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Archive for the ‘Literature Seminar’ Category

Hello dear Readers!

WOW!  What a wonderful time I had with all of those who attended the Orange County Literature Seminar on Saturday.  I’m not quite sure if I should enjoy myself as much as I do, since I am supposed to be working, but every time I have the opportunity to be with young, intelligent, and devoted mothers like yourselves, I come away feeling so encouraged, energized, and blessed to be able to do what I do.  Thank you to each one of you that made that group the special gathering it was and for carving time in your busy schedules to attend.  I always learn so much during the literature analysis lunch hour, as I appreciate your astute evaluations of the books as well as your unique and individual perspectives.

One thing I regret was that while I had asked you to bring a children’s book to share with the group,  it completely slipped my mind and the day was suddenly over!  So I’d like to do some postings on those “neglected” books if you’d like to share them with me.  That way, we can extend our discussion a little more and get to know each other a little better!

Also, I would really appreciate if you could post a comment here on your reactions to the seminar–what you found most helpful, inspiring etc.  Also ways in which you’d like to see the seminar improved, enhanced, etc.  Also, if there was a topic you’d like to explore a bit more, I would be happy to do so here in the blog.  Courtney posted a request for what a typical home school day (with a rich literature base) looks like for me, so I intend to post on that in the next few days.  So again, thank you so much for coming, for sharing your lives and for being such warm and gracious listeners!

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Hi Reading Friends,
The Orange County Literature Seminar is just around the corner!  I am extending the deadline for the discounted rate until tomorrow night at midnight!  So you can still register here.  Also, for those of you that are already registered, please be thinking of a favorite children’s book you’d like to share during our working lunch!  I’ll also be emailing you with specific details by Thursday so be looking for that to come through your regular email.  Can’t wait to spend this time with you!

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Dear Friends,
We have two winners for a free pass to the Orange County seminar coming up on October 16th!  Congratulations to Paula Noll and Trisha Regehr!  If you aren’t able to come to the seminar, or if you’ve already registered, you can use your winning towards $30 worth of purchases to Beautiful Feet Books!  You can print a copy of this post to verify your winnings and/or bring it to the seminar if you’d like to shop there. We will be bringing a selection of books for purchase at the end of the day. If you’ve won a free pass and are planning to come please do register here so we can have a packet for you at the seminar.  Call the 1.800.889.1978 number so the office can comp your registration.   Or, if you entered the drawing but don’t live in the area you can apply your winnings towards any online purchase at Beautiful Feet Books before December 31, 2010.  Thanks to all who participated and we will be continuing to hold drawings for free books, CDs and other items, so stay tuned!

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Dear Readers,
Today is the final day to enter your name into a drawing for a free pass to the Orange County Seminar coming up on October 16th!  If you’ve subscribed to this blog but don’t know if your name has been entered for the drawing be sure to post a comment here and I will check and make sure your name (email address) is included.  The deadline to enter your name is tonight by midnight.  I will post the winners tomorrow morning.  So far I will be giving away 2 free passes, but if I get 10 more subscriptions to the blog today, I will add in another free pass.  Also, if you’ve recommended a friend subscribe, and they have, your name will be entered into the drawing again.  Just check with me to make sure I’ve got your name (and your friend’s) in the hat! So here’s the information on the seminar again.  If you have already registered for the seminar, your can use your winning ($30 value) toward books at Beautiful Feet! Hope to see you there!  Also, if your DH (darling husband) would like to attend, they can do so free with your registration!

Equipping Parents and Teachers with a Love of Literature

When: Saturday, October 16, 2010
Where: Lighthouse Coastal Community Church

301 Magnolia Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA
Time: 9am-3pm ( pre-registration due by Oct 7 ) There will be an hour long working lunch break where we will do literary analysis together.
Cost: $30 pre-registration.
At the door: $35
Objective: Provide Parent/Teacher training for the use of classical and historical literature in education, for family read-aloud time, and for pure enjoyment!

