In this blog, updated for 2020, a homeschool mom provides insight into how to customize the Classical Conversations program. Link to the original post is at the bottom.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed at the idea of checking off every box on your homeschool to-do list? There is hope! As a home educator, you are the teacher, and with that comes the freedom of tailoring your student’s education to be exactly what fits them and your family at any given season of life.
Tailoring Individual Homeschool Subjects
- If your student is pursuing a different instrument, feel free to make tin whistle a lower-priority area.
- Experiment with incorporating bonus goals if your student can take an extra push. Example: we worked to not just memorize the memory work, but also correctly spell it! At the end of the school year, we hosted a spelling bee for those who joined us in the challenge.
- During big family changes or upheaval, feel free to cut back to the bare-bones basics. Students can learn different valuable skills outside of those that are purely academic.
We often tailor our approach to a specific subject or unit rather than the whole school year. For example, unlike many families, we know whose children learned to play Christmas carols, duets, and rounds together during the tin whistle unit, we have incorporated little to no tin whistle practice outside of community day. My daughter plays the cello, and her cello lessons have been our primary source for music theory and instruction. While the tin whistle portion of the class provided an excellent review of terms and concepts, it wasn’t something we chose to emphasize at home. However, this year she has elected to make the tin whistle a priority because she has a personal goal of beginning piano lessons next summer and she realized the tin whistle unit would help her become more familiar with the treble clef, which is something she’s encountered very little as a cellist.
Some years we add interesting extras to the curriculum. One frill that we are adding this year, on our second pass through Cycle 2, is the goal that she is able to not only recite but also correctly spell the memory work. She has enthusiastically tackled the task, and now spells Mycenaeans and Peloponnesian with relish. To make this project a little more enjoyable, in the spring we will be hosting a spelling bee for students from the community who chose to join us in the challenge.
Sometimes, however, tailoring means scaling down. When our new little guy was born, we cut back to the basics. I was grateful for the ability to decide that the proud big sister had higher priorities that week than labelling sentence dress-ups!
Would you like to join us in a customizable, community-based education?
What a gift Classical Conversations has given us—both a pattern to follow and the freedom to tailor it as needed. How beautiful to model academic excellence, yet to properly value character and relationships over academic achievements. I treasure this freedom to adjust our approach, our focus, and specific assignments to best fit my daughter and our family.
To learn more about how you can take advantage of both the structure and freedom of a Classical Conversations education, tap to get connected to your local community.