Realizing that my children are still so young, and that we’ll be back through Cycle 3 at least three more times before we’ve moved our youngest on to Challenge, we are making some changes. It’s a good thing, too, because my stack of didn’t-get-around-to-it papers from last semester is quite enormous. (Seriously – it is about one entire ream of paper.) We are simplifying quite a bit now – making a few changes to math and language arts and providing more free time for the things my children are passionate about: history and science. I mention all that to say this: if you have to drop a program or a certain curriculum that you REALLY BELIEVE in, it’s okay. With CC, you’ll be back through it again. ( I love that!) And I’m glad that I can set things aside for a while. Someone told me this week: your curriculum is a tool. You be master over the curriculum, do not let it become master over you. So, for our 3rd grader, we are shifting from Saxon Math temporarily (even though I totally love it) and Essentials to a certain degree (even though it is an incredible program). For a list of curriculum that we plan to use this semester, go to Cycle 3 Spring Semester Plans, though as I’ve mentioned, our plans have changed over the past week…
Reigniting the Passion for Living and Learning:
As I prepare to RE-START this semester (because the start to our semester completely flopped on a deep, emotional level), I have started re-reading some books that originally provided me with so much vision and excitement – not only about the classical model of education, but also about living, learning, and homeschooling in general. I re-read these books to reignite my passion for living, learning, and teaching, as these books are BEAUTIFULLY RICH.
- Echo in Celebration by Leigh Bortins (Click Here for the FREE PDF), which opens with a quote that touches my heart and encourages me greatly:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold timid souls who have… known neither victory nor defeat.”
—Theodore Roosevelt, Sorbonne lecture, 1910
- The Core by Leigh Bortins
I deeply desire the passion for learning that I operated under over the course of last semester. Through all the construction, chaos, and compressed living space in our home, our family passionately pursued learning. We enjoyed doing projects well into the night, just to have a few moments of discovery together after all the construction crews had left and the chainsaws had quieted. Somehow that passion had fallen away as we started back up this spring, so now I pursue the instilling of that passion for life in myself once again.
Our planner was created to show memory work at-a-glance plus the subjects in a daily format. My inspiration came from Money Saving Mom’s Homeschool planner, which is great in itself, including attendance forms, 6-week subject plans, goal sheets, and 1-week daily plans. You can even input information into it! But here’s my personal creation after seeing the Money-Saving Mom Planner.
My question is: Will I ever actually use a planner to plan? I keep using it to log what we did instead of what we’re going to do. Anyone else have this problem, or am I alone? (At night, I tend to jot things down on a scratch piece of paper – sometimes a post-it note. That’s really the only “planning” I’m doing right now. Thank goodness I’m using a file system that at least helps me to know which weeks I should be doing what…
|My faithful file system.|
…and workboxes that help us to keep our activities at least organized by subject.)
|We now have a schoolroom (aka, The Learnin’ Loft), where
we have pretty wooden workboxes. (Yes, you might be a home-
school mom if you asked for a schoolroom for Christmas.)
My two favorite tools for Classical Conversations are our tri-fold board and our memory work song cds (which we make from the songs available on CC Connected). For our tri-fold board, we use files from CC Connected.
Cycle 3 Tri-Fold Board Slides (NOTE: File names will be included here at a later date!):
Fine Arts Slides
Memory Work At-a-Glance Pages (We attach these to the back of the board so that I can see them when we are reviewing.)
What it looks like:
As I mentioned, we are scaling back in Essentials for various reasons (one of which is that our son wants to participate in a square dancing class with other CC classmates who are not in Essentials), but I’m still not sure to what degree we’re scaling back, as he also does not want to give up his Essentials class. Either way, we have Abeka and Total Language Plus as a back-up. (We have some flexibility in this, since he will be back through Cycle 3 once more before taking off into Challenge.) For those in Essentials, our Essentials Planning looked a lot like this last semester.
And lastly, we have a list of Cycle 3 Resources that I keep updated so that we can find the resources and ideas I’ve come across for our CC studies.
Other Planning Posts:
Classical Conversations at Home
Classical Conversations at Home, Re-visited
Classical Conversations Essentials Plan
Memory Work Review Games
On-line File Organization
Classical Conversations for Beginners
Classical Conversations Tri-Fold Board