Wednesday, June 17, 2009

German School Graduation

This time, it was Annika's turn. I was so happy as I looked forward to taking a photo of her getting her diploma with my new lens. Sadly, Trip "borrowed" my camera, and removed the photos, so Annika will get a private photo shoot tomorrow outside, if the rain holds off--ha!

The class "speakers" put together a set of descriptions of each of their classmates, in German, of course! Of Annika, they said, "You know so much about the world, and we are all jealous that you have never been to school. We hope we did not give you a bad impression of school with our crazy class!"

Phots tomorrow.

Congrats, Annika darling!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dove's Eye

MacBeth has been using her new zoom lens. Cool, eh?
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Jerusalem Artichokes and Juvenile Birds

Which have nothing in common, except they are both in my back yard:

Jerusalem artichokes are not artichokes, but a tuber with a sunflower top (not in bloom yet). These native North American plants are delicious, and may be eaten by diabetics as a potato substitute.

Juvenile robin in the mulberry tree. This is turning out to be a disastrous year for mulberries. The rain and wind are stripping the tree of fruit before it has a chance to ripen.

This juvenile dove does not seem to mind, as it pecks around for bits of fruit. It was so tame I had to scare it away before the dogs came out to see what was going on in the yard.

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The New Doctor?

Nah. It's just T.
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Homeschool Connections Offers Online Classes

Just a few days left to register for these most excellent online classes. Do it now.

Topics covered (for high school students): Beowulf, Shakespeare, Lewis...and lots more--the most fun bits of education--taught by real professors.

Update: Beowulf is closed; the other classes still have a few spots.

Friday, June 5, 2009

How a Non-Reader Becomes a Reader

A Lesson in Humility and Patience

With two kids who were early readers and who love to read, and one child who was a late reader and who loves to read, the normal child who read at six and reads well, but only when asked, was a worry. Sure, I might give him a passage to read, and he'd read it flawlessly, and he loves to listen to audio books, but he just would not pick up a book on his own for the longest time. I resorted to letting him read selected comic books, telling myself: At least he's reading. I had heard those words used by well-meaning moms to justify the most twaddly book selections at the library, and swore I would never say them.

At least he's reading was usually accompanied by a knowing glance from a beleaguered librarian, who wondered aloud to me once whether she worked in a library or a video rental establishment. A short stack of Captain Underpants books was better than a Pokemon DVD, right? At least he's reading. Not my children, I thought, with my armful of classics chosen by the first three children. Of course they are reading. How could they not? There is a bookshelf in every room in the house. We homeschooling parents read all the time. We visit the library, and the children's idea of a fun outing is an afternoon at Barnes and Noble. When the UPS man comes, my small bibliophiles look for the logo. When they visit friends, they look for the bookshelves. They had literary discussions with their friends in the hallway of the college where they took music lessons, finding kindred spirits among the young musicians. They acted out scenes from their favorite books...they devoured literature at an astonishing rate.

But not this child. He just didn't want to read. Back at the library, I looked at the pile of Junie B. Jones books that one mother was checking out for her daughter and sighed. At least she's reading.

Then, things changed. Not overnight, mind you, and it is still a process, but he has surprised me lately. First, he read a complete novel. He chose a science fiction novel called The True Meaning of Smekday (my review here) over which we readers were all fighting. And he read it.

That was last October. Things were biblio-quiet after that, except for As You Like It, which he read in preparation for our annual Shakespeare production. At least he's reading.

Yesterday, we were at the library, and I sent him off to find a books. Hope springs eternal, don't you know. I spied him at the computer, and later in the stacks, as I sought several books for myself. As we were ready to leave, he brought me his selection: The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. Hardcover, 1216 pages. I blinked and muttered shocked approval. He beamed.

Last night, he sat reading the book with a look of sheer delight on his face. At one point, he looked up and said, "Oscar Wilde is quite different than Shakespeare."

"Quite," I replied.

Still later, I told him to put the book away and go to sleep. "But," he retorted, "I'm reading."

Not at last.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Forgot to Mention...

That Libby took most of the AYLI photos. More here and here.

As You Like It--Full Cast

As You Like It--Part 5

"In spring time!"

Wedding day!

Oliver and Celia

Sylvius and Phebe


Whoa! It's the second son of Rowland de Boys!

As You Like It--Part 4

"The horn, the horn!"

Sylvius forgot to take off his cap!

The Bloody Napkin

Audrey and Touchstone see William

William is told to leave

Orlando and Ganymede

As You Like It--Part 3

Corin and Touchstone

"Aliena" and "Ganymede"

"What features?"

"...mine eyes murderers?"

"I take thee, Rosalind..."

As You Like It--Part 2

The banished Duke and foresters

"So this is the forest of Arden"

"Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame!"

Feasting Foresters

Posting verses on plants

As You Like It--Part 1

Adam and Orlando in the garden

Cousins and Touchstone with LeBeau

A Wrestling Match

"I would thou hadst told me of another father."