progress

20 Sep

We are four weeks into our sixth year of homeschooling. 

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This summer I planned and researched more than I ever have.  I listened to every podcast and watched every webinar that I could get my hands on related to classical education.  I took a course from Dr. Christopher Perrin on the topic of restful learning in the classical tradition.

My mind was stretched (Josef Pieper, the Suma Theologica, heck even Clark and Jain’s Liberal Arts Tradition all hurt my brain in serious ways).  But, my heart found its resting place, and my hopes for a thoughtful, purposeful year slowly came together. 

One month down and we are certainly not there with everything.  No, this road to giving my kids a classical education requires going backwards so that we can go forwards.  It’s a slow process.  It’s left me chewing on so many new and beautiful ideas.

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And, I’m not going to lie.  I’ve had epic hissy fits as I try (and fail) to balance the roll up your sleeves and get the work done with the thoughtful, careful, rigor that comes from leading the kids to wonder and to God’s truth, goodness, and beauty in all areas of learning.  I’ve cried.  I’ve sworn.  A lot.  I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate.  I’ve texted Jason on more than one occasion and told him that I was going to be sending the kids on the yellow bus come morning. 

Friends, this is hard work.  This is tiring work. 

Sometimes it feels impossible because in essence, I’m trying to give something that I was not given.  The classical tradition is not a model of education that was ever spoken about in my undergraduate or graduate studies in education. I was not trained this way.  I did not teach this way.  My goals in education were not what they are today.

The classical tradition is certainly not where I came from, but it is where I am going with my kids.

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So, as we add in layers of Shakespeare, literary analysis, Latin, memory work, good Classical literature, opportunities and experiences to help our kids grow in piety, music and gymnasium (in the classical sense of the words), and redefine the goal of mathematics and the sciences, we are learning and growing and being challenged.  And, we are getting there.

I may have a few (dozen) more hissy fits.  I may eat more chocolate than I should.  I may swear and grow weary.  But we are walking the road to truth, goodness, and beauty, and that is worth every ounce that I can give to this endeavor of home educating my kids. 

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