I was wondering if any of you are doing this and if so, how. Also, is anyone making up literature exams for their dialectic children? I have the evaluation disc and the jump from a matching test on literary terms dialectic level to the rhetoric literary exam is absolutely unreal. Plus, we are taking this curriculum half speed, sort of. REally I'm adding things in and taking history half speed, I suppose. Like next week we will spend an in-depth week just studying Leonardo Da Vinci. Last quarter I gave them a literature exam. It has the matching test for literary terms. Then I included a short story and had them read it and explain the story map: exposition, rising action, climax, etc. It also had questions about what was the setting, conflict, characterization in the story.
I need to give a test for this quarter, but we haven't really done anything new exactly. Part of it is I am doing dialectic worksheets but we are also reading the upper grammar stuff and some extra stuff as well. (My boys read quickly so even the dialectic stuff that says 3 weeks really takes them 2 to read and complete the worksheets. So the third week I give them an upper grammar book w/worksheet or an extra book with short report or plot analyzation.) So, we haven't encountered any new lit terms/concepts since I am going half pace. (Clear as mud?) But then what about my 8th grader??? Looking at the rhetoric, it would absolutely kill him next year. There is such a HUGE jump. We have never studied the Middle Ages and Renaissance before so I wanted to take my time. We did Cores 3 and 4 of Sonlight so a lot of units 3 and 4 we have studied/ read the literature already. So I think I am going to condense some of that. Anyway, I'm not sure what I should be doing for my 8th grader especially (I think this is enough for my 6th grader.) Somehow he needs to be ready for that in-depth analysis. I'm just not seeing how he will be prepared at this rate.
Hi Christine! I know what you mean about the jump from dialectic to Rhetoric---a lot of people have had doubts about how to make that transition smoothly, especially if you are jumping into Rhetoric halfway through Year 2. A lot of the analysis concepts for Rhetoric students are taught in the first half of the year, so that puts you at a disadvantage if you are entering in the second. There is good news, however---lots of it! But first, just a couple of clarifying questions:
1. It sounds like your 8th grader is a good reader. Is that true? If so, he will hopefully be okay with the transition to more and heavier reading.
2. Are you planning to do the second half of Y2 with your 8th grader in a year, or in half a year? In other words, do you plan to be done Y2 this year or do you plan to continue working on it through next year?
3. Do you have 1st printing or 2nd printing of Year 2?
Once I know where you stand on these three, I think I can make some suggestions about how to start easing your student from Dialectic to Rhetoric. I'm eager to hear back from you!
Well, my Loom CD says 1st printing, so I guess I have the first edition. (How would I know about the printed part?) To be honest, I'm not sure how far we will get this year. I normally plan heavily in May and June. (Our school year normally last from July 20th or so to May 1st, but we ending up doing math and other things we hadn't finished like TOG so we did abbreviated school for may and math in June) However, we took a 2 week Ethiopia mission trip in July, I was doing VBS and boys had camps in June, and I was planning my children's choir year. Suddenly we were in Ethiopia and we got back on Friday and started school on Monday.
We have never studied the Middle ages or Rennaissance and so I have been doing it almost at half pace. Plus, we travel a lot. We will probably take a family trip in February and April and they have week long testing at a local private school in April as well. I'm sure we will do another mission trip, but I'm not sure what it is yet. We have studied American history up until about World War I in detail, though my boys are fascinated with World War II and have studied that or chosen that for papers on their own. We have actually traveled to Plimouth, Jamestown, Yorktown, Boston with all of its sites, Lexington and Concord, Philadelphia and its sites, about 10 Civil War battlesites, Mount Rushmore, endless National Parks. We generally take 3 trips a year to historical sites. They watch tons of documentaries as well.
So, my 8th grad and 6th grade boys know a lot about history in America. Now my 1st grade girl does not. This is another challenge. Schooling has been pretty easy as I've kept my boys together for most things except math. However, in the last couple of years science has pulled in different directions. Now I need to add in my girl and to be honest, keeping up with teaching her to read has been a challenge much less history, which has fallen by the wayside except occasional books. It turns out she does have vision problems, so we are going into testing and possibly weekly therapy with her.
Does my 8th grader read well? Well, yes and no. He is currently doing Apologia Biology and TT Algebra II. He can read complicated science and math that is way beyond my understanding. He is completing a course on ALICE (programming) and I'm talking to a local Christian college about his taking some computer classes there since it is his love. Literature... he has a lot of trouble reading between the lines if you know what I mean. My 6th grader is actually better at that. That said, when he took the ACT as part of the Duke Tip program last year he did very well on the English part. He was state recognized for his scores.
I was unsure about what I would do for high school, but oldest REALLY wants to stay home, so I guess we are continuing. So that means next year he will do Apologia Chemistry. Chalkdust Geometry (already own it). (I decided to have him do TT Algebra I and II to count as Algebra I since it isn't quite as rigorous a program and he will be a math/computer/engineering or something like that major. But TT is great for my 6th grade awful at math kid. We'll do a Chalkdust Algebra II class for his junior year.)
