Friday, March 02, 2012

Working hard

February has been a month of very full school days. This week has been packed with six hour school days- a long school day for homeschoolers. Considering homeschooling is like one-on-one tutoring, you can pack a TON in a 6 hour day!

Here what the boys are working very hard on right now:

Learning about the Holy Spirit and worldviews in theology

Learning how to drive a tractor, plant crops, nurture seedling in a greenhouse, train a dog, and cement posts in an orchard (Farming 101 :) )

Canadian geography

MASTERING multiplication/division (I want them to know the answers hesitation!)

Converting decimals to fractions, and vice versa

Fractions- adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing- reducing to lowest terms

Latin root words

Memorizing Bible verses and poetry

Drawing war items from WWI (mechanics of drawing)

Reading, reading, reading! (They read a chapter book each week, along with reading in almost every other subject. It is very stretching for my 3rd grader. But my 5th grade book-lover continues to read various other books each week, outside of school, for pleasure!)

Exploring/researching/reading about the Great Depression and the New Deal

Writing fictional accounts of life as a soldier in WWI (focus on using descriptive words and plot development)

Writing reports on Canadian geography (learning the mechanics of good paragraphs)

Memorizing the US Presidents

Memorizing the US capitals

Memorizing the prepositions song

Learning the difference between a direct object and a predicate noun/adjective

Using subject/verb agreement in sentences

The concept of "perspective" in art

Learning to use deductive reasoning to solve logic puzzles

And many, many character lessons (sharing, empathy, patience, etc.)

As their teacher, my goal is for them to become scholars. A scholar is defined as "one who loves to learn and is good at it." There are so many reasons this is important to me and I have chosen the avenue of classical Christian education to achieve this goal. I desire for my children to be leaders characterized by wisdom, virtue, and eloquence- for God's glory.

With the recent conversations I find myself in due to the current political climate, I am especially passionate about their education. During the last week alone, I have been asked by other adults "Do you believe the entire Bible is literally true?" "What do you believe about the origin of the earth?" "Should government be able to allow private companies to choose what medical procedures they will cover in insurance policies?" "How involved should America be in foreign affairs?" "Does faith play a role in politics?" "Is the world in worse condition spiritually than it was 100 years ago?" "Whose responsibility is it to take care of the poor?"

And these questions have humbled and challenged me. I have my opinions, but the answers are not simple. But I am so thankful for the amount I have learned while teaching my children. It has continually shaped my worldview. I would definitely consider the amount that I have learned in the last four years to be equal to my college education. And all of the questions that have come my way have encouraged and inspired me to want to know and teach more! I think it is glorifying to God when we seek to know the truth about this world He gave us to maintain. My children (and I) need to know what we believe and how to articulate it well. We need a thorough, liberal arts education in order to really know what is true and good. And with this goal in mind, we will push ahead and run hard with perseverance! There is so much to learn together!

"A good education is for shaping and cultivating our humanity."

~Christopher Perrin

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