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Sherri in MI

I had no idea Classical Conversations was so expensive!

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I'm sure it's worth it - but the cost is most definitely prohibitive for us! I'm really looking for a more academically oriented support group for my son.

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If I only had 1 child, I would be in a co-op for sure. I would have already been in CC and would have tried it.

 

I have 7 with one on the way. I found CC and lost my Classical support group to it. :(

 

That is why I am on here for encouragement and support too now.

 

I am trying to let go of my desire for a co-op now or any outside help with the exception of church and possible Math tutoring.

 

Unless something changes or we move closer to a place with a co-op, we will be going it alone for the most part.

 

I do rely more heavily on Software, DVD's and Audio Cd's for memory work and Math lessons.

 

I hope you find what you need soon. I totally understand the cost issue, but if you look at the academics of CC and use it as a core for the rest of the week it would be rigorous and if needed you could add an online class or Omnibus, etc. or whatever your son needed.

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Is CC really in your area? CC lists one of our local towns as having available programs but then when I checked into it further, they are just looking at it for the future but they'd be happy to have us drive 3 1/2 hours each way to participate and build interest in this area! :glare:

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I stayed away from cc for years b/c of the cost (I have three children). Last year we did join - it was not inexpensive (one of them was in Challenge) -- in retrospect, I would have probably put my two younger ones in Foundations and skipped Essentials (that would have made the cost for them half of wht it was). My twins know IEW like the back of their hand and we do another Grammar curric so you might explore just enrolling in specifically what your kids need.

 

HTH:001_smile:

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I have doubts that it is actually worth it :).

 

Most of it you can do on your own. If it's the "community" aspect you seek, that can be done MUCH cheaper.

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It doesn't seem worth it to me. I thought it seemed like a good idea, but I've seen people on here say they didn't have the best experience with it. I considered it last summer till I saw the price tag attached. Ouch. We ended up joining a small co-op which we've enjoyed very much and are looking forward to staying with next year. I'm the only classical homeschooler there, but that really hasn't mattered to us in the least.

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I'm sure it's worth it - but the cost is most definitely prohibitive for us! I'm really looking for a more academically oriented support group for my son.

 

We did CC this year and I didn't think it was worth it. We are not doing it next year. I hope you find (or maybe start) a group that meets your needs.

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I have doubts that it is actually worth it :).

 

Most of it you can do on your own. If it's the "community" aspect you seek, that can be done MUCH cheaper.

 

:iagree: We have one opening in our area. I did a search here for threads about CC and it seemed the responses where mostly neutral to negative. . . certainly most were not the glowing recommendations that might induce me to spend such an incredible amount of money. In 2 yrs of homeschooling, I don't think I've spent nearly what one semester of CC would cost me for just one of my kids.

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We joined a cc coop a few years ago and it is not worth it. It attracts people who want the best for their children, but who can't provide it on their own. In Foundations I saw a few very bright kids, the majority are children who are poorly educated because their mother or father either didn't like or weren't able to properly homeschool them, and a handful of children with behavior problems whose mothers are trying CC as a last attempt before putting them in school.

 

Some of the tutors were wonderful, but most were ill prepared, didn't follow CC suggestions closely and often filled part of the time with twaddle. I had one in Challenge A and one in Challenge B. The first few weeks were excellent and then it went downhill. Unprepared tutor, tutor who was teaching Latin, Logic and math that she didn't understand. The expectations were very low level, but similar to what I had seen in another group we visited. They tried to have socratic discussions, but the tutors just couldn't pull it off and the kids spent a part of the time fooling around. We pulled out of Challenge after three months that I consider to be completely wasted time, and I took the younger two out of Foundations over the Christmas break. We lost money by dropping out of Foundations and Essentials.

 

If you are considering doing this, ask if you can visit two or three weeks in a row first and offer to pay a little bit if need be. One visit doesn't give you the full picture.

 

The Foundation Guide is a good investment, especially if you are getting started. For Catholics, "Classically Catholic" would be a great alternative.

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We do parts of Foundations on our own. I would not pay to attend a group because I want to do all of it and I have a support group with a coop that we really like, it is less than $100 a year for membership dues, insurance and facility rental, and class fees. It is pretty laid back for the young ones and options for more as they get older.

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While I wouldn't mind support for the academics, when I consider the CC fees and gas (it's an hour away), I could get academic support online for the same amount. I just thought it might be support for classical homeschooling & for taking academics seriously.

 

Really, I'm not sure our current homeschool group is a good fit for us. There used to be a lot of boys his age, but I don't know what happened. He has moved up to jr high classes & some of his friends haven't. And sometimes his friends schedules outside of co-op don't fit ours with sports & stuff.

