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Literary Mom

Does anyone else think Classical Conversations is neither?

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I think the key to implementing memory work into your home school without CC is to select resources ahead of time and have a plan. I made my own memory CDs for the car. I was able to find songs on Youtube for geography for the past two years. Our selections may not be as exhaustive as the CC guide, but I am very pleased with my son's geography knowledge using a combo of mapping exercises (SOTW AGs and SCM Visits to ... series) and memory songs. This is our first year learning science songs, but I was able to find some Physics raps. We just listen to them in the car when we drive around. There are tons of scripture memory songs/CDs. I also listen to our hymns, etc. in the car. Latin and grammar chants are built into our curriculum, so it doesn't feel like this extra burden. I have introduced the CC timeline song this year, but we are only focusing on 1/4 of it. If CC had more of their material to song and I could download more things individually (so I could purchase just what I needed and order them according to our studies), I would entertain using some of their resources. But they do not work that way. We also memorize a lot of poetry, and I don't think CC places any value on that aspect of memory work. In total, I feel like we have memory sufficiently covered. I would love to have a place on here where everyone on the TWTM boards links resources for the memory work that SWB recommends in TWTM. It seems like the memory work gets more specific as you move into the Logic stage.       

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I would love to have a place on here where everyone on the TWTM boards links resources for the memory work that SWB recommends in TWTM. It seems like the memory work gets more specific as you move into the Logic stage.       

 

This is an excellent idea.

 

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We are leaning toward resuming in January on a week-to-week basis. My 11 yr-old really wants to be a Memory Master and this would be her only chance (she has already memorized the entire cycle just by listening to the CD). Also, the art projects look good, and I'm not that great about doing that kind of thing at home (though we have the book). My youngers love the geometry drawing class they take after CC (taught by my oldest's tutor), which we originally signed them up for back when I was tutoring Essentials, but since we quit that, I've been using that time to do pre-logic with my oldest (while she weaves bracelets!), so staying would keep us on track with that. 

 

Even if we do end up finishing out this year, I am 99% sure we won't return in the fall, but it's still a dilemma in that my oldest's tutor will likely be the tutor for Challenge A, and I know he will do an amazing job. (Editing to add that I spent a lot of time reading through the description of the program and its materials, and I'm warming up to it again, at least for a possible test run for 7th grade.)

 

My deepest sense still says that this isn't the path for us, but I do enjoy the community, as do my kids, and there are some benefits (more of which were revealed in discussions with my kids over this past week), so I am trying to stay prayerfully open-minded. If I get all angsty again when the new semester starts, I can always decide to quit at any point. In the grand scheme of things, it's only another 3 months, which amounts to 12 days (since I don't do anything with it during our school week - they just listen to the CD and read the trifold board. I only have to help my youngest in preparing his presentations). 

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I'm a Foundations/Essentials Director.  I agree that there are aspects of the program that could be improved, but I find that in every curriculum.  That's why I LOVE homeshooling.  I'm in charge!!   The bureaucracy of CC is what frustrates me and each year I contemplate quitting.  I continue, however, because it has helped numerous moms & dads in our community have the confidence to homeschool.  You see, CC is suppose to be for the parents, providing accountability and mentoring.  The students are used to demonstrate how to memorize, learn musical grammar, learn about artists, discuss music, science, etc.  

 

To me, CC is a ministry to parents that need accountability and/or encouragement as they home school.  Yes, most kids enjoy going and   participating, but you shouldn't join expecting CC tutors to teach your children.  CC is actually suppose to empower the teachers - YOU.  Not every CC Community understands their purpose, however.  For example,  our community started 4 years ago with 64 students thinking it was "school".  (Only one family had ever even attended CC before.)  I was a tutor then, and we exhausted ourselves trying to TEACH the curriculum.  As we learned more about the program, however, we learned we were doing it WRONG.  We were suppose to be equipping parents using classical METHODS that are really quite easy to implement.  

