The Classical Cat Corner

Wear the old coat and buy the new book. --Austin Phelps

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Meme about me

I got this from Miz Booshay and thought it was fun.

Alphabet Meme about Me, me, me.

A is for Age - 37
B is for Booze - No, thank you.
C is for Career - helpmeet and mother
D is for Dad’s name - Ted
E is for Essential items to bring to a party - My bottled water
F is for Favorite song at the moment - I really don't have one.
H is for Hometown - Bartow, Georgia
I is for Instrument you play - piano and flute
J is for Jam or Jelly you like - strawberry
K is for Kids - Two blessings
L is for Living arrangement - One and a half story, three bedroom, 2 baths
M is for Mom’s name - Janet
N is for Names of best friends - Lisa, Vicky, Kelly, Amy, Beth
O is for overnight hospital stays - eye surgery as a child and one birth (SP #1)
P is for Phobias - heights
Q is for Quote you like - When I get a little money, I buy books, and if any is left, I buy food and clothes." --Erasmus
R is for Relationship that lasted longest - Other than my brother, I have been married for 10 years.
S is for Siblings - one brother
U is for Unique trait - I like researching homeschool information (my friends think it is unique!)
V if for Vegetable you love - I love cucumbers!!!
W is for Worst trait - not the best housekeeper
X - is for XRays you’ve had - teeth and jaws
Y is for Yummy food you make - chicken pot pie
Z is for Zodiac sign - I'm a Cancer but I don't put any stock in such things.

Feel free to post your ABCs in the comments section or take this to your site or blog.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Don't get excited....

I have nothing to blog about. LOL!! Just wanted to let you know....I need inspiration!!!

Right now, I'm inspired to figure out something to DO with Sweet Peas 1 & 2. We are on hiatus from school and they act like they don't know what to do with themselves. So, we're starting back early! YEA!!! I'm such a mean mom. Har, har!!!

No, really, I'm working on a "schedule" of sorts of what we will do the rest of this week and the two weeks that follow. I'm trying to make this fun as well as get a few of the basics in without too much pain. This will be our 2nd year of year-round schooling. I had intended on taking a 6 week break, but it seems life just doesn't go as planned, huh? I'll have 2 weeks to work diligently to get my other plans together while the boys are off to Vacation Bible School and Basketball camp in the mornings for two weeks in June. THAT will be fun...for them AND me. :)

I decided to try something different too. We'll be doing science during the summer and history during the fall/winter/part of spring. I think it will be fun to focus on one area and not feel like we're behind in one or the other.

I hope to get some reading done this weekend while we travel so I may be changing my books that I'm reading soon. I can't keep up with the number of Encyclopdia Brown books that Sweet Pea 1 is going through! Shew!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I've been tagged.....BOOKS!

Well, it seems that it is my turn. Sarah tagged me to discuss a meme about books. I was needing some inspiration to blog again and I think this is it.

1. What is the total number of books owned, ever: I have NO idea...hundreds? Thousands? Some seem to come and go depending on the time in my life, which season I'm in. The only one that has been there and stayed there is the Bible.

2) Last book I bought: For myself would be Climbing Parnassus. I'm still trying to make my way through that one. The only time lately that I've had a chance to read has been late at night and that is NOT a good time to read THIS book! Now that school is almost over for the year, I'll have more of a chance to read during the daytime while the boys are outside playing. I'm ALL the time buying books for the boys although I rarely buy any for myself. Oh, I did just by one...I forgot because I haven't received it yet. It is called Holy Hormones by Ron Eaker, MD. I'm proud to say that he is my doctor.

3) Last book I read: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Ok, this isn't the greatest work of fiction, but I usually read mostly non-fiction books and decided to have some brain candy. I'm sure the story in this book could have easily happened to someone in real life and it just showed me the depths of love that a husband can have for his wife. In fact, I'd say that my love for Popeye would equal what was told in this book.

