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Planning literature for 8M students

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    Planning literature for 8M students

    Good afternoon!

    I am looking for some feedback about planning literature for my older girls starting next fall, using the 8M level as a guide; however, the literature selections along with Classical studies are challenging.

    I am determined that we read both epics by Homer as well as Poetry and Short stories. That leaves the fiction selections; I hope to include Wind in the Willows, but I don't know how we'll fit in both Tom Sawyer and Treasure Island on top of that, especially with the comprehension challenges my oldest sometimes faces. She loved, loved the Little Women guide last fall, but it took four months for her to read well and complete the guide.

    I plan on trying to read a Book a week from both the Iliad and the Odyssey over two days, plus one day for Poetry, then one or two for a novel. We'll finish Homer over the course of next summer and read As You Like It before 9M literature. I think she'll do well with the variety of literary forms as long as we pace ourselves as opposed to reading one big text at a time.

    We had hoped to do Tom Sawyer this year, but it just didn't happen. Is that expendable or can I put it off as a read-aloud later? Any thoughts about these selections would be most welcome. Thank you!
    Laura H.

    DD: 16, special-needs: language processing issues (modified 7/8M Core), aspiring illustrator, our "Meg"
    DD: 13 (8M with FFL Fall 2021), aspiring pediatric nurse, our "Jo"
    DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Beth"
    DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Amy"

    #2
    Hello Laura,
    I will be following this thread as I have a similar situation with my boys who will be 13 and 14 starting the 2021 school year. I think I'll use your outline as my guide to prepare my own year as I am thinking of doing 8M with both of them. Like you, I know from experience we won't get through all the novels in one year. For me, since we have read all those novels at least once in years past, I think I will just have to purchase the teacher guides and see which ones would best to cover as literature this year and which can be done as read aloud with discussion and no writing. I'm looking forward to reading the comments you receive.
    Monica
    Monica
    2021-2022
    S - 15
    S - 13

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by MarmeeLaura View Post
      Good afternoon!

      I am looking for some feedback about planning literature for my older girls starting next fall, using the 8M level as a guide; however, the literature selections along with Classical studies are challenging.

      I am determined that we read both epics by Homer as well as Poetry and Short stories. That leaves the fiction selections; I hope to include Wind in the Willows, but I don't know how we'll fit in both Tom Sawyer and Treasure Island on top of that, especially with the comprehension challenges my oldest sometimes faces. She loved, loved the Little Women guide last fall, but it took four months for her to read well and complete the guide.

      I plan on trying to read a Book a week from both the Iliad and the Odyssey over two days, plus one day for Poetry, then one or two for a novel. We'll finish Homer over the course of next summer and read As You Like It before 9M literature. I think she'll do well with the variety of literary forms as long as we pace ourselves as opposed to reading one big text at a time.

      We had hoped to do Tom Sawyer this year, but it just didn't happen. Is that expendable or can I put it off as a read-aloud later? Any thoughts about these selections would be most welcome. Thank you!
      This sounds like a very good plan to me! We do something similar in SC 9 &10, in which we reserve Robin Hood as a read-aloud. Sometimes the Lexiles for each book can help in such decisions, but it sounds as if you already created a workable approach!

      Feel free to take your time. Multum non multa applies especially in literature.

      If you cover some books as read-alouds in order to spend more time in the guides she needs or loves, e.g., Little Women, then this is perfectly fine. She is still sharing with you the literature authors intended for all readers.

      Comment


        #4
        KikaMarie Monica, I'm delighted that you are following the thread; we might be able to bounce ideas off each other as we are planning for our respective students.

        We haven't read the novels in our house previously (although my 12 year old read Tom Sawyer independently for fun); the literature selections for 8M are great tie-ins for Homer, but Homer is where I really want to keep focus since those epic poems are so important to Western Civilization. I bet your boys will enjoy all the adventure that awaits them in the Iliad and the Odyssey!

        Laura
        Laura H.

        DD: 16, special-needs: language processing issues (modified 7/8M Core), aspiring illustrator, our "Meg"
        DD: 13 (8M with FFL Fall 2021), aspiring pediatric nurse, our "Jo"
        DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Beth"
        DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Amy"

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by KikaMarie View Post
          ... I think I will just have to purchase the teacher guides and see which ones would best to cover as literature this year and which can be done as read aloud with discussion and no writing. I'm looking forward to reading the comments you receive.
          Monica
          This makes sense! In your case with two boys, you might choose Tom Sawyer or Treasure Island, as the characters and content might inspire more in-depth literary study with the guides. Or you might select Shakespeare as literature your boys might not choose to read independently. You will know best --

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by cherylswope View Post

            This sounds like a very good plan to me! We do something similar in SC 9 &10, in which we reserve Robin Hood as a read-aloud. Sometimes the Lexiles for each book can help in such decisions, but it sounds as if you already created a workable approach!

