When it comes to choosing curricula for our kids, I tend to find something I LOVE and want to tell every homeschool Mom about how wonderful it is. And then…I find out the choices we made are some of the more unpopular choices. Or maybe homeschool parents are just highly opinionated creatures and I just happen to run in circles with a whole bunch of people who do not agree with me.
Whatever the case, we do our own thing around here, love it, and don’t plan on changing what works for us. And when it comes to math, we are Saxon people. I cannot foresee a change in this (because ultimately Mama decides and Mama likes Saxon, too). Honestly, my children don’t know there are other options – I am fine with that, too. We started Saxon in first grade with our first student and we haven’t looked back.
Since I know Saxon is not the most popular curriculum out there, I am not going to even attempt to persuade you to buy it, use it, or otherwise think about it. You can run off on other homeschool pursuits around here. There’s plenty for you to read here.
But if you are still reading this article, I want to share with you my organizational tips for making preparing to teach Saxon math simple enough to only have to do it twice a month! Hooray for time-saving organizational tips for homeschooling parents!
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Homeschool
Our first day of school was Monday, but Monday was not a day for pictures and celebration as I had hoped it would be. It was a day filled with tears only God could could count (and screaming, and frustration).
It started almost the moment she woke up. I chalked it up to her needing food in her mouth and nourishment for her tummy to function. She and I are intensely similar. The situation improved with each moment of our Gathering.
Then we sat down for math (Saxon, grade 3). This specific morning math meeting I shall never fully understand, nor ever forget.
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.
Because we have two little ones, one officially starting preschool this fall, I have been thinking about ways to incorporate them in our homeschool day. It is a task that plagues me regularly. I can’t seem to find enough activities to fill their days. As a result, they are into everything…all the time.
Now, we have also started a practice our family calls Gathering. It is basically morning time for our whole family. It tends to be directed towards our school age kids with some things that delight all of us. My son (my current 3 year old) is obsessed with Gathering. And just this morning my youngest (N, just turned 2) started hearing the requests for Gathering her brother was making and looked at our Google Home device and said, “Google.”
One of the most curious parts of the Foundations curriculum for Classical Conversations, in my opinion, is Latin. Not because I think it is frivolous or unnecessary, but because it is the one most obscured by the bridge from Foundations and Essentials to the Challenge years. It is as though we parents of littles can see across a wide river the benefits of Latin, but we can’t see the passage across.
It is hard to see the connections between what we learn in Latin in the Foundations years and what our students will be dealing with in the Challenge years – especially cycles 1 and 2. Noun endings and verb conjugations are just so abstract at this point.
So what do we do for our students who show interest in Latin, but who are just now repeating a cycle in Foundations?
Hey, planning parents (waves)! Don’t you just love the process of planning for the next school year? The activities, the crafts, the projects, the copywork! And do you ever look back over those carefully crafted plans and think, “When are we ever going to have the time to do all this?”
Or maybe you are still in that hazy-headed place where all plans are perfect and every day of the next year will hold happiness in the palm of its hand because you did it ALL.
Well, I don’t want to burst the beautiful bubble you have fashioned for yourself and your family…
but this is real life.
And real life is a bit more complicated than any lesson plan can parse.
This is our second time through Cycle 2 for Classical Conversations. And this time, I am really…no really, planning what we are going to actually do.
And it may surprise you to know that it is super simple!