May 29, 2008

Summer Days...

I have been thinking about summer time (the good ol' summertime) and my mind seems to dash back to the days when I was living in the Midwest.

I am not sure why, but maybe it just was a happy time for me or maybe I miss the lovely greens of the lawns, the bright flowers, and the soft summer showers.

Not sure...but it has been on my mind so I thought I would post some pictures of what I would like to be doing right now...

Note: Victorian Prints by Alan Maley

May 27, 2008

School's Out

School's Out

Summer Carousel by Alan Maley

Yes, school's out for summer...well...almost. This is our last week of official school. DJ has a couple books to finish up, but for the most part, he has completed his 9th grade course of study. I thought I would recap what we accomplished this year, just to have it written down and saved for future use (should we need it.)

Bible - we continued our low-key approach of Bible reading combined with weekly devotional study. We finished C.S. Lewis', Mere Christianity (carry-over from Y8), and Lee Strobel's, The Case for Christ. Grade: A

Math - we started our year using A Beka Algebra 1, but after we decided to return the DVDs in October, we used some online websites for Algebra 1 review. Then we completed MEP Y8B (Y9A was completed last spring - 2007). D.J. earned two high school credits: Algebra 1 and Geometry. Grade: B

Science - A Beka Biology was a bear, but we finished up this text last week. Overall, DJ found it interesting, though he much preferred physical science (completed in Y8). In addition to Biology, DJ read Charles Darwin's, Origin of the Species, and Michael Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box. At some point, we will see Ben Stein's movie, Expelled, to cap off our secondary study of Evolution vs. Intelligent Design. DJ also read the Wiley Self-Teaching Guide, Basic Physics. Credits: 2 for Physical Science and Biology Grade: A

Foreign Language - our language study was not as successful this year as it has been in the past. We continued to use Rosetta Stone via our public library, and our overall approach was hit or miss. DJ continued on with French 2, German 1, and Latin 1. He seems to have a strong grasp of speaking German and his French translation skill is quite good. Grade: B (I think he was burnt out on the approach)

English Literature - our study this year was combined with history and focused on the writers of 19th century Britain. DJ read Robert H. Fletcher's book, The History of English Literature as well as completed several novels: Waverly by Sir Walter Scott; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Frankenstein by Mary Shelley; Great Expectations by Charles Dickens; Silas Marner by George Eliot; Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorn; and Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. He also read three plays: Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol and A Cricket on the Hearth and Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare. He completed a poetry study as part of Fletcher's History book. Grade: A

History and Geography - combined with Literature, DJ read E.H. Nolan's History of England, Vol. 3 (period of Queen Victoria) as well as two other books, The Growth of the British Empire and The Reign of Queen Victoria, both by M. B. Synge. For geography, he completed A Beka's World Geography in Christian Perspective along with two travel books: Eothen: Tales of Travels in the East by A.W. Kinglake and Endurance by Alfred Lansing. Grade: A

Computer Programming - DJ continued his study into the C++ programming language and read several new books. He recently finished Professional C++ as well as wrote a number of programming applications. Grade: A

Art & Music Appreciation - we struggled a bit with art appreciation (not DJ's favorite subject) but still was able to manage to review several artists of the 19th century: William H. Hunt, John E. Millais, and Dante G. Rosetti. We made great use of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Timeline of Art History website. Music appreciation included a study into the life of Chopin (D.J.'s favorite composer) as well as continued practice and performance with the Macklin Music Studio (private piano and Chamber lessons). DJ also added vocal lessons during the 3rd term of this year (through our church Music and Worship department). Grade: A (as always!)

Health and PE - our worst subject (no doubt -- both of us are computer-potatoes!) DJ completed A Beka's Health in Christian Perspective and we attempted to ride our bikes daily for physical fitness. Grade: A plus 0.5 credit Health (no PE credit -- save for next year!)

Community Service - DJ continued to volunteer in Children's Ministry (as technician) through Scottsdale Bible Church and began working towards assisting with Music and Worship (children's). He stayed active with the Thunderbird Amateur Radio Club (TBARC) and participated in several field days as well as a safety test at the Palos Verde Nuclear Power Plant and John C. Lincoln hospital (North Valley).

Overall, I think our year went well...considering we started out using A Beka Academy with DVDs and then switched back to Charlotte Mason in November. We didn't spend enough time on expository writing assignments (shame on me!) so we will make extra effort to do that next year. We did spend a great deal of time in discourse (using the Socratic Method) and will continue to develop this process in Y10. DJ began Traditional Logic 1 by Martin Cothran in the 3rd term of this year and will finish this book over the summer. I hope to have him complete Traditional Logic 2 and Material Logic for Y10-11. This series will help prepare him for speech and debate as well as develop his critical writing skill.

