Shakespeare Club

Shakespeare festival anonymous
At our Shakespeare festival: My daughter in a costume showing off her video made using Lego bricks that was her own version of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet.

Three years ago, a mom in our group started a Shakespeare Club geared to kids of a wide variety of ages–from kindergartners to high school students. At first only our two families were involved, but I loved the idea of doing Shakespeare together. I’ll admit it–I hated Shakespeare when I was in school. I couldn’t understand much of what he wrote and dreamed of finding an interpreter to turn his words into English that I could understand. But as an adult, Continue reading Shakespeare Club

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Time for Formal Reading Lessons?

A woman I know recently asked whether it was time to begin formal reading lessons for her preschooler. I realized, as I thought about how to answer her, that experience helps so much here. I have materials on hand to teach reading formally to my little guy who is now three and a half years old. But I’m sure that he isn’t really ready for the sorts of lessons those materials would push. Instead, I’ve stuck mostly to informal lessons because my goal at this point is to keep the learning fun; I want him to grow up loving reading and learning and wanting more. Continue reading Time for Formal Reading Lessons?

Ivanhoe–Or: High School Literature in Our House

Have you ever read Ivanhoe? It’s a tough read if you read the original version. Only after starting it, did I read that the author wanted the book to sound as though it were written in the Middle Ages but thought that putting it in the English of that day would make it unreadable to modern audiences, yet worried that in modern English it wouldn’t feel authentic; so he created a mismash of modern and older English and invented a number of words meant to sound older to tell his story. Altogether it makes the book harder to wade through than most classics.

But…. We finished it! This was a big accomplishment Continue reading Ivanhoe–Or: High School Literature in Our House

Shakespeare Videos

set for balcony scene

This week,my teens are working on making videos based on some pieces from Shakespeare. They’ll show the unfinished versions at our Shakespeare Club where I hope they’ll inspire other kids to make their own creations so we’ll have several  of our own movies to use in our planned Shakespeare festival this spring. I love that they can study literature this way, while using their creativity and some of what they’ve been learning about making videos in their Video/Film-making Club.

My daughter’s take was to begin building a portion of a castle (seen here under construction) from Lego bricks. Continue reading Shakespeare Videos

Teaching Reading. Again.

The great thing about teaching a child to read when your oldest children, whom you taught to read, are now in high school and reading Shakespeare and such, is that there is so much less panic and worry about it. Teaching reading, in my experience, really isn’t that difficult. I’ve read posts online and talked to parents in person who fret over which expensive reading curriculum to buy and how hard to push those lessons, but I never tried those expensive books, and this time around, I’m not worried at all about taking the less expensive, lower-stress route because I know it worked with my other children and led to kids who love to read.

I’ve already begun with our 2 1/2 year old. Continue reading Teaching Reading. Again.

Are We Skipping English This Year?

    This past weekend, the kids were sharing with my husband, their dad, what they’ve been learning lately. Okay, it wasn’t their idea. As fairly typical teens, they didn’t want to have to explain what they’ve been doing, but I pushed it as I want to keep him involved and he wanted to know. I take these little sessions as a time for them to review some of what they’ve learned as they explain it to their dad, and they’re our version of a progress report or report card.
I pushed them to talk about the marine science lessons they’ve been doing in a homeschool co-op class–lessons that have involved several trips to the beach, taking apart shells, mucking through the swamp, and other fun activities as well as working through a beach field guide. They described the Geometry Club I devised
Continue reading Are We Skipping English This Year?