Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Lissa
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Posted: Jan 31 2005 at 4:54pm | IP Logged Quote Lissa

Kate and I have been reading American history for
almost two years now. Right now we're deep into
LANDMARK HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
and I have to say we are just eating it up. What a
fascinating book! We've just read the chapter about
young Montgomery Ward and his innovative idea to
start a mail-order catalog, which basically launched
American consumerist culture.

Our dinnertime read-aloud is OLD YELLER, which is
set in the same time period and (thanks, Sonlight)
overlapped beautifully with the LANDMARK HISTORY
chapter on cowboys and the new cattle trade.

I guess we'll be moseying into the twentieth century
sometime in February...

Erin, meanwhile, is living in Ancient Greece. Today
Scott walked into the kitchen and she cried out,
"Look, it's the mighty Zeus!"   

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Posted: Feb 03 2005 at 5:19pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

We are somewhere in the late Sixth Century finishing "Augustine Came to Kent" by Barbara Willard. The girls love history so much, especially because they associate it with pleasurable read aloud time and interesting discussion. Today's writing assignment was to write a letter from Wolf (the main character, a fifteen year old boy who has accompanied St. Augustine on his mission to England) to his sister Ana in Rome. It was interesting to see how Allie and Mary each had completely different things to write about the trip!

We've been traveling through time chronologically for almost three years now, and we are only in the Sixth Century, but no one can accuse us of failing to be thorough! We especially love looking at original sources whenever possible (translated into contemporary English, needless to say). The girls were deeply moved by the prison diary of St. Perpetua when we studied the Christian martyrs, and they loved reading Martial--some of his poems reminded us of Hilaire Belloc. We plan to listen to unabridged recordings of The Song of Roland and Beowulf. (I purchased the Seamus Heaney recording of Beowulf you recommended a while back). I'm hoping even my younger ones will enjoy the rhythm of these.

We skipped ahead a bit recently and read two different picture book versions of "The Canterbury Tales" that we found in the library. They were wonderful and humorous and a perfect introduction of the Tales for children. I do not have the author's names in front of me, but I will post them later when I have a moment.

The kitchen timer just beeped, and dinner is ready, but I love having this forum to talk history!


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Posted: Feb 04 2005 at 11:44am | IP Logged Quote Lissa

alicegunther wrote:
We plan to listen to
unabridged recordings of The Song of Roland
and Beowulf. (I purchased the Seamus
Heaney recording of Beowulf you recommended a
while back).


I was just looking at our copy of Beowulf the other
day and thinking I'd like to re-read that one
aloud...must be winter that puts me in the mood for
epic adventure from the frozen north...Beowulf begs
for the cozy fireside, the steaming mug, the foul
weather beating against the windowpanes...

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Posted: Feb 04 2005 at 3:53pm | IP Logged Quote Willa

My kids loved the Ian Seraillier version Beowulf which my husband read to them. My Sean was only about 3 at the time.   He roleplayed Beowulf for a long time.   We have the Seamus Heaney version on CD too.    

I sure miss the days my husband used to read to the kids regularly. He's been more busy and pressured these days and prefers to put on a movie now when he hangs out with the kids; at least they're usually the good old movies (they've been watching old Sherlock Holmes recently) but it's not quite the same.   Maybe we'll get back to those days now that the medical issues aren't quite so hard on emotional energy.

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Posted: Feb 04 2005 at 6:16pm | IP Logged Quote Cindy



The book on tape sounds good. I am completely unfamiliar with the classics and have begun exploring them in earnest after we had a great speaker come and fire us up.

I will look for those verions of Beowulf.
I am just finishing off listening to The Teaching Co. tapes on an analysis of Homer's Odessey. I plan to read it now. Does anyone recommend any particular version or translation? BTW I really liked the tapes- by Dr. Elizabeth Vandiver of U of Maryland.

Do you all just jump into the classics.. or do you think you need an intro.. and the kids, too?



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Posted: Feb 04 2005 at 6:21pm | IP Logged Quote Cindy

Lissa-

Speaking of American History, have you ever used Christ and the Americas by Anne Carroll? Any thoughts or creative ways to bring it in?



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Posted: Feb 04 2005 at 6:23pm | IP Logged Quote Cindy

alicegunther wrote:
We are somewhere in the late Sixth Century finishing "Augustine Came to Kent" by Barbara We


Alice- This sounds so fun.. and wonderful! Can you remind me how old your kids are? Are they all still on board for read-alouds?   

