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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reading List: AP English

Homeschool Connections will be offering an AP-level English course in the 2011/2012 school year. This course has been approved by the College Board. Students taking both semesters (Part One and Part Two) of this course are encouraged to take the AP Exam in May 2012 to receive college credit.  This course does require a large commitment and a carries a heavy workload.

For AP students who wish to get a head start over the summer, here is the reading list and suggested prerequisites:

AP Literature and Composition List of Books and Supplies

Helpful Prerequisite: A background in Scripture and either The Odyssey, The Illiad or a suitable breadth of knowledge of classical mythology. (If you do not have this background, Homeschool Connections offers recorded courses on all of these topics which can be taken anytime including summer.)

Summer Reading: All students should come to the first class gathering having recently read one of the novels on the free reading list (scroll to the bottom).

Semester One:
Unit I: Your Literacy Profile

Unit II: Epic structure (Dante’s Inferno (Hell) OR The Aeneid)

Unit III: Here is God’s Plenty (selections from The Canterbury Tales)

Unit IV: A Bang or a Whimper: Apocalyptic Imagery in Novels about the End of the World. Students choose one from the list below or may suggest another novel of literary merit about the end of the world:
Father Elijah by Michael O’Brien
Alas Babylon by Pat Frank
Plague Journal by Michael O’Brien
Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson
Last Man by Mary Shelley
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller

Semester Two:
Unit V: Family Dramas

Unit VI: Poetry boot camp

Unit VII: Science, fiction and the horror! (Students’ choice of one)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Dracula by Bram Stoker

Unit VIII: Frailty and redemption
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

Additional Free Reading:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Emma by Jane Austen
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumont
The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Another suitable work of literary merit, with instructor’s approval.

Note that most of these books can be borrowed from the library (check inner- and inter-library loan options). Some can also be found online free at places such as Project Gutenberg.

Please do not hesitate to email Homeschool Connections with any questions, comments, or suggestions.

ADDENDUM: Here is a list of books found free online:  Free e-Books for AP English

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Catholic Books on Kindle

I love Louis de Wohl novels and recently purchased The Last Crusader for my Kindle. I'm very happy that Ignatius Press is making many of the de Wohl novels on Kindle along with many of their other titles including the Ignatius Bible.

Ignatius isn't the only Catholic publisher converting current and past titles for e-readers. Just take a look ...

Behold Publications (formerly Ecce Homo Press) is converting many of their beloved children's books including their Glory of America series and history mysteries.

Arx Publishing, owned by Catholic homeschool father Tony Schiavo, is also converting their wonderful historical fiction books to Kindle including the awesome Belisarius.

Our Sunday Visitor, Loyola, Ascension, Servant and many others are also making their titles available for e-readers.

Here is a list of Catholic homeschooling books currently available on Kindle:

If you come across a book on Amazon that you would like to see made available on Kindle, there is a link just below the book image that says, "Tell the Publisher! I'd like to read this book on Kindle." Click on that and Amazon will notify the publisher of the request.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Free Kindle App and Books for Your Homeschool

Whether you own a Kindle, Nook or other e-reader there is a plethora of free books available to you. You don't even have to buy the e-reader as both Kindle and Nook offer free applications for other electronic devices such as your PC, Mac or Blackberry. Just click on the image down below to download a free app.

The first place to look for free books is of course Gutenberg Project. They have been very busy converting their public domain books in the epub and Kindle formats.

Also to check out:
Amazon's Free Book Collection: A number of classics available. I've also found Kaplan's SAT/ACT prep books here for free.
Christian Classics Ethereal Library: From Calvin College, though loaded with lots of Church Fathers and Catholic saints. It even has large selections from Summa Contra Gentiles. Only available in PDF format which can also be read by e-readers.
Munseys: Rare and hard to find books.
Many Books

If anyone knows of a good Catholic site for e-books please let us know in the comments.

Tomorrow: Great Catholic books for a reasonable price on Kindle.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Using Kindle in Your Homeschool

My name is Maureen and I'm a recovering book snob. There was a day not so long ago when I would pontificate endlessly about how I would never, ever own an e-reader. After all, nothing can replace the smell and feel of a real book. Right? I loved my books and I had no intention of betraying them in the name of modernity.

Then I got a Kindle for Christmas. I let go my prejudices and fell in love. Now, just 4 months later, I prefer cuddling up with my Kindle than an old fashioned physical book. Who would've ever guessed?

I am now saving to purchase a second Kindle. This one for the children. I believe this will greatly enhance our homeschool for the following reasons:

1. Save Money. We studied the Ancients this year. Most of the books we read (Odyssey, Iliad, Aeneid, etc.) are available as free e-books. The price of buying each physical book was considerably more than the Kindle device itself. The first few days I owned my Kindle, I downloade almost 100 free e-books. All classics and in the public domain. Many of the books we need for our Homeschool Connections's classes are also in the public domain.

2. Save on Back Strain. My children attend a tutorial with other homeschooled children once or twice a week. Each child lugs a  backpack full of books. The lightweight Kindle will save on chiropractor visits.

3. Save on Eye Strain. I read in the newspaper (I think it was the WSJ) some months ago that the non-glare, black-and-white E-Ink technology used in the Kindle and other e-readers is easier on your eyes than print, particularly cheap print such as found in newspapers.

4. Save on Space. I'm running out of space in my house. I have twelve bookshelves. Twelve. If I ask my husband to build another bookshelf for me, he may implode. My Kindle holds up to 1,500 non-illustrated books. If there's a fire, my physical books may go up in smoke. My e-books are always there, saved in cyber space.

5. Making Notes. Though it still needs some tweaking in my opinion, I can bookmark, highlight, and write in the columns of my e-books.

6. Library Lending. In the next few months Amazon will begin allowing the borrowing of library books via the Kindle. Think about the simplicity. You go online, download the library book to your e-reader, and four weeks later you either renew the book or it simply disappears so the next library patron can borrow it.

Finally, you don't have to buy a Kindle or a Nook to read their e-books. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer free apps to read e-books on your computer or I-Pad. Though I prefer the non-glare screen of the Kindle and Nook (black and white version).

Similar posts:
Catholic Books on Kindle
Free Nook and Kindle Apps