The Journey is Long and the Road is Hard
I wanted to share with you what we are doing nowadays. We went from a great boxed curriculum that was sucking the life out of both of us to Fun-schooling. It was a welcome relief. But, C-Bear just isn't cut out for that kind of learning. He would much rather be doing Legos than anything. That works for some families, but it just doesn't fly for us. We went through the first half of the 2016-2017 school year doing a sort of modified My Father's World meets Fun-Schooling. It sort of worked, but still wasn't really engaging. Enter Classical Conversations...
Yes, you may totally roll your eyes at this, and I get it. We all have that CC friend. They are kind of annoying, aren't they? Their kids know all this stuff, which is sort of impressive, but it just seems like pointless memorization...yes, to the outside observer it does. The Classical Model builds on itself. The memorizing years are just the beginning. Then, they begin to use that knowledge to think! I am still learning about it and it is really quite fascinating. I won't get into the theory of classical education. You can read about it in several different books. BUT...
C-Bear took to it! He has memorized a timeline of world history, memorized a ridiculous amount of history songs from last year and other facts from many subjects. He WILL use all of this when he is in 7th grade+ but the really intriguing thing is that all of this stuff he has memorized has really jumpstarted his curiosity. Now, when he hears about something he heard about at CC he immediately perks up with interest. So, we are in with Classical Conversations now. It has been an excellent move for us. Even K-Bug knows anything that has a song attached to it. She, ALSO, perks up when hearing a familiar historical name or science fact, etc. It is wonderful! He sang two history songs at this year's end of the year celebration and dressed up as Woodrow Wilson. He knows most of next year's history already (oops). But the great thing is the snippets they get lead to even more curiosity and study. It has been amazing.
So, now we go to CC once a week and he is enrolled in their Essentials program for next year. I am not very great with the putting-together-of-the-words, so a great friend I have made (another benefit) is teaching Essentials and he will get a really thorough dosing of English Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, etc.
Our schedule looks like this on non-CC days: 8:00 - Breakfast and cleanup
9:00 - Math work (Teaching Textbooks for this year) for C and reading aloud picture books to K
10:00 - Loop read alouds (two loops - one Math, Literature, History, Science and the other Bible, catechism, and scripture memory). 11:00 - break for lunch
1:00 - Essentials
2:00 - Chores and Quiet time
This is a rough draft of our routine. I am going to do my best to be diligent to not DO anything else aside from karate at 4pm one day and 3pm the other. I want to be present for the kids. That is a goal for the year. I am always looking for ideas to make learning more fun and would love your input, though! No matter what change we have made, it is still a chore to C. He likes CC better than anything else we have done and part of that is the friendships, but I would love to know what you do!
I am still very much in the trenches. CC is a great fit for us, but it does not take away the daily struggle (and it is real, is it not?). He would still simply much rather be creating and playing. He makes amazing things, true, but try as I may I cannot trust it as his entire educational experience. It works for some, but not us. It's a hard journey!