Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #118


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Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.



Don't forget to follow my Pinterest boards that are a part of the All Things Classical List!

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Also, please remember to only link up posts that have to do with homeschooling using the classical model of education.  Thank you for understanding this link-up's theme.


Featured Post from Last Week



I think just about every homeschool mom is thinking about curriculum right now!  Some are thinking about the new curriculum they have just started using, some are second guessing the choices they just made, and others and still trying to figure out which curriculum to use for their coming year.  How about you?  Have you started school already?  Are you choosing curriculum right now?  The Linton Academy shares their Second Grade Curriculum Choices for this year, and it was the most clicked post from last week!


This Week's Link-Up


Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please link back to this post in some way. You can use my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) if you'd like so others can learn about this link-up! Button code: <a href="http://www.livingandlearningathome.com/" target="_blank" title="Trivium Tuesdays"><img alt="Living and Learning at Home" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZNtNfqeG_W4/U0qj7mUZCfI/AAAAAAAAFbo/vhEStFGbogw/s1600/Trivium+Tuesdays+-+button.png"/></a>
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!


I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         

If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)


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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Will - The Conscience - The Divine Life in the Child

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This post contains an affiliate link to the book we are discussing.

Hello!  Welcome to our continuing discussing the book Home Education by Charlotte Mason.   I'm hoping that these discussions will be really practical and encouraging for all of us!  I will bring up some areas of the chapter that I'm trying to implement in my home this summer, and I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comment section below!


The Will


This chapter was interesting to me because it was more about parenting than educating, although for most homeschoolers, education is just a part of parenting!  I don't usually talk about parenting here, so this will be a bit different than normal.

The first topic is that of 'the will.'  Parents seem to have a wide spectrum of opinions on this subject.  You have parents who will not say no to their child or direct them in any way because they do not want to 'damage' their child's will or because they are so proud of their child's 'strong will' that will some day amount to something great.  Then you have parents who think it is their job to break their child's will in order to conform it to whatever they want.  I would guess that most of you are somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

Here is what Ms. Mason had to say:

Now we have come to a divergence of opinion: on the one hand, the parents decide that, whatever the consequence, the child's will is not to be broken, so all his vagaries must go unchecked; on the other, the decision is, that the child's will must be broken at all hazards, and the poor little being is subjected to a dreary round of punishment and repression.

Ms. Mason, in her usual way, has an interesting way to mix those two ways of thinking.  She does want children to behave well, but she does not want to break their wills in order to do that.  What she wants is to cultivate and train their wills.  She wants a child to want to do what is right and good.  I like this, although I do not think it is wrong at times to break a child's will (because a child is not always going to know what is best or make the right choices on their own.)

She points out that the will is not moral in itself.  I take this to mean that if a child has a 'strong will' then they just want to be passionate about something, not necessarily that particular thing.  Our job as parents would be to cultivate the desires of their hearts toward true, good, and beautiful things, then our will will carry out those desires (and that kind of strong will is good)!

So how do we teach children to control their wills?  Ms. Mason says that we should teach them to change their thoughts.  If they are feeling angry, think of something happy.  If they are tempted to do something they shouldn't do, thinking about something else.

I thought it was interesting, though, that she pointed out that a child must first have the habit of attention before he can master his will.  We are definitely working on mastering attention over here still =)  If your child doesn't think that they can control their will, practice asking him to do something and then praising him when he has done it.  Then after a while, point out that he can make himself do what he wants to do.

Ms. Mason, quoting from Dr. Morell:

The education of the will is really of far greater importance than that of the intellect.  Theory and doctrine, and inclucation of laws and propositions, will never of themselves lead to the uniform habit of right action.


The Conscience


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Taking a step back, we not have to look at the conscience.  We already said that the will itself is morally neutral.   The conscience is what drives the will.  Is a child's conscience going to tell his will to do something right or wrong?  If you have been around the Charlotte Mason style of education for any time, you have probably heard the phrase:

I am - I ought - I can - I will


The conscience is the "I ought" of the above phrase.  Of course, nothing is but by the grace of God, but humanly speaking, we understand what is, what we should do, that we are able to do it, and then finally decide that we will do it. "The will carries out the verdict of the conscience."

So, how do children learn what is right and wrong?  How do their consciences form?  Charlotte Mason suggests presenting them with tales that fix their attention upon conduct.  She doesn't' want us to simply tell them what is right and wrong, but to let them absorb this information naturally.

The Bible, first and supreme; but any true picture of life, whether a tale of golden deeds or faulty and struggling human life, brings aliment to the growing conscience.  The child gets into the habit of fixing his attention on conduct; actions are weighed by him, at first , but their consequences, but by degrees his conscience acquires discriminating power.

