting.

::  Using Music to Close the Academic Gap @ The Atlantic

“The fact that music engages so much in the brain—including regions we think of as important for language, memory, motor control, executive function and emotion—raises the question of how it interacts with these other activities,” says Patel. It’s not surprising, Patel says, to find that violinists, who make intricate movements with the fingers on their left hand, have enhanced fine motor function and corresponding changes in the regions of the brain that govern left-handed finger control. What’s more surprising is that music training actually enhances the way the brain processes language.

::  How much better is standing up than sitting? @ BBC News

Standing while you are working may seem rather odd, but it is a practice with a long tradition. Winston Churchill wrote while working at a special standing desk, as did Ernest Hemingway and Benjamin Franklin.

And just funny, funny, funny:

::  15th Century Flemish Style Portraits Recreated In Airplane Lavatory (Embrace creativity. Live an interesting life. Do the unexpected.)

::  Warped Childhood, Restoration Hardware-Style @ Suburban Turmoil

Funny and terrifying:

::  Increasing Number Of Parents Opting To Have Children School-Homed @ The Onion (satire)

Deputy Education Secretary Anthony W. Miller said that many parents who school-home find U.S. households to be frightening, overwhelming environments for their children, and feel that they are just not conducive to producing well-rounded members of society.



Lists and Lessons

Classical Conversations (Cycle 2) Weeks 5-7 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? Volumes 11 and 12
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)
Extra practice with story problems for math work samples
Mathtacular 4 (Word Problems) (DVD)


CC memory work 
CC weekly science experiments and projects

Swim team practice and meets

Fine Arts:
CC Drawing, Tin Whistle and music theory 
Joyful Noise Choir (weekly rehearsals + music theory homework)

Language Arts:
CC memory work (parts of speech, pronouns)
MCT Grammar Island (with Leif)
Essentials (Levi and Luke) grammar
IEW Medieval history-themed writing  
All About Spelling (Levi and Luke: level 4, step 14-17; Leif: level 2, step 8-9) 

CC memory work (conjugations)
Song School Latin DVD (Leif)
First Form Latin DVD lessons (Luke and Levi (Levi completing workbook lessons), lessons 4-7) 


CC memory work (Europe)
Daily map tracing and “blobbing”

CC memory work (timeline and history sentences)
The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages (Ch 16-19) 
DK Readers: Days of the Knights -- A Tale of Castles and Battles
A Medieval Feast by Aliki (lovely)
Castle by David Macaulay
Castle (PBS Home Video)
Stephen Biesty's Cross-sections Castle
Picture That: Knights & Castles
Adventures in the Middle Ages (Good Times Travel Agency)
Everyday Life in Medieval Europe (a favorite)
Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess (another favorite, very humorous)
The Making of a Knight
Arms and Armor (DK Eyewitness Books)
Knight (DK Eyewitness Books)
Knight's Castle by Edward Eager (historical fiction, silly fun time travel to the days of Robin Hood and Ivanhoe)
The Red Keep by Allen French, illustrated by Andrew Wyeth (historical fiction, 370 pp, Levi-IR) 
The Hidden Treasure of Glaston (historical fiction, 340 p, Levi-IR)
Anno's Medieval World
In the Time of Knights
Castles (Kingfisher) (a favorite)
Sword of the Valiant - The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (cheesy old movie)
A Knight's Tale (one of our family’s favorite movies—with a tiny bit of judicious editing)
Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman (historical fiction, England in 1290, 205 pp, Levi-IR)
The Great and Terrible Quest (historical fiction, Levi and Luke-IR)
Ivanhoe adapted by Marianna Mayer (a beautiful picture book)
Ivanhoe (Great Illustrated Classics) (Luke-IR)
Ivanhoe by Walter Scott (Levi managed parts and pieces of the original though it was a challenge)
Ivanhoe (an animated movie)
As You Like It by Shakespeare (movie, setting inspired by 19th Century Japan)
The Samurai's Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard (historical fiction, 234 pp, Levi and Luke-IR)
The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (The Samurai Mystery Series) (historical fiction, Levi read whole series, Luke just a few) 
Sword of the Samurai: Adventure Stories from Japan (literature) (library)
Magic Tree House #37: Dragon of the Red Dawn (library)
Sam Samurai (#10 Time Warp Trio) (library)
How to Be a Samurai Warrior (library)
A Samurai Castle (Inside Story)
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Samurai!: A Deadly Career You'd Rather Not Pursue (library)
Real Samurai: Over 20 true stories about the knights of old Japan (library)
Samurai: Arms, Armor, Costume (gorgeous photographs!) (library)
A Single Shard (historical fiction, 12th-century Korea, Levi-IR) 
Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (historical fiction, Medieval England, Levi-IR)
Adam of the Road (historical fiction, 13th century England, Levi-IR)
Through Time: London (I love the illustrations in these books!) (library)
Saint George and the Dragon retold by Margaret Hodges, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (literature)
Saint George and the Dragon retold by Geraldine McCaughrean (literature)
The Questing Knights of the Faerie Queen by Geraldine McCaughrean (literature)
The Saracen Maid by Leon Garfield
Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam
The Picture Story of the Middle East by Susan R. Nevil 
Saint Francis by Brian Wildsmith
El Cid by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Boy Knight: A Tale of the Crusades by G.A. Henty (historical fiction, Levi-IR)
Tales of the Crusades by Olivia E. Coolidge (Levi-IR)
The Canterbury Tales retold by Barbara Cohen, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (literature)
The Canterbury Tales retold by Geraldine McCaughrean (literature, Levi-IR)
Chanticleer and the Fox adapted from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
The Magna Charta by James Daugherty (Levi-IR)
The Magna Carta: Cornerstone of the Constitution
Usborne Book of London
DK Classics: Robin Hood
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green (literature, Levi-IR)
Robin Hood (an animated movie) 
Robin Hood (teacher research only, ha!)
The Race of the Birkebeiners
The Apple and the Arrow (the story of William Tell, literature)