            Feel free to take your time. Multum non multa applies especially in literature.

            If you cover some books as read-alouds in order to spend more time in the guides she needs or loves, e.g., Little Women, then this is perfectly fine. She is still sharing with you the literature authors intended for all readers.
            As always, thank you, Cheryl, for your guidance and encouragement. (I'm a literature person, so I want to do All The Guides Every Year! )

            I know Homer is going to be a challenge (and we are reading The Trojan War this summer), but I also know my girls are going to feel so accomplished in studying the epic poems and the knowledge they earn will serve them for years to come as we move to high school level reading and beyond. Festina Lente!

            Laura
            Laura H.

            DD: 16, special-needs: language processing issues (modified 7/8M Core), aspiring illustrator, our "Meg"
            DD: 13 (8M with FFL Fall 2021), aspiring pediatric nurse, our "Jo"
            DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Beth"
            DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Amy"

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by cherylswope View Post

              This makes sense! In your case with two boys, you might choose Tom Sawyer or Treasure Island, as the characters and content might inspire more in-depth literary study with the guides. Or you might select Shakespeare as literature your boys might not choose to read independently. You will know best --
              MarmeeLaura Here's an issue I have encountered with the literature books - maybe you or Cheryl have encountered it. We have already read or listened to a lot of the books for MP literature in the years before we read them for a particular grade and my younger son especially finds that doing the literature guide squashes his interest in re-reading the book. He re-reads the books he loves and since completing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe over a year ago, he can't bring himself to re-read it. We had to make many changes this past year and one was to put aside our Hobbit guide for awhile; my son was relieved because he doesn't want to get tired of re-reading it by using a guide and writing about the book. Have either of you had this experience? It makes me think that I might do all the 8M novels as read alouds and use the teacher guide for background information and discussion. I agree with you Laura, the Iliad and Odyssey and priority and we have read children's versions of these over the years, but I am confident that using the guides won't hinder the enjoyment here. Working through As You Like It with a guide will be fine as well. Anyway, I'm just wondering if this is common.
              Monica
              Monica
              2021-2022
              S - 15
              S - 13

              Comment


                #8
                MarmeeLaura Laura, I'm going to bother you again! My boys are raking at the community park and I have some time for reading the Forum! At this stage of your older daughters' academics, are you still working with grammar and writing? Are they both doing CC? We are at various levels with different skills and subjects, and this past year was in flux, so hearing how other people organize helps me re-imagine what is possible and appropriate for us.
                Monica
                Monica
                2021-2022
                S - 15
                S - 13

                Comment


                  #9
                  KikaMarie (Sorry I got sidetracked with processing groceries when my husband came home).

                  My oldest has loved MP English Grammar Recitation; she is on book Five right now, but she'll complete it over two years. We have used a multiple number of books for our second daughter for grammar; last month, I put her on EGR Book 1 and she is completing about four lessons per week. So, yep, lots of grammar between those books and First Form Latin.

                  We are not currently using CC; at the time my oldest was due to start Fable, I knew it was not going to be a good fit. We chose to use CAP's "Writing and Rhetoric" instead. It's a solid program and I'm pleased with their writing, but I do love MP products so much that I have considered switching. But we'll probably stick with W&R for at least a couple more years as we've reached far enough into the progymnasmata that I don't want to start over with another line of books.

                  I completely hear you about different levels with skills and subjects; we are always in flux with not only skills but energy levels and personal interests and -- dare I mention -- hormones with our older girls.

                  Laura
                  Laura H.

