How is everyone’s schooling doing? Some of you are fully into your new year, some are winding down or finished, and some of us just keep at it all year long. I’m in the keep at it all year group, which is why I am always reading something about education so that I can keep my interest levels up and stay engaged.
This week I was reading about monks and the Rule of St. Benedict. I was amazed at how a Benedictine’s vows of stability, conversion, and obedience are so in tune with homeschooling. Stability is the idea that we find contentment where we are. It speaks to order. Conversion is the cultivation of virtues, and I was reading Quintilian in The Great Tradition today, “Can a bad and unjust man speak on such themes as the dignity as the subject demands?” and later, “For I do not merely assert that the ideal orator should be a good man, but affirm that no man can be an orator unless he is a good man.” To the ancients, virtue was the aim of education, and how we attain this is by constant conversion to virtue. Obedience speaks to attending to the words of our parents first, so that we can self rule, be virtuous, and become truly free people.
For the moms with littles, I came across an amazing article from Maria Montessori.com titled, I am Here to Help, which is about how we can teach self control to those smaller people in our lives, and the writer’s lesson through the example is proof she is a master teacher. Sometimes we need concrete examples as to how to build virtues and this is one!
Our very own Lynne wrote an amazing article for those parents who are just starting out or thinking about homeschooling, Parents as Teachers: Qualifications.
Homeschooling is not one definable “thing.”It’s as varied as the families who homeschool. Homeschooling works for so many families because the parents are invested in finding out which methods, which curricula, and which approaches work best for their individual children.
And our newest contributor Brit also wrote a wonderful article for our Parents as Teachers series From Classroom to Homeschool.
“There are two sentiments I have heard many times over when people learn we homeschool our children. Either they say, ‘Well, you can homeschool because you are a teacher,’ if they know I used to teach, or they will exclaim, “My children would never listen to me to learn anything.” Both statements make me groan internally while trying to smile sweetly on the outside, explaining that no, my credential really doesn’t help me educate my children, and yes, your children can learn from you.”
You might have figured out by now that at Sandbox we love a good series, and we have another good one coming up on handwriting. Interestingly, this article What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades came across my feed the other day and gives a strong argument on why we might want to keep handwriting a part of our homeschool. Not only is it beautiful, but it helps kids learn and read earlier. Ms. Spalding was right after all.
To round out this virtue training and skill building, another thing we can do with our kids is sing with them. We may not sound hauntingly beautiful like this 800 year old Icelandic funeral hymn, but music appreciation always starts with simple sing-alongs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
For your older kids, you can watch art and math collide in beauty and nature study! My kids were enthralled watching Nature By Numbers, a video on the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio.
As always, please frequent our sponsor, Classical Academic Press! We have some wonderful things planned with them, and we’re very thankful for their support of us.