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LAmom

Question for those that like Circe, etc.

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Yeah, I'm a bit confused on this whole integration discussion that has come up.  When I said I was still figuring out Language Arts and wanting to integrate it with our literature I'm basically meant that I'd rather find a way to teach sentence structure, spelling rules, etc with the literature we are reading.  Not because I think they NEED to be integrated but I'd personally rather spend more time reading and less time doing boring grammar lessons from a book.  

 

That type of integration has nothing to do with the ultimate goal of wanting all we do to bring us closer to the truth.  So in that bigger sense everything is integrated in order to achieve our specific goals.

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I'm thinking part of the issue here is it can make one feel secure to have a laid out, tell-me-what-to-do-when kind of curriculum. And then if you follow the rules and the schedule, then you've done your part, because you did what the smart people who know better told you what to do.

But, as I'm gathering from the other, more experienced mamas here, real life with real children does not work like that. We simply must read, read, read, think, live life, adjust to the humans in front of us. No list of curriculum choices can make you feel secure and like you've done the job well. That can only happen from a dedicated effort to your own education and thoughtful choices.

I have a MA in Enlgish Lit, but I'm still just a mommy with little people, reading very confusing educational philosophy and trying to make sense of what to do. Lol. But this is fun and exciting stuff, right?!

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- Insofar as it neglects our Western heritage of languages and literatures, it's eroding our common ground with non-believers and with people from other countries.    

 

I don't understand the above point. You are saying it neglects Western languages and literature, AND that in erodes common ground with, I assume, non-Western culture? By not doing Western culture we have less in common with non-Westerners? I'm sure I am misunderstanding something.

 

Okay, let me start over. 

 

1. I didn't say anything about "non-Western culture," so I'm not sure why that's even being brought up.

 

There are many Westerners who don't have English literature as part of their national heritage, but do share our Greek and Roman roots.  Some of them are on this thread (hi, Tress :001_smile: ).  If we focus on reading lists of classics in our own language, we aren't creating or reinforcing the sense of that common background.   

 

This doesn't mean that we all need to learn Latin and Greek.  But some of our young people should, especially if they're academically inclined, ambitious, or in some other way likely candidates for leadership.   We need that group of people who have both the intellectual skills, and the shared sense of the "long view," that have traditionally been developed through classical texts and pedagogy.  (Traditionally this was maybe 5%-10%.  In modern terms, sort of an honors course.)

 

For the rest of us, it seems reasonable to study our own language and literature, develop some familiarity with major works in translation (even if only through excerpts), *and* aim for at least one modern foreign language, to the point of being able to read some grown-up literature in that language.   

 

 

2.  Yes, Andrew Kern has ideas about teaching writing.  In fact, a few years ago, he even said that rhetoric is a "verbal art" that "serves as an organizing principle for other studies," and is "the formal trunk of the curriculum." 

 

But when he talks about how & why to teach literature, I don't see the above reflected at all.  

 

I don't know if he has conflicting ideas, or if his concept of "rhetoric" has become something different from the traditional meaning.  It's one of the things that puzzles me most.  

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That type of integration has nothing to do with the ultimate goal of wanting all we do to bring us closer to the truth.  So in that bigger sense everything is integrated in order to achieve our specific goals.

 

But it does have a lot to do with the proximate goal of teaching rhetoric, through the study and imitation of classic models.  This goal is central to traditional classical education, both Christian and pagan.  And CiRCE apparently agrees with that, if the article linked in my last post is meant to be taken at face value. 

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I feel that I teach from a state of rest now. When I taught school... sometimes I was teaching from a state of "Stop the ride, I want to get off!/ Is it time for a vacation yet??" I feel more in control.

 

At school, there was an academic calendar and a daily schedule. I was to teach for every one of my forty-five allotted minutes, and not one minute over, on each designated day, except when there was an interruption that was scheduled well in advance (chapel, community service, standardized test week, DEAR), scheduled somewhat in advance (pep rally, guest speaker), or unscheduled (fire drill, security drill, tornado drill). I could not rely on a five-day week, and I would not have dared plan more than about a month in advance to a significant level of detail. Sometimes I wound up making copies of something I needed that day in the morning, minutes before my first class would start. Hated it.

At home, I schedule everything, and I leave plenty of margin. In two years, we haven't had a day when I had planned school and it didn't happen; it would take a huge event to disrupt my plans. Sometimes I have decided to skip art, or only spend five minutes on science when I knew it would be review--but it has always been a true choice. I plan like the example posted above, a year at a time, and organize materials into booklets once a month. (E.g., right now I am working in my April booklet, and the May one is ready to go. Each day's reading, math, handwriting, and geography is in there. If teaching more children, I'd have one for each.) At the same time, I request the library books I'll need. This way, I never have to scramble; it's like a boxed curriculum, but custom-made. If I do feel that something is not working, I have the leisure to tweak it, replace it, or dump it, without justifying/explaining to anyone.

 

I had some freedom to set goals--it was private school--except they had to fit between what the teacher before me had done and what the teacher after me intended to do, and I had to reach those goals with the materials I had (some years better than others). I could not easily set different goals for different children, although it was plain that some would get farther than others. I could not set any goals outside my academic purview of one subject, one year.

As parents, we can set goals for the long haul, differentiate among children with different needs and strengths, and choose the materials for best execution. When I come across a great resource that I'm not ready to use yet (maybe in two or three or more years), I have a place to file that away. I can read it before I need it. Even if I decide not to use it with DS, having read it makes me a stronger teacher. Again, I'm freed from rushing. My deadline is not the 3:00 bell or the end of this quarter, but 2026.

 

For those who have many and especially little children, please don't be discouraged if Child Maintenance Activities are taking up a lot of your time and energy. Your thoughtful persistence will surely be rewarded. Thanks to all who have posted in this thread, and who continually share great ideas on this board. I'll continue to follow along. I'm learning so much from the discussions here.

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This has been an incredibly interesting and helpful conversation for me - thank you, everyone, for your contributions! Count me among the younger moms who do find it helpful to hear specifics  - I'm in no danger of ever becoming an anxious, workbook, checklist mom, but I am in danger of neglecting to actually educate my kids while I read another book about education.  :laugh:

 

To put it bluntly, the main idea at CiRCE seems to be to use literature as a means of moral training, rather than as a means of studying the arts of language.  

 

- This is not classical.  It's a modern plan, which seems to have first caught on in Victorian England (where literature was seen as a substitute for a "fading" religious faith).  

 

- Insofar as it neglects our Western heritage of languages and literatures, it's eroding our common ground with non-believers and with people from other countries.    

 

- While it might be filling students full of true, good, and beautiful ideas, it's not doing a whole lot in training them to communicate these ideas to others.  This was the goal of classical education.  Not personal growth as an end in itself, but the development of eloquentia perfecta, for the service of the common good.  Because we are fundamentally relational beings, and we relate by communicating.  

 

(Ironically, some of the American Jesuit schools are rediscovering this, just as the new wave of "classical Catholic" schools are ignoring it. :huh: )

 

So... to try to bring this back to the topic... maybe the thing to ask is, what are we "integrating" around?   What are our proximate goals for education?

 

I think you raise a really interesting question about the struggle to adapt older ideas - ideas we, not being classically educated ourselves, no longer have contact with in an organic, living way - to a very new, post-Christian context.  Can we take a model for educating a small slice of the population and apply it to everyone? What are the essential elements of "classical education" we want to carry forward? How far can we stretch them and adapt them? At what point do they lose contact with older traditions? Does that matter?

 

Something I was thinking about during the Norms and Nobility discussion (which I'd like to get back to, as I stalled in chapter 4...) is how much Hicks seemed to be asking of schools and schooling. Education is a huge project, and in a saner age, many different institutions cooperated to educate the "whole child." Schools were one of those institutions, but they had a somewhat specific task within that larger project. Today, we are raising our children in enemy territory, and I think perhaps asking too much of our schooling to compensate for other institutions that should be helping but are often actively hostile to the proper formation of our children. Teasing these things out seems only more complicated in a conversation about home education specifically. What's "schooling" to one family is just "life" to another, etc, etc. 

 

I found some valuable things in the classroom liturgies talk, but at the same time was thinking, I'm never paying for my kids to go to a private school and spend their time having hobbit breakfasts. Not that I have anything against hobbit breakfasts! I just think that schooling is a subset of education, and I want it to do specific things, albeit certainly in ways that don't undermine the larger project. I'm just not entirely sure what those specific things are, yet. :laugh:  On the other hand, because of the world we live in, maybe we don't have a choice - it may be historically anomalous to put "acquire poetic knowledge" or "contemplate the good, the true, and the beautiful" or "have a hobbit breakfast" on a school schedule, but perhaps that is the only way to get it done today. And I'll take it over the alternative, to be sure. 

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There are many Westerners who don't have English literature as part of their national heritage, but do share our Greek and Roman roots.  Some of them are on this thread (hi, Tress :001_smile: ).  If we focus on reading lists of classics in our own language, we aren't creating or reinforcing the sense of that common background.   

 

I don't mean to be obtuse, but the majority of fairy tales are translations from other languages (Hans Christian Anderson (Denmark), Grimms (Germany), Aesops (Greece), Perrault (France)) and many of the classics are not originally in English.  

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But it does have a lot to do with the proximate goal of teaching rhetoric, through the study and imitation of classic models.  This goal is central to traditional classical education, both Christian and pagan.  And CiRCE apparently agrees with that, if the article linked in my last post is meant to be taken at face value. 

 

FWIW, I don't follow CIRCE as CIRCE, either.   Take what benefits you and ignore the rest.

