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Author Topic: Which homeschooling Method are you thinking of or are currently using?  (Read 44947 times)
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sonya_post
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« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2012, 10:10:08 PM »

I thought I'd weigh in on this subject since I've done it once all the way through and am about to do it again.

All of you are already homeschooling. Homeschooling is merely educating at home. If you are doing it after school then it is merely an issue of time not of activity. Early learning is home education at it's finest. I read a study  on what makes a successful math student. Not just one that does well on tests but ends up in the field of math. They looked at IQ, academic preschools, math education in school, daycare setting, education of parents, how much money parents made etc. The two most important factors were: whether the mother spent time teaching math in the early years and two whether the mother was Indian. Why? Evidently Indian mothers take math very seriously and their children are comfortable with numbers. What moms are doing at home is more important than almost anything else - provided she is teaching.

We used a classical approach with my son. I read the WTM - it is fine, but it's actually more accelerated than classical. Classical education as defined today is really a methodology. It tells you what to teach and when to teach it. I'm not sure I buy into how Dorothy Sayers (Read Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning) linked these stages (The Trivium) with child development. If you want to suggest these as loose guidelines, then ok - but as rigid guidelines - not so much. Especially for early learners...it changes the ball game completely. You will never be able to follow the curriculum guidelines of the WTM. Your child is going to blast through those.

When thinking about how to approach this - and if you really want to understand classical education, not neo-classical which is we are talking about today - then I'd recommend the book "A History of Education in Antiquity". The classical approach that we are supposed to be emulating isn't as neat and tidy and many current writers would have you think. It is a dry academic book, but it is an eye opener. The author goes into why the Greeks and Romans did certain things and then how education remained alive in the middle ages and how children were taught.

I think Charlotte Mason is classical in her approach and more classical than many current pushers of classical curriculum. You really should read her writing and not just what others say about her. She would not approve of Early Learning or the methodologies employed. However, she was into brain training/memory training as were most of those in antiquity.

I am a fan of classical education because it gets results. I am a fan of Charlotte Mason in terms of approach - ridding yourself of worksheets as much as possible, busywork, etc. I am not a fan of lapbooks merely because so much time and effort goes into making them that it seems a waste by the time you are finished. We have used narration and notebooking extensively as a means to determine what my son is learning. It helps him determine what he find important. We will be doing the same with my LO. Notebooking really does solve lots of issues.

For writing we are using the progymnasmata model. We will start in kindergarten with narration and work our way up through high school combined with narration/notebooking this is plenty of writing. You can solve the problem of tedium of classical education (there shouldn't be any if you are using real books) by giving a certain amount of time each week to let a child pursue his/her own interests. If that is directed in the beginning - this is a great opportunity to teach a child to teach himself. Which should be one of the end goals.

Other books I recommend when thinking about classical education: Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin, Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education, The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being, Leisure: The Basis of Culture, and Mortimer Adler's Six Great Ideas.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 10:27:14 PM by sonya_post » Logged
cokers4life
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« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2012, 11:07:32 PM »

I love your posts Sonya!  I have been secretly waiting for your point of view.  I knew I was missing something on the classical approach but I couldn't put my finger on it.  I needed some direction.  I will definitely be taking a look at those books and all the new terminology.  Maybe I will find what I am looking for.  I have heard a lot about notebooking too.  I had almost forgot about it while diving into the WTM. 

Knowing what you know now (to Sonya), how will your approach to educating your LO differ from your older child?  Is logic something you will be doing from the very beginning?  Let's say if we could peek into the day of your child when they are maybe in 3rd grade (if you have thought that far), what would it be like?  I must confess that I have thought that far. 

I need long term goals (even if those goals change slightly) in order to give my short term goals directions.   This is of course why I am contemplating it right now.   Currently, I have my kids' curriculum for the year already mapped out, so I am thinking of next year when they will both be ready to have a more formal and ridged schedule (for their age group that is).  My children need consistency or they will take advantage of my kindness (LOL), so I prefer to be ready with a general consistent idea of the future. 

I don't want the fact that I haven't defined my educational philosophy to affect how I direct my child, so I realize the importance of doing my homework now (although I feel I should have done this a long time ago).  I am trying to define my educational philosophy, and I love hearing about what worked for those who have done it and brought up successful children.  So thanks again for sharing!

