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Classical Conversations Challenge program...


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I am planning on enrolling my kids in the new CC program opening up this fall. I'm going to the info meeting on Wednesday (yay!) and my SIL is already in on the pilot program that has been running since this fall to see how much interest there would be. CC for free...I wish I had gotten in on that!!

 

Anyway, I seem to be getting mixed comments on whether I should start my oldest DS in the Challenge A program in the fall. He'll be 12 and in 7th grade.

 

My SIL told me that there is a 13 yr old boy doing the Foundations program right now. So I wonder if maybe I don't "need" to do Challenge A right away? Maybe since it will be our first year with CC it would be better to wait a year before doing Challenges?

Is the Challenge program more challenging? lol Because I really want a strong, challenging program for him. That's what really drew my DH to the CC program in the first place.

 

Anyway..just curious on the thoughts on this...

 

OH side note...I know there are tuition fees for my kids who'll be in the foundations program, but my babies who will be 2 and 4, do I have to pay for their classes too? My SIL said she'd probably be teaching in the 4-5 yr old room next fall...and it got me thinking about tuition and if I had to pay for my 4 yr old's class too?

 

Thanks!

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We joined CC just this past year and my oldest is 12 and in 7th grade. We joined a new group that only has foundations and essentials. My intent was to place him in Challenge A - but it was not available and I didn't want to have kids going to separate campuses on different days. However, the director informed me that there was at least one other boy the same age and as it turned out there are a handful of kids his age doing foundations and essentials and they will all start Challenge A next year. The other factor with deciding to stick to foundations was talking to my friend in another state who started her kids in 8th grade with Challenge A. We've had a very positive experience with foundations and essentials and I think it will be a good transition going forward to Challenge. I like that we already know the families that will be going through it together!

 

The Challenge program is very challenging - they require two papers a week and from what I understand the classes keep them busy the rest of the week at home. Having this year of Essentials I think will be good preparation for him going into Challenge.

 

SO - things for you to consider - the ages of the other kids in the program - will your child be the only 7th grader and the oldest kid? Would that make him feel uncomfortable?

 

How are his writing skills? Are you already using IEW, if so -then he's probably ahead of the game.

 

Are you ready to let the Challenge program be his main curriculum?

 

At any rate - waiting until 8th grade is not unheard of for starting Challenge A.

 

I would imagine that you would be paying the tuition for your 4 year old if she is in an actual foundation class. At our community there is a fee for nursery for kids younger than 4, that would vary by community.

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I agree with all of this said above. This is our first year in CC and I'm going to wait until 8th grade for Challenge A as well. Both to allow for more maturing, and to allow for the readiness of the work load. It's VERY challenging - hence the name! LOL

 

Yes, if they have a class for your 4yo, likely you will be required to put yours in because that would be too old for the nursery and you'd have to pay regular tuition. We also pay for a sitter for our nursery and since I don't have one in there I don't know what that is.

 

Good luck! You will LOVE CC!!!

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SO - things for you to consider - the ages of the other kids in the program - will your child be the only 7th grader and the oldest kid? Would that make him feel uncomfortable? I don't know the other ages yet, but I do know that there are a good variety of ages, and I know of at least one 13 yr old. He would feel uncomfortable

 

How are his writing skills? Are you already using IEW, if so -then he's probably ahead of the game. - They are okay. We've been using Writing Strands. Could I start IEW now to hopefully get up "up to speed" before the fall? If so, which IEW program would you recommend? I do not know anything about IEW.

 

Are you ready to let the Challenge program be his main curriculum? - Yes and I'd welcome it! LOL This is our first year homeschooling, and I'm constantly worried about what I'm doing not being enough for him.

At any rate - waiting until 8th grade is not unheard of for starting Challenge A.

 

I would imagine that you would be paying the tuition for your 4 year old if she is in an actual foundation class. At our community there is a fee for nursery for kids younger than 4, that would vary by community.

 

Thanks for the info!!

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Thanks for the info!!

 

If you can find someone with the IEW dvds to view - I would suggest that - it gives a great overview of how the writing is taught. I don't know the name of the series off hand - can anyone else chime in?? Perhaps your SIL knows someone that she can borrow them from?

 

I'd be sure that the 13 year old is continuing next year in Foundations - that seems unusual to me. The director should be able to tell you the ages of the kids.

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Thanks so much for the info so far!

 

I went to the info meeting last night and it all sounds really good. Unfortunately they didn't have much info on the Challenge program because this is new to our area and there is not a Challenge program director yet.

 

One question I had that wasn't really answered was if parents were required to be there in the building ALL day while the child was in the Challenge program.

