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megandunham

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megandunham last won the day on November 20

megandunham had the most liked content!

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  • Location
    Bozeman, MT
  • Favorite Authors
    Wendell Berry, Chiam Potok, Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • School Name
    Petra Academy

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  1. I'd love to hear what some of your schools have done for fundraising needs. What have been the most effective things you've done and have been able to repeat with consistent results?
  2. megandunham

    How do you keep school at school?

    We do spend a lot of time at school already. Some background: my husband is the headmaster. We have four daughters, two of whom have already graduated, and the other two are in 10th and 9th grades. Between drama and sports we manage to be there until 5:30 most days (2 hours after school ends). I usually have at least 30 minutes of planning each day, but that time is all taken by current in-class admin needs (quick homework checks, sorting papers, etc.). I try to do as much as I can in that window, but inevitably end up bringing some things home. I'm seriously hopeful that year three will see more of a settling into things. One can always hope!
  3. megandunham

    Teaching Reading

    What do your schools use for phonics/reading/spelling? Have you been happy with it?
  4. megandunham

    "Why do you read all these books by pagans?"

    Here's a video our Academic Dean did to answer this question for our families:
  5. American Girl Bitty Baby will never be the same. My 9th grader is dressing up as the cauldron from MacBeth tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'm more proud of her education, or more disturbed by it right now. These are two of the items inside the cauldron. At least she promises the baby will go back to normal after tomorrow... *grin*
  6. megandunham

    How do you keep school at school?

    Oops - I left a comment about a family I thought went to your school, but I think it's the other guy on here. I need to fact check myself before posting.
  7. Just today I started making a few subtle changes in the way I remind my kids to obey our class rules, in large part to some of your counsel above. For instance, we're not just lining up straight and silent because I asked them to, but because they are being a blessing to our whole class when they do so because we get to go where we're going right away and we don't have to wait for the one or two who are goofing off at the end of the line. I mentioned to our whole 1st-3rd grade the reasons why we need them to clean up well after themselves at lunch is so the kids coming in after them are blessed by a clean and prepared place to eat as well. Just little wording changes, but over time I hope helps bring about much of what we're discussing here.
  8. This seems so basic, but I still can't seem to get a handle on this. I bring so much of my day home with me every single day and spend almost an entire day on the weekends planning out the next week. I thought I'd be better this year (year 2) and there are some aspects that ARE, but overall, I just can't seem to not bring a lot of my planning and prep home with me. What are your tips for best practice here? How can I better make my home and family my priority when I'm not at school?
  9. megandunham

    Scheduling parent-teacher conferences

    Did you end up figuring something out? We're pretty old-school with this. There are spreadsheets at the front office organized by teacher and time slot. Parents sign up there.
  10. Thanks for your thoughts on this! It helps to rehash some of these things multiple times for me. In truth, I think our school does do a lot of this, it's just easy to second guess things once presented with a new (to me) set of vocabulary. I really do love the thought above to frame everything in terms of love and make that clear to my young ones. Good things to think over here!
  11. Your thoughts here are super helpful and I will confess - this was a difficult read for me. There's a GOOD chance I'm mixing my areas up. Of course, all that you said is accurate and are things we're striving for throughout the grades. I may be wondering more on the theology side of things - there are some things that seem dependent upon our own belief systems and what our churches have taught us over the course of time that will come out in our classrooms, even subtly (the children will become what they behold, and all that...). So if I'm coming from a reformed Christian perspective and the next teacher they get isn't, what does that ultimately bring about in their lives? And all of this knowing full well that what is happening at home ultimately trumps everything we're doing at school. At any rate, I'm rambling and I'm out the door for another day in the first grade. I'll try to be more coherent about this later on. Thank you!
  12. Our entire staff just completed a staff training book discussion on The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education by Ravi Jain and Kevin Clark. There has been, of course, much discussion over many aspects of how our school does things in light of what the book is suggesting, but the thing most recently on my heart and mind (and fresh from a conversation with our Kindergarten teacher), what does piety look like in the pre-grammar classroom. What *should* it look like? How can a school best ensure that classrooms have a measure of unity and continuity in this area, particularly when teachers are coming from various denominational perspectives?
  13. megandunham

    Lunches

    This is an interesting idea for me. The lunch period I'm part of is made up of all of the students in our first, second, and third grades. We are *primarily* trying to help get the kids focused on eating and finishing their lunches. So much of our day is structured, I'm honestly pretty grateful for this period of time where the children can converse with each other freely, though we do have to put parameters on it. Our classes enter the lunch room and wait standing behind chairs until everyone has entered. We pray and sing the table prayer together and then require the first five minutes of the lunch period to be silent. The objective in this directive is so that kids will begin eating. So many of our kids would just spend the whole 25 minutes talking and then never eat their lunches before we started this. I'm glad for the idea, though, to be incorporating loving the true, good, and beautiful in all aspects of our day. I'll be mulling this one over for a bit.
  14. megandunham

    School Blogs / Newsletters

    I know we've tried a few things as well. We have a blog on our school website with content posted periodically from various teachers/admin: https://petraacademy.com/forum/ Last year, I posted snippets from Dr. Perrin's An Introduction to Classical Education at the end of my weekly newsletter, along with links to the article online. I didn't get the sense that any of the parents in my room last year were reading it. This year, I sent out the link to that pdf in my beginning of the year information packet, but I haven't been including snippets on a weekly basis. I'd so love to figure out how to pass on a true vision of classical Christian education to the parents in our school. Some of them really do get it, but most of them really don't.
  15. I came to classical Christian education quite by accident. I started out firmly committed to the homeschool journey with my four daughters, and I began blogging at about that same time. I started following the blog of a lovely woman whom I now consider to be a friend. She posted about her experience homeschooling and utilizing The Well-Trained Mind. I bought a copy, had my husband read it to, and our journey took a little turn in a classical direction. To make a long story short, I eventually directed a Classical Conversations program in St. Louis. My husband began teaching Bible in a small classical school. He was then asked to move in a headmaster direction and we moved our family into a hybrid-school scenario in which they attended classes part of the time and were home with me the other part of the time. Three years ago my husband was asked to lead another school, this one a full-time classical Christian school, and we moved to Montana. Our girls have attended and I began teaching in the first grade last year. I keep wanting to delve into ClassicalU, but probably need to do it in the summer when life slows down just a touch. Megan
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