We did it!  We made it through second grade with two babies and a preschooler in tow.  I would say it was actually more successful than the pregnant/baby/preschooler first grade year.  It really was all thanks to Seton Home Study.

Seton gave me the structure that I desperately needed to keep us moving ahead.  On days (or weeks, or months) when I just couldn’t get my act together, the lesson plans told me what to do and the workbooks were ready to go.

Morning SchoolAs we adjusted to having two little ones, we shed off the layers of structure and the pieces that were just not working for us.  And now, with only three weeks left in our school year, we are down to just reading whatever strikes our fancy and doing math.  The boys spend most of the day outdoors.

The very organized and rule-following part of me is a tiny bit scared that we didn’t finish all of the assignments.  I keep thinking that someone from Seton is going to call me and ask why I haven’t entered any fourth quarter grades or turned in the last round of tests.  Someone could berate me for not seeing the dire importance of those damned book reports.  Mostly I’m nervous that a very nice and concerned Seton representative will tell me that I needn’t worry; I have a whole year to finish the program and could ask for an extension.  Then I would be forced to tell them that I have no intention of ever finishing despite how much I do like them and what they are doing for homeschooling families.

Boys Letters

Looking ahead to next year, we will say goodbye to Seton.  It is just way too much like school for us to stick with for long.  Alex and I burn out on traditional methods of teaching.  Though it was nice to see that when it is really needed, we can turn to workbooks to keep on track.

I suppose if anyone asks my opinion of Seton, I would say that it is really good, but only if the style suits your homeschool.  I went with Seton because the consensus among homeschoolers was “you can’t go wrong with Seton.”  I now completely understand that statement.  With Seton your child will get a solid, Catholic, liberal arts education.  Yet, I just can’t see my child soaring with them.  I don’t see their curriculum lighting a fire in his heart and igniting a lifelong passion for any one thing they are trying to teach him.  In fact, I could see by the end of this year that he was beginning to dread some of the subjects that he used to enjoy.  I am starting to believe in the words of John Holt.  That no child, no matter how intelligent, will ever be able to learn anything that does not first strike his interest.  Sure, they can retain data for a short time, but no real connections are actually made with the information.

Brain HatSo next year, we are looking to change things up a bit.  You can almost entirely ignore this post on third grade language arts.  Our year will include a hodgepodge of methods from classical to Charlotte Mason and traditional to unschooling.  But it really doesn’t matter what you call it, the goal is to keep on learning together and growing in holiness.

More details on third grade planning will trickle in over the next few weeks.  I have been very busy behind the scenes piecing it all together.  I once again have that new school year excitement, and the beauty of homeschool is that we don’t have to wait three months to begin!

May God bless you all as you close out your school year (or not).

~ Catie


Goodbye Second Grade And A Seton Review — 2 Comments

  1. That’s really interesting what you said about John Holt saying kids won’t truly learn anything unless they’re interested in it. I’ve been recently discovering that to be true for my daughter. Homeschooling is such an adventure, isn’t it? There are both wonderful days and frustrating days, but overall it’s very amazing that we get to be here to share the good, beautiful, and true with our kids. I’ve been planning a bit for the upcoming school year for my daughter and son (I just recently added him into the mix; he’s 4 and was really ready to learn how to read; it’s going really well) and I’ve been referring to your 31 days of classical education. It has been so helpful to me as I am getting more and more enamored with classical education. I’m so glad you wrote those posts, thank you! I can’t wait to hear what your plans are for third grade for Alex!

    • Stephanie,

      Good luck to you adding in that second child. I tinkered with adding Ryan in last year, but have since backed off quite a bit. He will turn five in the middle of our next year and I thought about starting Kindergarten with him. Instead, I will have some math stuff if he wants to join us, a nature journal, and we will see how learning to read is going. I am making no special school plans for him.

      I’ve been going over my classical lite series, too! I am trying to meld classical and Charlotte Mason ideas together. They share a good deal of similarities. The biggest difference being that Charlotte Mason does NOT see children as empty vessels or simple parrots. While they can memorize like crazy, she feels it is most important to expose them to ideas instead of facts. For instance, you would not have a child memorize a series of people or dates for history outside of actually studying those specific things in detail. And, in fact, the dates and names are not as important as the ideas, philosophies, and stories of the time. I see the wisdom in this and am making sure to curb a lot of the memorization activities in our future years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *