A Day in the Life of Classical Conversations Community Day…
Our family has been apart of the Classical Conversations community for two years now and I have tutored for almost one year! We always look forward to the week’s community day in our family as it is when we get to see our friends and have fun learning along side each other! We meet once a week from 9 am to 12 pm for Foundations (grades K – 6th grade) and the older students will stay during the afternoon for Essentials (grades 4th-6th). Each Foundations class meets for 24 weeks during the school year with many breaks inbetween. Usually, a parent accompanies their child in class to effectively learn the skill of memorization in a fun and engaging atmosphere and use those skills while reviewing memory work at home. Parents will also help the tutor in class when needed. Classical Conversations is a nation-wide program designed for parents to provide their children with a classical education. CC provides a classical framework for education using the classical tools of learning: focusing on the Trivium (Grammar stage, Dialectic (logic) Stage, Rhetoric Stage).
So now that you know a little about what Classical Conversations is…….
Let’s take you on a little journey through a typical day in Classical Conversations community
Everyone files into the fellowship hall around 9 am where we begin our Pledge, Prayer, and Family Presentations. The family presentations are generally just a brief explanation of your family and doesn’t last very long. Then we go over the timeline motions for the week that correspond with the 7 topics. We absolutely LOVE the timeline song and it is played in our house a gagillion times a week. It really is very catchy! After timeline review we are off to our classes…..
Generally the first 30 minutes after opening assembly is when you learn your new grammar for the week. This typically takes around 30 minutes where the trained tutor goes over English, Math, Geography, Latin, Science, History, and Timeline. As a tutor, I use fun engaging ways to present the material that will aid in all learning types (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). We use familiar tunes, funny voices, and fun actions to learn our memory work. See my popscicle sticks posts for more info. It is a general rule that the tutor must go over the material for each subject at least 7 times. Parents sit in the class with their child so they can learn ways to teach the material at home!
After new grammar is presented we go into another area where we conduct science experiments or demonstrations. You may find us creating an egg box for the egg drop…..or testing food samples for starch. All science experiments are taken from Janice VanCleave’s 201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre, and incredible Experiments
Every child is always looking forward to snack time where they can get together with their friends and play. This special time allows relationships to grow between kids and mommas!
I have found this time very beneficial as moms converse over the struggles of homeschooling, parenting, and life in general. We have really begun to build a tribe in our CC Community.
Snack usually last about 15 minutes and then we are headed back to class for presentations….
Each child in the class is assigned to prepare a 1-2 minute presentation on a given topic. During presentations the child is working on their public speaking skills. For the younger children, the presentations are simply a “show-n-tell” but the older kids will focus on more formal presentation skills. Presentations are a skill that will continue well into Challenge where the kids are debating and delivering speeches. Getting in front of the class is a fun way to bring our your child’s personality and engage with their classmates. This generally last about 30 minutes.
Demonstrating how to make rock candy
Fine Arts is always fun and enlightening where we cycle through 4 topics over the course of the year:
- Drawing Techniques
- Music Theory & Practice (Tin Whistle)
- Great Artists
Learning about the composer Stravinsky through storytelling
The last 30 minutes before lunch is spent on reviewing past memory work. Review is mainly done by games or creative activities. We may play Latin Bingo, Nerf Target practice with different subjects, Wiggle worm, Timeline shuffle…and the list goes on!! This review time helps the kids remember what they’ve learned in previous weeks and can create some friendly competition as well. All kids look forward to review games!!
Well that is our Classical Conversations Community day in a nutshell!
Here is some further information on Classical Conversations you maybe interested in:
As far as the curriculum itself it is compiled into three cycles.
Cycle 1: Ancient through Modern World History, Biology & Earth Science, Geography of the World focusing on Africa, Middle East, Asia, and South America, Latin noun endings, Exodus 20, Renaissance & Post Renaissance Artists, Baroque & Classical Composers, and Verbs & Prepositions.
Cycle 2: World history from Pre-Reformation to Modern, Ecology, Astronomy, and Physical Science, European and World Geography, Pronouns, adverbs, conjunctions; Latin verb endings; Ephesians 6, Impressionist Artists, and Classical & Romantic Composers
Cycle 3: U.S. History & Geography, Participles, verb tenses, & clauses, John 1:1-7 and corresponding Latin translation, Anatomy and Chemistry, American masters artists, and Romantic and Modern Composers
Across the nation everyone who is in a CC Community will be on the same cycle for all grades Kindergarten through 6th grade. For example, This year we are on Cycle 3 and will start back at Cycle 1 the upcoming school year (2018-2019). Most children in Foundations will cycle through all three cycles twice unless you joined at a later date; even then it isnt necessarily something you have to catch up on. So if your child didn’t quite understand and memorize everything in cycle 2 that’s okay because they will visit the same material again and most likely master it!
There is a Memory Masters option where a child can commit to memorizing all 24 weeks memory work in all 7 subjects and go before a panel for proofing. It is certainly an honor to be a “Memory Master” and definitely takes dedication and hard work for the child and the parent. This memory master achievement isn’t for a cram it and forget it test; it is committing the information to long-term memory that your child will use in all aspects of their life and in their upcoming Challenge classes. My recommendation is to wait until your child is on their 2nd time around for each cycle and at least 11 or 12 years old. However, there have been 6 years old that have completed Memory Masters which is a big honor.
What’s after Foundations??
Essentials is for grades 4th-6th. This is where Classical Conversations builds upon the Foundations level and adds a complete language arts program. The Essentials class meets in the afternoons after Foundations where they spend time working on grammar, writing, and math drills. The parent accompanies the child so they can better understand what to teach at home. The English grammar portion follows the exclusive The Essentials of The English Language (EEL), the writing portion is a curriculum taken from the Institutes for Excellence in Writing (IEW), and the Math portion is spent doing speed drills and games on multiplication and other operations to help the children improve.
Challenge is a full curriculum for students in middle school through high school. Every level covers the subjects Latin, Math, Science, and literature with additional courses that include economics, theology, philosophy, drama, and logic. The Challenge class meets once a week for a total of 30 weeks. This class is completely separate from Foundations and Essentials and lasts all day. In Challenge students are working on skills in public speaking, writing, logical thinking, debate, science lab reports, and science experiments. The students work together in some fun and challenging activities such as Mock Trial, Policy Debate, Economic projects and much more!
If you would like to know more about Classical Conversations head on over to their website to gain more information!
Making the decision to join a Classical Conversations Community has benefited our family tremendously!
Comment below on your favorite CC Community activities!!!