Diligentia ditat; our Latin phrase for the last couple of days, meaning "Diligence enriches." I've been thinking a lot about this lately. For one, Cub has been developing an educational philosophy of his own and we've been having many discussions about the importance of memory work, focus and getting work done in a timely manner. Again, I am drawn back to why I love the classical model, because of the different stages of learning: grammar, logic and rhetoric. No matter how old we are we can tackle a subject, with no shame, at the grammar stage. I've been learning English Grammar along with my kids, using a number of different tools. I especially like Living Memory's Grammar Catechism. It is about 10 pages of definition done in a call and response format (like a catechism would be). Feche-boy has been commenting on how much easier Latin has become. Viking Man (a successful Greek scholar from seminary) and I (a casualty of seminary Greek) have been discussing our lack of understanding of rudimentary grammar terms, such as what an Ablative declension is. Frankly, until last year I didn't' know the difference between a declension and a conjugation. Happily, now I do.
*2*I've been mulling over how creativity flows from diligence and knowing. So often in our culture we are encouraged to be creative before we have any of the tools needed to create with. Kids who don't read are encouraged to write creatively. Poetry is taught long before the kids have the verbage or form to set the tune to. Creativity forced from randomness creates chaos, disorder, disunity. And that leads me back to govenrment schools and an earlier discussion about the purpose of them, but I digree. This is supposed to be "Quick Takes."
*3*Still thinking about The Chosen. It generated an interesting discussion on TWTM boards. It always blows me away just how little I know in some areas. I'll be looking up political resources recommended by friends there. In the end, this is what I responded to a poster who is coming at politics from the left, who is articulate and very educated and who was lamenting the fact that he could not come up with resources with which to counter more conservative choices.
"The thirst for a higher set of ideals is highly respectable and to be greatly admired. It's confusing to find the source of ideals and value and their manifestation in people. I think that's part of what I loved about The Chosen. It's a community of deep faith pursuing the source of those ideals and creating confining situations as a result that others must then deal with and create something of value from. The value is found in what is pursued, not simply in the pursuit itself. We've all fallen short in living our ideals and in creating something better for others. It's the nature of human beings to be tragic, the choice in life is to either reconcile ourselves to that absurdity or to receive a higher reality. How quickly the political jumps to the theological."
Leads me back to an on-going discussion I had with a younger relative during the last election. We clearly disagreed about the nature of many things and she finally stated that it was "just politics." Oivey! Such simplicity! The personal is political.
*4*Spring is in the air. Robins have been spotted. We are taking daily walks. Feche boy has gone beyond the fenced pastures and is spending more time along the river and in the low hills that create the valley we live in. We were awakened by coyotes howling the other night so he goes with a big stick and lots of confidence.
*5*We did the usual school work this week- actually probably more. I made a chart -gasp!-Viking Man was so pleased = )! "Write the vision, make it plain" (Habakkuk). Logic, Latin, Math, Omnibus II (finally done with Bede-the Ecclesiastical History!), IEW, phonics, geography puzzles, Bible, Memory Work. We did a progymnasta exercise in co-op last week. A great exercise but difficult to write. I'll be doing more research to better understand the progymnasta myself. Flower has only 10 lessons to go in AlphaPhonics. She is at that stage where every new lesson seems to exclude what she knew before. We keep reviewing and going over basics (what does the "e" at the end of the word do to the vowel in the middle?"). She is reading words like dazzle and raven and then forgetting how to read -and. It's so interesting to see her brain at work, again from the grid of a classical model. It just takes the pressure off.
*6*Read about a family this week that celebrates Shabbat and what a blessing it's been for their family. They are Protestant but working on creating a day of peace and rest in their home. The house is clean, the food and presentation beautiful. It has appealed to me in a fresh way. Seems that so often our week is harried and any "Sabbath" that we take means that we do less of the same, rather than the intentional creation of something enriching and that is what we are all longing for.
*7*A discussion came up this week about doing other things with my time, a couple of scenarios involve personal dreams and hopes. Yet I am torn, because frankly I am greedy for the time with my kids. I want to be personally involved in what they are learning, knowing, doing. Have time to be in the kitchen together cooking and cleaning, taking walks to the river. Just seems that the busier we get, the less of that there is. I just have the sense that once the kids leave, they will be far away and busy with what the Lord has called them to. It's what I hope and plan for but I am in no big hurry to see them off. They are one of my deepest joys and time flows like the river water in spring...rushing and bubbling and leaping past.
Lots more this week but we are off to co-op. Was your week what you hoped for?
Conversion Diaries hosts 7 quick takes and it's always fun to see what everyone else has been up to and thinking about for the week. Hop on over and check it out: http://www.conversiondiary.com/