4) Five books that mean a lot to me:

a) The Bible. First and foremost. An easy answer to the question? Yes, but, it is the truth. I remember as a child reading the Bible. When I don't know what to read in my quiet time with the Lord, I turn to the Psalms or Proverbs. The Lord uses those words to comfort and instruct me. When I want to read of my Savior's love for me, I turn to Matthew or Luke. When I want to read of what glories await me, I turn to Revelation. It is my comfort and my guide.

b) The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. This book became the "Bible" of breastfeeding for me when my Sweet Pea 1 was born. I've actually given copies of this book away to new moms hoping that they will find the answers to their questions and the support that I found.

c) The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. This book helped change the face of education and homeschooling for me. I have gone on to read other books after this (one which I mentioned above and am currently working on) like Climbing Parnassus. One was a segway for the next and I have a few others after this to get to about education.

d) The How and Why of Homeschooling by Ray Ballmann. This book was the catalyst to the lifestyle we have today. Homeschooling is a lifestyle if you allow it to be. After reading this book and talking with Popeye about it, we decided to pray and seek the Lord to the answer of "is homeschooling for us?" We received an affirmative YES!

e) A Woman's High Calling by Elizabeth George. This book helped produce MAJOR change in me and in my marriage. I had a lot of problems with LETTING Popeye be the head of our family and our household. The Lord called him to do that, not me. There have been remarkable changes for the better since I worked through this book.

Ok, now it is my turn to tag someone else....hmm....let's see. (big grin) Staci, Crissy and Jean in WI.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Less, but more revisited

I'm putting the finishing touches on our plans for next year. My list actually keeps getting smaller and smaller. And it isn't by MY choice. :)

Let me tell you what is going on. I have felt led to continue our history studies chronologically, but with an American History emphasis. Most importantly, though, with a Christ-centered emphasis. I told Popeye a few weeks ago that I was really feeling like we don't have enough of Christ in our studies and I am feeling that I need to add that. He replied that, of course, we should be doing that. Granted, He (Christ) won't be in our math studies the way He would be in history or science, but I just knew that I was missing something. We use a Christian-based science program; we've talked about God and His plan in history. We even have a Bible curriculum that we use, and yet, I feel something is missing. A study of the Bible is great to do, but not if it becomes just another "subject" to get done so you can finish for the day.

Now, I have all these great books, great plans, but again, something is missing from this Latin-centered education that we're pursuing. I do feel that the Latin-centered approach is, educational-wise, what we should be focused on. But, I felt this conviction when I was talking with a friend of mine the other day. Is this activity, this book, this (you fill in the blank) going to have eternal ramifications? I do think that we need to hold everything up to the standard of "will this be edifying and how so". Can I use this book (whether Christian or not) to teach something to my children about God and His plans for man? Will playing this sport with this particular group teach my children something? I guess you could look at it either way...this sport takes too much time away from our family-not good. Yes, but look at the positives for the children...teaching sportsmanship in a Christ-like manner, teaching unity in Christ, teaching Christ-like leadership. (Upward Sports)

Then, last night I was reading my new copy of one of my favorite magazines The Old Schoolhouse. There are two write-ups by Christian ladies about products that they produce for homeschool families. They were saying exactly what I had been feeling. I still wasn't convinced yet. I still had this nagging in my soul. I needed to have more "proof" that what my friend (and these ladies) was saying was WRONG actually! Wasn't I doing what they talked about already??? I still had not yielded to the Spirit and what I believe He was/is trying to tell me. I called another friend to discuss all this angst I was feeling. Have I not grown enough in the Lord to WANT to fill our house with only materials that would edify Him? Am I just trying to raise well-educated kids that, I pray, will be Christians? Is school in one compartment and God in another? Hadn't I already been trying to mesh all this together? What are my goals for my children? What exactly is going on with me? Why can I not exude Christ like these ladies? Is it my personality or am I still such a babe that it doesn't seem to pour out from me like it does them? I still did not have any real answers after talking with my friend, but it felt nice to have someone to talk to about it. ;) (I know you're reading this.)

So here I was this evening on the computer some, playing the piano with Sweet Pea 1 (we're playing a duet in his recital on Saturday!), listening to Sweet Peas 1&2 playing a game with Popeye, reading to the guys before bed, and that nagging feeling wouldn't go AWAY. I started reading a newsletter from the writer of our science curriculum and it HIT me like a TON of bricks!

