Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Essentials Newsletters for Cycle 3, weeks 6-12

***Please do not upload these files to CC Connected.  I wish to make these available to my homeschool moms.***  These are not official schedules from Classical conversations.  I created these newsletters to help myself and the other mothers in the class understand the weekly material, and where it can be found.  Hope it helps!
Essentials Newsletters for weeks 6-12

Seven Weeks of CC (Classical Conversations)

To say that these past seven weeks of CC has been an adventure is an understatement.  I have discovered that I LOVE tutoring.  I get to tutor Foundations to the Journeymen/Masters class (ages 9-12).  They are all intelligent and fun to be around.  They are all outgoing and friendly, and are just a great bunch of youth.

Our community has had a few difficulties, though.  Right before week 4, the Essentials tutor's son was diagnosed with leukemia, which was a major blow.  They are continually in our prayers.

This also left us without a tutor for Essentials.  The substitute did not feel adequate enough to take on the class indefinitely, I volunteered to take over until our Essentials tutor came back.  I don't know when or if that will happen, so I have tried to prepare for whatever she decides.

These past two weeks I have been training and preparing like crazy and I am so glad that I did the training.  I have learned so much.  I feel more prepared to teach my daughter as well.  The vision of Essentials is much clearer to me, and I hope that I can help the other mothers to understand the vision of this amazing class.

One of the first things I did to help our tutors was to make newsletters for every week.  All the information we need to teach EEL and IEW is in the materials we are required to purchase.  The problem I was having was that I couldn't remember where to find the current week's information, as well as all the references in the student writing notebook (free download when you purchase the IEW history curriculum--year 3 we are doing USHBW) and other materials,  so I made a newsletter with the page numbers of the various resources so that we could utilize them more efficiently.  I printed off each week's newsletter (so far I have only made newsletters for weeks 6-12), and laminated them.  I use them as dividers in my EEL binder.  Because I wish to share them with my parents, I didn't want to post them to the CC Connected website (paid subscription on Classicalconversations.com for parents and tutors to find resources), so I am sharing them here instead.  Feel free to use them for your class, but PLEASE DO NOT UPLOAD THEM TO CC CONNECTED.  Thanks.
My favorite Curriculum:

Math: Rightstart Math
Science: Apologia Science
Spelling: Spelling Power
Writing: IEW (Hands-down, this is the BEST!)
Reading: 100 Easy Lessons (for teaching reading)
Writing: Handwriting Without Tears
History books: For supplemental reading, I have used Story of the World, but I also like the free books about history found on James Baldwin Project.

Most of all, I LOVE Classical Conversations curriculum. 

New Adventures in Home Educating

I have been home educating my kids off and on since 2006.  We began our homeschooling adventures in Washington state, then we moved to the UK, where I taught my two oldest children (then 9 and 5), for two years.  Life became very busy, and I prayerfully decided to put them back in the school.  We moved to Ohio in 2012, and all three of my kids went to public school.  A year later we moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and again, my kids ended up in public school.  After about two months, my daughter, who struggles with Tourettes and ADHD, started BEGGING me to homeschool her.  Her behavior and my relationship with her during this time was very strained.  After much deliberation and prayer, I made the decision to pull her out of school last December.
The first week of homeschooling I noticed a tremendous change in my daughter.  Because she had more time with me, she was happier, less annoying to her brothers (yeah, I was an only girl with 5 brothers, and I always annoyed them :D), and the tone in our home became amazingly more peaceful.  She is one of the most creative people I have ever known, and now she has time to be her best self.  She has more time to practice her (even though I still have to nag her), and even her harp teacher noticed an vast improvement in her playing after only a week of homeschooling.  She still was required to take the LEAP test (Standardized test in Louisiana, and required to be taken by all 4th and 8th graders to be allowed back in public school), which she passed.  I wasn't sure, though, if I wanted to homeschool her for 5th grade.
One of my most difficult parts of homeschooling has been making connections with other homeschoolers, or finding a community of like-minded families.  Part of that problem is because we move around so often, and it is difficult to establish roots and connections.
Then I stumbled upon Classical Conversations.  I have to tell you, I have spent a lot of $$$$$ on many different curricula, but this program makes the most sense to me.  We started our journey with Classical Conversations this summer.  I actually signed up to be a tutor.  Now, each week, we meet as a community, learn the new material, do science experiments, fine arts (the first six weeks was drawing, now we are learning music on the tin whistle), and we review the material from the past six weeks.  And since my daughter is older (age 10), she also participates in Essentials, which delves deeper into English grammar, mental math, and writing.  All I have to say is, I.  L.O.V.E. I.T.
I struggle with ADHD, so staying on task can be a challenge for me.  This program keeps me on task, and if I am having a crazy day/week, I can supplement as much or as little as time permits.  Even just memorizing and reviewing the materials from the two classes is enough.  My daughter is remembering and learning a tremendous amount of information--and so am I.
I have home educated for nearly 6 years now, and I finally have found a home for home educating.