31 August, 2006

Rocks, anyone?

More NAIS zaniness at NoNAIS.org. I have *plenty* of rocks to sell. Trust me. Now, just to get the sheep to go with them. Not sure what we're talking about, check out this previous post.

[Update 11:46-I just finished reading the rest of the page on their blog, and this is just disturbing. I want to believe in my heart-of-hearts that it's just some wacko, but from the domain registration, I'm just not sure.]

29 August, 2006

The Latin Centered Curriculum

Well, my copy of LCC came in the mail yesterday, and Bravo, Drew! I skimmed the first three chapters, because, well, I don't need any convincing at this point. :) I will go back and read through them later, but I'm in the final throws of planning the first 6 weeks of school, getting ready to head to the library tonight, and I wanted to see the recommendations *now.*

Good news, our own little private take on LCE at the Culloden House is largely in line with the recs in the book up to this point. (We're a little behind in a few places, but not enough to be a problem with implementing what is outlined.)

Bad news, I don't have the money for Artners, but my husband and I were both history majors in college, so I guess we'll muddle through.

The thing that I am not sure about is the approach to the sciences. It is very Multum non Multa. I've got a few years yet before we have to do any hard science, so I've got time to ponder. I like the approach, but I'm just not sure if it's practicable or not. My current thinking is to push the introduction of formal science back a year (to 7th grade) and strech the recommended reading over two years, finishing half-way through 8th grade. Then we could take the rest of the year to get a good grounding conducting a lab in various areas. That would equal a highschool general science credit. Then 9th grade would be traditional Biology, then either head into "hobby science" directly, or complete another 1-2 years of formal science first, depending on where my kiddos want to go when they get to that age. At the least, it would equal out to three years of science, and maybe up to 5, for transcript purposes.

Or I may chuck it all and do it Drew's way, because it would still be alot of science and it sounds like all kinds of fun! (Yes, I am a freak.)

27 August, 2006

The official fall schedule

Well, here it is. I will probably end up tweaking it. I'd like to get to the point where we aren't spending so long on chores, but with the littles that may not be reasonable.

  • 7:30-breakfast
  • 8:00-morning chores
  • 8:30-school: recitation, grammar, math, CW A&I
  • 11:30-lunch, followed by noon chores
  • 12:30-yoga
  • 1:30-school: our daily block subjects, school reading, read aloud, writing project, culminating in a snack
  • 3:30-afternoon chores (most of the house cleaning happens here)
  • 5:30-make dinner, leftover seatwork, whatever
  • 6:30-dinner, then family time
  • 8:30-boys to bed, mom finishes any chores, Mary has free reading
  • 9:30-Mary to bed
  • 11:30-Mom and Dad to bed
There are various playtimes interspersed, but I didn't bother listing them.

26 August, 2006

As September rolls around again

Well, it's almost time for the start of our fall term, which officially starts the day after labor day. This will be the first year that I'm officially schooling two, a 4th grader and a K. Over summer term we worked out some scheduling kinks, finished off all the goals for third grade, and got an idea of how Ian learns and what he likes and dislikes.

We have some issues to work out as we gear up for a new term, though. We've taken about 3 weeks off from school for vacations, the garden, and mental health time for mom. However, in that time I've allowed some really bad habits to creep in. The kids have been watching way too much TV, we are slipping on consistent obedience, and there has been a lot of fighting between the boys.

The TV is pretty easy to remedy, I just need to turn it off and leave it off. We will start that today. I let them watch some cartoons this morning, but it is going off for the rest of the day. Let the whining begin! They will ask for it for a couple of days, and then forget about it again, if past experience is any guide. The surest way to ease the transition is to send them outside and don't let them come in for a few hours, except for potty breaks, drinks, and meals.

So, after I finish this post, that is where they are going, while I work on getting the house clean. Hubby is gone to drill this weekend (they changed weekends so they can do security for the moving Viet Nam Memorial Wall), so I'll have the day to really get things done, and to look at our cleaning schedule for the fall. When I get all the schedules finalized, I'll post them here.

Then, tomorrow, with a clean house and no TV, we can work on obedience. I'll start with Mary, as she is the oldest, the least stubborn, and the most likely to behave. Once I get her back in line the boys will likely follow with less stress, as she tends to set the tone for the littles. I'll probably give her some chores, hang around to make sure she does them, and then reward her with a game or something. It doesn't take long to get her back in line when she falls off the wagon, but it does require intense supervision. Call it tomato staking, if you like. A few days of that and she will be back to normal, I hope.

I also need to revise the chore schedule for the kids, because I've noticed that recently I've been giving a lot of chores to Mary, and almost none to the boys. It's a path of least resistance kind of thing. Once I'm done tomato staking her, I'm going to lighten up her load a bit and work with the boys (Ian more than Alex) on doing things consistently. I'll probably get MOTH down off the shelf and dust it off for this. Also, I finally scraped together the money to buy The Latin-Centered Curriculum, so it should be coming in the mail any day now.

