Friday, August 28, 2015

First Day of Catholic Classical Enrichment

Today was our family's first day participating in our parish's program of Catholic Classical Enrichment (a wonderful program inspired by the Protestant program Classical Conversations).

The children were so excited that all three of them wrote signs to post by their beds, such that they would wake and lay eyes immediately on a sign reminding them that today was the first day of CCE!

This was probably my first outing both with all five children and when I had to be somewhere on a schedule. I planned our outing like an expedition, writing lists of everything I had to bring and starting packing up everything three days prior. Amazingly (and with much help from my husband), we were out the door by 8:30 a.m.

Chris suggested he come with me. I felt I didn't need him, since the only time I'd be alone with the children would be while they were strapped into their car seats, and otherwise I'd be surrounded by helpful mom friends. However, Chris came anyway and it turned out that I needed him quite a few times when I couldn't carry all my bags, couldn't transition from here to there, or couldn't chase my toddler while nursing my newborn. Thank you, honey!

Arriving at CCE
The children will be giving a presentation every other week, coincidentally my girls on the odd weeks and my son on the even weeks. Today Mary (first grade) presented on the history of the Fatima prayer, which the children are memorizing in Latin, and Margaret (Pre-K) did a show and tell of her new baby brother Thomas.

I am working in the nursery, where I have the toddler and the baby. There are a total of 18 children three and under in the two-room nursery, staffed by about five mothers.

Each week, the children will memorize

  • a Latin prayer
  • faith facts
  • math (e.g., a formula)
  • English grammar
  • geographical locations on a map
  • a history fact
  • and a history timeline

The children learned so much, both academically and socially (how to be in a classroom setting), during the morning, and then had a grand time eating lunch and playing with their friends. We are looking forward to our year of CCE!

And in an update well-deserved by our children: After our rough and challenging first day of homeschool this Monday, the children really performed beautifully the next three days. In fact, on Day 2 of school, the children willingly did all their work, completing it by noon, and played together so sweetly that we pondered if Pod People had replaced them in the night. Rather than let our worries consume us, we took the family to ice cream that night to spontaneously reward such cheerful behavior. The whole rest of the week, the children did quite well in school with very few "hiccups" in behavior.

Our homeschool week going well was in large part due to Grampa Neil, who is still visiting, and who occupied the 2- and 4-year-olds each morning for me. It will be a real challenge when I take over that duty next week!


  1. CCE sounds wonderful;I wish we had had such a resource! You know, one of my first exposures to nursing mothers (that I met at LLL and went to the park with) was a mom chasing her toddler around the playground with her new baby at the breast! It's amazing what you can do one-handed when necessary! And if you have a sling to support the babe, all the better. ;-)

  2. What a great idea! I hope your kids love it!