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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.

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Finding Freedom in the Grammar Stage

Posted by Brandy Ferrell
Brandy Ferrell
Originally from Lawton, OK, Brandy graduated with a Bachelor's degree in enginee
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on Tuesday, 31 December 2013
in Articles

 

Once upon a time, I attempted to find a craft, worksheet, and online activity or video to flesh out almost every subject of every week of Foundations memory work.

 

When we entered a year of overwhelming challenges and setbacks, I desperately struggled to keep a firm grip on my lesson plans, but our circumstances forced me to let go. At first, I wrestled with dreadful feelings of inadequacy and failure. However, during that humbling year, I made a simple yet liberating discovery: Whatever may befall us, we can simply rest in the classical method. Our children will learn without crafts, videos, and worksheets.


I discovered that as a classical educator all we need at the grammar stage are the four Rs :

Memory for the Master

Posted by David Bailey
David Bailey
David Bailey is the founding pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Stokesdale
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on Tuesday, 10 December 2013
in Articles

I have never worked very hard on memorizing. With varying degrees of memory success, I have carried around little Bible memory cards and even worked on long passages of scripture. In high school, I memorized Macbeth’s speech about the petty pace that creeps on. And I have also memorized untold volumes of useless content in the form of advertizing jingles and sitcom title sequences. “Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more…”

 

I have the capacity to memorize. It happens even without effort. However, I have operated under a flawed understanding of memory. Until very recently, I have thought of my memory capacity as similar to an electronic music player. Memory is limited, so I must be careful what I store. My seventeen-year-old daughter recently spent hours carefully deleting photos and music from her uncomfortably cramped eight-gig iPod. In order to add more music, she had to delete something.

Classical Education Myth #1

Posted by Jennifer Courtney
Jennifer Courtney
Jennifer Courtney has been home educating since 2004. In addition, she serves as
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on Wednesday, 06 November 2013
in Articles

 

Over the years of studying classically with my children and working with Classical Conversations, I have heard a lot of myths about classical education. By myth, I do not mean the epic poems of Homer designed to present our children with examples of heroes to follow and villains to shun. I mean the common understanding of the word—misconceptions. (I could digress here into an argument that we need to reclaim the word myth, but I will save that for another day so that we can dive directly into the myths.)


Myth #1 – Classical education is just rote memorization.

 

There are two issues to address here. We need to look at whether or not memorization is bad for children. Then, we can consider whether or not this is all that they do during the grammar years.

The Power of a Question

Posted by Lisa
Lisa
Lisa Bailey, a homeschooling mom from North Carolina, has served Classical Conve
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on Friday, 11 October 2013
in Articles

May I ask you a question? As a mom, I am good at that:

 

“Are you up yet?”

“Do you need some help?”

“Why did you leave that here?”

“Is your throat sore?”

“When will you be back?”

“Do you call that clean?”

 

As a homeschool mom of two for more than a dozen years, I have discovered that questions have immense power. Questions can identify the most important concept under discussion. Questions can guide a student as he processes a new idea. Questions can propel a student towards a new thought or application. As I have learned to ask better questions, my own students have become more able learners. The power of a good question, aptly posed, is valuable at every stage of the trivium.

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Beefing Up Sixth Grade

Posted by Courtney Sanford
Courtney Sanford
Courtney Sanford has been home schooling with Classical Conversations since 2005
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on Thursday, 03 October 2013
in Articles

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

 

 

In more and more Classical Conversations communities, sixth graders start their final year in Foundations already knowing a lot of the memory work. Many of these students began Foundations sitting on mom’s lap and soaking up the timeline cards as early as age three. How do we keep them engaged through Foundations and prepare them for Challenge A?

 

First of all, we can be glad that they know the memory work, but we can also teach them to be kind and compassionate to other students who have not yet mastered the facts. Their role can become one of mentor and helper, but only if their heart is in the right place. Shouting out the answer does demonstrate that they know the material, but it prevents other students from being able to hear the tutor and disrupts the class. So, talk to your student about avoiding prideful behavior and developing self-control. Those are important skills; be glad for the extra practice.

Memory Work: A Personal Journey

Posted by Jennifer Courtney
Jennifer Courtney
Jennifer Courtney has been home educating since 2004. In addition, she serves as
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on Thursday, 26 September 2013
in Articles

 

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

 

 

For the last six years, I have encountered some of the same questions over and over again from families who are wondering about memory work. Why should I introduce difficult concepts to a young child? Why should I teach my children to memorize and recite things that they cannot understand? Isn't it a waste of time to memorize things that they will just forget?

 

My family started the Classical Conversations Foundations program in 2005 when my oldest child was six. He has now completed each of the three cycles of memory work twice and has just been awarded the honor of Memory Master for the fourth time. Reflecting on our journey, I realized some truths about memory work that I did not understand in the beginning.

Confessions of a Thirty-Something-Year-Old Memory Master

Posted by Kathy Sheppard
Kathy Sheppard
Kathy Sheppard has a B.A. in Latin from the College of William and Mary and a M.
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on Wednesday, 22 May 2013
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At the beginning of the year, our Foundations Director, Stephanie Ross, posed the question, “Are there any mothers who want to be Memory Masters?” As someone who is a lifelong learner, I secretly wanted this. Besides the fact that I love challenges, I wanted to experience the process for myself because my daughter would be doing it for the first time this year.

