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Classical Conversations -thoughts?


newhsmommy
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I ultimately decided not to do CC so others can probably give you better answers to your questions.

 

But I wanted to suggest that you go to an Open house if they offer it where you are. I went to the Info meeting and thought it sounded perfect. But after the open house (we spent a day observing/participating in everything) I got a better idea if it was the right fit for us. I think it's a good program and know lots of people do it and love it, but it wasn't right for us for various reasons. That was easier to tell after really seeing it in action.

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There are a ton of threads about CC on here. Go to the advanced search option and put in Classical Conversations and "poof" you'll get more than you can read. I'm up for you pmming me if you'd like more direct questions answered. I have a rising 6th grader and rising 1st grader...and I am in Oregon:-)

Carrie

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I looked into this for a long time and ultimately decided to go against it. It seems very rigorous, but I wanted something for enrichment instead.

 

I would recommend going to an open house, as suggested. A friend who sent her son to CC recently stopped. The group was very conservative and it didn't go along with many of her beliefs. One example was that the group doesn't believe dinosaurs ever existed...they are just made up. Groups might differ from area to area, but I would definitely ask about certain things before confusing your dc.

 

HTH,

Liz in NC

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Guest bookwormmama

I am in the process of getting a CC group started out here... well, actually, I am helping someone else out get one started... I am curious mostly for those who chose NOT to go with CC to tell me their specific reasons WHY they decided it wasn't right for their family. We don't have another group in our state so I don't have the benefit to visit another group and see how it's done.

If you could please let me know what you didn't like about it, that would be great. I have heard only great things about it and I am the kind of person that needs to hear BOTH sides to make a good decision ... so far I haven't heard anything negative, other than the money factor. I have also heard that it covers all core subjects and that we are to supplement at home! So this would be our main curriculum for the year. So that made more sense to me. Is that not correct?

 

I appreciate any and all answers!

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OK, I'm back from the info meeting. I liked what "they" had to say about the program. I can also see how it would enrich what we will be covering next year. It was not presented to us that CC covers core and we supplement, actually the opposite. One thing I did not like is it is based so much on memory work and does not really get into the subject matter. The other thing is the price for sure. It is not worth paying over $600 a year for each child (middle and high school is more) for a 2 hour a week "co-op" my husband would not go for that. I think I will look over all the material in the morning and re-visit the idea. There was ALOT of pressure to sign-up tonight which I did not care for either.

 

THANKS!!!

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OK, I'm back from the info meeting. I liked what "they" had to say about the program. I can also see how it would enrich what we will be covering next year. It was not presented to us that CC covers core and we supplement, actually the opposite. One thing I did not like is it is based so much on memory work and does not really get into the subject matter. The other thing is the price for sure. It is not worth paying over $600 a year for each child (middle and high school is more) for a 2 hour a week "co-op" my husband would not go for that. I think I will look over all the material in the morning and re-visit the idea. There was ALOT of pressure to sign-up tonight which I did not care for either.

 

THANKS!!!

 

Hmm I am not sure that person knew what they were talking about, but it's not $600/child for 2 hours for the grammar stage program. (Challenge does have higher fees than Foundations/Essentials) I am sorry you weren't give the best information. That's a bummer... I would be glad to answer any questions if you want to pm me. It's standard community to community.

 

Just FYI - you can see the fees here: Fees

 

and an overview of the programs here:

Foundations

 

Essentials

 

Challenge

 

Essentials and Challenge are not supplemental they are complete programs.

 

Foundations is supplemental, but you can make it your whole program. Feel free to pm me or another CC family for details.

 

Foundations is grammar stage memory ~ that's what the program is. It's been very helpful to our family.

 

Foundations is 3 hours, Essentials is 2 and Challenge can be all day.

Edited by Steph
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I went to an introductory meeting, but decided it was not for us. I see the pros as the structure and the community. The cons were the curriculum choices, some religious and some not. We were looking for 7th grade.

 

Here are a few threads:

Classical Conversations - religion

 

Any thoughts on Classical Conversations?

 

classical conversations?

 

HTH!

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as someone who has done CC for two years now, one as non-tutor and one as a tutor, i have a pretty good perspective on it...

 

i do like CC...not sure if i LOVE it. i am really struggling with whether or not to return this year because for a couple of reasons--the first and foremost is the community aspect. we have an awesome campus and we've made good friends. my son is a total extravert and loves / needs the interaction he gets in his class. we have regular kennedy center events that we attend together, field trips, moms' nights out--that kind of stuff. that part i do love. the part that i don't love is trying to figure out if their prescripted program is how i really want to teach my kids. sometimes i feel like the day out per week takes away from other things. and then there's this--we go to the capitol building one day and my son (7) sees a replica of the magna carta...and he sings the song from the previous year and says "this is what they were talking about mom?" and we talked about the significance of that document and what it means for the place we're standing at that moment. he started multiplication and totally gets it because of the skip-counting practice. he loves the memory work and asked "mom, if we don't do CC next year, can we at least do the songs and stuff?" my 4-year old knows how to skip count some, sing the history songs and seems to absorb the info through osmosis.

 

so okay, it's june. i'm sorting things out for next year as it is, but even as i write this i can't see not doing it...it be giving up more than i'd be gaining by not returning. i think i just need a break...oh, and i have no clue about the dinosaur thing...i never heard that they don't believe that dinosaurs never existed! that's a little weird. they are creationist, though, but they don't harp on it or anything...you can just tell that the science questions are "tilted" that way.

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One thing I did not like is it is based so much on memory work and does not really get into the subject matter. The other thing is the price for sure. It is not worth paying over $600 a year for each child (middle and high school is more) for a 2 hour a week "co-op" my husband would not go for that.

THANKS!!!

 

 

Hey There, I pm'med you, but here's my take one what you said. It may very well be their first year having info meetings? Last year, when I started...I just was thinking "Ok y'all...come with me on a ride and let's see how great it'll be!" I knew that I wanted to do it, but I never had seen it in real life. I really didn't know how to explain what it was going to look like! I didn't know how to explain what would be retained....OR, how to explain what you'd do at home!

 

Also, if they are trying hire tutors, they are probably just nervous about how many families they'll have...

