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January 15, 2009

Who Ate the Reading List?

As I sit down to plan this next semester (yes, I got a late start), I find that my reading list is ... gone. Completely and utterly gone. Not only have I lost the list of works I had planned to be read this year, I've lost the list of what we have read.

Oh, boy.

And as I look ahead, I see that most of TOG's literature selections for the next 18 weeks are just not in my plans. They're fine choices, but they're not my choices. So far, it seems to me that TOG's rhetoric-level literature is very good, but I find a lot of what I consider "filler" in their lower levels.

Here is my reconstructed list for the rest of the year, for Connor (2nd half of 7th grade):


Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

A Christmas Carol (Or, if he thinks it's too late to be reading Christmas stories, perhaps Oliver Twist or really, any other Dickens. I'm not picky.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

The Princess and the Goblin

Short Stories

Grimm's Fairy Tales

Selections by Rip Van Winkle

Selections by Poe


The Pied Piper of Hamelin - Robert Browning

Selections by Poe

TOG Schedules Island of the Blue Dolphins. I remember reading that, for fun, in jr. high. Do I want to schedule it as a school assignment? I'm asking, seriously. I don't remember it well enough to make that call. TOG also schedules "worldview" assignments for the rhetoric level, aimed at getting teens missionary-minded; I may take their assignments and turn them into a study of comparative religions. Hinduism seems to be first up.

At any rate, this list is *plenty* long. It's only meant to take us until summer. And at the same time he's reading those, he's also reading the Iliad, he's nearly finished with Julius Caesar, and he'll read The Merchant of Venice.

So, PLENTY. Maybe even too much. Now I've got to figure out what the heck we did read this year, already.

We're about to start on TOG Year 3, which roughly covers the 19th century. My challenge in planning for this is to remember to not go too deeply into TOG, and to remember that it is not my real focus. Everything is going well. We are progressing. Soon, Connor will take the NLE Lain I exam, and Aidan will take the Intro to Latin exam; Connor will take the National Mythology Exam. Both boys are in a PE class this year, and are starting up with a D&D/RPG group. Connor is doing well in Boy Scouts, and is currently the leader of his patrol; Aidan is on track to get his Arrow of Light and cross over to Boy Scouts later this year.

And the two little ones are mostly tagging along, refining their reading and writing, and creating elaborate games.

And no, no, no, we are not planning on going downtown for the Inauguration. Yes, it's historical. But no.

Posted by lynx at January 15, 2009 9:24 PM

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I vaguely remember Island of the Blue Dolphins as well. I know I re-read it at least once a year or so later, so I must have enjoyed it, but I can't remember much more than that. Michelle read it in 6th grade, I think. Once I prompted her on it, she remembered it as well and thinks Connor would enjoy it.

Posted by: markl [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 15, 2009 10:58 PM

Good, if she thinks so, I'll go grab a copy and take a look. It would be a nice counterpoint to a lot of the other things he's reading.

Posted by: Stephanie at January 16, 2009 11:12 AM

I remember reading Island of the Blue Dolphins about the same time as Call It Courage, and enjoying both. I re-read both as an adult and found them both worthwhile. The main differences: IBD was about a girl who was accidentally left behind on an island when her tribe moved. Surviving alone was a matter of necessity. CIC was about a boy who was afraid of the sea and set out to conquer his fears and prove his manhood. Surviving alone was a matter of coming of ageā€”but this was his idea, not a tradition, and no one knew where he was, or that he was still alive, so he really was on his own. Boys might take more interest in this story, although both were pretty good.

Speaking of surviving alone on an island, I highly recommend The Man Who Saved Robinson Crusoe, which tells the true story of Alexander Selkirk, on whose ordeal Robinson Crusoe was based. It fills in a lot of historical detail that other books leave out or assume you know.

Posted by: Daniel Kirk at January 16, 2009 12:39 PM

Glad I found you again. I totally agree with the science programs! I ordered two volumes of the "popular Charlotte Mason"-style one and sent them back. I got a super deal on Christian Kids Explore Chemistry, so we doing what matters from it. I like your choices for year 7. My daughter will be 13 in April and it seems everyone else has quit homeschooling, or quit blogging about it anyway, by that age.

Posted by: Lisa at January 30, 2009 1:07 PM

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