October 22, 2014

Homeschooling: Taking The Plunge With Classical Conversations

Yes, we have joined the growing number of folks who are choosing to homeschool.  We chose it for a myriad of reasons, but it started with wanting to protect my tender-hearted redhead.  With a little girl down the street coming home from kindergarten with black eyes from the playground, and the administration turning a blind eye to it, I knew my sweet boy would have TARGET written all over him.

After researching several different programs (there is a vast number of choices!!), we have landed on several that work well for our family.  In this first post, I want to share about Classical Conversations, and how to get started in it since it can seem a little overwhelming at first.

Classical Conversations
We are participating in a co-op called Classical Conversations that we absolutely love.  It’s D’s favorite thing to do all week!  We’re snowed in here today, and D was in tears last night because CC was cancelled for this morning.  Total meltdown, I just held him while he cried, tears.  I think he likes CC.

This video was taken after just his first week in CC.

For the younger ages, it’s heavily focused on memorization and getting them familiar with vocabulary for more advanced concepts that they’ll really dive into later.  I’ve been impressed with how quickly the kids can memorize!

CC weekly memory work includes a history sentence, 7-8 timeline events, science, math, English, and Latin.   I loved hearing my two kids (5 & 3 years) sitting at the table tonight, singing 2nd declension Latin noun endings.

Biblical Worldview
CC is designed around a Biblical worldview.  The timeline cards include events from history like Adam & Eve and the flood.  Kids are taught to examine the material that they take in in light of their worldview.

Community Time
During the community time, which meets once a week for a morning, kids go over the week’s new memory work with their tutor, review previous week’s work with fun games like Hot Potato, and do fun art and science projects.  Last week, the kids painted upside down under the table like Michelangelo!

Nursery
Our community even has a nursery for the kids that are not old enough to be in regular classes (they have to be 4 by September.) My S is usually quite attached to me, and leaving her at the church nursery for service can be a challenge some days.  Not at CC!  She waved at me when she saw me (during the first week!), and said, “I play my friends!”

Materials
Curriculum can be expensive for homeschooling, and I love the way CC has structured their program.  We purchased the Foundations Guide for about $60, and that will last through all of the younger grades, for all my kids.  One $60 book for 6 years, for multiple kids?  Great deal!  We also purchased the pre-laminated timeline cards, since those are so helpful for memorization.  I also chose to get the memory work cds ($35 per cycle), since I can just play them to help him memorize.  It’s made things easier!

We also use YouTube every week!  Other families post videos of their kids singing the memory work songs and doing the motions.  D loves to watch them and sing along.

Want to join in?
CC is definitely D’s favorite part of our homeschooling.  He practices the memory work on his own (shocker!!) and I love how quickly he picks it up!

Classical Conversations has been exploding in popularity, and the odds are good that there is a community near you!  Visit their website to enter your zip code.  Registration for the fall has just opened, and communities are holding info meetings and open houses.  (Kids can join at any age too!)

Are you part of a Classical Conversations Community?  Share your experience!


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