Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saturday, Sunday Shakespeare

Any way you slice it, Shakespeare rocks in my book. I really enjoyed this Saturday flight through the 108 pages of this classic English play, Richard III.

Susan Wise-Bauer gave a good visual for me of the family tree of Richard III in her excellent book, The Well-Educated Mind. I transferred it to the inside cover of my book sot that I could refer to it throughout the reading.
Richard was a villain who killed his brother, George Clarence, and the two sons of Edward IV (his other brother), Edward and Richard, so that he could become king of England. It is character study in evil.
Famous lines like "Now is the winter of our discontent" and "My horse, my horse, my kingdom for a horse" come from this famous historical drama. I highly recommend it. I do hear that the Folger Shakespeare Library Edition will make Shakespeare more accessible to neophytes because it has facing pages with explanations. I did just fine with this one, but Shakespeare doesn't scare me like it might scare some people.

In order to add to my enjoyment and understanding, I watched the 1956 Lawrence Olivier movie version while I was reading. I would read a few scenes. Then, I would watch those scenes in the movie. This is the Criterion Collection version with amazing commentary by playright and stage director, Russell Lees, which opened my world to understand Shakespeare and Olivier. He also inserts a commentary done by John Wilders who was the former governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. I am someone who loves movie commentaries, and this is the absolute BEST commentary I have ever heard. If you want to understand more of Shakespeare, check this out from your local library and watch the movie with Russell. You will be the better for it!

After Richard III (finished the play last night and the movie this morning), I went on to read The Complete Sonnets of Shakespeare. Now, this was a bit tougher for me. I downloaded them from the Oregon Digital Library Consortium Library2Go and read along as I listened. It was tough until I found the "No Fear Shakespeare" section of SparkNotes with original text and modern text in parallel form! So, if I don't get it, I can read this. I am through about 35 of them.

I anticipate tackling A Midsummer Night's Dream next. I have seen two different movie versions of this, and I will see the play this summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland in July for Laura's 40th birthday extravaganza with nine other women (along with Othello and A Comedy of Errors). AMND is also being performed in the OSU Quad this summer! I may wait to read it in mid-July. Then, I can read The Prince by Machiavelli because apparently Shakespeare's Richard III is a Machiavellian character!
It was a good and restful weekend for me with Shakespeare!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blood Clots and School Year Next Year

It appears I have a blood clot in my right leg above my right knee. So, I am going in for an angiogram/angioplasty on Friday. Stay tuned. :(

So, to totally keep my mind off of this, I am writing out the plan for next school year:

2008-2009 School Year


A People and a Nation
The American Pageant
The Story of US by Hakim
CLEP Exam Study Site with links to the
Annenburg Foundation A Biography of America with Video on Demand
Critical Thinking in US History: From Colonies to Constitution (Led by Linda H. in Thurs. Coop)
American History Timelines Figures from: Homeschool in the Woods


Led by Linda H. in Thursday coop - presentations and group projects around the election in the fall.


Here is our list of books and ones that I will read with them because they are on my Well-Educated Mind List (TWEM):

Anna Bradstreet - To My Husband and Other Poems
Thomas Paine- Common Sense (TWEM)
Benjamin Franklin – Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (TWEM)
Ralph Waldo Emerson- Self-Reliance and Other Essays
Henry David Thoreau – Civil Disobedience and Other Essays
Henry David Thoreau – Walden; or, Life in the Woods (TWEM)
Frederick Douglas – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas (TWEM)
Louisa May Alcott- Short Stories
Mark Twain- (Samuel Clemens) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (TWEM - Read already)
Mark Twain- Humorous Stories and Sketches
Great American Short Stories (Poe, Melville, Harte, London, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Hawthorne, others)
101 Great American Poems (Poe, Whitman, Robinson, Melville, Holmes, Frost, Dickinson, Pound, Eliot, Stevens, others) (TWEM - Dickinson, Frost)
O’Henry- (W.S.Porter) The Gift of the Magi
Harriet Beecher Stowe- Uncle Tom’s Cabin (TWEM - Read already)

Other authors in syllabus reading include William Bradford, Cotton Mather, Michael Wigglesworth, Mary Rowlandson (TWEM), Jonathon Edwards, Phyllis Wheatley, various Founding documents, letters, and covenants.

It should compliment our American History studies nicely. We hope to have this class with about eight other kids from 8th-12th grade in our home on Thursday afternoons after coop.


I have all the textbooks for next year, but I am seriously considering purchasing Teaching Textbooks Geometry or Algebra II for Michael. I will stick with BJU Pre-Algebra for Paul.


