Previously, I discussed the classical approach, as it is founded on liberal arts, liberating students from the teacher. Let’s get started with these liberal arts & how you can use them in your homeschool.
The first three liberal arts are called the Trivium. When you use the Trivium, you approach homeschooling in a whole different manner.
The Trivium follows the natural development of a child. When kids are young, you teach them a certain way. As they get older, you teach differently. A 12 year old learns differently than an 18 year old.
What better way to homeschool your kids than to teach according to the way they learn naturally. Let’s start with young kids.
The first liberal art of the Trivium is the grammar stage. These are kids younger than 12 years old. It is a time period when kids naturally acquire & remember knowledge, facts, information.
Grammar is the foundation of all learning; it’s the building block of all types of written and verbal expression. You must have a good grammar foundation to move forward.
Think about language for a moment. The grammar of language (what we call Grammar) is the foundation of writing.
The grammar of geography includes learning states & capitals.
The grammar of science includes learning the life cycle of a frog or the body systems.
The grammar of history includes timelines, events, people.
In history, children will learn about ancient Egypt culture & famous Pharaohs. As they continue through other time periods, grammar stage students will learn about ancient Greece and significant Grecians, as well as ancient Rome, Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, Exploration, beginnings of American history, Modernity. They will also learn the order of civilizations as they came on the scene of history.
Do they need to know how’s and why’s at this stage (or age)?
Their brain is not thinking abstractly. At this time, their brain is very concrete. Their thinking is very concrete. So we want to give them concrete ideas to memorize.
Giving your children a solid education in the grammar stage will also provide the foundational tools of learning, as well as encourage a love of learning.
It’s ironic that up until this century, we called the first schools our kids attended, “Grammar Schools”. In the past, children didn’t go to an elementary school, they attended a “Grammar School”. Grammar schools set a foundation for learning or a foundation for education, for the rest of a child’s life.
Kids at this age love to hear a story over and over. If you’ve ever been around a 5, 6, or 7 year old, they never tire of hearing the same story over and over. Adults tire of the repetition of a story because we think abstractly. Young children love the repetition because they think concretely.
When kids memorize a verse or a song, they will sing that song over and over and over again. They want to share it with everyone around.
My kids listened to the Direct Objects song, by Audio Memory. As my kids got older, they remarked, “I can’t get that out of my head.” My thought was, “That’s the point, it’s in your head. You may not completely understand direct objects, but you know what it does.” As my kids got older, they would say, “Oh! Wow! That makes sense!”
The direct object receives the action, from the verb.
By the way, I wrote that from memory. It’s been over 10 years since I listened to that song, but I still remember it. That’s the beauty of the grammar stage. Learning information as a young child, so you can use it later to think critically about a variety of topics.
Kerry Beck homeschooled all three of her children for 10 years. She is now an empty-nester that encourages homeschool moms online and at live workshops. She wants to give you a free ebook: Everything You Wanted to Know About Homeschooling that you can grab by clicking here.