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I think maybe some people are talking about integrating many things into literature because that's what some "Circe-ish" bloggers (such as Amongst Lovely Things) and other homeschool moms talk about being one of the keys to simplifying your curriculum and teaching from a state of rest.

 

For example, on Amongst Lovely Things, integrating into literature is a big part of this post below:

 

http://www.amongstlovelythings.com/2014/03/simplify-the-curriculum.html

 

However, on the Circe site, they talk about the importance of integrating in a totally different way. They talk about integrating all teaching in Christ:

 

http://www.circeinstitute.org/principles-classical-education

 

I'm guessing that's why there's some confusion about what's being asked and what's being answered.

 

(Or maybe not :) )

 

Hmmm - thank you for the links. But I think all things are already integrated in Christ -- in him all things hold together (Col 1:17). So no sweat. Seriously - science/nature study/physical geography - the beauty of the world. Literature/poetry - the beauty of words, the actions of mankind. History, cultural geography - mankind, God's highest creation -- how did they behave? What end did they reach? How shall we act?

 

Hmmm, let me try again. I'll cheat - Charlotte Mason had three areas of study. The Knowledge of God. The Knowledge of the Universe (the creation). The Knowledge of Man (who Christ came to save). So all integrated around Christ. Easy. Makes more sense than that Circe page.

 

But I can see why everyone is confused. I'll stick with the podcasts and videos, they take smaller bites. That page is like trying to swallow the whole onion.

 

I don't have an opinion on the Amongst Lovely Things posts. I do like the blog, and I try to keep the number of subjects down. But I just can't design a ground-up curriculum. I satisfy my tweaking & designing urges on small scale in morning time.

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FWIW, I don't follow CIRCE as CIRCE, either.   Take what benefits you and ignore the rest.

 

This gets back to why I like detailed homeschooler story time so much, and why I hang out in threads like this even though I wouldn't call myself classical.

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Okay, so I think I'm getting this. The "teaching from a state of rest" has more to do with MY mindset and attitude as a homeschooler than any specific curriculum or routine. I change from being a teacher who has knowledge to impart or a facilitator of a curriculum that has knowledge to impart into a fellow human being, a fellow learner alongside my child. One who models making connections between literature and life, between beauty and math, between truth and history until my child begins to make those connections for themselves. Instead of teacher or curriculum implementer I become a mentor for my child in discerning the things that are true, good, and beautiful in our world. My role is one of example in the Great Discussion so instead of being stressed about checking boxes or guilty that my child doesn't know about XYZ, I can teach from rest because I know that what is done in our homeschool is done seeking truth, beauty, and wonder in all things much more than finishing a set curriculum or completing our schedule for the day. It's a great conversation between myself and my children using different disciplines to fuel that conversation, but the covering the disciplines is NOT the point of our homeschool. Connecting all that is good and beautiful in the world to all that is good and beautiful in us is the point.

 

Or I could totally be in left field!  :tongue_smilie:

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I disagree about only advanced children learning Latin. My struggling reader, who is probably dyslexic and has hit every bump on his road to reading, is learning Latin. He doesn't memorize as fast as his brother, but that's okay. He's doing just fine.

 

Now, more importantly, what is a Hobbit breakfast? We LOVE the Hobbit.

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Hmmm - thank you for the links. But I think all things are already integrated in Christ -- in him all things hold together (Col 1:17). So no sweat. Seriously - science/nature study/physical geography - the beauty of the world. Literature/poetry - the beauty of words, the actions of mankind. History, cultural geography - mankind, God's highest creation -- how did they behave? What end did they reach? How shall we act?

 

Hmmm, let me try again. I'll cheat - Charlotte Mason had three areas of study. The Knowledge of God. The Knowledge of the Universe (the creation). The Knowledge of Man (who Christ came to save). So all integrated around Christ. Easy. Makes more sense than that Circe page.

 

I agree with all this. I was just providing a possible explanation as to what was happening in this thread.

 

I think some people here are specifically asking for methods / examples from the more experienced homeschoolers on how to integrate into literature -- because they have read (in various blogs, etc.) that it's necessary to do that in order to simplify your curriculum and teach from a state of rest.

 

I'm brand new at this whole homeschooling thing and trying to figure out how to teach four kids that are in total 19 months in age apart. So I'm not really providing any insight (practical or philosophical) ... just reading and absorbing.

 

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I disagree about only advanced children learning Latin. 

 

I'm pretty sure I didn't say that either.  My post certainly wasn't meant to limit anyone.  We should all learn as many languages as we like.   :001_smile:

 

ETA:  "Should" is a confusing word, it seems.  "Should I have used it in this context?  Discuss."   ;)

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This has been an incredibly interesting and helpful conversation for me - thank you, everyone, for your contributions! Count me among the younger moms who do find it helpful to hear specifics  - I'm in no danger of ever becoming an anxious, workbook, checklist mom, but I am in danger of neglecting to actually educate my kids while I read another book about education.  :laugh:

 

And that is my point earlier about the purpose of this thread.  I can read all about educational philosophies and all about the original CiRCE discussion on that actual thread.  And then there were numerous spin-offs to further discuss the thoughts and philosophies.  And then there have been numerous recommendations for books to read to understand the philosophies even more.

 

But in this thread, the OP asked for some specifics.  Like what history plan has worked well for you using this philosophy?  or what tips do you have for a large family?  what do some of your days look like?  

 

And then so many people come back and say "I can't answer those questions....let's just keep discussing the underlying philosophy."  Thankfully, some have answered some of the specifics from their experiences.  I just wonder what the point of constantly shooting down those of us who want some more practical details.  If you don't want to answer these types of questions...don't.  Let those who are willing to answer them answer them. (and LostCove, I am in no way speaking of you.  I was just using your quote as an example of what I had been thinking)

 

It sometimes can feel like it's all just talk.  Like the bolded sentence above, I often fall into the trap of discussing something to death without actually putting it into practice.  It's sometimes easier to just keep discussing.  So every once in awhile it would be helpful to get a picture of what it can look like when you put it into practice.  (knowing it will look different for everyone, knowing you have to find your own path, knowing it's more than just a list of books, knowing that it's not what you use, but how you use it.......)

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Okay, let me start over. 

 

1. I didn't say anything about "non-Western culture," so I'm not sure why that's even being brought up.

 

There are many Westerners who don't have English literature as part of their national heritage, but do share our Greek and Roman roots.  Some of them are on this thread (hi, Tress :001_smile: ).  If we focus on reading lists of classics in our own language, we aren't creating or reinforcing the sense of that common background.   

 

This doesn't mean that we all need to learn Latin and Greek.  But some of our young people should, especially if they're academically inclined, ambitious, or in some other way likely candidates for leadership.   We need that group of people who have both the intellectual skills, and the shared sense of the "long view," that have traditionally been developed through classical texts and pedagogy.  (Traditionally this was maybe 5%-10%.  In modern terms, sort of an honors course.)

Sorry again. I took that sentence to mean advanced. And the following sentence that they have "intellectual skills". I'm coming more from an LCC (Latin Centered Curriculum) than a WTM viewpoint. I do Latin, not grammar and vocabulary and word roots. Not that the other way is wrong, but I like subjects that pull double/triple duty -- fewer things to track. (Which is a point in the Amongst Lovely Things post.)

 

And Kern's second most recommended book seems to be Homer, which is Greek and shared by Western nations. I'm just not sure what you mean. I apologize. Do you mean we need to learn a modern language like Spanish (for example) so we can read books in Spanis? Even though that should be pretty easy (reading I mean) if one knew Latin. But I agree that in America (in general) we need to get learning/teaching some additional modern languages. I hope that my kids will all be able to read Spanish comfortably and to go on a mission trip to Mexico and get practical application by speaking it.

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Do you mean we need to learn a modern language like Spanish (for example) so we can read books in Spanish? 

 

I think it's a reasonable expectation (unless there's some significant cognitive disability), and it seems to be the norm in other countries.  

 

There's more than just a cultural reason to advocate this.   To put it very non-technically, translation does stuff to your brain.    :001_smile:

 
This is part of what I was getting at with the reference to "intellectual skills" that are developed through classical studies.  The traditional pedagogy -- going back to the Greeks -- includes a lot of exercises that involve taking the same ideas and shifting them into different forms.   Oral reading and narration (paraphrasing) are simple examples of that.  Outlining, amplification, versification, and dramatization are others.  Translation seems to be an especially powerful one, and, unlike some of the others, hasn't fallen completely out of style.  
 
The traditional study of classical languages and literature developed in such a way as to put these challenges into a concentrated form.  But some of the same benefits can be had from the study of vernacular languages, as well.   And the more languages you have to work with, the more interesting and mind-stretching the possibilities.  

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Here's my take:

 

One of the fundamental problems with determining the nuts-and-bolts of "how" to do a literature centered/CIRCE/Classical/whatever-we-call-it homeschool is that the teachers (moms) have VASTLY varying degrees of background knowledge in any given subject. 

 

A large part of determining which pre-made curriculum (or if one is even necessary) depends on mom's subject area knowledge.  So a question such as "Which writing program is the most CIRCE friendly" is almost meaningless.  Many of the "big names" on these threads are women who have been teaching for well over 10 years, with 5+ children.  These are moms who have read books on writing, bought or looked at a dozen writing curricula, and are possibly educated in writing themselves (lit degrees, etc.).  So even if that given mom DOES use a curriculum (say, WWE) she is bringing to that curriculum SO MUCH additional subject knowledge, as well as additional teaching knowledge from long experience, that her choice of actual curriculum is essentially irrelevant. 

