Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dotting i's and crossing t's

Meelyn and Aisling are working away really, really hard on their research papers, which, other than finishing Kidnapped, is the VERY LAST THING they have to do for this school year.

We covered a lot of ground this morning and Meelyn has finished her rough draft; as I type, Aisling is sitting at the dining room table beside my desk and is putting together her last paragraph before her conclusion. I am really pleased with the way these research papers have worked out. The Seton Composition for Young Catholics, Grade 8 text/workbook has been one of the best homeschooling books we have ever used. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants their student to be a better writer. Excellent, excellent source.

The girls have learned how to make source cards, note cards, search for internet sources (they already are pretty proficient at Google, so there wasn't a lot to learn here), cite sources, avoid plagiarizing the work of others and eschew the use of the word "I" in a term paper. They have known how to use the library's computerized catalog for a long time.

I love seeing these papers coming together. For an English major, it's kind of like having grandchildren.

We may use these same text/workbooks again next year. Well, Aisling definitely will. Meelyn may need to move onto something else, but then, maybe not. The books are so good and provide such an excellent foundation, I can't see that it would be a bad thing to get it into their heads firmly. Using different topics, of course. I wonder if they'll ask me if Meelyn, whose topic is tornados, can use Aisling's topic (volcanos) next year, and vice versa? Heh.


Kbg said...

People always want to fight my recommendations on the Seton English program as it is so "labor intensive" and whatnot. Hands down, it is the best I have ever seen. Once you learn it, you have it for life. They don't dumb anything down, they expect that all children can compose at very early ages (and they can) and they plug everything in very systematically and logically to ensure success. Follow the steps, reap the rewards. Enough said.

Kudos on following your dreams this year!

Shelley said...

Meelyn and Aisling finished their term papers today and I truly cannot believe the skill they showed in the writing. And it is largely due to that Seton book. I used to teach eleventh graders that didn't produce such nice research papers, although come to think of it, that doesn't speak well for me as a teacher, does it? Yikes.

I am so proud of those papers, I think I may sleep with them under my pillow.