 

It is an enrichment co-op, not academic, which is okay. But there is not a culture among the teen boys that encourages academic achievement or being smart. Not that my son is highly motivated or likes academics (tho' he does more than most boys his age I know), but I feel he needs to be in an environment that encourages that mindset, KWIM?

 

I love the moms, I just fear his needs aren't being met, and I don't know where to turn.

 

Ideally, I think my son would have done well in a small, classical private Christian school with small classes and an encouraging and accepting atmosphere with zero tolerance for bullying (social or otherwise). With staff that know & appreciate how special he is! :001_smile:

 

Honestly don't know if such a place exists!

 

We are in a somewhat rural area, which does limit our options.

 

I'm a little discouraged.

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You can always tutor if you really want to participate. I tutored one year and it was almost a wash for my dc in Foundations. Same probably goes for Challenge.

 

I enjoyed tutoring, but didn't like the commitment. We tried doing CC at home this year and it got done infrequently.

 

I looked at Challenge I for my dd12, mostly for help in Algebra and Science. The price for Challenge is steep, but is about about what it would cost for 2-3 online courses.

 

I do like the accountability, friendships, and consistent memorization. The tutors on our campus were fairly good (a little hit and miss), and we had a fabulous director. I've made long lasting relationships w/other moms who are rigorous when they are home (of course there were others that were not). The best part was that my kids thrived in the competitive nature of learning. They enjoy being challenged by their peers. Very hard for me to recreate at home. And the co-ops that we've been a part of are usually enrichment and very non-competititive.

 

Laura

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I noticed that you are looking for zero-tolerance for bullying. If so, save your money!!! I am so disappointed that both of my children have been victims of bullying on separate occasions and in separate classes on our Classical Conversations campus. My daughter was hit several times by a boy with uncontrollable behavioral issues during Essentials classes. My son was repeatedly criticized, hit, and tripped by students in his Challenge class; his Challenge Director also showed distinct favoritism for the bullies, not the victim! In each case, we brought the matter to the attention of the mothers, tutors, and directors of the community. Although the students said the proper words ("I'm sorry. I ask God to forgive me."), they were never punished or required to change their behavior. Week after week, the bullying continued until I finally had to pull my children out of the program and lose my money! It is interesting that the worst children are the children of the tutors, directors, and leaders in the community. We have brought the matter to the attention of the Bortins family and we are hoping that they step in to correct problems on our campus.

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Wow--it is expensive. I think it would not be a good fit for our family because 1) it would be three hours of driving and 2) I already own enough materials to equip my own school 3) we were contacted months ago and they STILL haven't had the introductory session, nor have they posted where we would actually be meeting and 4) dd needs another language besides Latin. I think I'll save my $$!

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I noticed that you are looking for zero-tolerance for bullying. If so, save your money!!! I am so disappointed that both of my children have been victims of bullying on separate occasions and in separate classes on our Classical Conversations campus. My daughter was hit several times by a boy with uncontrollable behavioral issues during Essentials classes. My son was repeatedly criticized, hit, and tripped by students in his Challenge class; his Challenge Director also showed distinct favoritism for the bullies, not the victim! In each case, we brought the matter to the attention of the mothers, tutors, and directors of the community. Although the students said the proper words ("I'm sorry. I ask God to forgive me."), they were never punished or required to change their behavior. Week after week, the bullying continued until I finally had to pull my children out of the program and lose my money! It is interesting that the worst children are the children of the tutors, directors, and leaders in the community. We have brought the matter to the attention of the Bortins family and we are hoping that they step in to correct problems on our campus.

 

I'm so sad that was your experience. That certainly would not have been tolerated in our community!

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My local co-op is enrichment rather than academic too, so I really liked one of the nearby Classical Conversations groups; but I couldn't get past the Young Earth focus of the logic materials. I'm thinking of starting my own languages co-op... I hope you find a good option for your family.

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Sorry to hear people have had such bad experiences with CC, but I and many other moms I know love CC. I was skeptical about the price at first too, but the curriculum and community was worth it to me. My oldest has loved it & his little brother is looking forward to it as well. And from my experience, most moms are not looking to CC to educate for them, but rather to enrich their education. If there is a CC in your area, check it out and talk to the moms and ask them their opinion. Many people on the board see the cost and immediately decide it isn't for them. The CC community and your educational goals are what is important for making the decision to join or not.

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I'm happy to pay the price. CC meets our academic needs and gives us some accountability and motivation within a loving community. I love that we are working toward similar goals with the memory work and then within the Challenge programs.

 

I decided to tutor this year and it helps offset the costs. And that could be a possibility for other families as well. Tutoring Foundations is not time consuming at all!