I ask because my four younger children will be done with Foundations at lunch time, and have NO one to babysit them for about 2 hrs while I were to stay with my oldest son at the Challenge class.

I know its strongly recommended, but I really can't see any way to do it if I have to stay the second half of the day with him. :(

 

Thanks!!

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You do not have to stay with your Challenge student on campus, as long as he or she is at least 12 years old.

 

The difficulty level will really depend on (1.) the tutor and (2.) what your child is used to. My dc didn't find the work load that difficult, even though I was the tutor and taught it at a challenging level. They were used to more at home with me. We added a few courses at home during Challenge A. I had some students who struggled, because they had not done much formal schoolwork at home prior to Challenge. We had a whole range in our class.

 

Challenge A does not actually require two papers a week. There is a paper (almost always 5 paragraphs or less) every other week or so in writing, and a paragraph or so per week for the first half of the year in science.

 

For us, Foundations was too young for 12 years and up. Even the 6th graders need quite a bit of extra challenge in class to keep their interest, we found. Unless a child had a specific issue with the work, I would move up a 7th grader. You also need to consider what happens when you don't get to Challenge 4, if you are planning to continue. Will Challenge B-3 meet the college requirements you need to meet for high school?

 

Your 4 yo is technically, according to CC rules, to be enrolled in class if he or she is on campus. Some Directors are more open about this, though, from what I have seen. Your 2 yo can be with you or in child care, if it is provided.

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You do not have to stay with your Challenge student on campus, as long as he or she is at least 12 years old.

 

The difficulty level will really depend on (1.) the tutor and (2.) what your child is used to. My dc didn't find the work load that difficult, even though I was the tutor and taught it at a challenging level. They were used to more at home with me. We added a few courses at home during Challenge A. I had some students who struggled, because they had not done much formal schoolwork at home prior to Challenge. We had a whole range in our class.

 

Challenge A does not actually require two papers a week. There is a paper (almost always 5 paragraphs or less) every other week or so in writing, and a paragraph or so per week for the first half of the year in science.

 

For us, Foundations was too young for 12 years and up. Even the 6th graders need quite a bit of extra challenge in class to keep their interest, we found. Unless a child had a specific issue with the work, I would move up a 7th grader. You also need to consider what happens when you don't get to Challenge 4, if you are planning to continue. Will Challenge B-3 meet the college requirements you need to meet for high school?

 

Your 4 yo is technically, according to CC rules, to be enrolled in class if he or she is on campus. Some Directors are more open about this, though, from what I have seen. Your 2 yo can be with you or in child care, if it is provided.

 

Thanks for the clarification on the writing. I'd be interested in knowing what other classes you added at home if you don't mind sharing.

 

Our experience with Foundations was a little different - as you have mentioned before - the tutor really makes a difference! Our tutor has been homeschooling for almost 20 years! Her youngest is 10 and her oldest is in college, she has a 2 more in between. So she was able to make the foundations class challenging and fun for the older kids in her class. If it had been anyone else - yeah, we might have experienced what you described - thankfully it was a positive experience for us. But those looking into CC - should ask about the tutors and try to visit their class this year before the semester is up in March!

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You ladies are awesome! Thanks! :)

 

Can I ask another question?

 

For Challenge - What other curriculum do I need to do at home? Or is it pretty thorough? Have you added curriculum to it, if so - what?

 

For Foundations - I know they said math and langauge arts to be done at home. But what is included in "language arts" since Foundations does work on grammar also? What have you done at home?

 

Thanks!!

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You ladies are awesome! Thanks! :)

 

Can I ask another question?

 

For Challenge - What other curriculum do I need to do at home? Or is it pretty thorough? Have you added curriculum to it, if so - what?

 

For Foundations - I know they said math and langauge arts to be done at home. But what is included in "language arts" since Foundations does work on grammar also? What have you done at home?

 

Thanks!!

 

For Foundations you should do all aspects of language arts at home. The grammar done in class time is memorization of definitions and lists of words. Next year the focus will be mostly verbs with sentences/clauses at the last few weeks. This year its been pronouns and parts of speech. I found that FLL prepares the kids very well for entering Essentials. Once you are in Essentials you do not need a grammar program, only a spelling program.

 

For Challenge - I plan on continuing with vocabulary, and I would like to incorporate history.

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You ladies are awesome! Thanks! :)

 

Can I ask another question?

 

For Challenge - What other curriculum do I need to do at home? Or is it pretty thorough? Have you added curriculum to it, if so - what?

 

For Foundations - I know they said math and langauge arts to be done at home. But what is included in "language arts" since Foundations does work on grammar also? What have you done at home?

 

Thanks!!