LESS, but MORE! My new montra for the new year! LESS Bible curriculum but MORE time talking about Him through daily devotions, through science, through history, through Latin, through just sitting and watching the wonderful creations He has made and talking about them! I've always tried to guide the boys to act in ways that would please Jesus, but a lot of time it has just felt forced; and now, I'm seeing it all in a different light. I feel like a HUGE weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I still may not exude Christ through my words like the ladies whose articles I read, but I know the Potter can change me to be that way if that is how HE wants me to be.

I'm going to be spending more time with Him in prayer over our plans and over our school days. It was the Lord that led us to homeschool, so I believe that I need to include Him completely in His think He'd let me? ;)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Today made me realize....

that I'm not sure how much of this "less but deeper" theology I can realistically implement in our schooling. I think I'm creating my own "brand" of classical education....somewhere between Latin-centered and neo-classical.

Today's lessons went well. But, my instincts are telling me that I just need to maneuvre our classes to what fits best. I DO feel that Latin and math should be the basis of our education (and Bible goes without saying), but doing those things this morning as well as a few other basics took us all morning. AND I really, really, really want to finish out the Story of the World series. The boys love them so. So, just where do I fit in Classical Studies? What about studying about the Greeks myths like I had planned? What about all these BEAUTIFUL books just sitting on my shelf to read to Sweet Pea 2? And those English Studies by Hawthorne?

All of that REALLY strikes my fancy, but there are just NOT enough hours in the day. So, I think I'll go with Plan B. We will cover our basics in the mornings and then afternoons will be devoted to history or science and/or reading aloud our books for English Studies or Greek myths or...... I think I can work that out. I am going to take this year as World History but with an emphasis on American history when we get to that time period. Sweet Pea 1 is already biting at the bullet to start Chemistry; "Mom, I just LOVE Chemistry." How does he know? He has been reading the New True books.

I do want this next year to be more about fun, so I'm just going to throw it all up in the air and whatever lands on top will be it! LOL

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The crying is over...

Can I use the excuse for whining in my last few posts of having hormonal fluctations? I hope so! LOL I should know BETTER than to even TRY to think then!

Well, I'm back to being my old self now. Good for everyone! Sweet Pea 1 and 2 will be happy. They are off fishing with Popeye right now. I'm feeling a new leaf starting to turn over. Or should it be more like I was in a holding pattern for awhile and now I'm ready to move on? Yeah, I think that is more like it.

Ready to move on....ready for a new week to get here, ready to get GLAD to exercise, ready to be excited about eating healthy, ready to finish up our last full week of school for the year. READY!

Even when we finish our last few days, we will still have a couple of things that aren't finished (like our Story of the World 2). The boys have heard the whole book on tape so I'm not too concerned about it but I think we will keep reading some of those over the course of our time off. They really like those maps. We also will have some science to finish but if we don't, Sweet Pea 1 will read it on his own.

I'd still like some more input on the goals issue, if you have any. I think I'll look for some homeschool forms about goals. I also read that there are some end-of-the-year evaluation forms on that site. I have to write up those evaluations (per state requirements). I haven't done last year's yet. (SHHHHHH!!!!! Don't tell!!)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Sitting here feeling guilty.....

I've just been reading Poppins blog. I'm jealous and I'm feeling guilty. I LOVE, LOVE her geography idea that she will be doing. But I've already spent WAY too much money and need to spend a little more before the new year's planning is over. My boys would love to do something like this....hmmm...I wonder if I could be a copy "cat" and pull something together like this for the summer?

I love her time machine idea!!! Today, I was seriously considering taking the whole summer off instead of just 6 weeks. We were going to start our new year on July 11th. The public schools don't start back until Aug. 1 or some time around there. That is when we would start back if I take the summer off....that would be 9 weeks off....doable and not too bad I guess. We can always have one light review day each week.

You know where the guilt comes in? Because I'm GLUED to this STUPID computer!!!!!!! I can't get away from it! I'm addicted! HOW do I break this? I love reading on it my library; my communication link with a few friends.

