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The Great Pelican Book Club Reading Schedule Shuffle!
May
1
to May 30

The Great Pelican Book Club Reading Schedule Shuffle!

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Due to overwhelming popular demand, we've shuffled around the reading assignments for All the Light We Cannot See to get us through the book just a little more quickly. The discussion dates look the same for May and June, but the new readings will allow us to still maintain a slower pace without stretching the novel out past the point of interest. :) And, of course, as an added benefit it will allow us to move on to our next selection sooner, at which point we will be incorporating a bi-weekly discussion (also due to popular Pelican demand). 

The Book Club webpage, which you can find by clicking the button below, has been updated to reflect these changes. 

Thank you for all of your enthusiasm at our recent discussion meeting! We had such a blast and were completely blown away, and look forward to making these get togethers a more frequent part of our lives!

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May
17
to Jun 8

New Pelican Question: Summer Reading (Deadline: June 8th)

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A new Pelican Question has been posted in the Pelican Forum! Participate in the "Summer Reading" thread by June 8th for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card to spend on one of those bucket list summer reads!

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Over the last year we have been blessed to see this posse grow a great deal, and now that we have so many voices and perspectives in our group, we would really love the chance to get some good community conversation happening inside the forum. If we've learned anything these past two years, it's that there is no encouragement quite like Pelican encouragement! So to that end, we're going to start implementing the “Pelican Question.” We'll do this about twice a month. We'll post a topic for conversation, and whoever participates in the thread will automatically be entered to win a sweet prize.

Go to the Pelican forum, search "#pelicanquestion," and reply to our newest post to get started! 

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Apr
2
to Apr 11

New Free Teacher Guide: Picture Book Collection

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 Here at CenterForLit we talk long and loud about the benefits of using picture books to practice good reading. They're shorter, and the elements of fiction are usually more pronounced – but the ideas can be just as meaty! Now we're putting our money where our mouth is and providing you with a brand new collection, written by Missy Andrews, of teacher guides on four beautiful children's books for your next free selection. Whether you use them to introduce your youngsters to discussing stories or enjoy them as a good reminder with your older students, we hope your family will have fun with these classic picture books!

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New Episode of Ask Missy: Enthusiasm Over the Long Haul
Mar
28
to Apr 9

New Episode of Ask Missy: Enthusiasm Over the Long Haul

As a mom of 5, I find it very easy to push my eldest exuberantly forward due to my own enthusiasm and excitement that we finally get to read this book or the other. At the same time, I find myself realizing that the 5 year old and the toddler have actually not heard some of the books we read aloud repeatedly when the older 2 were young. And then, sometimes, I just can't figure out what I've done with the middle child. ;) How can I make sure that 1) We do not exasperate or expect too much too soon of the older children. 2) The younger kids don't "miss out" due to the fact that I forgot that just because I read a title 37 times doesn't mean I read it to them. And 3) I maintain the same level of enthusiasm and passion over the long haul, not fizzling out on the younger children. I want to make sure that the youngest get every bit the same delight and enthusiasm! Thanks! –Amy

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Jan
22
to Jan 25

Receive a discount on your Teachers In Service: Identity registration!

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Are you ready for the post-holiday slog? Christmas is behind us and spring break seems a million miles away. Meanwhile, unmet goals and unfulfilled expectations threaten to sabotage your classroom even before the tinsel comes down.

Just in time for the "dog days of winter," director Adam Andrews leads another Teachers In Service event for parents and teachers seeking to avoid the winter blues!

Our theme this January is Identity, and we'll be asking and answering questions like Where Does My Identity Come From? Who Are My Students, and Who Says? What Are My Most Important Goals? and What is the Definition of Success as a Teacher? Our goal is to remember who we really are and what we're really striving for, and to build each other up for a 2018 full of rest and peace.

It is not necessary to have attended the August 2017 Teachers in Service seminar to benefit from this one. However, for those who did join us in August, our goal will be to look deeper into our creaturehood as a reinforcement of the definitions of "education," "teacher," and "student" that we developed last time. 

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Nov
16
4:00 PM16:00

Next Pelican Book Club Announced!

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Nothing calls for cuddling up in a blanket on a cool fall day quite like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. A Pelican suggestion, we landed on this title because we think you'll also appreciate the length of this novel during these busy back-to-school days. 

