The Classical Cat Corner

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

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back to school time....

Yeah, yeah, I know....I haven't blogged in a LONG time. I've been busy! I've been turning our toy room into a school room. I'll post pictures of that when it is totally finished (just waiting to get the dry erase board put up and some Latin charts laminated and hung). This room has made a WORLD of difference in our schooling so far this year. The guys run to their desks when they hear me tinkle the little bell telling them it is time to start for the day!

But in the meantime, here is a picture of Sweet Pea 1 working away on our first day of school last week.

And then there is Sweet Pea 2. He was practicing his phonogram sounds on the computer.

Our newest student joined us just for the first day. I decided that he isn't the BEST student to have around and he causes lots of havoc in the classroom! ;)

We started back easing into our work. Since we are following a Latin-Centered Education this year, we started with our basic subjects. (Just for the record, I know that I never finished the post on what we would be using this year, [there was supposed to be a Part 2] but consider this part of that, ok? Just humor me.)

We start each day with devotions. I decided to have the boys memorize the Catechism from Bob Jones University. I'm not sure how closely it follows the Shorter or Westminister Catechisms, but I like it. We do one new one each day and recite the review ones. There are only 50 questions in this catechism and with 180 days of school, we'll run out quickly. But we have 32 days of co-op where we will be having devotions there, and some of the questions/answers are long so I think we'll be fine moving along as we can or staying on one until we have it down cold. We're also reading biographies of Christian men and women who are Heroes of the faith. That is the name of the series Heroes of the Faith. I chose for us to read about Eric Liddell, Corrie Ten Boom, and David Livingstone. I don't know if these three will last all year or not, but I'll get a few more if they don't. I just read aloud a chapter or part of a chapter each morning, then have prayer.

We will have recitation time once we start Classical Conversations in a few weeks. Our Latin studies will dovetail right into that time and then we'll have a little more concentrated time of Latin study. Sweet Pea 1 and I are learning this together using Latina Christian I. Sweet Pea 2 is just around in the room coloring during the concentrated Latin time so that he can get the exposure. I'm not requiring this of him yet since he is not reading.

I decided that SP 2 needs some closer attention this year to get him reading so his work is first after our group time. RightStart Math is on the agenda. He told Popeye the other day that it is easy...."Mom holds up something and I tell her what it is." That isn't EXACTLY what we've been doing, but close enough! LOL I'm very pleased that we did not have to do any review in math. He has just taken off from where we left off in May and is zooming forward.

While SP2 and I are doing math, SP1 is busy working on a Latin worksheet or game(if there is one for the day) or Latin copywork. He accomplishes this as well as keyboarding practice, and soon to add, Awana Scripture copywork in cursive to get that handwriting practice done.

By this time, SP2 and I are finished with Math and it is SP1's turn for math. He too is using RightStart. SP2 practices his "typing" (yeah right) and/or takes a short break and/or works on his handwriting on a small chalkboard with tiny pieces of chalk to help with that pincher grasp he needs to hold a pencil well.

After SP1's math lesson, he goes to work on his worksheet, then it is SP2's turn again for phonics/reading/spelling practice with Spell to Write and Read. This program will turn out excellent readers and spellers. I teach handwriting to SP2 as we go along with this program versus having a whole separate workbook.

And that was our schedule for last week. This coming week we'll be adding in Classical Writing-Aesop for SP1 and First Language Lessons for SP2. We'll have to get a little earlier start to get those extra things in.

The following week, I will be adding in our literature studies using the books Wonderbook for Girls and Boys and Tanglewood Tales, both by Hawthorne. We will read these aloud and discuss them one day a week. I'll also add in our Greek Myth studies using Memoria Press' Greek Myth study guide and D'Aulaire's Greek Myths book. We'll read and discuss another day during that week.

We will start our co-op, Classical Conversations August 29th, so we will have our memory work to add to the beginning of our day as well as adding in our Christian Studies (another Memoria Press product) and Modern Studies (US History). We'll be rolling with a full load by then. It has been nice to stagger start our work like this and then I should be able to stagger it at the end too.

Editing here to add: How could I forget?! SP1 will be doing some assigned reading and reading aloud with me. I guess because I count this as a natural part of our learning, I don't think to list it here.