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post #18 of Old 06-17-2006
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Gloucester, NC
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Originally Posted by rakuqueen1
Thanks for your suggestions. The one thing our daughter wants to do is learn Italian.
I speak a little Spanish. Does Calvert do languages? I''ll check out that book.
I homeschooled both my children until high school (when they went to a great prep school that shared all my values) and they have now finished university. After homeschooling, Josh was valedictorian of his graduating class and the teachers thought him a marvel of intelligent conversation. That's what a homeschooling versus peer-controlled environment can give a child.

We used a variety of materials--must have tried them all--and found that a literature-based curriculum did the most to prepare them for prep school and university. Because they read, they could write. Because they read classical literature as well as more modern pieces, they learned to think. And because I made them back up every one of their theories and study logic, they learned to examine ideas instead of swallowing things whole. Which I think will make them better citizens. (Joshua read Doystoyevski's The Idiot at 12 and used it as the basis for an essay that got him into Duke's TIP program to take college classes while in high school.)

In exchange for a scientist friend teaching all the children science, I taught French. This might be hard to manage on board, but I'd suggest usiing whatever resources you can find--and they are myriad. Where you are weak, there are always others who can augment in a certain area if you keep your ears open and ask questions.

As for learning Italian--I speak Italian fluently, and that only came by living in the country. I had five years of French, so I can still read it and teach the basics. But a few months of living and going to school in Italy did more for my language acquisition than all those years of classroom French. If you can possibly do some of your cruising in Italy and get your daughter enrolled in a class or two there--even for a few months--you'll give her a huge gift. The Universita per gli Stranieri in Perugia, while inland, has great 3-month language classes.

Buona fortuna!

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