I have spent the past couple of years feeling guilty about leaving our interest led, whimsical schooling behind us. The deeply creative part of me has been mourning the learning "tangents" that so often captured our focus.
This year, however, - even though we are only three weeks into the school year - those feelings of guilt and mourning are beginning to fade. I am seeing so clearly what a beautiful, solid Classical education my children are receiving, and it brings me great joy and PEACE.
As I watch my ninth grader so competently schedule and complete her own work, it shows me the disciplined approach of our schooling in the past two years is WORTH IT.
When I see my fifth grader flourish with large amounts of memory work, and thirst for yet ANOTHER book, it affirms my choice to educate him in this way.
In short, we now have a DILIGENT homeschool, and I am taking great joy and rest in that fact.
In Teaching From Rest (my new favorite book!), Sarah Mackenzie tells us,
Friends, these words hit me - HARD.
Hopefully this year I will continue to up my teaching game and offer my children a rigorous education that creates diligence and a love of God's people and His Word.
Increasing Independence in Challenge I
Anna's week now requires consultation from me - along with suggestions here and there about scheduling, editing papers, and general encouragement.
Each week she schedules all of her assignments and is very diligent about completing them. (That's not to say we don't have some bumps in the road, but for the most part I have been so pleased.)
I remember being in high school - we simply followed a schedule and did what the teachers told us. There was little room for true OWNERSHIP and DECISION MAKING.
A typical week in Challenge I...
Anna does much of her work on her Google Chromebook (I need to write a post about what a great machine this is for a high schooler). She has a dedicated work area in her bedroom and it's quite pleasant. Many times during the day I will pop in, sit on her bed, and just get a status update.
She had her Henle I Latin Open House - through Memoria Press - and will begin that class after Labor Day. The teacher has lived in several countries and is a Latin scholar - just listening to her chat with the students today was quite exciting.
American Government is a lot of work right now - the students annotate original American documents and share with the class.
She has completed the first chapter in her physical science text and has taken the first test.
In Challenge I, the workload is intense, but these young people are so CAPABLE and are meeting the challenge!
It's not all academics, though -- we are still taking music lessons, playing tennis, and doing other things she enjoys.
She made a Ham, Broccoli, Cheese Quiche for us this week.. so yummy!
I love that school and home blend together. We can talk about the novel she is reading while cooking - I can watch her online class while I'm folding laundry. We can share a read aloud together at lunchtime.
My husband works from home, and I love the atmosphere in our house: we are ALL working hard during the day. Each person has their own "job" to do, but we are all interested in each other and support each other's work. I love that we aren't separated all day into separate classrooms and workplaces.
I think back on the days when everyone scattered at 7:30 a.m. to different schools and workplaces and don't miss it one bit!
Myths, Maps, Memory Work (& More!)
My fifth grader was a hard worker this week, too. It was our first official Classical Conversations community day, and he was so excited to see friends, learn new memory work, and even review the sentence patterns in Essentials!
A few things pictured above:
- Copying Essentials grammar charts is done daily. I would have thought this would be boring, but I never hear a complaint - in fact I think he LIKES it.
- Map Tracing (of course!) - this week it was the Fertile Crescent - which led to some scientific discoveries about the Mediterranean Sea - FUN!
- Writing a rough draft and then typing his IEW paragraph - I am a firm believer in teaching kids to type!
- D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths has completely captured his attention. Add this to his ongoing obsession with the Percy Jackson series (he started The Mark of Athena this week), and he's learning so much about mythology.
Grant also started fall baseball this week and is THRILLED about that!
Community Day - Classical Conversations
It was back to Classical Conversations this week... my two students are both looking so grown up, don't you agree?
Grant's Foundations class is ALL BOYS. His tutor is wonderful and she had the boys out on the field doing memory work DRILLS, complete with a bullhorn and pushups! It was GREAT!
Our Essentials tutor is also a man, so it's nice to have that influence this year... another guy who thinks grammar is cool? Awesome!
Grant's favorite part of Essentials is the math game that is played at the end. This week it was Board Slam. I just sit back and watch him come up with the math problems, because he's faster than I am!
Oh, and I had to sneak in a picture of my SunButter. We have a nut-free community, so I decided to try SunButter in lieu of Peanut Butter. It is VERY good. In fact, today at home I made myself a SunButter and Honey Sandwich for lunch. MMMMMM......
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