Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Classical Homeschooling... the big switch...

Well not really so big... more like a steady stride...

I started out with a love for The Well Trained Mind when my oldest was preschool age. But it seemed so overwhelming to me when I finally (years later) took the leap. I had to make sure that I touched on every aspect of Language Arts ~ which seemed the most important and also the most challenging to me. Plus keep moving on Science, real science... not make something messy & call it a chemical reaction. I want concrete principles and learning.

So anyway, as time has gone on I continue to replace components of our curriculum with items recommended by TWTM. Yes, I realize that this makes the whole year much more expensive than had I just started that way, but I guess I needed the confidence to do so.

I have many friends who use curriculum in a box programs. An extremely popular one is Seton. I love that they are fully Christ centered and a solid education at the same time. Grading, report cards, diplomas and transcripts are huge bonuses that make me a bit envious. You see, I hope to return to school soon and having someone else to support our homeschooling adventure is very important to our success. But we just are not a textbook/workbook kind of family.

So I continue to explore options. I have found a couple of curriculums that offer the Classical Catholic education that I value with the ease of grading and diplomas. One is Mother Of Divine Grace the curriculum laid out in Laura M. Berquist's Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. I love the book but the stages seem a bit off of where we are in our journey.

Another is St. Thomas Aquinas homeschool. I think this one may be our winner. I love their choices in materials. I love the flexibility. And most importantly I love the effort made to keep the whole family in the same rotation for history/science. I really feel that both kids learning together really contributes to our family cohesiveness. I love how it feels as a family to explore together. I believe the care the littles show for one another proves that it works for them as well. Older teaching younger, younger so enthusiastic that it wears off on all of us.

I know there are many more Classical Curriculums - Veritas being one, I believe. If you follow a Classical cycle and love your designed curriculum, I'd love to hear from you! Although I talk big, I don't plan on making any final decisions until January.

4 comments:

The Mama said...

I hadn't seen the St. Thomas Aquinas site before- thanks!

Jennifer said...

You're welcome. Thus far I think it's still my favorite Classical Curriculum. I emailed some questions and they were very quick to respond. I really appreciate great customer service =)

Sherrie said...

I wish I could help you, but being as I'm a textbook/workbook type of homeschooler, well...I just can't. LOL! I only think I'm that way b/c of my whole public school teacher background (meaning I taught for 8 years). Granted, my anal retentiveness doesn't help either. :( But I think Caleb is learning, so that's what counts, right? :)

Jennifer said...

Oh Sherrie - you're a hoot! Your method works for you! So it's perfect for both you and Caleb =)