Monday, March 20, 2017

Fast and Furious Year

We have had a fast and furious year so far! It's hard to believe that we're past Spring Break and looking forward to Summer Camp!

Our classes this year have been full and filled with lots of fun and learning! We work so hard in our classes and move so quickly that we rarely have time for pictures, but here are a couple of our students getting our beds ready to plant our vegetable gardens after Spring Break.








We work on our vegetable gardens during our Nature Study time (among other things!), but we also have lots of fun playing our grammar games, reading good books, writing fables and fairy tales, memorizing Scripture and poetry, and discussing engaging topics.

If you're interested in joining our classes, email classicalconnectionslh@gmail.com with:

  1. your child's name 
  2. your child's Kinder Start year (or current grade if he's older)
  3. your child's school
  4. your name
  5. your email address
  6. your address
  7. your phone number 


We have registration waitlists for kinder classes as far away as 2021, so join the list now for the best chance at joining classes! The future class waitlists function primarily as a planning tool so we know how many classes to plan for, but they also get you first dibs on signing up when the time comes to open registration for your child's first CC class (1st grade).

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Summer Camp 2017 INFO

Summer Camp 2017-- June 26-29, 2017

The dates have been selected, and we're excited about what we've planned for this summer! On odd years, we do CULTURE CAMPS. We do the same fun activities as our previous camps--art, science, reading, writing, outdoor activities, Nature Study, and more-- but each day's theme revolves around different cultures and their cultural characteristics.
It's hard to explain how much FUN we have--almost as hard as it is to explain how much the students LEARN! Parents love how much the kids' minds are engaged, and the students don't realize how much they're learning because they're so busy having fun.

1st and 2nd graders have fun studying different countries and cultures each day.
1st/2nd Grade meets from 9am - 12pm

3rd and 4th graders have fun studying different historical time periods each day.
3rd/4th Grade meets from 1pm - 4pm

Registration will begin in March for currently registered families, and then will open up mid-March to those subscribed to our email list. Camp cost is $150 for the week.
FUN

EDUCATIONAL

ENGAGING

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Camp 2016

Camp is over and done for the 2016 Summer. It was FULL of fun, laughter, learning, squealing, playing, and just a general GOOD TIME. It's truly amazing to see the students have SO MUCH FUN while they're learning and shaping their minds. You may not be able to tell from the pictures how much they learned, but here are some of the things the students accomplished academically during this week:

  • memorized a poem
  • read 5 classic books/stories
  • wrote their own version of a fable or fairy tale
  • performed 5 science experiments
  • did 5 different art projects
  • grammar games and practice
  • outdoor exploration
It really is a joy to see students love learning. Kids are capable of so much, and watching them achieve those things is both encouraging and humbling. Can't wait for Summer Camp 2017--we have some new and fun things already in store!








Monday, June 6, 2016

Grab Few Remaining Spots

You've heard about it, now let your kids experience it!
LIMITED SPOTS LEFT for a super fun CAMP adventure!



To register, return this registration form along with payment to classicalconnectionslh@gmail.com or mailed to 9407 Overwood Rd. Dallas, TX 75238. Registration can be paid by check or via PayPal.

June 27-July 1; 9am-12pm (Grades 1 & 2)- 2 spots left 
June 27-July 1 ; 1pm-4pm (Grade 3)-- 5 spots left 
July 11-15; 9am-12pm (Grades 1 & 2)-- 3 spots left
July 11-15; 9am-12 pm (Grade 3)-- waitlist spots available

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Media Review-- SLUGS AND BUGS CDs

Let me let you in on a secret. These Slugs and Bugs cd's are the reason I wanted to start Monday Media Review. The songs are precious, thoughtful, silly, lovely, and all things good. I buy 10 at a time to give as gifts. I talk about them any chance I get! But it's also easy to let them speak for themselves.
"Slugs & Bugs rejects the compartmentalization of life into sacred and secular and declares with great gusto that Christ is the head of all things.  He is the head of kite flying and river floating, ice fishing and sky diving, nap taking, bike riding, belly laughing and taking out the trash."* 

