One Reason My Wife and I Choose to Homeschool Our Children
My wife and I chose to homeschool our children not only because I travel so much for work (300 days a year) and wanted to keep our family together, but also because we saw great value in the Classical model of education. The Classical model focuses on the the Trivium (“the three roads” of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Trivium also means, “The place where the 3 roads meet”). Grammar (the foundation of all learning) is giving the kids the basic building blocks of knowledge with which to work for the rest of their lives. Logic will equip them to analyze, evaluate and synthesize the knowledge they will have learned during their grammar stage. Rhetoric will give them the ability speak publicly, using their voices to communicate, debate, argue, and express themselves. The model we are using focuses less on testing and more on their development. In the Grammar stage, we are covering math, language arts, geography, history, science, and fine arts.
(Practicing a Speech with Manuel during his Grammar Lesson)
More specifically, in the Grammar stage (K-4), they are learning language, math, geography, history, science, and fine arts.
1. In Language Arts, they are learning to:
-Identify the 4 structures of sentences
-Identify the 4 purposes of sentences
-Identify the 7 patterns of a sentence
-Identify the 8 parts of speech.
-Identify any clauses or phrases in at least 2 languages.
-Write a keyword outline from multiple sources and synthesize into a single short essay.
2. In Math, they are learning to:
-Quickly multiply and divide through the 15x15 table.
-Memorize the common squares and cubes.
-Identify the associative, commutative, distributive, and identity laws in math
-Add and subtract multiple digits in their heads
-Have mastered the basic forms of numbers.
-Not need a calculator until Trigonometry.
3. In Geography, we are learning to:
-Draw a map of the world and label 200 locations from memory.
-Draw a map of the US and name states and capitals.
4. In History, we are learning to:
-List a timeline of 160 world events and 45 US Presidents from memory
-Tell the story of the world from ancient to modern times in an exciting, compelling,
5. In Science, they will be able to:
-Identify basic science categories, and memorize key ideas from:
6. In Fine Arts, they are learning to:
-Draw and paint
-Identify masters of fine arts including composers, painters, and even athletes.
-Play an instrument
-Participate in sports.
In the Logic stage (5th-8th), our children will be able to analyze, evaluate and synthesize the knowledge they have learned during the grammar stage. In the Rhetoric stage (9th-12th), they will be able to speak publicly about these and any other topics, using their voices to communicate, debate, argue, and express themselves with clarity, conviction, and power.
Although my wife and I only plan to homeschool our children until Middle School, we will supplement their learning to make sure they learn Logic and Rhetoric.
For now, when I am home, we homeschool from 6:30 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. I get the afternoons to focus on my own studies and work. When we are on the road, we usually homeschool in hotel rooms from about 7A.M. to 12 P.M., and then go sightseeing, and experience something that is somehow related to history or the arts. With everything else on our plates, of course homeschooling our children has been a sacrifice and time consuming. However, it has been so fulfilling and wonderful to watch our children flourish in so many ways: they are reading two grade levels ahead of their grades, respectively; in math, one is at grade level and the other two are a ahead by one year; and, they are developing social and entrepreneurial skills in context, outside of the classroom.
We are grateful to have been entrusted with such outstanding children, and for the opportunity to cultivate them in such a personalized way.