Tuesday, June 5, 2012

So encouraged.

This week we are attending our annual Classical Conversations Parent Practicum and kids camps. One thing I love about CC is that they don't miss an opportunity to teach the kiddos. While parents are downstairs deepening our knowledge of the classical model of education and delving into Latin (and maybe doing a little bit of chatting!), our kids are being watched upstairs. Now, they could easily just entertain the kids and that really would be ok (we are all so happy to be in adult company that I don't think there would be any complaints if they stuck the kids in front of a movie and called it a day), but they don't. They have these awesome camps for the kids and spend three days teaching them, and making it fun so they like it. If you have been here a while, you might remember that I got to teach a fun camp on Logic last year and learned so much myself that week.

This year, P is in a geo/art camp. She has been rotating through art camps and geography camps and also getting two hours a day of karate or recreation games. She came home yesterday saying she LOVES karate now. Pretty cute. Today she drew Africa and all the countries and rivers in it. Yesterday, the world.

T and C are in Latin Camp. Now, I'll be honest here, I was more than slightly nervous about selling this to them. Who wants to spend three days of their summer learning Latin? *snooze* So, I was anxious when I was picking them up yesterday but shouldn't have been. T said, "I LOVE LATIN!" and C said, "WE WON AT DODGEBALL". Eh. I'll take that as a successful day. Today, they were both excited again and said they had a good day.  T said, "I love Latin. And I want to go to public school" Hmmm...not exactly what I was hoping for but ok. He is having so much fun that he wants to do this everyday. Not exactly "public school" he is wanting, just wanting MORE practicum. I heard from several moms that their kids were complaining that it is ONLY three days. T is begging me to go to the next one in Bartlesville in July too!

And now to the best part. C. He was all excited tonight and said, "I now know why you made us memorize all that stuff. Latin just made sense because of all that. She asked us stuff and I knew it!" For him to admit this about brought tears to my eyes. We have spent the last three years in CC filling their little heads with so.much.information. They didn't know what "ablative" was three years ago when they memorized a list of Latin noun endings, but today, when his teacher asked what ablative was, "object of the preposition just came out!" [excuse me while I jump up and down for a minute!]

He got it. The classical model DOES work. This is what we have been working for. The reason we have been listening to the same songs over and over and over and over until we are reciting the parts of the digestive system in our sleep.

And it can work for you too. Allow me to repeat a little here from previous posts on Classical, but the classical model is based on the three stages of the Trivium. {grammar, dialectic, rhetoric} This is the way we learn everything without even knowing it. Say I'm going to try a new recipe for dinner.  I need to know what the words mean: teaspoon, flour, 9x13 pan, etc. This is the grammar stage. Now, I am not a good cook, by any means. (No comment from the peanut gallery. We clearly are not starving around here.) But I was introduced to these terms years ago and can just look at them and know what they mean. Since I know what all these things are, I can move to the dialectic stage and use these items to make my delicious dinner. My kids, however, are still in the grammar stage on these things and I have to teach them which pan is the 9x13 and not the 8x11 or whatever. That is the rhetoric stage, teaching it to others. So, without even knowing you are using the classical model, YOU ARE! Don't be scared. Be proud.

I hear all the time that classical is too hard, or too boring, or just not for me. But it is a part of our every day life. It is the way we naturally learn things. Why not teach our kids the way our brains were meant to learn and make it easier on them? C's comment tonight was such an encouragement that we are doing the right thing. They may not know why we are doing the grunt work of Foundations, but one day you will see results. They may be small, like knowing what your Latin teacher is talking about. Or they may be bigger, like knowing where Uzbekistan is if God calls you to be a missionary there. Who knows. Keep pressing on!


  1. You blog! (and well!) So awesome about C. It is so encouraging for me to find other parents with the same heart and goals for our kids. Thanks for being such a joyful resource!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity and the kids seem to be having a great time! Glad your summer has started off well.

  3. Love this Leslie!

    You and Fawn make me want to homeschool Boyd. You inspire me!

  4. I seriously doubt I could have pulled off the Latin camp thing! great job mama!

  5. That is very cool, Leslie. I do hope my older kids will get to experience the camps at some point. Hope really loved hers too! And as always, I really enjoyed hanging out with you! :)


I would love to hear your thoughts!!