I had the privilege recently of checking out the Simply Classical Curriculum by Cheryl Swope for Memoria Press. The curriculum has three levels; each designed with lesson plans for one year. I have Level C Animals, Alphabet & Aesop for 4-5 year olds. Level A Readiness, Rhythm & Rhyme is for 2-3 year olds and Level B Essentials, Etiquette & Ear Training is for 3-4 year olds. Along with considering age, you can complete the included readiness checklists to see which level is most appropriate for your child before beginning. I found the “tips to improve” given for each skill area so helpful! The tips are insightful, fun, and practical. For a little sneak peek, here’s one tip shared for improving language: Brainstorm action verbs to write on notecards and use those to play “Verb Charades.” How fun!
This curriculum is written by the author of the book of the same name, Simply Classical, by Cheryl Swope. If you recognize the book title from my post about it, then you’ll know it’s written for a child with significant special needs. Through exploring this curriculum, I was so pleased to discover that it really is simply using classical education methods for children with special needs. You know why? Because classical education is an approach that really can work for any student. As Cheryl Swope says in her books, “Classical education will not remove the child’s challenges. Classical education simply provides a means by which a child can be educated-truly educated-in spite of his or her challenges.”
Simply Classical is a stand alone curriculum, but could also easily be used in conjunction with Classical Conversations. I think it could also easily be adjusted to work not only for your special needs student, but all the young students in your family. Here are my favorite parts about the curriculum:
1. Ease of use. Everything is organized in lists: read-aloud books, craft and school supplies, and memory work. Each week is divided into daily lessons with detailed plans, including approximately how much time should be spent on each section. Need help starting socratic questioning? Follow the sample questions in the lesson plans.
2. Flexibility. The pace is slower and allows for additional practice or optional year-round schooling.
3. Thoroughness. The lesson plans guide you through teaching the material using the trivium approach with a multi-sensory presentation. The subjects are integrated and themed.
Considering this curriculum for your family? Look at the Memoria Press site for sample lesson plans, readiness checklists, supply lists, and skills to develop.