Then my middle child will be 7th next year and doing Apologia General science which will be a HUGE jump. He has been doing the dialectic TOG reading since last year but this year I've demanded the work. He can do it, but he is awfully lazy. He will read, read, read. LOVES it. Just don't ask him to write down answers. (He'll tell you though.) He thinks anything that takes longer than 5 minutes to do (other than reading) takes too long.
Then I will have my 2nd grade girl which will need intensive hands on from me for math and reading and well, everything.
I'm resigning from most of my extra-curricular activities (mine, not my children's) as I just can't keep up. It looks like we should finish up Unit 2 of year 2 the first week of March. We started it this past week, but I REALLY want to enjoy and explore all of the artists and the time period. Next week we are just studying Da Vinci. I think my oldest will find him REALLY fascinating. After that, I don't know. I haven't even opened units 3 and 4. I do know that we have read many of the literature already: Pilgrim's Progress, Witch of Blackbird Pond, Early Thunder, Johnny Tremain, Justin Morgan has a Horse, Carry On Mr. Bowditch(one of our favorites along with Johnny Tremain)As I mentioned before, we studied American history in detail before doing TOG and read tons and tons and made notebooks of our information and our travels.
Also let me tell you how we have been doing the literature. They read quickly. So for example, you have The Second Mrs. Gianconda for 2 weeks. They finished it in this first week. Plus next week I am having my extra Da Vinci week. So, we are going over the first week's worksheet on Monday. Then we will orally do the images worksheet assinged on the second week because I can tellyou right now that sheet will throw them for a loop. Images... they are like my surgeon husband (How do you know the artist meant for the white rose to mean purity? A flower is a flower!). Then they will read I, Juan de Pareja and do a worksheet or two for that for the next week and a half. Sometimes I will do the extra resources instead. For example, I found a great worksheet for The Trumpeter of Crackow, but it gave the boys a lot of trouble. They could tell me exactly what happened, but trying to come up with themes or what the broken note represented...sigh. It takes me leading them to the water so to speak. Literature is especially. My oldest can do the dialectic history questions easily, but I'm working on his doing them neatly and completely.
Well Christy, that is more than you wanted to know probably. But that is where we are. My husband loves to travel, but I have trouble trying to fit school around it. When the boys were younger, it counted as school. But now as we approach high school: Biology and math or literature have to keep going which basically means we will have to school year round to take all of the trips he wants.
Wow. Well yes, that is more information than I really needed. ;-) However, it does help to give me a more complete picture of your constraints, which I value. Honestly, looking at everything you've got, my recommendation would be that you forget about Rhetoric level literature class plans until you get to Year 3, and instead just work your kids up to reading R-level literature books. My reasoning is as follows:
1. If you're thinking about jumping into Rhetoric lit in the middle of the year, especially with the 1st printing, that's going to be tough because all the literary concepts are taught in the first half of the year and then applied in the second half, and your kids are jumping in mid-way, so they will probably be more or less lost if they try to make the jump now.
2. On the other hand, encouraging them to start getting used to heavier literature reading assignments is a good thing and should be a fairly gentle transition. You could also read through the R-level class plans for each week and just discuss with them whatever you think will make sense to them where they are now.
3. Year 2 first printing has some problems in terms of R-level literature being too heavy and too complex, which are casualties of the development process: at that point we were still developing our overall approach to literature and especially our "handbooks": Poetics and Frameworks (it was sort of the way things were with writing before Writing Aids). :-/ That was unfortunate, but I'm sure God had a good reason for it which we don't yet see. Anyway, we JUST finished a second printing of Year 2 into which we retrofitted our "handbooks" and made things a fair bit cleaner, tighter, shorter, and simpler, but those pages are not available as an "upgrade" (at least not yet). Year 3 is MUCH better (or so everybody tells me) both as regards density and complexity, and the books are mostly in "modern English" (which is also easier for students), so you'd probably be wise to wait and make the jump to Rhetoric in Y3 when it will be easier for your student.
So unless you have an umbrella school which demands to see high school work right now, I'd wait on the transition to Rhetoric lit until you come to Year 3. :-) You will also find, for your 6th grader, that Dialectic level literature in Year 3 has been beefed up to make it a smoother on-ramp to Rhetoric level, so that should serve him well and be more appropriately challenging (but not too challenging!) as he is in seventh grade.
I hope I'm being at least as clear as mud. ;-) If you'd like to talk about this further, I'd be willing to set up a phone conference with you. All you would need to do is call our office and tell them that I said I would talk to you, and they'll give you my personal number.
Phew! Aren't you glad education is a process and we don't have to get it all... at least not all at once? ;-)
Yes, that make sense. I've actually had some planning time and it looks like we will finish through unit 3 the 3rd week of May. I thought I might look and work through the framesworks with my oldest a little at a time. I printed off the Story Analysis from the rhetoric level and thought I would read it through with him and then apply it to the stories we were reading. In unit 3 I thought I might work through the poetry one and apply it to the dialectic Shakespeare poetry selections. Does that sound ok?