Teaching books (was Re: Pratchett)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Nov 24 13:57:33 EST 2003

On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 12:13:01 -0500 (EST), deborah wrote:

>On Wed, 19 Nov 2003, Melissa Proffitt wrote:
>|AND I have finally used a DWJ book as a school assignment.  Teleri chose to
>|make a chart comparing the deities of Greek, Roman, Norse, and Egyptian
>|mythology, and it was a perfect opportunity to introduce _Eight Days of
>|Luke_.  I really think DWJ books are good for children because they are so
>|honest.  Right now we are discussing why David's family is so rotten to
>|him...very complex for a nine-year-old who has been raised in a loving
>I would think home schooling would go back and forth between very
>frustrating and very fulfilling.  Frustrating when you really want to
>involve one book or another and you know it just isn't appropriate, and
>fulfilling when you get the chance to do it at last.

It's not as frustrating as you'd think, because aside from actual "study" we
do a lot of independent reading, most of it guided by Me.  Teleri has now
read _Dogsbody_, all the Chrestomanci books, and _Archer's Goon_.  _Dogsbody
is by far her favorite--I think she read it about three times before I made
her move on.  :)  And with that independent reading goes a lot of
instruction around the dinner table and elsewhere.  She's an avid reader,
but her ability to articulate her opinions about what she's reading is very
unformed.  So on the one hand, we have books that fit the curriculum or
unit, and on the other, we have everything else--that's where I fit the rest
of the really good books.  I want her to be able to summarize the plot of a
book as well as explain what she liked or didn't like about it before we
begin any structured analysis.  Her ADD is a real drawback in this way, but
then, most kids with ADD are not avid readers, so I will take my blessings
as they come.

My biggest problem is keeping her under the illusion that her mom knows
best.  I have to limit the number of crap books she brings home from the
library--even though the books she *loves* are the good ones, she still
likes Pokemon novelizations.  Twerp.

>good choice of book!  Does Teleri have any interesting theories?

Not yet.  I'm trying not to give away too much of the plot, but in her
response pages (answers to questions about the chapters she's read) I'm
guiding her to think about certain main points that should eventually lead
to her figuring it all out.  I hope.  She's really not very good at seeing
those little hints yet.  Her little brother Rhys is the one I have great
hopes for.  He's five and loves mysteries and scary stories, and has an
incredibly suspicious mind.  We read an abridged/illustrated Dracula, very
faithful to the original in most ways, and then moved on to a version where
two kids get pulled into the novel.  When we got to the point where Dracula
serves his guests a sumptuous meal, Rhys turned to me and said, "It's
poisoned.  They shouldn't eat it."  It wasn't, but he certainly knows better
than to trust the bloodsucker. :)  (He also knew that Van Helsing et. al.
were stupid to leave Mina alone while they went hunting Dracula.  I don't
know where this kid came from.)

Melissa Proffitt

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