Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reflecting on the Semester

I think I will try to do a little Tuesday school update each week, every other week, something like that...

I definitely want to spend some time reflecting, processing, and recording our homeschooling experience, and where else would I do that except for right here, for all the world to read ;)

I am chilling a bit when it comes to teaching Ada to read.  I am realizing that she just may not be at the reading point yet.  She can tell me the sounds of every letter of the alphabet, can name words that start with each letter, and can pick out sounds of letters in the middle of words, but she can't blend.  She's not catching on.  So, for now, I am giving it a rest.  She will be five in August, and will then officially be in Kindergarten, and we will tackle it again then.

In the mean time, we will be focusing on her memory work each week.  She is absolutely capable of memorizing her "facts" each week (as is every four year old--wink, wink), and she likes doing it, for the most part, so that is our focus this year.  The reading will come.  The math will come (this is after much assurance from Ann), our focus this year, at four, is the memory work.  It's not about the facts, by the way, it's about training her mind to memorize.  It's the same concept as training your muscles to run.

We are the end of semester one of Classical Convrsations, and I am looking at an eight week break for the holiday season (huge bonus of Homeschooling!!!)  We, of course, will continue to review at home, but there isn't any new information to take in.  We can just take our time, review, and get ourselves ready for next semester.

Now that we are halfway through the year, I can confidently say that I love CC.  I really, really do.  I love the community.  I love that I have the support of like minded moms.  I love that Ada can enjoy a classroom setting where she is around other kids.  I love the accountability and the structure.  And I love that the purpose of CC is to know God and make Him known--because that's it, right?  That's why we do what we do!

When we first began the semester, I felt very overwhelmed by all of the information to learn each week, but I see now that it works.  That if I have an off week, there is built in time to catch up, and that it honestly does get easier.  The brain is being trained to memorize, so it becomes routine.  And I am thrilled by all of the facts that I am storing in my brain.  We are only eight weeks in, and already it is so much easier for me to sort history into a correct timeline, and in gaining that information, I am much more equipped to evaluate history.  I am loving re-educating myself!!  So I am especially thankful that Ada is learning how to store this information from the get-go.  And as a family we are memorizing the scripture together, which Ada will then learn to translate into Latin next semester (which is not as crazy as it sounds, I promise!!!)  Scott's doing it, I'm doing it, not John since he is still mastering the English language ;)  I think the word that sums up how I feel is gratitude.  I am so thankful that this is even a possibility for us.  That I am able to be at home with my kids, that I have the freedom to choose how to educate my children, and that I live in a town where CC is available (Tutti, if you by chance are reading this, thank you SO MUCH for getting this started in Henry County!!!)

Before becoming a mom, I was really passionate about education, so now that I am talking about my own children, the passion goes up about a million notches.  And everything that I read about the classical method (and there is much to learn!!!) absolutely makes sense.  It just makes sense, and the more I learn, the more I know that I can't "go back."

So, I apologize for the boring, wordy post, but, like I said, it's helpful for me to process as we move along in the school year.

(Ada and me at CC.  She is presenting her favorite bible story--the students have to do a presentation each week, and it has been so fun to see each of them grow in confidence from the first week.)

1 comment:

Mary said...

We, too, are loving CC! About reading, I just wanted to offer my encouragement. One of the great wonderful benefits of homeschooling i sthat there is no artificial timetable of when your child must be doing X, Y or Z. All of my kids have been slow to get into the rhythym of reading. For Michael & Rachel, this resulted in headaches and frustrations (they were in school, and I was stressed about them not keeping up). For Matthew, Irene & Abbie, we were able to take a break and come back to it later. Repeatedly! Abbie is not reading yet, she is working on her letters. Although I do of course want her to read, it's okay . We can take it as she is able and hopefully that way she will love reading and not be frustrated by it. (With that said, I am not sure my theory tested out so well with Matt, but he is a boy and a horse of another color!!) : )