Last month I shared a bit about where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing this past year in our home academy. In essence, it’s been a year of rest for us all.
In the past few months I’ve been contemplating the idea of Christian classical education as I’ve read Awakening Wonder and The Liberal Arts Tradition and reviewed Beauty for Truth’s Sake and Beauty in the Word. As I move forward with our upcoming plans, I will be considering a more holistic and robust approach to classical education and integrating the ideas of piety (“properly ordering one’s loves”), gymnastics (physical training, coordination, and fine and gross motor skills), and musical or poetic education (music, singing, poetry, acting/imitating, drawing, fine art, and stories—fiction and non-fiction) with the arts of the quadrivium (arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy) in addition to the arts of the trivium (grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric). I’ll share about this in upcoming in-depth posts.
For now, this post will serve as a quick overview of our upcoming studies.
As long as I’m being completely honest, I’ll just say it: I’m terrified of our next school year. [wry grin]
I will have four distractible children with completely different needs and studies—who need me at all times. I’m trying to sort out the logistics of it all. Where will they each work so that they have enough space, without the distraction of siblings, with their mother on hand to help with questions and discussion? How can I clone myself to be in 4 places at once? I’m still not exactly sure how this is going to work. Even if I think I get it figured out, we’ll probably still have to adjust several times throughout the year (or maybe the first month or two).
Lola [5/6 Years Old—Kindergarten]
Lola will be in Classical Conversations Foundations. This will be her second year (and our family’s 7th!). She will attend play camp and music class/choir during the afternoon on our CC day. She will continue learning to read (All About Reading), write (Handwriting Without Tears), and count (math picture books and games). She’ll continue to focus on memorizing poetry (Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization) and Bible verses (Sing the Word), and she’ll listen to more audio CDs during independent play time. We’ll also be reading many wonderful books together. [I have long lists of music and story CDs and favorite books coming up here on the blog.] We’ll be working together on physical coordination and games, particularly biking and swimming over the summer.
In the best possible world, Lola would spend about an hour a day (in small chunks of time) on formal lessons (that are rarely formal—more of a snuggle-on-the-couch and learn together sort of thing). I want her to spend most of her time in play. Ideally. The problem here is that Lola does. not. play. independently. She is either messing with her brothers and distracting them, doing one-on-one work with me, or sneaking screen time. It does not matter what fun little activity she is given (bubbles, play dough, rice or beans in bins, coloring, whatever)—it is 5 minutes of play time for her, 45 minutes of distraction for her brothers, and an hour of clean-up for me. The only other option is heavily enforced isolated play time. So I’m trying to do some figuring in this department. She really needs a twin sister to play with. Ha!!
At a glance:
- Classical Conversations Foundations [One morning a week for 24 weeks: fine arts, science projects, public speaking, geography drawing, and memory work in history (+timeline), science, Latin, geography, English grammar, and math.]
- Choir/Music Class
- All About Reading
- Handwriting Without Tears
- DK My First Number Book and other living math picture books and games and manipulatives
- Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization (and other poetry)
- Sing the Word
- Music and story CDs [lists in upcoming posts]
- Many wonderful picture and chapter books—fiction and non-fiction [lists in upcoming posts]
- Bike riding, swimming, hiking, cordination exercises and physical games
Leif [10 Years old—5th Grade]
Leif will be in Classical Conversations Foundations and Essentials. This will be his 7th year in Foundations and 2nd in Essentials (and I am tutoring his Essentials class). I am considering choir for him, and he will be starting piano lessons in the fall. During the week he will work on CC memory work, math (Khan Academy), Latin (Song School Latin 2), spelling (All About Spelling), CC Essentials grammar and writing (IEW Medieval History-Themed Writing), geography drawing, and independing reading in all subjects plus literature. He will also continue swim team practice four days a week.
At a glance:
- Classical Conversations Foundations and Essentials [One day a week for 24 weeks. Fine arts, science projects, public speaking, geography drawing, and memory work in history (+timeline), science, Latin, geography, English grammar, and math plus grammar, writing, and math games in the afternoon.]
- Piano lessons
- Khan Academy Math [5th-6th grade]
- Song School Latin 2
- All About Spelling
- IEW Medieval-Themed History Writing
- Story of the World, Volume 2 (and Medieval-themed fiction and non-fiction)
- Astronomy and Physics
- Map drawing and online geography games
- Swim team
Luke [12 Years Old—7th Grade]
Luke will be in Classical Conversations Challenge A. This will be his first year in the Challenge program (with one of my favorite people, Heather Timmons, as his tutor). The Challenge program will dictate the bulk of his studies during the week, but he will also begin piano lessons in September and continue swimming on the swim team four days a week.
At a glance:
- Classical Conversations Challenge A (One day a week in class for discussion and presentation.)
- Piano lessons
- Latin Alive! [We are subsituting this program for the CC recommendation of Henle.]
- Khan Academy Math [Pre-algebra. We are substituting this program for the CC recommendation of Saxon.]
- Science research and drawing body systems
- Literature (10 book selections) and The Lost Tools of Writing
- Drawing the whole world (including capitals and land forms, all by memory)
- The Fallacy Detective and It Couldn’t Just Happen (science catechism questions, note taking, class discussion, and apologetics paper)
- Swim team
Levi [14/15 Years Old—9th Grade]
Levi will be in Classical Conversations Challenge I. This is a first for us (the oldest is always the guinea pig), and the first year I’ve had a high schooler in the house! His tutor is another one of my favorite people, Cheryl Halsey. He will again be in class with my best friend’s son, McKinnon, and they will probably continue to do some work together during the week. The Challenge program will dictate the bulk of his studies during the week and he will continue swimming on the swim team daily.
At a glance:
- Classical Conversations Challenge I (One day a week in class for discussion and presentation.)
- Henle Latin [He’ll take the National Latin Exam in the spring.]
- Khan Academy Math [Algebra. We are substituting this program for the CC recommendation of Saxon.]
- Exploring Creation with Physical Science
- American Literature (20 novels!) and The Lost Tools of Writing
- American Documents
- Policy Debate
- Shakespeare (The Taming of the Shrew, individual Shakespeare projects)
- Music Theory
- Swim team
I think that about covers the basics.
I’ll be sharing more details in up-coming posts. Do you have any questions you would like me to attempt to answer?