Once the husband and I decided we were going to pull the trigger and switch from public school to homeschooling, we had to pick a curriculum.
I was hoping that a magical fairy would just deliver me some books and a lesson plan.
Sadly this didn’t happen.
So I started talking to an online friend who homeschools her kids. I also went to the local Parent Teacher Aid store and talked to the staff.
I was pointed to various full curriculums for each grade, lots of different workbooks, and a book called The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide To Classical Education At Home.
Instead of shelling out a few hundred dollars for a full curriculum, I ordered The Well Trained Mind book on Amazon and started reading.
Reading led to lots of note taking and marking of pages.
The gist of classical education is that it is very language intensive and set up in a three stage process. The first is the “grammar stage” full of learning and memorization to serve as the foundation to build upon later. The second is the “logic stage” where analytical thinking comes into play. The last is the “rhetoric stage” where older children learn to use what they learned in the earlier phases to speak and write with force and originality.
Classical education also tries to link the different subjects together. History with science with literature with music with etc. There are four different parts to the timeline of knowledge that they break up into Ancients, Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, and Modern Times.
Since starting homeschooling with my oldest going into third grade we were not exactly on the same path as the book lined out. I decided to go back to first grade studies and work from there so that I could find out exactly where my daughter was in her schooling.
I bought the recommended workbooks for first grade and second grade in math, writing, grammar, and spelling. We breezed through first grade as I expected. Second grade went by almost as fast, only a few slow spots with math.
Now we are on third grade and we have added the subjects of history, Latin, art, cursive, and science.
It’s challenging at times to teach all the subjects that I want the kids to learn. Day to day life is full of errands, phone calls, and other obligations as well as making sure that the kids get enough physical activity time.
Also, I’m needed for all of the teaching for both kids who are in completely different stages of learning and sometimes I just need a break.
So, I’m doing my best as a teacher and a mother. I hope the kids are learning what they need and that I’m able to give them the building blocks for success in the future.
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