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Homeschool Teacher Training

  • July 15, 2022
  • By Donielle
  • 0 Comments
Homeschool Teacher Training

We have learned that there is no substitute for good training as teachers of our students.  However, even the professional teachers among us are not typically trained in classical or Charlotte Mason methods.  Homeschool conventions offer some quick, low cost “teacher training” options. 

Homeschool Conventions

I think of my yearly homeschool convention kind of like my continuing education credits.  Some are better than others.  Look for the speakers associated with respected classical curriculums: Memoria Press (Martin Cothran never disappoints, yet I am always shocked to see how many moms flocked to the flashy new colorful let-us-teach-your-kids curriculum, and leave his phenomenal, time-tested methods untried), Veritas Press, Circe Institute, Center for Lit, Institute for Excellence in Writing, and Classical Academic Press, and Cornerstone Curriculum for starters.

Taking care of business

Let me offer you some straight talk from a group of moms who have graduated kids with excellence: academic and moral.  Homeschooling is your full-time job, despite whatever else you have going on in life, Mom.  Some of us have worked nights, weekends, and from home.  Some of us hustle businesses on the side.  I have run a small law practice in my “off time”.  Let me be very frank here.  I did not do a great job at either when I tried to do a great job at both.  I can be a decent lawyer and a decent homeschooler.  Or I can be a great homeschooler.  I found I had to limit my practice the more children I had.  You must be honest with yourself about what you can handle. 

Money is necessary to live, of course.  But the space between necessary and our hopes and dreams have to negotiate with our vision for homeschooling.  Every family will look different.  But every family must be fully committed. I am going to say it once more: Homeschooling is your full-time job, despite whatever else you have going on in life.  When you take on teaching your own children, you are one hundred percent responsible for the result.

So what are some of the ways we can train ourselves as classical homeschool educators?

Classical Conversations

Classical Conversations often opens their free seminars up to any homeschooler.  I have been to amazing ones and to really mediocre ones.  They are presented by CC parent tutors, based on CC materials.  They are worth listening to, if you can find an enthusiastic, prepared presenter.  That seminar first whetted my appetite to delve more deeply into what a classical education looks like, beyond what A Well Trained Mind, had prepared me for.

We have been through a number of teacher trainings now, and we have fully embraced the idea (it took a while) of learning to teach our own children well, because we have certain important concepts fully mastered.  We don’t have to know everything.  The beauty of co-oping is that you can use your strengths and use the strengths of other parents to bolster your weaknesses.  But there are a few things you must get down pat, and the sooner the better.

IEW

Institute of Excellence in Writing (IEW) has excellent teacher training.  We use this program for our youngest writing students.  Their history based writing series goes perfectly with our chronological history cycles.  At the very least, you should gather your elementary students and each and every mom to watch the Student Intensive.  Moms will be the ones looking at the work, prompting the writing, listening to narration, and providing feedback.  Co-op teachers are there for accountability.  They may be teaching concepts, but those concepts will not solidfy in the child’s mind without parental re-inforcement. 

Center for Lit

Adam and Missy Andrews teach several terrific courses, available on their website for teacher training.  Worldview Detective teaches you and your kids to sniff out the worldview in everything you read.  It teaches families to discern and critique what they see, hear, and read.

I find their eight hour seminar Teaching the Classics to be the most concise and understandable method of helping even young children learn literary structure and criticism.  And the more they understand about what they read and how it is constructed, the better writers they will be.  I consider this a co-op must.

Circe Institute Seminars

The most insightful information I have received has been through individual seminars taught by teachers from the Circe Institute.  I love their blog and podcasts.  It is like continuing education available every week.  I have paid for $10.00 seminars to help me become a better teacher and $120.00 seminars to help me understand classics like the Aeneid before I taught it to the teens.  They have all been worth it.  Josh Gibbs is my all time favorite instructor there. I like his biting wit to make me think and laugh during my designated teacher training time.

ACTION QUESTION:

WHAT TEACHER TRAINING WILL I PURSUE? __________________________________________________________

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By Donielle, July 15, 2022
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