May 26, 2008

Greek Study

Next year, my son has decided he wants to study New Testament Greek. I am on board with this decision because it is something I have wanted to do for a long time as well. I have looked at and Rainbow Resources and am stumped on which program to try. We dabbled a little bit with Rosetta Stone this past year and found the visual/immersion approach difficult (great for romance languages/not so great for Greek, Russian, Chinese, etc.). I think we need a more traditional approach, one that uses workbooks and cassettes/CDs.

I would like a program that includes reading and translation OVER the traditional grammar approach. I think one that offers a bit of both would be perfect. Here are two programs that look interesting to me:

Elementary Greek by Christine Gatchell

"The primary textbook for "Koine for Beginners" covers the material needed to successfully complete this 30 lesson course. Greek letters and their pronunciation, vocabulary, grammatical rules, and translation are explained and reviewed in simple, uncomplicated terms. Memory and verbal exercises are emphasized in this text, and it includes a teacher's key for the complementary workbook." - CBD

This looks like a pretty traditional course and would allow us to study 3 years total (10th-12th grades). The price is good too -- not too expensive. I am not sure though if this is the way I want to learn (reminds me of Wheelock's Latin - ugh!)

Option number two is Athenaze: Intro to Ancient Greek Books 1 and 2 written by Gilbert Lawall and Maurice Balme. I like this approach better as it starts off teaching the student to read and translate the language. It just seems more interesting to me. This is the blurb from Rainbow Resources:

"There is so much to like about this course that it’s difficult to know where to begin. First, all language instruction is within the context of ancient Greek culture. A story line runs through the chapters, and although this has been created to serve the instructional purposes of the book, there are subplots based on the writings of Homer, Herodotus, and Thucydides. It is set in the time period of the beginning of the Peloponnesian Wars. The characters are fictional but the story line has been developed from Greek historians and utilizes Greek myths and stories as well as the writings of Greek philosophers. There is a gradual progression toward reading the Greek of these ancient authors. With numerous illustrations drawn from ancient works of art and architecture, most chapters contain essays in English which deepen the student’s understanding of the history and culture of the Greeks." - RR

This is a two-year program for high-school to adults and is comparatively priced (always important). I am leaning towards this curriculum, simply because it sounds more interesting to me.

DS would also like to study Hebrew at some point, so I like the idea of taking 2 years of Greek, followed by 1 year of Hebrew.

May 22, 2008

A Visit to My House

I was tagged by my friend at Bona Vita Rusticanda Est to play a little "get to know you" game.

Her idea:

"People who visit us get a taste of who we are, what we're into, and what we're like. I notice that my kids tend to show new visitors the same computer things they like, or play music for them that they love that our guests have probably never heard, and offer the same snacks.Since there are lots of people I know via the internet who may never get the chance to visit us, I thought I'd offer a virtual glimpse of a visit to our house."

So...If you came to our house--

You would see:
Quilts and more quilts and lots of county clutter (working on that part). You would also hopefully NOT be allergic to cats (we have three). You would also find our house generally a mess, but comfortable (no issues with spilled drinks or table rings)
Books and lots of them
Computers and lots of them

We'd probably feed you:
Pizza and salad
Roast with potatoes
Something home made like quick bread, brownies or cookies

And offer you this to drink:
Pepsi (DH's favorite), Lemonade (always), or Tea/Coffee

We'd undoubtedly ask if you'd read:
Any good books, especially Christian devotional titles
DH would want to discuss current issues

We'd want to play this music for you:
Classical or whatever DJ is learning on the piano at the moment
Celtic or instrumental music

We'd want to tell you the latest about:
What is happening in our family
About our church or our pastor's latest sermon (excellent!)
Ask what is happening in your life

We'd probably suggest a game of:
Golf (not with clubs -- cards) or Chicken Foot

We might show off:
Our cats (they are so cute), especially Winston, who can play fetch
DJ's piano playing

We might get on the computer and show you:
Since we are on the computer all day (business), we would probably NOT take you
out to our office (big mess!)

If it was a long enough visit, we might watch:
O'Reilly or Glenn Beck
Lord of the Rings (no, not again!)
Sports -- any kind, even in foreign languages!

I am afraid your visit might be kind of boring, but you would be welcome to visit us and we would try and make you feel right at home :)

I hate tagging so I will have to see if I can tag: Tootles, Dawn, Dawne

May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

Psalm 31:28-29