You may have been checking in on some of the updates Just posted on the R and R blog about the homeschool conference we went to this past week. Now that we are back, things are getting exciting and scary all at the same time. Over the last year or so we have done a lot of reading and thinking about the different approaches to homeschooling. I was a bit overwhelmed by it all since there are things I love about so many different methods. And then there is the whole issue with Jonathan not only being an only child at this point, but the fact that there are only a handful of children for him to interact with at our church right now.
I went to the conference knowing I believe in the classical approach to education because the trivium just makes sense to me, but there are also things I like about some of the Charlotte Mason methods and, having tought in a public school before, I can certainly see the value of a great unit study. Not to mention the fact that the classical approach can seem quite intimidating to one with a so-not-classical education. So all of this was overwhelming. I didn't really know where to start.
Then we discovered Classical Conversations. This curriculum has the grammar stage all broken down for you. There are also tutoring groups that you meet with every week where the students do drills with their facts, participate in projects and experiments, and even begin working on public speaking from the very first day. A paid tutor introduces the set of grammar facts for the week while the students (and their mothers) are gathered at these meetings. Then the study of these facts continues at home (through whatever methods you choose) during the rest of the week. There are also 3 weeks each semester that the tutoring groups don't meet and there are no assigned grammar facts, so there is room for unit studies or whatever other activities we choose.
There are so many things we love about this curriculum, but I'll spare you. The really scary thing is that I had planned to keep things pretty informal (and inexpensive) for this first pre-K year--mostly to get us used to a more consistent schedule. But since this program begins with K-4, we have decided to go ahead and jump on in. We received word that there is space for Jonathan in the nearest group, which is in Wilson, and we already purchased the basic curriculum. We decided it would be best to find out during K-4 if this isn't going to work out the way we expect rather than waiting.
And so, Justin wanted me to add a note to say that an investment in Jonathan's education will last a lot longer than any toy you can buy. It would make a great birthday gift for him! And since Nana already bought most of the stuff on the list...