/**/ The Purposeful Wife: Why I Am Ridiculously Excited About Classical Education @ Home (Part 2)!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why I Am Ridiculously Excited About Classical Education @ Home (Part 2)!

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Welcome to Part Two of my review on The Well-Trained Mind/ Thoughts on Classical Home Education. If you missed Part One, you can read it here.

What makes me so excited about classically educating my children at home (as presented in Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise's, The Well-Trained Mind)?

Filling the gaps in my own education. I did not pay attention very well in school. Not even in college... until my junior year, when I finally realized the glories of learning and knowledge and wisdom. Better late than never I suppose?

 I cannot wait to start educating S, because it will be my second chance at a decent education! Chronological history, repeated for me three times? Yes please! Chemistry and Physics (which I never got to before) in their simplest forms (grades 3,4, 7, and 8)? Sign me up! A rigorous Great Books reading program? Can I get a "hallelujah"??? Count me in!

Great Books. Enough said. Ha, just kidding! But really, I love books. Classical Education involves reading direct sources- instead of reading a text book about Roman history, reading Livy's History of Rome, par example. We will be reading Homer, Plato, Augustine, Dante, and Shakespeare. I love that the authors recommend a number of simplified children's editions, so that even in the early elementary years, my kids will be getting to know primary source books. Then when they get to high school, the actual works themselves won't be nearly as intimidating!

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Instilling a love of learning in my daughter. I cannot wait to teach her to read, to watch her face light up as concepts begin to dawn on her. I am very excited about spending her formative years with her, training her, watching her develop and grow. Homeschooling is so great, because if S is really interested in one topic, we can park there awhile and really absorb it. We can run on our own flexible time table, allowing her to make choices and pursue what interests her, while still being disciplined and on a lesson plan. 

Learning Latin. The earlier a child begins learning another language, the easier it will be for them to learn other languages as they get older! Bauer and Wise recommend starting Latin in 3rd grade. Speaking of filling the gaps in my own education, I am so excited about learning Latin! As the foundational language of many modern tongues (French, Italian, and Spanish), knowing Latin opens whole new worlds to a student. It also preps your kid to ace the vocabulary section of the SAT ;)!

These are a few of the things that excite me about following The Well-Trained Mind's program of schooling. It would be unfair of me to not let you know that I am also shaking in my boots. Here are the aspects that make me nervous:

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Hard work. Educating children classically at home is no walk in the park. It is going to require a whole lot of discipline, sweat, and self-denial for me as a teacher. Can I really buckle-down and do it, come hell or high water? Do I have what it takes to keep going in the nitty-gritty, year after year?

Cost of Materials. The Well Trained Mind recommends many excellent books and resources. While they give you ideas on how to save money (using your library, purchasing second hand), the cost could very well still be staggering. My plan is to start looking and purchasing bit by bit now... and to trust the Lord to provide for our needs! If He wants me to do this, He will provide a way.

Lack of Knowledge. While the first few grades shouldn't be too trying, the further we get into homeschooling, the more in over my head I will be. This makes me slightly nervous. I'm trying to take it one day at a time- perhaps by the time S is ready to start Chemistry, we will be in a co-op that offers an amazing Chemist? Same with higher order math. These subjects are not my strong suit, and I am really hoping that tutors and other homeschooling parents come along who can help to fill my gaps.

That pretty much summarizes my homeschooling plan for now! Do you plan on homeschooling (or are you already)? What methods appeal to you, and why?

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