Literature Studies:
Book Detectives ~ Mirette on the High Wire

Read-Aloud With Dad:
The Monster in the Hollows (Wingfeather Saga)

Miscellaneous Picture Books:

Levi’s Free Reading 
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth
Belles on Their Toes (sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen)
Here, There Be Dragons ( The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, Book 1)
The Search for the Red Dragon (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, Book 2)
The Indigo King (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica)
The Shadow Dragons (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica)
The Dragon's Apprentice (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica)
The Dragons of Winter (Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica)
The Gammage Cup: A Novel of the Minnipins
Kildee House (The Newbery Honor Roll) by Rutherford Montgomery, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
The Magic City by Edith Nesbit
and various others…

Luke’s Free Reading
Edward Eager Books
The Witches by Roald Dahl
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Indian in the Cupboard
The Secret of the Indian
Little Eddie by Carolyn Haywood
The Gammage Cup: A Novel of the Minnipins
and various others…

Leif’s Free Reading
Geronimo Stilton, Magic Tree House, Magic School Bus (Chapter Books), Dragon Slayers’ Academy
Half Magic by Eager, Boxcar Children, Life of Fred
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
and various others…

Testing with distance learning program


The Prudent Homemaker said...


I took the quiz, and I knew 98 of those words and what they meant. It said I scored 70%. I looked over my answers. It said I marked different things than what I had marked on the ones it said I had wrong. So perhaps you know more than you thought; did you look over your answers? Perhaps it told you that you marked different things than you really did, too.

That was strange. I have never seen a computer quiz tell me that I marked things with something other than what I KNOW I clicked, on question after question.

By the way, a large percentage of those words were French :) and I knew them because they were an easy French translation; we use them as English words, but not real often, such as "ennui" (pronounced "ahn-wee").

Anonymous said...

Do you use any other resources for writing and grammar with Leif? Thank you for your wonderful posts!
Sarah, Little Rock

Heidi said...

Brandy~ It's really weird, because the first time I took the test I thought it had mismarked several of my answers, but then I took it again and it was correct. I got an 86%. I guess I should be happy that I knew 86 of them. ;) One I misread. A couple I guessed on (ennui and elan). A few I think I guessed closely. But now I can say that I know a few more words. It is interesting that many of them are French! Though it makes sense that French words make you sound intelligent. ;) I only studied a little French right after I was married. I wish I had studied more languages in general. I'm loving Latin with the boys. So many derivatives in our language! (By the way, several other people mentioned that they had trouble with this quiz mismarking! Strange.)

Heidi said...

Sarah~ I *should* be using more with Leif, but fitting in his lessons has been tricky. He is a really young (boy) 2nd grader, so writing isn't a strong point, either. He is memorizing some grammar info in CC (parts of speech, definitions, list of prepositions, etc.). We are just starting to read through Grammar Island, and I hope to continue through that level with him this year. That means that he'll be doing some sentence analysis (parts of speech), and I'll probably start him on some very simple diagramming. All he is doing for writing at the moment is daily copywork (that I make for him using memory work or Bible verses) and All About Spelling a couple times a week, which includes dictation of simple phrases and sentences.

Gadget Terbaru said...

Nice info thanks for sharing