This year instead of watching our Wonderful Wednesday journey each week of school, you will get a front row seat to the journey of Sola Gratia Classical Academy, A Schole' Group (SGCA). We had our first official day of classes this past Wednesday! It was such a joy! SGCA is walking out how to learn in a Schole' environment, as part of the Schole' Pilot Groups around the country, under the guidance of Classical Academic Press.
Here is a glimpse of our first day...
We began our day together with a morning time. As part of our student Virtue formation, the kids heard a missionary story focused on Love and discussed what Love is. We began our memorization of Matthew 5:1-12 (The Beatitudes), which the kids are learning in boy/girl breakout fashion, with versicle and response as the format. We ended our time with a prayer and benediction/response. Then it was off to the first set of classes!
This literary focused class will be introducing Ancient forms of poetry and literary devices to the students this year. Their class was held outside for part of the time. They learned about and listened to Abecedarian (Acrostic) poetry and then worked on making their own.
Today's focus was on drawing basic shapes, with the fine art appreciation focus being abstract art. The kids made an abstract piece of art using their basic shapes.
An earmark of our Community is our restful, contemplative time for the first half of our lunch hour. Today, we had the pleasure of listening to a beautiful violinist play while the kids ate. The kids then learned how to play Chinese jump rope, along with regular jump rope.
This class is focused in on nature study and experimentation, alternating weeks. This first week the kids learned about taking a nature walk, what the qualities of observation and classification are, and how a good scientist uses them, and then we did an activity called How to Meet a Tree, to begin to help them engage all their senses in nature exploration.
To properly meet a tree, one must be blindfolded, while the partner doing the blindfolding becomes the guide and picks out a tree to fit their fancy, and walks their blindfolded friend over to "meet" the tree. The person blindfolded can feel, smell, listen or engage any other means or sense but seeing, to identify their tree. Once they have gotten a good idea of what their tree might look like, they are taken back to the starting point, in a round about, confusing, fashion, and then told to find their tree they "met", once the blindfold is removed. I loved the kids creativity in figuring out their trees. Some of the answers I got on how they found their tree were "sensing the light coming through the tree canopy", "feeling a rock beside the tree base", "feeling a knot in the tree trunk" and I even had a few "taste" their tree. LOL - Not sure how that helped. :) We continued on our walk down to a pond and saw ducks with their babies and turtles. The kids each were given nature journals that they will use this year to explore a variety of topics, outdoors rain or shine.
Between the classes switching from Latin to Science and vice versa, the kids take a 30 minute period of time to come together and play some math games. This week, the kids did a graphing exercise, which also served to help them learn one another's names. We listed each child's name on the board and then went through the graph print out I had printed for each child, coloring in blocks for the number of letters in each person's name. We found that we had the most kids with 5 letters in their name for our school.
This class is using Song School Latin 2 from Classical Academic Press. The kids watched the lesson videos together, practiced their fun chants with the music to help them memorize their vocabulary and did some conversational role playing. Then they worked in their creatively done, fun workbooks together.
It was a very blessed day and a great start to the school year!