We’ve finished two weeks of school now. Verdict on the new curriculum?
It’s exactly what I was looking for. I feel like we’re finally classical in methodology. I always said we were classical, but looking back I think I just used a classical book (The Well-Trained Mind) to help me choose resources. We memorized before, but I had to choose it all myself and I often felt unsure about what and how much I chose. Now our memory work is across the subjects, and the kids recite to me every day. The Latin is so logical and makes so much more sense than it did in the other curriculum. (To be fair, I have been more involved with this one. I kind of left Abby to fend for herself before.) The work is interesting and the lesson plans are immensely helpful and the load, so far, has been just right for us.
Love it. So thankful.
I had an ill-timed summer cold (not that there’s ever a really a good time for one) during the first week of school. With a horrible sore throat, I hit on the bright idea of using audio books to help with the read-alouds. That turned out to be for the best. Even before the cold, I was trying to figure out how I was going to do all the reading. Each of the girls has a book to read for literature, which we study in-depth, but we also have a list of read-alouds for each grade. (The lists, by the way, are fabulous. Ben and I have read through nearly half the books on the kindergarten list – we started in the summer – and we’ve really enjoyed them all.) Emma’s grade started with Winnie the Pooh. She thought that was hilarious – so babyish – until we actually started listening to it. It’s delightful. I happened to download a wonderful version that we’ve both thoroughly enjoyed (last chapter tonight!). Abby’s grade level just gives a list for read-alouds (no schedule); she chose Alice in Wonderland first. To ease my read-aloud load, I decided that she could read it to herself, but I read it every day as well, so we’re sort of reading it together. Close enough.
Ben and I have done all his work every day, as well. Last year it kept getting cut; I just couldn’t seem to be consistent with a third child! After “morning time” (morning prayers, Shakespeare, and recitations), the girls go off to work independently and Ben and I sit down to work together. He does handwriting (just a few minutes, he gets frustrated quickly), reading (phonics lesson, Bob books and those wonderful books on the Memoria Press list), and math. Most math lessons have two worksheets, so we do one then and save the other for after lunch. I couldn’t decide what to call this year for him. I called last year kindergarten. But then we didn’t do enough to really qualify, and I know he’s not ready for first grade work. With a September birthday, he wasn’t old enough for kindergarten in a “regular” school last year anyway. When I was honest with myself, I had to admit that I just didn’t want to say I was wrong to call last year kindergarten. But I was. So – Ben’s in kindergarten this year. For reals.
I am so very, very thankful to be able to educate my children at home. I can’t imagine sending them away all day. Teaching them at home is exhausting, but in the best, most satisfying way possible. I love how our days are going, I love seeing them learn, I love learning alongside them. Just think how smart I’ll be in 13 years! 🙂