                  DD: 16, special-needs: language processing issues (modified 7/8M Core), aspiring illustrator, our "Meg"
                  DD: 13 (8M with FFL Fall 2021), aspiring pediatric nurse, our "Jo"
                  DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Beth"
                  DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Amy"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    KikaMarie OTE=KikaMarie;n129349]

                    MarmeeLaura Here's an issue I have encountered with the literature books - maybe you or Cheryl have encountered it. We have already read or listened to a lot of the books for MP literature in the years before we read them for a particular grade and my younger son especially finds that doing the literature guide squashes his interest in re-reading the book. He re-reads the books he loves and since completing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe over a year ago, he can't bring himself to re-read it. We had to make many changes this past year and one was to put aside our Hobbit guide for awhile; my son was relieved because he doesn't want to get tired of re-reading it by using a guide and writing about the book. Have either of you had this experience? It makes me think that I might do all the 8M novels as read alouds and use the teacher guide for background information and discussion. I agree with you Laura, the Iliad and Odyssey and priority and we have read children's versions of these over the years, but I am confident that using the guides won't hinder the enjoyment here. Working through As You Like It with a guide will be fine as well. Anyway, I'm just wondering if this is common.
                    Monica[/QUOTE]

                    We have definitely had that experience in our home, especially with our 12 year old daughter. She came to me when she was about seven and said, "I love The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe sooooo much, Mommy. Please don't ever make me use a literature guide for it."

                    So, I don't know how common it is for other families -- But -- I get that kids are concerned that over-analysis might curtail love of a book. And as a literature person, I have seen that firsthand -- which is why I didn't read Shakespeare for years after graduating from college and I do depend on MP for the guides. We love all Tolkien at our house, but we chose not to use The Hobbit guide because the guides are challenging for our oldest and they have such great memories of Dad reading it aloud to them. Doing the guide for Little Women was an exception; I had read Little Women aloud previously, and we had a great time re-reading it aloud last fall. (It was quite convenient to have four daughters who wanted to split up parts and we all read it aloud.)

                    I think your idea about using the Teacher's Guides as prompts for discussion is a great one.

                    Laura
                    Laura H.

                    DD: 16, special-needs: language processing issues (modified 7/8M Core), aspiring illustrator, our "Meg"
                    DD: 13 (8M with FFL Fall 2021), aspiring pediatric nurse, our "Jo"
                    DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Beth"
                    DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Amy"

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by KikaMarie View Post

                      MarmeeLaura Here's an issue I have encountered with the literature books - maybe you or Cheryl have encountered it. We have already read or listened to a lot of the books for MP literature in the years before we read them for a particular grade and my younger son especially finds that doing the literature guide squashes his interest in re-reading the book. He re-reads the books he loves and since completing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe over a year ago, he can't bring himself to re-read it. We had to make many changes this past year and one was to put aside our Hobbit guide for awhile; my son was relieved because he doesn't want to get tired of re-reading it by using a guide and writing about the book. Have either of you had this experience? It makes me think that I might do all the 8M novels as read alouds and use the teacher guide for background information and discussion. I agree with you Laura, the Iliad and Odyssey and priority and we have read children's versions of these over the years, but I am confident that using the guides won't hinder the enjoyment here. Working through As You Like It with a guide will be fine as well. Anyway, I'm just wondering if this is common.
                      Monica
                      KikaMarie My response to this was sent for approval by the Forum -- so it'll be delayed, but an answer is forthcoming. Thank you!
                      Laura H.

                      DD: 16, special-needs: language processing issues (modified 7/8M Core), aspiring illustrator, our "Meg"
                      DD: 13 (8M with FFL Fall 2021), aspiring pediatric nurse, our "Jo"
                      DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Beth"
                      DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Amy"

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MarmeeLaura View Post
                        KikaMarie OTE=KikaMarie;n129349]

                        MarmeeLaura Here's an issue I have encountered with the literature books - maybe you or Cheryl have encountered it. We have already read or listened to a lot of the books for MP literature in the years before we read them for a particular grade and my younger son especially finds that doing the literature guide squashes his interest in re-reading the book. He re-reads the books he loves and since completing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe over a year ago, he can't bring himself to re-read it. We had to make many changes this past year and one was to put aside our Hobbit guide for awhile; my son was relieved because he doesn't want to get tired of re-reading it by using a guide and writing about the book. Have either of you had this experience? It makes me think that I might do all the 8M novels as read alouds and use the teacher guide for background information and discussion. I agree with you Laura, the Iliad and Odyssey and priority and we have read children's versions of these over the years, but I am confident that using the guides won't hinder the enjoyment here. Working through As You Like It with a guide will be fine as well. Anyway, I'm just wondering if this is common.
                        Monica
                        We have definitely had that experience in our home, especially with our 12 year old daughter. She came to me when she was about seven and said, "I love The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe sooooo much, Mommy. Please don't ever make me use a literature guide for it."