This is all really interesting to think about, but how do we do this practically?  What do we do when our children choose something wrong?  How do we help our children when they make a bad decision?  Honestly, I am way too prone to frustration and anger when my children do something wrong.  That is a big reason why I wanted to read this book.  I know that I need reminders about gently training my children.  Ms. Mason tells us to instruct our child's conscience with kindness.  She tells us to be as a guardian angle, being watchful, not to catch the child messing up, but but guide him in right actions ("into the acting out of the duty she has already made lovely in his eyes").

The only last comment I would like to make is that I find these words beautiful, but so much harder to live out.  These ideas sound really nice, but when I am in the daily grind of parenting, it never goes as smoothly as she seems to think it will =)  I was wondering how you all have found this to be.  Have you put into practice any of the ideas from this book?  How have they worked in your family?  Do share!





Thanks for reading along this week!  This concludes the summer 2014 edition of Classical Mamas Read.  I enjoyed diving into this book with you!  Leave comments here on the blog post, or share about it on social media (#ClassicalMamasRead).  I'll be sharing too, so follow me on facebook, twitter, or google+ and we can chat about it there as well!  Don't forget, if you want to share your thoughts about Home Education on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!

I'll be back in a week or two with a conclusion post to this series, and then we will take a break until fall.  In September we are going to start reading The Liberal Arts Tradition.  This will be a challenging read, but if you already have a basic understanding of classical education and are ready to dive in further, I think you will enjoy it!




Classical Mamas Read Link-Up



Did you write about Home Education by Charlotte Mason on your blog?  Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)?  Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)?  I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!

I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions.  If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.

Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #117


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Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.



Don't forget to follow my Pinterest boards that are a part of the All Things Classical List!

 photo AllThingsClassical-titlepic_zps4a3485e7.png

Also, please remember to only link up posts that have to do with homeschooling using the classical model of education.  Thank you for understanding this link-up's theme.


Featured Post from Last Week



Everyone wants to save money, that's for sure!  Homeschooling can be quite expensive, but it definitely doesn't have to be.  Check out these tips from Candid Diversions!  (Most clicked from last week!)


This Week's Link-Up


Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please link back to this post in some way. You can use my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) if you'd like so others can learn about this link-up! Button code: <a href="http://www.livingandlearningathome.com/" target="_blank" title="Trivium Tuesdays"><img alt="Living and Learning at Home" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZNtNfqeG_W4/U0qj7mUZCfI/AAAAAAAAFbo/vhEStFGbogw/s1600/Trivium+Tuesdays+-+button.png"/></a>
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!


I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         

If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)


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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lessons as Instruments of Education - part 2

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This post contains an affiliate link to the book we are discussing.

Hello!  Welcome to our continuing discussing the book Home Education by Charlotte Mason.   I'm hoping that these discussions will be really practical and encouraging for all of us!  I will bring up some areas of the chapter that I'm trying to implement in my home this summer, and I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Lessons as Instruments of Learning


We are back to finish talking about Part 5 today.  I really enjoyed this read, although it was very long!  I enjoyed picking out the similarities between the Charlotte Mason style and the classical method of education.  Like I discovered last week, there are definitely some differences in the teaching methods, but there are also many similarities!    This part of the chapter covered many subjects, so I will just hit some of them and pull out what was interesting to me.  I'd love for you to share the parts that interested you as well!


Writing


This is what I think of when I think of  when I think of Charlotte Mason: copywork, dictation, narration, etc.  I love copywork.  If you follow this blog, you probably know that I have another site, Classical Copywork, dedicated just to copywork.  I like how she said to have the child produce something copied perfectly.  I am probably not as strict as she would be in this matter, but copying something exactly is the point of copywork, so I do keep that in mind.  She also mentions keeping it to no more than 10-15 minutes.  That is always a good reminder for me, because my son sometimes takes forever to do copywork and I need to remember to probably require less of him (but still quality writing) or else have him stop after 15 minutes and come back to it the next day.

One thing that I have never done is transcription, but I think I would like to start using it.  Do any of you use it?  If you are not familiar, it is having a child look at a word and then write it from memory.  Charlotte Mason says it is the start of learning to spell.  I am sure it follows her "picture the shape of a word" method, which I don't love, but I can still see the merit of it.  It is like a bridge between copywork and dictation.  She suggests having a child pick a verse from a favorite poem and write it using transcription.  Have your child fill a notebook with transcribed verses like this.  I think that would be such a neat thing to do!

The last part here under the subject of writing would be composition.  I loved how her ideas on composition reflected the classical model so well.  Here are a few quotes showing how she clearly thinks that young children should be soaking up information, not coming up with unique ideas of their own:

"The proper function of the mind of the young scholar is to collect material for the generalizations of after-life."  