I had every intention of moving Michael on to Chemistry next year, but I am going to wait until Paul can do it with him, and that will require Paul being through Algebra I. So, I will wait until Paul's sophomore year and Michael's senior year in high school. So, Paul will start a two year study through the BJU Biology Text, and Michael will review his biology and study for the CLEP Biology Exam.

In addition, they will be doing Biology Lab with Sheri P. at the Thursday homes chool coop.

Once Michael reviews his biology and takes the CLEP (hopefully by Christmas). I will have him start the Cornell Bird Biology Course or physics or earth science or marine biology. This will be his choice, but I bet he chooses the bird biology! He can continue this into his junior year in high school since this course is like a college course.


I am setting up a writing class with a friend this summer, and we will continue the things we learn from there. Nikki also mentioned an excellent writing course that she has had Alita take that I want to look into.

I am hoping to go through Nitty Gritty Grammar with Michael and pick Katrina's brain for how she has used it. Paul will continue with Daily Grams.


We haven't gotten the new schedule, but I want to do less of these this year, maybe only once or twice a quarter for a total of 3-6. This years we did about seven plays and five field trips. That was a ton! In addition, we are going to be involved in a play through our coop this year. I think Michael will act. I don't think that Paul will though.


The Timberhill Athletic Club has been a sound investment for keeping the boys physically active. They are also playing badminton and hiking with dad now that the sun is out. Good movement around this household


Paul is reducing to six lessons for the summer term. I may continue this through the school year too since we will be busier with coop and American Literature.


Paul finished the New Testament this year, and Michael did many Old Testament books and Acts in connection with Classical Literature. Michael has already started in Genesis, and I think I will have Paul do the same.

They are also continuing with their prayer and Bible lessons with the Boys' Group every other Friday night.


Michael needs to take that test! We need to get him driving with us. I don't think he needs to take the course, but it depends on what our insurance wants us to do. He is in no hurry though.

H=History, D=Drama, P=Poetry, A=Autobiography

H - Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (Done July)
H - Plato's Republic (Done July 22)

H - Plutarch's Lives (2 Volumes: Roman and Greek )
H - City of God by Augustine
H - Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede
D - Everyman (Done 6/19 - contrast with Dr. Faustus - loved this play!)
H - Prince by Machiavelli (Done 6/24 - Richard III blew it)

H - Utopia by Sir Thomas More
P - Sonnets of Shakespeare (Done in June)
P - Poems of Donne
A - Essays of Montaigne
A - Life of Teresa of Avila
D - Doctor Faustus by Marlowe (Done 6/21 - Heavy and great for discussion!)
D - Richard III by Shakespeare (Done 6/21 - Shakespeare ROCKS!)

D - Midsummer Nights Dream by Shakespeare (Done in June)
D- Hamlet by Shakespeare (Done in June)

I may just skip the history/autobiographies and just do the drama and poetry books and come back around to the ones I skipped in the future. They are LONG books. I want to be up to the 1600's so I can read along with the American Literature books. :)


Tidy up all closets (done with Master and Office)

Tidy up all drawers (done with Master)

Tidy up kitchen cupboards and drawers

Digital Scrapbooking for 365, Michael and Paul's books

Friday, June 06, 2008

Out of the Mouth of My Babe

Paul has been saying such neat things lately. I know that I will forget them if I don't write it down, and I used to type these sorts of things on my word processor. Then, I change computer a few years later, and I can't find it on my old one.

We came back from a delightful dinner in Jefferson, Oregon with the family of a young man who is going to SEA this summer. Paul's comment on the way home in the car. I wish I could remember it just right.

"I am realizing that people are not just 'things.' They are not strangers either. They are people with a story. They all have unique backgrounds that make them who they are. There is a reason why they do what they do because of that background. I am just seeing that I see people on the street and they may seem like strangers, but they have a story." (Paul - 13 years 6 1/2 months)

I may edit this after I talk more with him this morning about he said. We had such a nice discussion in the car as a result of it which ended in insane and hysterical laughter about something or other.

I love our family time. Car time is always so precious.

Monday, June 02, 2008


The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make His face shine upon you
And give you peace
And give you peace
And give you peace, forever . . .

We closed our Bible Book Club tonight with this song and prayer. Anna shared how her mother would pray this over her every night when she was growing up. How absolutely precious.

I sensed God's presence there tonight. I was so blessed.


Here I go for fifteen minutes. I did not do the fifteen-minute freewrite Friday as I thought. And I totally missed this last Friday. So, I a...