This year we’ve only done one of Plutarch’s Lives – Alexander, as it’s spread over 24 weeks. We finished it about a month ago and now we are doing Shakespeare’s
Henry V. I stopped including both Plutarch and Shakespeare each term some years ago as it always felt a little crammed with everything else we do.
The Life of Alexander
has been one of the best lives we’ve done since we began studying Plutarch eight years ago with Miss’s three older brothers.
by Amy Mack – we finished this last week. It’s only 40 pages but it is a delightful look at a little ‘wilderness’ the author found near her home where she observed Australian native flora & fauna.
We started reading James Herriot’s third memoir about his veterinarian career a few weeks ago. This book contains ‘Vets Might Fly’ and ‘Vets in a Spin,’ and begins with the author’s wartime R.A.F. training in London. As he goes through the misery of rigorous training on a foggy morning, his thoughts go back to another foggy morning in the Yorkshire Dales when he was woken at 5.30 a.m. by a phone call from Lord Hulton whose sow had a prolapsed uterus.
“It was no good me telling him that I had seen five prolapsed uteri in pigs in my limited experience and had failed in every case. I had come to the conclusion that there was no way of putting them back…
And the journey to the Hulton farm was not enlivened by my memories of those five other sows. I had tried everything; full anaesthesia, lifting them upside down with pulleys, directing a jet from a hose on the everted organ, and all the time pushing, straining, sweating over the great mass of flesh which refused to go back trough that absurdly small hole. The result in each case had been the conversion of my patient into pork pies and a drastic plummeting of my self-esteem.”
Music Appreciation/Composer: This is another area where we’ve diverged from the AO Curriculum and have adjusted to our specific circumstances. Hails is studying the cello at a fairly high level and is also involved in an orchestra so she covers a wide variety of classical music. We tend to focus on listening to the pieces she has to study. This year they’ve included Joseph Haydn, Astor Piazzolla, and César Franck.
Artist/Picture Study: Charles Condor – An Early Taste of Literature, 1888. We’ve concentrated on some Australian artists this year. We look at about 5 or 6 pieces from the same artist over a term and after about 2 weeks studying one painting Hails write a description of it from memory. In the past she has also done a quick sketch of a composition from memory.
When we finish up the year I’ll write some more about the books etc. we’ve used this year.
Some books Hails has read in July & August with her ratings:
Books by P.G. Wodehouse – all 10/10:
A Damsel in Distress
Jeeves in the offing
The Small Bachelor
The Adventures of Sally
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens 9/10
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte 9/10
Books by Ngaio Marsh – all 10/10
Hand in Glove
Death at the Dolphin
Overture to Death
Death at a White Tie