This year I have a 7th grader (how is that possible?), a 4th grader, and one that is learning more than I can possibly imagine. He may just end up be the smartest kid ever!
Lillie began her Challenge A program with Classical Conversations (CC) a few weeks before we actually started our school. The program runs for 30 weeks and needs to be finished by a certain date so we had to start. Camille started her Foundations and Essentials classes with CC a couple weeks after we officially started, but we went ahead and began math work and a few other things.
This year will be a hard one. Partly because the amount of time I have to spend with the girls has significantly decreased since Alexander is so active. Thankfully he is taking good naps most days, but as the year progresses I imagine that will change too. Also, I have a 7th grader. This is a hard year just because of that transition, but the amount of work Lillie will have compared to last year is amazing. I am in awe at what Challenge A provides in terms of material she is learning as well as skills.
I still wish she had a true class for this, but we felt pretty strongly about going ahead and doing it this year even if no one joined us. And they didn't, so it's just us. Next year for Challenge B that will not be an option. The material she will cover, in my opinion, cannot be mastered effectively without a few others. She can learn the material, but the conversations really matter a lot more starting in B. So we'll figure all that out as the time for it approaches.
For now Lillie works about six hours a day on six subjects. She is actually trying to master a tool by using a subject as the source. I had typed up information about each subject, but then realized it was just too long for this post. So that will come later. Just know there have already been a lot of prayers, angry words, and tears and mostly all that from me! As I talk to other moms of other 7th graders, both home schooled and traditionally schooled, I am finding this is just what happens. We seem to all be struggling.
Sweet Camille is enjoying the 4th grade so far and experiencing a few big changes as well. She has more independent work this year mainly for when Alexander is awake and I cannot instruct. Also, since Lillie is spending her time differently, Camille and I are alone for her school.
Most home school moms prefer to teach "across the grades" for things like science, history, Bible, etc. And I used to think that worked for us. But I think I am finding this new way works so much better for me and the girls for many reasons. Camille enjoys spending time learning with just me (and some days Alexander) and prefers for me to walk through things where Lillie has always wished I would give her more independence. The balance is being able to find time to do that and not neglect checking what Lillie is doing. I'm finding out the hard way she still needs a lot of accountability!
The first picture of all the kids at the top shows how I hope our year goes--everyone still and looking at the camera. Those last two are how I imagine we will spend lots of days--someone wanting mommy all the time (oh, that is what it feels like every second of my days!), papers wrinkled, one girl smiling trying to make it work, and the other just ready to stop!
But we will take the good with the bad and through it all I will remember how much of a blessing it is to do this. Not all blessings seem perfect all the time because most things just aren't! We'll manage to learn more than we set out to learn--things about ourselves as individuals, things about our family, and most importantly, things about how God loves us and provides for us even in the small everyday things!
“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
― Mahatma Gandhi