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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2012, 12:03:40 AM »

Yes, Thank you Sonya!   yes

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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2012, 03:16:19 AM »

@ Cokers4life,

This is going to sound snotty, but I assure you it is not. You are a first generation college graduate - that means you are too dumb to know what you don't know. I can say this because I too am a first generation college graduate. I have a very expensive degree but a really crappy education. So when I started out I happened across an article on Classical Education and Dorothy Sayers essay on Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. I recently had gotten this thing called the internet in my home and found some resources on what a whole bunch of curriculum providers were calling classical. I wanted a good education for my child - he was 2 at the time and I was raring to go.....ahhhh.  tongue I have some great material to help you get what you are missing -  if you want I can email you a list. At this point, I have realized that there is a whole lot of stuff I just don't know about.

My big mistakes:

1. Not reading Charlotte Mason soon enough. She was poo-pooed by many in my circle of influence. So I didn't bother. I don't do that anymore,

2. Sticking with Saxon Math way longer than I should have. This one thing caused a 4 year battle in my family that left many wounds - most are healed now but there are some scars. If you read the Moshe Kai thread...yep, that was us and a whole bunch of other folks I know.
 
3. Not demanding perfection from the very beginning. I was harder than most parents I knew, but not hard enough. In reading Charlotte Mason - I realized it would have been better to demand 4 perfect M's rather than a worksheet filled with pretty good M's. Once a child can do a task it should be done well, a parent should never be slack in this area. This does more for a child than anything else. It will teach him diligence and pride in a job well done. It was also give him a distaste for the mediocre.

4, I didn't want to send my child to college early as in 12 - 15, but we should have finished high school by 16. He has been a teenager way too long. We both agree on that. He was ready at 16 to be done.We were always a couple years ahead of even the most rigorous schedule - I was always afraid of being too pushy and I was told I was being too pushy. Well, I don't listen to advice like that anymore either. He would have been happier being pushed. Now,  I have a friend who produced 3, yes 3, National Merit Scholars. She kept all her boys home till 19. She has sound reasoning for this and she's been able to secure over $300,000  in scholarships. So, here it's going to depend on the child and your family.

5. I didn't know the difference between necessary work and busy work. We were curriculum dependent till my son was in about 6th grade. Most of the busywork is for the parents - it makes them feel that they got something when they spent $100 for that curriculum. I've grown to despise busywork - it gives the illusion that you are educating a child. 


What I did right and will do again:

1. Progrmnasmata - we didn't start till my son was in 5th grade. You don't need to curriculum for this. You just need your brain. If you don't feel comfortable writing then when your child gets to 7th grade or so, you may want to pick up Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student or something like that. We did this all by imitation. So we found good examples of well written material then take it apart and then rewrite that  in our own words and then take a completely different subject and apply the principles from the example to our own writing. We will use the progym like this:

Fable:
a re-telling of story with a moral
Introduced in k
Description:
a vivid presentation of details with word pictures
Introduced in 1st grade
Narrative and Anecdote:
a re-telling of a story from given facts and a re-telling of what a person said
Introduced in 2nd grade
Comparison and Contrast:
compare and contrast particular persons, things, or ideas
Introduced in 3rd grade
Encomium and Invective:
praise or condemn a particular person or thing
Introduced in 3rd grade
Proverb and Maxim:
praise or refute a proverbial saying
Introduced in 4th grade
Confirmation and Refutation:
defend or refute an alleged fact or event
Introduced in 5th grade
Commonplace:
declaration against general vices
Introduced in 7th grade
Characterization:
write in the voice and style of a particular character (real or fictional)
Introduced in 7th grade
Thesis:
argue an undecided subject
Introduced in 6th grade, but practiced primarily in 7th grade and on.
Proposal of Law:
argue for or against old or new laws
introduced in 8th grade
Suasoria:*
exercises in political oratory
Introduced in 11th grade
Controversia:*
exercises in judicial oratory
Introduced in 11th grade
* Suasoria and Controversia are not technically part of the progymnasmata. Instead they are the culminating projects done by students of the progymnasmata.

This does not mean that we only use the progym for that certain grade. I've given assignments from all previous years we are just careful when we introduce the new stuff. When dealing with fables, myths, or fairy tales they can be lots of fun and great exercises. First we take a story and tell it in our own words. Then cut it down to 50 words. Then 25. Next we tell it from a different point of view. Then as a news story, Options are endless. I did this for a summer class of 5-9th graders. It was a ton of fun and the kids learned so much.