Components: Sessions will focus on the following areas:

Elements of literature–what makes a good book,  tools of literary analysis, and the importance of teaching history through literature

Literary choices appropriate for specific historic periods and specific grade levels: how individual works contribute to historical study and cultural understanding

Practicum–a hands-on opportunity to integrate the above skills with actual works (during a working lunch time)

An overview of the Charlotte Mason approach to note booking, nature studies and keeping joy in home education

An inspirational overview of children’s books that have inspired great men and women to do great things

To register go here.  Hope to see you there!  For reviews of my recent seminar in San Luis Obispo, visit here.

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The following article, “How to Raise Boys Who Read” appeared in a recent Wall Street Journal and was forwarded to me by my DH. It struck so many chords with me, and touched so astutely upon topics discussed at a recent seminar I hosted that I had to send it along to all of you who are the vanguard of training up sons who are readers! Bravo! The final line in the article will confirm and affirm you in your mission. You can read the article here.

By way of commentary, I must relate a personal incident that proves the article’s thesis in a way that came home to me a few years ago. My eldest son was studying architecture for a year in Florence, Italy. His first few months there were lonely and he suffered from some culture adjustment mixed with acute homesickness. Because he had no technology to fill his empty hours, he picked up Jane Austen. Guess what? He loved her! He was impressed by how much he learned about human nature, how women think, and male/female relationships. Brilliant. Not only that, but because he’s a strapping 6’3″ male who is generally hungry and there is little inexpensive fast food in Italy–he also took up cooking! Brilliant again! Right about the same time NPR broadcast a study that showed that men who read English Literature and like to cook also have a higher libido than men who don’t. How’s that for the power of good books!? So as a fun aside to the academic and cultural importance of great literature, how about an added one–men who read great books are more manly than those who don’t!!

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Dear Friends,

As segue to a favorite children’s book, I was musing upon the theme of human character.  The notion that often very charismatic folks tend to be reckless and shallow, and that handsome young men can often be liars and fakes (ala Jane Austen), inspired a post on the topic.  Discussing this recently at a seminar made me wonder how often a particular character in literature gives us insight on someone we know in real life. I’m borrowing these themes from the following passage which appears in Kilpatrick’s and Wolfe’s Books that Build Character:

Good books make us better judges of character.  “By meeting certain character types in stories we are better prepared for the day when we will meet that type in person.  A young reader who has met Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows is less likely to be taken in by that peculiar brand of recklessness and charisma when he encounters it in a real person.  An adolescent girl who has read Jane Austen is better prepared for the fact that dashing and handsome young men often turn out to be liars and fakes.  A reader who has encountered Madame DeFarge in A Tale of Two Cities will have grasped the unpleasant but important knowledge that some people in this world are thoroughly ruthless.  A young person who reads widely gets more than the pleasure of plot and setting: he or she gets an introductory course in character studies.”

I certainly would have done well to have had these lessons through literature rather than having to learn them in the school of hard knocks.  Like many young women, I was taken in quite early by the devastatingly handsome young man (who sang and played guitar–double whammy!) and turned out to be a liar and a fake (shame on me), and I have often found myself attracted to particularly charismatic folks, little realizing how that very charisma can mask a shallowness and insincerity.  While I’ve met few people who are thoroughly ruthless, I’ve met enough that have a certain hard-nosed ruthlessness to parts of their character that can cause great pain to others.  And of course, in real life, people are seldom one way or another, but rather are a complex mix of good and bad.  The Wind in the Willows Mr. Toad is fun, energetic, entertaining, friendly, hospitable, and always on the cutting edge of new technology!  But all of this masks his inner demons (restlessness, self-absorption, recklessness, extravagance) and they get him into all kinds of trouble, bringing grief to those who know and care for him.

Of course, the beauty of what Kenneth Grahame has done in this classic novel for children, is to show the meaning of true friendship and how despite Toad’s bad behavior, his friends Mole, Mr. Badger, and Ratty continue to stand by him, rescuing, reproving, and attempting to rehabilitate him.  This is just one of many important character building themes in the story and why it remains such a classic after a century.  There is a lovely post about the centennial of this wonderful work here.