 

So to say, "xyz mom who I admire for her lovely posts uses WWE, so WWE must be the most classic/CIRCE/whatever" ignores the overwhelmingly more important contribution of the mother to the curriculum vs the contribution of the curriculum to the learning environment. 

 

I think the self-education of the moms is what makes clarifying HOW to do CIRCE/Classical/Integrated is what makes the "practical application" questions so difficult to respond to. 

 

The methods being discussed on these threads are like an iceberg- the curriculum and schedule are the tip.  The mom's self-education both in content and methodology, are the rest.  If you've got the bottom of the iceberg, the particular look of the tip of it is irrelevant. 

 

 

THIS. I get SO FURIOUS when I hear mom's talking about teaching from rest and then it sounds like all airy puffy clouds. 

 

No. This is hard work. This is up before the kids reading, and sacrificing your time to pour over their lessons. It is sacrificing the fun over the summer (for me) to compile lists and write notes. It's letting the house get trashed because schooling comes first. It's saying no to all of the fun stuff you could do--and this is where I feel guilty most of the time--because You, Mom, have to study so that you can teach. How I get around this is stuff like the fishing, and time outdoors. I read, they fish. Thankfully, I, for the most part, like the research and reading. 

 

I am relaxed because I am well prepared. I have done my job, and I am not that often caught unaware. I am confident because I am well prepared. I am in a state of rest because I have done my part, and I know God will show up for the day. I know that even with mistakes, He writes straight with crooked lines, and that as long as I'm doing my part in good faith and to the best of my ability, God will fill in my gaps. 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, to both of these.

 

It is very hard to explain to a homeschool mom with young children, or a homeschool mom with only a few years of experience, exactly how to do the things that you're doing when you've done it for so long.  Just a curriculum list won't cut it, because the curriculum itself isn't doing the instructing.

 

I also think that your ability to teach in this classical manner is VERY dependent on your own educational experience.  What are you bringing to the table as a teacher?  If your own education was lacking, you are going to have a much harder time executing this than a mom who was classically educated as a child.

 

Simply as background information:  I was fortunate enough to have a classical education before anybody even called it that.  I studied Latin in high school for all four years, so teaching Latin to my own kids is easy.  I've studied both French and Italian since second grade, so that's two more languages I can teach with no problem.  My exposure to classic literature was very thorough.  I hated it as a kid, but I can't tell you how grateful I am now.  I never had to "pre-read" any of the classic works.  I'd already read them.  In my high school, you couldn't graduate without taking a literature class every year, and the discussions were deep and thorough.  Four years of mathematics was also required, in addition to four years of lab science, and four years of Latin, plus one other foreign language.  Logic was taken during our junior and senior years.  We took art history for two years, which required a study abroad in Paris, so that we could see all of the important works of art for ourselves.  Music history was also taken for two years, and we had to attend the symphony and opera more times than I can count.  I hated the opera.  LOL  Not any more.

 

So, my point being that my own educational background, combined with the fact that I'm now finishing my 20th year of homeschooling, means that much of what I do is instinctual, and not quantifiable.   I don't think I could explain it in a way that would enable someone else to glean anything from it.  And providing you with a list of curriculum I use wouldn't really be that helpful.  You would need to spend a few days in my school to see how it works.

 

And truly, give yourself time.  Over the past 20 years, I learned by experience how to stop children from dawdling through their work, how to make it interesting, and how to carry out my educational plans.  I will say that if your children are not being obedient, and not doing their tasks, you need to get control of it.  You will never have success as a homeschool mom if your children don't listen to you and respect you as their teacher.  Having a neurotypical child take hours to get through one subject (in which they understand the material and can do the assignment) is completely unacceptable.  So if that is happening in your house, don't bother reading up on educational theory and Socratic discussions, because that is not what you need to focus on.

 

If your own education was lacking, then you need to remedy that as well.  You will need to do A LOT of studying and preparation so that the discussions about literature come to you naturally.  I have never followed a "literature guide" because I don't need one.  I had it modeled for me by every teacher in my youth, and it's second nature for me now.  If that wasn't your educational experience, then you will need to work to get there. Read SWB's book, "The Well Educated Mind" if you haven't already.  It's a great help for parents who are struggling with their own lack of a classical education.  Take some courses on your own that will help you feel more confident in your knowledge base.  That goes a long way toward being successful in teaching in this way.

 

So, personal experience in homeschooling, combined with your own knowledge, are what makes teaching this way easier to do.  Start with developing order in your home and school, because teaching in the midst of chaos is a recipe for failure.  And I don't just mean a clean and organized home and school (although that is important, too).  I mean that your children have the degree of self-discipline necessary to do their work, pay attention, participate, and be respectful.  They should be able to do what is age appropriate, and not inject additional chaos into the environment.  No learning is accomplished without a certain degree of self-discipline.  And in turn, as a teacher, you owe your students the respect of having well planned lessons (not running around looking for things at the last minute..."Where did that book go?  How come there are no scissors here?  Why is the copier out of ink?  I thought we had eyedroppers?  We can't finish this experiment without an eyedropper."), being prepared, and knowing your material enough to make it interesting and engaging.  In a great deal of homeschools, there is more lack of self-discipline on the part of the teacher, than the students.  And you can hardly expect your children to learn anything other than what they see their mother model to them on a daily basis.

 

So, that's the end of my ramble.  I'm sorry if it sounds harsh in spots...I don't mean it to be.  But I do like to tell younger homeschooling moms the truth, without sugar coating it.  You are the end-all and be-all of your children's education.  You hold the whole thing in your hands.  In the final analysis, what is comes down to is DOING it.  All the theory, and reading, and curriculum in the world won't mean a thing if you don't execute the plan.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  It doesn't have to follow every theory and recommendation perfectly.  It doesn't have to be done with the newest, shiniest, best curriculum out there.  But it does have to be done.  Teach your children with love, with honesty, with integrity, and from the heart.  Do it every day.  Be faithful to your goals, ideals, and personal standards.  Teach them that reading is wonderful, that learning is exciting, and that knowledge is inspiring, and you'll be successful in your educational endeavors. 

 

And that's the best advice I can give you after 20 years at this gig. :D

 

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Okay, so I think I'm getting this. The "teaching from a state of rest" has more to do with MY mindset and attitude as a homeschooler than any specific curriculum or routine. I change from being a teacher who has knowledge to impart or a facilitator of a curriculum that has knowledge to impart into a fellow human being, a fellow learner alongside my child. One who models making connections between literature and life, between beauty and math, between truth and history until my child begins to make those connections for themselves. Instead of teacher or curriculum implementer I become a mentor for my child in discerning the things that are true, good, and beautiful in our world. My role is one of example in the Great Discussion so instead of being stressed about checking boxes or guilty that my child doesn't know about XYZ, I can teach from rest because I know that what is done in our homeschool is done seeking truth, beauty, and wonder in all things much more than finishing a set curriculum or completing our schedule for the day. It's a great conversation between myself and my children using different disciplines to fuel that conversation, but the covering the disciplines is NOT the point of our homeschool. Connecting all that is good and beautiful in the world to all that is good and beautiful in us is the point.

 

Or I could totally be in left field!  :tongue_smilie:

 

See, this was why I started the post.  This is what I got out of the threads/lectures I read/heard, but then I think--well, if I don't check all these boxes then they will not be qualified for college.  Is that stupid?  I guess you get more structured in high school with credits, etc.?  I don't know.  "Connecting all that is good and beautiful in the world to all that is good and beautiful in us" being the point but I need the structure!  The guidelines!  Make sense?  Goals, etc.  That is why box checking is appealing and for me, seems necessary.  Then add in the fact that I have multiple children that I have to juggle, the luxury of teaching each off on their own bunny trails would make me crazy.  What I am trying to figure out is the REST, this don't check the box, while actually accomplishing goals and preparing for the best that God intends them to be in the future.  

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Yes, to both of these.

 

It is very hard to explain to a homeschool mom with young children, or a homeschool mom with only a few years of experience, exactly how to do the things that you're doing when you've done it for so long.  Just a curriculum list won't cut it, because the curriculum itself isn't doing the instructing.

 

I also think that your ability to teach in this classical manner is VERY dependent on your own educational experience.  What are you bringing to the table as a teacher?  If your own education was lacking, you are going to have a much harder time executing this than a mom who was classically educated as a child.

 

Simply as background information:  I was fortunate enough to have a classical education before anybody even knew what one was.  I studied Latin in high school for all four years, so teaching Latin to my own kids is easy.  I've studied both French and Italian since second grade, so that's two more languages I can teach with no problem.  My exposure to classic literature was very thorough.  I hated it as a kid, but I can't tell you how grateful I am now.  I never had to "pre-read" any of the classic works.  I'd already read them.  In my high school, you couldn't graduate without taking a literature class every year, and the discussions were deep and thorough.  Four years of mathematics was also required, in addition to four years of lab science, and four years of Latin, plus one other foreign language.  Logic was taken during our junior and senior years.  We took art history for two years, which required a study abroad in Paris, so that we could see all of the important works of art for ourselves.  Music history was also taken for two years, and we had to attend the symphony and opera more times than I can count.  I hated the opera.  LOL  Not any more.

 

So, my point being that my own educational background, combined with the fact that I'm now finishing my 20th year of homeschooling, means that much of what I do is instinctual, and not quantifiable.   I don't think I could explain it in a way that would enable someone else to glean anything from it.  And providing you with a list of curriculum I use wouldn't really be that helpful.  You would need to spend a few days in my school to see how it works.

