I haven't done one of these for a while. I am embarrassed to do it online, but this is the most convenient place to do it.
Michael has been through his first major hump of his writing class and is getting an "A" so far. I am proud of him. He is a good writer, and it is nice to have his instructor give him great feedback. He has been making sure his essays are on track by going to the writing lab at the Benton Center on Mondays. The woman there is so very kind, unlike his writing instructor from last term. I will recommend NO ONE takes a class from her.
Paul just finished Lesson 8 of Apologia Biology. I don't think he is going to finish by the end of this year, but that is OK. He is working super hard. He is taking notes on each chapter, doing the study guide questions, taking the tests (and has a 90% average). So, I love the study skills he is developing as a result of it.
Their British Literature is coming to a close. Paul is almost done with Ivanhoe and started writing his 600 word paper today. What a feat for him to read such a difficult and long book. I am so proud of him. He could have taken an easier route and read Pride and Prejudice, but I don't think his testosterone would allow him to read it. :) Michael read Jungle Book (because we thought he was going to have to do a compare/contrast paper with the book and the movie for his new writing class, but it wasn't part of the assignments). He really enjoyed it, and as usual, he checked out another version that had illustrations with it.
British Literature has been really good this year, but I would definitely change some things about the class if I were to create and teach it. Notably absent is DICKENS! How can you do a British Literature class without Charles Dickens? I would spend less time on some of the obscure information in the syllabus and have them read more actual literature.
All that said, I love Thelma's heart! It has been a joy to work with her these last two years. I only have to listen to and edit THREE more lectures because I am not going to have the kids here listen to the Senior Presentations from the Beaverton class. I will tell them what they are about and have it optional online listening. We will be done with the class on May 18, and George and I are thinking of going to Skamania in the Columbia Gorge for Memorial Day weekend. It has been a very time consuming class, but it has been an investment in my children. I wish she were doing Classical Literature next year. I would do it if she were, but she is doing a survey of the Old Testament, and I don't need to learn from Thelma on that one. I already could teach it, but I am not as up on my classical literature.
What I MIGHT do is have an Iliad/Odyssey class showing the Teaching Company DVD's on the subject for the fall. That would give us twelve weeks to read them and cover the first term. I would create my own more reasonable study guide for the class. Then, I would spend Winter and Spring covering some other classical literature that is also covered in the CLEP test related to it (Is there a CLEP test related to it?). I think some of the things that they had to read in the classical literature class that Michael did were not not necessary for them to read. I think I would stick to the list in Susan Wise-Bauer's books. I am sure I could do it myself. It would just mean quite a bit of work, but I could prepare for it over the summer. I also think I would charge for my services since Paul would be the only one benefiting from the class.
Another idea is to do a "Great Books" class using The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics.
Time is up! No proofreading.