Friday, March 04, 2011

Week 22: All is not Lost!

Okay, I guess we get weeks like last week to make up for weeks like this. This week wasn't a total waste, but it felt really out of sync and very much like the kind of week my planner hates--few boxes getting checked off, schedules getting chucked for emergency room visits...stuff like that. However, its saving grace was that it started out wonderfully with a trip to the National Gallery of Art complete with a tour and getting ourselves caught in the pouring rain with good friends.

Matty and Molly at the tour's end

Since last week I highlighted my ideal week and indicated the things that were working well for us, this week I will highlight why this week was not a wash, and what in the end saved my patootie. It is weeks like this for which I am very grateful to have Classical Conversations as part of our homeschool experience. When I have weeks that are stressful or unpredictable, I have something to fall back on because of the community we have and the activities that we organize together. At this point, it is critical for us to study the memory work diligently, since Matty is going to make an attempt at Memory Master, which is the recitation of all the material we have covered from week 1 through 24 with no more than two mistakes. Even if we fall behind in other areas, this still continues. For example, this week we had a field trip which highlighted other topics we have been covering in the fine arts portion of our studies. The children visited with Rembrandt, Degas' "Little Dancer," Monet, and others, which made their class discussions and art projects come alive for them. In essence, when all the items which I have planned fall through the cracks, CC keeps my head above water and holds me on track just enough that I don't feel as though the week was a failure.

I know that for many people, the idea of participating in a co-op or community is anathema--they simply don't need it, or feel that such a thing would actually intrude on their own homeschool agenda. Then there are others who find that participation in a homeschool community strengthens them and holds them accountable to completing the goals they set for themselves. I have friends in both categories, but I happen to fall into the latter. I am extrinsically motivated and find that it is much easier to stay on course at home if I have a community of like-minded people who are also working to a similar end. It is also in this community that I have forged some of my most valuable friendships, and my children have as well. We enjoy spending time with these folks, and in these relationships with other families we find fellowship and companionship and even vacation buddies! In my opinion, it is the community aspect of CC above all other things that makes this tool so valuable to us as a family.

Our Classical Conversations field trip participants

4 comments:

  1. I'm with you. Our homeschooling communities are such an important aspect of our lives. Great post.

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  2. I couldn't agree more! I don't know what I'd do without the support, ideas, encouragement, and accountability I find in CC.
    Your gallery pictures are great -thanks for taking the group photo!

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  3. In the past I have always fallen into the category of homeschooler that felt as if a tutorial interfered with my plans. However, we started CC foundations this semester and I have discovered that by covering those things that are not particularly at the top of my to-do list it actually has freed up time to do more of those things that are my priority (math and LA).

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  4. I agree, Mandy. It sort of has a way of streamlining things.

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