Thou Surly Bat-Fowling Hugger-Mugger!

Here is another highlight from my “To blog about it someday” folder: the Shakespearean Insulter. What fun!

There’s no room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this bosom of thine.
It is all filled up with guts and midriff.

Taken from: Henry IV, part I

And if you are interested in actually studying the bard, here are some links you may enjoy:

Shakespeare. Yes, again. And again.
Advice on teaching Shakespeare to children.

Many links to teaching advice, book recommendations, and more.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Shakespeare for Kids

There is no reason to put off Shakespeare until your student reaches high school. My then-kindergardener enjoyed the Trevor Nunn version of Twelfth Night so much that she wanted to get her hair cut, “So I can pretend to be a boy.” This is homeschooling at its best: each of us learning at our own level — and loving it.

The “Are You a Homeschooler?” Quiz

It is spring cleaning week at our house, and I thought I’d do some virtual cleaning, too. So from a folder where I stuff the “To blog about sometime” websites comes this quiz. It claims to determine whether you deserved your high school diploma — Ha! There is no way I could remember anything from that long ago.

So tell me, what did the quiz really measure?

Continue reading The “Are You a Homeschooler?” Quiz

In Honor of the Standardized Testing Season…

[Feature photo above by Alberto G. (CC-BY-SA-2.0) via flickr.]

The school experience makes a tremendous difference in a child’s learning. Which of the following students would you rather be?

I continued to do arithmetic with my father, passing proudly through fractions to decimals. I eventually arrived at the point where so many cows ate so much grass, and tanks filled with water in so many hours. I found it quite enthralling.

— Agatha Christie
An Autobiography


“Can you do Addition?” the White Queen asked. “What’s one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?”

“I don’t know,” said Alice. “I lost count.”

“She can’t do Addition,” the Red Queen interrupted. “Can you do Subtraction? Take nine from eight.”

“Nine from eight I can’t, you know,” Alice replied very readily: “but—”

“She can’t do Subtraction,” said the White Queen. “Can you do Division? Divide a loaf by a knife — what’s the answer to that?”

“I suppose—” Alice was beginning, but the Red Queen answered for her. “Bread-and-butter, of course.”

“She can’t do sums a bit!” the Queens said together, with great emphasis.

— Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass

…in other words…

If you could lead through testing, the U.S. would lead the world in all education categories. When are people going to understand you don’t fatten your lambs by weighing them?

Jonathan Kozol
at Westfield State College’s 157th Commencement

Continue reading In Honor of the Standardized Testing Season…

Project Follow Through Story Looks Interesting

Project Follow Through was an almost-30-year study that compared the effect of different teaching methods on over 20,000 students nationwide. I have started reading The Outrage of Project Follow Through: 5 Million Failed Kids Later [site no longer exists, but try this book: Project Follow Through: A Case Study of Contingencies Influencing Instructional Practices of the Educational Establishment], which explains the research and its results in layman’s terms. So far, I have enjoyed the book, which is being released chapter-by-chapter every Monday. The introductory chapter will be available only for the remainder of this week, however, so if you are curious, you had better act now. I recommend downloading the pdf file to read at leisure: Right-click on the link for each chapter, then choose the “Save” option.

[Hat tip: D-Ed Reckoning, who is running a series of articles (part 1 here) highlighting his favorite parts of the book.]