Friday, February 28, 2014

Principles for the Study of Literature - Teaching the Trivium Ch. 8

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This post contains an affiliate link to the book that we are going through.

Welcome to another week of the Teaching the Trivium book club!  I am so excited to read and discuss this book along with you.  I loved the discussion last week and would love to hear from more of you!  Today we talk about literature.


Chapter 8 - Principles for the Study of Literature


The big question of this chapter was what kind of literature is worthwhile of our time, and what principles should guide our decision making when it comes to picking the literature we have our children read.

Culture


The first almost 20 pages of the chapter are devoted to talking about culture.  

Culture consists of those products of work and thought, from a given community of men, which are transmitted across generations.  This includes customs, habits, traditions, language, literature, arts, skills, technologies, beliefs, philosophies, governments, laws, institutions, and anything else which characterizes the activities of men.   (pg 193)

The point is that when we read the literature from civilizations past, we are learning their culture.  Sometimes this is good for us, and sometimes we need to be careful.  Sometimes the culture will encourage us toward the goals we have for our family, and other times it will promote things that do not serve our purposes.  Many times in the chapter, the Bluedorns made the point that if (as Christians) we are going to read secular literature, we have to be able to redeem it for our purposes.  I don't know that I've ever really heard anyone say it that way before.



Before your read this chapter, did you consider the culture of the literature your kids were reading?  

If so, how does that impact how your approach pieces of literature?




Literature


The rest of the chapter deals with literature itself.  What are the classics?  How do you classify literature?  How do you choose what to read?

The Bluedorns define classic literature as "What is of good form and lasting value."  They acknowledge that there can be differences in what people think fits this criteria.

What I also really appreciated is how they encouraged us that there is only so much time in the day, so not to worry about tackling everything or missing something.


If someone shared their long list of classics which their children are reading, then do not begin to doubt or fret, but look back at your list of principles and stick to them...Require your child to read those classical works which agree with your family's principles, and forget the rest.    (pg. 221-222)




How do you decide what classic literature to have your children read?  

Do you have a certain criteria that books must meet?  

How do you approach subject matter that is contrary to how you believe?




So far I have had to deal with this very little since my kids are young.  The Bluedorns do give some advice as to how to redeem literature that is not in line with your family's beliefs.  One of their suggestions is to critique the writing and compare it to what you believe.  My husband and I definitely don't expose our children to inappropriate things, but we don't keep things away from them either.  If we encounter something that is different than what we believe then we take the opportunity to talk through how the particular situation lines up with the Bible.  I know this will get harder as my kids grow and are exposed to much more!




Thanks for reading along this week!  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 Teaching the Trivium on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!







Next week we will be talking about chapter nine of Teaching the Trivium.  If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you check your library or order one soon so you can be ready for next time!  Also, this is a 600+ page book, so I am only touching on certain points of each chapter.  There is so much great information that I am not covering, so if this discussion interests you, you are going to want to make sure to pick up your own copy so you can read more!



Classical Mamas Read Link-Up



Did you write about Teaching the Trivium 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 think 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, February 25, 2014

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #96


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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



Are you working on skip counting?  Beth from Classical Conversations at Home shares this great idea that combines math facts with fine motor skills!


Most Clicked on From Last Week


Tonia, from The Sunny Patch, got the most clicks with her post about Memorization and Recitation.  Thanks for sharing a great post, Tonia!



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 place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • 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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Friday, February 21, 2014

Teaching Rhetoric - Teaching the Trivium Ch. 7

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This post contains an affiliate link to the book that we are going through.

Welcome to another week of the Teaching the Trivium book club!  I am so excited to read and discuss this book along with you.  I loved the discussion last week and would love to hear from more of you!  Today we talk about rhetoric.


Chapter 7 - Teaching Rhetoric


"Every subject has it's own rhetoric."  Rhetoric is the "creative expression of sound conclusions." (pg. 175) 

I really enjoyed this chapter because it brings everything together.  I am very narrow sighted, just beginning to teach my children the grammar of each subject.  This chapter helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel.  This is what we are striving for!

By the rhetoric stage, our children have learned the facts about the world around them.  They have thought about this information and drawn conclusions.  Now they must learn to express these conclusions clearly, persuasively, accurately, and interestingly.

