Adapting Classical Education for The Family Values: Introduction and Story Play

July 6, 2021 | Jacki Campbell

When we first put our minds together and designed our literature-based curriculum, one of our priorities was to make sure that it is flexible and adaptable to a variety of educational approaches. We want families all around the globe using our curriculum and gleaning from the rich treasure trove of insight and activities we present in each unit, but adding in their own twist or perspective to enrich the educational experience even further. We’re so excited that we had a team of moms that got together and did just that, and they are eager to share their experiences with our community. This blog and following blogs in this series on adapting to the family values will be presented in each homeschooling mother’s voice, sharing how they applied Wisdom Wonder Project in their home, and we hope you learn a little from each of them and are inspired in turn to make our curriculum your own in your home.

This first introductory blog comes from Jacki Campbell, the blog series coordinator. Jacki is a professor at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo and a part of our sister school SLO Classical Academy’s community as a Little Wonders parent. Jacki is soon to launch her own blog (RatherHome.com) and you can also find her on Instagram at @Rather_Be_Home


Over the coming months, we will be looking at how many families use and adapt the flexible Wisdom Wonder Project curriculum to fit their family and their family values.  

I will be interviewing users of Wisdom Wonder Project curriculum.  I hope to show you is that the curriculum is inspiring many people from completely different backgrounds and belief systems. This curriculum can fit your family, and we can all create a community in Classical Education while still adhering to and teaching those family tenets and values. I reached out to some of my favorite Instagram accounts to show how they adapt Wisdom Wonder Project Curriculum to fit their families. In this series, we will get to hear from a variety of perspectives and see what they modified to accentuate their home lessons. 

I am Jacki, mama of a 3-year-old and 10-month-old, and I had the inspiration to homeschool. I started looking at options online, and the choices were overwhelming. The longer I read, the more I became confused, and it suddenly felt like it may not be the right fit for me. I saw all these beautiful, vibrant, creative ideas on social media, and I no longer felt adequate. My inspiration was consumed by self-doubt the longer I scrolled, and it left me paralyzed. 

Does this sound like you too? Now that I am becoming more immersed in the community, I am learning it is the same for so many other parents and home educators. Getting started is the hard part, and having a foundation is what will lead to a successful experience.

I have been an educator for 15 years, but making these big choices for my children’s education felt too big. That is, until I found SLO Classical Academy, a hybrid homeschool program, and my son started school there at 2.5 years old. It took a couple of weeks of practicing Classical Education until I had that, “yes. This is it.” feeling. 

I know my family values. I know my children’s needs. But I did not know where to start. We have been using Wisdom Wonder Project‘s literature-based curriculum (SLO Classical Academy’s curriculum published and available for purchase online for homeschoolers) for a couple of months now, and I knew that I found something special. While the activities are diverse and deep, what I love the most about Wisdom Wonder Project is the adaptability. I love that there is versatility and creativity, and my mama educator is ignited.

I want the world to know about this nonprofit, non-sectarian, modern curriculum—even more, it is accessible and affordable. I want everyone to know that even though we are in the beauty of our homes, we can still connect to one another by sharing the lessons with one another to give each other even more ideas!

So, I hope you will join me in the series as we explore the many ways Wisdom Wonder Project fits in with different families.


Story Play

Where my son and I connect is through stories. Reading is our one-on-one time, and our books are our worlds we get to travel to together—especially during lockdown, this traveling was a welcomed escape from our four walls. But, we do not just read the story once and move on to the next. No—we reread and reread and talk and play. Classical Education encourages book-based learning and repetition of stories to meet the child where they are developmentally. The curriculum in Wisdom Wonder Project promotes this all through providing outlined activities surrounding the literature in a variety of categories ranging from art to blocks to nature play. 

This past month in the Fairytales unit, we explored and played with The Three Billy Goats Gruff. We used a version from our own library with beautiful art to help the magic in the tale. Some activities offered were to build bridges (we had a contest on who could build the bigger bridge) and to have a story basket. Instead of peg dolls in the story basket, I used this opportunity to use our animal collection. Together, we walked through the story and created the setting with blocks, rainbows, and playsilks discussing what should go where and why. I then read the story again, and he used the figures to act the story out. It always amazes me how much these little minds can pick up, and this was apparent as he always seemed to be a page or two ahead of me story-wise. 

And then the magic begins. I leave him to play with the wonder sparked. The conversations and changes he makes in the scene show me how much he has absorbed and how he can navigate complex situations such as conflict. In the end, he ended up planting a garden on the rocky side, “because there is enough for everyone if we share.” We now have started to make “movies” of our setups because we both enjoy them so much, and he loves to watch them back. (If you want to see our read-aloud “movies”, you can follow along on Instagram @Rather_Be_Home.)

Stories are powerful. Playing with stories has become our way to learn and talk about harder lessons. Through stories, I get to be the parent that I want to be. Besides now being asked at every overpass while driving if a troll lives under there, he also tells his little sister the story in his own adaptation–The Five Billy Goats Gruff and The Garden. 

 

Next Time…
Next time, we will hear how Lauren adapted some of the Wisdom Wonder Project curriculum to fit her eco-friendly family.


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