May 11, 2009

Summer Reading

My Arete Classical Study group is set to begin reading through Medieval Literature this June. If you would like to read along with a predominately Christian group of Mom's and Dad's (mostly home schoolers), please visit my other blog:

http://areteclassical.blogspot.com/

You can also join our reading group at Yahoo.

Our first book will be the story of Beowulf, the classic Medieval Norse tale of knight and dragon. If you have never attempted to read this book, fearing defeat at the Old English text, grab your hat and coat and journey with us in a modern retelling or in a delightful prose version. There are many versions of this myth that are easy to read. Don't let memories of Jr. High English keep you from revisiting this wonderful tale of bravery, chivalry and true mortal combat.

Our complete summer reading list includes (in this order):
  • Tales from the 1001 Nights (or, 1001 Arabian Nights) (c. 850?)

  • Letters of Abelard and Heloise (c. 1130-1136)

  • The Song of Roland (c. 1100)Summa Theologica (1265-1273)

  • The Divine Comedy (c. 1306-1321)

  • Canterbury Tales (c. 1386)

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Late 14th Century)

If you have always wanted to read classical literature, but worried whether or not you could do it, consider joining our very friendly reading group.

May 2, 2009

Building a Portfolio

I have made some headway on our portfolio this week. I finally decided to try my hand and put together a real portfolio. One of the things I that I decided to do was try and create something that would represent our actual success at home schooling. I am not sure if I consider our home schooling successful, yet. I guess when my son gets accepted into college, well, that would be a sign of success! LOL! Actually, I do consider us successful. Our home schooling journey has been interesting, challenging, and academically satisfying. That is probably more than what most ps kids might say about their high school program (ya think?)

I really like the idea of a portfolio. I think it will be nice to have one done, just in case some admissions officers asks us for one. I am pretty much making it, rather than my son, who is not that interested in these types of things. I am thinking that I will make him create a senior project, probably a website or something techy, to show off his last year in school. For me, though, an old fashioned binder with tabs will do just fine.

Note: our printer has gone on the fritz so I cannot print out my portfolio pages! Drats!! As soon as we get a new printer, I will have my son take a snap shot of what my binder looks like. The MS Word pages LOOK really nice :o).

I found this book (see picture) online and ordered it through my library. Many schools use this book to create their Senior Portfolio project. I figure we can work through it and count it as credit towards Career Building or Career Programming.

May 1, 2009

Home Schooling can be FUN!

My mom called me on the phone today and told me that my son actually LIKES science! I was not too shocked over this news, but was surprized to hear just how much he is enjoying our Physics study. He is 15 plus 8 months (counting down the days to 16!) and is not always the most enthusiastic when it comes to school work. I guess, though, he was talking with my dad (the ultimate science guy) and was sharing something he had learned from his study. My folks were impressed and wanted me to know that whatever he is "reading/learning seems to be sticking to him!" PTL!! Amen!!

Just a note - we are reading Physics for Dummies and watching the video series, The Mechanical Universe and Beyond (produced by the California Institute of Technology and Intelecom -- if you watch the TV show NUMB3RS - this is the same Cal Tech), online. This video series is free to view from The Annenberg Project. We have watched a number of these programs and have found them to be very well done and very, very interesting. My son really likes this one and has been able to make a lot of great connections to his text. Our course is sort of a "Physics lite" one -- not a lot of emphasis on math, but more on practical application. I figure my son can take a true physics course at the community college, should he really want to pursue it some day.