Road Less Traveled

by Darla on July 23, 2008


For the past week I’ve been consuming the book ITI:  The Model Integrated Thematic Instruction by Susan Kovalik.  It is a rather intense book about thematic instruction in the classroom.  Most of the material is geared towards public/private schools but it was recommended to me by a home schooling parent using their method at home.  The curriculum that we are using for our studies is based on this model.

This evening I watched a movie about a teacher in a prep school inspiring 17 year old boys to study poetry and take the road that is best for them in their life ahead.  The ending is good, happy, sad all at the same time.   One of his student’s after finding his path in life, realizes that his father will never let him step on it let alone have a career as an actor.  The student ends his life.

His fellow classmates then face expulsion if they do not come up with a person or reason for the senseless death.  The teacher is fired as a result.  The students were forced to sign papers accusing the teacher.  When he comes to retrieve his personal belongings from the classroom, the students that support him in the end they stand on their desks as a tribute to his influence in their lives.  This is a promise that they will look at things from a different point of view.

Afterwards, I followed it up by reading the poem “Road Less Travelled” by Robert Frost.

At times, parenting finds me in a place devoid of inspiration.  Once again I find myself joining the masses as I herd my children through content rather than allowing space to absorb, contemplate and come to conclusions.  Whether grand or just mediocre conclusions, we all need the time to think.

How to stay inspired is often my biggest challenge.  Where to go for further inspiration?  In the past, it has always been a new method of study rather than reading an inspiring book about another topic.  So this week has been a “duh” moment.  It is obvious to me that I have found something good in my latest methodology search as I feel comfortable staying here looking for further inspiration from good literature.  It has always been important that I listen to my heart, mostly it has lead me to the “Road Less Travelled.  This feels like home and it is good to be here.

So my list of inspiring books starts here:

  • Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch – Reading
  • The Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom
  • Get your Assets in Gear
  • Low-Stress Investing
  • Jane Eyre
  • Christmas Carol

Bekah and Ginny picked these books to read aloud with me this year.  (S listens if he is interested)

  • Princess Academy
  • The Swiss Family Robinson
  • The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
  • Surviving the Applewhites
  • Chasing Vermeer
  • The Goose Girl  (Shannon Hale)
  • Enna Burning
  • River Secrets
  • The City of Ember
  • Christmas Carol

Samuel’s list (FIAR Vol 1 – we may follow some of the learning suggestions or just read these great stories for our quiet time.)

  • The Story of Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
  • Lentil by Robert McCloskey
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno
  • The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
  • The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen
  • How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
  • Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
  • Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley
  • The Clown of God by Tomie DePaola
  • Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews
  • Storm in the Night by Mary Stoltz
  • Katy and the Big Snow by Virgina Lee Burton
  • Night of the Moonjellies by Mark Shasha
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (with illustrations by Susan Jeffers)
  • Who Owns the Sun by Stacy Chbosky

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