On Sunday Sweet Pea 1 made something in Sunday School resembling a pinwheel. It was for Mother's Day. One blank that he had to fill in said "You are good at _______" Each "spoke" had a line to fill in: "I will pray for you to ___"; I will obey when ____". Do you know what he said I'm good at???? Being on the computer.

Now do I want my children to remember me for "being on the computer"? NO! I've GOT to start putting them first during the daylight hours and doing something. We do read in the afternoons sometimes if they aren't playing outside. I think I'll make a new "pact" with myself to only be on the computer certain hours of the day...or something. I've got to limit this time.....but I'm so afraid I'll MISS something! And I children's lives.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

What kind of dog are you?

I thought this would be fun to put here. What kind of dog are you?

I am a big mixture of dogs......28.6 St. Bernard, 28.6 German Shepherd, 28.6 Cocker Spaniel, 14.6 Llasa Apso

But, in reality, I really want to be a cat. I enjoy being alone most of the time, but on occasion, I like to have fun. I watch my cats and they are usually pretty solitary. Then every now and then, our oldest cat will decide to show his dominance to one of the other two cats. He will bite him on the back of the neck and start wrestling....then they are OFF to the races....sounds like miniature horses running around here!

I think that is me....let me be solitary and then watch out when I want to have some fun!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Goals......yours and the children's

I've been thinking about goals. Someone mentioned this on the Latin Classical Education group I'm on. Maybe you can give me some feedback on what you do.

I have a hard time setting goals in general. I'm usually so "weak" that I'll just go buy whatever it is that I'm using as my reward. When I analyze why I do this, I think the reason is I usually don't have enough "whatever it is" to reach my goal. I'm famous for starting something and never finishing it. I think this goes along with that first born tendancy. Have you ever read The New Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman? He says that first borns will start things but never finish or they will procrastinate so much because they want to do it perfectly....and since they think they can't do it perfectly, then it never gets completed.

I'm not so much worried about myself as I am my children. How do I set goals for them in their schooling? How much is too much? I'm famous for pushing Sweet Pea 1 because I know he is capable; and sometimes I push too hard. I've recognized this and I'm letting up a little.

I had a goal this year for Sweet Pea 2 (he is doing Kindergarten). I wanted to get him writing, learning the first 26 phonograms, and work though math. We are getting there on all these areas and things are going well.

I had no specific goals for Sweet Pea 1 this year, but we achieved quite a bit and I'm happy with what we did achieve. Once, I had the goal for Sweet Pea 1 that he enjoy reading. We've made that one. I want the same thing for Sweet Pea 2.

So how do I set long term goals? How do I be specific in those goals? Is it ok to change those goals if you don't see things going as you are hoping they should?

I want my goals to be more than "getting through these books"....which I am happy to say is not one of my goals. I want them to be more than "to get into college". I do want them to grow up to be wonderful, godly men like their father. I have wonderful spiritual goals for them, so I'm thinking more educational here.

Give me some ideas.......what are YOUR goals? I want you to think about this for you and your children as well as give me input on how to climb this mountain (or at least it seems that way to me.)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Thoughts on rules....

Written by my friend, Lisa L.

I was getting ready to type up a new set of rules for my family when in my head I heard the question, why do we need rules?

DO THIS…DO THAT…kids might think you have rules because you want to be controlling. Well, control is important, but it isn’t about being controlling; it is about being in control. Did I just say the same thing twice? No, let’s think about it. There is a huge difference between being controlling and being in control.

I want my home to run like a well-oiled machine. When everybody knows what they need to do and does it, everyone is happier. Rules don’t burden a child; children thrive on routine and appreciate boundaries. With no guidelines a child can become bored and can get into trouble. Trouble can be in the form of getting involved with “bad” people or things, or it simply can mean that they will struggle as adults because they don’t have the discipline to bring order to their lives.

As a child I had no boundaries. I was free to do as I pleased. I ruled the roost! My parents loved me and thought they were doing the right thing. Thankfully the Lord had His hand of protection on me and I was able to get past it.

