Tuesday, September 6, 2011

V is for Variety

The last few years I have tried to move our studies in more of a Classical direction as I truly feel there is value to that method and form. (It is not my intent to argue what is/ isn't a Classical education or which method has greater value here). In my study and interpretation of the method it is very rigorous and demanding of the learner and my young learners have shown me what they think of hard work!  :) So while I may try, I have come to the conclusion for this point in time that it may not be beneficial to fight to implement a fully Classical curriculum and method. 

Thus comes V for variety...

I am not budging on the need for learning Latin or narration and summarization.  But I do not make narration something we have to do everyday. I also have been following my children's interests in Science, rather than a set yearly schedule.  We are also just now starting World History as my daughter is 5th grade age. 

We also do some lapbooking, an activity many Classical devotees do not feel is worth the time. I feel an activity like lapbooking might make a less than pleasant subject a little more tolerable. 

We also do some kinestic activities; table work is tiring after a while.  Hands and arms get tired of writing and behinds don't fare well on hard chairs for long. So sometimes I will break out the foam letter mats, assemble them in alphabetical order and  jumping from letter to letter will be spelling practice for the day. Words may also be written in sidewalk chalk if the weather is nice.

On the rare occasion we may drop just about all the regular subjects and do a Unit type study for several days or a week.  

We also make time in the schedule to attend field trips or homeschool days at local museums and libraries when they occur. 

I also make sure we have some logic/logical thinking practice several times a week.  Right now this often takes the form of puzzles to solve or mysteries to unravel, but it is good practice and preparation for higher level logic and reasoning. 

Last academic year and again this year I have been privileged to serve on the TOS Homeschool Crew. With the Crew I have the opportunity to use a variety of educational tools and then share their merits with others via blogging. That certainly is variety in itself.  Having the opportunity to use many different materials definitely
adds variety to our academic plans.

So I guess this is all to say that while I admire and believe whole heartedly in the value of a Classically education, the generally accepted model is too much for me to swallow and we need to inject some VARIETY into our days and making learning something unexpected and not as difficult or demanding.

Thanks to Dawn at 5 Kids and a Dog for hosting ABC's of Homeschooling!


  1. Variety is a great "V"! It is really the only way that I can keep my kids focused.

  2. It sounds to me like you have really found your comfort zone for home education! Doesn't it feel great to be there? It takes a bit of time to figure out what works and what doesn't, and when you finally find it, it's a relief! No more trying to fit your kids into someone else's idea of education. Great V!!

    Just FYI, when you link up your posts to ABC's, be sure to put your POST TITLE in the little box that says NAME. I keep having to edit your entries. ;)