 

And truly, give yourself time.  Over the past 20 years, I learned by experience how to stop children from dawdling through their work, how to make it interesting, and how to carry out my educational plans.  I will say that if your children are not being obedient, and not doing their tasks, you need to get control of it.  You will never have success as a homeschool mom if your children don't listen to you and respect you as their teacher.  Having a neurotypical child take hours to get through one subject (in which they understand the material and can do the assignment) is completely unacceptable.  So if that is happening in your house, don't bother reading up on educational theory and Socratic discussions, because that is not what you need to focus on.

 

If your own education was lacking, then you need to remedy that as well.  You will need to do A LOT of studying and preparation so that the discussions about literature come to you naturally.  I have never followed a "literature guide" because I don't need one.  I had it modeled for me by every teacher in my youth, and it's second nature for me now.  If that wasn't your educational experience, then you will need to work to get there. Read SWB's book, "The Well Educated Mind" if you haven't already.  It's a great help for parents who are struggling with their own lack of a classical education.  Take some courses on your own that will help you feel more confident in your knowledge base.  That goes a long way toward being successful in teaching in this way.

 

So, personal experience in homeschooling, combined with your own knowledge, are what makes teaching this way easier to do.  Start with developing order in your home and school, because teaching in the midst of chaos is a recipe for failure.  And I don't just mean a clean and organized home and school (although that is important, too).  I mean that your children have the degree of self-discipline necessary to do their work, pay attention, participate, and be respectful.  They should be able to do what is age appropriate, and not inject additional chaos into the environment.  No learning is accomplished without a certain degree of self-discipline.  And in turn, as a teacher, you owe your students the respect of having well planned lessons (not running around looking for things at the last minute..."Where did that book go?  How come there are no scissors here?  Why is the copier out of ink?  I thought we had eyedroppers?  We can't finish this experiment without an eyedropper."), being prepared, and knowing your material enough to make it interesting and engaging.  In a great deal of homeschools, there is more lack of self-discipline on the part of the teacher, than the students.  And you can hardly expect your children to learn anything other than what they see their mother model to them on a daily basis.

 

So, that's the end of my ramble.  I'm sorry if it sounds harsh in spots...I don't mean it to be.  But I do like to tell younger homeschooling moms the truth, without sugar coating it.  You are the end-all and be-all of your children's education.  You hold the whole thing in your hands.  In the final analysis, what is comes down to is DOING it.  All the theory, and reading, and curriculum in the world don't mean a thing if you don't execute the plan.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  It doesn't have to follow every theory and recommendation perfectly.  It doesn't have to be done with the newest, shiniest, best curriculum out there.  But it does have to be done.  Teach your children with love, with honesty, with integrity, and from the heart.  Do it every day.  Be faithful to your goals, ideals, and personal standards.  Teach them that reading is wonderful, that learning is exciting, and that knowledge is inspiring, and you'll be successful in your educational endeavors. 

 

And that's the best advice I can give you after 20 years at this gig. :D

 

 

Thank you.

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See, this was why I started the post.  This is what I got out of the threads/lectures I read/heard, but then I think--well, if I don't check all these boxes then they will not be qualified for college.  Is that stupid?  I guess you get more structured in high school with credits, etc.?  I don't know.  "Connecting all that is good and beautiful in the world to all that is good and beautiful in us" being the point but I need the structure!  The guidelines!  Make sense?  Goals, etc.  That is why box checking is appealing and for me, seems necessary.  Then add in the fact that I have multiple children that I have to juggle, the luxury of teaching each off on their own bunny trails would make me crazy.  What I am trying to figure out is the REST, this don't check the box, while actually accomplishing goals and preparing for the best that God intends them to be in the future.  

 

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm keeping my box curriculum (HOD) for my oldest. I guess what I was alluding to in my post is that many times (at least for me), homeschooling with a box or with my own homemade stuff becomes a checklist. 

 

Math - finished

 

Grammar - completed

 

History Reading -done

 

Very, very rarely do I really stop and discuss anything with my kids because I constantly feel under a time crunch to get it all done. No time to bring into our HOD lessons connections with things previously studied or ideas that I want them to contemplate. Move on to the next thing. Get. it. done. 

 

To me it's the difference between eating a meal in most American homes and eating a meal in Europe. In America, we tend to eat quickly to get on to whatever it is we're wanting to do after we eat. The meal itself is merely for survival. Eating in Europe (at least the family I stayed with!), it was an event to be lingered over and savored. The conversation and company was just as necessary (probably more so) than the food itself. The meal was merely the vehicle to achieve a wonderful evening full of conversation and company. 

 

My children have picked up this mentality too. Get done with school, then I can do something fun. I want learning to be rewarding, not just screen time because I finished my work.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is no matter what curriculum I use to make sure and not get caught up in the "I have to get this done mentality" because then you'll forget to savor the journey and the experience. I think that anyone can bring in connections from their personal life, their faith, etc. but it's probably going to take some pre-reading and pre-study unless you can think of those things on your feet. I really like the idea that kfamily talked about in another thread (or was it this one?) of keeping a notebook as you are reading books or pre-reading books and jotting down ideas or thoughts that come to you as you read. That will be my first step, keep a notebook and discuss ideas in it.

 

We'll see how that goes for now.

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These threads are always so inspiring and so depressing all at once.  They give me great ideas of the direction I want my homeschool to take, and rekindle the visions I had of homeschooling when I first began. But they are depressing because I just can't see anyway to change things for my teens.  In order to properly graduate the kids must do the provincial curriculum, this takes up so much time.  Add in my work schedule, extracurrics, learning disabilities etc and it seems there is never time to add in anything of beauty.  I can tweak some things such as use the current online lit classes they take for part of their english grade in grades 10-11 but grade 12 they must take the gov't approved english class which has a much lesser quality of literature than they currently read and discuss.  For them the only way we bring in beauty/joy is through the electives they chose, and while we must meet gov't outcomes for those courses they are things the teens thoroughly enjoy (grade 10 electives focus on wildlife, conservation, hunting, outdoor cooking, camping etc).  I can see having morning time with my youngers, they adore their konos curriculum because it is so much fun and does not feel like school.  But I feel like my teens kind of got screwed out of a good thing, because I had no clue what I was doing, no self education, we simply spent the last 8 years in survival mode.  Survival mode is not a place to teach from rest.

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These threads are always so inspiring and so depressing all at once.  They give me great ideas of the direction I want my homeschool to take, and rekindle the visions I had of homeschooling when I first began. But they are depressing because I just can't see anyway to change things for my teens.  In order to properly graduate the kids must do the provincial curriculum, this takes up so much time.  Add in my work schedule, extracurrics, learning disabilities etc and it seems there is never time to add in anything of beauty.  I can tweak some things such as use the current online lit classes they take for part of their english grade in grades 10-11 but grade 12 they must take the gov't approved english class which has a much lesser quality of literature than they currently read and discuss.  For them the only way we bring in beauty/joy is through the electives they chose, and while we must meet gov't outcomes for those courses they are things the teens thoroughly enjoy (grade 10 electives focus on wildlife, conservation, hunting, outdoor cooking, camping etc).  I can see having morning time with my youngers, they adore their konos curriculum because it is so much fun and does not feel like school.  But I feel like my teens kind of got screwed out of a good thing, because I had no clue what I was doing, no self education, we simply spent the last 8 years in survival mode.  Survival mode is not a place to teach from rest.

You know, during my teen years my Mom could only just survive and try to encourage and mentor us in the off hours, sort of...I think she spent far more time praying for us while away from us than she did actively teaching us during those years. But she read aloud now and then, and had beautiful music playing in the home when we were all there, and valued television programs and movies that taught about good things.

 

All of that counted in the long run. It really, really counted because it was all part of the family tapestry of what "we" value and love. I think we've all had a few ships sail without us in this life but the kids do remember that we tried to give the best of ourselves.

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See, this was why I started the post. This is what I got out of the threads/lectures I read/heard, but then I think--well, if I don't check all these boxes then they will not be qualified for college. Is that stupid? I guess you get more structured in high school with credits, etc.? I don't know. "Connecting all that is good and beautiful in the world to all that is good and beautiful in us" being the point but I need the structure! The guidelines! Make sense? Goals, etc. That is why box checking is appealing and for me, seems necessary. Then add in the fact that I have multiple children that I have to juggle, the luxury of teaching each off on their own bunny trails would make me crazy. What I am trying to figure out is the REST, this don't check the box, while actually accomplishing goals and preparing for the best that God intends them to be in the future.

I have posted several times now that I am very structured. My kids each have lesson planners written to them which explicitly states what must be completed in every subject every day. It is the "what" we are doing and the "how" we are doing it that can't be found in a box. It is something that is partially created together mixed with a heavy dose of my planning. It doesn't have to come in a box with someone else telling you what to do for there to be structured instruction or lessons.

 

I am getting ready to start a book club on Poetic Knowledge and I have been sending the women that are going to participate links to read and listen to in preparation for our study. We are going to meet and chat before delving into the book bc it is one of those books that if you don't understand some of the basic philosophies before reading it, you could easily misconstrue what is being discussed to mean something it doesn't.

 

Some of the ideas we are going to talk about at our pre-reading meeting parallel some of this conversation. Why bother teaching this way? Why does it matter? Taylor introduces the concept via Dickens's chpt in Hard Times about modern education. In it a little girl whose father is a horse trainer is commanded to give a definition of a horse. The teacher mocks her and informs her that she can't. He asks a boy to give a definition and he gives a short encyclopedic answer and is praised. The teacher then informs the little girl that after hearing the definition that she now knows what a horse is. The pt being that the little girl has grown up around horses and knows them intimately, but her intimtimate Knoweldge is disdained for encyclopedic facts.