My home has gotten out of control; we have lost the atmosphere of peace that comes from an orderly environment. So, tomorrow we set off with a renewed spirit to set things right, a new set of rules that fit our family at this stage of our development. My children have a destiny with the Lord; rules are just a means to an end to help them reach it.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

WOW! What a night....(and more on classical education)

I was off to my hen party as Popeye likes to call it. I met with my homeschool mom friends at Borders bookstore for coffee, snacks and chatting.

I haven't had that much fun in quite awhile. We closed the place down and a few of us STILL wanted more....but we couldn't figure out a place that was open for several more hours!

And what did we talk about? HOMESCHOOLING!!!

Classical homeschooling is usually not a topic in our discussions because I'm almost the only one in our little "focus group" that chooses that method of schooling. My friends know that I do a vast amount of research on homeschooling philosophies and curricula, and I have since Sweet Pea 1 was three years old. He is eight now, so I've learned alot over those years. I usually don't even say much about the classical method because I don't want to get my friends confused or doubting their choices. But it seems the more we talked last night, the more several of us were on the same wavelength to one extent or another.....and it felt good.

As much as I love these friends of mine, I try not to judge what they choose to use to teach their children (yes, in my brain I know that it is best for each family to determine, with the Lord's help, what is best for each individual family, but I'm human too, so I don't voice my opinions, but encourage each friend to go with what works). I sometimes feel that I will be judged for what I've chosen because it isn't the "most Christian" curriculum, like studying the Greek myths with two young boys. I don't think that most of my friends would "approve" of this. Or the fact that a classical education (be it neo-classical or traditional classical) is in itself somewhat of a rigorous form of study. It is very systematic, which is a big draw to me, considering my personality. But, you know what? I did not feel that way last night in the least. I let the conversation direct itself and, when I was asked, I volunteered information and the surprising thing is that some actually think it is a good idea too. I have encouraged them to take classical education like a buffet....take what works for them and leave the rest.

Here is an exerpt from The Well-Trained Mind. These are thoughts that sold me on a classical education.

Classical education is, above all, systematic--in direct contrast to the scattered, unorganized nature of so much secondary education. Rigorous, systematic study has two purposes. Rigorous study develops virtue in the student: the ability to act in accordance to what one knows to be right. Virtuous men (or women) can force themselves to do what they know is right, even when it runs against their inclinations. Classical education continually asks a student to work against her baser tendencies (laziness or the desire to watch another half hour of TV) in order to reach a goal--mastery of a subject.

Systematic study allows the student to join what Mortimer J. Adler calls the "Great Conversation": the ongoing conversation of great minds down through the ages. Much modern education is so eclectic that the student has little opportunity to make connections between past events and the flood of current information. "The beauty of the classical curriculum," write classical schoolmaster David Hicks, "is that it dwells on one problem, one author, or one epoch long enough to allow even the youngest student a chance to exercise his mind in a scholarly way: to make connections and to trace developments, line of reasoning, patterns of action, recurring symbolism, plots, and motifs."

While this is SUPERB, I'm taking Classical Education, for our family, to the next level. I'll be writing more about that soon, although I did hint at it in a previous post called "Simplicity and new goal". Tune in soon.

Friday, May 06, 2005

And a rebuttal.....

Lots to think about here, huh?

Little Billy's mother was always telling him exactly what he was allowed to do and what he was not allowed to do. All the things he was allowed to do were boring. All the things he was not allowed to do were exciting. One of the things he was NEVER NEVER allowed to do, the most exciting of them all, was to go out through the garden gate all by himself and explore the world beyond.

--Roald Dahl, The Minpins

(Insight into the heart of little boys, taken from the book "Wild at heart". )

While there isn't anything wrong with your insights, all can be solidly supported biblically, the conclusion that I come to on reading this is that I need to discipline my children more and be a better example myself. . . . both true...however, look at the children of The Perfect Parent . . . . .how does he handle his children?

The heart of a male child is to adventure, to take inititive, to explore, to try dangerous things, no, to be thought of as dangerous himself . . . .

