Posted in Our Adventures, Reading & Literature

20 Lessons in and Taking Off

Boy Reading LACMA 54.89.61I decided to delay teaching reading to Enigma, 6, until Grade 1 because he is a Wiggly Willy and didn’t see the need for learning his alphabet until the past couple of months.  This past month, he showed an interest in trying to learn to read, so I got out 100 Easy Lessons to see if he was ready for it.  Boy, was he ever!

We are now just over 20 lessons in and Enigma has already read the following with minimal help in addition to his lessons:

  • Dan Can Add from Itty Bitty Phonics Readers
  • the first 5 I See Sam books
  • 3 Lessons from McGuffey’s Primer
  • 3 Lessons from Christian Liberty’s Kindergarten Phonics Reader “It is Fun to Read”

It is so exciting to see the lightbulb come on when a child realizes they really can do “that reading thing.”  Looks like I’ll soon have 3 readers for students!

Posted in Our Adventures, Reading & Literature

The “Morons”

Sunny, 8, has been working very hard at reading over the past couple of years and is reading at a Grade 2-3 level.  She is nearly fluent but still needs some help with sounding out new words.  Yesterday, she decided to read Bunnicula: The Vampire Bunny to me all in one sitting.  This is how the story begins:

My name is Harold.  I am a dog.  I live with the Monroes: Toby and Pete and Mr. and Mrs. Monroe.

We all got a great chuckle when Sunny read the passage as follows:

My name is Harold.  I am a dog.  I live with the MORONS: Toby and Pete and Mr. and Mrs. MORON.

Thankfully, we got the pronunciation sorted out by the end of the book.  It did make for entertaining listening while it lasted, though!

 

Posted in Classical, Education & Homeschool News, Reading & Literature, Subject Math

A Classical Education Success Story

8+5=13 (additio)

Classically educated children score higher on standardized tests, and private education by nature costs more than public. ACCS schools average an annual price tag of $7,000.

But classical educators point to the success of Gregg’s Hope Academy as proof that classical education isn’t just for the privileged elite. Three-quarters of the students are from low-income families; 80 percent are ethnic minorities.

And yet their math and reading test scores are three times those of neighboring public schools.

Read more: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-exponential-growth-of-classical-christian-education

Posted in Our Adventures, Reading & Literature

From “T.H.E.” to Chapter Books

Treehousemarayoor

It’s hard to believe that just a short time ago, Sunny was still mastering reading and spelling the word “the.”  In the past two years, she has gone from working on phonics and very easy readers to now suddenly reading chapter books in Grade 2. Her favorites at the moment are the Magic Tree House series, which she is reading out loud to me at her chosen rate of about 3-4 chapters a day.  It’s a very exciting time.  The only thing that would have made it better for me energy-wise (I am battling hyperemesis gravidarum again) is if she had started on these chapter books BEFORE I read the entire series we own to her earlier this year.  Ah, well, small steps…

Posted in Reading & Literature, Subject Bible & Theology, Subject History & Geography, The Robinson Booklist

G.A. Henty and the Christian Worldview

Sabbath Eve

As a Robinson Curriculum user, I found this post by Daniel J. Mount to be very interesting.  Basically, Mr. Mount argues that Henty’s books actually undermine a Christian worldview by promoting ecumenism, masquerading as gods, astrology, occultism, witchcraft, evolution, racism, and objectionable language.  This is good to know for anyone considering using Henty’s books in their homeschool so they can decide what is appropriate for their children.

Although the Robinson Curriculum promotes the books, we don’t actually use them, although we do own The Cat of Bubastes and In Freedom’s Cause.  I have read The Cat of Bubastes and it didn’t blow me away.  Delightful only made it through a few pages before she asked to try something else.  If anyone is looking for an alternative to Henty’s books that has a more Christian worldview, I heartily recommend any of R.M. Ballantyne‘s books instead.

