Thursday, September 1, 2011
Things didn't quite go as planned.
I have the class of four year olds at CC. Which means that for most of them this is their first experience with a classroom setting, other than Sunday School, or other settings which probably lasted, at the most, an hour. At CC, the students are in their classrooms from 9:15-12:00. (We have a fifteen minute large group opening). And Ada and I got there at 8 am to get the classroom ready. After about 30 minutes in the classroom, I started to "lose" the students, including my own child. At one point, when Ada was supposed to do her "presentation" (the students do a short presentation every week so that by the time they graduate high school they are very comfortable speaking in front of people--you can imagine what this looks like in the 4 year old class), but she didn't want to present, she just lost it. Tears streaming down her face, declaring that she is hungry, she wants to go home, etc. etc. I asked another mom (the moms are in the classroom with their children) to take over, and Ada and I had to step out in the hall to have a little chat. I really didn't think she was going to be able to get it together. In her defense, I think she was in change overload. She had spent only two nights in the new house after being gone for a week, the day before we had begun keeping a friend's little boy, and now she was in her first day of school with her mom as a teacher, and she just had a meltdown. She pulled it together, and we managed to finish the day.
Yesterday, her second day of class, went much, much better. I think since each of the students now knew what to expect, things naturally went much better. And Ada even managed to present (though she was barely audible as she talked about her family). I am crossing my fingers (and praying lots) that each week will get better.
As far as school at home, it is going well. I just have to figure out a routine for us. We are managing to fit in school each day, but I wish we had more of a set schedule. I have found that I can keep Ada's complete attention for 20 minutes and after that the information is in one ear out the other. So, we are doing school in 20 minutes increments through out the day--for now. I assume that as she gets older, the time she can pay attention will increase.
Through CC, we are covering Latin, Math, English, Science, Geography, History, and History Timeline (which is separate from history). On our own we are doing a phonics program. Though that make look like a lot, most of that is just a sentence that Ada has to memorize each week. Or, for Latin, just a few words. It is the grammar stage--so Ada is learning the "grammar" of each subject--the building blocks, so to speak.
For example, week 1, Latin Prepositions--Ada learned four latin prepositions, I would say the latin word, ex. apud, and she would say the English word--with. And that was all we did with Latin. This week she is learning three Latin conjunctions. For History, English, and Science she memorizes a sentence each week. So, it's really not that time consuming. Phonics is the most time consuming at this point, but to me, also the most important--because if she can't read, it's going to be hard for her to learn ;) So, I am being realistic with myself, since she's only four, and our two goals for this year are that Ada learns to read well and that she learns to be disciplined and work hard. She often says she doesn't want to do school, and I want her to learn that it is a good, God-honoring thing to work hard even when we don't feel like it.
And, on a funny note, Ada loves doing her history sentence and timeline cards. She can spout them out, no problem. I say, "tell me about Columbus" (last week's history sentence), and she says, "in 1492, Columbus made the first of four trips to the Caribbean on three Spanish ships named the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria." No problem. Her English sentence however, she never gets it. She doesn't like doing it. It's work to get through it each day. Sad day for this English major mama. She doesn't like English!!! How can this be?!!! But, it's fun to see that already she is loving History.
Okay, I could go on and on about school, so I will stop there. If anyone ever has any questions about CC or the classical method, I would love to share more info. I believe so strongly in the classical method, so if anyone is on the fence, I would be glad to persuade you ;)
As for John, he is loving trains and stacking cups. That is what he spends hours on each day--playing with his trains and cups. He has started taking a train with him everywhere--one in each hand, and I already have visions of a train themed second birthday. What could be more perfect for a little boy?
He continues to be so moody.
I was just looking at this on google reader, and I realized that blogger had left off an entire paragraph of my post. I didn't mean to end the post with such a negative view of John. Bless his heart. He is moody, but I also talked about how I know God has given him many strengths and how I am praying that God would show me how to encourage those strengths and not let John's melancholy tendencies define him. Anyway...I just wanted to clear that up ;)