Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Homeschool Consultation #1 - with MC

MC is our homeschooling consultant with the curriculum we're using. She is a retired mother of six who homeschooled all her kids and now helps with her grandkids. She and her husband have dairy cows on their property in Virginia. Kevin says we gotta get to be good friends and go visit them. I agree.

We had our first consultation and I loved every minute. It was about two hours long. We talked about my thoughts and feelings at this point; discussed the kids' assessments; and went over the book list.

I especially liked her input in two areas:

1) When I told her I was feeling a little nervous, she asked, "Do you know where you're going to get the power you'll need to homeschool?" (Interesting she used the word "power", I noted.) I sat there wondering about the answer and wanting a hint since I'm new to homeschooling AND Catholicism.

My answer: "God?" (Isn't that a nice, safe, all-encompassing answer?) She said God would work through our marriage to equip us to homeschool. I love that. Since, in Catholicism, marriage is an actual sacrament, we believe extra grace is imparted right through (into?) our relationship in a unique way. (I'm guessing most Protestants believe this too, just not "sacramentally".) So... now we'll be utilizing that in our homeschooling endeavors. Neat.

2) She asked a few questions about my labors and birth experiences. When it came out that I had four home births, she paused a second and said, "Teri, based on what you're telling me, I just don't think you're going to have a problem homeschooling." Since childbirth is a big topic in my life, I loved that she drew comparisons between the transition stage of labor and the rough times of homeschooling. Just when you think you absolutely can't do it anymore, something changes and then you see success --- or something like that. I liked it. And I think it will speak loudly to me in the midst of the trials that I'm sure to experience.

Since the consultation, we've received our syllabi and most of the kids books and resources. We ordered from Emmanuel Books, Illuminated Ink, Amazon, and Abeka. It was a carnival of delivery trucks for a couple days. It is fun for me to pull different books out each day and look them over. I'm excited for the kids and for myself. I noticed that Joseph will be memorizing four poems this year, and one of them is "The Village Blacksmith" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I know the first stanza because my dad had to memorize it in gradeschool, too - and I've heard it my whole life.

Why not end a blogpost with good ol' Henry Wadsworth Longfellow?

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
(which my father and all his classmates read, "strong as rubber bands.")

Here's to you, Mr. Longfellow! And to Classical Education!
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