“The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children." G K Chesterton

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Metaphors and Biblical Education

The Bible and the Task of Teaching has not been a disappointment. Each chapter has been better than the one before. Chapters 9-11 deal with metaphor. Metaphor is my favorite subject. When I went to the Circe Apprenticeship the first lesson I had to teach, using Andrew Kern's mimetic sequence, was on metaphor . I love metaphor so much, it took the edge off of the breath-sucking panic I felt.

Chapter 9 begins to discuss the concept of what is a biblical metaphor and how can we apply that to education. Is a biblical metaphor just a metaphor that we can find in the Bible or is it something else?  The authors turn to Jan Comenius's metaphor of education as a garden to explore the concept.

Some people think of metaphors as just colorful additions but not entirely trustworthy. "....metaphors are like water lilies on a pond. They add to the beauty of the scene, but they must be skimmed away if we want  to penetrate behond the surface and find out what is going on in the depths below."  I run into this often and it always makes me sad. Whole schools of thought and catalogs full of products try to teach us not to waste the early years on stories. They promote the early years as a time to cram in as much as possible. Even when they do not directly implicate stories their methods leave little time to pursue them.

So then was Comenius's view of education as a garden nothing more than a romanticized child-centered view? Was Comenius just another Rousseau? In Rousseau we would find human nature glorified and unfallen. "...Human nature is not a given thing, completed and self-sufficient, but rather a 'starting point' for a process of development which is to continue throughout this life and into the next."  In fact, when we begin to think deeply about a garden we understand that it does not develop freely. Seeds must be sown, tended, raked, weeded, watered etc. "Once we see how Comenius understands 'nature', it becomes clear that to compare the development of the child with the 'natural' growth of a seed does not discourage the teacher's formative intervention-it invites it."

So our metaphor of the garden does not need to take us to the home of the lazy man with its weeds and destruction. "The learning process must accordingly be both ordered and enjoyable, involving both discipline (cultivation) and playfulness (delight). A high view of learners and of the potential God has placed in them is coupled with a strong sense of the teacher's responsibility to 'plant,' 'water,' and 'prune.'"

It has become increasingly clear to me over my years of parenting and teaching, that Charlotte Mason's most unpopular point: children are born persons is the heart of education. It is the point that keeps us from treating our children/students only as buckets to fill and it is also the point which keeps us from letting them loose to do or not do whatever they choose hoping they will choose something worthwhile while doubting that they will.

A biblical metaphor helps us to not fall off either side of the horse.

(More on the power of metaphor to come)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Abolition of Man: Men Without Chests (First 1/2)



It occured to me while reading the first part of Men Without Chests that I do not want this book club selection to be me trying to explain C. S. Lewis. I am not that arrogant ;)

It also seems that I should set a schedule. Although the book is short the essays are long. Would it be OK if we did only the first half of MWC this week and finished up the essay next week?

That is my plan. This week I am blogging about the essay and stopping where Lewis first mentions 'The Tao.'

In this first essay Lewis presents an idea based on a criticism.
What is that idea or criticism?

In what way could this idea change the way I go about teaching my own children?

Key Words:
Appropriate
Debunk
"In the Republic, the well-nurtured youth is one 'who would see most clearly whatever was amiss in ill-made works of man or ill-grown works of nature, and with a just distaste would blame and hate the ugly even from his earliest years and would give delighted praise to beauty, receiving it into his soul and being nourished by it, so that he becomes a man of gentle heart. All this before he is of an age to reason; so that when Reason at length comes to him, then, bred as he has been, he will hold out his hands in welcome and recognize her because of the affinity he bears to her.'"
This quote resonates with me. It reminds me that when you are building something lasting you do not see the results right away. There are plenty of shortcuts that would makes us all feel better about what we are doing in the short term. I like to call those parlor tricks. When we are training the palate, and for many of us that means we are having to retrain our own in the process, we are in it for the long haul.

I have seen this over and over again as my boys have matured. Even this week I saw a huge leap forward in one of my children where I had given up all hope of ever seeing any fruit. It reminded me once again that my philosophy of education is not only for the gifted student but for the human student. That is a big advantage of homeschooling over institutional schools.

The danger for moms is that they can be so astounded by their own little darlings that they fall prey to substituting parlor tricks for the hard, though life-giving and enjoyable, work of ordering the affections.

The other idea that I would like to take time to discuss here and just mull over is the dangers of debunking. This is a weakness of which I fear I am guilty. But I have a hard time grasping it concretely. I would love to hear your ideas on what Lewis means by this and how we fall prey to it in our homes and schools and how we can correct this.

