Schoolishness

School has been trotting along. Keianna is being “folded in” to our Tapestry studies more and more, and I’m amazed at the observations all three girls have about the scope of history. As I introduced this week’s material and reviewed last week, Keianna gave a great summary of Lewis and Clark’s expedition–focused especially on Sacagawea.

Keegan thinks he’s Napoleon, and all three girls are now Jane Austen and Elisabeth Gaskell fans. They sat riveted watching Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Gaskell’s North and South. (Not north and south here in the states, but rather northern and southern England in heat of the Industiral Revolution. This is a fantastic movie to get a glimpse of child labor, the textile industry, unions and strikes. It also has brilliant depictions of the fascinating complexity of human nature. (Kaira thinks romance is absolutely ridiculous, and found it quite amusing that in both Pride and Prejudice and North and South the heroine initially found a man haughty, proud and loathsome, turned down his initial proposal with disgust, and then discovered he really was noble after all.)

Language Study, Math, and our other subjects have been moving along as well. Some days with great enjoyment; some days more of the “get er done” variety.

Someone asked in the comments whether the Language Lessons series from Queen Homeschool is meeting our needs. We started these books for Kaira and Kendra after they completed First Language Lessons For the Well Trained Mind 1&2. I contemplated going right into Well Trained Mind’s Volume 3 (and even purchased it only to resell). It had beautiful scope. It was by far the most solid and thorough program I’ve seen. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get past the fact that it was entirely written to the teacher rather than the child. “Have the student do ZYZ…” Scripted lessons are tolerable to me for very young children, but seem insulting for use with students who are more than capeable of interacting with books individually. I tried hard to get past it, but just couldn’t.

The series from Queen Homeschool is much more “gentle” (read: less rigorous) than Well Trained Mind. If everything were ideal and we weren’t juggling so many other things, I’d shun it as too light. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that we can afford to go “light’ in this subject. We live and breathe language here, and get considerable practice on composition, parts of speech and other linguistic study twined into Tapestry of Grace.

The books from Queen Homeschool have short, sweet lessons which the girls can usually do independently. (A huge blessing in a season when mommy is busy chasing little boys!) All in all it is a good fit for us for the moment. Combined with our other grammar and composition study, it is sufficient to meet my (reality adjusted) standards, and the girls find the lessons absolutely delightful and engaging.

I do think I’ll continue using First Language Lessons For the Well Trained Mind 1 and 2 with the little ones. It gives a very solid foundation at an age where scripted lessons (if paraphrased and done naturally) are age appropriate.  I’m thinking though that for the elementary years following 1&2 I’ll ease into the books from Sandi Queen–at least for now. 🙂

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