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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Eternal Argument (Schoolhouse Crew Review)


As a homeschool parent, two of the subjects I most enjoy teaching my children include history and literature. When I visited Analytical Grammar's website and read about their book titled The Eternal Argument, I was fascinated by the book's description.

Have you ever asked yourself why students are made to read the books they read, the classics in particular?

As both a student and a teacher this question has crossed my mind on several occasions. 

The Eternal Argument was written by Robin Finley, a prior 8th grade teacher who taught language arts for 34 years. In her book, she goes about proving her thesis which is that we have been having one large argument with each other for several thousand years. By understanding what this argument is, it will better equip us in understanding our culture and its literature. She does this by providing us with a framework or a "lens" for approaching each piece of literature.
"Once you have the ideas in The Eternal Argument clear in your mind, you'll never look at literature, or even some world events, in quite the same way again. Now I know that sounds like a very boastful prediction to make, but I can tell you that, since that fateful day when I was first exposed to these ideas, I gazed at the world, its literature, its history, and its current - often agonizing - events, from an entirely different perspective." 
The reason I share the above quote from Robin's book is because after having read the book for myself, I must say that I completely understand and agree with the above paragraph. My view of a story will never be the same; it will never be "just a story". Now I know not only what questions to ask myself, but how to guide my students in helping them dig into the story behind the story.

This book is recommended for students in Grades 8 and up. I first began reading it out loud with my 13-year-old son. Unfortunately, the beginning was a bit too wordy for him and he quickly lost interest. Although the beginning didn't capture my interest right away, I continued to read it because the subject itself was of the utmost interest to me. 

Here's the one main thing that I felt made this book so worthwhile - the author included within each chapter a synopsis of a book she felt was significant and illustrated the point of that particular chapter. This is what helped cement the information contained within each chapter and make it completely understandable to me. 

You can read some samples of the chapters by visiting this link: The Eternal Argument

I believe any teacher of history or literature should include this book as part of their library. The author did a fantastic job of describing the periods between the Middle Ages through Modernism. Chapter 9 through Chapter 12 were my favorite chapters of this book. It is within these chapters that Robin gave a thorough description of what happened during each of these historical periods. As a side note, each chapter ends with some discussion questions.

Within the book the author illustrates, what she named, a "literary platform" to help us understand the "legs" that make up western literature. These legs consist of Greek & Roman Mythology, King James Version of the Bible (You'd be surprised how many biblical sayings we use.), and the Aurthurian Legend. She explains which of these two are the main foundational supports of our literature and also represent the different sides of the Eternal Argument.

The book ends with:

"Stuff You Need to Know to Teach This Stuff" which includes literary vocabulary, the five elements of a plot, the five conflicts in literature, and other subjects.

"Now Let's Apply All This to Books We've Discussed" which is written to the teacher.

"Because It's All About Me...What Do I Think" where the author shares her personal thoughts pertaining to each chapter.

After having completed this book, I now know why we are encouraged to read classic books. It makes sense. 

It is my opinion that all high school students should also read this book. It will give them the framework they will need in order to understand not only the why they are reading what they're reading, but the how to go about understanding it in its full depth. 

Cost: $24.95

Follow Analytical Grammar on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/analyticalgrammar and
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AnalyticalGram

Crew members reviewed other products by Analytical Grammar including: Analytical Grammar, Jr. Analytical Grammar, and Beyond the Book Report. You can read these reviews by clicking on the banner below.

Click to read Crew Reviews


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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Go Science DVDs (Series 2) By Library and Educational Services (Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Go Science Review

My children and I recently had the opportunity to watch a couple of Go Science DVD's (Series 2) by Library and Educational Services.

The first one we watched was Volume 2 which was broken up into two topics: Life Science and Weather.

Go Science Review

Life Science included:
  • Flashlight-Animal Eyes
  • Animal Skulls
  • Bobby Pins
  • What Are You Looking At?
  • How Much Do Your Lungs Hold?
  • Eating Nails for Breakfast
  • Naked Egg

Sunday, June 08, 2014

New York City Through the Eyes of a Lens


One World Trade Center photo by ASliceOfHomeschoolPie
One World Trade Center (also known as the Freedom Tower)
One World Trade Center is the lead building of the new World Trade Center complex. It is 105-stories high and is the tallest building in the United States due to its radio antenna which helps it reach 1,776 feet.

Friday, May 30, 2014

What on Earth Can I Do? by Apologia Educational Ministries (Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Apologia What On Earth Can I Do Review by ASliceOfHomeschoolPie.com
I have always been interested in the products offered by Apologia Educational Ministries. I was recently given the opportunity to review their hardback book What on Earth Can I Do?, which is Volume 4 of their Biblical Worldview series. I was also given their optional resources which include: What on Earth Can I Do Notebooking Journal, What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal, and their What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book

The hardback book is recommended for children in Grades 1 - 6. I used it with both my 2nd and 7th grade children. The optional notebooking journals were a great addition as each spiral-bound book included questions that were geared towards the different ages of my children.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Guess Where I'll Be Going Soon

New York City by ASliceOfHomeschoolPie.com

My family and I will soon be going to New York City. Being that I have siblings who live in New York, I have been there on several occasions, however this time we will be going as tourists. Have you ever been to New York City?

Some of the places we plan on visiting is the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, The Museum of Natural History, the 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, Central Park, and Toys-R-Us (They have a large indoor Ferris Wheel that we just have to see.). I'm sure there will be other things we'll see as time allows.

Is there any other place that you feel are a "must see" while I'm there? If so, please share under comments below.

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I know your time is precious, so any comment you share below will be greatly valued.
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers


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Sunday, May 18, 2014

How to Open Lines of Communication With Your Child in a Creative Manner

How to Open Lines of Communication With Your Child in a Creative Manner by ASliceOfHomeschoolPie

Until recently, I have not used a writing curriculum for my oldest child, except for last year when I wrote an Essentials in Writing Review. When my oldest son was younger he would shed tears over writing which quickly moved me to look for a better way to offer him writing opportunities. I wanted him to enjoy writing, and if I couldn't get him to enjoy it, I wanted to at least make it more meaningful for him.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Gift of Motherhood

A Mother's Love is Unlike Any Other Love by ASliceOfHomeschoolPie.com

I am so blessed and thankful for the gift of motherhood. As I watch my children grow in size and in character, I thank and praise God for His work in them. My oldest son, who if asked by a girl to dance, will never say no so as "to make her feel good," who isn't embarrassed to have his mom take photos of him at his first teen semi-formal dance, who can confidently give his mom a hug and kiss in front of all of his peers, and who is growing up into a fine, young man.