Answering Your Questions about Classical Conversations



Today I thought I’d try to answer some common questions I hear people asking about Classical Conversations.  I’ll do my best to answer them here and please comment below if you have more questions you would like to see me include!

Is CC a co-op? Along these same lines, Is CC a drop-off program?  No, it’s a community. From the CC website, CC “plants and supports local communities who meet once a week across the United States and in several other countries.” These communities are designed for support and accountability. Tutors are parents trained to model the classical method of education in the classroom, so that while your student is learning, you as the parent are also learning. One of CC’s main goals is to equip parents to teach their children at home using the classical education methods and community is one of the main ways this happens.

Look here to find a community near you.  Read more about the programs and how a community day works here.

Is CC expensive? I won’t pretend that “expensive” means the same thing to all people.  I know that finances are seriously relative.  For our family, it has been a worthwhile investment.  Contact a local director to learn specific costs and decide if the cost is feasible, reasonable, and worthwhile for your family.

Is CC enough? Yes! CC memory work covers History, Latin, Science, Bible, Timeline, Math, and English.  CC community days provide science demonstration/experimentation and art lessons/participation.  At home, during the Foundation ages, you focus on truly committing the work to memory. You add in your own math and language arts curriculum.  Truly, truly I tell you, if you just do that, it is enough!  But, you’ll never know for sure unless you try it yourself!

Is CC Christian? Simply, yes.  Classical Conversations’ mission is to know God and to make Him known.  To quote from CC’s website: “From beginning to end, 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.”

Also, “Classical Conversations seeks to help parents seeks to help parents who want to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

What is a Memory Master? A Classical Conversations Foundations student who has mastered all of the subject memory work: Timeline, History, Geography, Science, Math, Latin, and English for the entire 24 weeks and is able to effortlessly recite it (or point it out, in the case of geography) all without help. The student proofs with their parent, another adult, their tutor, and finally the director using the proof sheets in the back of the Foundations book.

Why Latin? and why Latin for so many years? I don’t want to shortchange you with a quick answer, so check out this article, Five Great Reasons to Study Latin.

What Latin pronunciation does CC use? CC uses classical pronunciation for its memory work in Foundations, but there is no required pronunciation for the Challenge classes. Read here to learn more about the differences.

Where can I find the changes to the Foundation guide? Follow this printable link. I’m still using my 3rd edition guide.  Most of the changes I wrote in.  Some I cut and glued from the above linked pdf.

How do you “do” CC at home? Also known as what do you do all day?? At home, our family reviews the memory work daily.  We usually do it as a group through listening to the music, simple recitation, or easy games.  My older guys also complete copywork, map tracing, and illustrating in their classical notebooks.  For the first time, I made a book list to match up with our cycle topics, which will be a good resource for all the reading we like to do. That’s it! For more details on how, look here! To see how other families bring CC home, check out this series – A Day in the Life of a CC Family.

What does President Nixon say in the timeline song? Okay, this last one is kind of a silly question, but I see it pop up often so I thought I’d answer it. “The best is au revoir” from his farewell address to the White House staff.

Want to know more? Check out the Classical Conversations website for lots more.  And please, if I missed a question you were thinking of, post it in the comments!





  1. TeeDee says

    I will be trying CC for the first time this fall. Other parents have asked me, “Why do you want to be part of such a clickish group?”. For years I avoided CC because that is the stigma. I have met some great moms that have convinced me otherwise. However, at practicum, I did see in a lot of moms that mentality of superiority concerning other families that do not choose to do CC. Have you seen or experienced this? I will be joining a brand new community. Is there anything I can do to help make sure our community stays humble?

    • Beth Watson says

      TeeDee, I have seen this topic come up on discussion boards and the like. I’ve been terribly disappointed to see this has been some people’s experience. If I hadn’t seen it there, I wouldn’t have believed it, because my personal experience has been so different. The moms in my community and the communities I interact with are humble, friendly, and engaging. More experienced moms have been so gracious and uplifting to me. I’ve found them to be grateful for, but not proud of their participation in CC. I’m sure that your experience and awareness alone will help your community to remember to be humble and to treat others well. Praying for y’all as you begin!

    • Beth Watson says

      TeeDee, I wanted to share with you something neat my director instituted for this year. We have several new families this year, so she paired moms that have been at our community with the newer moms to be sort of that friendly face that can answer questions and make each new family feel welcome. We do all tend to gravitate to our same friends and can neglect to reach out, so this acts as a good reminder.

  2. says

    My husband and I just watched a documentary on Nixon. I couldn’t quite make out what he said in the song until I heard it on the documentary =) Funny that you get that question!

  3. cheryl says

    I like your post. Thanks for the summary. I would like to see if you’d elaborate on “CC is enough”. I have heard other families say about Foundations that it is enough, but after talking awhile you realize they do an additional History (like SOTW) and dig deeper into Science with another curriculum as well. How many in your community actually only rely on CC for their Science & History? I would say that the first year of doing CC, I would be willing to do it alone, if my children were young elementary. But after K/1st, I wouldn’t.

    • Beth Watson says

      Hey Cheryl! If while in the grammar stage, you’re adding in math and language arts to the memory work as CC recommends, that would be what I mean by “enough.” Naturally, if you’re following the classical model for homeschooling, then the reading of good books also follows. I know some families prefer the ease and comfort of using something like SOTW or Apologia as part of their reading. We’ve used those periodically, as well as following good reading lists. I’m not sure what the breakdown would be of what families at my campus are using, but I know there are at least some doing only CC for Science and History. I actually find it’s the more experienced moms doing less, because as they become accustomed to how classical education works they trust it more and do less. Does this help answer your question?

  4. Cheryl says

    That is really interesting. As I learn more about Classical, I see it’s value. When my daughter reached 4th grade, she naturally became unhappy with the short answer/memory work. So the exposure did it’s trick, she was very curious to dig in deeper. Thanks for the insights.

  5. Mary Ensley says

    I have a 3 year old daughter with a November birthday. We will be moving across the state this summer to a new city for my husband’s job with the Army. I have been involved with Bible Study Fellowship this past year and she goes to the children’s program which is a fabulous 90 minutes bible lesson and social time for her. However this will not be available to us when we move. I am already set on doing CC when she is 4 or 5. Would she be too young to start this fall and just go to CC each week, enjoy the class time and learn the memory work from the cd’s at home? Is this overly ambitious or pushing her? I know the CC website says that children under 4 can be enrolled at the parents’ and tutor’s discretion.

    • Beth Watson says

      Hi Mary! I also have a 3 year old daughter, but mine turns 4 this month. 🙂 Of course, it really can vary so much for each child. Besides being ready for the memory work, consider if you think she’s ready for being in a classroom for 3 hours. It can certainly be tiring on the younger students. Maybe this post I wrote a while back will help you decide?

      Since you are planning to start her at 4 or 5, you’ll probably hit each cycle 2 times before she moves into Challenge, so there really is no rush to begin the memory work early. If it were me, I’d probably wait another year. But, I also understand the desire to be part of a community. There’s probably no wrong decision here – just good and better. 🙂 Blessings whatever you decide!

  6. Chrissy says

    I found your blog while trying to find the answer about what President Nixon said in the timeline song. Glad I’m not the only one confused and now informed. :o) Do you happen to know what the astronauts are saying? I can’t quite make that out either. :oP
    Thanks for the blog post!


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