As we continue down the homeschool path and figuring out what works for us and what doesn’t, I have come quite fond of classical homeschooling from a Christian perspective. After reading and re-reading The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, it really just clicked in terms of the logical progression of learning. The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Readingis phenomenal. We are using it with our daughter and she is doing great and it has a somewhat laid-back approach so there is little pressure on student or parent.
As a part of my efforts to provide an environment for our children to learn and develop a lifelong love of learning, I have embarked upon rejuvenating my own lifelong love of learning. Having grown up being an avid reader, which did serve me well in undergrad and grad school, I found that I wasn’t doing much reading outside of the mail and the local Pennysaver. Yes, I would read The Washington Post and New York Times online but really read….that had escaped me.
So, I read, in its entirety – Morning by Morning: How We Homeschooled or African-American Sons to the Ivy League by Paula Penn-Nabrit, and while not totally classical in method being that her sons came home after having been in “school” the book still contained a lot of good points that are helpful to anyone. I wondered what else was out there for me to read now that I could no longer use the excuse that I did not have time as I made time to read this book.
My first stop was a neighboring county for their public library card. After receiving a tip from a fellow homeschool mom that this county had the Rosetta Stone software available to any and all that hold a library card…I said great – I will go learn Mandarin. Yes, I have a fixation with learning Mandarin and teaching it to my kids. I have started and have been progressing quite well. Of course, it would be more helpful to find someone to talk to but that is another prayer issue. The bottom line is that I am learning it and I like it. I have written numerous letters to my county leaders and even heard back from a staffer (right before the elections last year) and once the staffer’s boss won re-election, I have yet to hear from them again, despite numerous letters.
So, what’s next, a re-read of The Prince by Macchiavelli. I read it in high school and again as a polisci major in undergrad but can’t recall much…also, I printed out a list of other great reads from Schola Tutorials. I will be heading back out to my great used bookstore to see what treasures I can find to rebuild my library and my mind.
Also, another blogger shared information about the open ware courses at MIT. While you do not have access to the professors you do have lecture notes and other great handouts so I am perusing the list of offerings to see what I am going to dive into over the next few weeks.
Now that I have freed up a lot of free time by eliminating the television, I am on a roll. I still have to include my time to knit and practice my guitar but I am encouraged and I know that in the end my family and I will be better for all of it.