 

For us, it's well worth the $$$ we spend. It keeps us going each week. We LOVE it! My son is still singing the songs...3 months after we stopped. His favorite is skip counting math and also singing about Pearl Harbor!

 

We really have a NICE group. The kids are really nice to each other. It's amazing. I just can't say enough about our group.

 

BUT, even I feel nervous about how many we'll have. There's a ton to do...supplies to purchase, tutors to get ready (and have enough of them) and the like...

 

With all that said, it's not for everyone....BUT, I just love meeting each week...and if we didn't do this...we'd do something else:-)

 

Carrie:-)

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We recently joined CC starting in the Fall. I joined while at a HS Conference - talk about an impulse purchase. Our nearby CC has been full for quite a while. A new CC was starting really close to my house, and there were a lot of people at the booth. So, I joined. Good thing, because within a few weeks, the new location was completely full for the Fall with a lengthy wait list to boot.

 

We are only doing Foundations, as we completed IEW ancients this year. I am a little bit concerned with the time commitment for the memory work, but am hopeful that it will work well for us.

 

The HS groups in my community seem to cater to people who are more laid back in their academics. Although DS and I would love to join them bowling, skating and going to the movies during our school hours, we simply can not do that. Hopefully, CC will allow us to meet other classically minded homeschoolers. We can enjoy social interaction while still learning something.

 

Anyway, that's the plan. Oh, I really love the VP history card - they are wonderful!

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Guest murungu

I like the content but have some issues. The cost is definitely one if we are expected to arrange our own tutors etc. I am going to look sick if I am the only one in the area who buys CC! I also bear in mind that they are out to make a profit.

 

Memory work seems to be something no one wants. Admittedly, learning a pile of facts without any context does see a bit inane. Having had a colonial education, memory work is essential. How else will you write a test without memorising facts? "Mental Arithmetic" tests (i.e. no scratch paper -calculators had not been invented) were a standard part of my education up to age 12. The high school maths exam was written after 4 years of coursework.

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and I am excited. I have been using TOG for 5 years, and I was hoping that this would be a good supplement and structured environment for my kids to meet on a weekly basis. For the K-6 kids, I can see that happening. However, for my jr. high and high schoolers, we are not going to be able to fit in TOG with CC. These programs are intense. Think of it as a one day a week school with trained tutors. I just completed training for one of the high school levels and am hoping to secure at least a few other students for my dd to converse with each week. If we just have two, then that is ok too. That is what I have been doing this year with our TOG discussions anyway.

 

One thing that impressed me was the organization and integration of all the subjects. There are a few things that I am not totally sure about (math and science), but I also realize that as a Tutor I will be learning along with my students. I also have a friend who will tutor math for me, and I will pay her for that hour. I am excited about doing a Shakespeare play, the debate team, and the philosophy course. This is the kind of stuff my dd thrives on. If it hadn't been for TOG these last 4 years paving the way, I am not sure how confident I would be tutoring in CC. Since I will be able to participate with my own dd, and facilitate discussion with her peers, it will be a great experience IMO.

 

At our campus, the Foundations and Essentials are full already with a waiting list. I just wish the Challenge programs would be more popular so that next year I know my dd could move up to the next level.

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Guest murungu

All organisations pushing material to homeschoolers are profit driven businesses. They do not pay to participate in massive conventions all around the country for nothing. Amway, Team National, USANA, Tupperware etc. are all profit driven 'networks' too.

 

Regardless of their(CC) motive the cost is prohibitive, especially the sections that are merely "supplemental".

 

We have learned that many syllabii have the 'supplemental' disclaimer. We now check all glossy brochures for this first before reading. I suppose 'supplemental' is to homeschooling as 'busy work' is to public schools.

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Although I was impressed with their presentation, I ultimately decided that I would have to change my entire curriculum to fit what they were studying for history, etc. each year in order to take fullest advantage of it. Otherwise, my son would just be memorizing lists of facts with no background or extension information to really make the study meaningful.

 

Instead, I ended up not only making a lot of my own memory lists, but buying Drew Campbell's memory work book which includes tons of lists I can use for years. I pick and choose from those, reprinting them so that I can organize them into a memory notebook as I so choose.

 

In this way, I've really been able to structure our memory work to fit the topics we're studying in each subject area at any particular time during the school year. I think this is a better use of memory work than just memorizing otherwise empty, disconnected facts.

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All organisations pushing material to homeschoolers are profit driven businesses. They do not pay to participate in massive conventions all around the country for nothing. Amway, Team National, USANA, Tupperware etc. are all profit driven 'networks' too.

 

Is Classical Conversations a multi-level marketing company?

Edited by Sue in St Pete
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I'm not familiar w/multi-level company's, but I am familiar w/CC. Each family pays a registration fee, which is the only money "corporate" receives directly from the participating families. The rest remains on each campus, to pay for supplies, the host church/facility, and yes--the tutors and the director get paid from that, too. I think CC makes no bones about the fact that the tutors are trained, and that they want to encourage homeschool moms/dads to do something they love and make some money, too. Maybe I'm naive, but I've never felt like they were out to make a profit on me and my family. I tutored for quite a few years and the money I made as a tutor did not replace the tuition we paid for our 3 children, but I would tutor again in a heartbeat. I will be directing a campus in the fall.

 

It's a great fit for us, for now. When it's compared to classical schools and various co-ops in my area, it's not outrageously expensive. I really feel like it keeps me teaching classically, too, and not veering off in a direction that I would regret.

 

What does the "supplemental" thing mean?

Edited by sportymom
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We tried it out for six weeks this past spring. It was super expensive for what we got, I thought. It also did not fit our curriculum that I already had in place. Plus, I didn't like that we lost nearly an entire day of school. Finally, I think the memorization stuff was a bit much for my youngest (5). Trying to teach her to memorize what the communicative law is was a bit of a stretch for even a bright young kid.