 

My family uses Apologia for science, SOTW for listening & reading, Writing With Ease (Grades 1-3), IEW (Grades 4-6), historical fiction, Saxon math, Math-u-See, & Horizons Math, travel, etc.  CC is just a stepping stone for us, however, it may be the life-line that a new home school family needs to not give up on home schooling.  You may not need CC, but there may be others that need YOU!  Pray about where God wants you and your family.  Giving up one day a week when you and your kids don't need it, may seem like a wasted day, but if you are called to help others on the homeschooling journey it won't be. 

 

Here's how I look at it...

What do you use and remember from what you were taught in elementary school?  I use reading, writing & arithmetic and remember the fun projects I did - painting with pudding in Kindergarten, making sock puppets in 2nd grade, collecting pond water in 3rd grade and looking at in under a microscope, my 4th grade report on Ivory Coast where I made a poster board elephant with tusks painted with ivory nail polish and the countries flag in his trunk (I posted my report on its body), the book I wrote and "published" in 6th grade.  

 

If my kids learn arithmetic, reading & writing from me and can recall even part of their CC memory work as adults...they will be better educated than me!! : ) 

 

 

 

 

 

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...And the plot thickens: I've been asked to consider being the Challenge Director / Challenge A tutor.  I started this thread two months ago (feels like much longer than that!) when I was in a place where CC just felt totally wrong for us - and it still doesn't feel completely right (though somewhat better these first few weeks we've been back) - but this is a new twist. A lot is tied up in it, since my oldest would be in Challenge A this fall, so we really can't keep going with CC with my younger two (which they want to, but I'm not sure) if my oldest doesn't have a place to plug in, and it's not looking like anyone else wants the job at this point, so I'm praying about possibly taking on this role, but I feel like I must be crazy to even contemplate it!  I am pretty intrigued by the material as described in the catalog, and we have the book for rhetoric (apologetics really). Math, though, that scares me the most. Any Challenge A tutors out there who can tell me what I'd be in for?  

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...I started this thread two months ago...

 

I just wanted to say thank you so much for starting this thread... While our DSs are now graduated, I have been doing co-op classes with homeschoolers, and was very interested in learning about Classical Conversations. As with any curriculum or resource, I can certainly see how it is great for some, and not for others. :)

 

Just 2 weeks ago, I was asked to consider if I would be willing to be a tutor for the Challenge level. Having read through everyone's experiences and having read through the website, I was able to say honestly and confidently that I would NOT be a good fit with CC, as I simply can NOT follow someone else's structure and curriculum. The best part of homeschooling high school to me was getting to pull together the best bits from many resources, and to follow our family's interests. And, I have written my own curriculum for the co-op classes I've taught.

 

In contrast, for families participating in CC, the real strength is the pre-made structure; I would be a "fail" at following that, which would ultimately be very frustrating to the families.

 

So, thanks to this thread, I didn't have to hesitate with an answer, which freed up the director to seek out someone better suited.  A win-win! :)

 

 

...And the plot thickens: I've been asked to consider being the Challenge Director / Challenge A tutor... Any Challenge A tutors out there who can tell me what I'd be in for?  

 

Sadly, I have no experience to help you out. Just wanted to share that I am confident it will be made clear to you whether or not you are the one to step into this new role or not. :) BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

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 A lot is tied up in it, since my oldest would be in Challenge A this fall, so we really can't keep going with CC with my younger two (which they want to, but I'm not sure) if my oldest doesn't have a place to plug in, and it's not looking like anyone else wants the job at this point, so I'm praying about possibly taking on this role, but I feel like I must be crazy to even contemplate it!  I am pretty intrigued by the material as described in the catalog, and we have the book for rhetoric (apologetics really). Math, though, that scares me the most. Any Challenge A tutors out there who can tell me what I'd be in for?  

 

As my FIL used to always say in these situations, "Remember, a need is not a call."

 

In our many years with CC, I was asked many, many times, but after praying about it and discussing the impact on our own family with DH year-by-year, I never became a Challenge Director. Promoting the program, handling the accounting, preparing for all of the seminars, interacting with parents and students outside of class via phone/email, and coming prepared each week was too much.

 

Now my teens are not involved in CC for high school, so I'm not eligible.  It still is something I'd like to do someday after they graduate, but we'll see.