Think about the advice your giving, and how it directly conflicts with the heart of man . . . .this isn't to say that following our hearts is right, but too much discipline often creates the rebellions we are trying to squash, not enough discipline and you spoil your children. . . .balance . . faith and grace-based parenting focus on relationship, learning to lead our kids, using discipline as a tool to slowly release our kids to try and make their own decisions.

Our role as parents from my point of view is to slowly enlarge the list of the things that we can say yes to that encourage young boys to be whom God has designed them in their hearts to be. And to be constantly pushing that envelope as parents and helping our children to make wise choices, and to learn how to measure risks vs reward through the process. We should be encouraging ourselves to faith and grace-based parenting, following God's example of how He parents us. Good Godly discipline is important, but rebellion often comes from too much no, and not enough yes. I want to challenge you to sincerely think about your list of no's. . . .


I Have a Problem With Myself....

This was written by a friend of really makes you be introspective.

I have a problem with myself. My husband has a problem with his self. My sons have a problem with their selves.

No, I’m not using poor grammar. We do have a problem with our selves. In fact, we all do. It’s our self-will, our pride and our stubbornness.

I’ve been especially having a problem with my oldest son. He has developed a very independent spirit and is placing his self-will, his desires, above the desires of my husband and me.

If you’re not sure if there’s a problem with self-will or pride in your home, ask yourself some of these questions: Is my home marked by constant conflict? (Prov. 13:10) Are children always coming to you tattling? Do your children often act either angry and threatening or broken and hurt (these are both forms of manipulation)? Do your children refuse to accept counsel? (Prov. 12:15) Do your children often act (without your direction) as authorities over each other? Do they suffer from what one of my friends refers to as “too much iniative” (going into the kitchen and making themselves something to eat without asking would be an example of this)? Are they defiant, stubborn and disobedient? (Eph. 6:1) If these circumstances describe your home, then you have a problem with “selves” too.

All of these problems stem from pride and self-will. When these problems exist, our children are putting their desires and their wishes above the desires of others. They stem from a conflict over who should be placed first and a lack of humility. If our children cannot place their wills under ours, how will they ever place them under God’s? If our children cannot compromise with each other, how will they ever be able to love their wives as Christ loved the church or submit to their husbands with reverence? We must be diligent in the area of training humility in our children because it has eternal consequences!

Phillipians 2:3-8 gives us the guidelines on what we should be striving for in ourselves and our children. Jesus is our example. Memorize this Scripture passage and hide it in your heart. Have your children memorize it as well. Write it down on an index card and tape it up around the house as a reminder.

Proverbs 8:13 says “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” (ESV) Our children need to have an understanding that God hates pride. They need to be trained to know that God’s ways are higher than our ways, not vice versa. We don’t want God to lament over our children that they would not be gathered under His wings for protection, as Jesus lamented over Jerusalem in Luke 13:34.

But before you start trying to teach your children to be humble, Mother, make sure there is no hypocrisy in you. Go take a good hard look in the mirror as I recently did. Where is your trust, where is your will? Our children are a reflection of us and very often, if we’re seeing an unattractive trait in them, it’s a reflection of something we’re doing. So I ask you, are you submitting to your husband in reverence? Are you honoring and respecting your husband with a meek and quiet spirit? (Col. 3:18, Eph. 5:22-24, 1 Peter 3:1-2) Are you putting the Lord first in everything? Is your faith and trust in the Lord? Are you doing all for Jesus and using your time for the kingdom? (Col. 3:1, Eph. 5:16) Are you doing things that aren’t lovely, holy or pure because you’re too selfish to stop? (Phil. 4:8) If so, you’re giving your children an example of self-will and pride to follow and you have a problem with yourself just as I have a problem with myself. Before you remove the speck from the eyes of your children, take the plank out of your own eye (Matt. 7:1-3) Set your mind on things above (Col. 3:2) and walk worthy of the Lord (Col. 3:10). Pray daily for yourself, your husband and your children and then train your children to submit their wills to you and to God.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go tape Phil. 2:3-8 to the inside of my kitchen cabinets.

by Kelly K.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this.

