All posts tagged: Trivium

How do you begin teaching children to write? via lagarfias.com

Simple Cursive Instruction for Young Children

I was recently asked to explain how I teach my children to write. And when I thought back … way back … I realized you can’t teach a child to write until you have begun handwriting class. Handwriting, the bane of humanity. Really, we don’t need to dread teaching or practicing handwriting so much. Like so many other subjects, we simply need to keep it simple and remain patient. Start with cursive. I thought you said keep it simple? But cursive really is the simple way to learn. Children have learned “proper handwriting” for centuries … until the rise of “look-see” reading programs in the 20th century and then the proliferation of technology. Then not only across this country, but around the world, adults quit teaching their children how to write beautifully, fluidly, and legibly. This integral part of our culture need not be lost. Cursive is easier for young children’s small motor skills. Rather than picking up the pencil numerous times and making harsh corners and points, the young hand is allowed to remain …

A simple way to keep track of your #homeschool lessons, via lagarfias.com

If You Simply MUST Keep Track

Either because you are compulsive, or because your state requires it, you just want to keep some records. Anne Elliot has devised such a simple way to do it, she nearly talked me into keeping records again. Nearly. So starting very early in our homeschooling “career,” I started customizing my own planning book, just using Word and Excel on my computer. (Open Office has a free version.) It fits my style, plus I’m able to save all the planning sheets to use with younger children coming up. At the end of the school year, my planning notebook goes into the attic, in a “portfolio” box for that school year. One of the most fun parts of the summer for me is making a fresh, new notebook for a fresh, new school year. So let’s take a peek inside my planning notebook for the 2010-2011 school year. Inside the Front Cover As soon as you open my notebook, you’ll see a lot of odds and ends and daily junk in the inside pocket. Scrap paper. A …

How much #homeschool record keeping do you need? via lagarfias.com

Keeping Track

Record Keeping. I think those are bad words in the homeschooling vocabulary. Too much time, too much money, too much effort is wasted on record keeping when the goal of homeschooling is to be learning how to learn. The burden of record keeping often hinders that purpose. A disclaimer Some of my beloved readers live in states in which record keeping is mandatory. So you must take everything in this post with a grain of salt. But still hear me out. I am in your corner, too. The principles I am setting forth will apply to you as well, I promise. I am trying to be a blessing here, not a burden. Actually, I want to lift the burden. And watch it roll away down the hill. Whee! First, some history. Remember, I am a homeschool graduate. Back in the late 1980s and early 90s, it was barely legal to home educate in Michigan, where I grew up. Parents like mine joined legal organizations like Home School Legal Defense and hid inside the house during …

Have you ever blown it, #homeschool mom? via lagarfias.com

I Blew It

I did it again. This happens once in a blue moon around here, so I should have learned my lesson by now. But I still manage to blow it every time it happens. Studies get going at such a steady clip; the children and I get into the groove. Do a math lesson. Tear out a grammar sheet. Correct your mistakes. Keep going forward. Before you know it, the students are hurtling toward their goals of finishing the book before birthdates. Another day, another worksheet. Such a simple plan. Until one day, we hit a brick wall. This morning, I corrected Sweetie Pooh’s grammar, and the page was quickly covered in red. My pen bled all over his worksheet as I moaned exasperation. “Hey! What do you do if someone is speaking?” He looked up from his cyphering with a glazed expression in his eyes. I motioned him to come over, and he stumbled toward me, shaking his head clear of numbers and desperately trying to change gears. “Um, capitalize the first word?” “Quotation marks!” …