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?