We are faithfully working our way through Beautiful Feet Book’s Ancient History pack. I had planned to use this beautiful program slowly, stretching it out over the course of one whole year. My boys, however, ask for it every day and so we now find ourselves a mere 30 lessons away from completing the whole thing.
This is probably the most concentrated formal academic growth for them I have ever observed. I am so glad we waited!!! I see the fruit now. I am witnessing this coming of age and for them, its happening swiftly and with great confidence. No pushing, cajoling, begging, etc. They are eager to find new ideas and encounter great thoughts.
One lovely evidence of this change is found within their personal research journals. Simple composition books filled with written narratives, drawings, quotes, maps, and a detailed glossary in the back. They treasure their notebooks! I believe they value them because they OWN those notebooks. The information contained within was truly taken in, processed and then put forth by them into their journals. The truth of Charlotte Mason’s words, “What a child digs for becomes his own possession,” shines forth here for us and it has been such a great encouragement to my heart. Oh that I could travel back in time and encourage my fretting self.
We have not lacked for living books around here. We are constantly reading and I am thankful that the older two are now confident in their independent reading. We are reading the Bendick, D’Aulaire and Padraic Collum books aloud as a family. The rest are enjoyed here and there with individual children or independently during their self-imposed “research hour.” Let me be clear, my children do not devote an hour to independent study every day of the year. This typically happens in the sweltering months of tropical heat when no one really wants to be outside. In the lovely winter months all “research” is conducted out of doors, preferably up a tree.
The boys have built up their independent reading time to a little over an hour now. I love seeing them nestled in my grandparent’s old armchairs, sipping tea and reading. My little one is typically in his room listening to an audiobook and partying with his stuffed animals. The third born and I like to work on his Right Start Math during this time.
Speaking of Math, we are still THRILLED with the Right Start Mathematics program. I am so thankful we found it early enough to rectify/reverse a lot of confusion. Their math fluency has increased so rapidly these past few months. We are almost ready to begin the next level! The older boys love to bring out the card games book and play through their favorites. Their next youngest brother usually joins in by the end of the game.
The short, focused lessons fit in so nicely with our CM style of learning. We have played around with a few different ways of organizing the materials so the children can use them and care for them well. I think we’ve found one method that works well, a few more weeks should let me know if we’ve found the right solution! Once I know for sure, I will be sharing it on here. I also plan to keep sharing about Right Start on our daily Instagram stories so keep an eye out for those!
Lastly, we have finally finished our Latin books from Memoria Press. We enjoyed them so much! We’ll be taking a break from Latin until August when we start up the next volume.
These summer days are focused on History, Math, Music, Writing and Spelling and whatever goodness we serve up for morning time. We have found a good rhythm for our days— feasting on beautiful ideas and plenty of time for lingering, thinking and resting.