And, no, I can't take credit for unknown.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP".

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing. A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll! wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so.......... Time to shut UP.....!

Poetry and memorization.....

and writing and, and, and....

Mungo has me thinking again; he does this quite often. (Thanks, Mungo!) Actually, before I read Mungo's blog today, I had been thinking of adding more poetry reading and more memorization into our lives. I also have a friend who asked me to enlighten her on memorization and its importance. That requires some thought for me. I'm really good with reading and knowing what I want and if it appeals to me and work for our family, but explaining it to someone else....that is another story. (Maybe I need practice with narrations, huh?)

Another reason I'm thinking of memorization again is because a new co-op is starting in our area. It is called Classical Conversations. Most of the emphasis is placed on memorization. We haven't been doing so well this year with memorization...or last year for that matter. I guess I should give myself a little credit; we have been memorizing Latin and Bible verses.

I read in The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, that "memorization and recitation of poetry is an important part of the reading process; it exercises the child's memory, stores beautiful language in his mind, and gives him practice in speaking aloud (early preparation for the rhetoric stage)." Jessie Wise says that while schooling her children, she did not know she was using the theory of classical education (neo-classical to be exact). She was doing what she had been taught by her aunt and uncle. In the evenings her aunt would have her memorize list after list--multiplication tables, parts of speech, etc. When she began to use her aunt's method to educate her own children, she found that the three part method of memorization, logical organization and clear expression put her children far above their peers.

Neo-classical education is based upon the process of memorization, organization and expression; the three stages of the trivium (grammar, logic, rhetoric). There is a very specific three-part pattern to this: the mind must be first supplied with facts and images, then given the logical tools for organization of those facts and images, and finally equipped to express conclusions.

To borrow from Mungo's post, many are challenging the notion that if you have a good reader, you will then have a good writer. Arguments are being made nowadays - as classical educators all the way back to Quintilian have - that two things will stock the student's mind with the needed material to draw on when writing: Listening (being read to out loud) and Memorization. In order for good writing to come, you must fill the student's mind with the material to draw on. Memorization is there to be the "peg" upon which to hang further material. These mental "pegs" will be there to hold information that can be used in writing and that will one day be expound upon. Having this information in a student's brain will help him when he gets into the logic stage and will then want to know the "whys" and "whats" and how it all fits together. I really recommend reading The Well-Trained Mind. Even if you don't want to follow all or ANY of the guidelines that are in this book, it will definitely give you quite a bit to chew on.

So I encourage you to explore various sources of information....poetry, historical information, scientific information, Scripture. Fill their minds with the GREAT stuff. It will reap many rewards in the end.

Is it just me????

Do you have a hard time at the end of the week? I do well through Wednesday and then it all just seems to go down hill from there. Act as if, again, right? I'm REALLY looking forward to our break. Let's many more days? NINE!!!! Boy, do I need it!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

What philosophy do you follow?

What philosophy do you follow?

I scored as Divine Command.

Your life is directed by Divine Command: Your god and religion give you meaning and direction.

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”
--King James Version of the Bible

“Even as a tree has a single trunk but many branches and leaves, there is one religion--human religion--but any number of faiths.”
--Mahatma Gandhi

Yes, ANYONE can be religious; it is the faith that matters and where your faith lies.

"Act as if"....

Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a general natural law.

Immanuel Kant, FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE METAPHYSICS OF ETHICS, German philosopher (1724 - 1804)

I think I'm living by this phrase nowadays....maybe not the whole thing, but I keep repeating to myself "Act as if, act as if"....I don't know if it is hormonal shifts or seasonal shifts or what, but I have to "act as if" I want to be thin by eating the right foods; "act as if" I enjoy teaching school and to not even go that far, "act as if" I WANT to do it! I have to "act as if" I like exercising right now, "act...", "act...", "act...".

I think Dr. Phil said this too one time? I'm not really a fan of his OR Oprah's but I have seen him on occasion on her show in the past. I have to keep remembering this though....and hopefully one day soon, I will just do it all again because I like it and not just because I'm acting.