Slugs and Bugs Lightning Bug
from Slugs and Bugs website

Randall Goodgame is a masterful songwriter who's telling the best story of all-- that of a Savior who loves people and gave up His life because of that deep, abiding love. Slugs and Bugs believes "songs are one of God's powerful tools for building strong relationships. When songs inspire laughter or deep spiritual thought, they can transform a routine car ride into a sweet family experience. Over time, that influence can profoundly impact the culture of the homeSlugs & Bugs aims to write those songs. We want families to sing together, laugh together, and think deeply together about the meaning of life and the nature of God. We believe those shared experiences will translate into stronger relationships in the family and a deeper understanding of their relationship with Jesus."*

That has been the case for my own family. These cd's have transformed our time in the car. We sing together, we laugh together, my kids listen and ask questions. The first time I realized these songs were sinking in was when I heard my oldest son singing, "God makes messy things beautiful, when you put 'em in His hands." What better lesson is there for a child to learn? We are a mess and have messed things up terribly. But God can turn that mess into something beautiful.

And here's the kicker. The music is good. It's not sappy or kitschy. It's catchy, sometimes silly, sometimes sweet, but always good. 




Slugs & Bugs Under Where?: a lively, delightful collection sure to fill your ears with squeals of laughter and your eyes with wells of tears. My favorite songs on this CD: "God Makes Messy Things Beautiful", "God Made You Special", "Sweet Baby Boy", and "I'm Adopted". My kids' favorites are: "Food", "Mexican Rhapsody", "Under Where", and really I almost could list every song. If you're looking for a "starter album", start here.

Slugs & Bugs Lullabies: The last 5 songs on this album are sweet, sweet lullabies, but there are 13 other fun, silly songs, too. This album has my kids' absolute favorite song, "Tractor Tractor", and a grab-the-Kleenex tune titled, "You Can Always Come Home to Me". Other favorites on this album: "Beautiful Girl" and "Bears".

Sing the Bible Volume 1: When I first heard this, I was so glad to find a CD of straight Scripture that was an easy joy to listen to. There are 16 tracks of long passages of Scripture set to song and 2 tracks that list the books of the Bible. An easy way to hide God's word in your and your kids hearts! Definitely not just for kids!

Sing the Bible Volume 2: The BEST CD yet! Truly amazing. We listen to this over and over, and I keep listening even after my kids aren't in the car. There's a part of the song "You Forgave Me" when the refrain "You forgave me. All my guilt is gone." repeats over and over again. I love and need that counsel. I love to hear my kids' sweet voices sing that over and over. The last track is a piercing rendition of the verse, "By His wounds, we are healed." What joy! What grace! 




Clearly, I love these cd's and can't recommend them enough. Buy them for your family and then buy some more for other kids you know and love! 




*Quotes taken from the Slugs and Bugs website.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fall 2016 Registration is OPEN



Now that we've given our currently registered families and those on our waiting list time to sign up for classes, we are opening up the registration to everyone!

Here are the CLASS SCHEDULES for 2016-2017:

LEVEL ONE (1st Grade): Wednesday, 3:15 (Library time 3:00-3:15)
LEVEL TWO (2nd Grade): Wednesday, 4:30 (Library time 4:15-4:30)
LEVEL THREE (3rd Grade): Tuesday, 3:15 (Library time 3:00-3:15)
OPEN for Overflow: Tuesday, 4:30 (Library time 4:15-4:30)

Some IMPORTANT points to know:
  1. Classes will eventually extend through 8th grade, but the program will age with the current 3rd grade class.
  2. Second (and subsequent) children receive 15% discount.
  3. Registration is for the year, but payment can be made either by semester or monthly. Tuition is $315/semester (or $70/month).
  4. Once the first 3 classes are full, we will open up the overflow class based on which level has the greatest number of students on the waitlist.
To REGISTER RETURNING STUDENTS, submit $40 nonrefundable deposit (check or PayPal). You can turn in registration form if there is NEW information, otherwise, we will update our files with the new class times. You will receive a registration email once payment is received.

