Last Year In Our Home School
I am what I call eclectic. So you’re asking why the name of the blog to say “Living Classical” as to imply classical education. We’ll because I consider myself eclectic but with a tone of classical. I love the classics. I believe that each child should be exposed to classic literature, art and history. To not teach them the profound richness of all the great literature, art and history of the ancients and beyond is robbing them of a more spacious mind and their capacity to retain bountiful information.
So I choose to apply recent scientfic research of how young minds assess knowledge and information (for our ancient fathers and mothers did not have this information) but I will not neglect that what they put forth in the minds of their young was beyond what we are offering now.
The only reason I call this ‘classical’ is because my husband has his heart set on this method and content and although I do oblige him I have to put my twist on it so that it will work with my children’s learning styles. As you will see I have some montessori stuff, some beliefs of Charlotte Mason (I love her!), some ideas I learned from…shhh public school;0 Please don’t close the screen and write me off. Remember it is the system we shun not neccessarily the methods. I use centers in my little room because my kids love them and keeps little hands and minds busy and learning while I am working with the other(s). And these centers teach them how to work together without my help so I can be free making dinner or cleaning house.
As you are starting to catch my drift you are probably starting to see that it is difficult for me to conform to the ways of one curriculum. I put it this way; it is like going to your primary care physician for all your specialized needs. You would not go to your primary care for your neurological issues or your gastro issues. I feel the same is true for education. Not one curriculum can nail each subject. One curriculum may specialize greatly in Handwriting while another offers the best in Math. So here I compiled and photographed what I did with my littles last year and partly this summer. Next year will be somewhat of a repeat but more structured around history, art and literature.
Here’s some of my main resources I used this school year:
Reading word from Word Wall (also called pop-corn words)
Picture above: This is our reading center. See not so scary huh! I have them come here to read silently or read together. I acquired the red book shelf at the last elementary I worked at. It was a donation to my homeschool room by Mrs. Hesse (Hilary), thank you. And the rack on the wall was also her contribution to my classroom of 2 (now 3)! Love Love her for that.
I use Math U See: Primer. I also use a lot of manipulatives. I will have a section on my centers and showcase more of what I use to reinforce after I’ve taught a lesson from my main resources. I believe children should be exposed to various forms of learning not just one. Expand their minds to use more than one way to solve a problem. We limit them when we say there is only one way to solve this/that. There is only one way to heaven but many ways to learn! Sorry no picture.
For writing I try to provide many other avenues to practice. Such as, lined paper for the sentence of the day. I also provide different types of paper and stationary so they can practice doodling, scribbling and writing. Blank pieces of manilla paper that are pre-cut into small squares:
I taught continents first. They are easier to learn as opposed to states, there’s only 7 and more spacial on a map. I taught a different continent every month. We learned what animals live on that continent, we learned about people, music, culture etc. We attached the animals to each respective continent. Since learning is continuous I have left all their animals on there and will keep adding to the map as we learn more about each location. My daughter is into princesses so next year we will add monarchies around the world on each continent.
I have to add more of our animals to the map. We lost some but I decided to velcro them next year.
Fine Motor/Montessori skills:
I used a variety of items for these activities but these are only a couple. I will post next year as we do them.
Sorting and color classification
Draw water with syringe from white cap and pour water droplets on lids
Love this curriculum! Its geared for kids 3-7 yrs. old. It’s a great resource for Life Science and getting kids outdoors. Some friends and I took a workshop at a local Montessori school that hosted Project Wild and the whole workshop and BOOK was only $7!!!! Regular price is $24. My homeschool organization do this as a group and our kids love it. Each mom rotates teaching. We hold science day every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month.
For the seasons we are not doing science with our friends we use this little book. I found it at Half Price Books:
I really really like this one too. This one carries a wide range of science fields, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Life Science, etc. I think I am going to stick with this one next year. Chuck, my hubby, the science guy loves it too.
We also did art and history. We connected art, and history through literature, another classical component that we will keep for next year.
Novels we read:
Little House in the Big Woods
Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon
Magic Tree House: Ghost Town at Sundown (Summer read)
Our schedule looked a little like this most days.
6-7am Kids wake and have breakfast with dad
8-9am Free play/mom’s quiet time
9am-12:30pm School/breaks with outside play
1:00pm Outside play
1:30pm Tea Time/story time (novel or reg. books)
2pm Quiet time and nap time
4pm Wake (t.v. time or computer time), mom makes dinner
5:30pm Eat dinner
6-7pm Play with dad, science with dad, outside play etc.
8:00pm Bed time
But than I had my 3rd in Februray and than this went down the drain.
How perfect if it would only happen like that ALL the time!