 

In thinking a lot about this, I realize in hindsight that it is why I have always intuitively I eschewed textbooks for as long as I can, but by no means shun books that teach the exact same subjects. I love books! Whole books written by people that are both passionate about their subjects and fully knowledgeable are able to give readers both. You are given the important facts but with the life breath of intimate knowledge. In contrast, textbook committees determine the factual details that they deem pertinent and strip out the intimacy that connects with our human spirit.

 

Plato's Allegory of the Cave is a great example of missing the big picture. (If you are unfamiliar with it, there are plenty of YouTube animations that will give you the gist) As human beings we need to have all our senses met in order to achieve a thorough understanding. Textbook details are only a part of the whole and modern education has reduced education to a partitioned experience which separates pure factual knowledge from the intimate development of a whole person.

 

That is what I seek for my children. The whole. It doesn't mean loosey goosey. It doesn't mean no vision. What it means is that we seek the connectedness of what we learn to our humanity. That means that it is difficult to quantify "how" bc so much of it is in how we interact. It is easy to see "how not" bc when the connectedness is missing, the void is obvious as in Dickens's example. I don't glorify the girl's knowledge while belittling the boy's. I want my children to experience the blend of the 2 that is the harmonic between the 2 extremes.

 

I don't know if that makes any sense at all or not.

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To those who have described what teaching from a state of rest means to them, thank you!  As it turns out, I am already doing that.  Nice.  :)

 

The rest of it, I am still working on, and will be for a very long time.  I have made some small changes already and plan to make some larger ones during my summer planning time.   My two oldest homeschooled kids will be in 8th grade next year, so I would like to encourage moms with older kids like me that it is not too late to make changes.  I cannot have back those early years, but I have no anguish-y regrets.  They were part of the fabric of our experience and led to this place.  I wish I had understood sooner and had implemented changes sooner, but my life looked very different then so it likely was not a possibility.  So now is the time, and I am grateful I have time left with my olders.

 

When I read Tibbie's post about looking at the child in front of you and examining his heart, essentially, I thought of my oldest son.  And I have a specific question for the mamas who have seen 13 year old boys through a hard stage of cynicism and the tendency to disparage activities such as watching butterflies emerge from chrysalises,   This one of mine is such a negative one at this point.  He tends to hurt his siblings' feelings, and he is often like sandpaper rubbing me wrong.  It was NOT always this way.  In the past year or so, it has changed.  I have to work to connect with him and create positive interactions.  He has some learning struggles, but he is actually doing very well with academics.  He is responsible with his outside classes and diligent with independent work.  It is his negativity that is a wet blanket on our daily life.  He can be sweet and sensitive and insightful, but those moments are rare right now.  I suppose my question is, "Will this change?  What can I do to help him?" 

 

ETA:  I've lived through a 13 year old in my oldest dd, but she was not homeschooled.  I know much of it is probably related to changes in his body, the way he looks at the world, figuring out how he fits into it, etc.  My main concern is his negative impact on my younger two kids.  I don't know if there are really any answers here, maybe just encouragement or BTDT stories.

I am thinking about this. Not ignoring you at all. 

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Yes, to both of these.

 

It is very hard to explain to a homeschool mom with young children, or a homeschool mom with only a few years of experience, exactly how to do the things that you're doing when you've done it for so long.  Just a curriculum list won't cut it, because the curriculum itself isn't doing the instructing.

 

I also think that your ability to teach in this classical manner is VERY dependent on your own educational experience.  What are you bringing to the table as a teacher?  If your own education was lacking, you are going to have a much harder time executing this than a mom who was classically educated as a child.

 

Simply as background information:  I was fortunate enough to have a classical education before anybody even called it that.  I studied Latin in high school for all four years, so teaching Latin to my own kids is easy.  I've studied both French and Italian since second grade, so that's two more languages I can teach with no problem.  My exposure to classic literature was very thorough.  I hated it as a kid, but I can't tell you how grateful I am now.  I never had to "pre-read" any of the classic works.  I'd already read them.  In my high school, you couldn't graduate without taking a literature class every year, and the discussions were deep and thorough.  Four years of mathematics was also required, in addition to four years of lab science, and four years of Latin, plus one other foreign language.  Logic was taken during our junior and senior years.  We took art history for two years, which required a study abroad in Paris, so that we could see all of the important works of art for ourselves.  Music history was also taken for two years, and we had to attend the symphony and opera more times than I can count.  I hated the opera.  LOL  Not any more.

 

So, my point being that my own educational background, combined with the fact that I'm now finishing my 20th year of homeschooling, means that much of what I do is instinctual, and not quantifiable.   I don't think I could explain it in a way that would enable someone else to glean anything from it.  And providing you with a list of curriculum I use wouldn't really be that helpful.  You would need to spend a few days in my school to see how it works.

 

And truly, give yourself time.  Over the past 20 years, I learned by experience how to stop children from dawdling through their work, how to make it interesting, and how to carry out my educational plans.  I will say that if your children are not being obedient, and not doing their tasks, you need to get control of it.  You will never have success as a homeschool mom if your children don't listen to you and respect you as their teacher.  Having a neurotypical child take hours to get through one subject (in which they understand the material and can do the assignment) is completely unacceptable.  So if that is happening in your house, don't bother reading up on educational theory and Socratic discussions, because that is not what you need to focus on.

 

If your own education was lacking, then you need to remedy that as well.  You will need to do A LOT of studying and preparation so that the discussions about literature come to you naturally.  I have never followed a "literature guide" because I don't need one.  I had it modeled for me by every teacher in my youth, and it's second nature for me now.  If that wasn't your educational experience, then you will need to work to get there. Read SWB's book, "The Well Educated Mind" if you haven't already.  It's a great help for parents who are struggling with their own lack of a classical education.  Take some courses on your own that will help you feel more confident in your knowledge base.  That goes a long way toward being successful in teaching in this way.

 

So, personal experience in homeschooling, combined with your own knowledge, are what makes teaching this way easier to do.  Start with developing order in your home and school, because teaching in the midst of chaos is a recipe for failure.  And I don't just mean a clean and organized home and school (although that is important, too).  I mean that your children have the degree of self-discipline necessary to do their work, pay attention, participate, and be respectful.  They should be able to do what is age appropriate, and not inject additional chaos into the environment.  No learning is accomplished without a certain degree of self-discipline.  And in turn, as a teacher, you owe your students the respect of having well planned lessons (not running around looking for things at the last minute..."Where did that book go?  How come there are no scissors here?  Why is the copier out of ink?  I thought we had eyedroppers?  We can't finish this experiment without an eyedropper."), being prepared, and knowing your material enough to make it interesting and engaging.  In a great deal of homeschools, there is more lack of self-discipline on the part of the teacher, than the students.  And you can hardly expect your children to learn anything other than what they see their mother model to them on a daily basis.

 

So, that's the end of my ramble.  I'm sorry if it sounds harsh in spots...I don't mean it to be.  But I do like to tell younger homeschooling moms the truth, without sugar coating it.  You are the end-all and be-all of your children's education.  You hold the whole thing in your hands.  In the final analysis, what is comes down to is DOING it.  All the theory, and reading, and curriculum in the world won't mean a thing if you don't execute the plan.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  It doesn't have to follow every theory and recommendation perfectly.  It doesn't have to be done with the newest, shiniest, best curriculum out there.  But it does have to be done.  Teach your children with love, with honesty, with integrity, and from the heart.  Do it every day.  Be faithful to your goals, ideals, and personal standards.  Teach them that reading is wonderful, that learning is exciting, and that knowledge is inspiring, and you'll be successful in your educational endeavors. 

 

And that's the best advice I can give you after 20 years at this gig. :D

 

 

This is perfect.

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And then so many people come back and say "I can't answer those questions....let's just keep discussing the underlying philosophy."  Thankfully, some have answered some of the specifics from their experiences.  I just wonder what the point of constantly shooting down those of us who want some more practical details.

This has been bothering me all weekend so I just want to  get all of these thoughts out of my head before I go crazy. 

 

Tress' comment about  how it boggles her mind how those of us  who are not teaching latin could possibly term what we are doing as Classical Education.  upset me a great deal. 

 

Admittedly, I am in a bad place right now.  My husband and I are separated and things are not going well (understatement.)  My mom just had open-heart surgery and she is not doing well (and I am 3,000 miles away.)  My in-laws  are pressuring me to put my youngest in school because she is 11 and is  having difficulty reading. 

 

If I was in a better place, I would have fluffed off Tress'  words and gone merrily on my way.   But I feel like my bones have been stripped bare and her words have cause me to second guess and doubt my ability to educate my children.  I continually ask myself what does it matter what she or anyone else thinks  and what does it matter if what I am doing is not considered classical education.  I don't have the answer to that, only that for where I am now,  it does matter.

 

I have been coming here to these forums for 11 years, mostly on a daily basis.  I don't  have irl homeschool support, this board has been it.  This thread, though, has left a very bad taste in my mouth and has made me feel even worse about myself than I did before.  So I have decided to stop coming here until I am able to feel stronger.   Now my only source of tangible support is gone, too.

 

This is why we don't want to share.

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This has been bothering me all weekend so I just want to  get all of these thoughts out of my head before I go crazy. 

 

Tress' comment about  how it boggles her mind how those of us  who are not teaching latin could possibly term what we are doing as Classical Education.  upset me a great deal. 