2. Other than literature/history discussion I quit teaching in the 6th grade. I picked most classes and helped but he was in charge - I gave him a list to do and that was it.  We'll do that again. You can't just stop in 6th grade you have to move into that over the years. He was irritated that his friends parents taught classes and I refused, but not now. He can teach himself and move faster than any of his peers. He doesn't need me, which is the end goal.

3. The last 4 years, I've really reduced the amount of requirements in his life and have been around as a coach. This last year he has picked all of his classes except the Omnibus - that is a requirement from me. He has chosen to take statistics and linear algebra both college courses. Funny from a kid who hated math. He feels very prepared to move on when he leaves my house. He is not planning on attending college. He plans on apprenticing a couple years and then starting his own business. I was a little shocked by it, but his reasoning is sound and he's put his plan on paper. He is taking steps on his own to get the experience he needs.

4.Schooled year round and took 2-3 week breaks to take vacations (always there was reading) and do an intensive of some kind. I don't mean a unit study, but maybe we are going to take 3 weeks and go to the East Coast and visit historical sites. Come home and then watch a video series on Gettyburg, and perhaps read more books and whatever. Maybe we take 3 weeks and study the history of Arms and Armour. 

What will a school day look like in 3rd grade? I don't know. I started working on curriculum plans when I was pregnant - even before I discovered Early Learning. My plan was to start my child on reading around two. Well, he's reading and he just turned two. He's moving faster and is light years ahead of my son. What do you do when you know there are kids on here doing basic algebra at 4? It throws a monkey wrench into the whole planning. However, here are the guideline that I don't think will change. And I am still against early college before 16. I want my child to have a full classical education. There are some things that require maturity - Dante's Inferno requires maturity, The Origin of the Species requires maturity. So, we will do the Omnibus starting in 7th grade and work all year till all six books are finished. History will start officially in 1st grade with Ancient Egypt and we'll cover all of history in 3 years in two cycles. We will cover European/American history 2x in those cycles as well. This is a Charlotte Mason approach - we'll be using real books and we'll have to pick something as a spine, I just haven't decided yet. Age 4 & 5 we will cover geography and family history. Summers will be a chance to study particular time periods in depth. I have a list of books I think are must reads in elementary. We'll be doing BFSU - which is classical in approach - covering it all in more depth as we mature. From there, not sure, it will depend on him. We're starting Latin as soon as the new LR comes out. Math - we are just going to have to figure it all out as we go along. That one doesn't take maturity and so you can move faster - same with science.

Here's the thing you guys have to remember when looking at curriculum and suggestions from the WTM and others. These guys are not into EL. So while their kids are spending the better part of k-2 learning to read, and do basic math our kids are going to be way past that. And, it is not like your children will just be 2 - 3 years ahead eventually they will be 6-8 years ahead. The more they learn the easier it is to learn. I have a little boy in daycare. I started teaching him to read when he was almost 3. He is turning 5 in a month. I started teaching my little guy to read a little over a year ago. The two of them are almost in the same place. The little daycare boy can sound out more words but my son knows probably 1000 more words when he sees them. In 3-4 months my son will be way past this 5 year old.It is going to take awhile before he catches back up. And my little daycare boy is way past any of the kids he is going to school with. Other than history/literature/handwriting and art...well, I'm winging it like the rest of you.

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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2012, 04:42:59 AM »

Thank you so much for your post, and no offense was taken.  I feel like my personal education is just beginning.  Sometimes I think I am looking more for a curriculum for myself than for my kids. LOL

There is lots to think about.



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« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2012, 05:06:50 AM »

EXACTLY!!!!  If you know it you can teach it, even if you know it only a couple weeks before they do.... big grin

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« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2012, 11:09:26 AM »

Thank you so much, Sonya, for sharing your insights. I'm loving it.

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« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2012, 06:06:43 PM »

Thanks Sonya - you wrote a lot of interesting things. I am interested in the progymnasmata way of teaching rhetoric - how do you go about finding out more about this? My DD is due to start kindergarten next year, though she will be homeschooled and I have long been debating what to do with her regarding writing and other forms of language arts since her reading is so far advanced now.

