Saturday, February 15, 2014

Recess!

We finished our semester just in time to attend Recess, a homeschool conference in South Asia for American homeschoolers.  We had all been looking forward to it for months!  It's been two years since it was held, and it was wonderful to see friends and hang out!

This is a great opportunity for the kids, because it allows them to have their standardized testing.  This just helps me to know that we're on track.  Although, I only get percentile points.  If they totally bomb a section, say, math, there's no way I can know which specific skills they are not getting, or if the test covers material our curriculums haven't yet.  So in that respect, it's not very helpful!  :)  But, overall, it's just nice to know they're pretty much on target (or above it in some instances).

Luke got to do a project, something having to do with the 1980's.  He chose to do a report on the discovery of the Titanic ship in 1986.  He built a Lego model of the Titanic, and created a poster about Robert Ballard, the marine archaeologist who discovered the Titanic's final resting spot.  Kiryn dressed up as the Unsinkable Molly Brown and did a "living biography" while Luke displayed his poster!  They had a great time in their classes with wonderful teachers who came from the US!

Here, Luke is explaining how the Titanic sunk, and how a submarine dove down to discover it nearly 80 years later.


This is Kiryn dressed as the Unsinkable Molly Brown, doing a "living biography."


The kids had a bedtime story read to them every night in a large group. 

And they learned some songs they were able to perform at the end of the week!

Such precious kiddos!  

We are so thankful we were able to go to a conference like this!  It is such a great experience for us and for our kids.  I was able to see some very good friends I haven't seen in far too long, and it was just good for my soul to be with other mamas, talk curriculum, what's working and what's not. 

One of the highlights of this conference for me was being able to sit in sessions geared toward Classical education.  We had an awesome facilitator, Glen Moore, who is a former Latin teacher at Highlands Latin school.  He is the instructor on the First Form DVD series as well.  I learned so much from him!  I kept telling him, I feel like I've read all these books that have given me the facts about classical education, but you have just taken a pencil and drawn lines from all these jumbled up dots and connected it all for me this week!

The big takeaway I left with was: mastery.  Language.  Logic.  And that's it.  We are going for mastery of language and logic.  Focus on those language skills in the lower years: phonics, spelling, grammar (but learn it through Latin, not English!), writing.  Get the kids to a point of mastery with their math facts.  If they can't add, subtract, multiply, and divide (and do fractions) in their head by 7th grade, they'll always struggle with higher level math, which is based on all these concepts.  No calculators allowed! :)  

Sitting in sessions with other moms walking this same road with the same goals as me was just the kick I needed to finish the year well!  We are totally sold on this classical thing, there is no going back now! 


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