Blog Posts

Recharge for a New School Year – Part 1

Recharge for a New School Year – Part 1

Classical Education, Read Aloud
Soon after the 2015-2016 school year ended, I was given an unexpected gift: a day at home all alone. It was glorious! (I took three naps.) Once I wiped away the sleep from my eyes, I was shocked at how tired I really was. Truthfully, a teacher's work is never done and plans for a new school year are always on the brain. With a new school year just around the corner, teachers look forward to the summer months to recharge their batteries. Perhaps sharing these refreshing ideas with you will encourage both of us to take better care of ourselves! Rest your body - You may not realize how worn out you probably are! Stress is a normal part of life, but it can have nasty consequences on your…
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Podcast Featuring TLC – An Interview with Sarah Mackenzie (Read-Aloud-Revival)

Podcast Featuring TLC – An Interview with Sarah Mackenzie (Read-Aloud-Revival)

Classic Literature, History through Literature, Podcast, Read Aloud, Top Posts
I love Sarah Mackenzie! If I could pick my neighbors, the Mackenzies would live in my neighborhood. But, since I'm on the east coast, and Sarah on the west, we'll just be thankful for wifi, headsets, and plenty of laughter! After meeting her for the first time last Fall at an IEW Exhibitor's Retreat, I learned that we had many things in common: a house full of kids an insatiable love for great books a great desire to give our families a literary education a sincere wish to face the library without fear We've bumped into one another since then at a home school convention and had a recent conversation, which is now a podcast for you to enjoy! There's so much more I could say, but that will have…
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Reader Response Journaling: How the Light Bulb Switched on in One Classical Classroom

Reader Response Journaling: How the Light Bulb Switched on in One Classical Classroom

Classical Education, History through Literature, Literary Analysis
Luckily, there is a simple and effective way for classical educators to improve comprehension: reader-response journaling. Several months ago I was completing the finishing touches on the second edition of Timeline of Classics when I met a new friend, Donna Seidman.  As I explained the new edition, she became more and more excited! After spending a semester refining the methods I described to her, these are Donna's observations: I teach 6th and 7th grade English classes along with Classical Studies at a hybrid-style charter school in California. I became aware of Timeline of Classics earlier this year and was excited to implement it in my 7th grade class. Being a traditional class which was used to worksheets and simply answering questions, students were: challenged to consider the material learned to…
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It Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming: Let’s Go to the Library!

It Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming: Let’s Go to the Library!

Classical Education, History through Literature, Literary Analysis, Read Aloud, Reader-Response Journaling
If you're like me, the library was, and still is, one of the favorite all-time stops for my kids and me. The very mention of going to get books brought nothing but glee and smiles to the faces of my kids. (One of my daughters is now a nanny for a young family. Guess where she takes the kids at least once a week?) I knew that I needed some sort of plan before we hit the road. Choosing books at the library is like walking down the cereal aisle at the grocery store...too many choices! What's a mom to do? My heart has always been drawn toward history. Perhaps it's because I was born into a home with four grandparents and a great-grandmother who lived to be 100 years…
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Introducing Timeline of Classics – An interview with IEW’s Andrew Pudewa and Julie Walker

Introducing Timeline of Classics – An interview with IEW’s Andrew Pudewa and Julie Walker

Classical Education, History through Literature, Literary Analysis, Podcast, Reader-Response Journaling, Top Posts
I am pleased to announce the arrival of TLC2! Wouldn't you know it? Timeline of Classics (the second edition) hit the presses the very same week I visited IEW's home base for a week of training! Not only was I overwhelmed by the beauty of eastern Oklahoma, but I could hardly contain my excitement. This was the first time I had seen the facility where my chronological book list is being published! Visiting IEW I serve the Institute for Excellence in Writing as a Certified online instructor, exhibitor, and author. It was a joy to finally meet so many of the wonderful people I work with at IEW. During my stay, I was interviewed by Andrew Pudewa (the founder, principal speaker, and director of IEW) and Julie Walker (Andrew's right…
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Second Edition – Coming Soon in 2016!

Second Edition – Coming Soon in 2016!

Classical Education, History through Literature, Literary Analysis, Reader-Response Journaling
I am pleased to announce that Timeline of Classics is expanding in 2016.  The editing team at the Institute for Excellence in Writing will soon release the second edition! With the help of my literary analysis students, I bring you more "teacher features" to make Timeline of Classics even more useful for busy teachers and their students. You Can Do It! You can learn to confidently coach students of any age through any piece of classic literature. Let me teach you how to make the good and great books come alive. It's easier than you may think! Here are some simple but effective tools that have been added to the second edition: Reader-Response Journaling: a powerful method for developing thinkers Socratic Discussion: the no-tears formula Vocabulary Study: the secret weapon Prepare…
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