Hawaii Canada California California California Texas Texas Texas

A Classical Conversation

Join the conversation! An eclectic group of folks have joined in to carry out the classical conversation; some of these folks may share or represent views we don't hold. We need them to be dialectic and have a classical conversation, and they need us too! So thanks for being patient with us and our fellow participants.

Subscribe to feed Latest Entries

A Beginning Glossary of Terms for Classical Education

Posted by Beth Watson
Beth Watson
Beth Watson graduated from Cairn University (formerly named Philadelphia Biblica
User is currently offline
on Friday, 18 April 2014
in Articles

Before homeschooling my children, my educational experience was limited to how I was taught, which I would generally characterize as traditional. I grew up attending a private, Christian school and later graduated from a Bible university with degrees in social work and Bible. I had no experience and very little information regarding classical education. When I attended an information meeting for Classical Conversations, I was just beginning my journey into understanding classical education. The first thing I noticed was that I did not understand the terminology! Whenever a CC representative tried to explain how the program worked, I found myself lost in translation. Maybe you have found yourself in the same predicament? Today I aim to offer definitions for some terms commonly used in classical education. I hope it helps! 

 

 

Note: I have chosen to organize the terms in order of topic development rather than alphabetically, like a typical glossary.

Four Benefits of Saxon Math

Posted by Matt
Matt
Matt Bianco is married to his altogether lovely high school sweetheart, Patty. T
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 17 April 2014
in Articles

April is Math Awareness Month. Here is an article from the archives to encourage you in your math study and instruction.

 

Four Benefits of Saxon Math

by Matt Bianco

 

Math is not scary. Say it with me: “Math is not scary.” Perhaps you might tell me you grew up believing your sister to be a math oriented person and believing yourself to be a language oriented person (and this is the reason you think math is scary). This is not true. If you have a proclivity for one over the other, it is the fault of education and our culture—not the fault of your mind. We might have natural talents that make one area of study easier for us than another—although the argument could be made that those are still the result of cultural and familial influences—but your being pigeonholed into developing only one of those talents is the fault of education and culture, not your mind. God created us in His image and He is not a left brained or right brained God. You are not left brained or right brained either. You can image God—and by this I mean you can reflect the image of God to this world—with both sides of your brain; you just need to break free from the pigeonholing that education and culture have imposed upon you.

Two Words of Encouragement

Posted by Ruth Holleran
Ruth Holleran
Ruth and Robbo, her husband of 25 years, live in a house they built in Vermont.
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 16 April 2014
in Articles

Have you ever noticed how many times in the Book of Psalms the words lovingkindness and truth appear together?

 

For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens and Your truth to the clouds.   Psalm 57:101

 

I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.  Psalm 40:10

 

Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psalm 85:10

 

But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. Psalm 86:15

 

When I looked into the Hebrew I found these words: chesed and emeth. Chesed is translated “lovingingkindness,” but it means more than a general kindness. It is only used in the context of two parties in a covenant relationship.2 It describes God’s compassionate commitment toward us regardless of our merit or our faithfulness toward Him. Chesed appears in the New Testament as charis, grace.

The Delaware Tea Party…And Why Writing Is So Important

Posted by Kathy Sheppard
Kathy Sheppard
Kathy Sheppard has a B.A. in Latin from the College of William and Mary and a M.
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 15 April 2014
in Articles

As I traverse history with my Challenge III and IV students, I have noticed a very important trend in history. Those who are remembered in history are those who are able to write well. Our goal, of course, is going to Heaven, but if a person wants to influence the greatest number of people, he/she should learn to write well. If a person can write a persuasive essay well, he/she can write a beautiful speech, an outstanding presentation or a convincing affirmative construct for debate. In keeping with the theme of this missive, here is my thesis statement: Throughout history, we see that men are remembered not just for their deeds, but because their deeds have been immortalized in writing.

