Week Two: Getting the Hang of It!

Week 2 was definitely easier than week 1, and now I feel a little more in the groove about how a day should go, but I’m still amazed at how fast the time flies and whether it’s realistic that we’re done by 2 or 2:30 p.m., but that’s still my goal. So far, we haven’t gone past 2:30 p.m. yet, to the delight of our eldest!

This week, one of the highlights was our “sailing ships” activity, meant to illustrate the challenges Columbus had in navigating ocean waters with nothing but wind power to propel his three vessels. I shaped aluminum foil into boat shapes, and Harry and Ron labeled the sails, then we put them in our bathtub for their maiden voyage:


The boys had fun creating their own gusts of wind and sending the boats from Spain (the right side of the tub) to the New World (left side of the tub). And of course littlest brother Dobby had to get into the action as well:


Harry is getting the hang of the kinds of activities we’ll be doing often and regularly this year, including the hallmarks of neoclassical education, such as narration (listening to a story/text and retelling what he heard to demonstrate comprehension), copywork (reading a selected piece of text then copying the text as a way to learn spelling, usage, and grammar), and nature/picture study. I’m sure it’s very different from the kinds of things he regularly did in school–we don’t do word searches, for example, and we do math every day, with drills several times a week. We memorize poetry, we read living history books together with the little brothers, and we have started cursive. I am still stressed out during the day but much calmer once we have finished school, which is delightful to experience. It’s still hard to tell how much of what we’re doing Harry will truly internalize and remember, but thus far this new path has been both challenging and rewarding. We’ll see how long the positive feelings last! Hopefully they will remain all year.

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