For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-whitman-bicentennial 😊
Here’s something that would probably look really good on a college application.
We often write here about opportunities for homeschool students to participate in real academic research projects — it’s the idea behind our “Lunar Society” plan to encourage homeschoolers to develop their skills in science and scholarship. Here’s a brand new opportunity of this kind that might be a perfect fit for your home academy.
This month (the 31st actually) is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). There are all sorts of Whitman bicentennial activities going on around the country, and one of them is a new crowdsourced project from the Library of Congress that invites readers to transcribe many of the library’s Whitman-related documents:
This is the Library’s latest “By the People” project. (Here’s our earlier notice about these projects.) The Library has scanned hundreds of original manuscripts and documents by and about Whitman, and your task, should you choose to accept it, is to transcribe (type out) these documents on the Library’s research platform. Scanned manuscripts and hand-annotated typescripts can be read by humans, but unless there is a modern digital transcript they can’t be easily searched and analyzed by computer — and that kind of searching and analysis is essential to modern scholarship.
People who contribute to this project (your students, for example) will gain experience working with primary source materials of historical importance; they’ll get a much richer appreciation for “real history” as opposed to the simplified and synthetic history that appears in textbooks; and they’ll learn how a large research project operates, while they themselves make contributions to it.
If you have a high-school aged homeschooler with a liking for history or literature, and with good language skills and a strong attention to detail — very important for a project like this — take a look at “Whitman at 200” and sign up to participate if it strikes your interest. This is just the sort of work that might favorably impress a college admissions committee somewhere down the line.
What scholarly and scientific discoveries have you made in your homeschool this month? 😊
❡ Whether they work together or apart: This is one of our regular Lunar Society Bulletins about the many cooperative research projects we recommend to homeschool students. Add your name to our free weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) and get more great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🗞