What is classical education anyway?
There is no simple answer.
I believe this style provides a complete education. And you ask then why do you consider yourself eclectic. Because I do not use a particular “Classical” curriculum. I choose what works for our family and for me and I use that. So, in other words, I teach classical content not necessarily its methods.
This is how I do eclectic classical education:
The Method: training a child in the subjects of reading, writing, math, science, social studies and classical languages year after year to add to the previous years information and uses . I use centers to reinforce memorization during the grammar stage. I don’t usually use flash cards or make my children memorize information we can not apply quickly. If we learn the 7 continents we add to our basic knowledge of mere location. We add animals, people, flags, and monarchies to the map. We learn dates and place them on a time line that we add to year after year.
***I believe in memorizing and applying. The mantra I believe in: if you don’t use it you’ll lose it. So if we learn the parts of speech we will learn to use them also. If we learn the types of sentences we will write them, name them, and do it again and again until they master it.
As a Christian I also add biblical teaching to the content. This prepares for apologia later in life. Afterall, isn’t that our mission on this earth anyway.
I tend to lean towards literature based instruction (As I mentioned earlier in my blog I am NOT totally classical but eclectic and add resources that I see are necessary for a compete education for my children. I use literature to teach writing, reading and comprehension, with the goal in mind of instilling the love of reading so that all other subjects will be easily acquired through reading.
For literature I read novels, “age-appropriate” (I hate that word but it drives home a point about the various types of books we read), magazines, Atlas’, rhyming books. Novels for this year included: Farmer Boy, Little Women, Peter Pan and Day of the Dinosaurs from the Magic Tree House series.
This is our daily routine: Which I believe is more important than the curriculum. I will show my curriculum on a later post. Every mom needs to figure out what works for her (not only her kids) and how it will jive with her teaching style. If mama ain’t happy ain’t no kids gonna be happy!!
Bible: Story, memory verse, character building
Circle time: memorization work: days of the week, months, numbers-100 (English and Spanish), continents, Alphabet, word wall words, presidents, (other elements will be added as the year progresses)
P.E. (structured and non-structured play)
phonemic Awareness, Phonics, language learning, writing, reading,
Math Centers to reinforce Monday’s lesson
Social Studies (project and activity)
Science (with science experiment)
Art (Study of a specific artist of the period we are studying)
Music (composer or cultural music from various continents and countries)
I do what works for our family. Schooling for 4 or 5 days straight is too much for my kids. They get plenty with only 3 days. So, I save the last 2 days for getting out of the house and hanging out with friends. Fun is my 2nd mantra!
Stay tuned, I will post pictures of my centers that I use with my classical approach. I will also show you my cheap homemade resources to put in your centers (or bins).