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« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2012, 01:37:39 AM »

How to find out about the Progym and exercises. Well, Wikipedia has a great post about it. You can look at curriculum - but you DON'T need it unless you are very uncomfortable teaching writing. I found a couple things online - this looks pretty good as a curriculum and I've linked to a sample of the fable stage: http://classicalcomposition.com/samples/
 
My friend with all the Merit Scholars used this: http://classicalwriting.com/Progym.htm. I have mixed feelings about this curriculum - but mostly I can't stand it. My friend loves it, my son took this in a class with her for 2 years - I taught baking/cooking while she taught writing. The problem may have been the teacher. The author put out a book 6  years ago that was pretty good. But parents wanted more of a "how to" not principles. So she wrote this whole series. Much of what my son was doing was busy work. LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of busy work. The books got expensive - and well, you know my feelings on it. 

My favorite book on writing by imitation is "The Wirters Workshop".- http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Workshop-Imitating-Better-Writing/dp/1933859334/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349313349&sr=1-12&keywords=writers+workshop  This does not follow the progym but it is really a short little treasure.

Logos Press put out these: http://www.logospressonline.com/index.php?p=product&id=37&parent=18 click on the PDF sample and you will see what I mean when I say that you can do this stuff yourself. In the older grades you may want a curriculum, but k-6 you should be fine.

There is this: http://gemini.utb.edu/achurch/progymnasmata.html

You can get a ton of information on all things Classical from the Circe Institute. These guys are a distinctly Christian outfit, so you need to be aware of that before you truck on over.

Some poeple think that formal writing lesson should wait until age 7 or 8. Phewy. Not our kids. That doesn't mean they should be actually writing out stories, but they should be able to narrate a story back to you that you have read to them. I am not after original material - that is silly as kids haven't read enough to gather a storehouse of sentences and ideas to put together. But they can certainly retell what they've heard.



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aangeles
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« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2012, 10:00:39 AM »

Sonya,

Thank you very much for your very informative and detailed posts. Coincidentally, I had been looking into how to teach writing and the available writing programs out there (including the ones based on the Progym) for the last couple of months, so your posts were very timely! I wish I could feel confident enough to teach writing without having to rely on prepared curricula and workbooks, but I don't think I could teach her to the level that I want her to achieve on my own, as English is not my native language. (Now, math and science are another matter altogether. I have no qualms about being able to teach her all the way up to Calculus and Quantum Physics if need be.  LOL )

So here are the programs I am considering:

Classical Writing - http://www.classicalwriting.com/
Classical Composition - http://classicalcomposition.com/
Writing Tales - http://writing-tales.com/
Writing With Ease/Writing With Skill - http://www.welltrainedmind.com/store/language-arts/writing.html
IEW - http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/catalog/writing

I believe the first three are based on the Progym; I don't think IEW is, and I am not sure about Writing with Ease/Skill. Do you have any experience with any of these? What are the pros and cons of each program?

Just to give you an idea of where she is with regard to language arts:

1. Reading - approximately 5th grade level based on lexile scores and RL. Decoding skills are likely higher if I ignored reading with comprehension.

2. Spelling - about 3rd grade level. She is a natural speller and is blasting through AAS. In fact, the only reason I am even doing a structured spelling program with her is because she learned to read via whole words and simply intuited the phonics rules when she was 16-18 months old. I never went through phonics systematically with her, and going through a phonics-based spelling program is just my way of making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Plus, she is a little perfectionist and absolutely hates it when she spells a word wrong! At the rate we are going, we will be finished with all 7 AAS levels before she turns 5.

3. Handwriting/Writing - She LOVES to write, in both manuscript and cursive. Aside from her daily 25-30 spelling words/phrases, she also voluntarily writes a page or two in her daily journal, which is typically a retelling of a story she had just read, a letter to her dad, or a story from her own imagination. Most recently, she wrote a pretty long letter to the Little Einsteins telling them that Pluto is no longer considered a planet and even included the reasons why. (This was after she watched a LIttle Einsteins episode that included Pluto as a planet.)  LOL

4. Grammar - To be honest, I don't know if I should even be thinking of doing a grammar program with her at this point. With the amount of books she reads, I think correct grammar just comes instinctively to her. She read the Brian McCleary grammar storybooks a couple of times and she can now reliably identify parts of speech, knows punctuation, capitalization, etc. I started doing First Language Lessons 1 with her (mainly because she is so far advanced in all other areas that I didn't want her grammar to lag noticeably behind or hold her back in her writing), and we finished the entire level 1 in a month or so. There is not much that will be new to her in FLL 2 grammar-wise, but she loves the poem memorization and narrations.

