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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Classical Education

When we first started home schooling, I spent a lot (I mean, a LOT) of time researching. I read many books about home schooling and the different approaches to it. One of the books that I found really helpful was Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Homeschool Picks.


In the front of this book was a survey on different learning styles, different teaching styles, and different educational approaches. I quickly discovered that my preferred approach is the classical method. I then went on to read The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.

This book was exactly what I needed. The classical approach made total sense to me, and she explained it in such a straight-forward manner that I felt that I could implement this style into our home school. Many books out there like to talk theory, and that's all well and good, but what I really wanted was more practical help. The Well-Trained Mind spelled it all out for me.

There is so much I like about this approach. I love that it's history and literature based. I love that it shows children the big picture of the world to help them process and remember all of the information they are learning. I love that it teaches them to learn for themselves. I also love that it allows my children to work at whatever level they need.

It would be difficult for us to use a boxed curriculum because my kids don't fit neatly into a grade level. Curly works on grade level in math, a grade ahead in grammar, and several grades ahead in everything else. Little Bear works two grade levels ahead in math and a grade level or two ahead in the different aspects of language arts. This suits them so well, and I feel like they are constantly challenged.

Classical education fits our family perfectly. We love memorizing poems, reading classic literature, and diving into history. If you are also classical home schoolers, I'd love to hear about it!

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