I am homeschooling 4 of my 7 children. The oldest that I am schooling just turned 11 and the youngest just turned 6. I am facing a fence that seems too high to climb and there is no gate. I am longing to free myself from workbooks/textbooks, but don’t know how to start. Reading your book and reading about unit studies has created a longing in me to revamp my whole home environment. I am afraid that too much has been lost with the older children (8, 9 and 11.) If I started to teach my 11 year old son Latin, we would surely die!!! UGH!!! It would be a struggle. I wouldn’t know how to start and I am very insecure as I am only educated through the 12th grade. I can sing “O Come All Ye Faithful” in Latin but to teach it???

In short…
IS THERE HOPE? Can I start all over?? Can this “homeschool” be fixed?
Sincerely ~
Carol in VA

Yes, there is plenty of hope. Your children are still quite young, and you have plenty of time. We didn’t start with Latin till our oldest was thirteen. I learned it right along with him. If you do decide to do Latin, I suggest getting a self-teaching course like Artes Latinae. But perhaps you would rather do Greek instead. Better yet, wait a year to start a foreign language — wait until you have your new schedule more settled.

Most of your children are under age 10, so I suggest that you follow the 10 Things to Do Before Age 10 chapter in our book Teaching the Trivium. This chapter can be downloaded for free on our web site. The 11-year-old will need more of your help, unless he is an independent learner.

It won’t be a matter of starting over, but just making some adjustments. Do you like to read aloud? That will be an important part of your schedule.

1 Comment

  1. Deborah

    I would start with a point you made. Read out loud. The most productive school time or any time I have spent with my children over the years: out loud reading, hands down.

    Today I was reading a new fiction book (afternoon fare, morning time was more meaty) when my 18 year old recollected fondly “Mom, remember when we read Swiss Family Robinson every summer? So many times the neighborhood kids would come by before we could play and you invited them to listen. They usually did.”

    I anticipate that reading out loud and discussing will the biggest step towards thinking out loud with your children. Teaching children how to learn and think is the goal of classical education.

    Just this AM, for example, we read a version of Miriam and Moses and then a portion of Man and Power covering ancient Egypt. We pulled ancient technology from a history topic list to discuss.

    Later my oldest son pulled up the sad story of the attacks of our Embassies in Cairo and Libya. We had just looked at that region on the globe. He and I discussed international law, legal action and airlift precedents (both fictional and actual) and how we would feel about the US response if the Ambassador had been a member of our family. It was natural for him to engage me on the article and not expect a current events quiz or something shallow on such a weighty topic.

    Your children are the perfect age to revel in great stories of Godliness, courage, hope and truth out loud together. You will be amazed and excited about the increase in ingenuity you observe in their play and the “upgrade” you will hear in their conversation as you feed their hearts and minds. Relationships will be strengthened by shared experiences and vocabulary from favorite stories.

    Move to primary source history and language as you are able (no need to rush), but read out loud every moment that you can. Remember, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” God tells us. “Our children our taught of the Lord”.

    By the way, singing in Latin is more than I could do, though I can get though part of O Christmas Tree in German 😉


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