Monday, April 24, 2017

Reflections on the Great Homeschool Convention, Part 1....

Riley and I arrived home around midnight Saturday from the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, OH. The conference was fabulous and oh, so encouraging! However, at nine hours with a time change, it's a long hard drive and of course, there's no place like home. It was such a joy to see The Farmer and the boys, to cook my own food, and even wipe down kitchen counters and do laundry. I'm amazed at how much the mundane becomes a joy after a little respite. Last night was my first full night in my own bed and today, I'm so glad we had a blank box on the calendar as we get back in the routine. Since Saturday, I even had a bit of time to reflect and look back on my notes, of which, I thought I would share with you some snippets...

Classical Education Unplugged (Andrew Kern, Martin Cothran, Christopher Perrin, and Carol Reynolds - panel discussion)

Kern - Classical education with quest for wisdom and virtue includes everything; classical includes vocational; vocational does not include classical and is utilitarian

Kern - Algebra is logic

Cothran - nature study is science until middle school, then around 8th-9th grade begin formal sciences

Classical Literature for Children (Rea Berg)

The Power of Story
- books provide cultural literacy
- good books help to make a civil society
- they break cultural myopia
- development of moral imagination leads to empathy and compassion; helps to avoid narcissism
- opens our hearts to truth, beauty, and grace

Why College Freshman Fail (Dr. Carol Reynolds)

based on her book by same title - Dr. Reynolds gave seven top reasons why many college freshman fail
- only 59% actually pass and obtain a bachelor's degree

Charlotte Mason Meets Plato: Restoring the Joy of Education in Your Home (Rea Berg)

What is the purpose of education?
Plato - to create philosopher kings
Charlotte Mason - education is a life

Are we mere products of 21st century American notions of what qualifies as education?

The Tradition of Schole: How Christians Pursued Restful Learning Through the Ages and How to Recover It (Dr. Christopher Perrin)

Schole is undistracted time to study things that are worth while.

There are some things about ancient beliefs that we have to throw out. They didn't have the Gospels.

monasticism - the way schole is transformed, fulfilled and extended by the Gospels

Why Memory and Imitation are a Student's Most Important Skills (Andrew Kern)

There are 4 God given faculties or abilities - just focus on these
- Attention
- Memory
- Imitation
- Harmony

We think in order to find harmony. As long as we have hope of achieving harmony, we keep thinking. If not, we stop.

Being transformed is an act of imitation.

Remember that your child is a human being!

Memorization is OK, as long as you know the story. (why behind the how)

Blood and Morality: The Tradition of Adventure Writing for Boys (Martin Cothran)

based on The Dangerous Article for Boys

We need to see literature as an end, not a means to an end!

Why Children Must Play to Learn (Dr. Christopher Perrin)

What makes for a great engineer?
- play that's self-motivating; done for its own sake; is voluntary; is inherently attractive; includes freedom and time, diminished conscientiousness of self, and improvisational continuing desire

Our play history has some bearing on who we become as adults

There is a play deficit. We don't do enough.

A little non-productivity can make us more productive.

Why Play?
- prepares us for an uncertain world (rehearsal); teaches collaboration, sound judgment, mastery, renovation/recreation, innovation, and delight

The opposite of play is not work; it's depression.

referenced: The 5 Best Toys of All Time

Ancient History through Literature: From Pyramids, Pharaohs, and Philistines to Perspective and Purpose (Rea Berg)

Our goal and mission is to expose our children to the best that has been thought and said.

History had been studied through literature and stories until 19th century, now it's a science.
To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. - Cicero
Inspire your children to love learning and they will be life time learners!

There was so much inspiration, I bought the entire Great Homeschool Convention on audio and can't wait to go back and listen again to several talks, plus others that I didn't get to hear! Rea Berg was Riley's favorite and mine. I also really loved Dr. Christopher Perrin's talk on Why Children Must Play to Learn.

Later in the week, I'll share some of my conference purchases, which will give you a sneak peek into our 2017-2018 academic plan.