I decided to do something a little different from my usual end of the year review. While looking back, I discovered there was just too darn much, and I didn’t really feel like writing a bunch of posts while on break. So, I am going to wait until the end of August, the end of Sky’s 9th grade year, to add up all her credits.
I did however, count all the literature we read in 2015 though, and thought I would make a list of our favorites, and our worst reads from the year.
We read over 50 books (not including books we read individually), 18 poems, and 4 short stories. Since, this list is only composed of literature we read together, books like The Hunger Games trilogy are not included on our favorites list. Though, it one of Little Sis’s most favorite series from the year.
We started 2015 out reading Charles Dickens. Who would of thought, he would become one of Sky’s favorite authors. So, of course Oliver Twist made the list, along with Heidi, Faeries by Brian Froud (voted best illustrations, and artwork) , Little Women, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe.
Most surprising nonfiction read of the year was: The Wonderful Adventures of Mary Seacole In Many Lands. The most underrated fairy-tale, that made our favorites list, is The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. At first, you think, Oh, it’s just like every other fairy-tale, but no, it takes a completely different twist.
Favorite poems, hands down belong to the Bronte sisters. Which brings me to our runner up, Wuthering Heights. Little Sis loves this story, Sky and I found it a bit boring after a while. It was neither terrible, or great, but it held our interest until the end. I personally, love Anne’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall much, much more.
So, what made our worst list? These, are stories the girls have absolutely no interest in ever reading again. Red Hugh, Prince of Donegal by Robert T. Reilly, and Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland by W.B. Yeats. It’s not that they found the true story of Red Hugh boring, just this particular story. Also, they didn’t find all the folk tales of Ireland boring, in fact they loved learning about selkies. Just after a while, they all started to sound the same. I wouldn’t recommend reading them all the way through, like a book. Instead, maybe pick one here, one there to read throughout the year.
Since, on the subject of fairy-tales, that is exactly what we started 2016 reading.
Language Arts, Exploring Genre, What are Folk-Tales?
We started our lessons, first by reviewing the differences between prose, and verse. Then, the elements of a fairy-tale, and their origin.
The girls took turns reading The Magic Tree House, Christmas In Camelot. I read The Sleeper and the Spindle. This story will for sure be on our favorites for 2016 list. In fact, Sky has requested this for her own collection. She already loves Neil Gaiman, but she loved the illustrations in this story too. I also read, The Sleeping Beauty by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
We listened, to both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty (parts 1 and 2) at Storynory, and watched Revolting Rhymes, Snow White by Roald Dahl (YouTube).
The girls copied the poem, Winter Moon by Langston Hughes.
We also listened to the poems Dream Variations, Theme For English B (my favorite), Madam’s Past History, Night Funeral in Harlem, and The Negro Speaks of Rivers (YouTube).
I read his biography from Lives of Writers, and we watch the Crash Course video about him.
The girls wrote down 10 things that they learned.
The girls warmed up at XtraMath, and worked in their workbooks. Little Sis ,is still in the review part of Grade 4, Multiplication. Sky, is working on Exponents, including fraction exponents. I think she has finally mastered fractions, and decimals (Yes!).
We watched an amazing documentary, explaining how before the Romanian Revolution, American movies were smuggled in, and the impact they made. I highly recommend watching it. So many discussions, Sky couldn’t even believe that what she was watching could really happen.
Chuck Norris vs. Communism
Of course, we are watching Downton Abbey too.
We watched, and discussed our State of the State Address, and our State of the Union Address.
We listened to Langton Hughes favorite Billie Holiday song, God Bless The Child (YouTube).
We watched the Faerie Tale Theatre episodes, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Sleeping Beauty (YouTube). I love this series.
We went to see the new Star Wars movie at theaters, but before we did we watched one of my favorite YouTubers, Brows Held High’s, video, Between the Lines, Star Wars. He did an amazing job telling the story through other movies.
Sky’s been busy drawing, as Little Sis and I have been busy reading (Though Sky received The Game of Thrones graphic novels for Christmas and has been reading too.)
She has been playing around a bit with pencil (she hates using pencil to draw, because her drawings get smudgy) and drew her manga self portrait.
Together, we followed along with how to draw Disney’s Snow White.
Sky, has never liked taking instructions on how to draw. I explained she would need to learn in art school, so she might as well start learning now. I don’t think we did too bad for our first lesson. I think we need better drawing pencils.
The girls had homeschool gym.
Not a bad start to a new year, peace for the journey.