Monday, November 9, 2009

Reader Questions...

I'm going to try to get better at answering questions. Here are a couple of questions from the last month or so.

1. Is your 5th grader enjoying Bulfinch's Mythology?

Jessie's answer to this question varies by the day. She loves mythology in general so most days she will tell you she enjoys it. Other days she will say it's not very interesting. Part of the answer depends on the story itself for that particular day (A story about Pandora for example is more interesting that reading about different mythological creatures.) Part of it depends on how carefully she reads the material. Miller's All Through the Ages places Bulfinch in the 7-9 grade range. If Jessie reads it carefully, she retains the information, gives good summaries, and enjoys herself. If she tries to read it at the same speed she read Little Women, then she generally doesn't comprehend the material as well and is frustrated when I ask her to reread the chapter.

For starting out in mythology, I would recommend D'Aulaire's Greek Myths if covering both the gods and the heroes. If you would rather emphasize the heroes (which is Jessie's favorite part), I would recommend The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles by Colum.

2. I notice you do timelines in your notebooks... do you feel like they get enough of the "big picture?"

One of the reasons I like the timelines in notebooks is the versatility. We can look at one page if we want to focus on a specific time period. We can also pull the pages out and line them up on the floor if we want to look at a larger time frame. It's simply a matter of what which we are trying to emphasize at a given time. HTH

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