Our family uses Classical Conversations as a major part of our homeschool. I shared recently about why we choose homeschooling and thought I would continue by sharing about why we love Classical Conversations (CC).
In no particular order, I wanted to share reasons we love being a part of a Classical Conversations community. We participate in the Foundations and Essentials programs. (Our children are not old enough for Challenge yet, but we are looking forward to using the Challenge program in the future.)
The memory work really sticks with us. In Foundations, the kids memory facts in Timeline, History, Science, Latin, English, Math, and Geography. The memory work comes up in books we read, museums we visit, or even on Jeopardy. My children can recall information they learned two years or more ago because of the repetition built into the program.
Weekly presentations build confidence. My children have been doing presentations at CC for more than three years. Their confidence in talking to others at CC as well as their ability to talk articulately to adults in other settings has greatly improved because of this presentation practice. When Elijah and Ruth were baptized last year, they were not intimidated in sharing their testimonies with a large group in part because of CC presentations.
Weekly science projects or experiments really teach the scientific method. My children have a firm grasp on the scientific method from CC. The kids like to design their own experiments or help Seth when they do experiments together.
I have help teaching writing and English grammar. We are only in our first year of Essentials, and I really can’t say enough good things about it. Yes, we are busier with Essentials and some weeks can’t get all the work done, but Elijah and I are both learning a ton about writing and diagramming. I am glad it’s designed to be a 3 year program because we will have plenty to learn in the next few years. I did not have the confidence to teach English on my own and thrilled to have others come along side me and help with this. The Essentials program is wonderful.
Learning is fun with Classical Conversations. The review games, motions, songs, science experiments, and art projects are fun to do with our community. My children look forward to CC and really don’t think of it as “school”.
Review games teach important skills besides just answering memory work. Children in general (and mine in particular) need to practice being fair competitors. It’s a learning process to be a good winner or loser.
My children get to learn and play with friends every week. While we homeschool, it doesn’t mean my children aren’t social. They love to see their CC friends every Monday. They play before the morning starts, at lunch, and after Essentials. They also get to work on difficult projects or concepts together with their friends and classmates. Friends can really encourage each other in learning new things.
I get to know a great group of moms and am encouraged by others weekly. Making friends with other homeschool moms and knowing we go through similar struggles is such a blessing. I love the uplifting conversations each week and making friends with others who have similar priorities.
Classical Conversations is a great value. Some people are automatically turned off to CC. Including all the costs of Classical Conversations, we pay less than $20 per child per week for Foundations (and less than $20 per child per week for Essentials). We have always said that our money would go to academic pursuits first. Many people are willing to pay for music, art, drama, or sports teams and yet will complain that CC is too expensive. Our whole family is willing to cut many luxuries out of our budget in order to afford CC. As a part of a Classical Conversations community, we also have a year-end picnic, review nights, orientation, and planned field trips.
We learn together as a family. So many curriculum choices do not have children studying the same topics together, but CC is designed for all the children to be learning the same information weekly. Not only are our kids learning together, but Seth and I are also learning right along with them. We don’t want our children to think that learning is something you only do during the “school day” or when you are a child, but learning is a life-long process. It’s amazing how much our children are learning that we need to learn as well.
Being a part of a community holds us accountable. My children do not want to go to CC and not know their memory work for a review game. Knowing that they have to give a presentation helps them want to prepare. Having a paper to read out loud in class, a vocabulary quiz, or a math game makes my Essentials student work harder at home.
Our community keeps us moving forward. Even when children get sick or other activities keep us busy, the material keeps moving forward. I can imagine that if it was up to me, we would still be back on week 6 instead of on week 18. We just wouldn’t ever get everything covered. CC keeps us going.
CC helps us to not neglect subjects. The Fine Arts portion of the Foundations program includes drawing, artists, and composers. Our whole family has learned a lot through this part of CC, and we would have neglected these subjects otherwise. During a recent trip to Washington, D.C., our family spent a little time in the National Gallery of Arts appreciating a Da Vinci painting. Before CC, it would not have occurred to us to even go check out the painting.
I hope you can tell how much we love Classical Conversations. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not an employee of CC, but I have worked as a Foundations tutor. Classical Conversations is a huge blessing for our family!