As I transitioned into teaching my kids at home, I was the new student trying to get the lay of the land. The landscape was vast, dotted with an immense amount of information. Feeling overwhelmed with the task of teaching my kids was not a possibility, it was a reality. It seemed a mountain range lay before me. I had to choose one to climb. Even when I settled on a specific mountain (curriculum) to climb (Classical Conversations), I found a valley lay beneath it, filled almost to brimming with books to match every detail of the curriculum.
I saw match-ups for science for each week, nine to ten books a week…and crafts, and worksheets. Then I saw match-ups for history, 4-5 chapter books a week, and crafts, and worksheets. It seemed could reserve two-thirds of the library and still only be “covering” two subjects with my kids.
Isn’t this whole Classical Conversations supposed to be done with a stick and some sand?
When we first started homeschooling, I didn’t even consider teaching spelling in that first year. Kindergarten was a time for play, not academic work (in my estimation). Indeed, my first kindergarten student refused to attempt to spell. This may have been due to my inability to reach her where she was at. I thought I could simply show her the words and expect she could spell them.
There are rules for almost everything. This universe is a creation filled with order. But when one has not learned the rules in the first place, teaching another with any order simply cannot happen. I was the one, in this case, who did not know the rules. I have always been a horrible speller. Trial and error was my method; error being the usual result.
I had no idea what I had missed all those years ago in elementary school!
Since I finally settled on the idea of creating placemats for our Gathering (our morning time) a few months ago, we have enjoyed them as a family immensely! I toil on them as often as possible in an attempt to get all of this coming school year’s placemats created and ready to go…before the first day of school.
We are a modified year-round schooling family, so it is busy around here even in the summer. And June was a CRAZY busy month, filled with lots of unexpected adventures. I created our June placemats knowing that most of the time we would not be at home to enjoy them.
This past year our girls learned the Preamble to the US Constitution. Well, I should say, we ALL learned it. Previously, I didn’t know it past “We the people!” This homeschooling thing is good for all of us!
Anyway, as we were working on memorizing the Preamble, I had an idea for a simple craft for the girls to do in order to help them spend some time with the words. It is a sort of puzzle to make the American flag. I spent a long time creating it and when I printed it out for G to work on, she informed me I had gotten it wrong. I guess it took me so long to do the craft, she memorized the Preamble in the interim.
In fact, the Preamble states, “We the People of the United States in order to form a…” I was leaving out “of the United States.” Nothing like having a 6 year-old correct you.
There is always a good reason to celebrate our freedoms as Americans, right? So, I thought I would share our printable puzzle activity with you. Continue Reading
But one day, we just began. We jumped into the homeschool thing. And we have had a BLAST!
My inadequacies with teaching are still abundantly clear, but we have discovered ways to get knowledge into our 5-year-old’s brain in vast quantities through memorization while still having lots of fun. We work our homeschool program around the Classical Conversations curriculum and it has been such a wonderful fit for her.3
One of the most interesting things CC teaches kids is memorization of basic math facts. A typical Classical Conversations year includes learning new information about history, science, English, and Latin. But every year, no matter what else is on the agenda, the math facts kids are exposed to are the same. Continue Reading