Classical Education

Summer Series At So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler
WELCOME to my summer blog series:
Homeschool Methods & Approaches
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the months of June and July, you will hear from several different homeschool bloggers about the methods and approaches they use to teach their child(ren). It is my hope that you gain insight, encouragement, and confidence by reading what these tremendously faithful women have to share.
 

I am honored and excited to introduce to you:

Yvana, a homeschooling mother of three and a professor at a Christian College. You can find her blogging about her faith, family, and homeschooling over at Grant Us Wisdom.

 

“Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves. This classical pattern is called the trivium.”
Susan Wise Bauer

When I first started homeschooling Little Knight I was a bit overwhelmed with all the possible methods we could use so our first year we didn’t really use a method, we were just practicing and getting a feel for homeschooling. At that time he was only four years old so we were just “playing school.” As he started his Kindergarten year and we knew we would really be homeschooling I decided that I better read up on a method and figure out what way we were headed. So I read several methods and decided on Classical Education as the main method we would use.  The reason that I thought this was a good method was that I figured out early on that God has given my Little Knight (7 years old) a wonderful memory. He basically memorizes everything and anything he puts his mind too. The idea of memorizing all sorts of facts intrigued me and him. Very soon after deciding on Classical Education as a method we joined a Classical Conversations Community. If you are not familiar with Classical Conversations you should take a look at their website.  We have been with our group two years and absolutely love it. CC is a very big part of our curriculum. We learn math, science, latin, history, geography, English grammar, and fine arts.

So You Call  Yourself A Homeschooler
Little Knight and Little Princess arriving to our CC co-op

Aside from CC we also enjoy read alouds, followed by narration and/or copywork. We have read Black Beauty, Charlotte’s Web, some of the Laura Ingall’s Wilder books, and we are currently reading Beatrix Potter books. This part of Classical Education is really enjoyed by my Little Princess (5 years old) as well as her brother. She can sit and listen to me read to her for hours, and then truly enjoys retelling me the story with all the details she can remember.

Some our other curriculum includes, Singapore MathWriting with Ease,
and First Language Lessons. I have previously used The Story of the World
which I may use again although I am currently attempting to put together my own History/Geography curriculum to go along with our Classical Conversations Cycle 1. I will let you know if I finish it as this is one of my goals for July. In case you are wondering how we make it all work together here is what we do on any typical homeschooling day: Bible memory verse (during the year this is covered by our participation in AWANA)CC Memory work – we review the memory work for the week or listen to our audio cd with the work on it. Most of the memory work has a catchy tune to go along with it.Math- We work on our math and usually this requires some one on one time with each of my little students.Phonics – for little princess is next. She really likes using the Explode the Code  workbooks.

Narration/Copywork – based on real alouds.

We don’t do extra history, science or art everyday but we try to alternate these subjects throughout the week.

The children also take Piano Class once a week for an hour so they have time to practice their music too.

I am not very good at keeping a set schedule with times, however, I may do that this next year. I also am trying to be a lot more creative when it comes to history and geography and I plan on having some projects to work on this coming year.

I cannot say that we are a strict Classical Education family but for the most part it works for us. Sometimes I add something to our curriculum simply because it works for  us and not because it adheres to any homeschooling method and this is one of the things I love about homeschooling. One of those additions has been Nancy Larson Science, a science curriculum that I have been reviewing and one that kids have truly enjoyed. Although the the science is a bit different than what we learn in CC I feel it compliments our curriculum quite well.

If you would like to learn more about Classical Education, here are several resources that have helped me:

Books

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition)

Websites

Classical Conversations

The Well Trained Mind

Heritage History

Yvana is a Christian homeschooling mom of three and a professor at a Christian University. She and her husband decided to homeschool their children and their desire is that God grants them the wisdom to do it well. Through her blog she shares about homeschooling, as well as gives you glimpses of their often busy life. Visit her at her blog or on Facebook.

 

Dear Friends,

If you enjoy reading my blog, would you please take 30 seconds of your time to vote for me? I’ve been nominated for the Top 25 Homeschooling Blogs on Circle of Moms. Click the icon below and it will take you to the voting page and just click “vote”! You can do this once every 24 hours thru June 27. Thank you for all your support. I truly am blessed by each and every one of you!