“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.
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.
This entry is part 25 of 27 in the series Homeschool
Whew. I just spent the last hour putting together our Math for this year. We have 2 students going through two of the early years Saxon – 1 and 2. This is the 4th year I will have taught Saxon Math for the early years. In previous years, I have discovered that the biggest hurdle in teaching Saxon Math is not instruction. It is preparation.
Don’t let that scare you. I have a bunch of very specific tips for making the prep and teaching of Saxon Math in the early years here for you. Get ready to teach without spending hours of prep. Are you ready?
Our kids are growing up SO FAST! As we finished up 3rd grade with my oldest this year, I reminisced about the beginning of the year. Our first day of school was filled with tears over a simple math problem. There were tears for a couple of weeks if we didn’t begin the week with Pagoo. So many tears.
I took in all the information those tears taught me, made adjustments, prayed, had delicate conversations with this 8 year old wonder before my eyes. And together, we learned so much in 3rd grade.
At the end of the year, we stacked up all the books we had read together discussing the merits of each one. We had traveled to the farthest reaches of Asia with Marco Polo, plunged to the depths of tiny tide pools tossed about with Pagoo, and suffered through Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Long Winter. I looked at my girl, sitting before me and marveled at how far she had come in one year.
I wouldn’t have the joy of witnessing this without the bonds we have forged through our homeschooling journey. The seeds sown, the struggles strained; the fruit is beginning to ripen.
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.