 

HOWEVER, we will be returning in the fall b/c my 2 older kids absolutely love it. It is really nice for the socialization aspect. It's more than hanging out w/other kids. At the program we attended, it had just the right blend of competitiveness and friendliness that my kids really loved. They loved all the academic games played. My dd9 still begs me to quiz her on the history sentences and memorized an entire year's worth of material in the brief time we were there. It is amazing to watch how creating the pegs of history to hang their information on really does work. I can see how it would be a great spine, which is how a lot of ppl at our center use it. I will continue on w/what we're doing and try to align our history w/theirs to get the most out of it.

 

My kids especially love the eating lunch together and the gym part (I'm not sure if all groups do that), but it gave my kids just enough taste of school. Our group was 30 mins. away and I really dreaded the morning rush of getting out of the house, but it didn't phase my kids.

 

They are creationists. We are Catholic and I didn't see anything particular difficult to explain to my kids about how we're different. It might be differerent next year, but it will give a good opportunity to explain different beliefs.

Good luck. It's hard to spend that much $$ on an unknown. I think of all the $$ spent w/CC and all the other books I could be spending w/my $$ instead.

 

Laura

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We have learned that many syllabii have the 'supplemental' disclaimer. We now check all glossy brochures for this first before reading. I suppose 'supplemental' is to homeschooling as 'busy work' is to public schools.

 

Sometimes the term supplemental is used to comply with state homeschool laws. CC is a NC based company and our state laws require that any outside academic classes be considered supplemental. That doesn't mean that all outside classes are busy work, just that the organizers and parents understand that the classes are supporting/supplementing what the parent is doing at home.

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Sometimes the term supplemental is used to comply with state homeschool laws. CC is a NC based company and our state laws require that any outside academic classes be considered supplemental. That doesn't mean that all outside classes are busy work, just that the organizers and parents understand that the classes are supporting/supplementing what the parent is doing at home.

 

 

 

Thanks!

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I am looking into CC also. My main concern is that it will compete with our regular schooling and not enhance it. The only way we would be able to afford it is if I tutored. Any thoughts on it competing with your curriculum you already do?

Beth

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My reasons for not chosing CC:

 

1. We've already done some of the curriculums (SOTW, bluestocking Economics, Drawing With Children are a few I noticed).

2. Some curriculums we wouldn't choose (Saxon-We like A Beka and Foerster, FLVS and other units/kits for Science etc., using Classical Writing.)

3. I just can't see paying $$$ and spending that much time for something I can teach at home. I suspect the meetings are similar to coops I've been at-too many kids and too little control. It takes more time to teach in that environment and IMO it just isn't efficient.

4. It is my understanding that the children get 'homework' on the non CC days. One of the major problems I had with regular school was the helpless and disjointed feeling of not knowing exactly what was covered in the class and yet having to help with homework. I don't want to teach homework for another teacher.

 

I'm sure CC works for some and if that is the case then I think that is great. The idea is to do what works. :)

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We chose not to go with CC as well. I felt like it would be too much and would compete with what we are doing at home. It is also SO expensive.

 

Instead, we chose a co-op that has things I could not offer at home - drama, drawing, etc. It's much less expensive and will give my children some time to hang out with other kids.

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I am looking into CC also. My main concern is that it will compete with our regular schooling and not enhance it. The only way we would be able to afford it is if I tutored. Any thoughts on it competing with your curriculum you already do?

Beth

 

Hey Beth,

 

We did CC last year, and we're doing it again this coming year. (and I direct a program) To me, for our family...I look at it like this. I like coffee and I bread. I can enjoy them separately or together...BUT, together I feel like I've had a "meal". They complement each other, although they are different.

With CC, the cycle that you'd probably be doing this year...is Cycle 1. It's a "World History Overview" using geography as the core for the history. (At least that's my interpretation...it's not the "official CC" definition of Cycle 1)

There are good things and bad things about every opportunity. For us, without a doubt, the good outweigh the negative. It is a lot of money, but not more expensive than say...ballet...or drama, or any other activity.

I have no idea how long you'd have to work to tutor, but most of it is open and go. My tutors spend enough time to go over each weeks material, and have some supplemental pictures...do a bit of study about the history and science sentences, and then tutor meetings every few weeks. They also attend tutor training.

BUT, I consider this time well spent, as it enhances our children's world. My son was 5 when we started, which was a good age for him! Before that, I think he would have gone bonkers! This year, I look forward to his maturation that has happened over the last few months...to kick in...and allow him to breath out.:-) He's a bit hyper. Last year he made it until about 11:30 and then came to find me, if I wasn't in class with him.

He remembers almost ALL the material from last year, and can recall it when applicable. He relates it to subjects that he comes in contact with on a weekly, at least, basis.

Now, I didn't stay just on what we were studying at CC, but I did try to explain much of it at home. I didn't find it necessary to stick to a CC order or be confined to staying with their timeline. BUT, I did try to explain the sentence, and often times he had a little book about the history sentence.

With this said, it's exciting to see how much he retained! His favorite history sentence, at the moment, is about Pearl Harbor. (And we haven't listened to the cd since April)

How much did we study at home, to remember the information? Well, my children weren't trying to be memory masters, so we listened to the cd...through the last week we had studied...about 2 or 3 times a week.

I did have something that I tried to do, and am hoping to be even more successful at next year, which was to introduce all the material at home. This allows me to hear if my son is pronouncing everything correctly (because once he "learns" it...that's the way he's gonna say it.) Also, there's some evidence that material learned by orally saying it, is stored in the brain in a different spot that where music is....

 

Anyway, that being said, I think you'd enjoy tutoring and being involved...and Cycle 1 is a great cycle to jump in!

 

Carrie:-)

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Really? I find this fascinating! How do you know? They do not promote themselves this way. Which makes it even more interesting. They call themselves a 'network' and a 'community', not a 'business'.

 

Inquiring minds want to know! :bigear:

 

 

Most curriculum companies do hope to make a profit. CC tries. Now, just for foundations (not including essentials or the challenge programs), the $50 reg. fee per child goes directly to the top (Lee B. and she pays her leaders/helpers, publishers, promotional literature etc.) Completely full CC groups can have 60+ kids just for foundations. Multiply that by the number of groups out there. For some areas, there are waiting lists. Others, it is hard to find families to participate. The start up one in our present town only has 3 families so far. (We decided CC is just not right for us anymore.) Ideally for CC, start up groups are continuing to grow. That means growth for the company.

