So, what about school during these fuzzy newborn days?
Well, we have been reading Little House On The Prairie together. Watching the PBS Docu-Reality show, Frontier House. Watching From The Earth To The Moon. And learning about the Iditarod. We are doing math fact flash cards when we can. And math work sheets. Trying to keep up with karate.
Cy is independently (without me asking) reading aloud to his brothers about barnacles and the Greek and Persian War.
And then there is Oliver Twist.
The young reader adaptation has been the bane of Cy's 8 year old existence for the past twenty weeks. I know it's been 20 weeks because I just rechecked it at the library for the 10th time and each time is good for 2 weeks. He was initially enthused about reading it. That didn't last long . . He quickly decided it would take longer than he cared to spend to read 15 chapters over 140 pages. I really debated whether I should let him choose another book or make him finish what he started. The full Dickens classic would be way over his reading level. This illustrated adaptation was a bit of a stretch, but fully within his reach. We decided to persevere. I would mark with a post it note the number of pages I wanted him to read each day. Usually between 5 and 10. And we went weeks without reading at all. But, by Jinks, he did it! He finished the last chapter today. And, most importantly, he retained what he read, even with it spread out over 20 weeks. I called him over to the computer today and had him dictate what he remembered of the story. This narration technique is the cornerstone of Charlotte Mason education. I typed it down verbatim, pausing only to ask the occasional clarification. I will have him copy it out in his own handwriting, a little at a time, over the course of the next several weeks. We will talk about paragraphs and run-on sentences. We might tweak a few things. But the main goal for now will be handwiting and spelling practice.
Without further ado, I present . . .
Oliver Twist- A Book Report
Josiah Hudson, 3-12-14
Oliver Twist, when he was born was free. He was born, but then his mother, right at his birth died. And he turned into an orphan. And then he went to the work house. Then he was put into a family where he ran away because another kid made fun of his mother. And that is where he met a very friendly old lady, a widow, who gave him his supper. And he stayed there that night. And then he went to London. And by the way, he was on London’s trail because he didn’t want to get found. And that’s where he met The Artful Dodger who was also about 11 or 10 years old. The Artful Dodger gave him some supper and some beer, and invited him to join their gang. And that’s where he met Fagin. And they were all robbers which have been guilty. And Fagin is also old. And he stayed there with him and that’s where he met Nancy, which later in the story gets beaten to death by Sikes, which is evil, really evil. Back to the beginning of the story, that’s where The Artful Dodger stole a wallet from a stranger, who thought it was Oliver and went running after Oliver. Oliver was punched in the mouth and knocked out. Then he went to court and was found not guilty. And the man who thought he had stolen the wallet was named Mr. Brumwell. And Oliver went with Mr. Brumwell and got better. And then The Artful Dodger saw him and got him back in the gang. And then he got out of the gang again. And then back in. Mr. Brumwell got other people to help find Oliver. And Nancy also helped by meeting the men in secret at the London Bridge. And there was a spy, Noah. And he heard everything. He went back to Bill Sikes and Fagin and told them everything. Which fired up Bill Sikes and he went up and beat Nancy to death! Then he went back with Oliver onto the roof trying to escape a crowd that discovered him and was trying to capture him. There was this rope hanging off a post. He was going to swing to the other side of a ditch, cut the rope and creep away. But it didn’t work. He slipped through the loop and it tightened around his neck and there he hung, dead. There was a roar of terror. And then Fagin was discovered. And he was brought to the court. His sentence was to be hung by the neck until he died, on Monday. And before that Oliver came to him and hugged him until they were separated. And then Fagin was hung. It was Monday. It actually is quite an incredible, but dry story. It’s a very dark story.