But short certainly does not mean shallow. This book is brimming with juicy ideas for us to discuss together. We can't wait to hear your thoughts on the man-made monster and his god-like creator Thursday November 16th at 4:00 pm PST/ 7:00 pm EST!

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Nov
2
1:00 PM13:00

Office Hours: Reading Journals

Whether it's journaling, commonplacing, or copybooks, keeping notes on what you read can be a great way engage with the material and make sure it stays with you after you turn the last page. It can most certainly offer a more human alternative to the worksheet or comprehension question for a student. 

But why is that true? What is the purpose of a reading journal, and what kinds of things should we encourage our students to journal about? How do we make sure that even in our journaling we are not "using" literature or disrespecting the author? And where do we start?

Join us on Thursday November 2nd at 1:00 pm PST / 4:00 pm EST for a conversation on this very issue!

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Sep
21
1:00 PM13:00

Office Hours: Achieving Diligence in the Classroom

We've all been there before. We begin the year with such enthusiasm, but just a few weeks (days?) in finds us behind schedule, overbooked, and overwhelmed. And yes, we know that grace is sufficient and our identity is not hanging on our failure or success...but still, some things would certainly be a lot easier if we could cultivate a little diligence in our classroom. 

How can we do that? Where does diligence come from and how can we ensure its survival? Join us September 21 at 1:00 Pacific Time / 4:00 Eastern Time to wrestle with this age-old issue. 

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Sep
11
to Oct 20

New Free Teacher Guide Available!

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When an everyday baseball game gets heated, Reuven Malter doesn't know that his young life is about to change forever. Chaim Potok's gorgeous story of friendship and fatherhood is sure to capture your hearts, and now this guide by Emily Andrews is available to assist you, the teacher, in opening the door to profound and thought-provoking conversations that you and your students are sure to remember for a very long time. You are not going to want to miss this one!

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Pelican Book Club: The Abolition of Man
Aug
10
4:30 PM16:30

Pelican Book Club: The Abolition of Man

One of the great works on educational philosophy from the 20th century, C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man stands behind much of what we do here at CenterForLit. (As does most of Lewis's canon, if we're being honest...)

And since it's summertime and we have some free head space to contemplate the past academic year and look forward to the next, we thought it might be fun to delve into this accessible reflection on the state of modern culture and education. It is also the winner of our Pelican survey, so many of you must have thought so too!

We've never tackled a work of non fiction together in the Pelican Book Club, and we think it'll be exciting to mix things up a little. But don't feel intimidated! Lewis is a very clear writer and although his ideas are rich and deep, we're all here to try to understand them better together. 

So we hope you'll join us Thursday August 10th at 4:30pm PST / 7:30pm EST for a time of reflection and encouragement with our dear friend Clive Staples!

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Jul
18
to Aug 25

New Teacher Guide Available!

It's time for a new free teacher guide! We are pleased as can be to offer you Megan's new guide to Jane Austen's beloved classic. Summer is always a great time to sit back and revisit Pemberley. And while Elizabeth and Darcy's story is always a crowd pleaser for the girls, might we suggest that its themes can be universally enjoyed? Pride and Prejudice gets a bad reputation for being the mushy romance, but it is hardly that at all. We hope that this guide will lead your family into fabulous discussions about the true meaning of love, man's imperfect nature, and the redemption to be found in grace and forgiveness. 

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Jul
13
1:00 PM13:00

Office Hours: Balance

Summer is here! And while you are hauling out the pool toys and planning your family's next great adventure, somewhere in the back of your mind you know that fall will be here sooner than you would like. You're exhausted and ready to burn the homeschooling books, but you're also a little afraid of entering the upcoming academic year unprepared. How can we both get the rest we need and ready ourselves for the next go around? Are you allowed to take a little "me" time, or is there no rest for the weary? Grab your ice tea and join the Pelicans for a little strategy session on this subject Thursday July 13 at 1:00pm PST/ 4:00pm EST. 

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Jun
8
to Jul 12

New Teacher Guide Now Available!

It's finally here! In our newest Teacher Guide, Ian leads readers on a tour of Revolutionary America in his study of Esther Forbes', Johnny Tremain. A captivating blend of historical detail and vivid fiction, this story deserves a place of honor on our summer reading lists. Click the button below to see what all the fuss is about! 

