Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Classical Method

There are a few approaches you can take to home schooling.
Charlotte Mason education
Classical education
Montessori method
Theory of multiple intelligences
Waldorf education
A Thomas Jefferson Education

the kids working on spelling (15-20 mins. everyday)

It's a personal choice. For me, I considered the way each child in my home learns, what I want them to learn, my memory of how I was schooled growing up was, how much time I wanted to spend, and the basic desired outcome of this beast called home school. The method of choice for us was what is called The Classical Method. It focuses on teaching the trivium. It breaks up the different ages into groups of learning and how each age group learns.

Grammar Grades 1-4

Grammar consists of language skills such as reading and the mechanics of writing. An important goal of grammar is to acquire as many words and manage as many concepts as possible so as to be able to express and understand clearly concepts of varying degrees of complexity. Very young students can learn these by rote especially through the use of chant and song. Their minds are often referred to as "sponges", that easily absorb a large number of facts. Classical education traditionally included study of Latin and Greek, which greatly reinforced understanding of grammar, and the workings of a language, and so that students could read the Classics of Western Civilization in the words of the authors.

Logic 5th-8th grade

Logic is the art of correct reasoning. The traditional text for teaching logic was Aristotle's Logic. In the modern renaissance of classical education, this logic stage (or dialectic stage) refers to the junior high or middle school aged student, who developmentally is beginning to question ideas and authority, and truly enjoys a debate or an argument. Training in logic, both formal and informal, enables students to critically examine arguments and to analyze their own. The whole goal is to find out why something is true, or why something else is false, in short, reasons for a fact.

Rhetoric 9th-12th grade

Rhetoric debate and composition (which is the written form of rhetoric) are taught to somewhat older (often high school aged) students, who by this point in their education have the concepts and logic to criticize their own work and persuade others. According to Aristotle "Rhetoric is the counterpart of dialectic." It is concerned with finding "all the available means of persuasion." The student now learns to persuade others with these facts, and succeed in the persuasion. The student has learned to reason correctly in the Logic stage so that they can now apply those skills to Rhetoric.

Zander learning about diffusion Chemistry (1 hour twice a week)

So basically the way you teach you child changes depending the age they are. At different ages, we have different abilities. As I read about the Trivium, I remembered my youth and how I saw the world at different times. I also looked at kids around me and noticed that this is dead on. Why wouldn't we teach them in an approach that they see the world with?

Classical Education is language intensive-not image-focused.

It demands that students use and understand words, not video images.

It is history-intensive, providing students with a comprehensive view of human behavior form the beginning until now.

It trains the mind to analyze and draw conclusions.

It demands self-discipline.

It produces literate, curious, intelligent students who have a wide rante of interests and the ability to follow up on them.
learning about the use of early irrigation systems used by the first "civilized" Nomads
(history 1 hour 3 days a week)

I strongly recommend this book if you are interested in learning more. This method just makes sense to me.
I will go deeper into each subject, this was a basic overview of the method we are using. There is so much more I tell you. I have learned so much just by teaching them. They love it and beg for more.

My favorite quote so far was from Zander after we finished school and I needed to get a start on dinner n stuff, "mom I don't want to watch tv with Elle, I want more HISTORY!!!" The kids are nuts I tell you. My suspicion was so right, they just want more and more and more. Homeschooling is the way I can fill them up to their potential and feel good about it all.


Sarah said...

You are selling me on this. I love that you are starting in the summer (something that I keep telling myself I should do is summer home school.)
Thanks for the book suggestion. Any others?

nuttbutts said...

that is so awsome! i keep meaning to get that book and read through it. for the summer we are focusing on reading reading reading. the kids want to read the scriptures and other books for their reading challenges. also they can listen to audio books online. i am really hoping this is a platform to more reading during school which is really what i want my kids to do. this will enable them to be exposed to more information and therefore to more discussion and questions. i love homeschooling and it sounds like things are going awsome for you guys...good job mom!

Melissa said...

this method is based deeply on reading. We have read more books in the last two weeks than in a long time, and we read a lot in this house. The kids have loved it. We spend every Friday at the library where I get next weeks books ready and the kids just sit and read for hours. It's great. If Mia does doecide to go back, she is going to be so stinking far ahead of her class...ugh. this may sound like a good thing, but trust me it's not.