I’m often asked to provide a description of Classical Conversations. Is it a co-op, a gathering, a curriculum? Well, I’m usually saying it’s all 3.
Classical Conversations is a homeschooling curriculum. You can, without registering for any local group, order 90% of the materials found in their catalog and proceed with doing much of it at home. I like that. Especially for the younger grades in which this is most easily done. Sometimes, with new family additions or large families with young ones, it’s just easier to go your own pace at home and not be required to show up each week. Once you get up higher in the grades, it becomes more necessary to be enrolled in a community too.
It’s a co-op. I pay a year’s tuition for each of my kids to have one 3-hour day being taught by a tutor. They help make the memorization of facts fun. It’s fast paced, crazy and super interactive. It gives me ideas to take home and use and the kids remember better (especially boys) with songs and hand-motions to help their memory.
It’s a gathering. This is my kid’s social time. Lunch is on grounds, kids are paired in like-age classrooms and they are meeting other kids and families with a Christian belief system but not necessarily a cookie cutter duplicate of what they would see amongst their own few church friends. It’s socializing in a broader, still controlled way. It gives me as a parent other parents outside of my normal realm to get to know, share ideas, and learn and grow from others.
So…what does the day look like on our community day? Here’s the run-down…
Opening Assembly–prayer, pledge, information about the day, Family Presentation (a family as a unit says a short little something each week).
New Memory Work–this week’s memory work to songs, motions, chanting, exercises or whatever else. This includes memorization of terms from a history timeline, history sentence, math facts, science, latin, geography and english.
Art/Music–the year is broken up to expose children to various kinds of art styles, art history and artists, as well as music terms, musicians, and basic reading of music.
Oral Presentations (my favorite part!)–each week the kiddos are required to present something to their class. 5 year olds typically do short show and tells while the older ones learn how to research a short topic and speak on it. I love this. It teaches so much more than how to talk in front of people!
Science Experiment–one of the things worth the money for me is not having to do a science experiment at home. Each week, as a class, the kids do an experiment and fully understand having a hypothesis, using materials, following a procedure, and documenting the outcome.
Review Games–my kid’s favorite part! As each week they memorize something new in each area, it’s easy to forget what you did 4 weeks ago. Various games are played to help remember those facts from other weeks…usually involving some healthy competition.
–I hope this helps to give a visual of a day in the life of the Classical Conversation Community. If you are looking around for a good fit for your educational needs, want something that does a great job of connecting learning with glorifying God for your kids and helps you along the way…take a look into them. They have communities all over the nation and there’s probably one near you!