For those of you who know me, you know that I am relishing this last year I have with my daughter who will be in Challenge A next year. She is very ready for it and I am so excited to see how it goes next year! She has gone through Foundations since she was three and a half and has been a Memory Master several times. She is articulate in speaking and in writing. She loves to learn and works independently (for the most part).
When you reach a milestone like this in your homeschooling career, it is a good time for reflection on the Foundations years. Since it seems that people enjoyed my article Things not to do with your firstborn, here are some things I wish I had done (and maybe will fix by the time our two-year-old is done with Foundations):
- I wish I had done more fun science experiments with her. We made a volcano on February 8, 2011, but besides that we have not done many at home experiments. I would like to do some fun Van Cleave work at home that she was interested in. I also wish that this year I had gotten her to write tiny lab reports on the labs they do in class. Classical Conversations does a great job teaching the scientific method, and I wish I had capitalized on that in the Foundations years.
- I wish that I had taught her more life skills. I obviously still have time, but I know she is going to be busier with school next year. We have done a bit, but I wish I had her comfortable with working independently in the kitchen and doing laundry independently.
- I wish I had read a lot more for fun to her. As with the other things, I know I need to give myself grace with this. She has gained a brother and a sister since she started school, and I have not always had the time to read to her. Even though she is almost twelve, reading aloud is so important. It helps with listening skills and discussion skills. I wish I had blocked off some time in our day, even the evening, to read some books like Pride and Prejudice to her.
- I wish I had made her do a typing program before Essentials. I would love for her to type up her Essentials papers each week. I wanted her to concentrate on the writing process more than typing. This summer, she will do a typing program. I do not want to type her Challenge papers!
- I wish we had listened to all the Story of the World CDs in order. We have listened to snippets of all of them as they relate to our memory work, but I would like to hear them in their totality.
- In that same vein, I wish that we had read every timeline card each week. We read the ones related to our memory work, but we have not read all of them. They are a treasure trove of information that I wish we had used more beneficially.
As far as academics are concerned, Classical Conversations gives students the tools they need to succeed. She has the framework of history and of science. She can write well and she can articulate her thoughts well. She is cool under pressure during a presentation.
I know that in the early years, it was a blessing to focus on the important things such as reading, writing, and math. She gleaned a lot from Classical Conversations without me using extra textbooks or giving her extra assignments. I am so thankful to homeschool with this program!