"For children under nine, the question of composition resolves itself into that of narration". 

"Composition is as natural as jumping and running to children who have been allowed due use of books.  They should narrate in the first place, and they will compose, later readily enough; but they should not be taught 'composition.'"

Of course you probably know that I am going to disagree with that very last statement that children should not be taught composition.  I surely don't think that grammar stage children should be taught composition, but I think it should be taught as a child grows older.



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Math 


Demonstrate everything.  Use manipulatives and let young children use them freely in their lessons.  Don't move onto using abstract symbols until your child understands the concepts using manipulatives.  I really appreciate Ray's Arithmetic for this reason.  I think it is just the type of math curriculum that Charlotte Mason would have liked. (It doesn't cover all mathematical subjects, but it definitely gives your child a great understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.)



Geography & History


I think she approaches the subject of geography using the idea of Multum non Multa (Much not Many).  She recommends a child learning everything they can about a part of geography that they are interested in.  Then at some point, maps need to be brought in.  She encourages children to learn to draw plans of a room, then of a yard, town, etc.

The same goes for history.   I love these quotes:

...A  subject which should be to the child an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas.   

Let him linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home  in the ways of that period.  Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age. 

I love those!  She also recommends the ideas of keeping a timeline (book of centuries), drawing favorites scenes of history, and 'playing' history.


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Art & Handicrafts


Once again Charlotte Mason shows her classical ways by saying, 

A six year old should begin to both express himself and to appreciate, and his appreciation should be well in advance of his power to express what he sees or imagines.

She recommends studying one artist at a time, studying a few works from that artist. And one more beautiful quote:

We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child's sense of beauty...he is enriched more than we know.

Last up is handicrafts.  I have always loved this idea.  I have tried starting a few simple things with my children, but they are still pretty young for this.  Do you have a time in the day for your children to work on 'handicrafts' of some sort?  What do you do?  She tells us that the projects they are working on should be pieces worth something, not just things to throw out. She encourages us to teach our children to do things well, keeping in mind their scope of ability.





Thanks for reading along this week!  What did you think of this chapter?  Leave comments here on the blog post, or share about it on social media (#ClassicalMamasRead).  I'll be sharing too, so follow me on facebook, twitter, or google+ and we can chat about it there as well!  Don't forget, if you want to share your thoughts about Home Education on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!

Next week we will be finishing up our discussion of Home Education by Charlotte Mason.  If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you grab a Kindle version for under $2, a paper back, or read it for free on Ambleside Online!



Classical Mamas Read Link-Up



Did you write about Home Education by Charlotte Mason on your blog?  Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)?  Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)?  I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!

I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions.  If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.

Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Get Ready for Cycle 3 - Classical Conversations Pinterests Boards

This post is for anyone who is getting ready to study American history & geography, anatomy, chemistry, or fine arts.  Of course this post is also for anyone who will be using Classical Conversations during cycle 3.  I shared yesterday that my family has decided to join CC for next year and I shared that so this one wouldn't be out of the blue =)


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I have been researching and planning for next year (like any good homeschool mom ;) and thought I would share some inspiration with all of you!  Here are a bunch of other people's Pinterest boards that have awesome ideas for all the subjects I mentioned.  First up are some that are Classical Conversations specific, then you'll see ones broken down by subject, and finally a few boards on CC tutor tips.

Click on each picture or name to check out the Pinterest board.  Don't forget to follow the boards for continued inspiration!   Enjoy!

(Warning: Remember that your children need you today.  Don't get sucked into the Pinterest vortex for too long at any one time =)


Cycle 3 Pinterest Boards


Mary from Homegrown Learners - CC Cycle 3


Jody from Everyday Beautiful - Classical Conversations Cycle 3


Colleen from Sola Gratia Mom - Cycle 3


Melanie from Psyco with 6's board - CC Cycle 3


American History


Suzette from Joy of Homemaking - Classical Conversations (Cycle 3 American History)




Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom - U.S. History


U.S. Geography


Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom - Geography State Studies




Anatomy & Chemistry




Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom - Anatomy


Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom - Things That Go Boom


Brandy from Half a Hundred Acre Wood - CC Cycle 3 Science


Classical Conversations Fine Arts



Classical Conversations Tutor Ideas








Hope these were helpful!  I know I'm going to be pouring over these boards for the next month or so.  Do you have Pinterest boards on any of these subjects?  Feel free to leave a link in the comments, I'd love to take a look!

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This post is a part of a "Favorite Pinterest Boards" theme done by the ladies of the iHomeschool Network.  Check out some of the other themes: