“I am I doing too much?” “Is this enough?” “How long should this take?” “I feel like this is taking all day!”
I have heard these questions asked on social media, in community, in my own head, sometimes. And I have never really had an answer.
There seems to be a veil between the Essentials and Foundations years of Classical Conversations which obfuscates any attempts to prepare. We are often admonished, “trust the process…it will all come together someday.” For those of us who are standing on the other side of the veil, craning our necks to see the mysterious Essentials years, it is small comfort. So, we push on with memory work that makes some connections, while longing to see the bigger picture.
This entry is part 27 of 27 in the series Homeschool
Saxon K is a program for early years math education. It is gentle in the extreme. There are 12 lessons per month, giving much flexibility in how much time is spent “learning” math and how quickly it is completed. Math K can be a quick jaunt through math concepts to ensure a child is ready for Kindergarten or a slow stroll through a largely play-based introduction.
Having never taught K before, but working through it to prepare a Teacher’s Companion for it, I have some observations about the process. Some of these observations are specific to the Teacher’s Companion. So, this is a bit like a companion to the companion.
Ah, Latin! The most intimidating aspect of a Classical education. Right? Most of us parents feel inadequate to teach Latin because most of us ever took an actual Latin course.
Interestingly enough, I had a class in 7th grade which was an exposure to various languages. It started with Latin. We moved 3 times that year, so I only got the first part of the Latin unit. I am proud to say I can perfectly remember one Latin phrase: “Quid agis?” “How are you?”
Somehow I don’t feel this is adequate preparation to teach Latin. But here we are.
We are embarking on our first tour of Essentials through Classical Conversations. And I have been spending much of the summer thinking about and creating resources to help my first time student with the work. I try to create everything beforehand and get everything lined up, so we can have breathing room during the year.
One of the things I came across when perusing the massive Essentials of the English Language guide, tucked in the very back, were spelling lists for each week, divided by tour. At first glance I didn’t think I would utilize these spelling lists. They seemed too easy for my first tour Essentials student.
Kicking off the new school year? We started last week, doing just a couple of subjects to start: math and language. We had a few little one-room-schoolhouse things we needed to get done, too. Of course, we also did our Gathering in the mornings. It is such an integral part of our day.
The September 2020 Gathering is going to be SO good! As I look back over the beauty of these simple placemats, I get so excited to share them with my kids. One of the best parts of creating the entire year’s Gathering placemats in the summer is the breathing room provided. I get them all ready, edited, printed, laminated, and then I put them aside until the first day of the new month.
When I get them out again, I glory in the way God has directed the placement of each of these little boxes, placing them just at the right time in our walk with Him, our journey through homeschool, to reach us. I take no credit for the goodness, truth, and beauty they contain. I simply curated and edited them.
A few years ago, somewhere in the early fog of my homeschooling journey, I heard about morning time. The ideas one could incorporate into a morning routine intrigued me. Showing my kids art, sharing Bible stories and hymns with them, snuggling together to read a treasured book. The vision of a peaceful start to our homeschool day sounded perfect! It all sounded so wonderful!
Bringing my visions to reality proved much harder than I had imagined. We could consistently get to Bible stories, and maybe some songs. But then I lost them to the wiggles, the “I’m still hungry!” mantras, and sometimes tears. Oh, and it took forever to get through the little we had done!! After months and months of trying (and failing) to figure out the how-to; I was desperate to figure out how to make this thing work.