How to pronouce classical Latin

This video is geared toward students with decent attention spans (logic and rhetoric stages), but that is not to say it is boring.  Evan1965 does an excellent job of explaining how we derive Latin pronunciations from what is considered a dead language.  I do think that term is awfully ironic though, given its influence in medical terms, biology, philosophy, religion, law, and the tons of languages derived from Latin.

I think you’ll find his segment discussing the differences in vowel sounds and the rhythm of Latin in poetry particularly entrancing ~ 4:50.


Learn to Read with Stories/Games/Songs

I’ve begun tutoring a first grade reader recently, and I have to say, I really enjoy getting back to the beginning stages of learning again. Afterall, my own boys are ages 10 and 13 5/6ths years old, so their level of activities has taken on a whole new meaning comparative to the learning drills that could be turned into a game on a moment’s notice.

Their perspective of fun matures, but I find that as I grow older, I gain more of an appreciation for the simpler ways of experiencing (and learning from) life. I would say in direct ratio to how serious a person usually is or views life, is the same need to make time for more sillier pursuits.

Anyway, I began to think with my new little muse that he would respond better to games and activities that required reading, but were not long, extensive stories. Many of these same things would sharpen listening skills and reinforce following directions, yet the interactive nature gave him something to busy his hands with and control all at the same time.

I looked through a very useful site today published in England. The content is challenging for beginning readers, but varied and interesting. Whether it is reading a joke or creating crazy animals, it has many ideas that use sight words and high frequency words to get their stories across.

Another website Apples4Teachers offered a great deal of American literature, nursery rhymes, and other reading material for beginning to intermediate readers.

Click below to see reviews and links to full site:

Learn English, Kids!  by the British Council



A campside reunion with philosophy

Our family just returned from our first camping trip together in 9 years.  My, what a long time to have let pass before returning to the roots of our childhood and courtship.  Our last journey had been on a private island on an offshoot of the Catawba River.  It was my style of primitive enjoyment with available water and sufficient toilets.  However, 9 years ago, we were proudly parenting a toddler and an infant, and camping was just asking for mishaps and mayhem.  One child had never stopped us, we thought, so why should two?  Turns out, there are a lot of reasons.  And a lot of reasons that kept us sidetracked even once they had grown up a bit.  

Then, it dawned on me.  It was past due.  They are now 13 & 9, and camping afforded us the great excuse to log off, unplug, and tune in to each other once again.  This time, we chose the 2nd oldest river in the world – New River.  Here, is my weekend of observations:

  • Organization really is your friend.  So is fire and a giant all metal pot that can sit directly on one.
  • An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.  All natural bug repellant made of essential oils kept us bite free, sunscreen kept us pliant, and 2 rolls of toilet paper save a lot of late night and early morning walking.  This attitude applies to dishes too — the dirties we doused into a big stock pot of boiling water over the fire to help cut grease and dissolve food prior to scrubbing.
  • Choose heavy-duty and versatile over convenience or decorative trend.  Our cast iron, enamel ware, and mason jars were brilliant during an onslaught of wind gusts stirred up on the outer perimeter of a hurricane passing off the coast.  The mason jars served to boil water and make tea and coffee, but was kept padded by a large towel inside a large lidded enamel pot when not in use.  The smaller the container, the faster the water will heat 😉  Also…glass absorbs heat faster than metal, & metal faster than ceramic…but will lose heat at that rate (obviously) as well.
  • Focus on the little things.  Start with your 5 senses, eventually sinking into your 6th.  Record random thoughts – especially creative ideas of any sort, whether they involve business strategy, teaching topics, discussion notes, or soap ingredients.
  • There’s an energetic pool of wellness that exists in healthy nature.  Nature in balance tends to balance you.  Choose grass or gravel over concrete and asphalt.  Lean upon a tree before a handrail.  Listen to the insects, not the traffic.  Applied reflexology and polarity therapy can take this further by opening up our own energy meridians inside our bodies and realigning energetic fields for optimal functioning.  Awareness comes before all else. 

Let the wind fill you,

Expanding your thoughts along with your lungs.

Allow the ground to ground you

 beneath your bare feet,

The strength of roots will permeate

as you traverse an awkward path.

“Let the Wind”  © 2010  jennifer o’neal simmons

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