Summer school this year is heavily reading-centric. Reading is so important! I try to walk the fine line between challenging classic literature and stories that are fun enough to keep them interested, which can be tricky. Then again, there are so many rabbit trails to follow with this many stories, and this many kids asking questions about the meanings of words and so forth… days that feel like little progress was made in the books are often days that involved so much interaction and exploration! This is another reason why I love homeschooling.
Our poems so far (all taken from The Harp & Laurel Wreath) include:
The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (Ruben memorized this in less than an hour… gotta get something harder for him!)
Ellie is working on the second stanza after only two days on The Owl and the Pussycat.
From The Angel’s Alphabet by Hilda van Stockum, B is for Balaam’s Ass has challenged Alyssa’s sense of propriety and involved a lot of giggling…
J is for Jacob’s Ladder is Efrain’s section – and since they’re working together on their memorization, when they’re done, he and Alyssa will switch.
The Height of the Ridiculous, by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Jordan and this poem – I don’t know why – just seem made for one another.
The Wild Honeysuckle by Philip Freneau is Xavier’s challenge for the week.
For Natalie I figured she might as well take on something huge, so I gave her Lepanto, by G.K. Chesterton. She’s very much rising to the the occasion!
Reading for the summer looks like this: Ruben is listening to Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm
Elyany is reading: The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Alyssa is reading: The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley
Efrain is reading: Farmer Giles of Ham, by J.R.R. Tolkien (and at night, for fun, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. He waited – purposely – to start until he turned 11!)
Jordan is reading: Dreams and Dragons, by Linda Burklin
Xavier is reading: The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom
Natalie is reading: The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
With this wide variety of fare you can imagine the conversations go in many directions.
And speaking of conversations going in many directions, our after dinner discussions are increasingly interesting as well. We’ve been working our way through a deck of cards that defines all kinds of logical fallacies, and that was interesting enough; but tonight Paul decided that our kids, who absolutely LOVE to argue (what kids don’t, I ask?), need to learn how to argue properly. So tonight we started with the Ad Hominem fallacy and the Straw Man fallacy, using the questions “Do Aliens Exist?” and “Should drivers licenses be granted at age 16, or 21?” My, this got lively in an instant! There were ad hominems flying in every direction! It was an enormously useful time of teaching, and lots of fun too. Family dinners, man. They’re the best.