On a lighter note, this week in the new television show Up All Night, the couple continually tried to cover up their love of certain unhip things by throwing around the word Ironic. I found that an astute observation on our culture and one that may or may not apply to this essay.

Monday, September 26, 2011

C. K. Rollins Takes a Walk

Today in preparation for reading and blogging through The Abolition of Man, we climbed Lookout Mountain. It was our 4th nature walk of the year and I wanted to up the stakes. Two weeks ago we had tried to climb the mountain but only got halfway. Actually we only got 1/10 of the way but we didn't realize that until today.

Today I decided, come what may, we were going to make it to the top. What came was rain and even thunder storms. Nevertheless I decided to chance it. I even emailed a friend to hold myself accountable. At first it was jolly. We laughed and walked and climbed. I felt so righteous. When it got a little bit harder I pretended to be C. S. Lewis on a walking tour. Alex had found a walking stick for me and I contented myself with trying to pretend I was a middle-aged, paunchy professor on a walking tour. I tried not to think of pubs since this was Georgia and not Middlesex. Andrew and Alex kept running ahead of Emily, Anabal( a friend) and me. They would run ahead and say, "We are almost there."  We weren't. After a certain amount of hiking there was no going back. Of course, there was the minor detail of returning to the car at the bottom of the mountain which was seeming increasingly ridiculous as the clouds broke and made our surroundings a rainforest complete with weird smoking mushrooms. I pushed all thoughts of the return trip out of my mind and concentrated on the moral victory of making it to Sunset Rock. Emily and I spent the final half of the hike congratulating ourselves on the moral victory yet to come.

After the British professor thing wore off I tried not to think about the paramedics and how they were going to get me off the mountain. I tried to be a hobbit wanting second breakfast but all I could see in the mist and the gloom were the steps of Mordor. It even got so bad I started thinking about WWII prisoner marches and how I would not have made it two hours on a Nazi hike in Indonesia.

In a moment of sheer genius (sometimes called panic) I remembered that Christopher and James lived on top of Lookout Mountain and after we achieved our moral victory we could call them and they could drive us to our car at the bottom of the mountain. Thankfully baseball practice had been cancelled due to rain.  Christopher arrived to pick us up while we were still searching for Sunset Rock. We couldn't quite tell him where we were. We seemed to be in a complete wilderness except the cell phone coverage spoke against this idea. Finally Alex called out,"I see a parking lot. I see Christopher." And he did. Christopher reached down and helped me up the last couple of steps. He was a bit baffled that out of the blue his elderly mother and younger siblings had randomly, on a stormy day, decided to climb a mountain. It wasn't what he was expecting. We had interrupted his Spanish study group and they have a test tonight. May God bless him for coming to our rescue.

I am feeling so loved by my children. The three on the hike were so tender and loving to me in my efforts I can only imagine that I looked like death warmed over. And though I tried to be brave telling them to,"Go on without me," in a confident voice,  they refused tripping all over each other to steady me and keep me going. In several precariously steep, slippery places I was sure someone was going to crash down the mountain to their death and I was going to be one of those bad mother news stories.

I also learned a little something about moral victories. It takes such a dashed amount of energy to achieve one it makes enjoying it rather difficult. Still after a hot shower and a hot cup of coffee, I am beginning to feel the hoped for smugness.
 

Let Me Say This One More Time.....

Recently I have been getting a whole slew of emails asking me how I actually go about having MT. Good news-that is not what this post is about. Behind the emails is the one idea that rules most homeschooling moms: there is a magic potion and everybody else has it but me and HELP! 

This fear leads to creating what I have named before the composite homeschooling mom. This is the mom who has all her priorities straight at least in our minds. When we read what she is doing not only do we imagine her doing all the great things she tells us about but we somehow manage to imagine she has all the same priorities that we hold dear.

We end up trying to enact in our own homes a complex web of ideas and lesson plans. Even if we have managed to avoid the catalog trap we still fall prey to the composite-mom trap. We end up doing a lot badly.

This blog is not here to add burdens. Almost everything I do in my own home has developed because of my own lack of...well you name it... I lack a lot. I have tried to take the idea of simplicity and make it work in my homeschool aided by the ideas of Charlotte Mason. So while I may write a long post about reading Shakespeare to children what I am really saying is very simple-read Shakespeare. Read Plutarch. Draw. Go outside. Share good books. Listen to great music.Parse a sentence. Look at pretty pictures and a' that. The truly good things in life are usually there for the poorest comer.

My advice is to try to distill what you really want for your children down to its basic level and work from there. If you end up having time, energy and resources then jazz it up but never forget that if you can't jazz it up you can still do it. And sometimes, a lot of times, that is better.