 

The director also buys a license. This fee goes to Ms. B. too.

 

Then there is the required books/supplies/audio cds/powerpoint cds needed. So there are the sales from their book store. {This is costly for the family. The foundations book is around $50. The supplement books are $100+. The audio cds, powerpoint cds ($50 per cycle) are considered optional but well worth it to have. With revisions, you need to update your supplies (more book sales). Then there is the tin whistle, the 5 sets of VP cards etc.} Add in the essentials and challenge books and you're spending even more.

 

CC also charges for their exclusive forums.

 

The $50 supply fee per person enrolled is controlled by the director. She will do what she can to "save" the money or make it go further by asking family members to supply certain materials anyway for the science experiments. (For example, the CC we attended two years ago asked us to bring in our own thermometers etc so she would not have to buy any. This happened often.) Our first CC (three years ago), the director used the leftover supply fees to give the children monetary awards for their memory work. Some, if not most of the items are re-usable. So successful CCs will be able to save more of this fee every third year.

 

The $312 foundation fee is divided 60/40 between the tutors and the director. A successful director will surround herself with the "best" tutors to keep her clients/families coming back each year. The tutor is the one that can make or break the program. The more the group grows, the more profit for the director. But, she does work hard for it too. So for a full group of just foundation kids is 40% of $312 * 60. Then divide that by 24 days (or weeks if you prefer to look at it that way). What's a better way to earn money while homschooling for a one day a week co-op and a lot of planning at home? You can even increase this amt by adding essentials and especially challenge programs. You, as the director, do not even do the "training" of the tutors either. They attend a 3 day class. This qualifies them as trained tutors. ;)

 

So, does all this sound like a great business practice? :lol:

 

I do know of one group in the Raleigh area that does not charge. They are dedicated to get together once a week following the CC schedule. They have been doing this for quite a few years now. They are non-profit and CC does know about their existence but will not "recognize" or offer "support" to them either. The members of this group even attend the yearly parent practicums.

Edited by Caledonia Academy
Clarity
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I do know of one group in the Raleigh area that does not charge. They are dedicated to get together once a week following the CC schedule. They have been doing this for quite a few years now. They are non-profit and CC does know about their existence but will not "recognize" or offer "support" to them either. The members of this group even attend the yearly parent practicums.

 

So, does all this sound like a great business practice? :lol:

 

Well, if they offered up their registration fees, they could be a "real" CC group. Right?? Do they have and afternoon IEW and grammar group, too? I'd be curious to know if they operate like a co-op? Do they have the same director, each year?

 

Here's something that might interest you. I offered, this last year, that anyone who wants to come this "coming year" ('09-'10) could help me and I would make it so that their CC $$ was paid for...basically...(in other words, their tuition...but not their registration) No one in our group took me up on it. I very much wanted $$$ to not be the reason someone had to not come back. The families that I expected to take me up on it, said that the work looked like more than the $$$. That's fine. I just never wanted it to be that someone couldn't be part of our group because of finances. There is SO much work to spread around, that I really feel...that I am happy to share $$$ for work...in proportion, of course.

 

I don't know how many hours I spend between training and Info Mtgs and such...and divided out...the $$$ might surprise some. Of course, I am very fortunate to be able to make some $$$ and I do consider it worth my time...especially...everything considered. And, I can do this without feeling bad, because of my offer.

 

Carrie:-)

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Well, if they offered up their registration fees, they could be a "real" CC group. Right?? Do they have and afternoon IEW and grammar group, too? I'd be curious to know if they operate like a co-op? Do they have the same director, each year?

 

Here's something that might interest you. I offered, this last year, that anyone who wants to come this "coming year" ('09-'10) could help me and I would make it so that their CC $$ was paid for...basically...(in other words, their tuition...but not their registration) No one in our group took me up on it. I very much wanted $$$ to not be the reason someone had to not come back. The families that I expected to take me up on it, said that the work looked like more than the $$$. That's fine. I just never wanted it to be that someone couldn't be part of our group because of finances. There is SO much work to spread around, that I really feel...that I am happy to share $$$ for work...in proportion, of course.

 

I don't know how many hours I spend between training and Info Mtgs and such...and divided out...the $$$ might surprise some. Of course, I am very fortunate to be able to make some $$$ and I do consider it worth my time...especially...everything considered. And, I can do this without feeling bad, because of my offer.

 

Carrie:-)

 

If I remember correctly, they may do essentials too, but at that time not Challenge yet. They do run it as if it were a licensed CC group. They follow the same memory work, science experiments, art projects etc. They all purchase their own books, vp cards, etc. They do have an active director and tutors and the families involved are committed. That is very important. For some odd reason though some homeschoolers do want things for free, they are not as committed if they are not paying for it. This group is committed.

 

I am surprised that no one took you up on your offer. Did any of those families return? Maybe they were just using the $$ as a reason not to come back. What work exactly were you asking these families to do that was not worth the exchange of tuition? It sounds like a great deal to me. :)

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Wow, there's a lot of info here that really stumps me. We did CC last year and loved it. I plan on being a part of our community long - term. Some of the info posted on this thread sounds particular to that specific community the poster encountered - for ex. the dinosaur thing? I have no idea what that's about. Or people being asked to bring in science supplies after they have paid a supplies fee? I didn't have that experience either.

 

My experience has been awesome. My 10 yr. old participated in Foundations and Essentials. It was our best year ever. Here's my take: the program is supplemental, provided accountability, provided socializing experiences, P.E, fieldtrip opportunities with "school" friends, great mom time for me, and much more. I know everyone is going to have a different experience but it really sounds like it depends on the culture of the community. My community was organized, positive, supportive, and enthusiastic about being together as Christian families with similar goals for our children. I realize that people involved with CC have the potential to make $$ - I recently completed training myself for Challenge. However, the director and tutors on our campus work very hard and I'm happy that they can be compensated. I'm not naive and, frankly, no amount of $$ could lure me into becoming the director for Foundations/Essentials. That's a lot of work!

