Monday, April 18, 2011

Helpful (and not so helpful) lessons from the homefront

As we are in our final two weeks of the homeschooling year, I thought I'd take a few minutes to share some of the more off-beat lessons I've learned along the way.

1. "Winging it" is a lot harder than it sounds. If you're anything like me -- someone who'd like to create a unit study from the ground up that incorporates several different subjects, is amazingly creative, and manages to include all the children at the same time -- you will find yourself stressed out and frustrated. As I was faced with teaching 6 of my 8 children this year (one of them being a newborn), I asked the Lord during Adoration what I could possibly do to keep myself from going under completely. I believe He told me to teach them all separately, and that's what I did. Mother of Divine Grace is a wonderful way to go if you like the whole concept of classical education.

2.  If you like to give your children copywork, this is a great resource for making your own. I usually just write it out myself and have them copy it, but now that I found this free source for handwriting worksheets, perhaps my job just got a bit easier!

3. You know those weird marks that they recommend you use in The Writing Road to Reading -- marking phonograms, separating out syllables, underlining silent letters, etc? Tempting though it may be, don't skip those. It took me a year to realize that they are incredibly helpful in teaching kids how to spell. Who knew?

4. Always have plenty of food on-hand after reading Bread and Jam for Frances.  You're going to need it.

5. Speaking of food, a small handful of chocolate chips does wonders for a kid who just needs an extra boost. We call it "brain food" around here! I'm not too proud to bribe.

6. Nature journaling is too much fun to skip. After a long week of homeschooling it is sooooo tempting to just blow off Friday and not put forth any additional effort, but you'd miss the joy of discovering the outside with your children and improving your drawing skills.

7. LATIN. IS. WORTH. IT. It's hard and takes a lot of time to go through, but I see so many benefits from it, such as: learning to pay attention to detail, learning English grammar, increasing our vocabulary, connecting us with the past, and giving us a greater understanding during the Mass.

8. I know that when you see a sentence like:
O praeclarum custodem ovium lupum!

You just want to translate it, "O first custard of the wolf's egg!"

But don't do it, 'cause you'd be wrong. VERY wrong.


Beth said...

These are great lessons! Thanks Ouiz!

Suburban Cowgirl said...

As usual, you ROCK Ouiz! I'm loving teaching Latin this year (using Second Form Latin - love it SO much more than Latina Christiana! Makes me wanna run out and get 3rd and 4th Form!)

Ouiz said...

Thank you, guys!

SCG, did you compare Second Form Latin to Henle? Why did you like it better?

I got a quick chance to see both of them, but I'm leaning toward Henle... go figure, since it's definitely NOT the prettier of the two!

I'm eager to hear what you thought of them...