My Classical Ed Re-conversion Story
I have been successfully evangelized after attending a teacher training seminar hosted by a curriculum company. In the past, I would have been the first one to read that and think, " Oh, there's another one drinking the kool-aid and getting all wound up after a sales pitch."
Only, that's not exactly true. I've purchased bits and pieces, entire core levels even from Memoria Press over the last 10-15 years? Who knows anymore?
I remember when they just had latin and the Famous Men books and I liked them then too. I loved them enough to sign up for their two-day event this July called Sodalitas.
Sodalitas is a Latin word meaning "association, fraternity." Homeschoolers realize we are not huge in numbers. We aren't even high enough in numbers to get significant curriculum companies interested in creating materials for us to use at home. Mostly because there are so many methodologies that they don't know where to begin in attracting our business.
Also because I think they (big business education industry) know that we understand how inferior their methods are. and would reject them anyway. So, you may recognize some homeschoolers, but finding someone who homeschools the same way you do is a real find.
I've always been a part-time classical education devotee.
Why part-time? Mostly because life is complicated and the classical model is my ideal but not always attainable in our situation. There have been years when we've gone all year classically, others where we dropped down to the basics and others where we split the time between the two.
Ok, so I'm down to this one kid in our homeschool. That in itself seems crazy as I have spent years and years juggling students.
At one point I did math 4 hours a day Monday- Friday on four levels. That doesn't even take into account cleaning, cooking, and other subjects.
Now with one kid, I was feeling both free and slightly unhinged. "We can do almost anything," I thought with the glee that only a fellow homeschool Mom could understand.
I mean I have no toddler rushing in to wreck our diorama.
I have no high schooler that needs help with college planning.
I have one kid that as of right now doesn't need to prep for anything. We're at that sweet stage of just doing school.
Now, I used K,1,2,3 Memoria Press packages with this kid, and it was great. In 4th-6th grades, I got all crazy and did Oak Meadow with some Memoria Press.
I liked the idea of the creative projects, but he hated it.
This kid loved memorizing things and missed reciting. So, I bought and re-sold OM 7. (homeschooling a long time does not make you immune from making bad decisions) and had planned our year with MP.
(Side note: Yes, we're secular. No, I don't mind materials created by people of faith. I make sure the science is "real science," but beyond that, I choose based on what fits my teaching style) Ask me about how much I love Rod and Staff Spelling.
I decided to attend Sodalitas to firm up my placement choices. We had kept up with their cycle of classical studies; we are behind in their latin cycle and math. I knew they would mix and match a complete core for me from prior years when we were "off grade level" in some subjects. Plus, I simply looked forward to hearing from the "experts."
What a great couple of days they were.
Day one I learned all about the difference between exposure to material and mastery of that material. I had provided plenty of exposure, but in not requiring mastery of some work I created a situation where we could not keep moving forward.
Yikes. That's on me. I'm reassuring myself that we all make mistakes and that this one is easy to remedy.
I also learned that the teachers at The Highlands Latin School do not do all the work in the workbooks. They work on them as a class and pick and choose what they feel are a good variety from each lesson.
Picture me sitting there- *mind blown*
We didn't have to struggle through getting all those answers written out in literature each week? That's some handy information. Same with Classical Comp. ANy of you who think MP is too hard- let's chat about it, and I'll give you the real skinny.
We do have to memorize those latin declensions entirely, and that is why we're starting First Form Latin over again.
I don't have my crystal ball handy, so I don't know how this will turn out. We've made some other lifestyle changes that are pretty counter-cultural including not having a television for the past month and me giving up Facebook. The result so far has been positive. We're reading more (well, not me- I'm reading the same amount!) and the house has a quiet monastery like vibe. Very peaceful and conducive to creativity.
If you are used to getting linked back here from Facebook, I apologize, but my posts were showing up in very few timelines and honestly its just one more thing on my long list of things to do. I'm keeping my Instagram page and post there most days with links to my current reviews, pet pics and whatever I find beautiful.
My goal for this blog has evolved, and I hope that this year my posts will be fewer and meatier. I've scaled back a bit in regards to reviews, and I think that's going to mesh well with my other writing and schooling. Right now I have eleven books (give or take) to review in August and a couple of longer chatty posts planned too.
So- that's all I've got for now. As always, thank you for stopping by my corner of the interwebs!
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