0 votes

Classical Education Myth #4: This is just too much to learn.

Posted by Jennifer Courtney
Jennifer Courtney
Jennifer Courtney has been home educating since 2004. In addition, she serves as
User is currently offline
on Monday, 14 April 2014
in Articles

As I have visited with parents over the years about the classical, Christian model of education, many have been overwhelmed by what seems to be “way too much to learn.” Many people have read books about classical education and found their heads swimming with thoughts of Latin, Greek, logic, ancient literature, and history. They find themselves thinking that their students could never tackle all of these subjects nor could they guide their students through them.

 

Nothing could be farther from the truth of classical education. Let’s consider two important ideas about a classical education. First, a classical education seeks to train students in certain skills. These skills are the habits of mind that will help students learn any subject. Secondly, a classical education seeks to train students in these skills by practicing them on quality content.

Take the Ultimate Challenge

Posted by Jennifer Greenholt
Jennifer Greenholt
Jen Greenholt was an early participant in the Classical Conversations Challenge
User is currently offline
on Friday, 11 April 2014
in Articles

A lawyer, a medical student, a teenager, and a mom of three gather at a public park. No, this is not the beginning of a joke; it is the start of a weekend Ultimate Frisbee tournament.

 

 

In 1968, three high school students, one of whom would go on to produce the Matrix series and other popular Hollywood films, developed a rudimentary game of “frisbee football,” which they later renamed “Ultimate Frisbee.” Since that first casual summer, the sport has grown immensely, and as of 2012, the governing body, USA Ultimate (USAU), boasted 35,000 members.

 

 

I was introduced to Ultimate Frisbee in college, but I began playing recreationally about four years ago. Now, I play for a mixed club team in the Triad area of North Carolina. As I have discovered over the past four years, this sport is accessible, classical in nature, relational, and, above all, character building. I recommend it highly whether your high school student loves to run and is seeking a competitive outlet, or hates exercise and is seeking a tolerable alternative to the treadmill.

0 votes

You Are Math in Motion

Posted by Kate Deddens
Kate Deddens
Kate was born overseas, attending International Baccalaureate schools in Iran, I
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 10 April 2014
in Articles

April is Math Awareness Month. Here is an article from the archives to encourage you in your math study and instruction.

 

 

If I asked you, “Do you like math?” would you answer that you dislike it? Would you complain that you “never use it in real life”? Would you claim that you are not a “math person”? If you would answer in those ways, consider a follow-up question: “Do you like music?”

 

 

If you are like most people, you will say that you enjoy music; it makes up a significant part of our lives…in entertainment, in relaxation, and—perhaps most importantly for Christians—in worship. The love of music is a human phenomenon that crosses all geographic and cultural boundaries. With this in mind, let me suggest that if you answered the last question about music in a positive way, but the former question about math negatively, you have just contradicted yourself.

 

0 votes

Classical Approach to Homeschooling: Part 1

Posted by Tori Ryan
Tori Ryan
Tori Ryan is an experienced homeschooling mother of four lively children ages se
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 09 April 2014
in Articles

“You mean I’m going to do this math book again next year?” my son complained as his father and I broke the devastating news to him last spring.

 

 

“Yes, son. You haven’t mastered the concepts in this book yet and you need to have this down before we move on,” we gently explained, expecting the floodgate of tears to begin at any moment.

 

 

“Won’t I be behind?” he pleaded.

 

 

“Behind what? Behind whom? The only thing you are behind on is mastering the math concepts and paying attention to details. If you move on to the next book, you think then you won’t be behind a ‘book,’ but you will still be behind on the concepts,” we tried to explain. This was a baffling idea to him, that although he had completed the book, he had not completed the purpose for going through the book which was to master the material.

Should We Teach Students that Science Studies Only Material Causes?