Don't sit around feeling terrible that you aren't reading aloud to your children. Pick up a book. Pick up one that is close by. Pick it up and read it. You don't need a fancy plan to read and discuss great literature with your children. You can get up right now and begin. Right now. So simple.

Sometimes lesson plans can free us and sometimes they can bind us. Learn to discern what is really going on. The real danger is that the more complicated your ideas the less likely they are to happen.

Not everyone will agree with this. There are great teachers out there who spend loads of energy preparing wonderful lessons for their students. I admire them. Sometimes I emulate them but mostly this blog is for the ordinary mom who wonders if she can do it without the gifts and talents of the teacher. I say you can. I am not an expert. I am an expert of one thing and that is I know what has been successful in my own home.  Some years have been bad and some years good. I have been abased and I have abounded. Just keep moving forward, line upon line. Lay a brick today and another one tomorrow and don't be surprised if elves come in at night and make something beautiful out of your efforts. That is how faith(and education)works.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Club Notification




 I have made a rash promise. I have mentioned on Google+ that I would be willing to host another book club. The book suggested is The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis, a book I generally read yearly and still have not fully grasped. Is there interest in doing this? We would have to get the show on the road in order to finish before Thanksgiving.

You can access the book online or  buy it or in the Kindle Version. I also think it is a great audio book packaged with The Great Divorce.

I will plan on having up a Linky next Tuesday or Wednesday, if we have enough interest. Feel free to pass the word to social networks or friends that may find the reading useful.

(Check out Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Bible and the Task of Teaching Chapters 1-8

(Posted at Sherry's Blog Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books)

I finally been able to carve out time to read The Bible and the Task of Teaching  by David I. Smith and John Shortt. It is not a difficult book really but my time has been limited. I have now read through chapter 9. The authors have been laying down carefully drawn arguments for looking at the Bible's role in education in a newer(and older)light.(I am going to try and highlight each chapter's summary with a link to Karen Glass's posts from 2006.)

Chapter 1 begins by exhorting us to move away from looking at the Bible as a way of dominating people and putting them in boxes. In other words the Bible's role in education is not to manipulate and control.

Chapter 2 begins to look at how bogged down we get when we begin to force the Bible into specific modes of teaching.

"This line of argument seems to suggest that the difficulties described above in applying the Bible to education arise because we are trying to make the Bible do something which it was never designed to do.  This view is quite compatible with a high view of biblical authority-indeed it may be motivated by a high respect for the Bible and a desire to avoid distorting its message by bending it to our own ends."


Chapter 3  Explains and acknowledges that God "has ultimately revealed himself not in a set of instructions or principles, but rather by becoming flesh in the person of Jesus Christ." But it goes on to warn that just having a 'relationship' is not necessarily education.

Chapter 4 then takes on the task of addressing virtue. In the latter part of the chapter he addresses three levels of the teaching sequence. These levels will be of definite interest to Charlotte Mason followers and also those who have wondered about Andrew Kern's 'mimetic sequence.' In a nutshell these are procedures, designs and approaches and these matter because we often tend to isolate these things and call it teaching.

Chapter 5 begins to explore the idea of teaching and teachers. After weighing all the approaches we could take, for me it would be things like Charlotte Mason, Classical edcuation, the Principle Approach or Art Robinson's ideas, "We typically find that there are a range of competing theories and viewpoints bidding for our allegiance, and we must weigh different possiblities." Ah, there's the rub of every teacher and every homeschooling mom.

Chapter 6 illustrates how we can take a factual story such as the life and adventures of Christopher Columbus and manipulate our pupils by the way we tell the stories. Some, at this juncture, and especially in scientific environments of learning, say get rid of stories. But the authors quoting Alasdair MacIntyre say, "Deprive children of stories and you leave them unscripted, anxious stutterers in their actions as in their words."  These children become 'unscripted' or as the authors so astutely point out 'mis-scripted.'

Chapter 7 reminds us, though, that once you introduce stories you also introduce bias and truth. He quotes Neil Postman and Kieran Egan at length.

In Chapter 8 we find ourselves at a crossroads. What do we do with stories?  "Plato worried that narratives would inevitably lead us away from truth."  In fact, stories themselves can be a guard against the distortion of truth. Brian Walsh is quoted, "...What I am talking about is an indwelling of the biblical narrative in such a way that this story, with all of its tensions, plot confusions and dead-ends, and in all of its historical oddities, is, nonetheless our story. We find our identity as the people of God in this narrative, it shapes our character and it forms our vision."  I really like the word 'vison' here. I learned early on in my homeschooling career that I could not 'teach' character. Character is shaped. If we claim too much control over our children's character we are in a sense violating them and in the end we do not win the prize we were looking for anyway.

