Saturday, January 7, 2017

We did it!! Fall Readings and reflections

As I was reflecting on our past semester I realized that we did it!   We read one edited life of Plutarch and all of Pilgrim's Progress (I thought we were listening to little bits but we read it WAY faster than 2 years).

We used Anne White's Publicola and I highly recommend it.  We got most of the phrases she explains from the context but it was handy to have it right there.  She also has some thoughtful connections and explanations.  Plus it was open and go and I need that.

Listening to Pilgrim's Progress as a dramatized version was VERY helpful.  Having long car rides a few times a week made it easier too (although we do listen to just a section or two - less than 15 minutes at a time).  My 7 yo followed it fairly well.   Unfortunately, we learned that my 10 yo is studying a condensed version at church this semester.  Maybe he'll get some different insights doing it in class?  He is going to know that story backwards and forwards!  Hopefully it will give him insight when he needs it.

We finally started Trial and Triumph.  I think we might be reading it too fast so we are going to slow down a bit.  So interesting though.  My son drew comparisons between St. Patrick and Harriet Tubman - they were both slaves who went back to bring people out of slavery.  Well, there is that!

We also listened to Black Beauty, found at the library, and part of ELTL level 4.  That one is a bit convicting - so be careful.

We totally failed on Shakespeare.  We read about half of Twelfth Night.  I have decided to add a dramatized version to our "car reading".  We did listen to most of Bill Bryson's Shakespeare on CD though, so I guess we did get some Shakespeare.  If you want a short and interesting history - I recommend it.  (Well I recommend anything by Bill Bryson - some parts you might have to "edit" for family listening).

We listened to parts of CAP's God's Great Covenant.  I enjoyed it and learned some of the history and cultural pieces that you don't get by just reading the Bible.  My kids liked it for the most part too (well the 4 yo didn't but - see below).   We don't do the workbook - just listen to and narrate the stories.  I used some of the stories to help prep for my Sunday School class.  We got the MP3 version so we can listen to it in our car.

Speaking of MP3s, I am still looking at perfecting our usage.  Any hints (other than let the 10 yo do it)??  I try to make playlists (often taking things from librivox) so that we can go from nature lore (Among the _____ People) to a chapter from a story to history (50 Famous Stories) - but some days it works and some days not so much.  Other days we just listen to "Beethoven's Wiggles" because my 4 yo is obsessed with this CD (apparently if you have amazon unlimited it is free - maybe?).

I do have to give props to my husband, he has started reading aloud - often when he comes home from work while I am finishing dinner - and it has been SO helpful.  YEAH!!   He did a book about Stephen F. Austin (we do live in Texas), All of A Kind Family, Five Children and It, the first 4 Harry Potter's and others.  I read Little House on the Prairie, lots of picture books and the history spine for Artios with my kiddos.  

What did you read this semester?  I am amazed at how much a little bit at a time allows you to accomplish.  Thank you Charlotte Mason! I am a bit amazed that we did this because half the time when we read aloud the 4 yo starts YELLING - even with his mouth full of food!   Redeeming time in the car goes a LONG way.


  1. Hi Missy, I'm visiting from Wednesdays With Words. We are enjoying Pilgrim's Progress too! I didn't imagine it would be such a hit. Have you tried Lamb and Nesbit's Shakespeare re-tellings? And having the kids act them out with figurines or dolls? We enjoy it, but you might prefer just to read the original?? Have a blessed week!

    1. Hi. My oldest has listened to the Nesbit and Lamb quite a bit (librivox)- but my youngers haven't. I should pull those out again and just reserve the original for the oldest. That makes more sense. We did start listening to an ArkAngel production of "The Comedy of Errors". My high school did it so it is bringing back memories. I have many friends trying to combine CC and CM so I will pass along your website to them.