So, considering all of the above, when do you think I should start a more "formal" writing program with her, and how would you go about doing it? Does any program come to mind that you think will be particularly suited to her? You all gave me such great advice and food for thought in the advanced math thread that I am certain you will come through for me again!  big grin

And, by the way, even though we are roughly following a classical model for homeschooling (preschooling?), I totally agree with you about the Trivium and how it is not really applicable to our EL children. I mean, just looking at Ella, she is considered to be in the grammar stage because of her age and she proves this by being able to memorize copious amounts of information - such as the entire list of prehistoric creatures, their characterisitics, and where each one occurs in the prehistoric timeline. But she is also able to think about what she is learning in more abstract terms and even express her thoughts about what she is learning. I once found her writing in her journal - "I don't want to be a paleontologist when I grow up. They always get things wrong. First they thought Oviraptor was stealing Protoceratops eggs. But actually it was protecting its own eggs. Then they thought Hallucigenia walked on legs that looked like stilts. But actually they were looking at the fossils upside down. And they were spines on its back. That is funny!"

 LOL  LOL  LOL


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sonya_post
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« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2012, 01:27:11 PM »

aangeles,

I will do the best I can here and give a recap for others who may read this.

Classical writing is done by imitation. Obviously a child has nothing to write about so you give them examples of good writing to copy. As they read and grow they develop a storehouse of sentences and paragraphs to emulate. It is hard to ask a 4 year old to write original work. They develop this ability over time while working with the best writings in a particular genre. This method for learning to write has excellent results.

Curriculum - Classical Wiritng - we have used the program. Above I stated that I hated it. We were in a co-op with a few families who decided to use this program. We got together once a week. Several parents volunteered to teach, I was asked to teach a cooking/baking class at the same time. So, I didn't sit in on the classes, but I was not impressed with homework assignments nor how they used a thesaurus, or a whole bunch of other stuff. I grew to hate this class and we dropped out after 2 years. I would have dropped it the first year but they were friends. My son got mono and was very sick - our easy out. I called another friend this morning and asked for her impression of the series - she has taught it and her daughter moved to the class my son left. She likes the program abut does not like the way this other person taught. Evidently a lot of the things I hate about the program are not really in the program. So, I can't give an honest review of this other than the book they put out six years ago which you can't get anymore was terrific. We used that book a lot.

Classical Composition looks good from the examples. I haven't used it, but if you need something I might consider it.

IEW -



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sonya_post
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« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2012, 01:57:48 PM »

aangeles,

I will do the best I can here and give a recap for others who may read this.

Classical writing is done by imitation. Obviously a child has nothing to write about so you give them examples of good writing to copy. As they read and grow they develop a storehouse of sentences and paragraphs to emulate. It is hard to ask a 4 year old to write original work. They develop this ability over time while working with the best writings in a particular genre. This method for learning to write has excellent results.

Curriculum - Classical Wiritng - we have used the program. Above I stated that I hated it. We were in a co-op with a few families who decided to use this program. We got together once a week. Several parents volunteered to teach, I was asked to teach a cooking/baking class at the same time. So, I didn't sit in on the classes, but I was not impressed with homework assignments nor how they used a thesaurus, or a whole bunch of other stuff. I grew to hate this class and we dropped out after 2 years. I would have dropped it the first year but they were friends. My son got mono and was very sick - our easy out. I called another friend this morning and asked for her impression of the series - she has taught it and her daughter moved to the class my son left. She likes the program abut does not like the way this other person taught. Evidently a lot of the things I hate about the program are not really in the program. So, I can't give an honest review of this other than the book they put out six years ago which you can't get anymore was terrific. We used that book a lot.

Classical Composition looks good from the examples. I haven't used it, but if you need something I might consider it.

IEW - I have not used this program but a lot of people I respect have. Their kids have excellent writing but they all write the same. I can tell a child who's using the program by reading their writing. That doesn't make it bad, and if you add the progym exercises on your own this might be your best bet if you want a high standard but aren't sure of your ability. The progym is simple in the early years and there honestly isn't a reason to have a curriculum. Got look at this http://www.logospressonline.com/index.php?p=product&id=37&parent=18 click on the "see a PDF sample" or something like that. They have one for all the books listed below this one. The whole book is like that and most of the curricula for the early years of the progym are essentially the same basic format. So if I were going to pick something I would want a program that was going to do what I can't and do it well. IEW will do that for you. I've looked through some of their material and it really does a thorough job. In many home school circles it is the gold standard of writing programs. My son uses the Omnibus series for literature/history/religion class - we looked at taking an online class for the mental stimulation. Many instructors won't take you unless you've used IEW. I think you cannot go wrong if you choose this program. However, just add the progym exercises.

