“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.
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
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.
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.