 

I feel fortunate to have been brought together with these other families by CC. It is a joyful, prayerful campus that has added to our homeschooling experience in many ways. My enthusiasm and commitment to teaching my children classically has been revived. We are reaping the benefits. I have a ring of over 100 flashcard (multiple facts on most) that ds has memorized plus the Veritas Press World History Timeline. That's good work for the year. Not to mention the giant leaps he took with English Grammar and writing through Essentials. Does he know exactly what Henry the Navigator (a timeline peg) did? No... not yet. He's in between the grammar/dialectic phase so the time is coming and we'll be going deeper this year since he has the pegs down. I'm excited!

 

Could you do the book portion of this at home? Absolutely. I can't argue with you there. It's just so much more fun with friends. Ds is also more motivated. If I did this at home, it would just be another program or book that I pulled off the shelf.

 

Like everything else available to homeschoolers, the fit is going to vary. It was a great fit for us. Also, keep in mind, all campuses aren't going to feel the same or give the exact same experience. I'm absolutey nuts for ours:D but our director is amazing. She is committed to the CC guidelines but she also has a great desire to create a like minded community of families that will stay together and provide support, knowledge, fun, etc.

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Thanks, elfinbaby--you took the words right out of my mouth.:001_smile: We love CC. I had written a lengthy post last night refuting some of the misinformation on this thread about CC, but I figured that it didn't matter. It's been said before, and CC, like every other curriculum choice out there, is not for all. For my family, it is.

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I know everyone is going to have a different experience but it really sounds like it depends on the culture of the community. ...

 

Like everything else available to homeschoolers, the fit is going to vary. ... Also, keep in mind, all campuses aren't going to feel the same or give the exact same experience.

 

That is why many are hesitant to invest a huge amount of money for a glorified memory program with a science experiment and art project thrown in to find out the particular group in their area is not a great fit for their own family. Some (amended because no offense was meant using the word most) group start-ups are with a director and a few close friends of her. Their kids are tight too. It is not any fun to find out that you're only there to get their numbers up for the $$ and your child/children feel left out.

 

One child alone (for foundations only) is $50 reg, $50 supply fee, $312, $amt for church donation, Books, vp cards, audio cds, powerpoint cds $300+, $ for gas and time for travel, a day out of your schedule, $ for box lunches, and an expected chore like stuck cleaning the bathrooms. I also feel that if we are already paying for this service, why are we expected to empty garbage pails, vacuum, clean restrooms, wipe off tables, etc? The paid tutors do not even participate in these "chores". I don't do that at gymnastics or dance classes.

 

If I were to join this Fall, I would have to replace my old Foundations guide for the revised one and buy the revised audio cd and powerpoint. And consider adding essentials which doubles the cost. And it would be another start-up group (which won't be offering essentials) closer than the last but still 45 minutes away.

 

If all the groups were like yours, I would do it just for the fellowship. Our first group was wonderful for fellowship but still had its flaws. Your group sounds like a dream. :)

Edited by Caledonia Academy
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That is why many are hestitant to invest a huge amount of money for a glorified memory program with a science experiment and art project thrown in to find out the particular group in their area is not a great fit for their own family. Most group start-ups are with a director and a few close friends of her. Their kids are tight too. It is not any fun to find out that you're only there to get their numbers up for the $$ and your child/children feel left out.

 

One child alone (for foundations only) is $50 reg, $50 supply fee, $312, $amt for church donation, Books, vp cards, audio cds, powerpoint cds $300+, $ for gas and time for travel, a day out of your schedule, $ for box lunches, and an expected chore like stuck cleaning the bathrooms. I also feel that if we are already paying for this service, why are we expected to empty garbage pails, vacuum, clean restrooms, wipe off tables, etc? The paid tutors do not even participate in these "chores". I don't do that at gymnastics or dance classes.

 

If I were to join this Fall, I would have to replace my old Foundations guide for the revised one and buy the revised audio cd and powerpoint. And consider adding essentials which doubles the cost. And it would be another start-up group (which won't be offering essentials) closer than the last but still 45 minutes away.

 

If all the groups were like yours, I would do it just for the fellowship. Our first group was wonderful for fellowship but still had its flaws. Your group sounds like a dream. :)

 

Caledonia Academy is sounds like you had a bad experience with your community - I am sorry about that!

 

I really wasn't going to reply because I feel like God will lead and each family will make their decision. I like CC.

 

But I had to comment on these just so you know that you don't need a new guide. I hate that to be the reason you don't do it. Most the families aren't getting a new one - they are simply will use the old one. CC just needed to make more due to the increase in families, so they made corrections and improvements. It would be silly for them not to improve the book when needing to get more.

 

The new guide is nice but not necessary at all.

 

You also don't need the new resources - again same reasons for redoing - it's just improving them. I see no need to buy new ones when I have them. If I were buying them, I wouldn't buy the old ones, but I have them...

 

With the cleaning up, I feel like each family is part of making the mess they should be part of cleaning it up. I see no reason why families can't help clean up. Tutors at least at our community have to clean their rooms up (as well as setting them up.)

 

Maybe some directors don't do it, but all the directors I know spend time before the program and/or after program doing work and cleaning up.

 

There is a lot of work that most people don't see. Tutor and directors work hard. And what they get paid doesn't even come close to min wage for the hours they put in to a community.

 

At our location, if we had to hire the janitor to clean behind us (as opposed to families pitching in) it would cost us $75/week. Depending on the size of the location it can take hours to clean the building. I can't imagine leaving that for one director to do. She could make more getting a job as a janitor. I just seeing this as cleaning up behind yourself which is something I would do anywhere. I don't leave junk behind at gymnastics for someone else to pick up.

 

Just for perspective ~ I paid far more for gymnastics than I did for CC. I paid $45 registration for gymnastics, I bought clothes, and paid $13/hour. Plus the cost of practices in addition to classes. At CC, I get 3 hours for $13.

 

Or there is music lessons 15 - 25 (or more) a half hour.

 

In the long run, CC is cheaper than gymnastics and music lessons - way cheaper than 2 day preschool even. (Yes it's one day but here it's way less than half of preschool costs.) It's just you pay it all up front instead of a week at a time.

 

I know not all have the same heart to serve. I am sorry you didn't have a good experience with your program.

