So I've been organizing our new school year. Planning, choosing, researching -- all of it has kept me focused on things that I can control on not fretting on those things that I cannot. Plus, I have been having fun! I have had an opportunity to delve into some methods of homeschooling that I had previously explored and not fully understood.
I have read the first parts of The Well-Trained Mind a number of times, and am a frequent visitor to The Well Trained Mind forums, but it wasn't until I read The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education by Lee Bortins recently that I came to a much better understanding behind the methods and purposes of a classical education. My apologies to Susan Wise Bauer, who I think is wonderful. I am sure she did a good job explaining classical education in her book, but for me it got lost in all of the curriculum recommendations, and I couldn't see the forest for the trees. I found her audio lectures much more helpful and approachable -- in fact I would go so far as to call them fantastic. I have also steeped my summer in Andrew Pudewa audios as well. Can't get enough of those. If you are interested I will post about my favorites from those two.
Far beyond Latin instruction and a four-year history cycle, the classical model employs its own techniques and methodologies of instruction. I am just beginning to understand what these are, the purposes they serve, and the potential value they have for my kids. (You can insert the mad-scientist laugh here.) I have been planning our days this year to include some of those methods. Far from my initial assumption that classical methods were tedious and complicated, I am finding a certain simplicity and freedom in making plans based on a few, select goals and methods.
All of this to say, this is what I have been up to (in case you were wondering where I had been), and this is what the conversation is going to look like around here for a bit (in case you were wondering what I was going to write about next). I would love to have you join the conversation as we focus on the us in us-schooling and how we can best be served by our education. I will not be speaking as any kind of expert, but as a seeker who is exploring the value of her discoveries. If you are interested in the journey over the destination, then you might enjoy the ride. More to come...
*Photos by the incomparable Tina Richards. If you are local, I would love to give you her contact information.