Monday, July 16, 2012

Because I Know You've Been Wondering!

I finally settled on the list of books for my little co-op literature/writing class to read this year! How exciting, eh? Narrowing my long list of "possibles" down to eleven books has made me appreciate more than ever just how glad I am that I don't have to put together all my classes from "scratch." Actually, after all my reading and pondering, six of the eleven were already part of the Tapestry of Grace curriculum for Year 4, four of them from the Rhetoric (high school) level and two from the Dialectic (middle school/junior high) level. Which seems reasonable, since two of the boys are eighth graders and one is in ninth (the mom of the eleventh grader is still "on the fence," but I think she'll go with another program). So, the winners are .... (drum roll!)...

Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt (they've read this before, but they won't need any help with it and will be ready to start writing their essay on it at our first co-op meeting)

"The Sound of Thunder", by Ray Bradbury (a short story)

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Animal Farm, by George Orwell

Our Town, by Thornton Wilder

Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S. Lewis

A Separate Peace, by John Knowles

Call of the Wild, by Jack London

The Chosen, by Chaim Potok

I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

Dracula, by Bram Stoker

I know that Dracula, published in 1897, doesn't technically fit into the 20th century, but it's close enough. And the boys will like it, and I think they will have fun writing about it.

For our literature program (Windows to the World, the "expanded program") we'll be reading lots of short stories (several by O'Henry; "The Most Dangerous Game," by Connell; "The Necklace," by Guy de Maupassant; "A Fight with a Cannon," by Victor Hugo, and some others) and poems, and three books. Hamlet and To Kill a Mockingbird were scheduled, and I replaced Jane Eyre with Silas Marner. I haven't actually read Silas Marner, but it came highly recommended, and we watched the movie last night and it was great (Travis gave it a "meh," but he's been like that so I pay him no heed).

Phew! And now we are half way through July and I haven't even started looking over the logic I'll be teaching, caught up with Travis in Latin, or really gotten a grip on my writing/lit. programs beyond picking books. But Travis will be at camp next week (sniff!), so that week and the week after will be Summer Vacation for the kids and Crazy Intensive Planning weeks for me. Yay! We'll start the new school year on August 6th (first co-op meeting is the next Monday, but there will be lots of reading to do to prepare!) and if I can start out at least reasonably organized it will be well worth the effort!

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