Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Guides and Inspirations for our Classical Homeschool

I don't know that I would ever have thought that I could homeschool if I hadn't found The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. This is the book that got me started and the one I refer to every single year when I plan out our year. I used to attempt to do everything suggested, but I have since gotten over that need. This is my "homeschooling bible".

The Latin-Centered Curriculum by Andrew Campbell is another of my favorites. I love to refer back to this book when I forget why I'm doing this.  There is a lot of information about a true classical education and the reasons for striving for this type of education. The format is nothing like TWTM - it doesn't follow a four year cycle, but it has some great ideas and curriculum suggestions. I tend to try to blend suggestions from both books for our school plans. This book is available at Memoria Press as well

Climbing Parnassus by Tracy Lee Simmons is a great resource on classical education and is quoted extensively in The Latin-Centered Curriculum. If you want to learn the history of classicial education and some well researched reasons for following it, this is a great resource. This book is available at Memoria Press as well as

Norms & Nobility by David Hicks is another great resource on classical education. This book tends to deal more with high school education rather than applying classical education to elementary age students. This book is available at

I have also used Ambleside Online for book lists when my kids were younger. Ambleside is Charlotte Mason inspired, but is quite useful for schedules and book suggestions.  I think that Charlotte Mason and classical homeschooling work very well together, especially in the younger years.

The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project is a wonderful resource for classic children's literature. I have used so many of their books over the years, especially for children's versions of greek and roman stories. I highly recommend this site.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Where does the time go?

I can't believe that it is already April! Our school year is just zooming along. Have I mentioned that we school year-round? Well, we do. In our first year of homeschooling I followed the local school calendar and we took off the two and a half months of summer break. And guess what? We had the issue of my son forgetting "everything he learned" from the year before - just like the public and private schools have each fall. Sooo, after that first year we have gone year-round. But don't worry, we take breaks throughout the year to relax and re-group. Since my kids are involved in music and ballet, we have a lighter schedule during their busy months and it all works out.

 Despite knowing that I have all summer to make sure the kids complete their work and are ready to go on to the next grade level, every spring I feel the anxiety hit -- will they be ready before the school year ends? This is typically when I start planning for the next school year too.

We have had such a nice spring so far. Everyone wants to be outside. My herbs and flowers don't seem to remember that we are bound to have more cold and frosty nights.

 The catmint looks nice.

Next up will be lessons outside. The younger ones love to take all their books and papers and sit outside and do their work in the gazebo. I used to be skeptical that they would actually do their work, but they have proven me wrong for the last several years.