 

Make no mistake, IT IS HARD! I earned my undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary and my masters from George Mason University. The Memory Master test was the hardest test I have ever taken! I nearly did not make it because I could not remember the word “shelf” in continental shelf and I nearly forgot the card “Immigrants Flock to America” after “The Missouri Compromise.” My director was very patient with me, because she knows that I am in the rhetorical stage rather than the grammar stage. I understand now why it was easier for my eight year old: she did not let things she already knew get in her way! If I tried to think too hard, I had trouble remembering the facts. My director had to remind me not to think so hard because I did know the material. The only block in my brain was my brain trying to think much too hard.

 

Here are some pointers I gleaned from this experience:


One Child's Memory Master Journey

Posted by Nancy
Nancy
Nancy Casari Dayton graduated from Pennsylvania State University and earned a Ca
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on Wednesday, 08 May 2013
in Articles

During the first week of our family’s homeschooling journey, I taught this verse to my children: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7, NIV). It is a wonderful day when a parent can see the fruit of his or her instruction.

 

On May 3, 2013, our Roseville, California, Classical Conversations community held our End-of-Year Celebration and Open House. At this event, the director honored six students who had earned the title of Memory Master. My ten-year-old son was among them. What an inspiring journey this has been!


News from the Tech Guys

Posted by Chris
Chris
Chris has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 14 December 2012
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We are wrapping up a very busy year in IT as we continue to expand and improve our systems to better serve our Classical Conversations communities.

 

What's New?

The newly revamped Classical Conversations catalog has gone mobile! The free app can be downloaded from Apple's iTunes App Store to your iPhone or iPad to put the catalog at your fingertips. Whether you are traveling, watching a soccer practice, or lounging at home, reviewing nuggets of the CC catalog couldn't be easier. This comprehensive publication not only gives you details and pricing of products, but also includes information about our programs and how they work, as well as relevant articles. With the app, updates and revisions are downloaded instantly to your mobile device. Get it today from iTunes!

 

In addition...

 

Lapbooks for Cycle 1

Posted by Nancy
Nancy
Nancy has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 28 May 2012
in News and Updates

 

Do you love lapbooks? Well, A Journey Through Learning has received permisson from Leigh to recommend many of their lapbooks for cycle 1! What is a lapbook you ask? It is like scapbooking, but with an educational twist! Your child records information, through drawing or writing, into fun little mini-booklets. Those mini-booklets are then glued into specially-folded file folders.

 

A Journey Through Learning not only provides ALL of the templates and instructions, they also provide STUDY GUIDES for each topic!!! These study guides make doing your weekly memory verses so much more educational. No more looking up the information!!! When complete, your child will have something to show dad, grandparents, and friends. They also are wonderful for your sharing time at CC. Every time your child shows and explains the contents in his lapbook, he will be continuing to learn the information within it and not even realize it! Lapbooks are also motivating for the reluctant learner.

 

So, check out the special tab just for Classical Conversations cycle 1 on A Journey Through Learning's website and let the fun begin!

www.ajourneythroughlearning.com

 

New products for Classical Conversation are being added daily! Before school starts in August they will have notebooking pages, file folder games, Latin review, copyworking and more!

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Memory Work: A Personal Journey

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, 18 April 2011
in Articles

For the last six years, I have encountered some of the same questions over and over again from families who are wondering about memory work.  Why should I introduce difficult concepts to a young child?  Why should I teach my children to memorize and recite things that they cannot understand?  Isn't it a waste of time to memorize things that they will just forget?  My family started the Classical Conversations Foundations program in 2005 when my oldest child was 6.  He has now completed each of the three cycles of memory work twice and has just been awarded the honor of Memory Master for the fourth time.  Reflecting on our journey, I realized some truths about memory work that I did not understand in the beginning.

The first truth is shockingly simple-the repetition of difficult concepts produces long-term results.  In the early years, I questioned the wisdom of having my six-year-old repeat the associative law.  It seemed unreasonable to ask him to chant "a plus opening parenthesis b plus c closing parenthesis equals opening parenthesis a plus b closing parenthesis plus c."  It would have been easy to dismiss this particular item as something that he simply was not ready for.  However, we persevered in chanting this math law every year for six years.

0 votes

Memory Work: A Personal Journey

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, 18 April 2011
in Articles

For the last six years, I have encountered some of the same questions over and over again from families who are wondering about memory work.  Why should I introduce difficult concepts to a young child?  Why should I teach my children to memorize and recite things that they cannot understand?  Isn't it a waste of time to memorize things that they will just forget?  My family started the Classical Conversations Foundations program in 2005 when my oldest child was 6.  He has now completed each of the three cycles of memory work twice and has just been awarded the honor of Memory Master for the fourth time.  Reflecting on our journey, I realized some truths about memory work that I did not understand in the beginning.

The first truth is shockingly simple-the repetition of difficult concepts produces long-term results.  In the early years, I questioned the wisdom of having my six-year-old repeat the associative law.  It seemed unreasonable to ask him to chant "a plus opening parenthesis b plus c closing parenthesis equals opening parenthesis a plus b closing parenthesis plus c."  It would have been easy to dismiss this particular item as something that he simply was not ready for.  However, we persevered in chanting this math law every year for six years.

0 votes

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