As far as the fighting, I think it's mostly a developmental thing. Ian just turned 5 and Alex is 3.5. They are about the same weight (although Ian's got a good 3-4 inches on Alex) so scraps between them are a pretty even match. I can take the wrestling and arguing, a bit, but the name calling, kicking, etc., has got to stop. I'm hoping that getting on a good schedule and less TV will help curb this. Otherwise, I'm going to be doing a lot of refereeing.

Lest you think that I hyper-schedule, I'll point out at this point that I use schedules as more of a guide than anything else. I like to have everything down on paper nice and neat, so that when we deviate from the plan (which is most days) I know where we are supposed to be and we don't loose something in the shuffle.

On the Mom Continuing Education front, not only will I be reading The LCC, but I am also going through The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric by Sr. Miriam Joseph. I'm currently about half-way through the second chapter. The book is a bit of a crash course in the Trivium subjects. It was written in the 30's for a class the Sister was teaching to college freshmen who had little or no exposure to Classical education.

24 August, 2006

EWTN Strikes Again

Thanks to the commenters to my post below about Catholic Apologetics. Upon following one of the links I ended up at the EWTN website. They have a helpful FAQ, with actual logical reasoning no less, and an option to ask a question if you didn't get the answer you were looking for. Bless the woman who started EWTN, as it is just about the most helpful and interesting Catholic resource out there. I prefer a lot of their programing to the crap my fellow Protestants put out.

Also, it looks like I'm going to have to break down and buy a copy of the Catechism. I have a copy of Science and Health, the Bahvad Gita, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, a couple of old Watchtowers laying around, and a whole pile of other such things, but not a copy of a book that I substantially agree with. Well, I guess I am going to finally break down and remedy that oversight.

And, in case any of you out there are wondering just what I do believe, I grew up in a strict fundamentalist Baptist church, am currently nominally a United Methodist, but if I could find a socially and Scripturally conservative Episcopal church, I'd join in a heartbeat. So, we attend the church my father in law pastors (UMC) about once a month, and home church with the old Anglican Book of Common Prayer (Rite I) the rest of the time. We'd attend fil's church more often, as he basically runs it as if it were Anglican, but their worship services grate on our nerves. I'm sorry, but How Great Thou Art was never designed to have a back-beat.

My main issues with Roman Catholicism are three-fold. Firstly, I have a hard time with about half of the Marian dogma. Second is the ridgid stance on Apostolic Succession and its accompanying doctrines (ie., binding and loosing, the Sacrament of Penance, etc.). Last and most important, my husband has no intention of converting. If he were to convert, I would make a good faith effort to follow his lead.

I'm not looking to be convinced that all Catholic dogma is true (if that happens by the Will of God, so be it), but rather that a reasonable person could believe it. I'm also looking for the chain of events in the development of doctrine and ritual, what did it look like in the past, how is that different from today, and why the change occured. I'm also looking for points of agreement between our family's doctrinal stances and that of Catholicism. I've found a few that I didn't know about, which is a very good thing.

23 August, 2006

Catholic apologetics?

My brother and sister-in-law are in the process of joining the Catholic Church. Yay for them, seeing as they were alternately Buddhist, Agnostic, and Atheist. However, Catholic wouldn’t have been my first choice. I have been doing some heavy-duty research into Catholic doctrine, as I think a family should be as ecumenical as possible, and I want to really understand what they believe. So, I’ve been perusing various Magisterium-approved websites on Catholic apologetics, and been on a steady diet of books provided by my sil.

So far, all I can say is that the quality of the defenses of doctrine that I’ve seen so far leaves much to be desired. Even on the points where I agree with the topic at hand I find that the “proofs” provided are sloppy and full of holes. Now, it could be just that the authors are going for brevity and don’t want to loose their audience (the dumbing down that plagues all the corners of Christendom), but I expected more. I mean, this is the same Church that nurtured Chesterton and Aquinas, right?

Which leads me to the conclusion that I am going to have to break down and read them. I have always intended to, but don’t really have time to slog through a translation right now and I don’t have the Latin skills yet to comprehend the original. I guess I will have to start with Chesterton, but I’m not even sure if he ever wrote anything approaching a definitive apologetic. I also could call a priest and just ask him my questions, but I feel like I’d be taking up way too much of his time, since I have no intention of converting. What’s a girl to do? Maybe I can find a priest we could “bribe” with food and have come over some time. At least if I feed him I won’t feel like I’m bothering him. Hmmmm…. Decisions, descisions. Any Catholics out there with suggestions? What would the protocol be for approaching a priest with a pile of what-ifs? Is there a good meaty modern apologetic?

I am a baaaad girl.

Okay, folks, sorry I haven't posted in over a month, but life before computer. I've been on vacation (3 days with the family in Indiana, including a trip to Indiana Beach), canning, doing school, running the house, etc. Life, basically. And I've not really had much to say recently. (Which is a big surprise.) However, a nice little rant, AHEM, post will follow this.

Also, Mungo's blog is no more. I need to update the link to be runningriverlatinschool.blogspot.com, but haven't done it yet.