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How much time per subject for Kindergartner & how to tie in Classical Conversations?


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Hi All!


I would LOVE to hear from some of you with experience how you break down your homeschooling time for a kindergartner...AND if you use Classical Conversations, how you tie the CC material in with everything else you're teaching.


I have a long list of subjects I want to begin teaching my daughter (who just turned 5), but it's pretty overwhelming when I sit down and try to plan out how each day will look.


I want to start each day with Calendar Time and spend about 20 minutes on all the calendar stuff, weather, lunar phase, etc., tying in some writing exercises. I think I have a pretty solid plan for that part.


But I also want to teach:








Memory Work


Do you teach some subjects only two or three times a week, and others you teach every day? Is there a golden equation for how much time to spend each day total, then how to break it up per subject (e.g. no more than ___ hour(s) total per day, broken up into no more than __ separate subjects, and spread out over __ amount of time.)


Also, we will be doing Classical Conversations on our own at home, following the materials used for that. And I'm wondering if I should just lump all the CC stuff into one category called "Memory Work," focusing strictly on the memorization of those items and not trying to turn it into a full history lesson, geography lesson, etc.


Your thoughts are very much appreciated and anticipated! :)


All the best,


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Well, imho, there is a wide variation of readiness in five year olds. What has your dd been doing so far? Does she know letter sounds, is she trying to blend, can she write her name..... in short, is she interested? If she's not, then I would give a different answer. If she is.... here's one way to go about it....


Phonics/reading - every day, anywhere from 10 - 20 minutes depending on frustration level.

Math - every day - 15 to 20 minutes

handwriting - everyday - if she already knows letter formation, then this can be copywork across your memory work subjects

memory work - every day - play the cd in the car, or use the resource cd on the computer, or there might be an I-pad App.

Science - 1x/week - read aloud a book from the library that goes along with the CC science memory info for that week. (Let's REad and Find Out is a good series) This is also an opportunity for copywork or sketching if you think she's ready for that.

History - 1x/week - couple ways you could go about this - you could use SOTW 1 or Usborne Ancient Encyclopedia and read straight through. Some of the history sentences make leaps into modern times because they are by civilization, so it will be difficult to match your read aloud to every CC history sentence. If she likes to color, she might enjoy the student pages in the SOTW Activity Guide. If she doesn't like it drop it. And certainly don't worry about getting through all of SOTW 1 at this age. Alternatively you could read the back of 1 or 2 of the timeline cards every week - maybe giving a little copywork from that.

Geography - personally I would not spend additional time on it at this age beyond the memory work, or finding places on the map that relate to your history reading.

Art/music - I would add these in as much as you and she desire.

Don't forget to add some quality children's literature as read alouds - Aesop's fables, Charlotte's Web, A.A. Milne, Thorton Burgess, etc. Look at various reading lists or your own childhood favorites for ideas.


As far as total time per day, it would depend on her stamina. It might be an hour and a half.

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Hi Hope! We are doing Classical Conversations with a Kindergartner. Here is how it works at our house:

CC is of course once a week. The rest of the week we just take the memory work and do it after calendar time. After that we move in to the rest of our work. We do not do any other work on CC days as these days are full enough.

We do math everyday, reading lessons everyday, and Handwriting everyday. Each of these subjects take about 15-20 minutes each.

Once a week we do art. During CC season I just build on what we are learning in art in CC. On the off season I pick a few artists that we didn't cover and do some picture studies.

For history and science, we read living books that go along with the history and science memory work. We check these out from the library during the week and read them when we have down time. I also get a lot of ideas from http://www.halfahundredacrewood.com to incorporate into history and science.

We do our map work once a day also... this only takes a few minutes.

Since you are doing CC at home, you could spend a full day on it incorporating extra projects from the web site I mentioned on that day.


If you have any questions, please ask... I don't know if I covered all of what you were looking for.

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We did CC last year with my K'er enrolled in a local CC community. Much of our CC memory work got done in the car listening to the CD. Do you have the CD's? They are a GREAT learning tool.


My dd5 (and dd3) was able to learn the history sentences with little or no effort since they are put to music. Many of the math facts are sung, so those were learned easily too. This year there is a new timeline song, so I anticipate that being easier to learn.


