04 February 2015
Day 60 / 104 - The Secret Garden
This year, my son is learning how to write a persuasive essay with materials from The Lost Tools of Writing. (I mentioned one of his earlier assignments last fall.) For this Literature strand, we are reading ten novels over the course of this school year, spending three weeks on each novel. Week one, we discuss the novel, and my son composes an issue for his essay. Week two, he arranges an outline. Week three, he composes his paper.
What I have heard said about The Lost Tools of Writing (and what I agree to now be true) is that this program not only teaches your student how to write, but more importantly it teaches your student how to think. There are a series of tools and exercises we complete each week that help us read the text more thoroughly and accurately, as well as tools that help us arrange and communicate our thoughts. It has required effort on our part, but it has been time well invested.
We spent the past three weeks examining The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. My immediate response was how disappointed I was in not reading this book as a child. I simply loved it. For me, one of the benefits of homeschooling has been reading books that I should have read long ago. After reading and discussing the novel, my son (with my assistance) opted to write an essay on why Mary (the protagonist) should have entered the secret garden. He revealed examples communicating how the garden brought her health, adventure, and relationships.