Monday, September 13, 2010

New Week, New Opportunities for Dazzling Efficiency!

After a rather trying weekend, mostly spent helping (nagging) the kids through their history and literature assignments in preparation, today's co-op meeting went very well.  I had left my own reading of The Shadow Spinner, the book for the older group, whose discussion I was leading, for the last minute and spent Sunday afternoon with it.  That part was actually very nice.  Getting the children to finish reading their books, and doing the rest that needed doing, was less fun.  Especially since the weather was absolutely gorgeous.  But we persevered, and today they acquitted themselves quite tolerably. 

Travis was a little wobbly on the important themes of The Shadow Spinner, but he tells me that he shone in the history discussion.  Katie read her book, The Castle in the Attic, all on her own, and I didn't discuss it with her at all (mostly because I didn't read it at all).  This may have been a mistake, as I am told that when asked what she thought the theme of the book might be, she proposed, "Toast!"  I asked her later about this, and she claims that she understood the question to be more general, as, "What might be some examples of themes in literature?"  To which, of course, "toast" is an answer which might occur to anyone.  Anyway, they presented "Friends, Romans, Countrymen..." very nicely, and now we can move on to a new week of material!

This week our schedule is Packed.  Loads of reading and writing, not to mention math, Latin, science, etc., etc.  It is all good stuff, but I wish we could enjoy it over several weeks instead of cramming it all into one.  This is the disadvantage of doing history and literature with the co-op, and I knew it going in, so I shouldn't complain.  Much.
Here are some of the books we will read this week...

We started Beowulf last week (one version per child, both of which I am reading aloud -- sensible, eh?), and the kids love it.  The Robert Nye version is much more gross and graphic than the Seamus Heaney, which also has the advantage of gorgeous pictures.  But Nye is so straightforward that there is no chance of losing track of where the story is going.  And, yes, I can see that Plain Girl, by Virginia Sorensen, doesn't seem a natural fit for the middle ages.  It is Katie's book discussion book, and they can't all fit nicely into our history schedule.  We're also listening to Story of the World and, this week, Wulf the Saxon, by Henty.  So many books...

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