I have always particularly loved the Wind in the Willows with the original Ernest Shepherd illustrations (of A.A. Milne fame as well) and find the marriage of the two artists, Grahame being the literary artist and Shepard the visual, is a melding so perfect that it is like the expressions are one in the same.  I was delighted to discover that some 40 years after Shepard did his original pen and ink illustrations, that the publishers convinced him to revisit them and colorize them–which he did delightfully.  Other important artists that have tried their hands at Grahame’s inimitable tale have included Tasha Tudor, Aurthur Rackham, Paul Bransom and Michael Hague.  My favorite will always be Shephard’s but the other illustrators are worth a look as well.

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Dear Friends,
Now that the trial run of my first Children’s Literature Seminar is behind me, I’m posting information on the upcoming event in Orange County scheduled for Saturday, October 16th.  Below are all the specifics regarding registration, location, cost, and topics to be covered.  Please leave a comment if you have further questions.
Equipping Parents and Teachers with a Love of Literature

When: Saturday, October 16, 2010
Where: Lighthouse Coastal Community Church
301 Magnolia Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA
Time: 9am-3pm ( pre-registration due by Oct 7 ) There will be an hour long working lunch break where we will do literary analysis together.
Cost: $30 pre-registration.
At the door: $35

Objective: Provide Parent/Teacher training for the use of classical and historical literature in education, for family read-aloud time, and for pure enjoyment!

Components: Sessions will focus on the following areas:

Elements of literature–what makes a good book,  tools of literary analysis, and the importance of teaching history through literature

Literary choices appropriate for specific historic periods and specific grade levels: how individual works contribute to historical study and cultural understanding

Practicum–a hands-on opportunity to integrate the above skills with actual works (during a working lunch time)

An overview of the Charlotte Mason approach to note booking, nature studies and keeping joy in home education

An inspirational overview of children’s books that have inspired great men and women to do great things

To register go here.  Hope to see you there!

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Dear Friends,

Many thanks to those of you that attended my first ever Literature Seminar!  What a rich time chatting over coffee, children, and great books!  Thanks so much to those of you that have emailed me your responses to our time together. I learned so much from each of you as we shared and felt like those times were as valuable and inspiring as (hopefully) the regular presentations.  Thank you for your flexibility regarding having it here in my home, as well as being willing to incorporate the working lunch time.  I loved hearing from you as you did your literary analysis so smartly and insightfully!  I have a favor to ask of you now.  I will be doing this again in Orange County in about 4 weeks and would so appreciate your constructive feedback in  a couple of ways.  If you could please leave a comment on this blog entry about what helped you the most in this seminar or if you’re not a subscriber here, go to www.bfbooks.com and under Reviews rate the seminar.   Also, please feel free to email me with any ideas you have for making the seminar more helpful, or if you have thoughts for other topics you’d like to see covered in future seminars. Thank you again for coming and for participating with such spirit and enthusiasm.  It was an exhilarating time for me and I hope it was for you as well!

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Dear Readers,

Because the start of the school year is so hectic, I know that some of you perhaps intended to register for the seminar this Saturday, but never got around to it!  Since I had limited response and the group was small,  I decided to move the seminar to my home, for everyone’s comfort and enjoyment.  So I’m requesting that if you are planning on coming you would register no later than 5 pm tonight (September 15th) so that I can properly prepare for those that intend to be here.  I won’t be able to take any reservations after that. So don’t delay: you can register here.  So looking forward to spending time with old friends and making some new ones–all over great books!

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Dear Readers,

The offer for a free pass to my Literature Seminar in San Luis Obispo on September 18th expires in one week!  So if you haven’t subscribed to my blog yet, make sure to do so by next Monday.  If you get another friend to subscribe, your name can be entered twice to win!  Also, for those that are interested in the Orange County event–we have a definite date!  This seminar will take place on Saturday, October 16th.  We have also secured a facility, but are just waiting to hear back from another possibility before settling the exact location.  You can also be entered to win a pass to that seminar by subscribing to the blog, or getting a friend to.  We will be announcing the location in just a few days, so stay tuned!

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