I wouldn't take our Classical Conversations community director's word for it when she said, "Trust me. The weekly memory work is ENOUGH."
In my efforts to make sure my Foundations student was getting "enough" for school, I added a grammar program, writing program, and other various curricula.
After six weeks of Foundations, I am here to report that we have DITCHED almost all of them.
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Seek Wise Counsel
I asked two good friends who have children in Essentials (the program that is added onto Foundations in the 4th-6th grades) if they would recommend me continuing with a formal grammar program. They both know me well and told me Grant will get grammar in Essentials. He will get it three years in a row.
There will be plenty of TIME for the information to STICK.
Why am I banging my head against a stone wall now?
Oh -- and spelling, but just because Grant LOVES spelling and I adore the curriculum.
Other than that, I agree with our director:
The Weekly Memory Work is ENOUGH.
This realization actually frees me up to choose chapter books that correlate with the history timeline, find fun science experiments and art projects, and so much more.
I am so thankful I sought the wise counsel of my friends Kim and Sue (they read the blog, so this shout out is for you, my friends!).
Classical Conversations is the perfect fit for us because within the Classical framework of memorizing so many wonderful facts we can still be interest led learners at the same time.
The Memory Work Binder
I made a simple binder for Grant. When he traces a map or does a printable from CC Connected, we add it to the appropriate part of the binder (geography, science, grammar, Latin, math, history, art, or music).
Then, I offer him some selections from CC Connected and map tracing. All of this takes an hour (sometimes a bit longer).
Many days he will want to flip through all of the timeline cards while he listens to the timeline song.
After math and piano we're free to explore anything else we would like.
I am keeping a running list on my Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Pinterest Board of ideas and enrichment activities.
How fun is that?
I am simply BLOWN AWAY by the amount of beautiful information he is retaining, and the way the timeline sticks with him. He is truly establishing PEGS on which to hang so much more information. The pure JOY in my son's Foundations class is amazing. You would think playing review games is the best thing since sliced bread!
Looking Ahead to Challenge
I can also see how all of this will serve him well in the Challenge Program. The students in my daughter's Challenge class are constantly drawing from the information they have memorized in their years in Foundations and Essentials. I feel fortunate that Anna can listen in on memory work with us this year and it hasn't been too hard of an adjustment for her to jump into Challenge as a new to CC student.
(After all, Leigh Bortins started with Challenge before she designed Foundations and Essentials.)
The lesson learned in all of this: Sometimes it is good to put my type A tendencies aside and just LISTEN to veteran moms who have walked in my shoes. I am learning to TRUST the CC process and delight in the results.
I also need to reread The Core - it's been a year since I've read it and I KNOW there will be many lessons and ideas I have forgotten!
What has been your experience with Classical Conversations? Are you in a community now? Do you do CC at home without being in a community?
I'd love to hear from you!