Each Friday for the past three weeks I have felt such joy writing this collage post.
A large part of the reason for my happiness is because I feel GOOD about the direction of our homeschool this year. Both children are happy and loving learning.
It is sobering to me to know in just 5 years we will be thinking about continuing education for Anna - whether that be college or something else. Last year I felt that WEIGHT, and prayed for guidance.
I love how God answers prayers in HIS way and HIS time. Our path to this year was long and winding, but we learned so much about each other and ourselves in the process.
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At a family dinner over the weekend we were sitting with my father-in-law and sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Anna and Grant began chatting about everything they were learning in Classical Conversations. Anna started rattling off her catechism memory work and geography terms, along with her newly aquired Latin vocabulary.
Not to be outdone, Grant proceeded to do as much as he could of the Classical Conversations timeline with hand motions.
Then, they both started talking about their friends at CC. My husband and I exchanged a happy glance. It's just good to see the kids loving homeschool this year.
Veteran CC moms have told me that the work done at Classical Conversations each week is ENOUGH. They warned me against adding too much - just review the memory work each day and then enrich as you are able. This is good advice. I have been following it, and it WORKS.
In The Core, Leigh Bortins maintains that the Classical Conversations memory work, along with a good math program is ENOUGH. She is right. If you haven't read The Core and have an interest in classical education, I would put it on your reading list.
I don't regret the past four years of homeschooling, but I do wish I would have had the wisdom and discernment to have started our journey with CC sooner. I feel so confident about the education my children are receiving.
Memory Work Extensions
If you aren't familiar with CC, the Foundations program (for children in grades K-6) consists of attending "class" one morning a week for three hours. During that time the "grammar" for the week is presented. Science, math, history, English, geography, Latin, and fine arts are the subjects covered.
After the basic memory work, the tutor leads the children in engaging activities to enhance learning.
During the week, it is my job as the parent to go over the memory work each day, provide solid math instruction, and then the rest is up to me. I like that flexibility, but I also like the framework given to me. I have chosen to seek our enrichment activities to reinforce the memory work.
My membership to CC Connected has been invaluable. I have found printables, songs, videos, and ideas galore. There are some very talented CC moms out there!
Starting at the top right, and working clockwise:
- We keep our memory work in a simple 4x6 photo album from the Dollar Store. I found these printables at And Here We Go! blog. After devotions and CNN Student News we go over the memory work - it generally takes about 15 minutes.
- Many of the chapters in Story of the World correlate with the history sentences in Cycle 2. I have the audio CDs, which makes for low stress listening (often in the car). We have always loved SOTW and have a page about our activities here on the blog.
- Grant did a fun little activitiy about the 3 types of consumers: Herbivores, Omnivores, and Carnivores. Again, this was memory work for the week and I just extended a bit. The printables are from CC Connected.
- A recommended chapter book for these first weeks of Cycle 2 is The Sword in The Tree. Grant is reading it aloud to me. It's a GREAT book - he's been buidling Weldon Castle with his LEGOS.
- Maps are a huge part of Classical Conversations. A small investment in tracing paper has more than paid off! Grant traces maps daily. This week he has been tracing the European waters. (Anna is learning the Canadian provinces and features this week in Challenge A, so at dinner dad leads us in a review of those. We are ALL learning!)
- More memory work review. On Monday evening (the night before CC), Anna was busy putting all of her books in her crate for her full day of class. Grant wanted to "review", too - so I set him up at the kitchen table with memory work. It was very sweet.
- Finally, one of the best parts of CC - friendships! Grant already has a gaggle of buddies and he is loving life. It makes me happy to see both of the kids making new friends.
With Monday being a holiday, the week was thrown off. I don't know about you, but sometimes it seems that having a holiday is actually more DIFFICULT, because it makes the rest of the week seem longer.
There has been a lot going on in the world of Homegrown Learners and SQUILT music. SQUILT Volume 2: Classical Composers is officially finished and will be released NEXT WEEK! While I love writing these volumes, they take A LOT of work. I had to dedicate several hours to getting everything finished this week.
Anna has become more independent with her learning this year. She has risen to the challenge (of Challenge A at CC) and has grown by leaps and bounds. After a full day of Challenge A (8:30-3:30), the next morning she plans out her entire week. She is given a planning grid, and with my guidance she fills in her assignments for the rest of the week.
I love the ownership this provides, and the sense of accomplishment she is feeling.
She is particularly enjoying the science, which encompasses research (on a given topic), writing an outline, turning that into a paragraph(s), and including a sketch. This is presented to the class each week, and the tutor reminds them of valuable presentation skills.
Last week was fungi and this week is wildflowers. Our Handbook of Nature Study has come in quite handy as a research tool! (Do you own this book? It's an invaluble science tool in our home.)
I was wondering how Anna's piano would fit in - since her school load is quite heavy. To my delight, she chooses to practice first thing each morning, and then at various other times during the day. She is participating in a Sonatina Festival in November and is working towards the goal of completing a Clementi Sonatina.
Finally, I snapped this picture of the Garden Spider last week. Sometimes I see things and just have to think to myself, "Isn't God AMAZING?"
Speaking of amazing (and back to answered prayers that I started off this post with), I've asked some of you to pray for our friend, Greg, who is battling Stage 4 Melanoma. After four rounds of biochemo, A LOT of prayer, and so much faithfulness, Greg received a "spectacular" report from the doctors. It's nothing short of a miracle. You can read his wife, Sandra's, blog if you care to hear more about it. (It will probably make your day!)
A special thanks to current sponsors of the blog.
Maestro Classics - providing beautiful recordings of stories in music
Great Homeschool Conventions - 3 convention locations this year to educate and equip you to teach your children at home
Art History Mom - providing lessons and ideas to teach your children about great works of art.
I love this community of Collage Friday readers and bloggers. I see you all commenting on each other's blogs, encouraging each other, gaining ideas from each other, and using those hashtags (#collagefriday).
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