Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pace for next year

Here is the 2008 Calendar (PDF)(tentative) -- gif version below.

Something I've noticed several times about the "pacing" balance in our homeschool:

We seem to do best when there is opportunity to pause in the homeschool.... when every day, every week is not the same.

Last year went much better than any previous "structured" year because I acknowledged this and let some days just unfold. I want to take it one step further this year, however, and have a pacing similar to the recommended Ignatian one.

Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly review.

In Ignatian education, "review" doesn't mean drill but is rather, just as it implies etymologically -- another view of the subject.-- a chance to step back and look at it differently, to think, to consolidate, to make new connections. You pause, breathe, look down at the mountain path you have come up, and look up at where you still have to go.

THe manual Implementation of Ignatian Education in the Home (I HAVE to figure out an abbreviation for that) says that this type of thing is so important that if you have to cover less material in order to make room for it, you should.

In past years I ignored this advice. I am thinking now that my neglect of the need to review and retreat is a form of acedia -- to just want to push on through something to "get it done".

Kieron is very motivated to learn. When I present something new he usually says "Good!" and often plans out his own activities to further knowledge. However, I have squelched this natural motivation of his in the past through hurry. This year, when he is the only older student in the house, I don't have an excuse for hurry. So I will have to pay attention to that.

Speaking of "retreat", another "re" word -- I was just rereading a book about Jesuit (Ignatian) education last night and it reminded me that the yearly retreat was considered one of the most important aspects of the school year. Teachers had their own retreats and there was also a simple week-long retreat.

A few years ago I found this Online Retreat based on the Ignatian method. It wasn't bad (I only made it through the first nine parts, I think).

Googling a bit more, I found this Response to Pope's Call for Greater Use of Spiritual Exercises

Cool. I didn't know the Pope had called for greater use. The Jesuits have not always acted well since Vatican II, which is partly why I use the term Ignatian rather than Jesuit often. My guess would be that Pope Benedict is trying to reclaim the valuable and truly most-needed for our time elements of the Jesuit tradition which too often, the order itself has abandoned or diluted.

(Once when we drove to a Tridentine mass the Monsignor presiding shouted very emphatically: "Fifty Four Jesuit colleges in the United States and not one of them signed the Mandatum!" )

OK, I'm drifting.

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