 

I'll let others speak to challenge since I only know foundations. I see foundations as a supplemental memory work program. You can expound on it and use it as a spine for your homeschooling, but I don't think any aspect of what they teach is complete enough to use on its own.

 

Grammar includes memorizing things like 8 parts of speech, lists of different kinds of pronouns, what an adverb is, etc. However, the grammar facts depend on what year rotation cc is on. So, my k'er has learned interrogative pronouns... but not what a noun is. Science includes one experiment and one fact a week (like names of planets). We have used their science as a jumping off point this year and checked out library books on that topic (planets or moon or whatever). You can do the same with the history facts and timeline cards... or you can add a whole history curriculum at home.

 

You definitely need to add a full math curriculum and full LA inlcuding phonics, grammar instruction, and writing (unless doing the writing program at cc with older children).

 

Overall, I think the foundations program can be what you make it. You can base most of your subjects off it, you can use it as supplemental memory work added on each day, or you can use it as a fun day out and do nothing at home.

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But those looking into CC - should ask about the tutors and try to visit their class this year before the semester is up in March!

 

I agree wholeheartedly. It made me nervous when parents I had never met were writing me checks for $1200+ to tutor their child in all subjects for an entire year! I always asked that they at least meet me for coffee and chat about education, so that I could feel like they had made a somewhat informed decision. I know some was based on reputation, as I'd taught other classes in the area, but I do not recommend signing up for a class unless you can see that tutor in action. I would also ask for their experience teaching a group, their strategies for modifying for different levels within the class, and their background in each subject area.

 

I added science at home, as well as additional reading, writing, and history. We also did logic at home.

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I agree wholeheartedly. It made me nervous when parents I had never met were writing me checks for $1200+ to tutor their child in all subjects for an entire year! I always asked that they at least meet me for coffee and chat about education, so that I could feel like they had made a somewhat informed decision. I know some was based on reputation, as I'd taught other classes in the area, but I do not recommend signing up for a class unless you can see that tutor in action. I would also ask for their experience teaching a group, their strategies for modifying for different levels within the class, and their background in each subject area.

 

I added science at home, as well as additional reading, writing, and history. We also did logic at home.

 

 

Yes, I'm going on Tuesday, with my kiddos, for Foundations. :)

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You need to be a very educated customer when it comes to the particular Challenge tutor IMHO. It is a good amount of money and a major portion of your school year.

 

If they've never done Challenge, I'd ask carefully about their teaching experience and particularly about their educational philosophy. Not every homeschool parent can manage a classroom of teens.

 

If they've done Challenge, I'd ask what problems they've dealt with and how they handled them.

 

Also ask how will they manage students who don't turn in assignments? Students who talk back? Students who form cliques? What incentives (if any) will they provide for outstanding work? Will they provide enrichment suggestions?

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Having some legal issues regarding homeschooling ds11. Wondering if this may be a good option for us as a suppliment.

 

:lurk5:

 

I'm not sure what legal issues, but I can't think of any that would be resolved but enrolling in CC. It is not an umbrella or diploma type program. You still report (or whatever you have to do in your state) as a homeschooler. Mom still gives the grades and is fully responsible for the student's progress.

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I'm not sure what legal issues, but I can't think of any that would be resolved but enrolling in CC. It is not an umbrella or diploma type program. You still report (or whatever you have to do in your state) as a homeschooler. Mom still gives the grades and is fully responsible for the student's progress.

No...I know that :)

 

ds11 bio dad wants him in public or private school.

 

I think this would be a way he could "see" the value of a Classical Education while I am homeschooling. Also it brings in even more socialization (not an issue....he has a LOT, but has been mentioned).

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No...I know that :)

 

ds11 bio dad wants him in public or private school.

 

I think this would be a way he could "see" the value of a Classical Education while I am homeschooling. Also it brings in even more socialization (not an issue....he has a LOT, but has been mentioned).

 

Ohhh... that makes sense. I think that would probably work! I know I saw quite a few dhs pressing to have their kiddos in Challenge, because they felt it would offer accountability (it really doesn't, but it looks like it. ;))

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Also, if you can afford it, a real 50% of both homeschooling and private is a University Model. That is actually the most balanced mix. Next time through Challenge with my son... (who's 7 right now) I will go to all of his classes in Challenge. I will learn as he is, or if I already know it... listen... so that I can see what his assignments are.... I have read all the books... but it's just not the same as hearing my daughter interact.... (as it's gone this year) And, while you'll see the Tutors for Foundations and Essentials, it's not that you'll see the tutors your kids WILL have.... (although the Director may have tutors "tentatively" in charge) At the Foundations ages... I've never had a tutor that wasn't good. I do think that at Challenge it's a very different Dinosaur :)

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