This semester, I’ve been kind of quiet about our homeschool. You’ve caught glimpses on Facebook and Instagram, but I’ve been digesting all that is Classical Conversations and we’ve been finding our new groove with that as our homeschool base. We have labeled this our “official” kindergarten year for Mr. T even though he won’t be 5 till February. My sweet director gave in and let us join at the beginning of the year since I was determined to join when Mr. T turned 5 anyway 🙂 Bless her! (I love you, Mrs. Kim!) Then I became a tutor for the Abecedarians, the same class Mr. T is in. It has challenged us and stretched us both in good ways. (And some not-so-good ways but there is always grace for that.) So here is a little breakdown for you of what our homeschool looks like now. I hope to be sharing more of our CC journey and some tutoring tips as we go on next semester.
Why We Chose to Join Classical Conversations Foundations Program
- I needed some extra accountability. With everything else we have going on, planning out all our curriculum just wasn’t realistic anymore. I needed a guide and that is exactly what Foundations gives me. I get to expand (or not) on whatever pieces and parts I choose and having that baseline from which to operate gave me more freedom than I thought possible.
- Mr. T loves class time, but once a week is about all he can handle without hitting the sensory overload button. He has really done very well, and he’s the youngest in my class of Abecedarians (yes, I’m tutoring, too, but I’ll fill you in on that later). I am so glad we chose to go ahead and start him at 4.5 instead of starting mid-year when he turned 5.
- There is still ample room to include our other learning. Units at our own pace, Montessori activities, hands on history field trips, science experiments, nature study, etc. It is awesome!
- It’s hard to go wrong with a classical education. Especially when it’s Christian based. If you have a second, this is a great video about Classical Education.
What I Have Learned So Far
- The grammar stage applies to everything, everyone, and every age. Sum etiamtum, right?
- Latin is fun (at this stage, ask me again in about 3 years)
- I still don’t know English Grammar terms very well, but I can write.
- Tutoring a room of 7 kids age 4-7 is an awesome, humbling, and blessing experience.
- I finally know my states and capitals.
- 4 year olds are very good at rhetoric 😉 but with some convincing, they will learn their grammar so that progress into the logic and rhetoric stages can be achieved.
- Memorization of small pegs of knowledge allow for very complex ideas and thought processes to be utilized later on. These pegs are the foundation. Without the knowledge, there cannot be questions and answers and more questions and application of learning to develop wisdom.
- Traveling to and from therapy with the Classical Conversations review CDs is quite a lot of review. I don’t feel so pressured at home trying “to get it all in” because we aren’t “losing” time in the car.
I have also stopped to enjoy more moments. As a blogger, I sometimes forget to put down the phone, to turn off the writing prompts, to stop keeping up. And I will be honest, God has told me in some not so subtle ways that I need better time management skills and I need to accept and enjoy and rejoice in stillness. My van’s transmission died. My computers logic board died. We had to travel. We’ve been passing around the plague. It’s really just the flu, but when it goes around more than once . . . Needless to say, I’ve had a lot happening the last 2 months. I had to focus on our homeschool, our therapy, making the rounds to where we needed to go and trying not to lose it in the process. Being still is an acquired taste. I am beginning to enjoy it immensely. Another beautiful thing about homeschooling is the ability to just be home, to read out loud on request, to cuddle and play Frontier Heroes on the couch, or to go outside and identify birds. I’m remembering to celebrate the small.
What Mr. T Has Learned:
- Oh. My. Stars! This child is a sponge.
- History – There are wonderful sentences the children learn each week, and they have really fun songs Mr. T loves to sing for his grandparents and speech therapists.
- Skip counting – I decided to hold off on Saxon K till January because the skip counting is more than enough.
- Anatomy – Check out this video on Instagram of our Squishy Guy and Mr. T
- Bible verses
- That he’s like his mama and doesn’t retain English Grammar terms very well.
- How to speak up for a presentation and how to introduce himself. While I know his classmates don’t all understand him all the time, he gets up, does his thing, which usually involves a story of some sort, and is so very proud of himself. Apraxia can be tough, but I’ve been surprised how much confidence he has gained from getting up in front of his peers each week.
- How to wait his turn.
Mr. F is having a blast with all our puzzles, learning how to mix things, playing with letters on the iPad Endless ABC app (he loves that it’s a puzzle of sorts and likes to make the noises with it), he goes to two half-days of preschool every week, and will be beginning speech therapy in January. He loves books and really enjoys being read to and tries very hard to do all the same things his big brother does. It’s a mini one room schoolhouse here, and I couldn’t imagine it being any other way.
How is your homeschool at this midway point in the year?
Linked up with Collage Friday at Homegrown Learners
So, my daughter, who turned 5 in September, has apraxia as well. She is in her final year of preschool at a special needs school, we will however, be starting homeschooling for kindergarten next year. I considered Classical Conversations, but it really worries me considering she has apraxia and has trouble with talking. Don’t you have to write a speech each week and give it?? I’m not sure she could do that! How has that been working for you since your little man has apraxia too? I’ve been thinking we are going to just do My Father’s World instead since it is classically based, but we can just do it at home.
Rebekah, we love our community and the interaction Mr. T gets! There are never more than 8 in a class and the Foundations day is from 9-12, so it’s not super long. There is a presentation each week, but for the Abecedarians it’s like show and tell. It has really built up his confidence and he’s working harder than ever at his speech practice at home. I think it’s an awesome set up for him because the kids are sweet, there’s no “expectation” to be met for a test, and he’s becoming more outgoing with people everywhere. The only thing that isn’t really Apraxia friendly is that there are no accommodations for Memory Master, but we didn’t have any intention of trying that for a few years anyway. He actually has done really well practicing his speech with the sentences, facts, and songs we review each week. If you are interested, I would find a local community and go visit one day just to see. That will give you a much better idea if it is somewhere she will thrive. Thanks so much for stopping by and if you have more questions, feel free to email me! Lara(at)LaraMolettiere(dot)com