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I'm joining this coming fall. I've been eyeing for a while but the price was always a no-go for me. This year, I've earmarked funds and making it happen.

 

I think when one looks at "parts" of CC, it may not seem worth it. But when you look at the WHOLE, it's a real value to me.

 

For one,yes that memory work can be done at home...but for many children, the competition, the knowing that the children all around you are doing it, that's a motivator...a visual of "why we do this". It's a motivator for me too. Memory work is a hit or miss currently...but if I've paid for it, and my children will need to know it for a class, it's going to get done.

 

For two, the classical bent...I've not yet been in a co-op group (and have been in several) that are academic enough to make it worth leaving my house and giving up a school day. The co-ops might have 1-2 classes out of 4 that are academic, but then the other two are Lego building, Sword-building, etc....fun stuff, yes, but umm...not sure I needed to join a co-op to do this stuff. Then does the teacher/mom actually deliver what was promised in the co-op..often my vision of what the class is going to be is nothing like what the co-op mom had in mind. With CC, there's a guide that we are ALL looking at....we all know what is covered week to week. Everyone coming to CC is expecting the same thing, and coming in with the same idea.

 

For three, the community. Maybe it's just in my area, but the CC groups are more than the one day a week academic group. They appear , from what I've heard, as a group of FRIENDS that care about each other, a community that spends time together outside of class, goes on trips, meets at parks, etc.

 

As far as the bully issues, etc...that is bad to hear ,but then again, the humans in CC are still humans, so sadly any time you get a group of humans together, there will may be things that don't work out they way they should...that's not a CC thing...that's a human thing and happens in alot of co-ops and groups.

 

So for me, going in, CC is meeting a mission of a community that is classically-oriented, academically driven, and knowing what to expect each week. I've done the other type of co-ops for a few years, and they are a bust for me.....cheaper, but ya get what you pay for in some cases.....so I'm giving this a shot. I'll decide at the end of the year if it was worth it.

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I can't get the quote function to work, but wanted to agree with a pp about poor behavior being tolerated, which happened at a campus I was part of (and I almost left mid year because of it). Once the director changed the following year, however, the situation improved, so I think the campus director and leadership has a huge impact on your CC experience. However, I was in a co-op this past fall that had the same poor behavior and bullying going on among tween girls. I do think it is on the expensive side but not really more so than many activities I paid for my dd to be part of as a preschooler, such as Kindermusik or Music Together. I always think CC sounds good in theory, but then when I've visited an open house again to see if we want to rejoin, the reality doesn't appeal to me when I remember the things I didn't like (behavior, taking a whole day, etc). However, I do have several friends that have been in it several years and love it.

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I have doubts that it is actually worth it :).

 

Most of it you can do on your own. If it's the "community" aspect you seek, that can be done MUCH cheaper.

 

 

This was our final "opinion" after looking into it.

 

It's an AWESOME program! EXCELLENT material!! But ----- it's material that any homeschooling parent can get on their own, teach it to their standards (most of the time higher than the "group scenario"), and quite often, pick up used so at a fraction of the cost.

 

I had actually been asked to be a tutor when I told the director the cost is what prohibited us from joining. I went through several of the training sessions and really was impressed with the program itself. The bottom line for us was this --- if I'm going to devote all that time to teach OTHER people's kids the same curriculum my kids need to be / should be learning, why not just do it at home??

 

We're probably the "odd man out" in the homeschooling world, though.

 

Happy Homeschooling :)

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While I wouldn't mind support for the academics, when I consider the CC fees and gas (it's an hour away), I could get academic support online for the same amount. I just thought it might be support for classical homeschooling & for taking academics seriously.

 

Really, I'm not sure our current homeschool group is a good fit for us. There used to be a lot of boys his age, but I don't know what happened. He has moved up to jr high classes & some of his friends haven't. And sometimes his friends schedules outside of co-op don't fit ours with sports & stuff.

 

It is an enrichment co-op, not academic, which is okay. But there is not a culture among the teen boys that encourages academic achievement or being smart. Not that my son is highly motivated or likes academics (tho' he does more than most boys his age I know), but I feel he needs to be in an environment that encourages that mindset, KWIM?

 

I love the moms, I just fear his needs aren't being met, and I don't know where to turn.

 

Ideally, I think my son would have done well in a small, classical private Christian school with small classes and an encouraging and accepting atmosphere with zero tolerance for bullying (social or otherwise). With staff that know & appreciate how special he is! :001_smile:

 

Honestly don't know if such a place exists!

 

We are in a somewhat rural area, which does limit our options.

 

I'm a little discouraged.