To REGISTER NEW STUDENTS (younger siblings), submit REGISTRATION FORM and $40 nonrefundable deposit (check or PayPal). You will receive a registration email once payment is received.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns or if I can help you out in any way!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Media Review: Billy and Blaze Series

One of my brothers-in-law always asks me a question that seems to me to be a perfect conversation-starter. Anytime we're gathered together and have a minute to talk, he asks, "What have you been reading lately?" I love this question so much more than my typical, "What's up?" or "What's been going on lately?" because it naturally lends itself to deep conversation about what really is going on in our lives. My go-to question can be easily side-stepped with a simple, "not much", but his question leads to so many possible follow-up questions. If I'm not reading anything at the moment, the natural follow-up is to ask why not, which may reveal a multitude of things going on in our lives. If I have something really interesting that I am reading, we can talk about that and why I like it, which tells a little about me and what I've been thinking about. If I'm reading a parenting book, the conversation may then lean towards what's going on with my kids. The possibilities are endless, and the meaningful conversations that have stemmed from his question have been so enriching and encouraging. I love his question.

While no reader here is begging me for the answer to what I'm currently reading, I do have lots of requests for book suggestions for kids. I'm always happy to share some great titles or to point people in the direction of some great resources. In fact, our After-School Program includes access to lists of books for students to read by grade-level (and the freedom to check those books out of our library). My lists aren't ground-breaking. In fact, they're compiled from multiple trusted resources, many of which are easily accessible. Still, the long lists can be daunting, and parents are often overwhelmed with where to begin and how to find something on the list that their kids will really like.

Finding a child's interest can admittedly be hard, but it's not something to get too worried about. Try lots of different books. When something sticks, it'll open up a wide world for your child that you didn't know was possible. If you haven't found that book yet, move down a reading level and see if reading something a little more simple does the trick. You probably hear this all the time, but reading to your kids does absolute wonders for their love of reading. Read out loud to them to find their interest areas and then go from there. Even if your kid doesn't seem to like it, they will almost always choose for you to read out loud to them over going to sleep. Bedtime is a great time for reading books because there isn't anything else to distract them and they may end up begging you to read more. Now, this is a hard time because you are probably incredibly distracted and ready for some downtime and relaxation. I know. I've been there and I've cut reading time short just so I could get a little time to chill. But there's no denying that bedtime is usually a time you have your kids' undivided attention. Why not use it to promote a love of stories that turns into a love of reading which lends itself to a love of learning?

Still, that doesn't answer the practical need of a book title to grab and read to your kids. So, without further ado...

Today is the first installment of "Monday Media Review" where we take a look at all sorts of different media, ranging from books to music to videos. The aim, of course, is to provide you readers with an honest perspective on both some great resources to incorporate into your family's lives and some questionable resources you should think about before investing in.



The first book/series I'd love to review and recommend is the Billy and Blaze series. These books truly captivate young readers. My son loved to read these stories at 3 and still asks us to read them to him at 5 years old. I once read Blaze and the Forest Fire at our sweet co-op preschool, and the kids (age 3-6) literally stood up and gasped as I got to the climactic point in the story. The Classical Connections Library can't keep these books in stock. Every volume is checked out nearly every week by 1st and 2nd graders. The stories about a boy and his horse feel like "big kid" stories because they're exciting to young readers, but they are also easy to read. Essentially, each book is a long picture book with a really engaging plot set in a time when young kids had a lot more freedom than they do now. The stories truly are timeless. The illustrations are intricate and fascinating, but they don't take away from the actual story. Young children are drawn to the young hero who demonstrates bravery, but also learns valuable lessons along the way. There are always students who try to read at or above their grade level simply because their friends are doing so, and this series is an easy one to recommend because kids from all ages love the stories and struggling readers don't feel like they're being forced to read a "baby story". If this recommendation isn't enough, take the word of Michael O'Brien's Landscape of Dragons, Providence Classical School, Honey for a Child's Heart, and almost any other wholesome recommended reading list. C. W. Anderson's most popular series is a hit for very compelling reasons.

The first one I read and loved was Blaze and the Forest Fire, but my son is completely fascinated with Blaze and the Mountain Lion. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the books in this series, so give it a try and let me know what you think!

*The links in this review may link to Amazon, from which we get a tiny kickback if you make a purchase, but the review is completely honest and objective. Please support local businesses as you are able or find a great deal from a used bookstore near you!*