When history comes to life: reflecting on the classical education and learning in community
We've had an amazing first semester with our history co-op-- it's a group of about seven or eight families that go to our same public charter school and homeschool like us three days a week. On Wednesdays, we've been meeting together to study the middle ages together following A History Odyssey. I've posted quite a bit on Instagram along the way, showcasing some of the neat projects Gigi has gotten to do.
The History Odyssey curriculum is an outline with a timeline, maps, activities, and readings that refers to Story of the World, Children's History of the World, and various picture encyclopedias (like Kingfisher and Usborne). Together, we've been able to tackle projects that, let's be honest, I never would have done alone at home with Gigi.
The other moms have been amazing... and really gracious with me, as I haven't had much to offer since I have Brody and Hallee to chase around, too (we've been doing our own little preschool co-op with another amazingly creative mama, but that's another story).
Learning in community has been so much fun. We've had the freedom to delve deep into some of the chapters and the kids inspire each other in their work and their projects.
And the deeper I go into a classical education, the more I love it. These kids are having a foundation of history laid for them at a young age that will make their later learning years so much easier. Gigi won't be exposed to feudalism for the first time in high school like I was, instead, she has already acted it out, and studied it in several different ways as a second grader.
Of course, now, the first time through, she is learning at a very elementary level because she is in the Grammar stage-- she's soaking up knowledge though so that later the foundation will be there to provide for more complex understanding. She doesn't have a thorough grasp of the concepts, but she knows names of people and people groups and has a basic idea of the progression of history.
Last week, we were able to go on an awesome field trip where the knights of the realm were literally before their very eyes to give them a visual of what we had just been learning. We drove up to Medieval Times for a lunchtime show. The kids loved it (especially the part where we ate with our hands), and actually, so did I.
Hallee got to have her own special grandparents day and Gigi, Brody and I met up with our co-op friends to cheer on the Blue Knight (we all dressed in blue!), and see the Medieval weaponry we studied live in action.
Afterwards, the kids got to meet the knights, and the princess. It was a great homeschool day.
Three cheers for seeing history come to life!
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