Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #195

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Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this link-up is hosted by Living and Learning at Home (that's me!) and Classically Homeschooling and is 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.


Giveaway 


We are going to try out a new feature here at Trivium Tuesdays. Starting today, through the end of February, we are going to bring you a fun giveaway each week! If you have a product you would like featured in one of our giveaways, please send me an email via the contact tab above.


This week you can enter to win a curriculum bundle of French for Children from Classical Academic Press. You can read a review of the curriculum by Carol from Journey and Destination.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Featured Post from Last Week



Annie and Everything is evaluating how Classical Conversations is going for her family so far this year.  Is anyone else doing a mid-year review of their homeschool?  I know I am =)


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: <ahref="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.

If you want to be reminded of this link-up each week, make sure to sign up below!
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Why Restful Learning is So Important

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I love classical education.

Over the past couple of years I have been enjoying learning more about more about the classical model from great thinkers like Christopher Perrin (Classical Academic Press) and Andrew Kern (CiRCE Institute).  They talk about how we are re-discovering classical education. I love that because it shows how we are all still learning.  No one fully understands the classical model, but we are becoming better people by the discovery process.

Last year I was honored to be asked to speak to a group of local homeschool moms (ladies from the surrounding Classical Conversations campuses) on the topic of restful learning (scholé).  I want to share with you what I shared with them.  I hope it will be an encouragement to you just as I hope it was an encouragement to them.


Restful Learning in the Homeschool


When someone asks you what classical education is, do you have a good, quick answer?  I have always had such a hard time with that seemingly simple question.  I usually jumble my words getting something out about the trivium, reading good books, and studying history chronologically.

Then, as I began listening to lectures from people like Christopher Perrin and Andrew Kern, I started hearing a definition that was different than anything I would have come up with.  Here is the definition of Christian classical education from the CiRCE Institute website:

Christian classical education is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue by nourishing the soul on truth, goodness, and beauty by the means of the seven liberal arts and four sciences, so that in Christ, the student is enabled to better know, glorify, and enjoy God.

Wow, isn't that beautiful?  Go ahead and read it again =)

The more I have been learning, the more I have been hearing about contemplating truth, goodness, and beauty, and how that is an integral part of a classical education.  That is the part of the definition that I want to talk about today.

When I think about contemplating truth, goodness, and beauty, my mind turns to Philippians 4:8.

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.  (ESV)

Did you notice all the things that we are exhorted to set our minds on?  Things that are:

TRUE  -  NOBLE  -  RIGHT  -  PURE  -  LOVELY  -  ADMIRABLE  -  EXCELLENT  -  PRAISEWORTHY


Each of these things can be summed up as either truth, goodness, or beauty.

The Bible tells us to think about these things.  In other words, contemplate.  Philippians 4:8 tells us to contemplate truth, goodness, and beauty!

So what does this have to do with scholé?

First of all, if you do not already know, scholé is a Greek word meaning 'restful learning.' We actually get our English word 'school' from this word.  It is interesting how far we have come from the original definition!  If we are going to rediscover classical education, we are going to need to redeem the original meaning of school...scholé...restful learning.

Now, this is not to say that we should move school time to the bed and do all of our work laying down!  The point, and my challenge to you, is to make sure that we leave room in our days for contemplation, for restful learning.

Dr. Perrin says that the first step is to surround ourselves with truth, goodness, and beauty. Think back to the garden of Eden.  God is truth, right?  He created each thing and said that it was good.  No doubt this garden was beautiful!  Do you see where I'm going with this?  God created us to respond to this truth, goodness, and beauty.

When we surround ourselves with truth, goodness, and beauty, our soul will be at rest, and our response should be to glorify God.  Isn't that what we want?  Isn't that what we desire from our children?

I was listening to Andrew Kern talk about teaching from a state of rest and he encouraged his listeners to really think about exactly who they are educating.  His answer was that we are educating images.  Images in the sense that our children are going to reflect what we put in from of them.

With that in mind, make sure that you are putting truth, goodness, and beauty in front of your children.  Truth, goodness, and beauty in our homes, in the media we expose our children to, in the books we read, in the memory work we recite, and in anything else you can think of!

Is it true?  Is it lovely?  Is it noble?  These things cultivate wisdom and virtue, and bring glory to God.



I continued my talk by giving some practical idea for how to encourage restful learning in your day-to-day homeschool.  I will save that for another post.  I would love to hear what you think though!

Do you prioritize making time for restful learning in your homeschool?


How do you practically incorporate restful learning in your day?





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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

French for Children Review

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This is a guest post from Carol over at Journey and Destination and is sponsored by Classical Academic Press.

Moozle, my ten year old, has been learning French informally for a few years, mostly by listening to French folksongs and copying French phrases into her notebook. This has worked quite well up until recently. Her pronunciation sounds natural, and she speaks the French she knows with confidence, but I knew that it was time she started a more formal program. This was easier said than done.

We've had a checkered history in the foreign language department in our home, but it wasn't through lack of resources. I don't like to think about how much money has gone into buying curricula that sounded so promising but in reality just didn't work for us. Some of these purchases were not thorough enough, others were better suited to adults or older independent students, and some were just plain old boring.

I was reluctant to make any more expenditures after being disappointed with what I'd already purchased, but then I saw that Classical Academic Press (CAP) was about to publish French for Children. I'd been receiving their monthly eNewsletter, Insights, for about a year and liked what I'd read:

Our motto “Classical Subjects Creatively Taught,” describes the essence of all that we publish. We seek to produce classical curricula and media with a clear design and structure, incremental and systematic instruction, all with a touch of delight, creativity, and flair. 

