On Classical Homeschool I

It seems that many Christian homeschool curricula have moved toward the classical method and I think that is good. We are so fortunate to have Dr. George Grant as our pastor and he has been instrumental in establishing a Christian Classical school in Franklin, TN  as well as New College Franklin, a classical college. I just have to share this quote from him that I came across in a book recently.  He explains that classical education:

“…equipped generations of students with the tools for a lifetime of learning:a working knowledge of the timetables of history, a background understanding of the great literary classics, a structural competency in Greek and Latin-based grammars, a familiarity with the sweep of art, music, and ideas, a grasp of research and writing skills, a worldview comprehension for math and science basics, a principle approach to current events, and an emphasis on a Christian life paradigm.
..very simply, it is a conscious return to those academic disciplines and methodologies–the very notions that helped to spark the great cultural flowering of Western Christendom over the past thousand years–emphasized the basic thinking and character skills necessary to launch young men and women on a lifetime journey of growth and learning. It is an approach that involves a good deal of hard work–as does anything worthwhile–but it is not a system of education for the intellectuals only. Rather classical education is a simple affirmation that all of us need to be grounded in the good things, the great things, the true things.”

 

Educators are returning to classical education as modern educational methods continue to produce high school graduates who are not only functionally illiterate and lacking in critical thinking skills, but morally bankrupt as well.

For further reading on classical education, visit our page on classical homeschooling.

Charlotte Mason on Discipline

Charlotte Mason was a Victorian educator who was raised and taught at home by her parents. As she grew older, she developed ideas about how children should be educated by their parents, writing articles, essays, and books full of advice. The following is with regards to what she has to say about discipline:

Children’s Faults are Serious.––One of many ways in which parents are apt to have too low an opinion of their children is in the matter of their faults. A little child shows some ugly trait––he is greedy, and gobbles up his sister’s share of the goodies as well as his own; he is vindictive, ready to bite or fight the hand that offends him; he tells a lie;––no, he did not touch the sugar-bowl or the jam-pot. The mother puts off the evil day: she knows she must sometime reckon with the child for those offences, but in the meantime she says, “Oh, it does not matter this time; he is very little, and will know better by-and-by.”

To put the thing on no higher grounds, what happy days for herself and her children would the mother secure if she would keep watch at the place of the letting out of waters! If the mother settle it in her own mind that the child never does wrong without being aware of his wrong-doing, she will see that is not too young to have his fault corrected or prevented. Deal with a child on his first offence, and a grieved look is enough to convict the little transgressor; but let him go on until a habit of wrong-doing is formed, and the cure is a slow one; then the mother has no chance until she has formed in him a contrary habit of well-doing. To laugh at ugly tempers and let them pass because the child is small is to sow the wind.

For more on teaching young children naturally, visit our homeschool kindergarten curriculum page.

Does your homeschool group need better communication?

Homeschool groups of various kinds can be a source of encouragement for parents, and a ready opportunity for healthy socialization for homeschooled children.  We found that the bigger our homeschool group grew, the more we needed an easy way to communicate with everybody.

Email is certainly helpful, but it can be time consuming and leaves much to be desired. Once we started using an online group management system, it was much easier and enabled anyone to send out or share  information with the others.

With a little bit of time to set up a yahoo group, you can have a communication system for your homeschool group at your fingertips. This helpful video with carry you step-by-step through the set-up process that will make your group’s communication become quick and easy.

 

 
Local support homeschool groups and intimate homeschool co-ops can benefit from an online communication system like yahoo groups. Not only can you easily make contact concerning plans and events, but you can make use of a database of information, allow for pictures to be uploaded, allow for links to be shared, and even more helps like these that give us a chance to share helpful ideas with other homeschooling families.

All this can be done with an online group that has a membership that can be  controlled by the administrator.

An online group like this lends itself to  planning park days for younger children, field trips for all ages, co-op meetings for families learning together, event notification like homeschool used curriculum sales.

There is no sense in “reinventing the wheel”. Homeschooling is no longer new. It has been around long enough that there is a load of information available for anybody who needs help and advice. Just do a homeschool topic search on Google and see what turns up. You can find many homeschool co-op tips from experienced home education co-op leaders that share what works for them with those new to  homeschool co-oping.

Thanks to joyfuljourneycoachin  for sharing this youtube tutorial with us. : )

Classical Homeschooling

A book that has helped many homeschooling families learn how they can actually give their children a classical education at home is a book that I have read: The Well Trained Mind by Susan Bauer.  Even if you don’t feel that you can go all the way with classical education, this book will show you good methods that will benefit your children’s learning that you can implement into whatever curriculum you have chosen.

Homeschool Classical Education

The Well-Trained Mind is a tremendous help to those just starting out with homeschooling, or those with some experience, or those who have been home educating for many years but would like to learn what is recommended for excellent high school home-school. With these classical methods, you will be able to teach your children in the many levels of reading, writing, history, geography, mathematics, science, foreign languages as well as some often overlooked subjects- rhetoric, logic, art, and music. You will receive valuable, experienced advice and help even if you do not have the aptitude to teach these subjects, you will learn of excellent resources that will equip you to succeed in giving your children a classical education.

When I started learning about classical christian education, my older children were past the age of starting Latin. They were almost finished with high school and I didn’t want to shift gears again in their schooling plans and goals.  I was able to work in a light logic course – we used Canon Press logic. My daughter was able to get some basic Latin from a co-op class.  Later my youngest son was able to take a homeschool tutorial that included Humanities (The Age of Christendom), Literature that correlated with the period of History, and Latin 1 starting his Junior year of high school. He continued his Senior year with a second year of Humanities (Age of Explorers until onset of Modernity including US History), Literature that correlated with the history studied, and Latin 2.

 

Great Books Reading Program for home education

 

There Are Three Stages of a Classical Education:

The Grammar Stage: Grades 1-6
The Dialectic Stage: Grades 7-9
The Rhetoric Stage: Grades 10-12

Kindergarten:Sonlight & Singapore

A video like this one is so helpful for someone that is just beginning homeschool. There is a part two to this video which will be posted here soon.

Through this video, you can learn about Sonlight Reading, Copywork, Phonics sheets, Sonlight Language Arts schedule sheets, and Singapore math, all from a family that is using the curriculum right now!

Singapore Math
If you want to learn more about the kindergarten Singapore math curriculum, basically, this video provides a homeschool mom’s review of it while she shows you the specific pages on the video. She explains that they do math four days per week, but they do reading 5 days per week.

The Sonlight Reading
Very simple books based on the phonics that the child is being taught in the reading lesson. The simple stories may have a little conflict that is resolved at the end. These help a beginner reader gain confidence. It was so neat to see and hear Alex read one of the books, sounding out the words as he went along. You can see the inside pages of these phonics books in the video, too.

Handwriting

Alex does two copy works a week. With this work, the phonics lessons are reinforced with the writing and with exercises like choosing rhyming words. Other skills such as capitalizing the first word in a sentence, are practiced. She gives many other examples of exercises that are done in connection with the copy work.

Phonics Sheets

We also get to see the phonics sheets. These involve circling pictures that match the letter sounds. This is another great reinforcement for learning the letter sounds.

Scheduling Kindergarten
She uses the Language Arts schedule in Sonlight which makes it easy to keep up with what needs to be done and what is being accomplished.

It is so nice when you can get a close up view of a particular curriculum for homeschool kindergarten.