Grammar is no goal, and Logic is no goal...if we have no output, then we have nothing.  pg. 176


Principles for Learning Rhetoric


While there are different formal programs for learning rhetoric, the Bluedorns say that practice is the best method for increasing your communication skills.  In fact, they said that no matter what curriculum you choose to use, it must include activities in public speaking.



How do you facilitate the practice of rhetoric for your children? (Debate team, giving speeches, etc.)





Next, the chapter goes on to talk about developing rhetoric skills in our children.  I thought this quote was very inspiring for me and I think it can be applied to any stage of the trivium.

Require enough to press him, but not to break him.  The younger years require patience and trust, yet firmness and steady pressure.  pg.179

Here are some ideas the Bluedorns give for preparing your child for their study of rhetoric (many more or listed in the book):

  • Instill a love of learning in your child
  • Fill your children's minds with good examples by having them do copywork, dictation, outlining, and narration
  • Sharpen their minds and voices by having them do oral narrations, recitations, and interpretations
  • Practice letter and journal writing
  • Let them listen to live speeches, debates, etc.


The chapter ends again with suggestion of  how to teach rhetoric at each age range:

  • Before age 10 - Build their vocabulary through reading to them and talking to them in challenging ways (including letting them listen to adult conversations like preaching, debates, etc.)
  • Ages 10-12 - Focus on grammar and spelling.  Shift from recitation to interpretation of prose and poetry.
  • Ages 13-15 - Teach them how to compose different types of papers and require regular writing projects from them.
  • Ages 16-18 - Let them continue to increase their rhetoric knowledge and practice their skills is front of others.

Influencing the World with Rhetoric


I remember sitting in a basic college writing class and being startled at the inability of some of classmates to write cohesive sentences.   I am not a "let's go conquer the world!" type of girl, but if someone asks me a question, I want to be able to answer them well.  If I am presented with a problem, I want to be able to confidently and convincingly explain my proposed solution.

I strongly believe in the sovereignty of God, so my main goal is not to change the world or turn America into a Christian nation, but I want to do what is put before me to the best of my ability.  I want to be able to give an answer for what I believe in, and I want to encourage others to do what is right.  All of these things require basic rhetoric skills.

My point is that even if your goal for your children isn't to give speeches for the rest of their lives, convincing everyone they meet to change their mind about something, being eloquent, concise, and persuasive are skills that will be useful in everyday life.

  


Do you have rhetoric age children in your home?

How do you foresee their training in rhetoric being a worthwhile study?

What resources do you use to teach rhetoric?





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 Teaching the Trivium on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!







Next week we will be talking about chapter eight of Teaching the Trivium.  If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you check your library or order one soon so you can be ready for next time!  Also, this is a 600+ page book, so I am only touching on certain points of each chapter.  There is so much great information that I am not covering, so if this discussion interests you, you are going to want to make sure to pick up your own copy so you can read more!



Classical Mamas Read Link-Up



Did you write about Teaching the Trivium 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 think 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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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SPEED! A Skip Counting Game

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Kids love to play games.  Moms love it when their kids are learning.  Everyone is happy when they find an activity that satisfies both criteria.

Last year I noticed a blogger friend (Julie from Highhill Homeschool) had created a game called SPEED!  It's a card game that teaches skip counting from 2's to 9's.  When I first read about SPEED!, I thought it would be too difficult for my son, but as they year went on, his ability to play games greatly increased, so I thought I would give it a shot!

Boy am I glad I did.  Come read my full review at The Curriculum Choice!


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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #95


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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 love finding ways for little kids to do big kid stuff.  Pam shared a great idea for how she does just that when it comes to presentations!  I thought this post, Presentation Notes for Non-Readers, would be especially helpful for the CC folks out there and anyone who does presentations with their kids.  Thanks for the adorable, yet effective idea, Pam!



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 place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • 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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Monday, February 17, 2014

Ultimate Typing - The Easy and Effective Way for Typing Fast

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Do your children need to learn to type or improve their typing skills?  Ultimate Typing might be just what you need!  Thank you to Ultimate Typing for wanting to share with us today!

Ultimate Typing™ is a touch typing tutor that lets you improve your typing skills quickly and without the often repetitive and boring efforts required by other systems. It has been designed by touch typing experts so every feature of it is carefully created to facilitate learning. The software was developed by eReflect, an educational software company, whose design team has built Ultimate Typing™ incorporating the latest technology to help people master their keyboarding skills fast.


A "Personal Tutor" Approach 



Ultimate Typing™ is more than simply a typing software program, it's a personal tutor program that offers guidance, help, and recommendations as you practice to ensure your learning is progressing. The software features high quality video tutorials in which your personal tutor explains typing theory before you are prompted to put it into practice.


Progress Monitoring 



Your typing practice is monitored by an activity tracking tool, which recommends new milestones based on your performance. The system also encourages you to practice further on certain aspects of keyboarding if the tracking tool notices that you are progressing in some areas more than others. This sort of progress tracking is what lets any typist develop balanced typing skills and excel both in typing speed and accuracy.


Personalized Learning 


Ultimate Typing™ is not a rigidly structured software system that uses a "one size fits all" approach. Instead, it is fully customizable, allowing it to meet your individual typing needs, regardless of your previous knowledge or typing level. Its technology permits you to set typing milestones and then uses your input to help you focus on different aspects of typing. The more you practice, the more accurately the software offers feedback and adjusts your training accordingly. This is especially helpful for younger users or beginner typists who can benefit a lot more from a tailored typing practice. However, experienced users will appreciate the flexibility of the exercises in the higher levels.

This personalized approach is a feature that respects each typist’s individual learning style and pace, making any user quickly comfortable with the system, and encouraging them to work on their weaknesses before moving on to more advanced touch typing practice.


Combines Typing Skills and New Knowledge 


An innovative feature of the system is the way it expands learning beyond essential keyboarding skills. By giving the user the ability to choose the text they want to practice typing with, Ultimate Typing™ brings together two skills that are in high demand today: keyboarding and staying up to date with the latest information.

 
Whether you’re a homeschooled student, a 35 year old mom, or a busy professional, you'll appreciate the fact that the software offers a wide range of typing content to practice with. As you work on your typing skills, you'll also be reading and learning new information. The system has over 500 ebooks pre-installed to choose from, and users can also input or download any text documents they want to use to learn to touch type with.

Ultimate Typing™ is a complete typing tutor. It's obvious that a great deal of work and research has gone into its development. The practice lessons and games are engaging and offer users plenty of incentive to keep them motivated with their touch typing training.

It’s the perfect typing tutor for all sorts of learning environments, whether that's homeschooling, schools, or even offices. And it's the perfect typing tutor for you.



 Learn more or Purchase for $29.95

 

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Teaching Logic - Teaching the Trivium Ch. 6

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This post contains an affiliate link to the book that we are going through.

Welcome to another week of the Teaching the Trivium book club!  I am so excited to read and discuss this book along with you.  I loved the discussion last week and would love to hear from more of you!  Today we talk about logic.


Chapter 6 - Teaching Logic


"Every subject has it's own logic."  Logic is "the science of correct reasoning."  (pg. 149)

My kids are not to the logic stage, but I really enjoy looking ahead to see what is coming and how the trivium all fits together, so this chapter was very helpful!

What I learned is that logic is basically the idea of getting at truth.  Without logic, words lose their meaning and when words lose their meaning, the line between true and false (or right and wrong) gets blurry.  

That seems to be exactly where we are today in our society.  People have elevated feelings and experiences over truth, thereby losing their logical capacities.  What is left is relativism, and morality goes away.

If truth becomes relative in our thinking, then it follows that morality must also become relative in our thinking.   (pg 153)

If you ask a homeschool family why they choose to homeschool, they probably won't say "because they don't teach logic in public schools" but the sentiment is there.  Relativism is abundant in everything that is controlled by the government. Children are not taught to practice logic in order to find truth.


What is Logic Useful For?


Just like the grammar stage is essential in any learning process, so is the logic stage.  In the grammar stage we learn the facts so we can build upon them in the future.  In the logic stage we learn how to think about all those facts that we learned.

Every science --- whether it be chemistry, physics, geography, history, or theology --- is (or at least is should be) the application of the science of Logic to observations made in that particular field of knowledge.  Hence the study of the exact science of Logic is foundational to the study of every other subject.   (pg 157)

Practically speaking, we want to learn logic (and teach it to our children) because ensures that we will learn everything else well.  It will allow our children to look at 'truths' that are presented to them and assert whether they are truths at all.

As a Christian, using logic helps us to evaluate every new claim or idea that the world throws at us.  We will not so easily get tossed in the wind, but will be grounded in the truth.  "To reject logic is to reject truth, and to reject truth is to reject God."  (pg 158)  I'm no expert on logic yet, but I think the opposite of that statement would therefore be true as well: To embrace logic is to embrace truth, and to embrace truth is to embrace God.


Principles and Observations for Learning Logic


The rest of the chapter goes on to share the breakdown of the actual study of logic.  There is formal logic (the study of the systematic form of argument), and informal logic (less theoretical and more practical).  The Bluedorns do a great job at explaining the different types of reasoning and many types of fallacies.  They give many examples that really make clear a challenging subject matter.

They also give some tips for how to actually teach logic in your home, including what to do at the different ages.  Before age 13 they recommend playing great mind strengthening games, reading quality literature, and continuing working on memorization and narration which also build the mind.  They recommend starting formal logic training at age 13, starting with informal logic and then moving on to the study of formal logic at age 15 and above.





Do you have logic age children in your home?

What ages have you found your children ready to begin the logic stage?

What are your favorite resources for teaching logic?





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 Teaching the Trivium on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!







Next week we will be talking about chapter seven of Teaching the Trivium.  If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you check your library or order one soon so you can be ready for next time!  Also, this is a 600+ page book, so I am only touching on certain points of each chapter.  There is so much great information that I am not covering, so if this discussion interests you, you are going to want to make sure to pick up your own copy so you can read more!



Classical Mamas Read Link-Up



Did you write about Teaching the Trivium 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 think 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, February 11, 2014

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #94


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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 Posts from Last Week


I'm going to feature two of the most-clicked posts from last week.  First up are these awesome opera cards from And Here We Go Mama:



Second is Aspired Living talking about living books for science, including a list of 50+ books for the grammar stage:




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 place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • 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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Friday, February 7, 2014

Teaching Languages - Teaching the Trivium Ch. 5

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This post contains an affiliate link to the book that we are going through.

Welcome to another week of the Teaching the Trivium book club!  I am so excited to read and discuss this book along with you.  I loved the discussion last week and would love to hear from more of you!  Today we talk about languages.


Chapter 5 - Teaching Lauguages


I am going to come right out and say that this was a difficult chapter.  My kids are little, and while we have begun basic Latin (we love Song School Latin), this chapter goes deep into the 'whys' and 'hows' of teaching classical languages.  Let's start of  with a question for you!



What language(s) are you teaching your children?  

Do you value teaching the classical languages over modern languages?  





An Argument for Teaching the Classical Languages


This first section of the chapter talks generally about the benefits of learning these dead languages, and then takes Latin, Greek, and Hebrew specifically and defends why the study of each is worthwhile.

I find the reasons for learning Latin compelling.  As a Christian, I think that learning Greek would be extremely helpful.  Hebrew just sounds painful ;) 

I underlined a lot of things in this chapter.  Many of them because I know that I will want to revisit them as my children enter this stage more.  Here are some of the quotes that  I found really interesting.

As the knowledge of the Biblical languages diminished among the common people, a darkness crept over professed Christianity.  The people became more and more dependent upon religious professionals.   pg. 108

Wow.  That is very interesting to me!  I have never even considered learning Greek for myself, for the sake of understanding the Scriptures.  I've just always depended on trustworthy translations like most Christians do.  The Bluedorns also mention that many seminaries do not even require the study of Greek and Hebrew anymore.  If that is true, it is shocking to me.  I don't know how well versed they are, but I know that my pastors had to learn Greek.  (I'm not certain about Hebrew).



If you are a Christian, does your pastor know Greek and Hebrew?  Does it matter to you if they do or not?




Only a century ago, no seminary in the United States even offered a course in Greek.  Students were expected to have mastered Greek before they entered seminary.

Wow!  Fascinating again!  Can you imagine if that sort of knowledge was expected in this day and age?  Most kids graduating high school can barley even handle our own language, let alone mastering another language (and a classical one at at that!)

Most classical educators expect their students to learn Latin.  I think the benefits are most obvious for that language, though if you are a Christian, the others become important as well.  Here are the reasons that the Bluedorns give for learning Latin (if you are a classical homeschooler, these reasons will be familiar to you):

  1. Latin is basic to English - much of our vocab is derived from Latin in one way or another
  2. Latin is a springboard for mastering other inflected languages - if you want to learn a modern language, Latin will make it much easier for you!
  3. The study of Latin sharpens the mental process
  4. Everything in a culture is embedded in its language
  5. Technical language is in Latin - medical/scientific/legal/etc.
  6. Latin is also valuable for further studies in all disciplines
  7. Latin is useful in English

A General Course of Study


The last part of the chapter is devoted to how exactly to teach these dead languages.  There are lots of charts and examples.  Honestly we are just not there yet in my family.  I underlined a lot of things to come back to in a few years and I learned a lot of thing I didn't know that I didn't know =)  What about you?



