CH071: Fruitful Subjects of Study: Tacitus & Philo on the Liberal Arts

Season 12: Classical Voices on Classical Education

General and wide knowledge is the foundation of the educated mind, the roots that nourish it and cause it to grow.

It is only from a wealth of learning, and a multitude of accomplishments, and a knowledge that is universal that his marvelous eloquence wells forth like a mighty stream.


The acquisition of all the preliminary branches of education is wholly necessary [to attain virtue].

In order to bear fruit, we must learn and know.

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Fruitful Subjects of Study: Tacitus & Philo on the Liberal Arts



Simple Sanity Saver: Math-U-See Tips

I am not a math person. Math has been the subject that daunts me most when I think about the big picture of homeschooling. Or, at least, it did. Now that I’m 9 years into this gig (if you start counting with Kindergarten) and I have an 8th grader who is about to finish Algebra, I’m neither daunted nor worried.
Math-U-See Tip #3: Pull out the pages, use clipboards, have a “turn in” container
This Math-U-See workflow is probably my best tip.
First, I tear out the math page to be completed each day from the workbook. The kids do not handle the workbooks themselves directly. If they did, the covers would be torn in no time and I’d have a headache figuring out what I’m supposed to be assigning and checking in each of the 4 books that won’t stay open to be checked.
After all, Math-U-See is a mastery-based program. My kids never do all the pages in the book and sometimes they need more pages than are included in the book (we use the tests as extra work pages and also print extra practice off their website). When I tear out their workpages and stick them on their color-coded clipboards, it doesn’t matter whether I pulled the page from the workbook, the test book, or off the printer – they know and I know their math for the day is on their clipboard.
Plus, we make them correct their work until they get 100% – mastery approach, right? So if a page wasn’t 100%, it goes back to the clipboard. Whatever is on the clipboard is the work to be done.
And where does it go when it’s done? At one point they were supposed to put it onto my clipboard when they were finished so I could check. However, my clipboard could be anywhere and it always had other things I wanted to see on top, too. They couldn’t always find it and I didn’t really want those extra pages cluttering it up.
So, I bought a mail sorter and it lives on the counter. When they finish their math, it goes into the mail sorter to be checked. If it’s all correct, the page goes into the trash or fire-starter bin. If it needs another attempt, it goes back on the clipboard.
Now that my husband checks the math, this process also makes it obvious to him when there’s math to correct. If it’s in the mail sorter, he knows it’s his to-do.
Figuring out a workflow process so everyone knows exactly what needs to be done with the least amount of rifling and questioning is the goal.

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