Posted by Jonathan Bartlett
Jonathan Bartlett
Jonathan Bartlett is the director of The Blyth Institute, a nonprofit organizati
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 08 April 2014
in Articles

In my previous article discussing Phillip Johnson and Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, I made a strong case for why a Christian should reject materialism in very strong terms. One issue, however, that is often brought forward regarding science is the question of methodological materialism (also called methodological naturalism)—the idea that we can, as a purely methodological concern, presume the truth of materialism for conducting science. This would be different from philosophical materialism (also called philosophical naturalism), which states that all of reality is materialistic. This is an important issue for students, as understanding in detail the problem with methodological materialism will help them recognize some of the subtler forms of secularism when they emerge.

Why One Pagan Ruler Forbid Christians from Teaching Pagan Classics

Posted by Matt
Matt
Matt Bianco is married to his altogether lovely high school sweetheart, Patty. T
User is currently offline
on Monday, 07 April 2014
in Articles

I need to tell a story, a true story from our own history. This story will help us to answer some questions we have about the content which we use to educate our children. It may also shed some light on the decisions that our government makes with regard to education. A question very frequently arises about the content that classical, Christian education pursues. The question is famously worded as, “What hath Athens to do with Jerusalem?” It is also asked as whether Christians should read or study the pagans or the pagan classics.

 

Lots of articles have been written asking and answering this question and can be found on Writers Circle. I have written one previously called, “The Benefit of the Classics for Youth.” Another Writers Circle author, Jennifer Courtney, has written a couple of others, “Pagan Gods in Classical, Christian Education?” and “Classical and Christian? Can it be?” I do not so much as want to answer the question, as to tell a story.

How does the Essentials program prepare students and parents for Challenge B Latin?

Posted by Christina
Christina
Christina has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, 07 April 2014
in Articles

The Classical Conversations Essentials program, geared toward fourth through sixth graders, is a program that focuses on the structures and patterns of language. The primary goal of the Essentials program is to give students a firm grasp on the grammar of language and a core set of dialectic skills for analyzing and understanding language. The Challenge B Latin program is generally geared toward eighth graders and uses the Henle Latin: First Year Text. The primary goal of Challenge B Latin is to build upon the English grammar learned in Essentials and the Latin forms, basic syntax, and vocabulary they master in Challenge A while reading and translating simple sentences. The Essentials program is therefore a solid stepping stone to Challenge-level Latin—it provides the basic learning skills, basic grammar skills, and basic dialectic skills that will be applied not only in Latin, but in all areas of study.

Essentials to Challenge I Latin

Posted by Chelly
Chelly
Chelly Barnard has been homeschooling for over twenty years. As her youngest son
User is currently offline
on Monday, 07 April 2014
in Articles

One of the things that first attracted me to the classical model of learning was its emphasis on language skills as a tool to develop thinking skills, because words are the building blocks of ideas. Those who have a mastery of words have a greater ability to master ideas.

 

Understanding the structure of language is a key component of the language mastery which is the foundation of sound thinking skills. Remember Helen Keller, before she understood language? Because of her frustration with her inability to communicate, she behaved like an animal. Once Anne Sullivan finally got her to understand that everything has a name, it became apparent that she was brilliant. In the end, she could read five languages and one of them was Latin.

0 votes

Divided Responsibility

Posted by Stephanie Bailey
Stephanie Bailey
Stephanie graduated from the Classical Conversations program in 2012. She curren
User is currently offline
on Friday, 04 April 2014
in Articles

What surprised me most about college classes was not the workload. It was not the reading material, the complexity of assignments, or the deadlines.

 

It was the mindset of the other students.

 

To me, a professor asking a question is a professor expecting a response. In my Classical Conversations seminars, students rarely failed to provide some kind of comment when asked. More often, in fact, tutors had to help choreograph the admittance of so many eager answers. I remember innumerable occasions on which I could not wait for class discussion, because I had a thought to share or a genuine question to pose. Some of my favorite moments of enlightenment still stem from the vibrant back-and-forth of philosophical high school debates.

