Monday, August 22, 2016

1st Day of High School

Today, my 15 year old and I began Challenge 2 with Classical Conversations.  Last year, she commuted a long distance each week in order to participate in the Challenge 1 program.  She had an amazing tutor, great classmates, and it was a wonderful experience.  The downside was the travel time and the great distance we needed to travel to meet for group projects and events.  We opted to try starting our own Challenge 2 program this year, and decided to run with it - students or no students.

We had a fantastic day!
Yeah, another student or two would be a huge blessing.  But we'll be finding ways to bring the group learning into our tiny little group of 2 (tutor and student; mom and daughter).  I'll share a few highlights of our day:

  • We began with a devotional by reading Joshua 1:1-18.  After wandering the desert for 40 years, now the people were going to enter the promised land!  It was a new beginning for the Israelites.  They were continually reminded in the first chapter of Joshua to "be strong and of good courage".  They were also admonished to keep God's commandments and to obey Him.  This seemed a good verse to start our year, and tie into our Challenge 2 theme of "Choices".

  • In Math, we used the CC Trivium tables to warm up with numbers by manipulating a single number to be a whole number, integer, fraction, decimal, percent, and scientific notation.  We also began this seminar with a quote: "A mathematical theory is not to be considered complete until you have made it so clear that you can explain it to the first man whom you meet on the street." - David Hilbert.  We collaboratively worked some math problems and word problems together from Algebra 2.

  • Latin involved exploration of Napolean, Caesar, and Jesus.  We learned more about Napolean and Julius Caesar, and compared them to each other, and to Jesus.  We reviewed 3rd declension endings, and worked some examples.  We took a walk outside and quizzed each other on forms of SUM.

  • We kicked off our Science - Biology discussion over this article:
    I liked how my daughter called personality a "spunk", and that God has given each of us our own spunk ;)  We previewed what's ahead, and talked about scientific classification.

  • Logic was a fun discussion of truth, validity, and soundness. We ended the last 10 minutes with a rousing reading of Strunk & White.  Note: when your child is your student, you BOTH need a copy of the book. Listening to correct punctuation is difficult - you really need to see it.  I'll have that fixed for next week!

  • Lunch. I need to pack food that can be made and eaten faster.  Half an hour lunches go quick!

  • Literature: Beowulf.  We had a great time reading Beowulf together and picking out "kennings" (literary technique).  Our favorite phrase from Beowulf was "unlocked his word-hoard".  We're so going to use that! It was great hashing out the plot and mapping the family tree.

  • We ended our day with a glimpse of future speech assignments, and a discussion of How Shall We Then Live by Francis Shaffer. Note: I need to organize a group field trip to an art museum.  I'm looking forward to that!

  • We carried over the *mint* tradition from Challenge 1.  Life Saver Wint-o-green flavored mints were a big hit in my classroom of 2.

  • Having a timeline on the wall that we filled in as names and dates popped up was helpful.  I think I'd want to do that for any Challenge level.  It'll be neat to see it by the end of the year!  Hint: the timeline is not perfection - we made it on cardstock and wrote with sharpie.  Mistakes were made, and we scribbled and re-wrote.  But the process is a beautiful thing.

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