Thursday, September 06, 2007

School beginnings

Yes, we just "finished" last year's work, but we do try and celebrate a new school year's beginning.

Rather than starting everything at once, we've been peeling back the onion, one layer at a time. Layer one was speech and debate. We spent three full days at "camp", learning the basics of debate and working on the beginnings of speeches for the coming competitive season. How can hard work be such a blast? My suggestion is to choose good co-workers. And a backyard pool sure doesn't hurt.

So, the computer has been used for debate research

and then.....

layer two got peeled back last week: Great Books 1, 2 and 4, Latin 1 and 2, Homeric Greek and Gibbon's Roman History all began in earnest. Fortunately, dear Emily Callihan (soon to be Wells) teaches Latin, and her esteemed dad, Wes Callihan, teaches the rest. My job is to ask questions, remind about deadlines, provide coffee for early morning reading and class, laugh at Wes' jokes, and -- oh yeah -- pay for the classes. I knew there was one not-so-easy task. But, it is worth every penny to see one's children enthused by the Big Ideas and listening in on the Great Conversation.

The final layer is being peeled back this week. My third and sixth grade students began their seat work, with a special request for daily paper grading and homework, please! Happy to oblige. Obviously hair brushing is optional.

Amidst all those onion peels, though, someone made the time to advance to the Life rank in scouts. Four more merit badges, troop leadership for six months, and a service project, and he will have worked his way to the Eagle Scout rank. Nice work, son.

For some, the homeschool advantage is to sip an early morning cup of tea by candlelight, in her jammies, long after the school bus has roared away from the stop. A humane approach to life disguised as a luxurious cuppa.

Even though farewell to summer means no more camping adventures, I welcome the quieter days of autumn (and would happily welcome cooler weather, thank you very much.) What beautiful students I have.

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