 

Half the fun of school was the freedom to participate, to explore ideas, and challenge each other. I grew up educated by those who delight in providing such an environment, truly believing with W. B. Yeats that “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

One-Room Schoolhouse Math: Ideas for the Challenge Math Seminar

Posted by Jennifer Courtney
Jennifer Courtney
Jennifer Courtney has been home educating since 2004. In addition, she serves as
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 03 April 2014
in Articles

April is Math Awareness Month. Here is an article from the archives to encourage you in your math study and instruction.

 

 

 

 

It has been said that scientists and mathematicians comprise a new priesthood. Our leaders, educators, and policy analysts are consumed with statistics for STEM (science and technology). How are our students doing in these critical subjects? The pressure to succeed in these areas causes us to make some critical errors. We focus too much on earning a credit instead of having students who spend enough time on the material to truly know it and, in turn, to love it. We put an “x” in the check box and move on before the children are ready. Secondly, we forget why we should pursue these subjects in the first place. As classical, Christian tutors and families, we want to turn the conversation so that we pursue these ideas because they lead us to a deeper understanding of who God is and how He has marvelously designed our world.

 

 

 

One of these errors was replicated in my own education. I made an A in AP Calculus my senior year in high school and was able to earn my college math credits before I set foot on the university campus, but this in no way signifies that I understood calculus. As my husband and I have discussed several times, we wish we had understood what we were doing. Instead of learning to memorize and apply formulas, I wish I had understood the amazing applications of calculus. I am excited for the opportunity to do it all over again. This time, I might just understand it!

 

0 votes

Studying Latin: the Benefit and the Beauty

Posted by Lisa
Lisa
Lisa Bailey, a homeschooling mom from North Carolina, has served Classical Conve
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 02 April 2014
in Articles

Latin is alive and well at the college level, and Challenge III and IV will prepare your student to join the conversation. In fact, the conversation could turn out to be a lot more familiar than expected.

 

 

A sophomore at an in-state liberal arts college, my daughter returned to her Latin roots this year after dabbling in Spanish for a couple of semesters. She had spent her final years of high school studying Spanish; she was part of the last Classical Conversations class to round out their grammar strand with Spanish instead of Latin. When she went to college, she decided to complete her foreign language requirement with Spanish, since it was the most recent language of study. However, after two semesters she tired of Spanish and decided to finish her degree requirement with Latin.

0 votes

Lent: A Time of Remembrance, Sacrifice, and Purification

Posted by Daniel Shirley
Daniel Shirley
Daniel Shirley is an alumnus of Classical Conversations and one of the first stu
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 01 April 2014
in Articles

Easter is almost upon us! But before we can celebrate Easter we must first pass through the forty days before Easter, known as Lent. Recently, I was reading a book by Alexander Schmemann titled Great Lent: Journey to Pascha and in this book Schmemann describes Lent as a season of preparation. We prepare ourselves to join Christ at the Passover, die with Him on the cross and rejoice in the regenerate man in the resurrection. So the question arises: what could I possibly need to purge from myself  before I can participate in Christ’s Passover, crucifixion, and resurrection? Well, luckily we can look to some Lenten traditions for the answer.

What's Your Big Hairy Monster?

Posted by Cara
Cara
Cara McLauchlan’s love of words began as a teen when she dreamed of becoming the
User is currently offline
on Monday, 31 March 2014
in Articles

Chapters Six through Eight - Math, Geography, and Logic

 

What’s Your Big Hairy Monster?

by Cara McLauchlan

 

 

“Teach your student to use these resources to find information about a concept he does not understand. Parents can model this habit for their students simply by being willing to say, ‘I don’t know the answer. Where can I go to find out?’” – Leigh Bortins, The Question (pg. 110)

 

There is always a big hairy monster in homeschooling. It is the scary thing that dominates your thoughts and keeps you up at night. When I first began homeschooling, it was more generic—like wrecking my kid’s life or forgetting something important, like how the government works. As things progressed, the monsters became more specific.

