When we made the decision that homeschooling would be the way we educated our children, we couldn’t tell you exactly what the results would be. Yes, we have goals for what we want our kids to learn by homeschooling. But just like everything else, it was all in theory.
We believed homeschooling would provide many benefits and our kids would be very well prepared in life. But we were new to it, and actually knew very little. Maybe they would learn a lot, or maybe they wouldn’t learn anything. We made a commitment that we’d do everything we could to make sure they learned a lot.
A solid foundation for your kids’ education
Well, after 24 weeks of meeting and studying with our Classical Conversations Community of homeschooling families this year, we see our kids have learned a lot. Three students in our homeschooling community received the “Memory Master” honor by mastering every single fact they learned during their 24-week Foundations program. One of them was our daughter.
Becoming a Memory Master is no easy feat. To do so, a student must commit to long-term memory every piece of information they studied for the entire year. Think of year-end finals, with no multiple choice, and not just some of what was studied during the year, but every single fact that was studied for the year. The intent is to truly “master” the material as it will be the “foundation” to everything they build in their education going forward.
The results speak for themselves
The amount of information an memory master recites is long. It must be done multiple times. First to the student’s parents (us), then to another Foundations program parent, then to a Foundations program tutor, and finally a Foundations program director. Below is what our daughter was asked to recite by memory.
- The entire timeline of 161 events from creation to modern times
- The 44 U.S. Presidents
- Answers to 24 history related questions covering ancient through modern times
- 120 geographic locations, including countries, cities, mountains, and bodies of water in and around Africa, Asia, and the Americas
- English grammar definitions for prepostions, helping verbs, and linking verbs plus a list of 88 example words
- 5 Latin noun endings plus their singular and plural declensions
- Multiplication tables through 15×15 plus squares, cubes, conversions, geometric formulas & algebraic laws
- The answers to 24 science questions covering biology and earth science
Here are a few videos of her reciting some of this information:
We are very proud of her!
This is only the beginning
We have now been an “all-in” homeschooling family, where all of our kids are in homeschool, almost two years. And as the cloud (of confusion) clears we are beginning to see a bigger picture. We are able to better understand and see how great this homeschooling journey is!
Knowing the facts to become a Memory Master is great. However, knowing the facts alone will not be a huge benefit to our kids unless they want to win Jeopardy. As our kids continue to grow they will begin to understand how these facts relate to one another and various aspects of life. Finally, they will be able to practically apply what they have learned to their lives.
Lifelong learning and the 3 stages of learning
One of our goals, and a big reason behind our choice in homeschooling, is to be lifelong learners. We don’t want our kids thinking once they’ve passed a test, completed a program, or finished school that learning stops.
No matter what age we are, all of us could be in one of the three stages of learning. When our kids see us learning as old people (in our 30’s!), they’ll be encouraged to be lifelong learners as well. And they will have the tools to do so when they understand and practice the three stages of learning: knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. – Proverbs 24:3-4 (NIV)
Hard work that pays off
After four years on our homeschooling journey, only two of which both our school-aged children have been homeschooled, we are beginning to see great results. If you have made the choice of homeschooling I encourage you to keep going. It will be tough, and there will be doubters and haters. But the results you get with be more than worth it.
Question: Do you homeschool? If so, please share your experience in the comment section below. If not, have you considered homeschooling?
photo credit: jimmiehomeschoolmom via photopin cc
I guess you guys are preparing, as we are, for cycle 2! A late congrats to your daughter! Just typing out and reading the list of items they have to remember is mind boggling actually! We are first year CC’ers and homescholers! Our little baby girl became memory master also- it moved me to tears- because she was so VERY into it and she is 6! Love CC! Excited about finding your blog and looking forward to following you on your newest Disney endeavor. Congrats on that!
HI Geri! CONGRATS to your 6-year old daughter! That is amazing! Thanks for stopping by, sharing, and your congratulations. Look forward to “speaking” more in the future!
Congrats to your daughter Jackie! As you know I’ve been homeschooling for 22 years now (just past that marker this week). You know the results -5 in college, 4 degrees already, and my son who turned 25 this past week will graduate this summer with his 3rd degree; a Master’s Degree. Like you, memorization of the facts was/is key. Of course it’s not a replacement for creativity and/or critical thinking, but a very necessary skill to help with those two abilities. Kudos to your daughter too! I believe that homeschooling is a 2 part endeavor. It’s an interplay between teacher/student, parent/child. One where when they get the epiphany, the discovery that they themselves are the master of their progress and learning educationally and elsewhere, and that we are just the facilitators and supporters of it – it’s a moment of triumph. It’s always a joy and mesmerizing to hear and watch kids excel. Thanks for sharing!
Hey Janelle! Thank you!! We are excited and looking forward to many more great experiences and discoveries on this lifelong learning journey. 🙂
I am a fellow homeschooling parent. We have been homeschooling for eleven years. I now have one in college (on the Dean’s list) and another starting college in the fall. Homeschooling is the most important decision and thing I have ever done in my life! Kudos to you and your family for homeschooling.
Hi Lisa! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the kudos! 🙂 It is a choice I am really glad we made!