Monday, April 13, 2015

Reasons I Love CC #1.....It Works!

My daughter chose Clara Barton to research and do her Faces of History report for Essentials (CC's grammar, math and writing program). Therefore, I decided to read aloud a book about her to everyone. We chose the Heroes of History version. They decided to play Legos while I read. I learned early on in my homeschooling career that kids listen better when they can keep their hands busy. Of course, sometimes I wonder if they are really listening, but every time I ask them a question they repeat back the exact words I said!
When I first learned about Classical Conversations I wondered about all the memorization they do. My public school teacher self wondered if that was just the lowest form of learning. Boy was I wrong! It was explained to me that when kids memorize facts it gives them a peg to hang any knowledge they come across upon. I have seen how much my kids are learning this year, but today I really got to see it in action.

We were on the chapter about Clara Barton's service during the Civil War. I could hardly read for the boys interrupting me excitedly saying, "I know about that!" They started spouting off their history sentences about Lincoln, Lee, and the Civil War. They truly understood it more because they already had a basic understanding of the big picture of that time period. Plus, because it sounds familiar to them and they are proud to know about it, they are instantly engaged. 
This was such a great time. They loved this book so much that they have begged me to order some more Heroes of History biographies! It was so wonderful to get such a confirmation that this method truly works and that my kids are flourishing with the classical method!

A Perfect Day...

I'm ashamed to admit that way too often as a homeschooling mom I listen to my doubts and insecurities (which certainly don't come from my heavenly father) and think I'm the worst mom/teacher ever. No days are perfect, and we should never expect them to be no matter how perfect other moms look on their blogs :) BUT sometimes, you have one of those days where you think you are really rocking this homeschool thing!
Ours all started when my daughter was invited to spend the weekend with her bestie (who recently moved to London!) at her grandmother's house. Her face looked something like this:
After we took big brother to his Challenge B class and sister to her weekend get away, it was just me and these two cuties. Since their older siblings' schoolwork can be so challenging that they need me, I feel like these two get the shaft sometimes. That just made me even more excited to have this alone time with them.
There were some American history books that go along with CC cycle 3 that I wanted to read to them. I had read them to my older kids when they were younger so since they had already heard them this was a great time to read them. They worked on puzzles while I read to them. We read two entire chapter books: The Bears on Hemlock Mountain and Sarah Witcher's Story! They listened and were really into them the whole time. It was epic! I may have called my husband to brag.
We love our All About Spelling program, but the boys aren't thrilled when I pull out a big stack of their review cards for them to read. So, today I tried something different. I made a little path of them, and they drove their cars and jets on them. In order to move on they had to read the words on the cards.
We got through more cards than ever before!

Will especially gets overwhelmed when faced with a large stack of cards, but he really got into this. Any time I can find something super active for him he does so much better.

Next, we did not one but TWO Saxon math lessons!
The first one had pattern blocks- their all-time favorite manipulative.
They will play with these things for an hour. Wesley made a deer.
I can't remember what animal he built, but he was super proud of it.
And then it's fun to play with the bag....
Our 2nd lesson was on weighing so I made these little boxes with different items in them. They had to measure and determine which ones were the heaviest.
They did really well with this and worked well as a team.
I love watching them do their Saxon worksheets. It brings back such memories of when we started homeschooling and I did these with their big bro.
We had an ideal homeschooling day together. Then big brother got home and this happened...
Now you see why we don't get as much done when he's home......

Reasons I Love CC #39; Presentation Time...

Every week in Classical Conversations the kids give a presentation. The tutors give topic suggestions, but you can choose what you want your kids to present about. As the director I am popping in and out of classrooms so I don't always get to see my kids' presentations. This day I made it a point to see them because they were so excited about them.

This is Will telling all about his Blue Angels jet. He was so cute I could eat him up!