Friday, June 15, 2012

Midwest Homeschool Convention - Design Your Own Literature Program

OK, I officially am a fan of Adam Andrews & The Center for Literary Education, since this seminar entitled Design Your Own Lit Program is the third of his that I attended during the Cincinnati convention.

Do you have a book list? Or do you wish you had a book list? Not only "a" book list but perhaps you long for THE PERFECT BOOK LIST? If so, then this seminar is for you. Not because Adams possesses or shares this elusive list, but because you'll learn how to create your own list!

Here's the description:
Designing Your Own Lit Program – a Scope and Sequence Workshop
Many parents are dissatisfied with the books assigned in box curriculum sets – and yet, they feel inadequate to strike out on their own and create effective reading programs for their children. Adam puts these fears to rest with an inspiring lesson in scope and sequence development. Presenting a step-by-step procedure that is accessible to even the busiest teachers, Adam makes a powerful case that it’s not how many books you do, it’s how well you do them! Come listen and be set free from the “tyranny of the booklist.”

Andrews began by pointing out that we as homeschool parents (or even as school teachers) usually do not get to "the end" of the book list. This is ok because education isn't the completion of a book list. He then went on to burst our bubbles by telling us that he wasn't going to give out the secret book list.

He told a story about contacting a former professor of his and asking for some recommendations for his child's reading list. The professor listed the Bible, then after some thought added St. Augustine's Confessions, Milton's Paradise Lost, and then Mitchell's The Gift of Fire. Then he stopped. Andrews asked him if he needed more time, but the prof said, "No, that's all." Andrews was shocked.
(And there's more to this story, but I didn't write it down. lol)

Education is a state of the heart, the mind, the soul. Be free from the tyranny of the book list.

What is a scope and sequence? It's how broad of a treatment of the subject at hand and what order to do it.

What should teaching be? It should be DISCUSSING IDEAS. The core education is an oral discussion. (At this point in my notes, I underlined that sentence three times, starred it, and wrote "This changes everything!")

How to Design Your own Lit Program
1 - Which books shall we discuss?
A - children's stories written by great authors (regardless of the age of students)
B - Classics (books read and loved for a long time, those that have stood the test of time)
C - Books YOU choose

2 - How many books shall we discuss?
A - The Great Conundrum is that you can't discuss it if you haven't read it.
B - The Great Solution
C - The Secret Equation (The # of books you can realistically read = the # of books you should discuss)
D - Give the child LOTS of reading even if you can't discuss them all.

3 - How Shall We Discuss the Books?
A - The Socratic list of discussion questions is available (see below)
B - reading aloud is a plus
C - Group discussion is a fabulous tool

Reading Roadmaps includes "step-by-step instructions for conducting an oral discussion using the Teaching the Classics model, with special attention to each grade level from K-12" applied to more than 200 classic titles.
Teaching the Classics: Basic Seminar "contains everything a teacher needs to conduct powerful literary discussions, including our exclusive Socratic List, a set of 178 graded discussion questions applicable to any book on your reading list."

Typing out my notes makes me want to listen again to this seminar. I was so motivated by it that my notes are not very complete.You can purchase a CD or MP3 download here.

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