Writing with Skill looks good also. It has the grammar built in, that is nice. I also like that they've added diagramming sentences. We like diagramming sentences. Ella will probably love diagramming sentences.This is more in depth than some of the progym books I've looked at. I will have to really look over the stuff more to give my full impression. But it seems like a fine program.

Writing Tales - don't bother. It might be a fine program but it doesn't have the depth and it is not going to give you the high standard you are looking for. Again, you don't need a curriculum to do that - if you are going to get a program - get a program.

And you do realize that Ella is gifted don't you? Her IQ is pushing well past 150. She doesn't count.  smile  You are going to have to work hard to keep her challenged. It isn't so bad now, but 6 years from now is going to be the test.

Again, if she needs a place to go......if she decides she doesn't love you anymore, she can come live with me,


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DadDude
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« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2012, 06:31:09 PM »

I might weigh in at some point here but I just wanted to say thanks to Sonya for her wisdom. We definitely don't have it figured out in our household, but at this point, I'm not stressing out about my ignorance. As long as H. is making good progress, which he is, and I do research and thinking now and then, I figure I've done my due diligence, so to speak. Charlotte Mason, yes, I'll have to read her sooner rather than later.

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Larry Sanger - http://www.readingbear.org/
How and Why I Taught My Toddler to Read:
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« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2012, 03:28:43 AM »

I"m not a Charlotte Mason groupie, she just has a whole lot of really good things to say.

For those who are unfamiliar, the Trivium applies to two things: the stages of child development so it dictates when we teach certain things to children. And also how we teach a subject no matter what age we are. I will still say there are very loose guidelines.

Daddude, I appreciate your perspective as a man. No, I am not an egalitarian. My husband takes the same attitude as you have. We are making progress, he is doing better than either of us hoped...we'll be fine. I am more high strung about this.  yes   Especially when it comes to math. I have looked at tons of curricula in the last 2 years. But it would be helpful to me if I took some hints from my husband.  This is a particularly female issue. All the moms I know worry that they haven't done the best they could. They see this whole world of things they should have taught their children and they nearly panic that they haven't done it just the "right" way. Your voice and my husband's voice and probably many of our husband's voices bring a bit of sanity to the situation. There is that whole problem of listening......

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Wolfwind
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« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2012, 08:13:10 PM »

Sonya, thanks for your insights.  I totally agree with you that fathers tend to stress less about doing everything perfectly than mothers; at least it's true in my family.  Like you said, it's the listening that's hard...

I only have intermittant internet, so this is a bit behind, but corkers4life, thank you for asking about classical vs unit studies; that is exactly the question I was struggling with, and I had never put it into words!  I read that post just before I got off the internet last week, and I've been thinking about it as I read WTM this week.

As I reread WTM with two years of EL behind me, I'm reading it as much less of a prescriptive list of curricula (which is a totally valid interpretation!) and more as ideas.  I like the basic division of the trivium, but I agree EL kids will do it faster.  My guess with my oldest is grammar 4-8 years old, logic 8-12, and rhetoric 12-16.  And not using those as absolutes; just generalities, mostly to ogranize the four years of history cycle and maybe four years of math.  But we'll see.  Someone suggested a 3 year cycle; maybe I'll go for that and do it four times.

And I see now that the grammar stage can be taught (as someone said) in any way that works for my family: music, activities, unit studies, even dance if that's what it takes!  Bauer says something about how the grammar years are for mental pegs to hang later information on; let them meet great people, exciting stories, and foreign cultures for the first time and enjoy them so that they will remember them.  So you can combine the "classical" basics with any teaching method.

So having read that...  Now I have to research the progymnasmata!  Thanks a lot, sonya.  :-P  I'm sure it'll be useful and I'm excited.  But for now, I'm sticking with the plan I posted earlier: Charlotte Mason/classical grammar until age 8.  It's actually fairly close to my loose interpretation of WTM.  I just have to add grammar and Latin, which are both subjects I like, so I'll do that.

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