Saturday, November 5, 2011

CHES meeting 11.02.11

This will be my first commentary, but hopefully the first of many to come, of our monthly CHES (Classical Home Education Support) meeting.

I will preface this commentary with a personal note on how much I appreciate this monthly meeting. There are times when being a homeschooling parent; or in my case, grandparent,can bring on feelings of insecurity, loss of direction, failure...... but these meetings not only encourage, and sustain us while we struggle with the daunting task of educating our children, they provide insights from other parents going through similar situations, alternate ways of dealing with things that come up and practical guidance in providing quality education to the most important people in our world; our children.

So with that out of the way let me continue. Our first few minutes after arrival are always filled with warm exchanges, "how are things going", "what have you been doing".

Some talk more, some listen more. Me, I usually am talking more than I listen. Listening is a work in progress for me, but that is for another blog.  :)

Tina shared a book she is currently reading about A Crazy Coupon Lady. I think the book was called, "Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey: Save Big Money & Make the Grocery Aisle your Catwalk! " by Joanie Demer. With a little effort on our part we could save $$ at the store. When you home school and do not work that means a lot!!

We began the meeting with the question:
What are you doing/reading to further your own education at this time?"
Oooohh, mmm, good intentions do not fulfill goals, actions do. I must say my doing leans heavily on the good intention side, but I shall endeavor to try and tip the scale more to the right.

I do read, a lot actually, but little really furthers my own education. I am currently in the process of trying to  implement two goals; one to increase my knowledge of basic Latin, and one to completely read Susan Wise Bauer's book, "The Well Trained Mind"  both of which, interestingly enough also happened to be on this meetings agenda.

Dani asked if anyone had continued with the "Uncle Eric" books. Feeling guilty, this was a moment I kept my mouth shut. My "Whatever happened to Penny Candy" book is still up in the bathroom waiting for me to finish it.

There was a mention of the books:
"World War I: The Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today, 1870 to 1935" (Uncle Eric Book)
"World War II: The Rest of the Story and How It Affects You Today, 1930 to September 11, 2001" (Uncle Eric Book)".

Others were:
 "Capitalism For Kids: Growing Up To Be Your Own Boss" by Karl Hess.
"A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future" Donald Pink.

That one I found intriging and would like to pick up. As a child I was discouraged from right brain activities as a goal to support myself. "They were good for hobbies"

In regards to Susan Wise Bauer, Dani had hoped to share a video or two with us, but technology was being recalcitrant. I have researched the links though and here they are:

 Peace Hill Press Question & Answer Series 1: Part 1

Peace Hill Press Question & Answer Series 1: Part 2

They are the first Question and Answer Series with Susan Wise Bauer. It addresses Elementary Writing and Grammar. Susan also discusses integrating Writing With Ease and First Language Lessons, as well as adjusting to different learning styles.

Next we ventured into: Classical Education - Why Teach Latin?
Dani shared;
"Minimus Pupil's Book: Starting out in Latin",
"English from the Roots Up, Vol. 1: Help for Reading, Writing, Spelling, and S.A.T. Scores", "Latin for Children, Primer A"

After this we had a sharing time. What was going well? What is a book or curriculum that we enjoyed using? What was not working for us? Then we had the opportunity to share samples or ideas.

Tina then shared a Thames and Kosmos Microscope book that came with a microscope she bought for homeschooling. ( she is so good about sharing, I have often wondered if she ever sleeps. she just seems to get so much done)

I brought up Barbara McCoys blogs. She had mentioned she would end them since her children have now all but finished school, but not only has she continued, but she has streamlined, simplified and given it a whole new look and ease of navigation.

Here are links to her 3 blogs and the last one is for her daughter's:
Handbook of Nature Study Blog
Outdoor Hour Challenges and Nature Study for Home Schoolers

Harmony Art Mom
Homeschool art and music plans

Harmony Fine Arts
Lots of great tips to create art. It doesn't look like she spends as much time on this one, but the information is still worth looking at, from an artists point of view.

Hearts and Trees
lots of lap books, and other material for bringing nature into homeschooling

That pretty much wrapped up this meeting. I am really looking forward to next month. :)

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