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Posted: Feb 04 2005 at 6:50pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

Cindy wrote:

Alice- This sounds so fun.. and wonderful! Can you remind me how old your kids are? Are they all still on board for read-alouds?   


Yes, they are all on board for read-alouds. My children are 11 (today!), 9, 7, 5, 3, and 10 months. At the moment, my challenge is to find sources to cover the same time periods for different levels. I'm planning to find some excellent picture book versions of Beowulf for my three and five year olds.

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Posted: Feb 04 2005 at 10:33pm | IP Logged Quote Willa

Cindy,

We used Richard Lattimore's translation of Iliad last year when I read it to Brendan. A lot of people I know recommend Fagles' -- I haven't seen that one.   Since Lattimore was in blank verse, we read a little of one of the online versions, maybe Pope's or Dryden's, to get a feel for it in rhyming translation.

I've heard a lot of good things about the Vandiver course! My dad is letting us borrow his, but I haven't listened to it yet! My husband is just finishing listening to the Lives of the Famous Romans by Dr Rufus Fears of U of Oklahoma -- really fun to listen to, but I'm almost always asleep by the time he turns them on at night

I just jump into the classics, and then we use any questions that arise as rabbit trails.   I think CS Lewis was right when he said the classic authors are usually more accessible than their commentators

Alice,

I'd love to hear the names of any childrens' versions of Beowulf you find -- and the Canterbury Tales versions you've read.


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Posted: Feb 05 2005 at 2:05am | IP Logged Quote Leonie

We have enjoyed the Rosemary Sutcliff re-telling of Beowolf.

Oh, and Geraldine McCaughran's picture book of The Canterbury Tales.

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Posted: Feb 05 2005 at 8:22am | IP Logged Quote Cindy

What do you all think of The Children's Homer? Or should we just go for the real thing?

I just finished the Vandiver course. I feel I have an understanding and backdrop now.. and she brought in some (but not too much imho!) of various thoughts of scholars on ambiguous points.   My library had this. maybe it can be found in others, too. OH, her last chapter was on history- differing thought on if Troy really existed and the archelogical evidence for and against. Facinating.

Now I am listening to a course on Dante's Divine Comedy. Gosh, I love homeschooling.. I am learning so much.

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Posted: Feb 05 2005 at 12:14pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

WJFR wrote:
Alice,

I'd love to hear the names of any childrens' versions of Beowulf you find -- and the Canterbury Tales versions you've read.


The two picture book adaptations of The Canterbury Tales we read were written by Geraldine McCaughrean and Barbara Cohen. The Barbara Cohen book was wonderful because of the fabulous illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman, but the McCaughrean book was more detailed and covered far more stories. All in all, I am happy we decided to read both.

The Beowulf adaptations I plan to check out (or purchase if need be) are:

Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye;
The Hero Beowulf by Eric A. Kimmel; and
Beowulf by Welwyn Wilton Katz

As soon as I have had a chance to take a look at these, I will let you know if they are a good choice.

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Posted: Feb 05 2005 at 12:24pm | IP Logged Quote Chari

Cindy wrote:
What do you all think of The Children's Homer? Or should we just go for the real thing?



Now I am listening to a course on Dante's Divine Comedy. Gosh, I love homeschooling.. I am learning so much.


Cindy, I am NOT a classical scholar........AT ALL.

but, in my home, I required the kids (all two of them    )to read The Children's Homer first......and then they dove into the Iliad and the Odyssey......and both told me they were SO glad to have read the CH first.....they said it helped them to concentrate on the language and story as it moved........without trying to get the gist of it, too..........since the CH had already given them insight.

I had hoped to have read it to them long ago....but alas.....we cannot get to everything......hardly anything, really.....maybe I will have time to read it to my youngers....

funny...........my oldest two were the focused students for so long...........and now, I send them off to study, after read alouds..........and I focus everything on the youngers, as a group....the rhythms of life

I have learned SO much hsing, too! I am a compulsive student.....so, since I cannot take classes while my kids are young........I had to create my own classes! Hsing was the answer for me!

in the sweet heart of Mary,

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Posted: Feb 05 2005 at 12:24pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

Cindy wrote:
What do you all think of The Children's Homer? Or should we just go for the real thing?


We love The Children's Homer and have it on tape by Blackstone Audiobooks. The Golden Fleece, also by Padraic Colum, is good as well. I can understand the desire to go directly to the original work and skip over the adaptation, especially for older children, but I'm hoping a good adaptation read in the early years will make the unabridged classics less intimidating when my children encounter them later in life.