 

Admittedly, I am in a bad place right now.  My husband and I are separated and things are not going well (understatement.)  My mom just had open-heart surgery and she is not doing well (and I am 3,000 miles away.)  My in-laws  are pressuring me to put my youngest in school because she is 11 and is  having difficulty reading. 

 

If I was in a better place, I would have fluffed off Tress'  words and gone merrily on my way.   But I feel like my bones have been stripped bare and her words have cause me to second guess and doubt my ability to educate my children.  I continually ask myself what does it matter what she or anyone else thinks  and what does it matter if what I am doing is not considered classical education.  I don't have the answer to that, only that for where I am now,  it does matter.

 

I have been coming here to these forums for 11 years, mostly on a daily basis.  I don't  have irl homeschool support, this board has been it.  This thread, though, has left a very bad taste in my mouth and has made me feel even worse about myself than I did before.  So I have decided to stop coming here until I am able to feel stronger.   Now my only source of tangible support is gone, too.

 

This is why we don't want to share.

 

Julia,

 

I'm truly, truly sorry that my words have hurt you so much. I deeply apologize, I never wanted to hurt you or anyone else!

 

I can totally understand that you are not teaching Latin now, you have so many more important things to care for.:grouphug:

 

Please don't let my words scare you away from this incredible forum!

 

I tried to communicate - but obviously failed- that in Europe there is a certain definition of classical education, which makes reading about classical education on an American forum confusing to me. This does not mean that the European way is the best way, or that everyone must follow that definition.

 

 

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Prairiegirl, don't go. Please.

Tress was not "aiming" for you in any way...please know that she (I am sure, based on her regular posting style and the post above mine that she directed to you) was speaking generally and not personally, and not as an authority on everybody's homeschool everywhere.

 

Can I tell you something? Sometimes we show our children the world of "real" history and classical literature so that they know it is there. And then our grandchildren will be able to study Latin. It does not always come in one generation but without your tremendous efforts and love to do what you CAN (without despairing of what you can't)...it won't come at all. So you must continue, and if these forums help you to carry on then you must not cut yourself off from that vital support.

You are writing a legacy for generations to come by making these sacrifices and teaching your children to the best of your ability right now. It will be on their shoulders to go farther if they can and if they wish (for themselves and for their own children)...and they probably will do so, because they will have caught the vision from you.

:grouphug:

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And that's the best advice I can give you after 20 years at this gig. :D

I think the other thing is, to what degree is all of this Christian-centric. I don't see how something rooted in Greco-Roman material must be Christian, and there is such a variety of interpretations of what that even means. There are Mormon, Catholic, and Protestant Christian women posting here [ETA: about their Christian motivations], but this is not necessarily the only audience for fans of classical education tradition, or who hope to get something from it. Hamza Yusuf (Muslim) has advocated strongly for classical education through an Islamic lens. and his sister Nabila Hanson is the founder and director of Kinza Academy, which provides secular curricula and has John Taylor Gatto in the board.

 

As an aside, I must confess that I don't know that Circe really speaks to me. I remember this article from Circe about poor Alexis Stewart, who will only be able to have one child, via surrogate, and now it's all too late, when in actuality, she'd already had a second child via surrogate at the time of the publication of the article. I am not sure that I can get on board with mixing all these topics together. What does a classical education have to do with being anti-contraception or pro-giant families? I just see these as utterly separate issues. For that matter, I have yet to see many classical education sites espousing naked Olympics and prostitution and so forth to get back to our roots.

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Julia,

I understand that feeling as I'm struggling with it myself right now and I don't have near the circumstances to deal with, although my doubts have nothing to do with Latin (we'll study that when ds is ready). One just never knows what another is going through. We all have to do the best we can with what we have and we must start with what we have. 

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Julia,

 

I'm so sorry for this difficult time in your life. The beauty and love you are bringing to the lives of your children cannot be measured.

 

Sending you many of these:

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

 

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So, that's the end of my ramble.  I'm sorry if it sounds harsh in spots...I don't mean it to be.  But I do like to tell younger homeschooling moms the truth, without sugar coating it.  You are the end-all and be-all of your children's education.  You hold the whole thing in your hands.  In the final analysis, what is comes down to is DOING it.  All the theory, and reading, and curriculum in the world won't mean a thing if you don't execute the plan.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  It doesn't have to follow every theory and recommendation perfectly.  It doesn't have to be done with the newest, shiniest, best curriculum out there.  But it does have to be done.  Teach your children with love, with honesty, with integrity, and from the heart.  Do it every day.  Be faithful to your goals, ideals, and personal standards.  Teach them that reading is wonderful, that learning is exciting, and that knowledge is inspiring, and you'll be successful in your educational endeavors. 

 

 

 

I hesitate to post - I have nowhere near the education or experience that you do - but I must respectfully disagree with the bolded. If I thought that my kids' education ultimately depended on me, I would give up in despair and send them to public school. In fact, I have come close to despair quite often recently. But I believe, along with Charlotte Mason, that God the Holy Spirit is the Supreme Educator of my children. That does not absolve me of responsibility. I still want and need to be that "guide, philosopher and friend" in my siggie quote, and in order to do that I must educate myself and prepare to discuss the books my kids are reading, especially as they get older. But I cannot do it all, and I must trust God to "fill in the gaps" as a previous poster stated.

 

My mom homeschooled my sisters and I. Sometimes as we got older, and people heard of our accomplishments, they would say to my mom, "You must be so proud of your children!"  But my mom was keenly aware of her shortcomings as a teacher (and she went to teacher's college!), and would respond that she was grateful to God for giving her children the abilities and opportunities that she could not.

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Warning, please ignore errors!  I am sick and my mind is fuzzy today.....

 

Julia,  I have taken many things on these boards personally and been upset by them.  Sometimes I take a board break so I can regroup.  I always end up coming back b/c there is a lot of wisdom here, and b/c there are caring people.  I have had people pm me to offer help b/c of my Dh's unemployment.  One poster (Juniper, I think) sent me a book, paying postage out of her own pocket when we were having a rough time at our old church.  She also sent me pas sympathizing with my situation.  Maybe take a break from reading threads for a while and come back later, but don't leave forever.  You are going through a very rough time right now.  

 

As far as Latin goes--I copped out and outsourced it.  I just could not handle teaching a language.  No, actually, I probably could handle it if I wanted to, but, I did not have even a teensy-weensy desire to teach one.  I think i'm supposed to, but I'm all done with what I'm supposed to do.  I do what I can. 

 

For the OP, has anyone linked this thread?  Andrew Kern himself posted his rough idea of a typical week and also explained that it is different for everyone.  I can't even post a typical week for our family b/c everyday is different.  I have the goals I am working towards with each Dc and the time I have available, plus the time they have, and the week gets planned.  And then, sometimes, things happen and the week may not end up quite like I planned.   

 

Before I went back to read the thread I linked I already had in my mind the Mary & Martha story.  (see #38 on this thread for more on that) For me, teaching from a state of rest means doing those things that are needful and allowing time for contemplation while still making progress on the educational goals for Dc.  Those goals are individualized and, as much as possible, education in our house is just part of life.  Often we have no set end to our school day.  Ds in into reading Poe in his 'free' time currently.  He is reading with such attention and discusses it with me that it really is a credit worthy endeavor.  I may even substitute Poe for an author I had originally picked as part of his English credit this year.   Both Dc write constantly on their own.  Dd picks up bird guides and copies the illustrations.  She keeps a bird feeder and monitors which birds visit.  She grows african violets and orchids and reads in depth about how to care for them (and begged me to buy her a vaporizer to help her orchids).  None of it is driven by me, it's just what they like to do.  I incorporate many of their interests into our so called 'school work'  and sometimes I toss my plans out the window to accommodate an interest b/c I know I'm not getting this time back.  Last week I tossed out all the plans I had for Dd while she is reading Helen Keller's The Story of My Life.  I had a sudden inspiration that Dd should write her own autobiography using some of the same subject matter (for example, describing childhood incidents which reflect immaturity and bad decision making, describing the plants and animals in our yard in the same way Keller described the garden, fields and animals).  I'm also writing my childhood recollections (the ones I want Dd to know about).  We're reading them to each other, and editing.  We are looking closely at the way Keller developed her chapters and the techniques she used.  AND, the whole project was completely unplanned--but really much better than what was scheduled.  

 

Now, when I do these substitutions, I try not to get myself all in a tizzy over the fact that I didn't stick to my original plan, or the idea that some other superstar family I know isn't doing things the same way.  To me, that is a state of rest--resting in the thought that (with prayer and God's guidance) I am following the plan that will educate my Dc in a way that is unique to our family, unique to the skills of each Dc, unique to the circumstances God has put into our lives, and yet still prepares them for college and life in general.

 

Like 8 mentioned, we are not unschoolers, but we do have days that might look an awful lot like unschooling.  Yet, I teach a high school writing class that has specific assignments and due dates.  My Ds who is in the class does have to meet those deadlines.  He has a rigid online Latin class, and math happens pretty much every day.  I am also a stickler for not moving on unless the material is mastered.  That meant for Dd last week, she repeated a math lesson 3 times!  For my class of high school kids quite a few students got back papers with no grade.  I told them that's b/c if I were to give a grade they would be very unhappy with it.  They were getting lazy and ignoring suggestions I made.  They are re-writing.  One day last week, I dropped the entire morning plan to sit and read with Dd and discuss an attitude that had been cropping up in her lately (and it had nothing to do with truth and beauty--more like disrespect and ugliness.  It had to be addressed and it was the most important subject of that day (and not one we are finished with either).  BUT, I had to be willing to drop all the other plans in order to address it.  That's rest -- knowing what is needful and doing it even if there is a voice in your head saying 'other people are fitting in ---blah, blah, blah'. 

