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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

.We've Found our Groove....& it Feels Groovy.

Whew. We are in the middle of our fifth week of first grade, and I do believe we have finally settled into a really great groove. Oh, it's not perfect, so don't be fooled. Our days are filled with mess, chaos, and disruptions, but I am finally able to see how it is all blanketed in grace. I am feeling the best I ever have about homeschooling this year. I think it is because I have relaxed a bit, grown a smidgen, and finally found some home school connections with families through Classical Conversations.


We have only been to CC twice - due to getting a late start with area flooding, but it is already working so, so well for us. Cadi is thriving, and absolutely loves going to CC and doing CC work at home. It is the perfect fit for her, as Jim said on Monday afternoon. And it really is. I definitely do not think that it would work for all families or be something that would appeal to everyone, but for us I do believe we have finally found IT. I write finally as if we have been in this so long, which I am sure is hilarious to veteran homeschoolers. This is only our fourth year - our second official year.



What I am loving most about CC is the community and the support. I cannot help but also be drawn to the fact that there is a culture of adoption within our group, which of course thrills me. We just do not have that here -please do not misunderstand me - there are people here who have been extremely supportive and encouraging, but I have to be honest and say that there truly is no culture of adoption here. We definitely pray that will change in the future, but for now it is so good for our children to see that there are other families like ours. So this is refreshing to be a part of a group where families come in all different colors, where there is a heart for global missions (In Cadi's class there is a little girl whose family just came home from being on the mission field in Cameroon, Africa!), and where making God known is a priority. Plus everyone is so friendly and kind. It is lovely for me to sit back in Cadi's class on Mondays and soak everything in. It renews me for our week ahead at home. Jim likes the fact that CC teaches Cadi how to go home and apply throughout the week what she has learned in that one group setting - kind of like church. His hope is that in the future CC will have modeled for her how to, not only be a hearer of the Word on Sundays, but a doer throughout the week. I never thought of it that way, but he made a great point.

Academically speaking my favorite part of CC is the way History is taught. It is truly taught as His story. The children learn a timeline of History starting with creation and then incorporating the history of the world in chronological order rather than breaking everything up into a random order. I am learning so much myself! I also love the focus that CC Foundations puts into skip counting. I feel as if this is really going to help my children with multiplication in the future. I truly wish I had been taught this way.

Cadi reciting her memory work for week one. (You will have to scroll down and pause my playlist before playing)

I also am really pleased that CC has public speaking built into it in a big way. Each week the students have to give an oral presentation. By the time students are in highschool in CC they will be able to articulately and biblically debate and share what they believe. I find this so vital, and it is a weakness of mine. So I am thrilled that my children will have exposure to public speaking.

Cadi had to narrate a Bible story using pictures - very Charlotte Mason-esque. I loved this.

Things at home are going great, too! I love the curriculi that we chose for this year. I am especially loving A Reason for Spelling. This is our first year doing Spelling, and I was not really sure what to expect from Cadi. She seemed to be a natural speller, but I wasn't sure what curriculum would be the best fit. I am glad I landed on this. It is really fun! The suggested activities have been great. She has made spelling puzzles, spelled words in shaving cream, written words on the sidewalk in chalk, written her words in a fat marker and then decorated each letter etc, etc. The games are endless. I love that she is not copying her spelling list two times daily or orally spelling her words over and over. We have not studied for one test, all of the learning has been natural, and she has aced each test easily, and I really do believe it is due to this great curriculum. I also love that the weekly story and verse used matches our handwriting and Bible. It just really helps re-enforce some great truths for our lives.


The boys have finally adjusted to school in the morning, and I am doing better juggling them while schooling Cadi. We are all in this together. I keep reminding myself that as Charlotte Mason once said education truly is an atmosphere. I pray that the atmosphere here is one that always points my children back to the Author and Finisher of life.


So, yes, we've found our groove after five weeks, and it does indeed feel groovy. {grin}


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Christy said...

Yay, so glad to hear things are going well! We are starting to find a groove around here too, though I think I will always be at a loss as to what to do with my ornery 2 year old while we do our schoolwork. I really want to find a way to hear about all the ways ARFS has them practice spelling words. I sold my book with the packaging still on and I know they give a ton of ideas. We are working hard to make a not very fun spelling curriculum fun. ;)

The Thomas Family, Artesia, NM said...

I have to say yay for Cameroon, Africa! We just extended an employment offer to a nurse practioner from Cameroon and I can't wait for her to move to our town! In our small town of 17,300, it will be awesome to add some more Africa to our population!

Glad you have found your normal and things are going well!

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