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That is why many are hestitant to invest a huge amount of money for a glorified memory program with a science experiment and art project thrown in to find out the particular group in their area is not a great fit for their own family. Most group start-ups are with a director and a few close friends of her. Their kids are tight too. It is not any fun to find out that you're only there to get their numbers up for the $$ and your child/children feel left out.

 

Most groups? Where are you getting this information? Maybe this happened to you and if so I am very, very sorry. But to say that most CC groups start this way and that other people's kids will feel left out isn't fair. MOST co-ops I have been involved in during my 13 years of homeschooling started this way, including two I started myself...and we never had anyone that was left out.

 

One child alone (for foundations only) is $50 reg, $50 supply fee, $312, $amt for church donation, Books, vp cards, audio cds, powerpoint cds $300+, $ for gas and time for travel, a day out of your schedule, $ for box lunches, and an expected chore like stuck cleaning the bathrooms. I also feel that if we are already paying for this service, why are we expected to empty garbage pails, vacuum, clean restrooms, wipe off tables, etc? The paid tutors do not even participate in these "chores". I don't do that at gymnastics or dance classes.

 

If I were to join this Fall, I would have to replace my old Foundations guide for the revised one and buy the revised audio cd and powerpoint. And consider adding essentials which doubles the cost. And it would be another start-up group (which won't be offering essentials) closer than the last but still 45 minutes away.

 

If all the groups were like yours, I would do it just for the fellowship. Our first group was wonderful for fellowship but still had its flaws. Your group sounds like a dream. :)

 

About the costs... For Cycle 1 you need only the guide, VP cards, and maybe the memory cards and/or audio cd. I liked both but my dd made her own memory system.

 

You can reuse your old guide, though the update is nicer, just like the update of TWTM is nicer, lol. There are NO other books needed for Cycle 1 and 2.

 

We have no facility charge, though many places do.

 

And I cleaned up after every. single. class, lol. Maybe this is not typical but I have never been involved in a co-op, w/or w/out payed teachers where the moms did not clean up afterwards. This is not a drop-off program.

 

CC, like any other program, may or may not work for your family. My children love it. I like it, very much. ;)

 

hth,

Georgia

Edited by Georgia in NC
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We started 6 weeks before the end of the CC year. I was positively impressed w/how welcoming everyone was. Esp. the kids. I had planned to just check out the open house, but kids completely fell in love w/it (much moreso than I). For me, the two biggest drawbacks are the cost and the time out of our schedule. I had my kids prioritize and this was their #1 choice, so we'll have to drop other activities to accommodate CC. As for this being cheaper than preschool, I would gladly pay these prices if it meant I could drop my kids off like preschool and actually have a morning to myself instead of having to stay on site.

 

Laura

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Regarding CC cost and time out of schedule --

 

This has probably been said all too many times. My two cents (btw, I love it that this is someone's name on this board!) is that the cost is very low when figured per hour in regards to what you receive.

 

Regarding time out of our weekly schedule- this is something I struggled with at the beginning of this past year. Then a few weeks in to CC, I had a eureka moment that this was now part of our homeschooling for the week not in addition to the 5 (or whatever) days of work I scheduled. I adjusted my expectations and that made all the difference. Instead of thinking we were missing a day or school work, it was a different day of school work - CC style.

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Most groups? Where are you getting this information? Maybe this happened to you and if so I am very, very sorry. But to say that most CC groups start this way and that other people's kids will feel left out isn't fair. MOST co-ops I have been involved in during my 13 years of homeschooling started this way, including two I started myself...and we never had anyone that was left out.

 

 

 

About the costs... For Cycle 1 you need only the guide, VP cards, and maybe the memory cards and/or audio cd. I liked both but my dd made her own memory system.

 

You can reuse your old guide, though the update is nicer, just like the update of TWTM is nicer, lol. There are NO other books needed for Cycle 1 and 2.

 

We have no facility charge, though many places do.

 

And I cleaned up after every. single. class, lol. Maybe this is not typical but I have never been involved in a co-op, w/or w/out payed teachers where the moms did not clean up afterwards. This is not a drop-off program.

 

CC, like any other program, may or may not work for your family. My children love it. I like it, very much. ;)

 

hth,

Georgia

 

I understand cleaning up in a co-op, but this is a business where the director is making a profit, right? It seems from reading these threads that CC is some weird kind of hybrid where they are trying to run a business, but treating it as a ministry (or vice versa - I am not quite sure!) I understand paying for services. Are parents expected to do other jobs, assist, etc. while they wait the 3 hours, or are they just sitting around waiting?

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I'm just speaking from my experience (not as an official CC spokesperson) here...

 

I find the fees do increase the expectations of what you as a parent should receive and what the tutors and directors give. I pay $5/month for a co-op class and my expectations are super low to nothing. I pay about $4/hour for CC and my expectations increase that the tutor is prepared and my kids will learn, learn, learn. Likewise, expectations for the tutor herself increases. If I know the kids in my class are paying for this time, I will do my very best to prepare and do my best teaching for 3 hours. I think we all do a bit more than normal when we're actually being paid!

 

During the class time, parents are to be observing and helping in the classes. By seeing what your children are learning and how tutors are modeling the memory work, you will have a leg up when you are reviewing and teaching at home.

 

Dear Drama Queen - I have similar feelings about my own online name. Mine is so boring! Maybe we should pop up as "new" people with cool new names :)

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I understand cleaning up in a co-op, but this is a business where the director is making a profit, right? It seems from reading these threads that CC is some weird kind of hybrid where they are trying to run a business, but treating it as a ministry (or vice versa - I am not quite sure!) I understand paying for services. Are parents expected to do other jobs, assist, etc. while they wait the 3 hours, or are they just sitting around waiting?

 

 

Or a business disguised as a ministry. ;)

 

Parents are expected to sit along with their child and assist the child/tutor as needed. The parent is required to stay in the class with their child. Moms (or dads) with multi-children will move from class to class. With real small classes, you can sit with your child. With larger classes, there is no room at the table so the parents sit in the back of the room. The foundations program is from 9-12, from 12-12:30 Lunch, 12:30-1:00 recess, then essentials/challenge programs. Clean-up/set up chores by the moms will be before 9 or after lunch, not during CC time.

