3 A.M. I woke up almost mid-thought. I had apparently been thinking in my sleep again. The night before I had read a small portion of our homeschool manual for grammar before going to bed. Verbs was the topic. At the end there was a passing reference to the Latin word for “Word” (the same “Word” referenced in John 1). I made a small observation regarding the action of God and called it a night.
At the above referenced time the next morning, I awoke with a rush of thoughts which could not be put back to bed. I got up and started searching the Scriptures to see if this was so. It was all too…BEAUTIFUL!
And it is so good, I just have to share with the class!
This entry is part 26 of 27 in the series Homeschool
Latin in 4th grade. Part of me simply wonders, “Why?” That part of me, the mama part of me, still sees my oldest girl as young – too young for such big things. And part of me, the homeschool teacher part, sees her enthusiasm for learning and knows she can do it.
The teacher part of me is winning on this one.
We have had very little previous exposure to Latin. Since participating in Classical Conversations, we have familiarity with the Latin memory work for each cycle. As a family, we have also watched the first level of Song School Latin and have sung some of the songs. We know some very basic conversational Latin and some very basic conjugations. But, I do not believe my students would be able to tell you what a conjugation is, nor how to do one.
I have one student who is READY for more Latin. She has expressed a desire to learn Spanish, coming to me with new words and identifing Latin derivatives on her own. And I have another student who is, let’s see – less inclined toward diligent Latin studies. Oh, and we have a first year student and a toddler running around shouting out “Vale!” when someone leaves our home.
In general, we do a one-room schoolhouse thing around here. So I have these younger students in the room for almost all instruction. I wanted to reach them, too, where they are at. Plus, I wanted to create something that would be a cultural touchstone in our home. So, I came up with a combination of our Gathering and our Inductive Bible Study for Kids. I am calling it: Conlatio
Over the past four years of homeschooling my kids, I have grown to understand just how difficult the job of those one-room schoolhouse teachers was. Though we have settled into our homeschool routines, there are many interruptions, many adjustments, many opportunities for growth. There are days when I choose to take the long view of our children’s education, rather than checking all the boxes.
I take a deep breath (or a fresh cup of coffee) and remind myself we have a LOT of days in which to educate and train our little ones. I also remind myself that the older two, for better or worse, are test cases. Hopefully, I have much more figured out once the younger two are walking through the stages we are going through today with the older. I think: “We can make mistakes. We can take breaks. We will have another chance to do these things.”
The concept of the one-room schoolhouse must, as a necessity, be a reality in our home. This year we are homeschooling a 4th grader and a 2nd/3rd-grader, introducing a pre-K/K mash-up student. while trying to keep a busy and quick learning 3-year-old occupied. It’s a lot. The idea of separating these kids and their learning into completely different boxes is just not feasible.
This entry is part 24 of 27 in the series Homeschool
I was talking with some homeschool mama friends the other day about starting homeschool. This year is the year of “considering homeschool” it seems. I mentioned the difficulty with forming a homeschool routine – with finding the routine that works for us.
For us, it took TWO and a HALF years to find our “Homeschool Normal.” I always considered this was too much. I discouraged myself by thinking I must have over-complicated it. And I assuaged myself with the remembrance that we had tiny people to look after when we started…and I got pregnant in the middle of our first year.
It turns out: almost all the moms said it took them at least a couple of years to settle into their homeschools – to figure out routines and feel comfortable.
I say that to say this: if this is your first year homeschooling and you are floundering, if the dishes in the sink from three days ago are almost as stinky as your 2nd grader’s attitude, if you “forgot” to do math last month, if you looked on your favorite homeschool blog’s Instagram and discovered you aren’t measuring up, you are NOT ALONE!
We are all in some state of frustration, floundering around in the vast homeschool ocean, searching for some sort of anchor, or boat, or life raft…something!
Since we got through the foundation of chapter one, we have truly picked up the pace! I can’t believe we were able to get through all of chapter 2 so quickly! The storytelling nature of the Gospel of John helps to simplify the story of Jesus. It is not a theological treatise. Rather it is a persuasive argument utilizing the various signs and miracles Jesus performed to compel the reader to believe on the Lord Jesus.
Can I just pause here for a moment to tell you how rewarding and fulfilling it is to teach my kids the Word of God? Because it is! The time we have spent diligently learning together has been the most valuable thing we have done in our home. And to see my children learning about Jesus? There is nothing better. I find it fitting that John, the author of this gospel, later wrote these words in 3 John 4:
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
The encouragement I get from seeing my kids learn and know the life of Christ is ineffable. And that I have the privilege of being the one to shepherd them through the word? Beyond words.
Having said that. I wanted to note something really quick regarding this series. I write this for other parents to have tools they can utilize in their family Bible time. I write this as a record of the Holy Spirit’s faithfulness to teach His word through an imperfect leader like me. And I humbly hope it blesses one person. I am not an authority on anything, but I hope to be a blessing, nonetheless.
As a family, we have been working through A Catechism for Boys and Girls during our morning time – I call it Gathering. We started when our girls were very little, so the songs we have learned together have become part of our family culture. I will break out in Catechism songs during mundane moments of our days, even diaper changes. The kids follow right along and know the call and response nature of the catechism very well now.
I wanted my kids to know simple truths from Scriptures and I believe the catechism, done simply and beautifully (with music) is a wonderful way to accomplish this. As I said we have been working on the catechism for years now. And yet, we are not very far along. I prefer to think of our slowness as savoring the truths therein.