Wednesday, August 22, 2007

History Thoughts -- Year 6 and 9

I have been reading Puck of Pook's Hill, which I acquired years ago but somehow hadn't read up till now. It looks like it is in the Year 5 Schedule of readings at Higher Up and Further In.

See, Kieron said he would like to do more Romans for history, but I wanted to move ahead during the course of the year, and I was wondering if Puck would be a good tie-in between Rome and Britain .... and it looks like it will be. I am enjoying it, though I don't think he will find it to be a page-turner, and I haven't finished it yet; there is some strangeness about the Old folk, who were believed to be gods. I can't imagine anyone who is creeped out about HP, for instance, feeling altogether comfortable about this book, but it's got solid 19th century credentials (it's by Rudyard Kipling).

If we can get to Britain.... I find I would really like to do a British history and literature year. So many possible side tangents, such a lot of richness. Puck has lots of connections --- to 19th century illustration, to Shakespeare, to old poems, to British history, even to mythology and religion by an indirect route.

There are lots and lots of books written by British folk; we'll have our pick.

Possibilities to consider:

Our Island Story
English Literature for Boys and Girls
(Sean read some of this last year but I'm thinking it's too light for an almost-high schooler.)

But Sean could follow the MODG British Literature syllabus. It's meant for 12th grade but is not that difficult and would be easy to adapt.

1 comment:

  1. I'm creeped out about HP but like Puck of Pook's Hill. I believe Kipling was quite accurate in explaining that many old fairytale creatures were actually demonic spirits that have truly lost their power over the years as people stopped worshipping and believing in them. This used to be common knowledge among people but has been lost. I use this book as a means of teaching my children the truth about elves and sprites. We read fairytale literature but are careful because of this very thing. I also think it can be redeemed as CS lewis did in his writings. I do think our children need to be aware of the roots of seemingly harmless fairy folk. Kipling is not glorifying it in this book, he is simply revealing its roots, whereas HP glorifies it.