Tagged: Classical Conversations
Hi! I was wondering if anyone had any experience with Classical Conversations. We use mostly CM-friendly stuff for our homeschool- and I plan on continuing with CM! But, a friend of mine is encouraging me to join a Classical Conversations group that is forming in my town. I have no plan to change my curriculum or teaching style the rest of our school days, but I was thinking about looking into it just for the social aspect. But, I have done a little research and am questioning whether that is a good idea. I like the things they are teaching the kids, but I am not so sure about the methods of delivery. It seems really hard core! I am okay with helping my boys memorize some things in prep for the day they attend their class, but I don’t want to change all my lessons/teaching style. Anybody out there been to a Classical Conversations group? Can I continue doing CM style and attend the Classical Conversation groups simultaneously (with success!)? I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I have 3 boys-8,6, and 2. Thanks for the input!
I’ve never done it, but there is a group in my area. My impression is that it would be a lot of work if you weren’t following the Veritas curriculum. I don’t think the philosophy in the younger years blends well with CM–rote memorization of facts that I don’t think they even always understand. But take this with a grain—-I’ve never done it! If you have other social avenues I think it would be a lot less stress. Hopefully someone with experience will chime in:) Gina
P.S. For social outlets, my kids’ closest relationships are those kids they regularly PLAY with. Classroom friends have been o.k., but not their good buddies. Just my .02:)
I’ve had a couple people try to talk me into CC also. I won’t do it because it’s too much work and in my NSHO does not inspire a love of learning. Check you local homeschool group for interaction, or go to a bookstore in the middle of the day, you are sure to meet fellow homeschoolers that way!
I have their CD which I use sporadically for memory. A friend is trying to get us to join a group, too, but I’m not willing to go that route.
Thanks for the help! I haven’t decided yet, but you have given me some things to think about! I don’t want to take the time to memorize bunch of stuff that they don’t know anything about. I would be okay with them knowing it, but I am wondering if it would stress me out! But, I like that the group will be right around the corner from my house! We don’t know very many homeschoolers that have kids my age….maybe I should make more of an effort in that area before making a decision! Thanks!
Our family is VERY Charlotte Mason-ish (we always called our philosophy Relaxed Classical with a Charlotte Mason twist) and we LOVED Classical Conversations last year. Long story short, I had the opportunity to tutor for the group (so it didn’t cost me any $$) and we gave it a go. I didn’t change our home curriculum a bit, besides going over the timeline and memory verse every morning. We did completely different things in history and science at home- nothing related to the CC facts. We simply played the CC CD in the car and sometimes before bed. Oh, and the kids did have to do an oral report for CC each week. They loved the class! I can’t believe how many facts they learned. It was frankly AMAZING, more amazing because of how much fun they had doing it!
The kids did make LOTS of connections, though. If we were at a museum or watching a show or reading a book when the name of a famous person from their timeline or history sentence popped up, they were so excited because they already felt familiar with that person (even though they had memorized those names without beginning with any connections).
We added a foster/adopt son halfway through the year and I was even more amazed to see how he adored CC. He hated school and loved homeschooling, so I didn’t know how the classroom situation would go for him at CC. I can only speak for our group, but the class is extremely active – lots of singing, game playing, jumping around. It’s not at all like what I had in mind for a formal classical school!
Tutoring was also a load of fun. I can’t believe how much I learned!
Anyway, just wanted to chime in that you can partake in CC without sacrificing your Charlotte Mason ideals. In fact, we had struggled with memory work for years and I felt that CC actually freed me up to spend more time reading living books and letting the kids do a little bit of “unschooling” (or delight-directed schooling)!
Hi! I just thought I’d chime in with my 2 cents…….
While I haven’t actually done CC, a good friend of mine has and has tutored. She’s given me the complete run-down and I’ve visited a CC group for a day to get a good feel for it.
Her advice to me was that if you want the long term benefit of CC, it is so beneficial to start it when they are young and stick with it. (I suppose you could start later, say, in middle school, but you wouldn’t have that same foundation) As you may know, by memorizing all the facts, you are creating “pegs of knowledge” that you will later add understanding to. The classes look fun, and the children seem to really enjoy it. I wouldn’t think that kids would enjoy rote memorization, but somehow with CC they actually do seem to find it fun! Then there is the social aspect, and that is really my main temptation to join, as our group has some amazing godly families that I would love to be around more and have my kids around as well.
However, with all of that said, I do have my concerns…which echo what some of the others have said. I prefer the gentle art of learning that a CM education provides and I prefer narration to help knowledge stick over rote memorization. Also, this will be our first year of homeschooling, and I want to make sure that I don’t overload our weeks. It’s most important to me this year to have very light commitments, not much at all outside of church things. Also, my daughter has other avenues right now for social interaction, and besides, I don’t think she really needs that much outside of our family at the age of 7.
After considering these things and praying about, (and talking about it to DH a ton!) I don’t think we’ll do it this year. After this year, I may take another look at CC and see if there is a need for more social interaction. If we did do it though, I think I would pretty much do what burtmommie said she does…I would try to stick with our CM plan and do CC as much or little as I felt appropriate.
HTH, and sorry if that is more info than you wanted, that was just my process for considering whether or not to join. Remember – pray about all things…Philippians 4:6-7
We are considering Classical Conversations for the fall. Last year, I felt that CC was too expensive and not a good fit for my five yr. old son. This year, he has matured in a way that makes it a great fit but it is still expensive. In the mean time, I have started my own co-op which is far more relaxed and is just plain cheap. Good quality materials but we aren’t paying teachers/tutors so our costs are simply for materials.
My pros for doing Classical Conversations instead of my current co-op are:
1) CC is going to be available year after year with a consistent curriculum.
2) CC provides a quality curriculum, especially if you supplement with Story of the World or Living Books.
3) The goal of CC is to support families in their homeschooling
The cons for CC are:
1) It is just plain expensive. $412 in tutition and then books/CD costs on top of that
2) It would require some work to help it meet Charlotte Mason’s more “gentle” (or natural) education philosophies
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