27 August 2015
Last Thursday, my daughter began her first day of her very last year in the Foundations and Essentials program with Classical Conversations. This her sixth year in the program, meaning at the end of this year she will have completed each Foundations cycle twice. One of the truly beneficial aspects of this program is that even though we have moved (twice, now!!) since entering it, we easily transition into new communities with familiar routines. There is something quite reassuring about knowing exactly what to expect. It is a blessing to us.
Last Thursday, my son began his Challenge B journey. After one week I can firmly state, we are off to a good start.
Challenge B is the year that is supposed to bring about great discipline. Students naturally mature at this age, and the Challenge program is geared to walk alongside them as they grow and individually own their work. It's only been a week, but I am witnessing some of this occur. Ask me in May, and I'll let you know if it became a pattern of behavior for him. :)
However, one area that is new to us is that I am no longer my son's Tutor during his Classical Conversations day. In fact, not only am I not his Tutor, I'm not even on campus with him when he attends his seminar. Due to class availability, my son is participating in his Challenge B class while I'm tutoring Essentials at a different location. It wasn't what we had originally planned, but it has worked out well, and it has increased his responsibility tremendously during an already formative year. We're anticipating great things!
26 August 2015
This summer, my son spent 10 weeks playing Ultimate (Frisbee) sponsored by the Charlotte Ultimate League. He had a blast.
It was a new and completely foreign environment for him. Prior to this summer, he had played many scrimmaged games of Ultimate, but they were usually at Boy Scout events without a strict adherence to the rules, regulations, and techniques of the sport. If you know him, he loves to toss a disc, and usually has one with him at all times. Once we became aware of the league, it seemed necessary to sign him up.
It was a high school league, so he was definitely one of the youngest players on the field. He began to learn some of the tricks of the trade, and he's looking forward to returning next summer. After a rough start to the season, his team wound up winning the league's playoffs, which was cause for a celebration!
18 August 2015
The first weekend of August, we met my husband's family to camp in the Hocking Hills of southern Ohio. I guess we can't stay away. All things are repetitive in classical education. One of my very first posts on this blog shared how we enjoyed a similar trip, at the same campground, in 2011.
A highlight for my children, and their cousins, was the Hocking Hills Canopy Tour. Saturday afternoon, they spent three hours high in the trees, while zipping across lines and traversing sky bridges, before rappelling back to the ground.
Side note: Upon returning to the area, we noticed the canopy tour that my husband and son did in 2011 was closed. One of the guides told my husband it was because that certain tour was not complying with certain safety regulations. Hmmmm ....
17 August 2015
During the last week of July, my son spent a week at Camp Powhatan, a Boy Scout camp near Roanoke, Virginia. This was his third summer attending camp. As a homeschooling parent, I do value the time he spends away from me. After spending a week away from us, he always seems older, wiser, and a little more mature when we pick him up.
He earned several merit badges (his favorite was kayaking), but he opted this year for a little more free time. We obliged since it was his last excursion with his West Virginia troop.
For fun, if you want to see him age, check out pictures from Year One and Year Two. (This is where keeping a blog really does pay off!)
11 August 2015
In July, my children and I attended yet another Classical Conversations' Parent Practicum. It was my eighth practicum with CC. These yearly 3-day events offer much needed encouragement, inspiration, and long-term vision to parents. I've posted before about how CC practicums include Student Camps, and throughout the years my own children have attended camps on Geography, Drawing, Public Speaking, Writing, Trigonometry, Latin, and this year my daughter spent three days learning about the beauty of Science. She loved it!
This year's practicum was a blessing for me for two reasons. First, because of our recent relocation, I didn't have an official 'job' at the local practicum I attended. For the past several years, I have served as a practicum trainer. This year I was only a trainee. The relaxed change of pace was an encouragement to me.
Secondly, and most importantly, my favorite part of this practicum (and possibly all practicums I've ever attended) was that my son volunteered in one of the Student Camps. He had a job while I didn't! Because he now meets the volunteer age limit, he assisted all three days in a Geography and Drawing class for 25 students aged 6 - 8. He worked harder than I've ever seen him work managing a handful of the boys. At lunch the first day he exclaimed, "It's so hard!" He enjoyed himself immensely even though at the end of each day, he was spent!
|My son, in the green Seahawks cap, playing checkers with many of his 'students'.|
10 August 2015
Our Great Lakes adventure enabled us to check off a few more states from our list. Originally, we never intended to travel with our children to all 50 states. But, as we approach the end of the list, visiting the Continental U.S. seems like a very doable goal within the next few years.
My daughter had never been to Wisconsin. My son and daughter, along with myself, had never been to Minnesota. Since we were camping near the western border of Wisconsin, we spent a day in Minneapolis, at the Mall of America, in order to check Minnesota off our lists.
Updated State Count: My husband and I have now been to all 48 continental states. My son has been to 45, missing Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Alaska and Hawaii. My daughter has been to 44, missing the same states as my son, and also Arizona.