Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Homeschool Diaries: Classical Conversations

What Kate is busy doing at Classical Conversations

 They do an art lesson each week...

They also do a science experiment each week

Today marked the beginning of week three for Classical Conversations.

We are officially homeschooling.

Each Tuesday, the three kids and I drive thirty minutes to meet in a classroom setting where we are modeled by the tutor, Mrs. Laura Beth, how to implement the new week's memory work as well as review the previous weeks' work. 

I'll be honest, the first week proved a bit chaotic and a little stressful. 5 kids (all new to a structured setting that spaned a 3 hour time slot), a small classroom, siblings and parents watching, no snack and my screaming 10 month old, who, an hour and a half in, just wanted a nap...proved to be a challenging combination.  

But, 2 classroom sessions later...I think we're all getting the hang of it. Today, Kate didn't scream once. The kids, becoming more aware of the routine, managed to stay on task much better, and Laura Beth did an excellent job catering to their wiggly bodies.

One thing I am growing more and more confident in is the classical model. As I read more about it, I understand more and more the why's behind it. Rote memory doesn't go over too well in most educational settings but as I read about and talk to other mothers who have benefited from this model in the early learning years I am more and more encouraged to continue on this path. Most encouraging, is the Biblical background it stems from and the program's view of education's purpose: "to know God and to make Him known."

Our days at home are gaining more structure, a huge praise. M,W,F we spend roughly an hour and a half busy at work. Hannah is growing in her confidence to read, my favorite part of homeschooling thus far. Grant, himself, has learned several sight words. We also spend time in math and writing as well as reviewing the "grammar" or the foundational basics in the subjects of math, latin, history, english, science, and geogprahy. This is where their memory work from Classical Conversations (CC) comes in. They also are memorizing John 1:1-7.

I'll be honest, I don't get to all the memory work and Hannah and Grant don't know it all (thus the reason we are to review old weeks' work also during the present week) but we'll get there.

I keep remembering what the veteran homeschool moms said at a meeting a couple of months ago, "trust the system." So I am. And I believe I have reason to based on others who have walked this road before me.

All in all, homeschooling is going well and I am finding it a privledge to invest in my children in this way. However, my selfish side is realizing just how much time, thought, and energy goes into homeschooling, just another opportunity to die to myself I guess. My hat goes off to those moms who have homeschooled their children for years. I never realized just quite what I was getting into as far as giving up a lot of personal time. May the Lord give me patience, strength, wisdom, and grace as I start this journey because without Him, I will clearly fail.


LB said...

hey, all of this was helpful for me to read. I like your system of MWF, and I think I will go with that. And I like that you say, "trust the system." I find myself overwhelmed and in over my head, and that helps me to remember that I really, really believe in classical education--so much so that it would be very hard for me to do anything else at this point, so I need to "press on." I am so thankful that I am not in this alone!!!

Mary said...

You guys are both doing a great job, I know it is hard but try not to worry. Yes, it is a huge responsibility, but God will equip you for that which He has called you to! And they WILL get it...even if you have bad weeks (or months), the sheer amount of time and love put in will reap rewards. I don't always see that, but that is the big picture I still believe in!