Monday, August 15, 2011

A Great Start!

We had our first co-op meeting today, and it was Marvelous!  At least I thought it was, and my kids had a great time, so I'm assuming everyone else thought it was great too.  We have the same five families we had last year, and though it is a small group, all our kids are Good kids and all our moms are hard working and dedicated.  And Nice.  Did I mention that I love our group?

Anyway, we've been busily reading for the past two weeks in preparation, and today the kids discussed Weeks 1 and 2 of Tapestry of Grace Year 3: The Nineteenth Century.  Interesting stuff!  We've been reading about Napoleon, John Adams, Lewis and Clark, etc.  We watched the Ken Burns documentary on Lewis and Clark (absolutely Gorgeous, if a little slow for the kids' taste.  Well, and Ed kept falling asleep.  But there was not One car chase, so what would you expect?)  And now we are watching the 1980 BBC Pride and Prejudice, which I haven't seen in ages and am really enjoying (Katie Loves it.  Travis is kind of luke warm, but I watched Transformers for him, so he owes me Huge!)

They both labelled maps in geography, and Travis's group played a game involving latitude and longitude.  Travis also did some good writing and art work for a display board on famous figures of the early nineteenth century.  For literature (not history related), Katie's group discussed The Wizard of Oz, and Travis's did Anne of Green Gables (He loved the book!  His new funny expression is "puffed sleeves," uttered at random intervals in a dreamy falsetto voice.) Katie started in on First Form Latin, and Travis started The Art of Argument, both of which will, I think, be especially fun done with a group (Travis has six more lessons in Second Form Latin and will start Third when he finishes).  I am teaching The Art of Argument, and, despite some restlessness in my students today I think it is going to be a good class.

 Katie's writing class is well organized, with a nice variety of types of writing planned., and my Lost Tools of Writing class, for the older group, was surprisingly enjoyable this morning.  I have been sort of dreading it, as it is very different from anything I've taught before, but I think it really is broken up into manageable chunks.  All the kids in my group benefited last year from the clear structure of IEW, but even though we only did IEW writing for part of last year they all became heartily sick of the "style" aspect of the program.  LToW seems to handle style in a less formulaic way.  Today we just talked about the various sorts of problems one might have with writing and how they all fall into three general categories (leaving out things like hand cramps and the Total Injustice of a person having to put pen to paper Ever), and I informed them that my Teacher's Manual promises that the Tools (the Lost ones) explained in this program will solve all their writing problems. Some of the kids looked a little skeptical about this, but they are willing to humor me and give the thing a go, which is really all I can ask.

Travis is starting Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry for the 29th, and I will be reading Little Britches to Katie, since I'm leading that discussion and it's just easier that way!
And here is a picture of some of the history books we're reading this week...

Doesn't that look like fun!

No comments: