Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's (Only) Elementary!

I don't let myself explore lots of curriculum. I did that once at the big homeschool book fair that comes every year. Everything looked great! I wanted to do it all! I wasn't even thinking about teaching Latin, but after looking at this great Latin program, I just knew my 5 year old had to have it.
(I didn't actually start teaching Latin until 3rd grade fyi, so I do have some self-control.)

I want a liberal education for my kids. I want them to learn Latin, Shakespeare, study hymns, appreciate classical music and art, and do nature study. I used to spend a lot of time and energy reading about nature study and trying to implement it for my kids. But it's just not me. A good friend, also a Charlotte Mason fan, when I asked her what she did for nature study, said: I'm not an outdoorsy person.
That really freed me. The kids will find a katydid now and come in and look it up themselves in the giant Handbook of Nature Study book I spent gobs on and never used. And we read a chapter of the Christian Liberty Nature Readers every week. That's it.
I used to spend a lot of time teaching 6 Shakespeare plays per year. I'd read it, we'd act it out, listen to an audio and watch the play on dvd. Now, I only do 3 plays per year. We listen to them on audio school, then I have the kids narrate them. The end.
It's only elementary school!

I want them to have a foundation in classic music, art, and Shakespeare. But they don't need to be able to "name that composer (or artist)", or have the characters of the Shakespeare plays memorized. They can tell you, while giggling, the basic storyline of Two Gentlemen of Verona, but they don't remember the names of the two main characters.

Don't stress out about what non-essentials your kids are or are not learning.

It's only elementary school! You've got plenty of time.

1 comment:

Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations said...

I agree... my children are 8 y.o. and under... so I expose them to a lot of stuff: classical music, nature, art, crafts, audio books that talk about things way over their head and then some that catch their interest... children are like sponge... they will absorb what catches their attention and interest and then some goes into their unconsciousness and then later on in life when that information comes back around, it will all make sense. :) It's a God thing. :)