Thursday, March 05, 2009

Literature Buffet

This has been a pretty strange week, here in our homeschool.

I had planned to begin Shakespeare's Henry V with the children this week. (thank you, Violet, masters-in-English wizard, for suggesting something "a little different!"), but was waiting for the audio version to come in to my local library branch. I had already secured three copies of the book, *and* the BBC dvd for a treat when we finish. But, as of Monday, the cds had not arrived.

I printed off some historical data from wikipedia. So, Monday was spent talking about the Hundred Years' War, and a "snapshot" of the Battle of Agincourt.

Tuesday came. I didn't really have a plan B, so I picked up an old, old book of literature readings and turned at random to a short bio of Tennyson, followed by The Lady of Shallot. Alvin Fernald thought it was funny to hear the entire poem, of which he heard a very short portion in the Anne of Green Gables movie.

I checked my computer Tuesday afternoon, and my stuff was finally in at the library, so I picked it up. Besides the Henry V cds, I had ordered Animal Farm. I realized just last week that, although my first six children and I watched the fall of the Berlin Wall together (didn't you just love Reagan's speech: "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!"), Blackeyed Susan and Alvin weren't even born yet. Besides, I'm thinkin' that Animal Farm would be a good place to start a conversation about the way our own government might be heading....

Wednesday. We had gotten to bed frightfully late Tuesday night, so I found two teens sitting in opposite corners of our sectional couch, under blankets with their eyes closed, as I came in to begin our day. I didn't want to fight them for Shakespeare, so I began to read Animal Farm aloud. I had forgotten how engaging the writing style was. By the end of Chapter 2, I had the kids asking for more...

So we are dining at the Literature Buffet this week. Not my usual way of doing things, but, as Charming tells this Extremely Linear Thinker and In-the-Box girl, "sometimes you need to shake it up a bit."

And Susan and Alvin reminded me of the wrestling game they used to play with their older brother Don Quixote when he came home from college. It was called "Berlin Wall," and would begin with Don on hands and knees shouting, "it's Nineteen Eighty-Nine!" and the little ones would come a'runnin to "knock it down." Sigh. Where did those little 2- and 4-year olds go?

Oh, yes. They're studying Shakespeare and Tennyson and Orwell. It's a beautiful thing.


Leila said...

Good job!

That's the way to go. Just read good books!

Thanks for your kind comment today! I really appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

ok, that game they played with Isaac makes me laugh! I never knew they did that! HILARIOUS!!

Anonymous said...

this is Sarah, by the way.

Ruthie said...

Good they are reading the classics.
I enjoyed the old books in your previous post. Really are treasures.

Benja said...

Haha! I forgot all about that game! Of course, I thought it was dorky at the time, but they'll never forget it. Isaac is so cool!