04 October 2014
Day 24 / 104 - Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
My son has a Literature and Exposition strand this academic year where he will be reading several books (this is not new to us) and writing papers about them (this is new to us!). We are using material from The Lost Tools of Writing to train us in our skills of composing a persuasive essay.
We spent the last three weeks discussing the Newbery Award winning Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. If you are unfamiliar with this book, I would encourage you to read it. It is fantastic. Set during the American Revolution in Salem, Massachusetts, it tells the tale of Nat Bowditch. Nat is a young, brilliant man who is forced to quit school and become an indentured bookkeeping servant because of his family's economic circumstances. Eventually, he published The American Practical Navigator, a comprehensive reference work for sailors still used today.
My son wrote his first persuasive essay supporting Nat's father's decision to have him indentured for nine years at the age of 12. The indenture led to learning opportunities that otherwise might not have been available to Nat, as well as opportunities to influence, train, and lead others. For a first attempt at a persuasive essay, it wasn't half bad.
For added learning, and to integrate our Geography strand, he also traced some (but not all) of Nat's journeys to sea.