When I started this blog, I didn’t realize how many families were considering and searching out information about doing Classical Conversations at home. And guess what? I didn’t even think of the name of this blog. A friend suggested I start a blog at a time when I had seriously been considering it and praying about it for a while. She suggested the name and even checked if it was available for me. What a great friend, right? It was just the nudge I needed!
Anyway, I’ve found the name has led to some confusion over how our family uses Classical Conversations. Allow me to explain! Our family engages CC in two ways: 1) We are part of a local CC community and 2) we bring our CC memory work home throughout the week in a few ways and follow the classical model to do so. I’ll go into more specifics.
1. Our local community meets every week for 24 weeks on Mondays. Our community started 3 years ago and we’re grateful to have been there from the start. My two oldest boys were 5 and 4 years old. They’re both approaching their 4th year in CC, therefore their second time approaching each cycle. If I had known how each of them would respond, I still would’ve put my oldest in from age 5. He’s very social and thrives being in a classroom environment with his friends. But, I would’ve kept my 4 year old out of the classroom for another year. He does not love the classroom environment, despite doing well there. He would’ve much rather spent his time at home or sitting on my lap. Since we began, CC has updated their policy so that four year olds are able to stay out of the classroom, but on campus, as long as their birthday is after June 1st of the coming year. This would’ve applied to him and I would’ve been wise to take advantage of it, although I’m not sure I would’ve without the experience of first having him in. On the other hand, my third boy was watching his brothers and itching to be in a classroom from age 3. So, it really depends so much!
We LOVE our community! We’ve been blessed to homeschool with friends we’ve had for years (since before we were married!) and we’ve made so many great new friends along the way. We’re walking this journey with like-minded families and also meeting families who stretch our thinking and teach us new things. I could not be more grateful for how God has provided this group for our family.
2. Throughout the week, we “bring CC home” through four main ways:
— Practice the memory work through review games, simple recitation, or listening to the CC music.
— When time allows and interest peaks, we read more on any subject. We mainly achieve this through two ways: having good, child-friendly reference books around and having a list of good books ready for additional reading to either borrow or buy.
— Map blob weekly (or more frequently) for geography. Some of mine are in the tracing stage of map blobbing and some can do a decent free hand blobbing of the continents, lines, and oceans. We’re moving through the stages, because our ultimate goal is to freehand draw the world from memory. We have many years ahead of us, so diligence and patience is key.
— Complete copywork in our classical notebooks and prescripts books. Using simple worksheets, lined pages or journal and art pages, my guys will practice copying our memory work. Besides reviewing our memory work, this is a simple way to teach them to concentrate their attention and produce quality workmanship.
I say all this to explain how we do things, but I also welcome those families who choose to do CC exclusively at home. I know joining a community is not an option for all families for a variety of reasons. I hope you can find community here and are able to find resources you can use at home. Consistency is key. So once you start, stick with it to see results!
Any questions? Want more details? I’d love to continue the conversation.
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