27 September 2010

2 October - update

Mornin, everyone. Has anyone seen summer? I seem to have misplaced it somewhere. October? Already? Sheesh.

Sorry it's been so quiet over here. Between a very busy work week and fighting a cold, my brain has been squishy and I couldn't think of a thing to say. ;) I finally slept in today, and I think the cold is breaking, so off we go.

Our early morning schooling was interrupted while we had colds, since it's harder to recover if you don't get enough sleep.

First I was letting Jack sleep, and then I need the sleep myself. I don't know whether we'll try to back to it -- it's so cold and dark at 7am these days! (And the guys have been very busy with school later in the day most days that it almost seems superfluous.)

In science, we're studying Archimedes contributions to maths and sciences by reading Archimedes Door Into Science. It's amazing and amusing to me how much of this stuff Jack already knows, what with one thing and another. He'll have read a story or a magazine article and can fill me in about once every chapter. I can't believe his memory!

We're starting to explore Shakespeare a little more, too. We started with Midsummer Night's Dream, since some familiar characters show up there and because it's very funny.

First Jack read the story from his Shakespeare story book and now we're looking at YouTube videos of various scenes. We are thinking about buying a video we found of kids performing scenes from the play...it's well done and so sweet! (And that kids are doing makes it that much more immediate, I think.)

Eventually, I want to pick some scenes he likes and read them aloud (readers theatre style) from the original plays. Rod isn't so sure, but I think it will work better than he's expecting it to. If not, we can stop. Knowing the story from simple story books and videos, and having heard the language in videos will help, but the language itself and making the language his own is an important part of the reason for studying Shakespeare. That works best of we read short, funny scenes together, I think. Listening and reading are good, but they leave more distance between the heart and the words than speaking them does.

Writing practice has made enough progress that Jack is now able to write his own letters. So far they're one sentence letters, but it's a start. Writing exercise now has purpose, especially because he loves to get letters back, and it's reason to be careful to make his writing readable.

We just finished a 12 night series of watching America a Story of Us from the History Channel. I hadn't actually planned to cover US history so soon, but when THC offered it free to homeschoolers, well...why not. It's far from a complete history of the US. How can it be? It covers 400 years in 12 hours! But it's a decent overview of what life was like and what was of highest concern to people living here over the years./ It shows how one period connects to another and is chock full of interesting details. I was amused to see how they tried to please everyone. There were a fair number of celebrities from every side of public debate, all speaking about their own passions. While there was quite a bit of jingoistic rhetoric there, the history itself didn't avert its eyes from the much harder questions of social justice, ecological responsibility, the genuine horrors of war, and the like. I will admit that I had a hard time with the modern cinematography. The computer animated graphics were clever, if a bit disconcerting but I have real trouble with the increased use of truly gruesome imagery in modern cinematography. I ended up spending a lot of time staring at the table and cringing. It would be more of a complaint except that it's the case in most things made in the last 10 years as far as I can tell. The upshot? Jack was mesmerized, it's well done and it gives a decent overview from which to study in greater depth later. I would get it and use it again, but maybe not with someone who is only seven. Now I want to revisit a similar series about Australia, to have a look at the parallels, though if I remember right the Australian series only really addresses the 20th century.

I am so very far behind on cards. Not only on birthday cards, but now, too, on Yule cards. Maybe I should wrap up here and get to it, eh?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review! I haven't actually watched ours yet and I doubt I will get time to prior to using with the kids for the history class they are doing with a friend so it is nice to know what you thought of it.


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