Geography worked better with the map visual (although there is a states and capitals song, and that helped too). Science was a spoken question and answer (i.e. What are the 3 parts of the nervous system? The 3 parts of the nervous system are...) I tried to provide dd context by looking at living books that related to the sentence. Those were harder to learn.


Latin and English Grammar were the hardest to learn, both because dd had less context for these and they were not sung. She memorized some, but definitely not all of these items.


I taught the 3 R's daily. After those were done, we had history, geography or science scheduled. I always saved art and music for later in the afternoon. There were a lot of days we didn't get to everything, but I felt okay because the basics were done.


Also, I read history and science books for bedtime stories sometimes, and that worked well. Made me feel a little bit more productive, and dd did not mind at all. :tongue_smilie:


Overall, though, I would say a lot depends on your child. I tried to push the memory work more in the beginning of the year, and I could see that I was sucking the joy out of learning so I backed off. I am still blown away by how much she knows and remembers. The memory work sparked a lot of good questions and discussions.

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Thank you all so much for the wonderful suggestions! I will definitely be checking out the suggested books/websites. The schedule suggestions seem to make a lot of sense and should be fairly easy to accomplish...I think. :tongue_smilie:


I appreciate all your input!

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You should read The Core by Leigh Bortins, founder of Classical Conversations. It will give you a good understanding of the HOW and WHY of the memory work. You can also get some great ideas for teaching each specific subject.


Don't try to do TOO much. I wanted to do it all my first year and spent more time comparing my DD and myself to other homeschooling families than I spent just enjoying the K year together. Spend LOTS of time reading books, going for walks, listening to great stories on CD, visiting the library. Training her brain to memorize is a great skill, but she doesn't have to remember everything in order to do well. And learning geography and science and history and art and music at this age is really all a bonus. Focus on reading skills, pre-writing skills (lots of coloring with colored pencils!), and math skills.


Enjoy! Relax! Have fun!

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This is our first year officially homeschooling, since DS will be entering Kindergarten. However, we did CC last year in K4, as part of a community.


Here is what worked for us:

  • I eliminated all the "extras." Unless I wanted DS to be doing school all day and night, there was only time for Math, Writing, Phonics, Bible, and CC Memory work. If you want to do all the other stuff (history, science, geography, art/music), I would suggest tying it together with what you are learning in CC because your child will most likely have questions about that stuff anyway. Keep in mind though, that your child does not need to have an understanding of the memory work to be able to recite it.
  • I skipped the CC stuff that was too difficult. For example, DS did really well on the skip counting up until about the 13's. Then he was mixing up numbers and just wasn't getting it right, even though we were practicing the same amount of time. Same with Geography towards the end, it was just too much for a 4-year-old. So instead of drilling endlessly and getting frustrated, we just skipped it.
  • Listening to the CC Songs really helped! I downloaded the CD to my ipod and played it softly in the background while they would play with their toys. DS learned all the songs so easily this way.


Good luck!

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Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely check out The Core. I, too, find myself spending waaaay too much time comparing us to other homeschoolers...and mostly ones online. There are so many great ideas and resources out there that I get too caught up in the research of everything to actually get anything done! It's crazy. But I am finally beginning to feel like everything is coming together into a manageable and exciting plan. Woo hoo!


Oh, and we LOVE the CC songs. My girls can learn anything if it's set to music/tune. I really wish there was a song for everything in the CC curriculum.

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This post is perfect timing for me. I have been brainstorming the past few days. We did CC last year as a 4 year old and it was great but we had a really stressful year in life so I am looking forward to digging in next year. My goals for K are getting into grooves and routines. Having structure and going from there. Really trying to keep it simple.

Reading/writing - IEW PAL 3-4 times a week

Math - Finish MUS Primer and working with the Rightstart Abacus 2-3 times a week

Bible - stil not 100% sure

Memory Work - review regularly and dig in via books, videos, activities on a few specific topics.


Really, I want to enjoy this year, focus on building a firm foundation with a good schooling relationship so that when we add heavier academics the relationship is there to support it.

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Thanks for this info. I am also starting K5 with my oldest & this will be our 2nd year doing CC. Our plan is to focus on phonics, math, handwriting, & CC memory work. I don't plan on adding science or history at home (beyond CC) because I think it would be too much. I do plan to go to the library often & find books related to whatever ds is interested in relating to history, science, & the timeline.

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