I have tried to summarize all of that because I really want to blog about Chapter 9 which is about.....metaphors.

Friday, September 16, 2011

10 Passages from Shakespeare to Memorize

1.  Portia speaking to Shylock in The Merchant of Venice Act IV Scene I



The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God's
When mercy seasons justice. 




 

(Note that all the lines except the last have 10 syllables. You may note that many of the lines could be read with more than 10 syllables. Do not do this. In order for the poem to flow it must read as an English Sonnet or Shakespearean sonnet. You don't need to make this complicated. Just read it so that it flows. I wanted to link to an audio file but the reader I found read the poem incorrectly :) Of course, this poem is great theology too and also a wonderful statement about the meaning of authority.)
 


 





(This is quite a long passage but it is helped along by the unfamiliarity of the words. At least that is how it works for us. It is not hard to remember such a strange line as "who would fardels bear..."  but it is something that may take several weeks to memorize. Also it is easy to get lost in the die/sleep sequences because of their similarities. We usually stop at "...lose the name of action.")


 



(Love, love, love this. My children typically will pretend to throw their ears after "lend me your ears," but that is because of Robin Hood - Men in Tights not Shakespeare. There are quite a few good YouTube clips of this speech. Obviously I can't vouch for all of them.)


4. All the World's a Stage  (Spoken by Jaques in As You Like It Act 2, Scene 7)

(This is a great poem for middle school children or late elementary. It is very easy to understand with some discussion and it is fun to try to think of men or boys that fall into the different categories. "Sans" means "without" in French which I am sure you already know but I want this post to be useful for beginners.)


5. Henry V's Glorious St Crispin Day's Speech

(I am sure this is the most memorized speech among homeschoolers so I will not belabor it. We start with Westmorland's "Would that..." line. We have also found that Amy Grant's Highland Cathedral   from her wonderful Christmas album A Christmas To Remember is the perfect background music for recitation of this speech.)

 


Two more passages from The Merchant of Venice Act 5, Scene 1


6. Lorenzo:

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here we will sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold:
There ’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins.
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.


7. And Lorenzo again:

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the Music.



(These are grouped together as musical passages and sometimes for some unknown reason the second passage is set up as a memory piece without the last line: Mark the music. I happen to think the last line is the most important of the passage.)

8. Winter from that glorious play Love's Labour's Lost.

Act 5, Scene 2

When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd and ways be foul,
When nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow
And coughing drowns the parson's saw
And birds sit brooding in the snow
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
When nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
(My children especially enjoyed it when the owl in Asterix said Tu-Whit, Tu-Who. They got it. This is a good passage for younger elementary children.)

9. One of my favorite passages from Cymbeline Act 4, Scene 2

Fear no more the heat o' the sun;
Nor the furious winter's rages,
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

Fear no more the frown of the great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dread thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan;
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

 No exorciser harm thee!
 Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
 Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
 Nothing ill come near thee!
 Quiet consummation have;
 And renowned be thy grave!



( I especially like this rhyme pattern: ababcc....then suddenly.... ddddee FUN!)


10. Under the Greenwood Tree
from As You Like it Act 2, Scene 5
Under the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy,
But winter and rough weather.
Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live i' the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleas'd with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy,
But winter and rough weather.

(This is one for the littlest members of the family unless they are still mewling and puking.)



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shakespeare: Our Family's Journey

When I first read Susan Schaeffer Macaulay's For the Children's Sake I was intrigued by the idea of reading Shakespeare to children. At the time my oldest was only 3.

 Romeo & Juliet

My own experiences with Shakespeare up to that point had been watching Romeo and Juliet (Franco Zeffirelli's beautiful version) in 8th grade, and then finally buying a huge, small-printed volume of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare when I was 17 just because it seemed like something cool. Back then my bibliophile disease was still latent.
At that time I read, for my own pleasure, The Taming of the Shrew and absolutely fell in love with iambic pentameter although it would be years before I even knew what that was.

Hence I was inspired by the idea of reading this delightful thing to my own children. But year after year went by, I read Charlotte's Original Series, and still I had not found a way to incorporate Shakespeare into our lives. Every once in a while we would rent a TV and VCR and watch The Taming of the Shrew etc. but still we weren't reading the plays regularly.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

And then one summer when Timothy, my oldest, was maybe 14, we sat out in the backyard and read aloud A Midsummer Night's Dream and it was a success. The children laughed in the right places and I gained courage. From then on we have read 2 to 3 plays a year. So that now we have read all the plays, some several times, except for:

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Pericles
Titus Andronicus
Troilus and Cressida
King John
Henry IV (1 and 2)
Henry VI (1,2, and 3)
Henry VIII
And maybe Richard II.

