I later attended a class this evening myself, that was taught by Lynn Custer from Whole Heart and it affirmed what I earlier was myself teaching - that the experience of making school interactive and engaging is so important, when they are younger especially. I whole heartedly agreed with everything Lynn said and already do most all of what she recommended. It's counter culture but it's soooo beneficial to your child, in my humble opinion. You want them to want to learn because it captures their imagination and shows them the world in a new way - always pointing them to God through all they see and do. Helping them make connections and connect previously learned information with new information. Our society pushes too hard too soon -plenty of studies show the brain isn't wired for it and kids do better when it's slower. See the book Better Late Than Early. http://www.amazon.com/Better-Late-Than-Early-Education/dp/0883490498 I know for us it has worked - I see it in her age equivalent/overall knowledge scores on end of grade testing. For us, it works really well.
I really focus 24 weeks of the year on CC Memory Work. There are 52 weeks in a school year. If I don't get to all the spelling and math that I might want to cover during that period, I don't sweat it. I just focus hard on that once CC ends in April for us. I still have the remainder of April, May, June and July to get all the math/spelling she can stand in! I try to capture that 24 weeks of CC grammar work and catapult her imagination about the world it is opening up to us - the science, the history, the timeline and more - all great things for her to take off with. I look at the Memory Work and see what would capture her imagination or give her a better understanding of her world and God and build out our project work on that. Her reading is often geared around the CC Memory Work as well -so it all just blends for us throughout the CC year. During the summer or time off from formal CC we are busy with nature and being outside, continuing our nature journal, bug collecting, exploring our world and doing our math, spelling and continuing with reading/Bible study - always reading. My daughter loves to read and I've found that the Imagination Station books coincide with our CC Cycle 1 year pretty well. http://www.amazon.com/Voyage-Vikings-Imagination-Station-Books/dp/1589976274/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357963053&sr=1-1&keywords=imagination+station+series
Our Week's Wall