Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Trivium

Sounds like a scary movie involving some kind of conspiracy in the upper levels of the Catholic church, doesn't it?

It's not.

It's the homeschool program I've decided to follow; deemed the Classical Education. I've read so many books about homeschooling that I have nightmares about Charlotte Mason and Maria Montessori strangling me in my sleep.

The one thing I can generically say about all of the books I read is that I hate it when someone tells you the right way to do something. Schooling is completely made up. Completely. So there is no right or wrong way. BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE, there is definitely a way that you can screw up your kid's future. (It's all fun and games until someone loses a future)

No pressure.

One book suggested 4-6 hours of outdoor play a day (I guess they don't have to put up with an Alaskan winter).

One book suggested only studying what the child wants to study..tempting...and what do I do the rest of the time, drink?

All books made good points, and you could see some truth to the claims. But one method alone held up an example (two actually, mother and daughter) of a case of a truly successful home education experience. And what really struck me is the similarity between this method and how Laura Ingalls and Anne Shirley were educated. (yes, I realize Anne is fictional, but she's still awesome)

No doubt this method requires the most rigorous work of all the other methods. But we're still talking about less hours a day than is wasted spent in a public school. (sorry, I'll be nice) But the best part is the comfort in knowing I couldn't offer my kids more opportunity than this (educationally speaking).

So far so good, and what I've realized since starting this process is;
1) The majority of our citizens are vastly under-educated, our system has failed us.
1) How natural (and completely awesome) it is to have Laurel at home with me.
2) How much fun it's been to further my own education during this process.

In a nutshell this method is about learning the core subjects inside and out, learning how to learn and learning how to think. Once you have all three of those down NO subject is unapproachable.

Now THAT'S an education.

These are some of the books we've been using. I will update later on my opinion of them, but so far so good. I love everything except Saxon math (designed for idiots to use), and First Language Lessons (way too basic). I have found that my daughter does best when I combine the books with my own things. I find if you only follow the books the education is too simple. It needs to be varied with literature, writing, recitation, dictation and the like. (that of course is the major difference between homeschooling and schooling at home)

Obviously choosing your curriculum is a deeply personal thing. Everyone has their own needs, wants and likes. So far this is working for me. I feel like I'm challenging my daughter, and pushing her to want to do her best. That feels right to me.

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