How do you teach the classical languages to your children?  

What resources have you used?  

What resources have you loved?





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 Teaching the Trivium on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!







Next week we will be talking about chapter six of Teaching the Trivium.  If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you check your library or order one soon so you can be ready for next time!  Also, this is a 600+ page book, so I am only touching on certain points of each chapter.  There is so much great information that I am not covering, so if this discussion interests you, you are going to want to make sure to pick up your own copy so you can read more!



Classical Mamas Read Link-Up



Did you write about Teaching the Trivium 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 think 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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Why You Should Take Your Whole Family to the Cincinnati Great Homeschool Convention

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This post is sponsored by Great Homeschool Conventions.

I seriously can't believe that spring is upon us and that means that it is convention time!  Will you be going to a homeschool convention this year?  I'm really excited to be going to my first one this spring.  I'll be at the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati.

If you want to go to a homeschool convention, you need to decide who is going to go.  Is this going to be a girl's getaway for a few of your closest friends?  Are you going to go by yourself and be super productive with nothing to distract you?  Are you and your husband going to make a long date out of it?  Or are you going to take your whole family?  I'm going to talk today about why it's a great idea to take your whole family (specifically to the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, but some pf these will apply to any homeschool conference)!

Kids are included!


First and foremost, I think it's wonderful that kids are welcomed at the Great Homeschool Conventions!  When you buy your ticket, you have the option of purchasing an individual pass or a family pass.  The family pass is only a few dollars more than the individual pass and if you are going with your husband you are already getting the family pass anyways.  Bringing the kids along is no extra money!  (Try asking if your kids can come free next time you go to the zoo! Not gonna happen =)

Now you have a choice.  Do you have your children stay with you or do you enroll them in the kid's program (there is an extra fee for this)?  If you know me, I love having my kids with me in church and things like that.  I also see the benefit of being able to give your full attention to the speakers at these once-a-year type of opportunities.  Really, you decide what is best for your family.  Either way is a great choice!





Special Sessions for Teens


Do you have teenagers?  Just like with the younger ones, they are also included  in the family pass.  The folks are Great Homeschool Conventions know that your teenagers are beginning to face a new set of challenges and are also growing in their knowledge and maturity.  There is a special Teen Track that you can register for older kids for (of course they can also stay with you and learn from the regular sessions as well).  They have a session specifically for them during the adult sessions.





Good, Clean, Family Fun with Mark Lowery!


Do you often find the chance to have some good, clean fun with your family?  That is often hard to find in our everyday life.  Comedy Night at the Great Homeschool Conventions is a great excuse to take a break and enjoy laughing with your spouse and kids!  (Mark Lowery will be the comedian at the Cincinnati convention.)




Turn the Convention into a Field Trip!


Wherever you find yourself during convention season this year, why don't you add an extra day (or skip a session...shhhh) and find something fun and educational to do with your family.  For instance, if you are going to the Cincinnati convention like me, you could take a trip to the Creation Museum.  Just across the border into Kentucky, the Creation Museum is only 20 minutes from the convention center.  Personally, that is a place I have wanted to go to for a long time, so missing out on this great chance for a field trip with my family is not something I want to do!

Can you think of any other great field trips for the Cincinnati area?


Making Friends


Believe me, I'm not trying to say that homeschool kids are not socialized ;) but come on...it's always fun to be with a very large number of other people who all have something in common with you!  I have fond memories (as I'm sure you do) of reuniting with the same group of kids at a family camp each summer when I was growing up.  Your kids could meet some very special friends and start life-long friendships!

Or maybe you are in an area where there are not many other homeschoolers.  Maybe your child hears criticism from friends or extended family about your means of education.  It would certainly be an encouragement to them to be surrounded by so many supporters

Family Bonding



Last but not least, what is better for bonding with your family than doing something out of the ordinary together?  A road trip, a hotel stay, eating meals together, talking about what you've learned at the convention...all wonderful ways to bond with your family.  I promise you will leave encouraged if you attend the Great Homeschool Conference together as a family!




GHC | 300 x 140





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