This year I have decided to concentrate on Henry IV.

My general procedure is to read aloud a synopsis of the play from either Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare or Nesbits Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare.

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children: Being a Choice Collection from the World's Greatest Classic Writer Wm. Shakespeare

We then read the play, scene by scene, one scene a day. I usually just read all the parts stopping to aid comprehension with discussion. Every once in a while I have had different children read different parts but that works better with plays we already know.

We also try to memorize some piece from the play we are working on. (More on that in another post.)

Finally we try and watch a video production of the play or even two different productions. That has been hit and miss and it would probably be helpful if I wrote up a separate blog post with comments on the different productions such as the glorious Richard Burton as Petruchio or the seemingly harmless BBC version of A Midsummer Night's Dream from the 1960s which opens with a scene of now famous British actresses unclothed or the dreadfully realistic King Lear which shows a hobbit without clothes or eyes. Sometimes my children think I am batty. There is also a case to be made for watching the play first, reading the play aloud and then watching the play again. We have done that before and if you have the time it is a great way to go.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company - The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

After a few years of reading Shakespeare the children roared with laughter at The Reduced Shakespeare Company's video. While this video is hilarious if you are familiar with the plays it is at times highly inappropriate. Still die-hard Shakespeare-reading families with older children or children too young to catch innuendo will love it.

My children have not all been enthusiastic Shakespeareans. They often groan and question why we read some of the plays. I always tell new students of the bard that if they do not like Shakespeare that is fine but it is the height of ignorance to conclude that it is the Bard's fault rather than something lacking within themselves. Harsh, I know.

After years and years of reading and discussing ideas, quotes and lines from Shakespeare have taken root in our hearts. We begin to recognize cultural tidbits that have derived from Shakespeare. The college boys have found having a knowledge of Shakespeare is quite handy for class discussions and papers and popular with professors. In the end they have thanked me for the utilitarian uses of knowing the plays. Perhaps not my original goal, but something I am happy about.

Knowing lines from Shakespeare often makes for "aha" moments when watching television or videos especially all those British murder mysteries. The children genuinely get that this sort of knowledge increases the fun.

Reading Shakespeare with some children is not always going to bring immediate results. I do have friends with those naturally Elizabethan children who revel in the readings. My children often just try to make the best of it. On the other hand, Alex and Andrew, having heard the plays from the cradle seem to actually enjoy them.

In the last couple of years I have collected two resources that have greatly helped my understanding of the plays. If I read through these resources a little ahead of our Morning Time reading of the plays I can add interesting historical remarks such as who Hotspur was or what it meant that Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon. Or after a confusing day's reading I can pull out Asimov and straighten myself out.

The first resource is Shakespeare A-Z

Shakespeare A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Plays, His Poems, His Life and Times, and More


But the very, very best resource for reading through the plays is Isaac Asimov's  Guide to Shakespeare in Two Volumes.


It is pricey but I highly recommend it if you plan to discuss the plays with the children. You could read it aloud to them but I suggest instead you use it as a way to increase your own wisdom and understanding of the plays and pass that knowledge along to the children as you read.

It is true that I have been aided by my own love of Shakespeare in persevering year after year but even with that love I had a hard time getting the horse out of the gate in those early years as my oldest son got older and older. But it turns out that reading Shakespeare is not so hard after all. It is already divided up into small chunks. All you need to begin is a few minutes every morning and before you know it your children will be all grown up and you will be making jokes with phrases like "get thee to a nunnery" regularly.

The beauty of building a family culture around Shakespeare is that it is something that can still be shared with a wide, though shrinking, cache of other people. It is lighting a small candle in the darkness of cultural decay and looking out to see other candles twinkling all around.

(In my next post I will suggest some passages for memorization.)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

14 Books to Graduate

Benjamin will only be in our homeschool for one more semester. He is graduating in December and heading to college locally. Here is the list of books he must finish before he graduates.





The Politically Incorrect Guide to English And American Literature (Politically Incorrect Guides) 

The Complete Stories

    Macbeth*



    Unbroken   by Laura Hillenbrand (A)

 Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    The River of Doubt (A)*
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey 


      
     Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning
    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Coleridge


To Kill a Mockingbird (slipcased edition) 




Cry, The Beloved Country







After America: Get Ready for Armageddon

The starred books are the ones he has already finished.
(A) is for Audio.