This is what I was after for my daughter...structure, but with delight, creativity & flair.

Classical Academic Press kindly gave me a free copy of this curriculum for review purposes, and here are my considered thoughts after putting it to use in our home school. 


A General Overview of French for Children


French for Children, Primer A is the first text in a three year series for elementary students. It is recommended for grade 4 and up and has a similar structure to CAP's Latin series for children.

There are 17 Chapters and a choice of weekly schedules to allow the course to be completed in either half a year or a full academic year of thirty weeks. 

French for Children takes a creative immersion-type approach which uses dialogue, translation, chants, vocabulary, dictation, grammar, and quizzes.

It is well laid out, uncluttered, and the text is easy on the eyes.


What the program includes: 


  • French for Children: Primer A - Student text, 245 pages.

  • French for Children: Primer A - Answer Key

  • French for Children: Primer A - 7 DVD Set & Chant CD


What French for Children Looks Like in Practice


This will vary a little depending on whether you are covering the material over a half or full academic year. I recommend watching the first DVD to get an overview of the course before you start. It takes you through the structure of the lessons and explains the various components.

A 15 page section called the 'Pronunciation Wizard' is located at the beginning of the Student Text and as the student progresses through the course they are instructed to refer back to various sections to read explanations and listen to the relevant audio track. 

This is how I've structured the chapters:

Listen to the Dialogue - A story is woven together throughout the course & Moozle follows along while listening to the audio. This is partly in French, partly in English and introduces new vocabulary. She gets an idea of what the new words mean from the context and tells me what she thinks is happening. The dialogue translation is in the back of the Student Text.

Chant - phrases & sets of words to help with pronunciation. 'Je parle, tu parles, il/elle parle.' These are on the CD and Moozle repeats them aloud after listening.

Vocabulary - new words (about ten per chapter). These are meant to be memorized & students may make their own flashcards for this purpose. I've been getting Moozle to write them down in her French notebook.

Video - these are about 45min to an hour long each, so there is a lot of information. Sometimes I divide them over two days or go over parts if I think it necessary. The DVD's are very helpful for a parent who doesn't have a knowledge of French, or needs to brush up on what they did years ago, and are an integral part of the course.

Grammar - this course emphasizes grammar but also gives grammatical instruction in an incremental way so it's suitable for a child who may not have done much grammar previously, but is ready for the concepts e.g. at a grade 4 level.

Worksheets & Quizzes - these include translation exercises, completing charts, verb forms, grammar exercises etc.

La dictée - Dictation! In France, and several other countries (Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, and Canada, for example), the dictations are structured contests, similar to spelling bees. This is something I hadn't attempted with Moozle because my French pronunciation wasn't to be trusted, but the dictation selections are on the CD and I just have to press a button. It's the same as standard dictation except, of course, the sentences are in French: 'Elle travaille beaucoup.'


Final Thoughts About French for Children


I think this is a very thorough curriculum; well-structured and methodical, while at the same time including enough variety to keep it engaging and interesting.

Personally, I think it is in keeping with the Charlotte Mason approach if it is used, as CAP recommends, for grade 4 and up, as this is generally when the study of grammar is introduced in a CM education.

The grammar content in Primer A starts with subjects and verbs and continues to add in other concepts such as infinitives, verb conjugation, tense and noun gender.

After a few years of getting ears and tongue accustomed to French words mostly through the medium of folksongs, French for Children is an ideal next step for us.

I think it would also be a good starting point for a student who hasn't had any prior experience with the French language because of its multifaceted approach.

The only thing I'd add is listening to French folksongs on a regular basis. We are continuing to do this and I've included a playlist of some that we have used below.



French for  Children Freebies and Giveaway!


Classical Academic Press has a very generous 64 page pdf of the French for Children: Primer A Student Text that you may download and try out. There is also a free audio MP3 sample and the video below is the first chapter of the course (about 45 mins long). You can learn more, purchase the curriculum, or download the  freebies on the French for Children webpage.



Classical Academic Press is giving away two French for Children: Primer A bundles for USA residents. Enter via the Raffelcopter form below!

A 20% discount off of all CAP French products with the discount code FFC2016 is also available through to January 31st for anyone to use.

It is also valid on the already discounted French for Children full-program (the bundle). If a person in the USA orders from CAP with the 20% off and then wins the giveaway, they will be refunded.

Giveaway ends at midnight on January 31st. Winners will be contacted by email. Winners that do not respond by the deadline given in the winners’ email will be replaced by random drawing.

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Congratulations to winners Laura L. and Sharron C.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #194

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Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this link-up is hosted by Living and Learning at Home (that's me!) and Classically Homeschooling and is 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



Did you catch this great post last week from Simply Convivial about teaching writing? If you missed it, it's worth taking a minute to check out!


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: <ahref="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.

If you want to be reminded of this link-up each week, make sure to sign up below!
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #193

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Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this link-up is hosted by Living and Learning at Home (that's me!) and Classically Homeschooling and is 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



Here's something from Family Style Schooling that might help you out!


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: <ahref="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.

If you want to be reminded of this link-up each week, make sure to sign up below!
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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #192

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Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this link-up is hosted by Living and Learning at Home (that's me!) and Classically Homeschooling and is 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



What have you been reading lately and what do you plan on reading this year?  Learning Mama shares her plan for 2016!


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: <ahref="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.

If you want to be reminded of this link-up each week, make sure to sign up below!
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