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Monday, February 13, 2006

No, I'm not still reading Flush, Carl Hiaasen's young adult fiction barely 272 pages long and a fun read but not as captivating as Hoot, nor am I without a read-aloud (finally), it's just been too much trouble to actually change things over there ----------------->


I am having a blast reading the ancient Greeks. In preparation for a possibly* mobile year I decided to look into some anthologies. It's a heck of a lot easier to tote around and keep track of one big hardcover than a bunch of dinky paperbacks. So, on loan from the Library Without Late Fees and currently on my floor -- because I have no bedside table, it's actually on Jorge's side of the bed along with the lamp, poor design, I know -- is a copy of Auden's The Portable Greek Reader and The Norton Book of Classical Literature. And, lest you doubt my geek credentials, I have been reading and comparing the merits of Horner's Rhetoric in the Classical Tradition versus D'Angelo's Composition in the Classical Tradition, and poring over Harvey's Grammar books, both the Elementary and the Revised English editions.

The decision at this point in time, and by now you may have a feel for just how changeable that is so humor me, is to use the Horner book as my primary guide for writing, with the Classical Writing stuff I've accumulated for back-up in case I need adaptations for various skill levels, plus Harvey's Elementary Grammar, and, here's the really exciting part, make stuff up. Yup. As I go. And I'm not going to strain myself coordinating Harvey's lessons into the writing lessons. They are short enough. They can be separate. Because I said so. The Horner book is classically based without following the progymnasmata, that's where Classical Writing's suggestions come in, and for a text book, clearly and engagingly written (hey, it kept my attention.) Plus she encourages the use of a Commonplace Book, something I've been interested in having the kids do after learning about Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin's educations.

As far as the anthologies go, they are like the best all-you-can-eat buffet. I never knew I'd enjoy Hippocrates or Heraclitus or Aristophanes so much. Herodotus is next. It's given me taste of what's available and I'm eager to tear into the whole enchilada. With a large store credit at Books-A-Million, thanks to the three travel books on China I returned since my mother-in-law now insists that she is not going anywhere to avoid falling down and breaking bones, that's exactly what I'm going to do. But I'll be getting the individual paperbacks after all. I'd hate to miss something good.

For a read-aloud we started with Little Women, but Sarabelle and Gracie have already read it, and Elle hasn't been too enthused, so tonight we are starting The Wind in the Willows.

*The Godfather is busy at work making Jorge a Florida-based offer he can't refuse.

Off to meet Mole, Rat, and Toad...

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