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I need some advice re: Classical Education

Posted by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 1:03 PM
  • 32 Replies
I am just beyond worn out mentally. I made a decision to go Classical next year and now I am really really re-thinking it. I question why Latin, a dead language, is important. I wonder if recitation and memorization too closely mimics the teaching to the test we see in public schools? Is it silly to focus so much on history in 1st through 4th. Is it better to start closer to home with US History and Geography than to hit Ancient Egypt at ages 5 and 6? MOST IMPORTANTLY..... IS CLASSICAL AN ENJOYABLE LEARNING EXPERIENCE??????







What are your HONEST thoughts?
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by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 1:03 PM
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Silverkitty
by Bronze Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Well, lets see.  Latin helps with grammar, and is the basis of many other languages, supposidly helps in learning them.  We are not learning latin though I've thought about it.  My daughter wants to learn Japanese so that has nothing to do with latin.  My son might want to learn spanish and we might start with latin then.

I don't do recitation, it doesn't work for us.  We discuss what was read or done, but I don't make her recite it.  No do we do memorization, if she wants to learn something and does memorize it, that is up to her.

History, I'm all confused on history.  I've used some classical education history, my daughter doesn't like reading from an encyclopedia, so we moved on to actual novels, both fiction and non-fiction.

romacox
by Silver Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 1:57 PM
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I use the Eclectic Method so that I can take the best of all the methods.  The  most important part about the Classical Approach is that it teaches analytical thinking.  That can be done without swallowing the whole package. 

Different Methods Used By Home Educators

Many home educators teach Latin because it helps with vocabulary and spelling. 

wunderwifey
by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 3:41 PM
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I took the PSAT in school. Scored a 980. Took 2 years of Latin and scored 1240. (on the 1600 scale) not great scores, but I attribute the change to having taken Latin because most of my extra points were on the verbal. I don't remember all I learned, but pieces of it still come back when coming across new words and other languages. If your kids are interested in learning any language, even Japanese, I'd suggest one year of Latin first. It'll come in handy more for the romance languages (Spanish, GermanN french etc) but I can see how it would benefit in any language study.
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lifesadream83
by on Feb. 26, 2013 at 5:48 PM
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Latin is great for many reasons already mentioned by silver kitty.  However, we are not teaching Latin persay.  I am starting Beginning Word Roots in 4th grade (next year) then there are 4 books that follow (latin and greek) it one per grade or as fast as your kids want to go.  


I like cycling throug history personally.  I think it gives them a firm foundation to build on in the future.  We do not use the 4 year continuim as most do.  We started homeschooling in 2nd grade and that year was a total bust in the history and science department (all really but these two more then others).  When we finally found our rhythm it was with SL.  So we started this year with B+C (world history in one year) which i decided to slow down and bought the separate cores so that it is now in two parts.  Then American history for 2 years follows.  There is an odd year of eastern hemisphere and then they cycle through world history and american history 2 more times before graduation.  I wish we could have done the 4 year cycle with SL books but it just is not doable for us.  We are not in the middle school years yet but I hear from other forums that the kids go from reading and projects to lots of writing and outlining and they are not so fond of it but they get a great knowledge of how to write. outline etc.  

I think little kids love learning about past civiliations.  They can build pyramids out of legos, dress up like romans, paint ancient chinese scrolls, learn how religions came to be... whats not to enjoy.  I actually think learning only american history at a young age limits your world view.  there is a whole world outside the US that was around long before why  only cover american history?

If I could start from the beginning I would use Story of the World with SL readers (there is a website that has all the SL books in order for SOTW by stage (grammar/logic/rhetoric).  I would continue using SL readers but would go to History Odyssey for the 2nd two cycles through History.  I would use FLL and AAS, and starting in 3rd grade   Word Roots and Progressive Writing (a program available on google books for free 3rd-8th grade).  

I would use SIngapore Science for K-2, Real Science Odyssey for 3-5, Science Fusion/Other for 6-8.

Math in Focus for k-8 the Math U See / all Math U See

Elementary Spanish I would start in 3rd grade (Because it is increasingly important for the population to speak both english and spanish)


AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Classical education CAN be an enjoyable learning experience - for the right student and the right teacher. My daughter is a book hating dyslexic; it was a disaster for her when we tried. I, on the other hand, would have loved a classical education as a child!

To answer your question re Latin - knowing Latin has been shown to pretty drastically help a student's vocabulary (and their SAT scores!). It is dead (lol) useful in most STEM careers and the general college experience.

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we have traditional gender roles, we're Catholic, I'm Libertarian, he's Republican, we're both conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee














Boobah
by Nikki :) on Feb. 26, 2013 at 8:12 PM
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We started off classical. This is *my* thoughts on it, and I realize everyone will not agree.

