Are you new to Classical Conversations? About to begin your first year with Foundations? Let’s chat! Here are some things I didn’t know right away, but wish I did.
1. Start simply. You’ll probably hear this again and again, but that’s only because it’s such good advice. Don’t try to add layers upon layers into your homeschooling day. Don’t try to add CC to the curriculum you’ve already been using. Focus on memorizing, truly memorizing, the memory work and on your math and language arts study (handwriting, reading, and spelling). It is enough! Once you have a rhythm with the basics, you can (but still don’t need to!) add in other elements, like topic specific reading lists.
2. Educate yourself. New to classical education? So was I. In fact, so are most of us. I would encourage you to do some reading now to learn about the classical model. Rather than accidentally fighting against the model, you can ease your way into it. As a result, you’ll have more confidence and less questions about the approach. You’ll be setting the path of learning for your family by first learning yourself.
3. Get the music. Buy the Audio CD or find music you like on CC Connected. Music is the simplest, quickest way for daily memory work review. After reading through my Foundations guide again recently, I was reminded how Leigh would have her boys listen to the memory work music while building with Legos. We have a Lego/book room in our house and this would work perfectly for my guys. Especially with adding in a newborn this summer, this arrangement will definitely be a regular part of our review routine come fall. It’s simple and effective!
4. Check out CC Connected. Also known as C3. CC Connected has three tiers – Foundations, Essentials, and Challenge. Each tier has three areas: the classical learning center, the dialectic discussion forum, and the at home sharing center. Since my littles are in Foundations, I subscribe to the Foundations forum. Being a CC Community member it costs $6 a month to subscribe to CC Connected, as opposed to $60 for non-community members. Tutors can be members for even more of a discount. You can sign up for a one month or one year subscription. I only have experience with the Foundations tier. In my humble opinion, the at home sharing center is the main reason to join. In there, you’ll find files created and uploaded by other brilliantly creative CC moms and CC administrators for help doing CC at home. There are worksheets, games, and songs to review memory work. Also, printables which offer more information about the memory work, like the history highlights and science snippets and review sheets for your tri-fold board. I use it most often to print things for our classical notebook.
The Foundations tier also has one more area – memory work tutorials. These are full-color, illustrated slides of the weekly memory work, often with the work set to music. The history slides include links to the history highlights and the science slides include links to the science snippets. We have not used the tutorials in the past, but we have used the CC app, which is very similar.
Some of my favorite users on the CC at home sharing center are:brandyferrell (of Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood), melodystroud (of And Here We Go), suzannemosley (of Suzanne Shares), and sherriellis. There are so many users, I’m sure I’ve missed some great ones. Please share your favorites!
5. Be involved. I have never been a tutor, but I do my best to contribute to my CC community in other ways. If you’re not tutoring either, don’t worry, there are so many roles to fill inside and outside of the classroom! Your child’s tutor will love you for helping out however you can during class. Your campus director will love you for volunteering for the many extra tasks that need doing outside the classroom – child care, field trip organizing, snack scheduling, end of year picnic planning, etc etc etc. Being a working part of the community helps in more ways than just sharing the load – it helps in the getting to know each other process. You’ll get to know others and they will get to know you. The community is one of the best parts of CC, so it’s important for your family to really engage. The whole community will gain from your involvement!
Any thing you’re wondering about CC that I haven’t shared? I’d love to a
nswer your questions!
Here are some other posts you might consider helpful:
Considering Classical Conversations? Start Here!
A Beginning Glossary of Terms for Classical Education
7 Ways A Classical Education Works With A Christian Worldview
and this series of posts, entitled At Home With the Classical Method