Thank goodness....

what is it that "they" say about the best laid plans??? Well, that happened to me yesterday. I got up to find one the cats had a swollen face! Yep, the Fluffmeister had an abscess. He had one about the same time last year. Hopefully this will be the ONLY one for this year.

When I woke up to that, it just threw the whole day off. We accomplish the basics in school and then had errands to run, laundry to fold, and the boys seemed WIRED yesterday for some reason.

I'm still in the process of thinking about how to plan all the delicious curricula I've chosen (below). It might help to actually get something down on day!

Monday, May 02, 2005

I realized....

that those lists sure don't sound like LESS, do they? If you read my post below the listing of curricula, there I was extoling the wonders of doing less, but going deeper. Well, most of what we will be doing, won't take a whole lot of we'll see how it works out. ;)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

I think I have it figured out now....

and I have ordered almost all of my new curricula. I state in the description of myself in the sidebar that I am a Christian. Lately, I have felt the need to show our faith throughout our school work and not just through an extra class tacked onto the schedule. This accounts for some of the choices that I've made.

We will be covering in our new school year:

For Sweet Pea 1
RightStart Math
Prima Latin going into Latina Christiana
Christian Studies by Memoria Press (2 days per week)
Bible Study Guide for All Ages (New Testament 2 days per week)
Classical Writing-Aesop
Spell to Write And Read (meshed somehow with Aesop)
Real-Science-4-Kids (1st half of year)
Apologia Elementary Botany (2nd half of year)
D'Aulaire's Greek Studies
TruthQuest American History
Poetry readings from Tanglewood (Stevenson, Dickinson and various others)
Read alouds and readers from the Great Books List and Highland's List
Artistic Pursuits (once/twice a month)
McGraw-Hill Spanish for Children (VERY casually)
Suzuki Piano
Children's Chorus
Upward Soccer (fall)
Upward Basketball (winter)
Spring Baseball clinic (spring)

For Sweet Pea 2

RightStart Math
Prima Latina
Christian Studies by Memoria Press (2 days per week)
Bible Study Guide for All Ages (New Testament 2 days per week)
Spell to Write And Read
Cursive First
Real-Science-4-Kids (1st half of year)
Apologia Elementary Botany (2nd half of year)
D'Aulaire's Greek Studies
TruthQuest American History
Poetry readings from Tanglewood (Stevenson, Dickinson and various others)
Read alouds and readers from the Great Books List and Highland's List
Artistic Pursuits (once/twice a month)
McGraw-Hill Spanish for Children (VERY casually)
Maybe typing
Children's Chorus
Upward Soccer (fall)
Upward Basketball (winter)

I don't think I've forgotten anything! ;)

I am very curious though about a co-op here in town that will be following the Classical Conversations setup. It is lots and lots of memorization. But hey, I can add that in on my own, can't I? WITHOUT paying over $300 per child.

Simplicity and new goal.

I'm busily in the throws of planning our next school year. I've decided to have some fun. Who CARES how long it takes us to get through a certain phase of history? I've been beating my head against some arbitrary wall trying to stuff EVERYTHING into this timeframe of 9-10 months that we school. Who CARES if I don't go through the cycle of World History 3 times EXACTLY?!

My new mode of education has become the more traditional classical education....This versus the neoclassical, heavy liberal arts approach of Well-Trained Mind. Don't get me wrong though. I do really like quite a bit of what the authors of WTM have to say in their book, but now I'm taking a slight detour and trying to discover what actually came BEFORE a neoclassical education.

Then I start thinking, "well, the traditional classical education is about less, but going more deeply." So, I've decided instead of stressing about less or more, we're just going to have fun while keeping a classical emphasis.

We will be doing Memoria Press' Classical Studies (Greek) and Truthquest's American History. I've decided if I don't get through it all in one year that is ok. I'm going to throw in the fun things that work around here....the hands-on additions. Those things that make a NON hands-on mom shiver with fright (yep, that is ME)! I'm buying kits and History Pockets to help with this endeavor. We are even going to start a notebook timeline because Sweet Pea 1 understands these things. Fun, fun and more fun!