My thoughts are, while learning about history and every tiny detail is fine, how much do kids really remember about it from elementary school? Not much. What you remember about dates and molecules etc is most likely from middle school up. So, although we did read story of the world and listen to the cd for fun, I did not require her to memorize any of it. I classical education, they will go over the exact (literally, the same book) again in 4 years in more depth. So I'm not going to try to drill into their heads something they a) don't need to know right now b) they will learn again and c) they aren't really ready to understand.
Even before we took a Waldorf approach to homeschooling, I was amazed at how much they are trying to cram into kids. Things that really, unless they will be a historian or scientist, do not actually matter that they know in depth.
So anyway, classical was just too much useless info being required of them, to me.
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Boobah
by Nikki :) on Feb. 26, 2013 at 8:15 PM
Not meaning to offend, but you have gone from one end of the spectrum of the other. I realize I did that as well, in the opposite order over the last two years. Lol! Can I ask what isn't working for you with your current set up? Maybe you don't need a different method, maybe you just need to combine what works from a few different methods to suit you and your child. I am doing that right now. We are mostly waldorf, but we do add in things that aren't Waldorf, like spelling, because my daughter really enjoys it.
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BramblePatch
by Bronze Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 9:18 PM
Other than a brief foray into Oak Meadow, which was not a fit in any way, we have followed the same path which is a workbook approach. DS is doing very well with CLP but I find the history and science lacking. He will continue with their phonics, spelling, bible, penmanship, and math. They do not have an English or Grammar or Writing rogram, so we will add that.....we will also add a language along with the history and science, literature, and art. That is where I am stumped. Which history cycle? Which language? Do we follow the classical method of recitation? And so on.... DD is using Memoria Press this year but will not do the K. She is already using CLP for Phonics and Penmanship.


Quoting Boobah:

Not meaning to offend, but you have gone from one end of the spectrum of the other. I realize I did that as well, in the opposite order over the last two years. Lol! Can I ask what isn't working for you with your current set up? Maybe you don't need a different method, maybe you just need to combine what works from a few different methods to suit you and your child. I am doing that right now. We are mostly waldorf, but we do add in things that aren't Waldorf, like spelling, because my daughter really enjoys it.

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Boobah
by Nikki :) on Feb. 26, 2013 at 9:21 PM
I must be thinking of someone else. I was thinking this was your fourth or fifth change this year. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I was just thinking you could pick what you like from each and go from there.

Quoting BramblePatch:

Other than a brief foray into Oak Meadow, which was not a fit in any way, we have followed the same path which is a workbook approach. DS is doing very well with CLP but I find the history and science lacking. He will continue with their phonics, spelling, bible, penmanship, and math. They do not have an English or Grammar or Writing rogram, so we will add that.....we will also add a language along with the history and science, literature, and art. That is where I am stumped. Which history cycle? Which language? Do we follow the classical method of recitation? And so on.... DD is using Memoria Press this year but will not do the K. She is already using CLP for Phonics and Penmanship.




Quoting Boobah:

Not meaning to offend, but you have gone from one end of the spectrum of the other. I realize I did that as well, in the opposite order over the last two years. Lol! Can I ask what isn't working for you with your current set up? Maybe you don't need a different method, maybe you just need to combine what works from a few different methods to suit you and your child. I am doing that right now. We are mostly waldorf, but we do add in things that aren't Waldorf, like spelling, because my daughter really enjoys it.

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BramblePatch
by Bronze Member on Feb. 26, 2013 at 9:29 PM
We did dump the CLP science for fun Magic School Bus stuff in January and DD did wrap up CLP Preschool early and we switched to MP so maybe that is what you are thinking of. I also post a lot of questions :-)


Quoting Boobah:

I must be thinking of someone else. I was thinking this was your fourth or fifth change this year. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I was just thinking you could pick what you like from each and go from there.



Quoting BramblePatch:

Other than a brief foray into Oak Meadow, which was not a fit in any way, we have followed the same path which is a workbook approach. DS is doing very well with CLP but I find the history and science lacking. He will continue with their phonics, spelling, bible, penmanship, and math. They do not have an English or Grammar or Writing rogram, so we will add that.....we will also add a language along with the history and science, literature, and art. That is where I am stumped. Which history cycle? Which language? Do we follow the classical method of recitation? And so on.... DD is using Memoria Press this year but will not do the K. She is already using CLP for Phonics and Penmanship.






Quoting Boobah:

Not meaning to offend, but you have gone from one end of the spectrum of the other. I realize I did that as well, in the opposite order over the last two years. Lol! Can I ask what isn't working for you with your current set up? Maybe you don't need a different method, maybe you just need to combine what works from a few different methods to suit you and your child. I am doing that right now. We are mostly waldorf, but we do add in things that aren't Waldorf, like spelling, because my daughter really enjoys it.


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