This week marks the halfway point in our Classical Conversations Challenge II semester, and I can hardly believe it. This is my second time to tutor this level, and I really enjoy the hands-on nature of the curriculum ~ even though biology and algebra II are a challenge for me. Actually, the entire curriculum is quite challenging for me and for the students. There are seven seminars in the course of the day including:
- Latin II (I hired out for this seminar this year. Latin I is all I could manage and stay sane and feed my family regular meals.)
- Algebra II
- Western Cultural History (art, music, and Francis Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live?)
- British Literature
...as in the photo above where everyone is taking a test on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which was our second novel or epic poem to read. Beowulf was first, and BOTH are such great stories. The kids are a bit tired of Old English, though, because after those two poems we read The Knight's Tale from Canterbury Tales. Oh well, now we're on to Pilgrim's Progress and Gulliver's Travels, exploring the genres of allegory and satire. I really love this reading selection. Next up will be Jane Eyre, Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice and MORE! They read about one novel a week, and write an essay on each one.
|Cooper demonstrating multiplication and division of polynomials with his $1 nerd glasses from Target.|
I think he's jealous of my new specs!
Though we've only practiced this once, Francis Schaeffer's worldview course provides great material for a Socratic Circle. Below, the students were given a topic/chapter and then left on their own to explore the ideas Schaeffer's writing put forth, namely the shift in worldview that can be detected in much Renaissance artwork. I was really proud that they so easily carried on the discussion for MANY more than the ten minutes I gave them as a goal for keeping the discussion going. Sharp kids, I tell ya!
Our first debate was two weeks ago. The resolution was that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) should be abolished. They all read a book called State of the Arts this summer which encourages Christians to participate in and appreciate the arts, but also helps give a godly, biblical standard for discerning what art is worthy of our appreciation.
|Panel of Judges. Look at those stern faces!|
|Cross Examination by Sara|
The opposing team also did a great job in naming the merits of the NEA, and breaking down the facts about how much of our tax money actually goes to the organization. Their argument was for reform and more judicial funding. The affirmative team won, but just by the skin of their teeth. If fact, one judge chose the negative team as the overall winner. Everyone learned, though, that you can not do enough research, fact-gathering, and THINKING in order to get a big picture understanding of the overall issue and argument!
Now... essays are graded, progress reports completed, and now I'm off to study my logic book...and buy groceries for the week!