 

Such a place does exist!!

 

It's called Rockbridge Academy and it's in Maryland :)

 

DS will be going there for middle and high school :)

 

Just in case you ever move!

 

Eta: We love CC!! We have a great group of people and lots of academics get done during cc day. We don't have/tolerate behavior problems. O have been in a co-op with those issues, but it wasn't CC.

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I looked into it. Not only was it really expensive but all the "teachers" were "trained" homeschooling moms that were teaching to get a discount. No thanks!

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We liked the curriculum better than the meetings, so we purchased used, and will be doing it at home. I do LOVE the Charlotte Mason approach to learning :)

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It doesn't seem like the right thing for my family, but the people I know who have used it have really loved it for the discussions their older kids are able to have. I think it fits certain kids very well, others not so much, like anything.

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I looked into it. Not only was it really expensive but all the "teachers" were "trained" homeschooling moms that were teaching to get a discount. No thanks!

 

That's sort of true. We actually pay full costs upfront like everyone else and get paychecks throughout the semester. If we can't be there, we pay for the substitute for the day. I took it very seriously and tutored the class how I would want my children to be tutored. My experience has been that a great majority have the same approach and want to do well. I'm sure someone has a bad story to tell but I really think those are the exceptions and not the norm. I'm in a different circumstance. I can afford the tuition and I tutor because I really enjoy it. But I know all the tutors in our community have a big heart for what they are doing even if they are using it to help offset the costs. So I don't really see what the negative connection is.

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We did CC last year, and enjoyed it. But we didn't re-up for another year after crunching the numbers and seeing what you get from the program. In my opinion, the perfect solution, after having gone through the program once, is to replicate it at home using the Foundations Guide, alone or with 1 or 2 like-minded families. We knew how to set up the program at home and how to teach it - it's pretty easy to do it yourself once you've gone through the program and have the materials, at least in Foundations. I didn't like that CC has so many extra costs besides the CC classes themselves...the guide ($50), history cards (>$100), their CD's and review cards (>$100) online membership ($6/month), not to mention childcare ($200/year/child), and other "recommended" books ....it just felt like CC is one big money-sucking machine, and I know other moms felt the same way.

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I've been on the other side of the coin, I guess, and I know how much tutors and directors slave away. The laborer is worthy of her hire -- I thoroughly believe in paying a very modest amount for the labors of other women. As an example, the cost for Foundations breaks down this way:

 

$325 -- tuition per year. The tutor receives 60%, the director 40%. That works out to $13.25 per session for your child, which takes 2.5 hours of class time and at least 4 hours (minimum) per week of prep. time for both tutor and director. It works out to paying, for those ~6 hours, $8.25 to the tutor and $5 to the director.  

 

$75 -- registration to corporate. This supports the program and includes the free summer parent practicums and tutor training.

 

$50 -- supplies. This again is a bare minimum -- directors generally provide oversized maps, laminated maps, dry-erase markers, and all art and science project supplies, and these are often quite involved.

 

$ Building fee. It's nothing short of a miracle to find an affordable building to rent. If you've got one for a decent price, consider yourself *very* blessed.

 

$ Childcare for toddlers. Our campus asks for $100/year, but even at $200/year it works out to $3.33 per hour. If that's too much, call around and get a home sitter for less, but I don't think you'll find one unless it's Grandma.

 

$ Materials. A $50 guide covers all of your kids. If you can't afford it, you can get the iPad app for something like $15, or the online community for $6, download that year's notebook, and cancel. The materials are nice, but totally optional. Kids don't need the flash cards to memorize the timeline song.

 

I will agree that you can do CC at home or find friends, but I can see that falling apart rapidly. When you pay for something, you tend to keep the commitment.

 

My kids have been in CC for six years, and there's not one morning in all that time that they were not eager to go. Every week I've felt tired, but seeing them so motivated makes it worth it.

 

I agree that Challenge tutors are trickier. We have a lot of "retired" homeschooling parents who take it on, and they have been a blessing because they really do put time and effort and knowledge into their tutoring. I think the tuition is very affordable for Challenge.

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The two lower levels are actually cheaper in our area compared to a similar course load at a pick and choose co-op run locally.

 

The high school challenge course might be a bit more, but not a ton.

 

So I do not find them expensive.

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Having had kids in a VERY expensive private school for a few years, CC looks affordable! I guess one's perspective can heavily influence your perception of the value of CC.

 

We'll be joining this year for Foundations and Essentials. I am a capable, motivated teacher, but I know myself well: I really rise to the challenge when I'm part of a group of like-minded people. I love the support of knowing that I am not alone, that there are others doing this very difficult, labor-intensive and wonderful work of classically educating their kids**. It is SO rare to find families like ours and when I visited (twice) recently, I instantly KNEW that I had lucked into a special group of women and children. Now, this isn't my first rodeo, so I know there will be bumps in the road, but I think the true value of joining a CC group is how it will inspire me to by my children's best teacher.

 

Though we won't join until fall, I decided to have my girls memorize the presidents this spring. They adore the CC song and beg for me to play it again and again. We listened to it for a few days in the car, while they looked at a laminated placemat containing the pictures and names of all presidents. My 8-year old asked all sorts of questions: why are there two Adams, Clevelands, Roosevelts, and Bushes? Is President Obama the only black president? Can a woman be president? How long are you president? How do you get to be president? Etc, etc, etc. So, list has been memorized, many questions have been answered (and a few are still being researched). For the nearly 4 year old, it is just a song and a bunch of pictures - still very abstract. But, my 8 year old now knows a LOT more about the presidents than my older girls did at that age, and, perhaps more importantly, she is excited about the topic and wants to check out some books on the presidents on our next library visit. She even saw a man in a restaurant this week who she thought looked like Bill Clinton. If all our 'rote memorization' attempts with CC are this successful, I'll feel the cost of CC (tuition and materials) a very worthy investment.

 

**I was reminded of the feeling I got from my La Leche League group years ago. Did I need those women to teach me how to breastfeed? No. Did I need their endorsement that it was the best nutrition for my child? No. Could I have done it without them? Yes! However, it was lovely to be around people who were as excited as me about the biggest 'thing' in my life at that time ~ nourishing and celebrating the new life on my lap. CC gave me the same feeling when I visited.

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I think it is very unfair when people think of CC as a money-sucking machine. The materials one uses for CC, if divided by the number of years (and children used) makes it VERY reasonable for the materials, and almost all of them are optional. If you use the guide for 3 years you've paid $20 per year for it divided by the number of kids you have. If one is reviewing the previous cycles as they are supposed to be you are using everything for 3 years. That makes flashcards $10, cd $10, etc. Leigh Bortins goes out of her way to provide materials that are NOT expensive. Even their recommended curriculum are almost all meant to be used across several grade levels to reduce the cost for mom. The only exceptions to this I can think of off hand are Saxon Math and Latin's Not So Tough, both of which are just SUGGESTIONS. Compared to most full programs it is truly cheap (think Tapestry of Grace or Sonlight), especially because all the books are optional and many of them can be found at the library.

 

My only problem is that they don't sell their Essentials guide to parents until you join, which means you can't use it to guide your language arts program in the younger years, though they mean for you to use it in a one room schoolhouse style when your oldest gets to Essentials. But one can get around this by viewing the generous samples online as well as buying the DVD sample and joining CC Connected Essentials tier to get the downloads there. We haven't even started Essentials yet and I already had a really great idea of what we would be doing next year using those three resources.

 

I have heard moms complain about the cost before but I wonder if they would be willing to do the work the tutor does (or the director does, or even the nursery worker for that matter) for the amount they think it should cost........

 

We have 7 children. It adds up to a lot. Our cost for next year is over $2000 dollars, not including our materials, building fee, and nursery fee for 2 kids. But I still know it is worth it. I don't think one is allowed to do an unofficial CC program at home with more than one family, but I'm not 100% sure about that. I also looked into a private university school this year and for 2 days a week with a teacher (who doesn't have to be currently certified) it was going to be 2800 per year per kid. Though you do get a little more than you do at CC (they grade their work and give them all their assignments, etc.) it still is a lot more money......

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I also wanted to add that they have their Scribblers program suggestions to help with language arts in the younger years and also add that if they were to reduce the price of the materials the quality would most likely have to go down and having used CC several years ago with the 2nd edition guide, I can tell you that I would not want them to do that. The new products are beautiful and very user friendly compared to before.....

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I think it is very unfair when people think of CC as a money-sucking machine. The materials one uses for CC, if divided by the number of years (and children used) makes it VERY reasonable for the materials, and almost all of them are optional. If you use the guide for 3 years you've paid $20 per year for it divided by the number of kids you have. If one is reviewing the previous cycles as they are supposed to be you are using everything for 3 years. That makes flashcards $10, cd $10, etc. Leigh Bortins goes out of her way to provide materials that are NOT expensive. Even their recommended curriculum are almost all meant to be used across several grade levels to reduce the cost for mom. The only exceptions to this I can think of off hand are Saxon Math and Latin's Not So Tough, both of which are just SUGGESTIONS. Compared to most full programs it is truly cheap (think Tapestry of Grace or Sonlight), especially because all the books are optional and many of them can be found at the library.

