Why We Chose Classical Conversations

Before we had kids we were in a small Christian group of about 5 couples and 10 children. This group was amazing they took care of each other they made meals for each other when there was a new baby, they watched each others kids, they prayed for each other and they were friends. This was like nothing my husband and I had ever experienced in Christendom before. It was a true community.

Eventually the group disbanded when many of the families moved to different parts of the country. Meanwhile we had just begun to start our own family and as my baby girl got older and we started to think about homeschooling. I really wanted that sense of community again. I was seeking for it and hungering for it. At the same time I was thinking a lot about education and the best ways to teach my daughter and what was important to our family.

I had heard of Classical Conversations but I wasn’t sure about it because even though we are Christians I wasn’t sure I wanted to use a specifically Christian curriculum and I was skeptical of shielding my child to much. I wanted her to know many different ways of thought so that she could make a genuine choice to serve God, not just because it was the only choice available to her.

Anyway, I started to realize that the homeschool group or church group, family community, experience that I was searching or praying for was coming together in this thing called Classical Conversations. So we went to a practicum, which is like a convention for CC.  I was unsure but when they started to talk about the 3 stages of education, especially the Grammar Stage which my daughter was currently in, it just made so much sense.

If you’re like me you can still remember the words to certain TV theme songs from your childhood like the Gummy Bears or Reading Rainbow or Sesame Street. Little kids just memorize stuff like crazy. That’s because they are in the grammar stage of development. Children that age can memorize & parrot anything. Their brains are like sponges. So why not expose them to amazing things to memorize. Why not have them memorizing poems or history facts or math facts or why not the Periodic Table of Elements? Latin even?

Now instead of pushing an older child to memorize these things, imagine the incredible discussions you can have with a teenager who already has these facts stored in their memory banks?

Needless to say in 2017 we jumped in. At first there is a learning curve. There are a lot of unique words used in the Classical Conversations community but we had those figured out in no time. There is a Foundations Guide text book that is a tad expensive but can be used for years. Plenty of other learning tools are also available, but not necessary in the Foundations stage. There is a cost of approximately $500. that covers application, utilities, tuition and supplies. That amount intimated us at first but now I feel it’s worth it. I imagine it goes to renting the facilities, paying the directors & tutors (fellow community parents) and we never had to bring so much as a pencil on our community days. There are tons of free parent created resources on the website and I love that there are no grade levels or grades!

In the classroom, a tutor introduces the new memory work to the children and parents using songs and rhymes. Then it’s presentation time for the children, followed by an art project and a science project. Then a review of memory work from past weeks and finally everyone goes outside to eat lunch. The kids play together as the grown ups get to know each other and a genuine community blossoms. Of course it’s not perfect, no human construct is. It’s full of people so there is bound to be conflict. Thankfully we haven’t experienced any of that and the organization has great conflict resolution plans in place. At home you simply review the memory work introduced by the tutor. And that’s it.

When I hear my precocious daughter playing by herself and singing songs about all the rivers in North America, I feel confident that, for now, we have made the right choice.

PhotoGrid_1519913841303.jpg

Are you in a Classical Conversations Community or thinking of joining one?  Tell me your stories or ask me some questions in the comments below 😀

Advertisements

Classical Conversations || New Foundations Guide Curriculum || Review & Comparison

What’s your favorite thing about the new edition? Let us know in the comments below. In 2017 we started classical conversations, and we loved it. Now the new foundations book is here! Hooray! Let’s take a look inside and see how it’s different from the 4th edition.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for unit, supply, library book hauls, DITL curriculum reviews and homeschool adventures!

What’s in the Bookstore at the Classical Conversations Parent Practicum? Curriculum Shop With Me!

The Parent Practicum is a homeschool conference for Classical Conversations families. We just started with CC last year and we loved it. Now let’s take a look at what’s for sale in the Practicum bookstore! I love books!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for unit, supply, library book hauls, DITL curriculum reviews and homeschool adventures!

Classical Conversations Practicum Haul || Foundations Curriculum

We just started with CC last year and we loved it. Check out the homeschool supplies we picked up at the Classical Conversations Parent Practicum!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for unit, supply, library book hauls, DITL curriculum reviews and homeschool adventures!