 

Both my Dc compete with their dogs and dog training is a part of our daily life.  They have journals that track what they did with their dogs and whether or not they are happy with the results, what changes they are going to make in the future, etc.  Dd spent quite a bit of time this year making paintings of various instructor's dogs to give as gifts.  That was part of her art education.  We visit museums with Dh (who is a landscape painter), we take photos, we talk about composition, colors, etc.  In addition to their individual literature selections, we always have a read aloud happening.  Currently it is The Screwtape Letters.  I have plans to start reading Miracles on Maple Hill with Dd soon.  Ds will be a pain b/c he will insist that he has to be there when I read it, even though he has heard it before.  Then we end up having to wait for him, which can be annoying.  He recently sat in on my reading of Understood Betsy and just could not believe how well written it is.  He noticed the themes and author's techniques in a way he had not when I read it to him years ago.  We had some good laughs about people we know who need to live on the Putney farm for a while! 

 

So, we are rigid and flexible depending on needs and the goals.  To me, that's what gives me rest and peace about what we are doing.  I'm fairly certain I know quite a few people who would go nuts living and learning the way we do, which is why I am hesitant to post about our approach at all.  I only posted a fragment of what we do.  See how difficult it would be for some of us to tell you what our days and weeks are like?  They can be very personal to the family.

 

Oh, yes, then I have the days where I doubt myself, I compare, I agonize over what didn't get done and think everyone else is doing better than I am and I should start making our days look like a real brick and mortar school..........and then I come to my senses.

 

One thought is for someone to start a daily Circe thread.  All those inspired by Circe post your Monday.  Then, post your Tuesday...and so on. 

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I hesitate to post - I have nowhere near the education or experience that you do - but I must respectfully disagree with the bolded. If I thought that my kids' education ultimately depended on me, I would give up in despair and send them to public school. In fact, I have come close to despair quite often recently. But I believe, along with Charlotte Mason, that God the Holy Spirit is the Supreme Educator of my children. That does not absolve me of responsibility. I still want and need to be that "guide, philosopher and friend" in my siggie quote, and in order to do that I must educate myself and prepare to discuss the books my kids are reading, especially as they get older. But I cannot do it all, and I must trust God to "fill in the gaps" as a previous poster stated.

 

My mom homeschooled my sisters and I. Sometimes as we got older, and people heard of our accomplishments, they would say to my mom, "You must be so proud of your children!"  But my mom was keenly aware of her shortcomings as a teacher (and she went to teacher's college!), and would respond that she was grateful to God for giving her children the abilities and opportunities that she could not.

 

This is beautiful, Anna. I agree with you and wish I could meet your mom.

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This has been bothering me all weekend so I just want to  get all of these thoughts out of my head before I go crazy. 

 

Tress' comment about  how it boggles her mind how those of us  who are not teaching latin could possibly term what we are doing as Classical Education.  upset me a great deal. 

 

Admittedly, I am in a bad place right now.  My husband and I are separated and things are not going well (understatement.)  My mom just had open-heart surgery and she is not doing well (and I am 3,000 miles away.)  My in-laws  are pressuring me to put my youngest in school because she is 11 and is  having difficulty reading. 

 

If I was in a better place, I would have fluffed off Tress'  words and gone merrily on my way.   But I feel like my bones have been stripped bare and her words have cause me to second guess and doubt my ability to educate my children.  I continually ask myself what does it matter what she or anyone else thinks  and what does it matter if what I am doing is not considered classical education.  I don't have the answer to that, only that for where I am now,  it does matter.

 

I have been coming here to these forums for 11 years, mostly on a daily basis.  I don't  have irl homeschool support, this board has been it.  This thread, though, has left a very bad taste in my mouth and has made me feel even worse about myself than I did before.  So I have decided to stop coming here until I am able to feel stronger.   Now my only source of tangible support is gone, too.

 

This is why we don't want to share.

 

I am so sorry you have so much going on.   You have every right to be overwhelmed.    I pray your mother's health improves and that your in-laws can accept the boundaries between parent and grandparent.

 

FWIW, I do understand how frustrating it can be to hear the comments about Latin.   It took over a yr of reading Ester Maria's posts for me to finally realize that classical is simply a definition.   I literally yelled at Tracy Simmons in my mind for a long while prior to that!  I tried to find a link to one of my posts arguing against Latin as necessary for a CE. but I couldn't find one.   The only one I could find was one from 2010  where I mentioned how I have been on both sides of the discussions and where does that leave me.     But, now that I have accepted that CE is a definition describing a certain methodology, I also have accepted that I don't give my kids a CE.   I'm ok with that b/c it doesn't change the fact that they are getting a great education.   It is simply my methodology.

 

I have left the boards multiple times for extended periods b/c I needed a break.   I always come back b/c there are no other homeschoolers that talk about what education is like the women on these forums.   I have been stretched to be a better teacher and my kids have benefited from that.   I would never have even heard of Tracy Simmons if I hadn't read these boards.   I spent yrs disagreeing with him at that.   That I now agree with him just shows how much influence the forums have had on the teacher I have become.  

 

But, when it has been a bad place for my spirit, I have definitely retreated.    I don't come back lightly.

 

I hope you find peace even when pax is not what we what we have envisioned it to be.  I have no idea if you are a Christian or not, but this is my favorite quote: 

 

"The motto was `Pax,' but the word was set in a circle of thorns. Pax: peace, but what a strange peace, made of unremitting toil and effort, seldom with a seen result; subject to constant interruptions, unexpected demands, short sleep at nights, little comfort, sometimes scant food; beset with disappointments and usually misunderstood; yet peace all the same, undeviating, filled with joy and gratitude and love. `It is My own peace I give unto you.' Not, notice, the world's peace."

 

(from Rumer Godden's  In This House of Brede)

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I hesitate to post - I have nowhere near the education or experience that you do - but I must respectfully disagree with the bolded. If I thought that my kids' education ultimately depended on me, I would give up in despair and send them to public school. In fact, I have come close to despair quite often recently. But I believe, along with Charlotte Mason, that God the Holy Spirit is the Supreme Educator of my children. That does not absolve me of responsibility. I still want and need to be that "guide, philosopher and friend" in my siggie quote, and in order to do that I must educate myself and prepare to discuss the books my kids are reading, especially as they get older. But I cannot do it all, and I must trust God to "fill in the gaps" as a previous poster stated.

 

My mom homeschooled my sisters and I. Sometimes as we got older, and people heard of our accomplishments, they would say to my mom, "You must be so proud of your children!"  But my mom was keenly aware of her shortcomings as a teacher (and she went to teacher's college!), and would respond that she was grateful to God for giving her children the abilities and opportunities that she could not.

 

I wasn't trying to imply that mothers do not receive Divine guidance or inspiration for educating their child.  I believe they do.  But you can be receiving all the Divine guidance and inspiration that God can throw your way, and if you still don't physically prepare their lessons, organize your home and life, and teach those kids, it doesn't matter one bit.  I've known plenty of inspired women who weren't quite inspired enough to get their lessons plans accomplished each day.  Their children's education suffered for it.  In the end, you are their teacher, and their success as a homeschooled student depends on you doing what you set out to do.  There is no school system to back you up. You are the one accountable for their daily instruction. That's all I meant by that.

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I wasn't trying to imply that mothers do not receive Divine guidance or inspiration for educating their child.  I believe they do.  But you can be receiving all the Divine guidance and inspiration that God can throw your way, and if you still don't physically prepare their lessons, organize your home and life, and teach those kids, it doesn't matter one bit.  I've known plenty of inspired women who weren't quite inspired enough to get their lessons plans accomplished each day.  Their children's education suffered for it.  In the end, you are their teacher, and their success as a homeschooled student depends on you doing what you set out to do.  There is no school system to back you up. You are the one accountable for their daily instruction. That's all I meant by that.

 

This is SO true. I see it all the time. 

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I have to work to connect with him and create positive interactions.  He has some learning struggles, but he is actually doing very well with academics.  He is responsible with his outside classes and diligent with independent work.  It is his negativity that is a wet blanket on our daily life.  He can be sweet and sensitive and insightful, but those moments are rare right now.  I suppose my question is, "Will this change?  What can I do to help him?" 

 

 

I'm going to assume that he is sleeping well, eating well, and getting outside some. Fish oil is a great mood stabilizer, if you want to add that in to his daily diet. Even with how well I take care of myself, if I don't take it every day, or I miss a week? I see my patience slip. Even with PMS, that Fish Oil will keep me well balanced. 

 

With my oldest son, who got VERY negative, I had to be reminded to not be so critical. We make these negative spirals--and rightly so, they are cranky, and snide and make unkind comments, and it's SO HARD to stay above that. But you know how kids are, you ask them if they want lunch and then they are crying because they heard you say that you don't like them. Not to that extreme, but yeah, you DO feel like you're not speaking English. :D 

 

I remember one time where he was just being an obnoxious brat, and just sitting at the table *radiating* rage, and I put my hand on his shoulder and told him that I loved him. He totally broke down crying. That rage was his defense against my very justified anger. But I had to reach beyond that, to his heart, and remind him that though HE was being a giant pain in the rear, that I still loved him and always will. Your actions are wrong, but you are still loved. 

 

Keep him in the family loop. Just because you hate everyone doesn't mean that you get to sit in your room and sulk. You will come fishing with us. 

 

Keep loving him and praising the good and if there is none, FIND it. Which is so hard. (this is as much parent training as it is child training!) 