In the meantime, here are some quotes from Mr. Mount’s article showing how Henty portrayed Protestants, which is not how I generally want my religion to be portrayed to my children (although with some children books like this can inspire great discussions):

All But Lost:

“He hated the shop, he hated business, he almost hated his father. Heartily did he envy his associates in the shop, who at least, when the day’s work was over, could take their departure and be their own masters until the shutters were taken down in the morning. His drudgery never ceased, for when the shop was closed, his father, a great part of whose daytime was occupied by City business, would sit down with him at the desk and go into the whole accounts of the day’s sales until half-past nine. Then upstairs, where the servants would be summoned, and his father would take his place at the head of the table with a large Bible before him, which he would read and expound in a stern harsh manner, eminently calculated to make the Scriptures altogether hateful to those who heard him. This with prayer lasted for an hour. Then to bed; to begin over again in the morning.”[22]

Won By the Sword: A Tale of the Thirty Years’ War:

“My father brought me up a Protestant like yourself, and when I was quite young I had a very dreary time of it while he was away, living as I did in the house of a Hugenot pastor. After that I attended the Protestant services in the barracks, for all the officers and almost all the men are Protestants, and, of course, were allowed to have their own services; but the minister, who was a Scotchman, knew better than to make his discourses too lengthy; for if he did, there was a shuffling of jack-boots on the stone floor and a clanking of sabres that warned him that the patience of the soldiers was exhausted. In our own glen my father has told me that the ministers are as long-winded as those of Geneva; but, as he said, soldiers are a restless people, and it is one thing for men who regard the Sunday gathering as the chief event in the week to listen to lengthy discourses, but quite another for soldiers, either in the field or a city like Paris, to do so.”[23]

The Curse of Carne’s Hold:

“The missionaries made pets of them [the Hottentots], and nice pets they turned out. It is just the same thing in India. It’s the very dregs of the people the missionaries always pick up with.”[32]

[22] Henty, All But Lost, volume, chapter 3.

[23] Henty, Won By the Sword, chapter 6.

[32] Henty, The Curse of Carne’s Hold, closing paragraph of chapter 10.

Read more of Mr. Mount’s article here: https://danielmount.com/archives/16292

Posted in Reading & Literature, Subject English

100 + Whole-Hearted Books To Fight Back the Culture

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A great list of books from Deep Roots at Home:

100 + Whole-Hearted Books To Fight Back the Culture

Posted in Reading & Literature, Subject English

The Increased Rage For Novel Reading!

Adelaide-Claxton Wonderland2

A look back at an older perspective on novels:

The increasing rage for novel reading!

(Theodore Cuyler)

Fiction has often been a wholesome relief to a good man’s overworked and weary brain. Many of the recent popular novels are wholesome in their tone, and the historical type often instructive.

Exclusive reading of novels is to a person’s mind — just what highly spiced food and alcoholic stimulants are to the body. The chief objection to the best of them, is that they excite a distaste in the mind for any serious reading. The increasing rage for novel reading betokens both a famine in the intellect, and a serious peril to the mental and spiritual life.

The honest truth is — that too large a number of today’s fictitious works are subtle poison. The plots of some of the most popular novels are based on immorality, and the violation in some form of the seventh commandment.

They kindle evil passions;

they varnish and veneer vice;

they deride marital purity;

they uncover what ought to be hidden;

they paint in attractive hues — what never ought to be seen by any pure eye, or named by any modest tongue.

Two of the perils which threaten American youths, are a licentious theater and a poisonous literature. One  who has examined many of the novels printed during the last decade, said to me: “The main purpose of many of these books is to knock away the underpinning of the marriage relation of the Bible.”

If parents give house-room to trashy or corrupt books, they cannot be surprised if their children give heart-room to “the world, the flesh, and the devil.” When interesting and profitable books are so abundant and so cheap, this increasing rage for novels is to me, one of the sinister signs of the times!

“Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness!” 2 Timothy 2:22

[Editor’s note: One can only wonder what Culyer would say about the immoral and insipid media which paralyze, pollute and poison the minds and hearts of the vast majority of professing Christians today!]

Source: http://www.gracegems.org/2013/11/novel.html