Our Last Paper for Essentials This Year


We are almost done with our first year of Classical Conversations.

We spent an hour today working on our last paper for Essentials, due in two weeks.

Why are we working so far ahead?

Have you ever waited till the last minute to write an essay for yourself?

Remember how stressful that was?

Now imagine doing that with a nine year old and her essay…


That is why we are getting to work already.

I realized I called it our paper, even though it’s my daughter’s paper, technically.

But it is a team effort.

I provide the necessary motivation (coercion).

I do the typing (for now).

And I also give some suggestions.

My oldest daughter is quite gifted in writing, so I really don’t have to do as much.

And I have learned over the course of this year that she has very strong opinions about the way she wants to say things,  so I try and reserve my advice for things I really cannot ignore. I pick my battles, so to speak. I try leaving as much to her as possible so that her voice comes through.

This last essay of the year is on the life of Joan of Arc. Each kid chose a person from the Middle Ages. They have to research, write an essay, and then read it to their class dressed in costume as the person they are talking about.

The picture above shows my daughter looking at her key word outline.

If you are doing Essentials, you know all about those KWOs!

Even that key word outline took several hours to produce.

So, in the end, this project: paper, costume, presentation, etc. will be the product of countless hours of work.

But I appreciate Classical Conversations for just this reason.

If it weren’t for the fact that we are going to be with other people that day and all the kids are supposed to participate by reading their essays, etc. I really doubt we would finish anything to this degree.

In fact, I know we wouldn’t.

Why would we bother?

But I have found there is so much to be gained, so much we have already gained just this year, by seeing some of our work through to the degree of completion that we can share it with others.

Peer pressure, accountability, community- whatever you call it,

(I’ve called it all three depending on my frame of mind).

being a part of a Classical Conversations group really has helped us produce wonderful things in our home school this year.

Now back to work.

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