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...And the plot thickens: I've been asked to consider being the Challenge Director / Challenge A tutor.  I started this thread two months ago (feels like much longer than that!) when I was in a place where CC just felt totally wrong for us - and it still doesn't feel completely right (though somewhat better these first few weeks we've been back) - but this is a new twist. A lot is tied up in it, since my oldest would be in Challenge A this fall, so we really can't keep going with CC with my younger two (which they want to, but I'm not sure) if my oldest doesn't have a place to plug in, and it's not looking like anyone else wants the job at this point, so I'm praying about possibly taking on this role, but I feel like I must be crazy to even contemplate it!  I am pretty intrigued by the material as described in the catalog, and we have the book for rhetoric (apologetics really). Math, though, that scares me the most. Any Challenge A tutors out there who can tell me what I'd be in for?  

 

I tutored Challenge A for 3 yrs.  I loved it.  I am currently directing Challenge II.  I will say it can be exhausting, although A is easier content wise.  The biggest thing about the math is to realize that every student will be in a different place.  Some will be below pre-alg, some will be right there, and some will be beyond.  I focused on the whys behind what we were doing and getting the kids to be able to do the same.  We constantly went over the "legality" of what we were doing.  You know the identity law, commutative law, etc.  It is more didactic than the upper challenges as they are typically 12 yrs old.  I loved using the Lost Tools of Writing.  I also loved the research.  It was a lot of fun, especially when I had a boy bring in his paragraph on amphibians and it was an army amphibian assault vehicle.  ;)  I can see where CC is a good fit for many.  That's ok.  It doesn't have to be.  My family has really grown and I would put their Latin and English grammar up with most college students.  Other things they could improve on, but as a hole it has been extremely beneficial.  

 

Hope this helps a little.  

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As my FIL used to always say in these situations, "Remember, a need is not a call."

 

In our many years with CC, I was asked many, many times, but after praying about it and discussing the impact on our own family with DH year-by-year, I never became a Challenge Director. Promoting the program, handling the accounting, preparing for all of the seminars, interacting with parents and students outside of class via phone/email, and coming prepared each week was too much.

 

Now my teens are not involved in CC for high school, so I'm not eligible.  It still is something I'd like to do someday after they graduate, but we'll see.

 

Is this (bolded part of your quote) part of director training?  is it "required" or at least encouraged?  I'm truly curious because I have friends who are CC tutors and/or directors, and I'm surprised by the amount of "promoting" I keep seeing from them.  More than just, "CC works for us and we want to share it with others".  

 

I was just wondering if that was an actual part of training, or just something I am overly sensitive about.  

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Is this (bolded part of your quote) part of director training?  is it "required" or at least encouraged?  I'm truly curious because I have friends who are CC tutors and/or directors, and I'm surprised by the amount of "promoting" I keep seeing from them.  More than just, "CC works for us and we want to share it with others".  

 

I was just wondering if that was an actual part of training, or just something I am overly sensitive about.  

 

Yes, promotion is required.  I'm out of the loop now, but the directors I knew had to book a certain number of information meetings, open houses, and some were expected to report on new contacts to their State Director/Support Manager on an ongoing basis.  You're expected to follow up with contacts.  Some people are naturally going to be more aggressive with this than others, and some will have full programs without having to really beat the bushes for students.  

 

So it is a fair amount of promotion/administration on top of teaching six seminars. They also had to attend business training, a certain number of summer practicums, and periodic meetings with their State Director/Support Manager.  Most campuses also have periodic meetings of the directors.  

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Just to clarify, though, that this is not a requirement for Foundations tutors. Foundations tutors have to do the three-day summer training and meet occasionally as a team to preview the curriculum, but no accounting or promoting the program is required.

