Subject: Newsletter: Webinar with Andrew Pudewa, articles, more

The Everyday Educator
1 August 2013
In This Issue
  • Letter from Janice
  • Event: Teaching Classic Literature Webinar with Andrew Pudewa
  • Article: Why Context? What You Know Changes How You Read
  • Carnival of Homeschooling
  • Article: How to Create a Custom Planner
  • Summer Sale: Homeschool Through High School with Confidence Set
  • Article: A Mathematician's Lament by Paul Lockhart
  • Contests and awards for students
  • Subscription information: Make changes here!
""Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
~ William Butler Yeats
Dear Friend,

I hope your summer has been joyous–it's such a good time for making special memories when your children are young. Here, it's midday on the first day of August, and it's so dark and rainy outside that I've had to turn on lights indoors. It feels like November, except for the fact that the fig tree has almost swallowed the dining room window and tomatoes are ripening (not quite fast enough) on the deck.

I've enjoyed being home for a couple of weeks at the end of convention season, and I can hardly believe that the conference calendar for next year has already begun to fill up. It's been a good year, though. I was able to complete updates for the second edition of Excellence in Literature; work is progressing on the 1857 McGuffey readers (I'm almost finished with the introduction explaining how to use them with Charlotte Mason's language arts teaching sequence), and I'm hoping to have some sustained writing time soon. 

August is a month when many of you will be going back to school. This was always a highlight of our school year (it ranked right up with finishing school in May!), but the first week always held a reality check or two. Things such as realizing there was no way to squeeze nine subjects into any reasonable day, or the fact that time away from school didn't mean that the boys returned suddenly loving math or writing. I had to learn to accept the reality checks with grace and move on. I'll be praying for you as you homeschool, that you and your family will be able to work together in grace and love. I hope it will be a wonderful year!


Janice Campbell

Teaching Classic Literature in Context
By Andrew Pudewa and Janice Campbell

Did you know classic literature can be the most interesting subject you teach? Join Andrew Pudewa and Janice Campbell as they talk about how to teach the great books in their historic, artistic, and literary context. 

Visit the IEW website to register free for the webinar:
  • Monday, August 12, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Did you know that all five volumes of the newly updated second edition of Excellence in Literature are now available in both print and e-book form at Visit us and see it now! 

Learn about Excellence in Literature for grades 8-12 (short version) (longer version).
See some of the context resources at the Excellence in Literature book site
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; 
they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, 
and the most patient of teachers. 
 ~Charles W. Eliot
What You Know Changes How You Read

During summer break (something I don't seem to be getting this year), I sometimes venture into the dark recesses of my bookshelves in search of a good old book. I have a sizable collection of fiction written between 1850 - 1950 from childhood thrift-shopping trips with my grandmother. Some of these books are great classics, but others are simply popular fiction of the time.

These old books formed the bulk of my reading when I was young, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. As I read them now, however, I realize that most modern readers have little context for the mindset, manners, and morals, or even many of the conflicts that consumed the characters in the novels of the late 19th and early 20th century. This lack of context can affect understanding of and appreciation for these stories. 
Be sure to visit the blog to see the latest edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling! We have a collection of interesting articles, including serious articles on the state of education and leaving a homeschooling legacy, helpful articles on planning and organizing your school year and day, and a few extras on things such as how to whistle, whether homeschoolers can redeem BoxTops for Education, and more. I hope you enjoy the carnival! . . . Read more at
How to Create a Custom Planner

Traditional three-ring planners do not work well for me, as they are usually too bulky to carry around, so I finally began researching possible alternatives. The most appealing options were the beautiful leather organizers from X47, a German company, and the Japanese Midori Traveler’s Notebook. Each of these featured a leather cover and easily interchangeable inserts. Of course, they were a bit expensive, and weren’t exactly what I wanted, so I decided to make my own. I had a tremendous amount of fun with this project, so thought I’d share it here.
Summer Sale!
"Homeschool Through High School with Confidence" Set

Purchase the discounted two-book set of Transcripts Made Easy and Get a Jump Start on College! and get two FREE instantly downloadable audio workshops from my archives:
  • Homeschool Through High School: There's Joy in the Journey
  • Transcript-Building Workshop
"I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn." ~Albert Einstein

Chenier's Practical Math Dictionary and Application Guide
A Mathematician's Lament by Paul Lockhart

As most of you know, I'm not a math person. When I saw this article, however, I began to see why. It's well worth reading if you've always wondered why math makes no sense at all. I encourage you to read the entire article if you have been considering working through the summer on math just in case you're not doing enough. 

Here is how it begins:

"A musician wakes from a terrible nightmare. In his dream he finds himself in a society where music education has been made mandatory. “We are helping our students become more competitive in an increasingly sound-filled world.” Educators, school systems, and the state are put in charge of this vital project. Studies are commissioned, committees are formed, and
decisions are made— all without the advice or participation of a single working musician or composer.

"Since musicians are known to set down their ideas in the form of sheet music, these curious black dots and lines must constitute the “language of music.” It is imperative that students become fluent in this language if they are to attain any degree of musical competence; indeed, it would be ludicrous to expect a child to sing a song or play an instrument without having a thorough grounding in music notation and theory. Playing and listening to music, let alone composing an original piece, are considered very advanced topics and are generally put off until college, and more often graduate school . . .
Events and Contests
Although we aren't able to screen all the contests that come across our desks, we are sharing them here so you'll be able to check them out yourself. Contests can be a useful motivational tool, so be sure to check them out!
2013-2014 Essay Contest Question Announced!  Contest Deadline: February 3, 2014, 11:59 PM EST  National Peace Essay Contest 2013-2014 Topic and Question Security Sector Reform, Political Transition, and Sustainable Peace
On November 1, 2013, coordinator and student registration will open online. The process will be similar to years past: coordinators will register online first, receive a link to the student registration system by email, and then students will be able to register and submit their essays (by February 3, 2014 at 11:59 EST) using that link.

Online training for teachers teaching high school art. You may enjoy these free videos from Annenberg Learners.
This is the FREE national, monthly writing contest hosted by Each month you will find a different writing prompt at this link.
Visit the website!

Have you "liked" the Excellence in Literature page on Facebook yet? We'd love to connect with you there!

If you haven't yet seen the new Excellence in Literature website, I think you'll enjoy it. If you're using the curriculum, you'll find that we've hosted many of the context resources on the site, organized by level so you can easily find them. Even if you're not using EIL, you'll find good resources for literature and history study, including source documents, poetry, and more. I hope the new site makes using EIL even simpler!

Be sure to check the Taking Time for Things that Matter blog for weekly (usually) updates.

You'll find posts on entrepreneurship, microbusiness, and marketing at Do What Matters, Make it Pay.

If you work with words, or want to, you need to get "The Edge: Success Strategies for People Who Work With Words," a free newsletter from the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors at

*SAT, CLEP, AP, and PSAT/NMSQT are registered trademarks of the College Board and/or National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which are were not involved with the production of this email.

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