 

Autie Leila has some hints, but especially #5 is key in my house. http://www.likemotherlikedaughter.org/2011/02/ask-auntie-leila-10-rules-for-mothering/

 

 

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I'm going to assume that he is sleeping well, eating well, and getting outside some. Fish oil is a great mood stabilizer, if you want to add that in to his daily diet. Even with how well I take care of myself, if I don't take it every day, or I miss a week? I see my patience slip. Even with PMS, that Fish Oil will keep me well balanced. 

 

With my oldest son, who got VERY negative, I had to be reminded to not be so critical. We make these negative spirals--and rightly so, they are cranky, and snide and make unkind comments, and it's SO HARD to stay above that. But you know how kids are, you ask them if they want lunch and then they are crying because they heard you say that you don't like them. Not to that extreme, but yeah, you DO feel like you're not speaking English. :D 

 

I remember one time where he was just being an obnoxious brat, and just sitting at the table *radiating* rage, and I put my hand on his shoulder and told him that I loved him. He totally broke down crying. That rage was his defense against my very justified anger. But I had to reach beyond that, to his heart, and remind him that though HE was being a giant pain in the rear, that I still loved him and always will. Your actions are wrong, but you are still loved. 

 

Keep him in the family loop. Just because you hate everyone doesn't mean that you get to sit in your room and sulk. You will come fishing with us. 

 

Keep loving him and praising the good and if there is none, FIND it. Which is so hard. (this is as much parent training as it is child training!) 

 

Autie Leila has some hints, but especially #5 is key in my house. http://www.likemotherlikedaughter.org/2011/02/ask-auntie-leila-10-rules-for-mothering/

 

 

 

Thank you for all of this.  There are some things I am not doing that I could do in all of that, but there are also some things that I am already doing that I need to have reinforced.  "Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due time you will reap a harvest." - (Galatians 6:9 paraphrase) about sums it up.

 

Again, thank you.

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P.S.  I really appreciated Auntie Leila's words.  So much of the description of the 13 year old boy rang true.

 

P.P.S.  My 13 year old boy is currently in our spare bathroom playing with our six 3-4 week old foster kittens with his 8 year old sister, even though he says the kittens are "creepy" and they all look "goofy".  (And it is my 11 year old BFF mini-me, compliant, helpful and ever pleasant son who has stomped off to his room in the middle of a writing lesson yelling and slamming the door.)  I think the moral of that story is to look at actions, not words. ;)

 

P.P.P.S.  I shall go play with kittens now.  :)

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I think you raise a really interesting question about the struggle to adapt older ideas - ideas we, not being classically educated ourselves, no longer have contact with in an organic, living way - to a very new, post-Christian context.  Can we take a model for educating a small slice of the population and apply it to everyone? What are the essential elements of "classical education" we want to carry forward? How far can we stretch them and adapt them? At what point do they lose contact with older traditions? Does that matter?

 

 

I agree that these are things we need to think about.  But the classical curriculum centered on rhetoric appears to be a somewhat living tradition, in the sense that there are people alive who received it.   In particular, it was still being taught in Quebec in the late 1960s.  

 

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cours_classique (Google translation)

 

I wouldn't be surprised if there were some traditionalists still teaching it in a bunker in the bush somewhere.  Maybe we should raise money to send Andrew Kern there.    :laugh:

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We are in this to maximize human beings, not to check the boxes.

 

 

Thank you for this fabulous quote. It is now at the top of my long term goal page.

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I haven't finished reading the posts, but I just wanted to say what I have taken away from it all.  I have realized over the past couple of years that I cannot give what I do not have.  I have realized that I need to educate myself first.  I need to learn Latin, read good books, read philosophy, pray, and grow in wisdom.  I need to enter the great conversation myself before I can help my children enter the conversation.  I have given myself permission (which was hard) to give myself time each day for prayer and reading.  I give myself quiet time in the day to contemplate.  Often this time comes while I am cleaning the kitchen in silence.  I never realized that my own education was so lacking.  I went to a top college and then a top law school.  I majored in literature yet I read very few of the great books and even fewer of the good books.  I think part of teaching from a state of rest is not panicking about what you don't know.  Instead, we just start learning and reading now.  Every book I finish (whether philosophy or literature) has brought me deeper wisdom and more confidence in my ability to lead the education of my children.

 

I am not going to lie.  I feel very inadequate amongst so much wisdom on these boards, but we all have to start somewhere.  Honestly, I learn a lot along with my kids.  I never realized there was beauty in math until I started teaching my kids.  I never realized the delight in reading a great story aloud with my kids.  I never realized that poetry is best spoken and not read.  I never read poetry aloud in college.  No wonder I never saw the beauty!  I never knew that there was beauty in grammar (probably because I was never taught grammar).  I am learning along with my son and loving it.

 

I put a lot of work into planning my childrens' education.  I do the best I can and it is extremely important to me.  But that said, I allow the Holy Spirit to lead my homeschool.  A lot of times we veer from my plan, but it always turns out better that way.  I think it is important to have a plan, but to be flexible with it.  I go at the pace my children need.  I don't feel any guilt about speeding up or slowing down.  I am only concerned that they master something before moving on.

 

I get scared sometimes when I listen to homeschool talks where they basically act like just living your life is education enough.  I actually listened to part of a talk today where she was saying that multiplication tables don't matter and we all need to just make learning relevant to your kids (if they like horses, do math about horses, science about horses, history about horses, etc).  I guess to me that isn't the definition of teaching from a state of rest.  I feel like we need to expose our kids to the good, the true, and the beautiful and set out the feast of beautiful ideas that Charlotte Mason talks about.  You never know where your child will see truth.  Some of the books and ideas that have really resonated beauty to my children have shocked me.  Who knew that they would find geography so inspiring?  Who knew that Thornton Burgess books could bring absolute delight to our dinner table every night?

 

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of these posts!

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I have been reading a lot of Circe posts today, listened to a lecture by Andrew Kern, and read a lot of Amongst Lovely Things blog.  A lot of what I read has been refreshing and helpful!  I checked out some CAP articles, too.

 

BUT, I'm wondering if you have relaxed a bit on homeschooling and look to have the rest and not the anxiety, what does a day/week look like to you?  What do you use for history, lit, etc?  I haven't really grasped the whole Circe thing and maybe I am missing the point?  Teach Latin, teach the basics, do some history?  I guess the whole feel of it was freeing but yet felt like unschooling or something to me and I need a more:  do this (if it works for your child/you) and do that (if it works for your child/you).  I like the here is what we recommend list....  Like WTM offers.  That has been helpful to me as a starting point.  

 

I've been so stressed with different ideas, what will work best for my kids, etc., that the struggle to decide what I should do for history/lit has been consuming all my time and energy!  I know, relax lady.  I do the MFW/TOG/SOTW/plus other history debate every year.  

 

What I loved the most about Amongst Lovely Things blog is the encouragement to get back to reading aloud.  I have let myself stop because of being overwhelmed by little ones/noise that something that is so important to me is not happening in the home.

 

Now this whole avoid historical fiction thing....  

 

Anyways,  what would one use to have the Charlotte Mason/Classical/Circe style schooling in their home?  I think that is what my ramble is all about.   :)

 

You know it's funny, when I started the more recent Circe thread I actually asked for more specifics as you are. I stuck my neck out and listed several specific things that had changed our homeschool. You can read the OP here. I posted a rough schedule of our day here.

 

I think it is totally fine to ask for examples. Some people just cannot grasp a concept fully until they see it fleshed out. And the more examples, the better. It is the difference between S's and N's, if you are into Myers-Briggs. :)

 

I just listened to Christopher Perrin's audio on Finishing the Year Strong. It was very good, and discussed specifics of a slower, richer education such as a smaller subject load, block scheduling, teaching/learning to mastery (his points on this are really good and ring with what I've learned from Joanne Calderwood), and making time for enjoying the arts. I could see myself listening to that one on a yearly basis.

 

What does the CM/Classical/Circe style look like in our house?

 

Short, thorough grammar (DGP)

Mastery-style math (Systemath)

Non-formulaic writing instruction (Understanding Writing) This also is a teacher-involved program which has forced me to interact with my DS with his writing, something I would tend NOT to do.

Living books for science for K-8. Also I am moving more toward interest-led on this one.

Moving toward yearly overviews in history, with time for interest-led deeper study. I'm looking forward to using books such as A Child's First Book in American History and Story of Mankind with my next student.

We are doing a lot more art and handwork. Not variety, just frequency.

 

We do not do Latin.

We do not write across the curriculum

We are not relaxed with the 3R's. We are with the rest.

 

The crowing gem of our day is read-aloud/morning basket time. I read first to the 7yo with the 4yo listening in. We start with a Psalm (the same one for a whole semester or year, so they memorize it). Then we read poetry, a Bible story, some classic children's lit or fairy tale, some living science or history story, some phonics, and then the next lesson of Ray's Primary Arithmetic orally. Then the 7th grader hears Hebrews 11, his poetry selections, and a bit of classic lit, followed by my bumbling attempts at rich Socratic discussion. :) We use Teaching the Classics and add in Caesar's English once a week.

 

One thing I realized after the original thread was that I needed time. You need time to read, to contemplate, to discuss. You need time to appreciate the arts. It doesn't work to tack them onto an already full day. And time is hard to come by in a multi-child homeschooling family. That is why I have been brutal in cutting down the number of subjects that we tackle. We eat lots of cold sandwiches and bean burritoes.

 

I do have to say that I think 8Fill really hit on something when she said a large part of teaching from rest is having the confidence that you can provide a good education. That is definitely something I gained from the original thread, that I hadn't had before.

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