 

My only problem is that they don't sell their Essentials guide to parents until you join, which means you can't use it to guide your language arts program in the younger years, though they mean for you to use it in a one room schoolhouse style when your oldest gets to Essentials. But one can get around this by viewing the generous samples online as well as buying the DVD sample and joining CC Connected Essentials tier to get the downloads there. We haven't even started Essentials yet and I already had a really great idea of what we would be doing next year using those three resources.

 

I have heard moms complain about the cost before but I wonder if they would be willing to do the work the tutor does (or the director does, or even the nursery worker for that matter) for the amount they think it should cost........

 

We have 7 children. It adds up to a lot. Our cost for next year is over $2000 dollars, not including our materials, building fee, and nursery fee for 2 kids. But I still know it is worth it. I don't think one is allowed to do an unofficial CC program at home with more than one family, but I'm not 100% sure about that. I also looked into a private university school this year and for 2 days a week with a teacher (who doesn't have to be currently certified) it was going to be 2800 per year per kid. Though you do get a little more than you do at CC (they grade their work and give them all their assignments, etc.) it still is a lot more money......

 

I also wanted to add that they have their Scribblers program suggestions to help with language arts in the younger years and also add that if they were to reduce the price of the materials the quality would most likely have to go down and having used CC several years ago with the 2nd edition guide, I can tell you that I would not want them to do that. The new products are beautiful and very user friendly compared to before.....

 

 

 

 

Sure, if you add up all the costs, divide it by number of children, and number of years, it sounds much less. That's also the case for more expensive programs like TOG or Sonlight. But to us, CC was just an enrichment program--CC is just 3 hours once a week--and not a full-fledged program. It wasn't worth it for us to put in that kind of serious money for enrichment, when there are other much cheaper options out there.

 

Also, is there something wrong with using the books and materials we purchased from CC, and doing it at home privately, either alone or with a friend who also purchased the materials? :confused1:

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Also, is there something wrong with using the books and materials we purchased from CC, and doing it at home privately, either alone or with a friend who also purchased the materials? :confused1:

 

 

No, there is not. I have heard it encouraged at the practicums, as well, that if you don't want to join a community, just do it at home. As long as you aren't building an alternative community, CC does not have a problem with personal use. I know a number of families that just don't want to give up the day, do not have a community nearby, or truly can't afford the cost of joining a community and use CC foundations materials at home. You can even attend a parent practicum without signing up for a community. They are free in my state and give you an opportunity to peruse the materials in their traveling bookstore.

 

But you have to admit that if you purchase the materials to use at home and you use them for more than one year, then you are getting a great value. Initial costs seems high, but I will only buy the pack of flashcards this year and maybe the corresponding cycle science cards. I bought everything updated last year and I'm glad that my costs will be so much lower this year.

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We were told during practicums last year that if we didn't join a CC co-op we wouldn't be able to buy materials, use CC Connected or Dropbox. Then I found that all sorts of CC educational material is for sale on Ebay and in Mardels, there are also numerous FB groups expressly for buying and selling CC materials. CC is costly and there is a drive to continue buying more materials and books. Even with it being our second year, we've learned to dodge that and are culling through our "paniced first year hs excess."  My husband and I have one child at home so we are making CC costs however we can. We have great tutors, better than many public school teachers, in my experience, which a huge plus! We use co-op and CC Connected for support but do additional material at home, such as religious (all religions) studies, Art, Art History, much more in depth Sciences, independent fictional writing and we are involved with a couple other nearly free or free co-ops for activities. $960 for Foundations and Essentials and it goes up from there. If it were inclusive I could see it better but it isn't, there is a great deal of exclusivity. There are a number of affluent people in CC who travel together, go out for $$$$ dinners, parties and mani-pedi's. I don't begrudge them that but I wonder how their kids are learning anything or if they have private tutors or nanny's doing it. 

I have no doubt someone will say something about "affording it" but we were in CC and most of us can't usually prevent catastrophic illness, helping support a loved one or family member or not being paid $$ owed.

 

 

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I consider Foundations worth the cost for these benefits:

-each child does a weekly public speaking presentation 2-3 minutes

-far, far more memorization than I got accomplished with my kids by ourselves at home

-extra art

-extra music instruction

-a little extra science

-more friends

-an extra play date 24+ weeks of the year

 

I understand if some can't or don't wish to spend money on this, especially families with seven kids or if the program is poorly run. My director is fantastic. Also our tutors are highly educated people who do a first-class job. Every CC is different and dependent on the people who run it.

 

My kids don't do Essentials or Challenge, so I can't comment on those.