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Or a business disguised as a ministry. ;)

 

Parents are expected to sit along with their child and assist the child/tutor as needed. The parent is required to stay in the class with their child. Moms (or dads) with multi-children will move from class to class. With real small classes, you can sit with your child. With larger classes, there is no room at the table so the parents sit in the back of the room. The foundations program is from 9-12, from 12-12:30 Lunch, 12:30-1:00 recess, then essentials/challenge programs. Clean-up/set up chores by the moms will be before 9 or after lunch, not during CC time.

 

Makes more sense now, thanks! I had a totally different picture from the posts I had read here.

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I'm a CC Director, and I'd like to clear up some information.

 

The costs are available on the site as linked by a PP.

 

The only resources required to purchase for Foundations are a Foundations Guide, the Veritas Press cards, and a tin whistle for each child (total: $150 plus $10 per tin whistle.) One set of these materials is good for the entire family for as long as you are in CC, although they do update the Foundations Guide every few years, and you then have the option of buying the new one. Anything else you buy is completely optional. You are encouraged to make your own flashcards and memory materials. If you want the convenience of pre-made ones, you can buy them from CC.

 

Directors and Tutors are paid. This brings a level of commitment and accountability that I have never found in a co-op. It also means that it is not right for some families. (It is not generally a good idea to tutor based just on financial need. Tutors need to be committed to classical education and enjoy teaching children very much.) We have some families on our campus who sacrifice greatly to pay for CC, as it is a priority for them.

 

Tutors attend a 3-day Practicum, attend planning meetings, and spend time prepping each week.

 

Parents stay in the room with their children up until 6th grade. The entire point of CC is to encourage and equip parents to be the primary educators of their children. The tutors model how to present the material to the students, teaching both children and parents, and the group provides accountability.

 

The Foundations program is first and foremost a grammar program. Foundations tutors are trained to teach the skill of memorizing information. CC teaches classical education as a method to acquire the tools of learning (the Trivium,) which students (and parents!) will then use to be able to teach themselves anything for the rest of their lives. Grammar is taught in Foundations and Essentials. Dialectic skills are taught in Essentials and Challenge A and B, and the skills of rhetoric are taught in Challenge 1-4.

 

For Foundations-only students (age 4 through 3rd/4th grade,) you will need to add a math program and language arts at home (although they will also have memory work in that area.) Some parents choose to read literature that correlates with the history topics, too, or research the topics further. I didn't have any parents add to the science that I know of (they do an experiement a week and memorize 24 facts about science each year, which was plenty for my son for science.)

 

For students in Foundations and Essentials, you need to add math (although drill will be covered at CC,) and reading some good books at home. Some parents chose to add to the science and history more formally, but most (inlcuding my family) just were just reading more about the CC topics at home.

 

The Challenge programs are complete academic programs (six courses.)

 

For us, CC is not about supplementing the school I do at home. It is about radically altering the way I approach educating my children. I am pursuing a deeper understanding of classical education, which teaches the tools of learning and not compartmentalized subjects taught by completing a textbook. CC is to me a community of other families who also desire something different for their children than the education they had. There is no where else in the homeschool community where I have had the chance to meet mothers so committed to educating themselves in order to provide their children with a better education.

 

CC groups are going to differ based on the personalities of those involved. If you do not "click" with the community you visit, but you really like the concept of CC, try visiting another campus (or better yet, start your own and provide a community for other families in your area who are looking for this.)

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I'm sad to hear that people have had the type of experience with CC that would come down to "a business disguised as a ministry." So disappointing. I don't think of it as either. We are group of like minded families who want to educate our children classicall with a Christian worldview. We also want our children to socialize in a safe environment with other families we have come to know and feel are good influences. I can see how it is possible for a director to be motivated by the possibility of income but I hope it's not a typical experience people are having. It's not a motivating factor on our campus. I also know for certain that many families in our campus already knew each other from other co-ops. However, after a couple of weeks, you couldn't distinguish between the families who knew each other before hand and new families.

 

I guess we are a ridiculously happy campus! We do have chores but everything is on rotation so some weeks you may have nothing to do. However, to make things go faster, I have noticed that all the moms pitch in instead of leaving the tasks for 2 people. Moms are pitching in by choice, to serve the community, out of kindness.

 

The cost of CC feels expensive during the summer - because that's when tuition is due! Since everything is prepaid, it does pinch but it's worth it for us. It's no more expensive than other co-ops in my area. Also, since this is our second year, I already have all of the supplies so I don't have to rebuy. I'm not buying the new guide since I have the corrections. I'm not buying the computer cd since we didn't use it last year. Really the only thing you need is the guide. Buy it once and be done with it. Easy peasy.

 

CC has changed the way we homeschool. I feel more successful aligning my goals with CC material. It is a supplement (except for essentials - that is heavy duty writing and grammar) but I use it as a guide to my lesson plans. It keeps me moving foreward. I have learned a few teaching techniques and my son has definitely benefitted from the accountability CC provides as well. He tried for Memory Master this year and, although he wasn't successful, it was really the first time he'd ever studied. Not only did we both learn how he studies best, he also got to experience taking an oral examination. He was so nervous! He's undaunted, though, and will try again next year. (FYI, memory master is when a student attempts to pass an oral examination by 4 different adults - parent, another cc parent, tutor and director - over EVERYTHING he has learned in CC.)

 

I'm also thinking of CC in the long term. What ds is getting now in Foundations/Essentials will prepare him for the Challenge levels. I am committed to continuing to educate my children classically in the jr. high/high school years. I want to provide them with a group to discuss ideas/debate during the dialectic and rhetorical stages. Challenge and the curriculum is ideal for that imo.

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For us, CC is not about supplementing the school I do at home. It is about radically altering the way I approach educating my children. I am pursuing a deeper understanding of classical education, which teaches the tools of learning and not compartmentalized subjects taught by completing a textbook. CC is to me a community of other families who also desire something different for their children than the education they had. There is no where else in the homeschool community where I have had the chance to meet mothers so committed to educating themselves in order to provide their children with a better education.

 

 

This is exactly the perspective I came away with after leaving an informational meeting--that CC is NOT supplemental, but supposed to be the core of your homeschooling.