 

How We Use Seasonal, Monthly & Weekly PEG DOLLS in our Perpetual Calendar

Hooray! The Calendar Peg dolls are finally completed! We made Winter, Spring, Summer & Autumn as well as all the months of the year and the days of the week. Felt, yarn, watercolors & acrylic paints were used to make these happen and a felt tip pen for the lettering. Now it’s time to set up our calendar of peg dolls!

Days of the Week, Calendar Peg Dolls | DIY

Hello Friends!

I have decided to try my hand at making calendar peg dolls. The internet is full of beautiful images of Waldorf inspired wooden peg dolls that look like they’re from a fairy tale land. So naturally I am intrigued. My plan is to start with the days of the week and then add the months of the year, seasons and eventually weather.

I’ve been trying to keep this a secret from Songbird but apparently I am really bad at hiding things and she’s getting taller. One of the Thursday dolls that I messed up on was on the counter way in the back and she saw it, which filled her with questions.

You will need:

These are the set of unfinished dolls I used. The medium size was smaller than I expected but they will work for the days of the week. My plan is to make each consecutive set of dolls bigger than the next. This way when grouped together, they stand out and add visual interest. For example the day is Monday and that’s the smallest doll, the month is January and that one is bigger and the season is winter and that one is the largest of all. I plan to represent the date with a set of numbered river rocks rocks I made. This way we will have an interactive perpetual calendar!

At first I tried to just feel what color Monday should be but I didn’t want to inflict it with all the complicated grown-up associations. So instead, I decided to do rainbow colors which is perfect since there are seven colors in the rainbow and seven days of the week!

20180319_161717.jpg

My paint was nothing fancy I simply used a set of regular crayola watercolors and drew faces with a fine felt tip pen.

20180319_174454.jpg

I really like the look of the dolls without faces, but I know my daughter. She would think something was missing and would probably draw faces on them herself. So to avoid that conflict I decided to give them very sweet and simple faces. Some of them look happy, some look amused, some look thoughtful and some look crazy.

20180319_163439.jpg

Well, I must have been distracted because, for some reason I could not get Thursday right. In my head I would say T-H-U-R-S-D-A-Y but my hand would spell Thusday. When I did spell it right I made the stem of the “h” to tall and it intersected with the top of the capital “T”.

20180319_172507.jpg

I then cutout little triangles of felt to make head scarves for the girls. It was very simple and needs no pattern. Just cut a small triangle out of the felt and see it if it fits. If it’s too big trim it down.

20180319_172611.jpg

Add a dab of hot glue to the dolls head and lay the felt triangle over it. You have a little bit of wiggle room to get it just right. But if it dries and you don’t like it, you can carefully pull the glue off the wood.

20180319_173822-1.jpg

Press down the front two points of the triangle so that they are on the dolls neck and shoulders, glue those down too with a dab of hot glue.

20180319_173910-1.jpg

The back part will be sticking out, so add a little bit of glue to the back of their head and press that down as well. Voila, now you have sweet folk tale peg doll girls.

20180319_174129.jpg

For the boys I carefully painted their heads to look like they had hair. For the hair parts I just left a line unpainted. There is seriously something weird going on with Thursday and I think Saturday looks slightly insane.

20180319_174233-1.jpg

But all together I think they turned out great in that quirky handmade way. My daughter has already started playing with them and they are the new favorite toy!

Labeling the World’s Oceans| Kindergarten Geography | Sea Life Unit

We started our Sea Life Unit by learning about the worlds oceans.  We looked at them on a map in the book Simon & Schuster Children’s Guide to Sea Creatures and talked about where they are on the globe.

Then we painted a blank piece of paper blue with our LYRA Watercolors. I used this for a world map I cut it out myself, it took a long time and sadly a few islands got missed (I’m sorry U.K. & Japan!) But the point of this project was just to be able to locate and identify the oceans not the countries. We will definitely cover that later!

It took some time, cutting out the world, and eventually I had to step away to take care of Man Cub. Mean while my daughter played with the continents and toob sea creatures and made her own pangea-like arrangements.

Once cut out, we glued the continents to our blue painted page to make a simple world map.

20180513_133517-1.jpg

I wrote down the names of the oceans on our LCD writing tablet and she copied it, in felt-tip pen, in the appropriate place on our map.

I simply asked her to write small and I think she did an amazing job. We labeled the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean & Indian Ocean.

This turned out so nice, it will probably be the first page of our Sea Life Unit lesson book. So how do you teach geography to your children? I would love to hear your tips & techniques in the comments below 😀