Thursday, May 15, 2008

Classical Education...

Recently I have been giving a lot of thought to the classical education curriculum. For those who aren't really familiar with it here is a quick rundown. The classical system uses ancient Latin techniques in three stages, the first is the memorization stage where the kids retain as much fact and knowledge as possible. The second stage sets them into the motion of critical thinking. Learning how to put all of the knowledge they have retained together into logical form and the third is the rhetoric phase. This phase is where the kids are able to argue and discuss things logically and with confidence.
I love the notion of this learning style but with a sigh last year decided it wouldn't work for my son. It's a lot of work and right now he just hates work. I recently picked up the book "The Well Trained Mind" and I am considering doing this with my daughter. She loves learning and begs for work on a daily basis. On weekends she often says "Aww Man...I hate two days off!" I'm reading the book to get familiar with it this summer and hope to begin her in the fall with it.
I'm going to keep with out 'Story of the World' for history which has a classical base anyway and the lapbooking for science. I also got them both Saxon math for the fall. The main thing I want to go classical on is her literature/english/grammer.
I may incorporate small parts of this into the other subjects as well. For example I am thinking that fact memorization for math. Maybe following the outline for the science we learn. I definitely want them to learn Latin soon and more languages beyond that (studies have shown that kids languages easier in their early years).
With all of this said, however, I keep getting this nagging sensation that I am doing a disservice to my son. Doesn't he deserve to learn this in depth and strong education like she does? I mean the curriculum I chose for him is good, but if I'm doing it for her shouldn't I do it for him as well.
I know he would hate it and would complain every step of the way. So that is my conundrum. Should I teach him the classical way or not? I will still have to think about this during the summer.


Anonymous said...

My kiddos are taking Spanish--but I too-also want them to take Latin. I agree with you about the languages. It also helps with their study of English to learn a language. You have to be able to identify parts of speech and understand plurals. We don't do exclusively classical--although I am trying to incorporate some of it into our curriculum. I also want to check out Saxon math. We use Abeka which has been great--although I hear that in the upper grades--6th and beyond-it is not as challenging. I want to compare the two. As for your son, maybe try to make a game out of languages. I find it helps for me to learn right along with them. Notecards are great and labeling. Luckily, Spanish was easier for me because I took 4yrs of it in school. Other languages may prove to be challenging. Trilynn

AutumnLeavz said...

I opted for the easy way out with ds's english. He is a huge computer/video game fan so I went ahead and put him on Switched on Schoolhouse 3rd grade english. He did really good with it so far and will be continuing it next year. He liked it better than the abeka english we were doing the first half of the year. He just hates the workbook type stuff. He does better with workbook math but english he just complains about constantly.
I would like for them to learn Latin and then a basic work translation for 5 languages (latin, spanish, french, german, maybe japanese...not sure). But that way they'll be able to say simple things in the future. After that, we'll probably move on to spanish, then german and see from there.

Anonymous said...

There's an online tutoring program that's in Pre-Launch, but it's very affordable.