 

Here's the trouble: I don't necessarily WANT to alter the way I approach educating my children, and I'm wary of being "educated" by tutors whose credentials are either sketchy or unknown.

 

My experience at the info meeting was of asking a LOT of in-depth questions regarding assessment, scope and sequence, specific teaching methods, philosophy regarding the relationship of memorization toward conceptual understanding, rationale behind the chronology, adaptations for individual differences, the educational credentials of those who wrote the materials, etc . . . and of hitting a brick wall with a director who did NOT want to answer those particular questions. It was plain that my role was to sit and be amazed at the stories of how much information kids could spout and "drink in" and "be educated." Since I already have a degree in secondary education from a Christian institution, read and discussed Doug Wilson's Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning when it first came out in 1992, and have experience both as a classroom teacher and as a textbook editor and assessment writer, I wanted more information and I wanted my questions taken seriously. After a while of politely trying to get specific answers at the meeting, the director simply shut me down with "Maybe you'd like to talk with me later about being a tutor. We'd be glad to train you."

 

None of this answered my original questions about WHO would be doing the training, if they had any actual credentials or qualifications to "educate" all of us, and what their specific, laid-out philosophy of classical education actually WAS.

 

I was frustrated and couldn't see plopping down that much money if I couldn't get anything more substantive than that. I'd still love to be able to get answers to those questions so that CC might possibly be able to work for us in the future, but right now it's just too expensive and time-consuming for a fellowship group, much as we'd love the fellowship.

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I just can't seem to stop myself from posting:blush5: This thread has been educational for me as far as the differing experiences/expectations that others have had w/CC.

 

MamaBlessedThrice - I'm not sure I would have joined either if the director couldn't/wouldn't answer my questions about the program. What's surprising to me is that your questions were relevant and not at all difficult to answer.

 

CC is what you want it to be and it is up to you how it fits into your homeschooling experience. Some people use it for their whole curriculum adding phonics/reading and math. Some people just like being part of a Classical Christian community and if their kids memorize some facts out of it, great! Quite a few families I know do Sonlight or TOG with CC so CC cannot possibly be the center of their lesson plans.

 

I also know for sure that CC does not wish to usurp the parents role in any way. That's why the tutors are not called teachers. At the younger level, the tutors present the information and it's up to the parent to reinforce it at home (or not, it's their choice). It's grammar so there is no in depth study. However, the 5th-6th grade level will be given more info than the 4 yr. olds for instance but it is always the parents choice as to what to do with it at home. The Challenge levels are different simply because students are in the dialectic/rhetorical stage. Still, the tutors are not master teachers. They are tutors. Actually, some parents do not sign their children up for Challenge because the brunt of the teaching falls on them - unlike university model co-ops or jr. colleges. Challenge tutors are faciliators that essentially guide the class and model a love of learning while learning along with the students. Parents could certainly do that at home but it would be difficult to gather a group of peers together to discuss/debate the same assignments and experience the integration of all of the subjects. IMO, CC is going to make it easier for me to continue educating my children classically during the latter years.

 

Some of your questions seemed more geared toward a typical school model. Maybe that's why the director didn't know what to do with them. We don't do assessments (unless you're going for memory master). Scope and sequence is on the site. It was decided on by Leigh (and other I'm sure) to prepare students for Challenge and give a foundation for basic knowledge in most subjects. Leigh's experience can be found on the site I'm sure as well as a mission statement. I think it's important to remember that (imo) classical education is training the child how to learn so, in the grammar state for instance, it's about learning to memorize. What he memorizes is secondary. CC's grammar of the subjects is good and I'm glad somebody organized it for me:)

 

Training is not a magical experience that downloads information into the tutor's brain. Tutors are not there to educate your children - that's the parents role. They present the information. From what I gather the training if about defining their role and practical information (how to prepare for class, present, etc.). I've gone through Challenge I training this past month so I'm going by my personal experience.

 

CC is different things to different families. It has changed the way I homeschool. Like Angela in Ohio stated, I am pursuing a deeper understanding of classical education (NOT a deeper understanding of CC). I have learned more this past year from other moms, "new" Classical ed. books, and workshops than ever before. While A. in O. and I may both enjoy CC and educating our children classically, I can almost guarantee we're not going about things the exact same way.

 

If you are ever interested again MamaBlessedThrice, try looking at a different campus (if there is one). I hope you have better luck!

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Some of your questions seemed more geared toward a typical school model. Maybe that's why the director didn't know what to do with them. . . .

 

I think it's important to remember that (imo) classical education is training the child how to learn so, in the grammar state for instance, it's about learning to memorize. What he memorizes is secondary. . . . .

 

If you are ever interested again MamaBlessedThrice, try looking at a different campus (if there is one). I hope you have better luck!

 

 

Wow! Thanks, elfinbaby, for clearing up some frustration and giving me some insight--finally!--into what CC's about.

 

You're right that my questions were geared toward a school model, because that's how I've been thinking of CC (kind of like one of those one-day-a-week cottage schools, or a condensed version of a university-model school, or something).

 

Your remark about classical education, as you (and maybe CC) see it, being about learning HOW to memorize in the grammar stage rather than WHAT is memorized, was a major "Ah-ha!" moment for me. Looking at it from this angle, I can more easily understand why CC is set up the way that it is, and some of what irritates me about it (jumping into the history chronology wherever, having young elementary kids memorizing stuff they don't understand, etc.) makes more sense if the underlying philosophy is on simply techniques of memorization as a goal. Hmmmm. I'm not sure I agree with this emphasis on the "how" of memorization--or at least maybe not this degree of emphasis or its impact practically on the progression of concepts in content areas . . . but I can finally see how if this IS your philosophy of classical education in the grammar stage, CC would make sense and be a great thing to center your kids' education on.

 

It may be that as my kids get older we can take another look at a different campus and re-evaluate CC, taking what parts fit in with our philosophy and leaving out the rest. In any case, though, you're the FIRST person to really shed some light and give some insight into the underlying idea of CC in a way that makes sense to me. Thanks so much! I'm sure this will be helpful to others, too, since it's so essential to figure out what a group's interpretation of classical education is before you can decide if its programs could be useful to you.

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