Tuesday, February 1, 2011

From The Sorcerer's Apprentice to Strega Nona...

Sometimes strange things happen that make me think God has a hand in our homeschooling.  Just a month or two ago we were listening to Juliet Dove,  Queen of Love as an audiobook.  There was no reason why I chose this book other than we discovered Bruce Coville and his Magic Shop series.  Lo and behold this book had a plot line about the Greek Gods, Eris, Aphrodite, Hera and the story about Helen of Troy.  Guess what story was featured in this weeks Story of the World chapter?  Yup - how Zeus started a war, the Trojan War, by giving a golden apple and making the mortal Paris choose to whom it should be given!  
As part of history we are tying in a composer study - Paul Dukas and the Sorcer’s Apprentice.  This story was originally written 2,000 years ago by a Greek author, Lucien.  The story was reworked by a German Poet and then the words were set to music by Dukas.  This morning we began by listening to the story.  While I listened I thought:
  1. we must watch the part of Fantasia where this song is featured again.
  2. Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona is a modern retelling of this!  We must get the book from the library or see if there is a reading on youtube.          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hycbIlBv90
  3. I am going to ask Grace to use this as her next expository essay.  I have written my own as a model for her.  My three points are: a) Strega Nona is like the Sorcerer. b) Big Tony is the Apprentice. c) in both stories the apprentice uses magic that goes horribly wrong!

    This is how I plan our lessons.  I do not write out plans a week in advance.  I take what we are doing and listen carefully to what the girls say and when I can expand on a concept, I do!  I constantly make connections to what we are doing in other areas of our life.  It is even better when the girls do it for themselves, like they did this morning with the story of the golden apple. 
    Having a set day for each content area helps me to focus and plan. As they girls were writing their retelling of The Sorcer’s Apprentice in their journals, I  quickly researched the best youtube video for Strega Nona.  I wonder if they will realize why I am showing them this video and make the connection to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice on their own.
    This type of learning feels so natural to me.  It spirals into all we do.  I am grateful that we live in the internet age.  We listened to the story of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice on iTunes since I had copied the cd to my library.  Having youtube saves me a trip to the library for Strega Nona. It must have been much more difficult to homeschool for generations past. 

    Our day is just beginning.  We have read a chapter of SOTW, listened to The Sorcerer's Apprentice and wrote a retelling of it in their journals complete with illustrations, made a list of what makes them happy, took a history quiz on Chapter 24 of SOTW and played a game of Guess Who.  This learning is unique, tailored, layered, flexible, and comprehensive.  Not to mention it is also fun.  

    What words would you use to describe your homeschooling experience?


    musicalmary said...

    We love the Socerer's Apprentice! I picked up a used book (beautiful) of the story a few years ago, and we love to read the story while listening to the music. I love your attitude about planning. I'm getting much more into that frame of mind. Well, right now my kids are running around with walkie talkies while I print out some notebooking pages, so I'm really winging it today! :-)

    Theresa said...

    The way you plan your week is so inspiring! Sometimes, I find that things just naturally work like that too and I believe God has a hand in it all. As I type this the girls are writing in their Writer's Notebooks and Allie just told me that Emma in Mother-Daughter Book Club has a writer's notebook. Allie had been resistant to the idea, saying she didn't know what to write, had no ideas, etc. I knew it would take time for her to feel comfortable with this. Now that a character in her favorite book series has one...she is all over the idea!!

    But I am really thinking a lot about the way you plan and spending one day on each subject.

    Anonymous said...

    I like teaching history. The only thing I fear is that I may be getting them into too much of the nitty gritty details of it all instead of doing the general ideas and concepts.

    My home learning experience can be summed up by thrilling-ly chaotic.

    Jessica said...

    @ Theresa, the one day a week plan is working really well for us. Of course things get thrown in across the week. I won't get to all my history today but the expository essay will count for writing tomorrow.... And of course, math is a constant, done every day.

    @Mary - I love the cd that I purchased and hope to continue with the others after this one!

    @theotherteacher - thanks for stopping by! Thrillingly chaotic is a great description. It certainly fits most of our days as well!

    Karen said...

    The following rabbit holes kind of learning is my favorite kind. Like you, I LOVE when things bleed over. I don't know how many times we learn something and then it comes up in another area. Kei just gets a big smile on her face.

    I will have to see about getting Juliet Dove. We are actually listening to "Under the Tuscan Sun" on audio. It is a little old for Kei maybe but she seems to be liking it. I had just read it and shared so many passages with her that I thought we would at least give it a try. :)

    Love reading about what you do. It so often inspires me.

    Rachel said...

    What a great way to do school. I love how homeschooling lets us do things like that. I definitely need to work on tying everything together like that. Great post. I'm visiting through the Hip Homeschool Hop.

    Marcie said...

    I enjoy watching how you link different things and it encourages me to try some of the same things.

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