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Challenge wasn't as good for us because of lower academic standards than I wanted and a one-size-fits-all approach, but we loved the Foundations and Essentials years.

 

Even when I barely had gas in the van and couldn't afford to give an order to the mom who did a coffee run before Essentials, I have very fond memories of those years. We were at two different campuses with different economic levels, but we made great friends there. It was worth the sacrifice for us.

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CC is like any other homeschool group or co-op, it is highly dependent on the specific group of parents involved.  If you like the idea of CC, visit local groups. It may be a good fit, or it may not.

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It's really popular where we live and I know a lot of families who enjoy it. I went to an initial info session a couple years back and decided it was not for me for a couple reasons-

1)I had already purchased mfw and all my other school materials and that CC year didn't align with what we were doing in history or what we planned to study in other areas so it would be pretty much all unrelated to what we were doing at home

2) my kids already had a morning horse riding lesson---I didn't want another morning commitment because that would bring us down to a 3-day week with extra CC material

3) sticker shock----didn't want to tutor and didn't want to she'll out that much money to join CC for extras

4) my kids were in pre-school and 1st grade---I wasn't sure how much they would " get out of it"

 

My kids are now 6 & 8. I like our freedom to create our own schedule, have opportunities to go on rabbit trails, and chose all my materials. The further you get involved with CC the less that's happening. And personally I don't think implementing memory work is difficult to do at home. Plus, we like a scenic route through history. We do a 6 year cycle.

 

I did find the community appealing but we recently joined a homeschool group that we do informal stuff with---park days and field trips. This seems to give us a social outlet without stress.

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I've been on the other side of the coin, I guess, and I know how much tutors and directors slave away. The laborer is worthy of her hire -- I thoroughly believe in paying a very modest amount for the labors of other women. As an example, the cost for Foundations breaks down this way:

 

$325 -- tuition per year. The tutor receives 60%, the director 40%. That works out to $13.25 per session for your child, which takes 2.5 hours of class time and at least 4 hours (minimum) per week of prep. time for both tutor and director. It works out to paying, for those ~6 hours, $8.25 to the tutor and $5 to the director.  

 

$75 -- registration to corporate. This supports the program and includes the free summer parent practicums and tutor training.

 

$50 -- supplies. This again is a bare minimum -- directors generally provide oversized maps, laminated maps, dry-erase markers, and all art and science project supplies, and these are often quite involved.

 

$ Building fee. It's nothing short of a miracle to find an affordable building to rent. If you've got one for a decent price, consider yourself *very* blessed.

 

$ Childcare for toddlers. Our campus asks for $100/year, but even at $200/year it works out to $3.33 per hour. If that's too much, call around and get a home sitter for less, but I don't think you'll find one unless it's Grandma.

 

$ Materials. A $50 guide covers all of your kids. If you can't afford it, you can get the iPad app for something like $15, or the online community for $6, download that year's notebook, and cancel. The materials are nice, but totally optional. Kids don't need the flash cards to memorize the timeline song.

 

I will agree that you can do CC at home or find friends, but I can see that falling apart rapidly. When you pay for something, you tend to keep the commitment.

 

My kids have been in CC for six years, and there's not one morning in all that time that they were not eager to go. Every week I've felt tired, but seeing them so motivated makes it worth it.

 

I agree that Challenge tutors are trickier. We have a lot of "retired" homeschooling parents who take it on, and they have been a blessing because they really do put time and effort and knowledge into their tutoring. I think the tuition is very affordable for Challenge.

 

 

I consider Foundations worth the cost for these benefits:

-each child does a weekly public speaking presentation 2-3 minutes

-far, far more memorization than I got accomplished with my kids by ourselves at home

-extra art

-extra music instruction

-a little extra science

-more friends

-an extra play date 24+ weeks of the year

 

I understand if some can't or don't wish to spend money on this, especially families with seven kids or if the program is poorly run. My director is fantastic. Also our tutors are highly educated people who do a first-class job. Every CC is different and dependent on the people who run it.

 

My kids don't do Essentials or Challenge, so I can't comment on those.

 

 

No, there is not. I have heard it encouraged at the practicums, as well, that if you don't want to join a community, just do it at home. As long as you aren't building an alternative community, CC does not have a problem with personal use. I know a number of families that just don't want to give up the day, do not have a community nearby, or truly can't afford the cost of joining a community and use CC foundations materials at home. You can even attend a parent practicum without signing up for a community. They are free in my state and give you an opportunity to peruse the materials in their traveling bookstore.

 

But you have to admit that if you purchase the materials to use at home and you use them for more than one year, then you are getting a great value. Initial costs seems high, but I will only buy the pack of flashcards this year and maybe the corresponding cycle science cards. I bought everything updated last year and I'm glad that my costs will be so much lower this year.

