This is the final post in the homeschool blog hop and it's blogger's choice. I debated about what exactly to write for this and I decided to do a mix (ha, like every other post). First, I'd like to talk a bit about classical education for preschoolers because I somehow totally forgot to write about it when I was talking about homeschool style. And this philosophy is pretty much it for us. 

First, watch this video:

Théoden is thirty months old. Two-and-a-half years. He loves to read Freight Train. So does Sam, actually, but he's a bit more shy whenever I get the camera out. But almost anybody watching this video could tell you that he's not really reading. He's reciting. For half the book, he's watching himself on the iPod screen and not even looking at the pages. And that's not a bad thing.

Classical education for preschoolers (through fourth grade, really) is the first leg of the classical trivium known as the "grammar phase." It's not one in which we especially focus on English but a phase of learning in which we focus on rules. I recommend Susan Wise Bauer's The Well Trained Mind, and I've grabbed this excerpt explaining the grammar stage from the book's website:

In the elementary school years — what we commonly think of as grades one through four — the mind is ready to absorb information. Children at this age actually find memorization fun. So during this period, education involves not self-expression and self-discovery, but rather the learning of facts. Rules of phonics and spelling, rules of grammar, poems, the vocabulary of foreign languages, the stories of history and literature, descriptions of plants and animals and the human body, the facts of mathematics — the list goes on.
-Susan Wise Bauer on Classical Education

So, contrary to some popular belief, classical education does not mean reading Plato to your first graders (though some families might go ahead and do that as an exercise in listening and paying attention). For this part of education, it means memorizing. This is why I'm planning to start playing CDs of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables in the next few months so we can learn them and review them.

My kids might be smart, but they won't be geniuses for memorizing 9x7=63. If you're a parent yourself, you already know how early in life kids start imitating and parroting what they hear and see. That doesn't mean understanding is present. The understanding comes later. The understanding is something to build on top of this grammar stage, in classical education theory. This means that the foundational tools of the higher subjects (writing, algebra, chemistry, etc) are so ingrained that they don't have to be reviewed for months at the beginning of every middle school and high school year. 

Théoden isn't reading yet. He does know the alphabet along with more than a dozen sounds that letters make by sight. He has that book memorized, that's for sure. And he's having a blast. He's so proud of himself just for knowing things. Later, he'll want to know why those things are true, what makes them tick, how to use them effectively, and he will learn. He will learn one lesson at a time, with an educational bunker of a foundation underneath him. 

Now for the second part of blogger's choice:

I was homeschooled. I went to college. I graduated. My professors repeatedly told me they liked the homeschooled students. The college accepted my homemade, BOE-stamped transcript (they had guidelines on the website). I took the ACT and the SAT. I got scholarships. 

I did not go to prom or any high school dances, but that was by choice and not because I hadn't been asked (I was, usually by other girls who wanted me along for fun and I just didn't think I'd enjoy it that much). I participated in drama competitions and writing competitions. I babysat. I got a job and then another job. 

I learned my parents' faith and then made a personal decision to follow Christ. I have shared my testimony, I have mentored others, I have participated in college ministry leadership. 

I had (and have) friends from every educational background. I like meeting new people. I watch TV. I love the Word of God. 

And I was not alone. I had siblings and parents and grandparents along the way. I had friends that went to co-op classes with me, went to college alongside me or before or behind me, and graduated. I am not an anomaly. 

If you have questions about navigating high school, feel free to comment or email me for a student's perspective. Homeschooling high school does not equal academic failure in college or limited college options.

Also, you can talk to me in person! You're welcome to come to the Homeschool Blog Hop Q&A, on Saturday, April 27th from 10am-noon. It's being held at Trinity Assembly of God in the Café area. Check out the Facebook event page if you have FB or feel free to email me for directions. It's a bring-your-own-kids-and-snacks event, with possible babysitting provided (kids welcome either way, we're working on babysitting details) and coffee and tea and water.

And then, go check out these ladies and their last blog posts for this series:

Clockwise, from top left:
Lorrie @ Life and Lessons LearnedSelena at Campbell ClanKathleen @ Positive Adoption,
Audrey @ Everything BeautifulCharli @ WV Urban HippiesTracey @ Building My House, and Maria @ The Joyfully Frugal Home 

Not pictured: Jessica @ Redeeming the Home