Thursday, October 11, 2007

Golden Compass Audio Book Review (and History Plug)

Since the movie of The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Trilogy Book 1) is coming out in early December, I decided to get the audio book for my oldest (8 1/2 year-old).

We've listened to the whole thing, listened to the second book, and are listening to The Golden Compass again.

The book has some religious references (a subject of which my daughter, being raised by an atheist, is fairly ignorant) like the creation myth, the story of Adam and Eve, original sin, and Lucifer. Some of the stories are explained in the book. Others (like the reference to Eve), I explained myself.

Thanks to Elisa's European history class last year with History at Our House, I was able to explain the setting of the story. I reminded her of the middle ages and how the church was able to control everyone's religion and how Joan of Arc had been executed as a heretic, a person stating something different from what the church said. This is very important to understand in The Golden Compass because the world in the story is run by the church and people who seek power in the church.

Interesting reading--even though physics gets mixed up with supporting 'conscious' particles of dust.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Atlas Shrugged is Number One!

In best selling downloads for classics at, that is! Notice that Fountainhead is right there as well.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Columbus Day Work

Here we have it: Wednesday evening I realized that Columbus Day was this coming Monday! I never have done much with the kids in anticipation of any holiday. I figured I could start this week.

I know a lot of people might frown on worksheets. One homeschool mom even expressed incredulity that my children would actually voluntarily do them. I find them, at worst, innocuous, and at best, entertaining and educational (for my kids as well as myself--"what do you mean that's grade level?").

I found some nice activity sheets for Columbus Day at, and about.homeschool.

Some are coloring pages, but others are Columbus Day reading comprehensions, spelling units, word searches, and crossword puzzles.

It also gave me a prompt to talk to my 8 1/2 year old daughter about Columbus and his current reputation (even pointing out why people who vilify Columbus are wrong).

She went out of her way to write about Columbus on her own:

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451. He was 41when he went to what he
thought was Asia and died when he was 55. Christopher was at sea for three
months. When Columbus’ men were ready to give up, Columbus gave them courage.
Columbus wasn’t the first one to have found America but he was the first one to do
something about it. He was the first one to have done something about a
continent that had almost no civil things in it. And that’s why we still
celebrate Columbus today.

The 'perseverance' was put in there because we did a literature unit with that theme!