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Posted: Feb 05 2005 at 12:51pm | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

Chari wrote:
Cindy, I am NOT a classical scholar........AT ALL.

I am even less a classical scholar...sometimes I feel like the dumb jock in this bunch . Nevertheless,I'm going to tell you my Homer secret: we listened to Odds Bodkin's rendition on CD before we touched anything else. Then we read Marcia Williams comic-strip version. Then, we hit Rosemary Sutcliff. Then we tried the Children's Homer. And everybody hated it. But they liked Odds Bodkin and they do know the story and they really covered myth and ancient Greek history. So there you go, I'm a classical dropout

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Posted: Feb 05 2005 at 1:44pm | IP Logged Quote Cindy

elizfoss wrote:
   

covered myth and ancient Greek history. So there you go, I'm a classical dropout


No, Elizabeth... you are a classical drop-in! I love taking the back door in, if that is what fits.   

Books on tape are wonderful- that is what got my boys interested in Redwall.. and now they are reading them and hoping he keeps writng them.

I wanted to try Jane Austen this year-- but had to listen on tape to get the nuances and expression. That is what I am finding with the Teaching co.. it is giving me a reference.. now to see if we like the real thing. We may not!

I'll look for the Odds Bodkin tape- thanks for the idea.
Alice and Chari- thanks for the info, too.. I think we will take the leisurly path in and how we like it.

I hear you, Chari... I'm learning right along with the kids. Not a bad day job...


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Posted: Feb 07 2005 at 12:16am | IP Logged Quote Angie Mc

elizfoss wrote:
But they liked Odds Bodkin and they do know the story and they really covered myth and ancient Greek history. So there you go, I'm a classical dropout


I'm curious, how much time did you give to the Odds Bodkin tapes...days, weeks, months? I'm looking to start in April.

Thanks!

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Posted: Feb 07 2005 at 12:29am | IP Logged Quote Willa

About skipping the adaptations -- I guess that would be me that said that, ahem     But I just meant the commentaries and the introductions at the beginning ... sometimes I read them, but I usually don't expect the kids to read them.

We DO do the adaptations first. ... well, not for Beowulf, that was a pretty gripping story in itself, but for all the epics & etc.   We'd already read Padraic Colum, Rosemary Sutcliff, Alfred Church, Roger Lancelyn Green all the childrens' versions available, through the years.    I think you are right, Alice, it does make the classics less intimidating and PLUS, those classics are part of our cultural heritage.   That's why first-rate authors like the ones mentioned above have done their own versions. I even read a story fragment by CS Lewis from the point of view of Menelaus when he sees Helen (stolen wife) for the first time in 10 years and realizes she is middle-aged now!

Sometimes I get the online study guides for the classics, but usually that's if I haven't read the book the kid is reading and I want to be able to discuss it -- cheating, I know

When I was reading the Iliad to Brendan, he already knew what was coming next, usually. He knew the story way better than I did.   He still liked the read-aloud.

Are there any retellings of Dante out there???

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Posted: Feb 07 2005 at 3:09pm | IP Logged Quote TracyQ

Lissa,
    Could you tell me more about the book, *Landmark History of the American People* please? Is it out of print, and where would you find it? I tried searching, but not sure about what book you mean.

Thanks!

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Posted: Feb 07 2005 at 5:36pm | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

We're in 1800, USA, here. Lewis and Clark arrive on Wed. and we're all really looking forward to meeting them in books, DVD, maps, etc. This year we're doing U. S. history to 1900 (next year will be a real challenge, with no "text", but that's another topic). DS (13) has a textbook, and dd (7) is along for the ride. We've been reading all kinds of fiction and nonfiction to accompany our text and activities ("Colonial Days" has TONS of stuff!). Felicity from the American Girls series is now a friend to us all. DS gave up pretending he wasn't interested...now he drops everything during dd's read-aloud time...he he he, just what I intended all along.

The only sad thing is, dd doesn't want to read the Laura Ingalls Wilder's books because of Pa's stories of the panther in Wisconsin! She is scared. Any suggestions for overcoming this fear? I'd thought of skipping to Little House on the Prairie, but then I remembered the Indian War Cry chapter...grrrr. I love her books. I can't imagine girlhood without them. After Lewis and Clark, they're the next logical thing!!! Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks, and I have to add that ds didn't like Children's Homer either. He loves Greek mythology but that book just wasn't it for him.

Thanks in advance!



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