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Classical Conversation veterans: where are the kiddos now?


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Ok, I am considering Classical Conversations for next year. I am curious to know how you think CC affected your child's schooling. If you want to answer a few of the questions, I would LOVE it! :confused:

 

1. Have they excelled with the memorized material?

2. Did they forget it all?

3. Have they developed a good understanding of latin?

4. How are they doing in high school and college?

5. If you had it to do over again, would you do CC again?

6. Do you think it would be beneficial to use this material at home (just the memory work and some of the curriculum...not the foundations book)?

7. Did the kid's enjoy being apart of CC?

8. What should be my expectations coming into it?

 

Thank you for your time! :tongue_smilie:

 

cabreban

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Ok, I am considering Classical Conversations for next year. I am curious to know how you think CC affected your child's schooling. If you want to answer a few of the questions, I would LOVE it! :confused:

 

1. Have they excelled with the memorized material?

Yes! Last year my 4th grader made memory master, which means he memorized everything and recited everything with two or fewer errors at testing. My 2nd grader did not test for memory master, but did very well also.

 

2. Did they forget it all?

No! But, none of us remember all of the things we memorize. They have retained much of the information, especially the 160 history timeline cards, the math facts, the Latin, and a good deal from the other subjects. Obviously, they're going to remember things that they revisit from time to time. The really great part about CC is that they'll often recall information that they've previously memorized. It's like a little light bulb lighting up when this happens! For example, last year we memorized the classifications of living things (Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protestia, Monera). If I would have asked my son to tell me the classification of living things last week, he probably would not have remembered all of them. However, we began studying animals this week! When we began discussing the classification of living things, he had absolutely NO problem whatsoever recalling what they were. He said, "OH, yeah!" We were then able to go into more detail about the topic without spending time memorizing the material all over again. The lesson plans suggested making flash cards and drilling the terms all week. We didn't need that!

 

3. Have they developed a good understanding of latin?

A true understanding of Latin will not come from the Foundations program. Kids simply memorize basic Latin vocab words, noun declensions and verb declensions. Again, this will be helpful when they begin studying the Latin. My 5th grader has studies Latin for 2 years. He started CC in 2nd grade. The Latin memory work that he's done in CC has helped a little in his studies, but not that much.

 

4. How are they doing in high school and college?

We use CC as an added extra to a full classical curriculum that we do at home. They're on target college prep studies when they get older.

 

5. If you had it to do over again, would you do CC again?

Yes, absolutely! In addition to all that we've learned through memory work, I LOVE the hands on fun that the kids have every week: science experiments, art, etc. We've made some very close friends through CC. It's something we look forward to every week, year after year!

 

6. Do you think it would be beneficial to use this material at home (just the memory work and some of the curriculum...not the foundations book)?

Yes, but it's a lot more enjoyable to learn so much material in a group setting. Beign in a CC group helps parents keep a high level of accountbility. :)

 

7. Did the kid's enjoy being apart of CC?

Yes! Every year I ask my boys if they want to continue CC or try something eles. Long story short: we've been part of CC for 4 years.

 

8. What should be my expectations coming into it?

My husband would say that if you have low expectations, then you won't be disappointed! :lol: Seriously, you can expect your time to be well spent on CC days. The program is well organized and since parents remain on campus, actively learning alongside the kids, there are plenty of helpers. For many people, CC provides a layer of organization, accountability and direction for their homeschool. I think you could also expect great friendships to blossom for you AND your children. CC has a "big family" atmosphere.

 

Thank you for your time! :tongue_smilie:

 

cabreban

 

Best wishes to you!

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Best wishes to you!

Another one of my concerns is that we will be able to afford all of the material. The curriculum suggested seems very pricey. Do you think maybe downloading some of these books on my kindle will help? Any advice or places I can look to buy used curriculum (other than WTMF)?:bigear:

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I have written a two part article on my blog about my CC journey. This would be our fourth year, but it is actually my third, because I took a year off.

 

We are half way and then some through this year with CC. It has been our best year of homeschooling so far. My son is working toward the goal of memory master (as Pylegang mentioned above) and it is both challenging and rewarding. I am amazed at what my son has retained from having gone through this cycle before.

 

I will second everything the pp said above about organization, fellowship, etc., but I will add that it is not a perfect system. There are little things here and there that get on my nerves, but that is life with anything. For what CC provides us--most notably the accountability to have to be somewhere and work toward goals--I am more than satisfied.

 

I know your question was geared toward "CC veterans" who have graduated kids from the foundations program. Obviously I am not there yet, but I can tell you that I feel we are going to be very well prepared and perhaps ahead of the game when it comes to middle and high school studies because of the foundation that is being laid here.

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This is very encouraging to read! We are in our first year of CC, and I want to continue.

 

To the poster concerned about expenses, I agree that the initial investment is big. The Foundations Guide is $50 and timeline cards add up to $100, and tin whistle is $10. You don't need the other materials (science book) unless you are a tutor or just want them. You may be able to find someone who is finished with Foundations and is willing to sell you materials at a discount. Ebay sometimes has materials, too.

 

Or, if you are going to be in the program for a while, you use the same cards and guide year after year. So $160 the first year equals $40/year if you are in the program for four years.

 

Hope to hear other responses about people's CC experiences.

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I can't speak of the long term results of CC as this is our second year but I can say that it has made such a difference for our family. I've got a son in 2nd and one in K5 who love and are thriving in CC. There are always families in the CC groups that either use CC as an added thing to their school or who follow CC as their basis of their school. I would say last year it was an added feature of our school but as I've learned more about the classical model and fallen in love with what CC offers....we have made CC our foundation for this school year. I'm so excited that my kids from an early age will have the Foundations program and then continue hopefully into the Challenge program where they can use the information they are learning now to expand their understanding. Lots of people say that it is expensive but I find that it is such a quality program with tutors who work very hard to do their job. You could always find out if there are tutor positions available as that is what I do to help with the cost.

As far as your questions:

1. Have they excelled with the memorized material?

My kids are young but have picked up so much of the material. The great thing is when you are learning something else and they tie in their memory work.....that is what makes it all worth it for me.

2. Did they forget it all?

I would say that some of the memory work is easier to memories then other so some of the subjects need more work to keep them fresh. The wonderful thing for our family is that they will see this information again when the go through this cycle again but will have a different understanding of it as they will be older and know more information to put with the memory work.

3. Have they developed a good understanding of latin?

I would agree with other people who posted when we say that they are just memorizing latin information but not doing a latin program....that comes later.

4. How are they doing in high school and college?

Can't speak to this part as my kids are still young

5. If you had it to do over again, would you do CC again?

We are having re-enrollment this week and so I sat down with my husband and kids to see what they wanted to do. Husband said he assumed that we would as we've done well with it and the kids were so excited to know they would be going back to be with their CC friends and learning that way again!

6. Do you think it would be beneficial to use this material at home (just the memory work and some of the curriculum...not the foundations book)?

You definitely could do the program at home....that said....I don't think that would work as well for us. We love the accountability of being in the group.....love the people who do CC with us....and the time to enjoy our friends who are walking the same walk of homeschooling.

7. Did the kid's enjoy being apart of CC?

My boys love being in CC. We do enjoy the time with friends and the fun of learning together. They enjoy the field trips that they go on with their CC group. Like I said, they were excited for another year which says it all for me.

8. What should be my expectations coming into it?

If you're checking CC out....go to an Open House and/or Parent Practicum to get a better understanding of the program. I'm not sure which program at CC you are looking at......but know that you're a part of the program. The tutors job is to help you understand the classical model and how to introduce material to your kids. Then you get to review and further cover the information at home during the week. It's not a program where you drop off your kids and have a cup of coffee while running to the store.

 

CC has been such a blessing in our life....I understand that it's not for everyone though. So check our your local group to see if you think it would work for you. I have no doubt in my mind that it is stretching my kids education to challenge them to be better students while having time to enjoy being with others in the journey.

Good luck!

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I don't have a lot to add to what Pylegang and H_Household have said. We've had a wonderful experience so far. There are many CC campuses in my area, and I think there's a different "feel" to each of them. I wanted CC as a spine for some of our studies, but I was also looking for the accountability, friendship-fellowship too. My campus is very warm, friendly, prayerful, and fun. There isn't a ton of pressure about becoming Memory Masters and I like that for this first year. I'm a tutor, which completely offsets my cost for two kids, and keeps me really engaged in the material. But I'm the "involved" type, so I likely would have jumped in anyways.

 

As mentioned by pps, I love the connections my kids make with the material. Sometimes we'll run across something in a reading and will think about how that fits in with the timeline we memorize. And the geography is fantastic! I'm a geography nerd, so I love that it's a big part of their curriculum now. My little guy is 6 and in K and recently we were reading a book about Vikings and he saw a small map on the page and said "Hey, that's the Baltic Sea!":D

 

As for the older levels, I can only speak to what I have observed from friends kids in Challenge A and B. It's CHALLENGING. I think it's very, very hard to get an idea of what they do from the catalog. I remember thinking, this is light - we've read these books already. But they do a ton of writing (YAY!) and debate, research, etc. I'm actually quite excited to have a solid path for my kids for middle and high school. Our state jumped from 40 or so campuses last year to over 80 this year, so the program is growing by leaps and bounds.

 

Oh, and we LOVE Essentials. You know, grammar can be kind of boring. But doing it in a group is very fun, and of course we get IEW which has transformed my 5th grader into a confident writer. She adores writing. It still needs work, but I am so happy for the tools it's giving her.

 

We plan to continue for the forseeable future!

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I just went to an info session on CC last week. It sounds like such a great program. The one near us unfortunately is pretty much full. They have 3 families leaving and it didn't sound like they'd have many openings at all. There is a new one opening about 30-40 minutes away but we'd have to run out of there the minute class was over to get to ds's preschool class.

 

My main reservation is what to do with my special needs 3 yo. It sounds like parents must be in the class all 3 hours and I just don't see ds staying in the daycare room for 3 hours straight. He does fine at preschool but that is very directed. He generally does not do well in church nurseries and that kind of thing. If we wait a year and he's 4 I'm not sure that would help either. His verbal skill are at 15 mo and CC seems like a very verbal program.

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