It's been a long time since I have posted. Three years ago I started a classical co-op which aspires to be schole / restful. I guess I've been a little busy! Now I have finally registered our co-op as a schole group here on ClassicalU. We are the only one in Massachusetts. (the other one listed is actually from Maine)
Currently we have 35 students from pre-K to 9th grade. Next year, I hope to create a two-day program for middle school and high school, which is the age group I teach.
I strive to teach in a way where we make connections across disciplines, instead of teaching by subject in a fragmented way. So I teach the humanities with literature at one bookend, and history at the other bookend, and everything else in between. I try to go deep rather than wide. So this year we spent a lot of time on the American Revolution (half the year) and we are relating what we are learning to Shakespeare, the government, religion, geography, and even art and music thrown in. I would say we do incorporate the Trivium fairly well. And I am knee deep in dialectic and preparing the students for rhetoric.
It's very exciting. But when I look at the example schedules in the director's guide here at ClassicalU, it doesn't look very restful. It looks like a lot to cram in, which is what I am trying to get away from. I am sure that it appears this way to me because I am still new to Schole. The seven liberal arts also seem daunting to me. To fit them in at a co-op which only meets once a week currently seems too ambitious. We tried Science this year since one of the Moms is a biologist. It was a disaster. The approach was wrong (trial and error), way over the kids' heads. But what I find with math and science is that the kids are all over the place knowledge and skill-wise.
I want our group to find it's niche and not be everything. For this reason, I am settling on the humanities and even though we may sometimes discuss math and science as part of the humanities, I tell parents to arrange for their children to get their core math and science elsewhere.
Parents are still the chief educators of their children. For my students, co-op work takes up about 50% of their total schoolwork.
I welcome your feedback. Please offer your insight as to why I should pursue a full curriculum using the seven liberal arts. Could it be that I just need to grow with my students? Is the Quadrivium something that you start in high school?