                        So, I don't know how common it is for other families -- But -- I get that kids are concerned that over-analysis might curtail love of a book. And as a literature person, I have seen that firsthand -- which is why I didn't read Shakespeare for years after graduating from college and I do depend on MP for the guides. We love all Tolkien at our house, but we chose not to use The Hobbit guide because the guides are challenging for our oldest and they have such great memories of Dad reading it aloud to them. Doing the guide for Little Women was an exception; I had read Little Women aloud previously, and we had a great time re-reading it aloud last fall. (It was quite convenient to have four daughters who wanted to split up parts and we all read it aloud.)

                        I think your idea about using the Teacher's Guides as prompts for discussion is a great one.

                        Laura[/QUOTE]
                        cherylswope and MarmeeLaura thank you both so much for your replies and affirmation. During these planning weeks, I find it is so helpful to connect and gain a larger perspective for what is possible for the coming year.
                        Monica
                        Monica
                        2021-2022
                        S - 15
                        S - 13

                        Comment


                          #13
                          cherylswope and MarmeeLaura thank you both so much for your replies and affirmation. During these planning weeks, I find it is so helpful to connect and gain a larger perspective for what is possible for the coming year.
                          Monica[/QUOTE]

                          KikaMarie Monica, Agreed! Glad to have connected with you this week.
                          Laura H.

                          DD: 16, special-needs: language processing issues (modified 7/8M Core), aspiring illustrator, our "Meg"
                          DD: 13 (8M with FFL Fall 2021), aspiring pediatric nurse, our "Jo"
                          DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Beth"
                          DD: 9 (SC4 Fall 2021) our "Amy"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            MarmeeLaura

                            Hi Laura,

                            I'm back with more questions! I've asked this on another thread, but I like to poll as many veterans as possible and I don't think I've asked you yet. The basic question is - Have your older girls completed the Classical Studies materials from 7M, FMOG, Greek alphabet, and Horatius at the Bridge? I ask because we are doing MP "behind" grade level and I am really still grappling with how to handle next year.

                            I had both 6M and 7M materials this past year, thinking I would have each son in a separate grade. Since we started MP late and my boys are each a year or two behind, I thought I would catch up my older son by just having him read the 6M material i.e. FMMA, but by the time we really got going in October (my husband's father moved in with us last summer and the packing, moving, and preparing to sell his house, was our project for months in 2020), I found it was just easier to keep them both in 6M covering mostly the same material. As I look forward to next year, I'm wondering if I should just do 7M with both, or a mash up for both, or 8M for both, or two separate grades for them.

                            I received my 8M books yesterday and I am going through them today. I told my husband and his father that I'm sure this one grade is almost enough to education the boys through to graduation! I am very excited about the material, but still working out how to best cover it.

                            Thanks for reading!

                            Monica
                            Monica
                            2021-2022
                            S - 15
                            S - 13

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Just chiming in here to say: Yes — literature guides can absolutely kill my children’s (and my!) enthusiasm for a good book. I’m definitely choosy about which ones we read for pleasure (to savor and discuss and enjoy) and which ones we “take apart”. I’m inclined to save “the biggies” of the canon for analysis, while the lesser academic ones (or sentimental favorites) we just read for fun. I can’t imagine, for example, doing the study guide for The Hobbit. It would be like performing an autopsy on your favorite stuffed animal. The magic and personality you’ve come to love dies when you take it apart and realize it’s just stuffing and stitches. It’s almost an invasion of privacy. It feels wrong. You all are not alone!

                              I remember with fondness reading the Odyssey in 7th grade. And although it was a book we took apart and analyzed and discussed (the history of the time, myths, etc) it was such a compelling story, I really didn’t mind. It’s still one of my favorite pieces of literature. But with Shakespeare, on the other hand, all the breaks we had to take in the text for our teacher (and later, professors) to explain in minute detail what was going on was so distracting it turned me off from ever reading much more that was required. That’s a shame. And something I hope to remedy with my own children. We WILL read Shakespeare. And we WILL enjoy it. But we will do that by not wrestling it into the ground.

                              PS I haven’t read it, but isnt “Black Ships Before Troy” a bit of a recast of The Odyssey and The Iliad..? I thought I read someone saying that somewhere around here. But I could certainly be wrong.
                              Last edited by Anita; 05-22-2021, 01:24 PM.
                              “If I should fall even a thousand times a day, a thousand times, with peaceful repentance, I will say immediately, Nunc Coepi, ‘Now, I begin.’.”

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