The summer has flown by! I can’t believe that we have only one week of August remaining on the calendar! We have taken advantage of many wonderful opportunities this summer – some I have yet to share with you, but I will … I promise.
In the spring, we started a homeschool Literature Circle that has been a great success. Literature circles are a collaborative and student-centered approach to the study of literature. They are a students’ equivalent of an adult book club, but with greater structure, expectation, and rigor. The aim is to encourage thoughtful discussion and a love of reading and writing in young people.
Our Literature Circle group has two components: Writer’s Workshop and Book Club. I shared a little previously about how we got started with Writer’s Workshop. Today, I am excited to give you a sneak peak into Book Club.
“The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.” ~ JK Rowling
Given a specific genre, students begin by selecting books they desire to read together. We generally plan ahead about 6 months. Thus far, I have modeled how to lead a book discussion.
We will soon begin to transition to more student led discussions. They will rotate through five roles: Discussion Director, Literary Luminary, Creative Connector, Word Wizard, and Stupendous Summarizer.
This month, our book selection was Ranger’s Apprentice (The Ruins of Gorlan, Book One) by John Flanagan. This is the first book in a delightful new fantasy series. Most of the story focuses on the learning process that Will, the main character, goes through as an apprentice. One of the skills he comes to master is archery. It was fitting, therefore, to introduce the kids to one of our favorite sports.
Reading the Ranger’s Apprentice also renewed our own enthusiasm for the sport. We thereby signed up for 4H and have selected Archery as our first project. We are all looking forward to bringing archery back into our routines.
This past weekend, we had the opportunity to spend a day with our dear friends back home in Central Oregon. It was a very casual weekend without any big plans – we just enjoyed one another’s company, catching up with one another.
We’ve also spent a few weekdays at the lake with our homeschool friends. Lake Days are a much anticipated break from our regular studies. We are blessed in NorCal to have warm temperatures even through October so we plan on continuing these unstructured days for a few weeks more.
A few weeks ago, I had asked the kids to write an essay describing their goals and aspirations. What hobbies were they passionate about? What new skills did they hope to develop? As expected, my described in depth his interest in piano and aeronautics. My daughter, on the other hand, surprised me a little.
As a result of this assignment, she expressed an interest in Youth Symphony whose mission is to provide young music students the opportunity to participate in a performing ensemble. I think this will be the perfect motivation for her – she tends to be a little less inclined to practice than her brother. I thereby contacted the director and set up an audition time. Assuming she passes, we will be adding symphony to our weekly routine.
The Homeschool Omnibus is on sale until Sunday.
With so many incredible resources, this is an incredible bargain. Less than 25¢ per eBook! This year’s e-Books are also formatted for Kindle for the same low price!
Plus, you can purchase an optional DVD so you don’t have to store all the files on your computer. You’ll also have a chance to win 1 of 3 Kindles!