homeschooling, reading, Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon

sunday salon

Time: // 8:04 a.m.

The scene: // As usual, I’m sitting at my desk in the living room. I spend a lot of time at this spot, doing research, reading, or just watching my kids play outside.

Drinking: // coffee.


Reading: // Syllabus by Lynda Barry. I started it earlier in the week and though it’s a short book, I’m taking my time reading it. Barry has been a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a few years now and Syllabus is about some of her past classes. The book includes syllabi, assignments, and is done in that typical Barry style: composition book-like pages and filled with images. I can see why Joy enjoyed this book so much.

Thinking about: // the power of storytelling. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Avid readers love stories and there are some themes we gravitate to, while ignoring others. Stories have the power to change us and give us words to experiences that we ourselves couldn’t voice.

With my daughter starting high school next year, I have the opportunity to create her English class. Previous classes offered for homeschooled high schoolers have been pretty bland, filled exclusively with busywork, books that were written at least forty years ago, and all the authors are white. Nope. That’s not for us.

So I’m starting from scratch: going over standards while figuring out what we should explore from themes to books, documentaries to podcasts. It’s scary, yet exciting at the same time. It also means that I have a ton of reading ahead like old favorites such as To Kill a Mockingbird, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Persepolis, American Born Chinese, and more. I have my work cut out for me.

Enjoying: // my last few weeks of pregnancy! I have four weeks left and it’s exciting, though I hope time flies by. I can’t wait to meet my baby girl.

Now I’m off to: // figure out what’s for breakfast. These kids aren’t going to feed themselves (though they’re old enough to).

What are you up to today?


24 thoughts on “Sunday Salon”

  1. How fun (and challenging!) to be able to create a curriculum like that for your daughter. I love the idea of bringing in podcasts – I’ve seen a ton of talk of English teachers using Serial with their students and it sounds so interesting. Good luck with everything!

  2. I’m so excited for you that you get to build your daughter’s English course. It’s daunting, but also so much fun with so much possibility. Good luck! I wanna know what you pick!

    I was also really drawn to what you said here: “Stories have the power to change us and give us words to experiences that we ourselves couldn’t voice.”

    It’s so true. It’s one of the ways I defend my fiction reading to naysayers. Fiction and any type of story can expand us emotionally, giving us new perspective, vicarious experience, and increased empathy. ❤

  3. Definitely need to get back into reading that is relevant to teaching. I’m so immersed in content right now that I’m missing out on teaching strategies.

  4. I have Syllabus sitting next to my reading chair, too. I’ve read through it once but I want to read over it again, a little more slowly.

    I’m using one of the Great Courses as part of my required four-day school inservices this summer. It’s about storytelling. I like it a lot. It’s on video and I was able to find it at the public library.

  5. I just loved Syllabus! I even ordered Cartooning: A Philosophy after I finished reading it.

    We have another year before we need to develop a high school curriculum. I love the idea of creating a diverse reading list, and including graphic novels, too.

  6. Seems neat to build your own English class. So many good diverse books out there now & podcasts are great too. Good luck with everything. And thanks for stopping by today. Summer vacation is just around the corner, Enjoy!

  7. I love that our due dates are so close! I have about 6 more weeks and am scared, nervous, excited, exhilarated, impatient, and everything in between.

    I have also been thinking about storytelling these past two weeks. I have been reading articles about writing, looking for online courses on the subject, and toying with the idea of writing something every day, or reading short stories daily. It’s been a dream of mine for a while and OBVIOUSLY, when there’s a baby coming and life is going to change, I want to do something about it.

  8. Wow, I can’t believe your girl’s starting high school! Some of my favorite reads from HS lit were Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I hope she has fun with whatever you pick!

  9. Oh my gosh–it seems like your pregnancy has flown by so quickly! I am sooooo excited for you!!!!

    It is so fun and yet so challenging to put together English curriculum’s, isn’t it? So damn much work, and yet enjoyable too. I don’t know how you do it for three kids, lady. I really don’t. Gray and I are going to do a year’s worth of short stories for English next year (or at least that’s the way I’m leaning now). Literature and writing courses were always the easiest courses to put together for Annie because that’s just her natural strength, and I think I always learned far more from our discussions and whatnot than she ever did. 😛 But literature is so hard for Gray. The Asperger’s brain is a very literal brain, and he gets so frustrated with metaphor and idioms and well, anything that isn’t straightforward. And yet at the same time, he sometimes amazes me with his insights, and those times are so damn rewarding. I wish we lived near each other and could have the kiddos do a lit class (or any class, for that matter) together. 🙂

    I totally had to giggle at your last bit there–how many times a day to I think, “She (or he or they) is old enough to be doing this herself (or himself or themselves)” and then proceed to just do it for them anyway.

  10. I bet you’re counting the days to meet your new little one! Good luck with planning your classes.

  11. Syllabus looks interesting. And I hope you write a book about your homeschooling someday! (is that in the works?)

  12. Where does the time go? I can’t believe your daughter is starting high school. What an exciting time for both of you. Please keep posting about your journey through homeschooling. I love reading about it and living vicariously through you and Trisha. I want that book now.

  13. I heard Barry talking about Syllabus a while back on a podcast (can’t remember which one). It sounded great and made me want to take her class even though I have no interest in cartooning!

  14. Syllabus looks charming, and I think building your daughter’s English curriculum sounds wonderful. I know she’ll have the best ever curriculum when you’re finished with it!

  15. I’m glad you’re enjoying Syllabus!

    Designing an English class sounds like fun — and intimidating!

  16. Here it is almost another Sunday and I’m just now stopping by! So glad you are reading Syllabus. I have that on my TBR stack. I have enjoyed several of Barry’s books so I’m really looking forward to this one. How exciting you are almost ready to meet your little girl 🙂

  17. That is so cool that you get to create your daughter’s English syllabus. I can imagine it is intimidating but exciting at the same time.

    Four weeks left? Hang in there, lady!

  18. Looking forward to hearing about the newest member of your family 🙂 Very cool that you create your daughter’s lessons. I would totally love to homeschool someday!

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