 

When I began Classical Conversations, my big hairy monster was the timeline. Seriously, how would my then nine-year-old ever be able to memorize 161 events in history? We struggled the first year, but by the third year even the dog could recite the timeline (that is, if she could speak.)

What I Love Most about Checklists

Posted by Jennifer Greenholt
Jennifer Greenholt
Jen Greenholt was an early participant in the Classical Conversations Challenge
User is currently offline
on Friday, 28 March 2014
in Articles

 

 

What I love most about checklists is the moment when I mark the last item complete. There are few things as satisfying as the sight of that ink-blackened paper, demonstrating to the world that I have met all expectations for the day.

 

 

I am convinced that checklists make me more effective as an employee and more conscientious as an adult, but sometimes I need a reminder that my value as a human is not defined by my ability to check items off a list.

 

 

Last May, Forbes Magazine published a list of “Top 100 Inspirational Quotes” on its website. Here are a few examples of the pithy sayings that made the cut:

 

 

• Steve Jobs: "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."
• American entrepreneur Jim Rohn: "Either you run the day, or the day runs you."
• Latin Proverb: "If the wind will not serve, take to the oars."

How to Tame the Testing Tempest

Posted by Nancy
Nancy
Nancy Casari Dayton graduated from Pennsylvania State University and earned a Ca
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 27 March 2014
in Articles

Revisiting Some Archived Articles that Have Not Been Lost, but May Have Been Forgotten and Are Worth a Fresh Read

 

In Romans 12:2, Paul writes: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (NIV).

 

Having taught in the public school system for almost ten years, I have experienced the hard-core, wrenching process of gearing up for state-mandated tests, SAT tests, AP tests, and even a school’s accreditation process. The stakes are high. A school’s funding level can be tied to test results. A community’s property values are often linked to students’ test scores. Students need to attain certain benchmarks to be eligible to attend the college of their choice. From a practical standpoint, tests are important.

All Out for Pleasure

Posted by David Bailey
David Bailey
David Bailey is the founding pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Stokesdale
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 26 March 2014
in Articles

The Little Red Hen understood the real world. She asked for help as she planted, nurtured, harvested, milled, and baked. No one cared about helping with the work. Everyone wanted to enjoy the freshly baked bread. She rightly allowed only those who worked for the bread to enjoy it. Sadly, she ate alone. She understood that pleasure and responsibility go hand in hand.

 

These connections are self-evident to those steeped in the Protestant work ethic. The pleasure of sex brings the responsibility of commitment and potential parenthood. The pleasure of leisure comes after the responsibility of work. The pleasure of beachfront property brings the responsibility of preparing for storm damage. The “pleasure” of poor health choices creates the responsibility of dealing with diabetes, heart disease, lung cancer, or cirrhosis of the liver.

Most Popular

I need to tell a story, a true story from our own history. This story will help us to answer some questions we have about the content which we use t
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…     — Proverbs 23:7     All of my children are in the double digits. While
Chapters Six through Eight - Math, Geography, and Logic   What’s Your Big Hairy Monster? by Cara McLauchlan     “Teach your stu
As I have visited with parents over the years about the classical, Christian model of education, many have been overwhelmed by what seems to be “way
What surprised me most about college classes was not the workload. It was not the reading material, the complexity of assignments, or the deadlines.

Home | FAQ | Request a Catalog | Online Catalog | Conference Schedule | Online Bookstore | Merchandise and Gifts | Our Partners | Store Return Policy | Contact Us | Leigh Bortins | Faith Statement |
Press Room | New Classical Portal | CC Webmail | Articles | Product Submission Guidelines | Advertisers | Employment | Menu for Tablet Users


©1997-2013 Classical Conversations Inc.
PO Box 909, West End, NC 27376