Thursday, October 29, 2009

educating classically and false religions

i am a far cry from a classical educator. i am enjoying classical conversations - CC (our new curriculum/class) but i don't completely fit in. i am tutoring the 2nd grade class and some of my kids as well as those in the 1st and k classes are definitely "classical". i've always idealized classical education because it is logical and thorough, BUT it seemed way to intense to start my BOYS in this model of education. so we've been charlotte mason-ish until this year. even now, the only classicalness you'll see is what we're getting from CC. in addition to doing our memory work (7 subjects, timeline, exodus 20) every day, mapping our geography, and practicing our fine arts for CC, we do math and spelling. we also read a chapter of the Bible every day, practice our hymn of the week (with mom at the piano - yikes!), study our IBLP character trait of the month, and read 1+ chapters of a missionary biography. most recently we've added abeka health,safety&manners, and abeka readers for our pizza hut book it goals. (those are comfortable for me as i grew up with abeka). the boys actually really like the readers and i am hoping it will lead to more reading on their part. they both read really well, but haven't really enjoyed doing it on their own. of course, if i'm honest, i really like reading aloud with them and would miss it if they were reading on their own. hmmm...
so the point of the post was supposed to address "classical education" as scott & i have discussed it in our kids' lives. so...
one negative we see in classical ed is that it introduces so many false gods and false religions to children at such a young age. our goal was to feed our children only TRUTH until we were confident they could understand the difference. this was an advantage we saw to homeschooling in general. so when the opportunity for CC came up, we evaluated where our boys were in their understanding before signing up. in our 8 weeks so far, the boys have memorized greek & roman "gods", the basis of hinduism & buddhism, and next week we'll learn a sentence about confucious and taoism. these have been single sentences not anything lengthy, but still we didn't want to introduce it if they weren't ready.
fortunately, what truly prepared them for understanding idol worship was reading through the Bible. as we've traveled through the old testament, we saw the israelites live in many lands where there was idol-worship and we saw the israelites themselves fall away from God over and over again. i remember the boys saying "again?!" then, the second week at our new church, there were missionaries visiting and they talked about idol worship. they talked about how even when people became christians they still sometimes kept their idols for a while. she looked right at my kids and dropped the idol she'd brought along on the floor and made a real point to them that the idol was just a "cast idol" and obviously had no power.
when we chatted with the boys before purchasing the CC book, we became confident in their confidence that there is one true God and we worship him alone. as we read our missionary biographies and updates from the missionaries we support, our hearts long for those who do not know to know Jesus. as we welcome into our home non-believers and those deceived by false religions, we recognized that they are deceived and long for them too to know the love and forgiveness of our God. as i answer emails from those seeking to know more about Jesus, the kids are seeing how we can turn to God's Word for answers to tough questions.
CC says we want "To know God and to make Him known" - i agree and believe our family is growing in both those things.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

i'm back

from a 3 month vacation from the blog. lots has happened. where to start?

we are busier than ever with fall activities. you'd think without "back to school" we'd not be so crazy, but everything in life here runs on a traditional school year calendar. soccer, cbs, and classical conversations are a few of the things that are keeping us busy right now.
soccer was a previous post. it is still going fantastic. the boys love it. ky also started in september and she does NOT love it. :) her "team" is a group of 40 4yo girls. they meet on saturday mornings and do a mommy-and-me exercise for 30min working on a couple skills, then they play 3-on-3 games for 30min. she is okay doing the skill part, but during the 3-on-3 she says "i just want to play with my brothers." (and we are thrilled that she loves to be with family and chooses us over anyone else.) it's been interesting.
cbs (community bible study) has started again. in fact we are well on our way through the book of Luke. the boys are doing well. i am enjoying the time with other ladies chatting about God's word. scott is guiding us along the way - once again creating deep family discussion we all love.
Bible bee - you may remember me mentioning that we would be working on Bible bee memory work as jojo was signed up to participate in the first national bible bee. the local competitions were held on september 12 and nationally the top 100 finalists in each age category will go to washington dc to compete in november. well we chose to do the "mini-bee" since it was our first time, jojo is only 7 (the youngest able to compete) and the work was less overwhelming. (the primary bee which he could also have competed in required 200 passages memorized and 200 Bible-knowledge questions. the mini-bee required 50 passages and 100 Bible-knowledge). it was so fun to do this memory work as a family over the summer. all the grandparents got involved by recording some of the verses or questions that we put on cd and listened to in the car or at bedtime. now, even kik, & ky have atleast 25 verses memorized and many questions also. i am so blessed to have our family hiding God's word in our hearts.
in the end - jojo placed 3rd in his category at our local bee! way to go jojo!
classical conversations -
we started a new curriculum for our homeschool this year. it is a memory work program covering english, history, geography, latin, science, math, and a timeline from creation to now! we go to class on tuesday mornings from 9 to 12. the kids get their new memory work introduced in creative ways then they get to do a science experiment, fine arts (drawing/art or music), and speech. i was so pleased to find the program as it just touches on everything so i feel like they're getting a good balance of all subjects even when we choose to specialize or focus on just one thing for a time. i was really wanting to do science experiments with them each week, but frequently those were put aside if we ran out of time. i was searching for a speech class for them, but that too is covered. i am not very artsy or musical, so although i tried to cover these subjects before too, the method i used was a little chaotic. this whole program really just fit what we were looking for and fit it into a tiny time-slot! the more follow up i give at home, the more the kids benefit. i too am learning a lot as i signed up to be the 2nd grade tutor. i learn all the material right along with the kids and am having fun doing it!
those are the weekly activities. we also have some monthly and sporadic activities that fill out our weeks. we've continued to enjoy our science center passes. we go every other week alternating the local science center and children's museum. and we also try to make it to a "parkday" to fellowship with other homeschool families at least once a week.

and that's fall with the grubb family in a nutshell!