“How do you do Classical Conversations at home?” This question is one I hear most often at Parent Information Meetings. Since every home school looks different from the next, the answer is different from home to home. I always enjoy a sneak peek into other home schools though, so here is a peek into a day at Redwine Academy as we look to further know God and make Him known.
Day 1 of our school week begins with our CC campus community day since three of our four children are Foundations/Essentials program ages. Let's take a snapshot look at day 4 of our school week in our home-centered school.
On Mondays the children, ages 10, 9, 7, and 2, rise at 7:00a.m. After accomplishing a few personal and household chores and consuming breakfast, we get our school day kicked-off at 8:00a.m. with math. Our 10-year old daughter decidedly dives into her Saxon Math lesson for the day while I meet with our 9-year old son and 7-year old daughter to go over the new concept they are learning for the day before setting them lose to practice their new and review concepts. When they are settled with their work, I move around the dining table to our eldest to see how she fared on her drill sheet and to dialog through that day's mental math problems. All three children work independently, while asking questions of me if needed, until our math hour is completed. If they have finished their math lesson before the hour is up, then they tackle more chores in their Chore Packs. If they still have unfinished work when 9:00a.m. comes around, then they set it aside to finish later that afternoon. My husband or I, depending on our schedules, will check their work with them that evening for accountability.
At 9:00a.m. we begin our Foundations memory work recitations. By day 3 of our school week we have already read through and discussed that week's Veritas Press history timeline cards, so we simply recite the timeline up to our current week; the children use hand motions learned at campus to aid them when needed. We use up our memory review hour by singing history sentences, speaking science and math facts, chanting English and Latin grammar facts, locating geography pegs on our Memory Master Notebook maps, and reciting Scripture for as many campus year weeks as we can fit in while we aim for Memory Master.
When 10:00a.m. rolls around we are ready to quiet ourselves again. The children grab their current instructional reading (a classic book slightly above their reading level) and their “fun” reading (a book they are pleasure reading that is at or slightly below their reading level) materials. I meet with our 7-year old first for 20 or so minutes of instructional reading while the remaining children curl up with their selected pleasure readings. The 2-year old does too! Next, I meet with our 9-year old for 20 or so minutes of instructional reading followed by our 10-year old.
At 11:00a.m. we begin language arts. The children start out with practicing that week's spelling lists from Susan Anthony's “Spelling Plus.” Once they have completed practicing their personal list, the 7 and 9-year olds move onto copy work and handwriting exercises I have created while the 10-year old moves on to her Essentials work. Our son and second daughter usually finish their language arts work before 12:00 noon, so they fill the remaining time with completion of chores and/or playing with their 2-year old sister. Once our first-born has completed her Essentials of the English Language work, which includes me some for dialoging through practice sentences, she moves on to her Institute for Excellence in Writing assignment to put the finishing touches on her rough draft that I shall proof with her the following day. Whatever she is unable to complete by 12:00p.m., she will finish later in the afternoon.
We break for lunch at 12:00 followed by a couple clean-up chores and free time. We meet back in the living room at 1:30p.m., snuggle onto the sofa together, and I read aloud to the children from either a children's history or science book containing material relating to that week's Foundations history sentence or science fact or from a classic novel. Right now, we are enjoying Ralph Moody's “Little Britches” series.
2:00p.m. marks the start of afternoon “quiet time.” Our toddler is laid down for a two-hour nap. The school age children disperse to various areas of the house apart from one another. The two eldest kids each use 30 minutes of our two-hour household “quiet time” to practice that week's piano lesson. They use their daily quiet time to finish math lessons and IEW assignments. Any left over time is used simply to quiet their minds and bodies through meditation on God's Word, pleasure reading, and practicing their drawing and painting skills.
From 4:00p.m. until suppertime, our children play. My husband leads us in a small Bible study at the supper table. When supper chores are completed, and if his energy level is enough after a busy day of running our pest control business, he conducts a Koine Greek lesson with the three oldest children. They wrap up their day by listening to Susan Wise-Bauer's “Story of the World” in bed.
While our household schedule is quite organized, thanks to Teri Maxwell's counsel in “Managers of Their Homes” and “Managers of Their Chores,” every academic period throughout our day is filled with the expected, real-life chaos of toddler training, character training moments for every member of the household, as well as spontaneous, exploratory, life conversations. The schedule helps me to keep keeping on when I simply do not feel like keeping on, and it helps me to meet my basic goals when life interrupts the schedule.
The biggest help to me in my daily journey as a home-centered educator is conversation time with the Lord. When I fail to listen to Him through the reading of His Word and speak at Him through prayer, my day unravels quite quickly.
“How do you do Classical Conversations at home?” At Redwine Academy, we do it with our family's own style based on the personalities, talents, and Spiritual gifts the Lord has given us. To Him alone be the glory!
Tiffany Redwine serves as a help-meet to husband Paul of 17 years, as a mother to Lydia, Luke, Priscilla, and Phoebe, as the southern Ohio CC Outreach Leader, and as a Foundations and Essentials Director at the Colerain Township campus in Cincinnati. She and her husband own Redwine Pest Control. They worship and serve at Highview Christian Church. Tiffany's hobbies are acting, singing, and reading.