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Jun
2
to Jun 23

We Need Your Opinion: Book Club Scheduling and Selection

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We need your help! Our Pelican Book Club meetings have been such a blast, and the larger the crowd the richer the conversation! We would love to have as many Pelicans as possible join us for these events, so in the interest of facilitating your schedule please take the survey below to help us pin down the best time. 

Also, when we asked for reading recommendations at our last meeting, we noticed a trend: many of you would love to dig deeper into the works of C.S. Lewis. Lewis is one of our all time favorites, and the father of a great deal of our thinking about literature here at CenterForLit, so we would be thrilled to have a chance to discuss his work with you! Please vote for the title below you are most interested in tackling first, and we will make that our summer book club read. 

When are you most available during the week to meet? *
Which of C.S. Lewis' works would you like to discuss this summer? *
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Register for Office Hours
Jun
1
1:00 PM13:00

Register for Office Hours

You know you need one. That's why you set out to give it to your students in the first place. But the goal of "education" can be vague and daunting if you don't quite know what it is you're after and you only have 12 years to figure it out.  What is the purpose of an education and why should we seek after it? Is it training for real life? Is it mastery? Is it for virtue? And once you know what it is, what tools do you need for the journey? It's a big, juicy topic, and we think the great Western literary heritage has some good perspective to offer. We're excited to talk about this one with you June 1 at 1:00PST/ 4:00 EST. 

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Apr
27
1:00 PM13:00

Office Hours: Historical Fiction

As busy parents and teachers, any opportunity we can find to combine subjects and "kill two birds with one stone" is a boone and a blessing. And it isn't a stretch to say that literature and history are a natural pairing. History is itself a narrative of the past, and literature in the same way is a product of its historical context. But what are the differences between these two studies? And what do we do when we encounter the marriage of these studies in a work of historical fiction? How do we receive from historical fiction without doing violence to either the art of literature or the art of history? You've been asking for this one, and we just happen to have a history Ph.D. candidate on staff to help us think through these issues! Let's get together on Thursday April 27 at 1:00 Pacific Time/ 4:00 Eastern to hash out all the benefits and drawbacks of combining literature with history. 

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Apr
6
to Apr 14

Ask Missy Episode #2 Available -- and an Invitation to Coffee!

This winter was just full of surprises for us. Sickness, travel, visiting relatives, the Spanish Inquisition, flying monkeys... Missy in particular as a homeschooling mom still in the trenches felt the full weight of our busy schedule. But now that we're beginning to hope for spring and have finally been able to get back on track with our "Ask Missy" episodes, Missy would like to make up for lost time by inviting you to an intimate coffee hour on Friday April 14th at 1:00pm Pacific / 4:00 pm Eastern.

This hour is intended to be a casual time of relaxation and fellowship. Step back from the stress of everyday and find some encouragement and renewed enthusiasm with a few like-minded and sympathetic moms. We can talk homeschooling, books, family, the latest movie you just watched-- whatever strikes your fancy! In the interest of forming friendships and community in the Pelican Society, we will accept the first five Pelicans who wish to join us. But we intend to make this a regular event, so if you are unable to make it this time, you will have first priority for our next Coffee Break.

We're keeping numbers low for a few reasons. First of all, we hope to have the internet bandwidth to allow everyone to show their webcams. Secondly, we want to maintain a fun atmosphere where everyone has a chance to share, ask questions, offer answers, tell stories, and swap jokes! We're excited for a chance to form our flock and make new friends. 

If you would like to come, sign up below-- we look forward to seeing you!

Name *
Name
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Mar
23
1:00 PM13:00

Office Hours: Vocab and Grammar in Literature Study

Here at CenterForLit, we are historically known for not being huge fans of the worksheet. We want to listen quietly to what the author has to say instead of using their work in a way they did not intend. However it is true that our students need to develop their vocabulary and grammar skills, and like it or not this is usually one of the main goals of a literature workbook. What, then, are we to do?? There's no denying that the arts of vocabulary and grammar are strongly related, and even necessary predecessors, to the art of literature. So how do we make sure all of these areas get covered without sacrificing our literary philosophy? After all, as much as we'd like to, we can't add more hours to the day. 

Join us Thursday March 23 at 1:00 PST/ 4:00 EST to discuss the relationship between vocab, grammar, and literature with your fellow Pelicans!

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