This will be our 6th year homeschooling. Each year I evaluate our school year from the year prior. What worked, what didn’t, what do I need to change, etc. With 5 kids, two of them little it can get hectic while I homeschool the older kids. I put out toys, learning activities to try to keep the little ones busy or school during the little ones naps so there are less distractions but life happens and some days do not run as smooth as others. This year our homeschool year will be very different and we are SO excited about it! We will be doing Classical Conversations!
Classical Conversations supports homeschooling parents by cultivating the love of learning through a Christian worldview in fellowship with other families. With three keys to a great education: classical, Christian, and community.
Classical education is ideally suited to children’s natural learning style. The classical model divides the learning process into three stages: grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. In the grammar stage, children devour facts. In the dialectic stage, children ask many questions as they sort and evaluate these facts. In the rhetoric stage, teenagers synthesize their knowledge and apply it. The Classical Conversations curriculum is founded on the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Classical Conversations teaches that all subjects are not only interconnected but that God is the author and creator of each subject. Each subject informs us more about the true nature of God, and a better understanding of God informs us about each subject that is taught. Classical Conversations plants and supports local communities who meet once a week.
So why did we make this big decision? Structure, accountability and the need of a supportive community. Even though we get our homeschool curriculum completed every year and my kids are learning we need more structure. Accountability because one day a week my children go to their own individual classes and then the rest of the week I teach what was reviewed in their classes. I AM still their teacher. Each Classical Conversations community meets one time a week (24 weeks during the school year). Parents participate in the program either as helpers or tutors. The rest of the week I continue to teach what they were introduced to in Classical Conversations.
Our schedule will look like:
9:15-9:30 Large group time & family presentation
9:30-10:00 New memory work is introduced (Science, History, Latin, English, Time Line, Geography, Math)
Cycle 1: Ancient through Modern World History; Geography of Africa and the world; Biology & Earth Science; Verbs & Prepositions; Latin noun endings; Exodus 20; Renaissance & Post Renaissance Artists; Baroque & Classical Composers)
10:00-10:30 Science Experiments or Projects
10:30-11:00 Student Presentations
11:00-11:30 Fine Arts Or Music 11:30-12:00
1:00-3:00 My 10 year old and I will go to his Essentials class, while my other children will go to afternoon classes. Some will go to ballet, Lego, guitar lessons and music/crafts.
There several different age levels to Classical Conversations. The 1st is Foundations which has 3 cycles is for elementary age (4 to 11 years). All of the lessons are taught by memorization. Many of the mom’s teach by music. Kids tend to like this way of teaching because it’s fun. We went to 2 classes last year to see what it was like before making any decisions. I was amazed how much my kids retained even my 4 year old! He walked around singing history facts he learned from those 2 days!
For years I would hear other homeschool mom’s praise Classical Conversations. I just did not get it, why would anyone spend the money to join this. I listened to other homeschoolers bad mouth it too. I regret listening to people bad mouth it. I regret not educating myself sooner because if I had we would have started Classical Conversations years ago. Sometimes you have to find things out for yourself instead of listening to what others say, because it might not work for their family does not mean it will not work for your family!
We are so excited about this new change. I look forward to this new style of teaching and seeing how my kids respond to it. As well as my family making new friends in a homeschool community! How about you, do you homeschool? Have you considered Classical Conversations?
Stay tuned for more to come on Classical Conversations!