 

 

I'm currently out of likes, so liking each of these with a quote instead.   :)  

 

I fully understand that CC is often too expensive for families.  We've been on both sides; For the last two years we've done "CC At Home;" this year, we chose to join our new local group.  I can only speak regarding Foundations, but in my experience....

 

-If you are interested in memory work from a Christian perspective, but can't attend a CC group, I'm a huge fan of doing Foundations at home. The materials (Foundations Guide, A+F cards, and audio cds) are outstanding and worth the price tag IMO; it's clear that great care has gone into them and I simply couldn't replicate them with homemade versions myself.  And they are non-consumable.  With those supplies alone, plus a lot of discipline and the willingness to train yourself (if need be) on making memory work fun and effective (a great deal is available online for free), you can have an excellent experience (academically) at home. You can also be flexible at home, choosing your own pace (we did 2 weeks per CC week) and the subjects you wish to cover in CC.  Just know that it isn't a "complete" curriculum in the way boxed curriculum choices are.  You will still need to do skills (Math and LA) on your own,  and if you wish your children to have history or science or fine arts beyond memory work, that's on you to provide as well.  It's a memory program at the Foundations level; it can be your "core" in schooling or it can be a "supplement."  Decide how you want it to function in your home, be committed to that, and you will most likely be very pleased with the results. The timeline alone is gold.  

 

-If you've checked into your local group and are pleased with what you see (tutors, director, sense of community among families, etc) it IS certainly worth the price tag to join.  That doesn't necessarily mean it's affordable for you and your family (only you can decide that), but for what you get, the price is actually quite reasonable.  In spite of my discipline at home  (and my background is education), my children have already gained more in 7 weeks at CC than we did in 2 years at home.  Academically, they are far more motivated, and I am far more motivated.  We have a wealth of ideas and encouragement to pull from in our small community, and by sharing the burden of teaching certain subjects together (like science experiments) we are going much further collectively than I was going alone.  We also have a weekly "playdate" that I probably wouldn't otherwise fit in, and it's been a tremendous benefit I hadn't even considered when we first joined.  The older children are taking the younger ones under their wings and organize large group games spontaneously, with no adult involvement whatsoever.  My children are also expected to chip in and help with care and clean-up of our facility;  it's nothing major, but my ds8 bursts with pride knowing that he can help move tables and chairs with the older boys, or carry supplies for his tutor after class, and in doing so be a truly valuable member of our group.  They are learning basic music skills without expensive outside lessons; they worship together with friends through singing at Assembly time; they cheer one another on as they tackle the memory work; they gain confidence through their weekly presentations; they have loving, dedicated, hard-working, gifted, and intelligent tutors, who are worth far more than they are paid...  All of these are things I could not provide at the same level at home. No group (CC or otherwise) will ever be perfect, but for us, the overall experience being part of a CC group has been worth more than the sum of its parts. I'm thankful we can afford it this year; I'm hoping we will continue to be able to do so, and prioritizing it in our budget.  

 

-As an aside, I think CC-at-Home families can get together with other families for support... you just can't call it Classical Conversations or advertise it as such.   Which makes sense... CC has the rights to the name and wants to be sure groups bearing that name have accountability to their standards.  It is much like MOPS programs at churches... churches can have virtually identical mother's support programs, but if they don't pay for the MOPS membership, they can't call the program MOPS.   Also, without membership, your family support group would miss out on perks that membership brings, like training or publicity to build your group or cheaper rates on CC Connected (which costs $6/mo for Foundations members, but is frightfully expensive if not part of a CC group).  Those with greater knowledge about this, please correct me if I'm wrong.   :)

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My daughter was also bullied by the director's daughter in our community. She is still suffering from the abuse. The Regional Director got involved and everyone prayed, etc. The director of our group was very defensive and bullying as well. Her daughter treated mine with the same cruelty. I believe it all began when my daughter received Memory Master and her daughter missed it. She became very jealous of her and showed this in class all the time. It was so terrible for us. It still hurts my heart. Also, the director of our group told me that our previous director said her daughter cheated on memory master. Then the mom of the bullying girl, yes , a director of CC made this statement, It is hard for me to believe my children would do anything wrong!! There you have it! To know God and make Him known? We finally left. We could stand it no longer. I have a bad taste in my mouth for CC. We recently saw this same director at a piano recital that my daughter was invited to play in. The mom, (director) turned her face away from my daughter!! And of course, her daughter continued the mean glaring. My daughter played beautifully and her teacher was in tears. Praise God for His goodness.

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