Friday, July 31, 2015

Are We Classical?

I feel like I can finally say that over the last year we have really settled into a better rhythm in our homeschool...

In fact, over the last few years I had been trying to follow the recommendations found in the book The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.  Ohhh my...and I do love Susan Wise Bauer.  Ask my husband...a lot of school-things are usually prefaced with "Well...Susan Wise Bauer says..."

I have really gotten myself invested in the 4-year cycle and the memory work mindset that comes with a more classical approach to homeschooling.  There is NOTHING wrong with that!  But-- last year it just got to be too much.  A couple of years ago we did Classical Conversations...then switched and did a year of a "mom-led" classical coop using the CC materials.  Midway through the year we dropped it due to moving, moving and more moving.  We did our own thing for a semester because we just needed a break from trying to keep up!  As we approach this next school year I've been debating on doing CC or the CC coop again and I am so torn.  In the time that we have been away we have relaxed a lot more. School has become more fun and enjoyable.  It wasn't like that when we were doing the coop.  I was always stressed on what we NEEDED to get done...what we NEEDED to know each week...and NEEDING to get our presentations ready...  I'm not sure I can hang with all the "needs" of a year of coop.  There is so much more to enjoy about homeschooling and I'm afraid to lose it.  My kids have a LOVE of learning that gets somewhat squashed when we get caught up in all the things that we NEED to do...  

I have flip-flopped a lot over the last 5 years...trying to find a good fit for us.  Something that fits our personality.  I never seem to find that perfect niche.  But, we are getting there!  Our curriculum choices evolve every year and seem to better reflect the kind of learning environment we want to have.  My kids are happier.  I am happier.  

I will be sharing more on our curriculum choices over the next couple of weeks and I'm really happy with what we have decided on!  I think it will really reflect the family style learning that we are trying to get rolling in our family.  I hope you stop back by to find out more!  Thanks for visiting Swinging On Small Hinges!  :)


  1. It does take time to find what works well for your family - and that can shift as kids grow. For us, the stress of being in a formal co-op would kill love of learning. We're much more apt to dive deep into interests and while we have some curricula to keep us heading along the path we happily pause and explore. In a co-op you feel that need to 'keep up' because you 'need' to be ready for that week's co-op and so the kids get rushed through what has to be done for co-op and it squeezes out time for learning just because you are interested. I know some people can find a good balance with CC or a similar co-op. Something like that doesn't work for my family though.

    I look forward to reading about your plans for this year! Even now, having homeschooled for over 10 years, I fine tune and adjust things a bit each year to work with new children and new mixes of ages.

  2. Thanks Tristan! :) I'd be curious to hear how your Diana Waring history is going after you get a few weeks in. I've looked at it several times and we may have to take it for a spin later on. It looks like it has a lot of hands on opportunities built into it!

    1. We are actually on month 4 of using History Revealed, it is one of the few things we did all summer. So we're in the 4th module. We love it but it would drive some people nuts. What works for us:
      - The main student book has readings and the audio cds so we don't ever 'have' to order any books from a book list. We can, and often do, pick up related books at our library, but unlike Tapestry of Grace or others, which have extensive required book lists to use the curriculum, History Revealed makes those book lists totally optional.

      - It has scads of ideas for every month and hits all major learning styles. My kids can pick and choose what projects appeal to them, research or find resources through the library or online when needed, and enjoy all the creative, hands on projects. This is a drawback to some people because there is 'too much flexibility'. They want a narrowed down list of activities that they are able to step through. That's not a bad thing, just a personal preference. We love having options and project possibilities galore.

      - It's easy to integrate our own scripture studies. For example, when we studied creation and Adam and Eve we pulled out the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price for added depth.

      If you have any specific questions feel free to ask!


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