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I tutored Challenge A for 3 yrs.  I loved it.  I am currently directing Challenge II.  I will say it can be exhausting, although A is easier content wise.  The biggest thing about the math is to realize that every student will be in a different place.  Some will be below pre-alg, some will be right there, and some will be beyond.  I focused on the whys behind what we were doing and getting the kids to be able to do the same.  We constantly went over the "legality" of what we were doing.  You know the identity law, commutative law, etc.  It is more didactic than the upper challenges as they are typically 12 yrs old.  I loved using the Lost Tools of Writing.  I also loved the research.  It was a lot of fun, especially when I had a boy bring in his paragraph on amphibians and it was an army amphibian assault vehicle.   ;)  I can see where CC is a good fit for many.  That's ok.  It doesn't have to be.  My family has really grown and I would put their Latin and English grammar up with most college students.  Other things they could improve on, but as a hole it has been extremely beneficial.  

 

Hope this helps a little.  

 

Holy shouldn't be writing past a certain time of night, Batman!  Please excuse the errors.  It should read, "I can see where CC is not a good fit for many."  and  "But as a whole it has been extremely beneficial."  

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My family uses Apologia for science, SOTW for listening & reading, Writing With Ease (Grades 1-3), IEW (Grades 4-6), historical fiction, Saxon math, Math-u-See, & Horizons Math, travel, etc.  CC is just a stepping stone for us, however, it may be the life-line that a new home school family needs to not give up on home schooling.  You may not need CC, but there may be others that need YOU!  Pray about where God wants you and your family.  Giving up one day a week when you and your kids don't need it, may seem like a wasted day, but if you are called to help others on the homeschooling journey it won't be. 

 

You want people to pay large sums of money to participate in your business because some other person may benefit from their presence? Surely there are ways to support other homeschooling families that are less time-consuming and expensive. Maybe I am just selfish. I think my children are supposed to be getting their own education.

 

Here's how I look at it...

What do you use and remember from what you were taught in elementary school?  I use reading, writing & arithmetic and remember the fun projects I did - painting with pudding in Kindergarten, making sock puppets in 2nd grade, collecting pond water in 3rd grade and looking at in under a microscope, my 4th grade report on Ivory Coast where I made a poster board elephant with tusks painted with ivory nail polish and the countries flag in his trunk (I posted my report on its body), the book I wrote and "published" in 6th grade.  

 

Different strokes. I like home schooling because I get to avoid that kind of thing. I hate project-based learning. Hated it in elementary school too. I'd be the one thinking that painting with nail polish is not an efficient way to learn about the Ivory Coast.

 

If my kids learn arithmetic, reading & writing from me and can recall even part of their CC memory work as adults...they will be better educated than me!! : )

 

CC seems like a very roundabout way to meet these rather minimalist goals.

 

 

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I read through this whole thread again and it was a reality check. I am not tutoring Challenge!  Scolding myself for even entertaining the idea ;) 

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I read through this whole thread again and it was a reality check. I am not tutoring Challenge!  Scolding myself for even entertaining the idea ;)

 

Better now than later, indeed!  

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I read through this whole thread again and it was a reality check. I am not tutoring Challenge! Scolding myself for even entertaining the idea ;)

Lol. I was going to ask you about this today. I'm thinking, "Does she really enjoy groups of middle schoolers that much?" because that wouldn't be my guess!

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CC is just a stepping stone for us, however, it may be the life-line that a new home school family needs to not give up on home schooling.  You may not need CC, but there may be others that need YOU!  Pray about where God wants you and your family.  Giving up one day a week when you and your kids don't need it, may seem like a wasted day, but if you are called to help others on the homeschooling journey it won't be. 

 

Why does CC act like it is the only homeschooling group out there that purposes to honor the Lord and serve homeschooling families? I know of many wonderful co-op and homeschool support groups that have as one of their primary missions to serve home schooling families - and none of them charge the fees that CC does for their ministry or the blessing of the community! The home school leaders I know serve, work, pray, and encourage. This CC attitude drives me bonkers. Why should people build the CC kingdom if they have good reasons for not wanting to join a CC community? There are many ways to support other home school families.

 

I am concerned more that the promoting and marketing that is required by the national organization affects the overall home school community. It is by far the most well-marketed group available to home schoolers, because of the national advertising and presence at every convention. I believe people who would otherwise be starting new co-ops to meet the local needs are instead becoming a cog in a business model with a Christian vision statement. 

 

I am very concerned that you can't even say that the program didn't work for your family and offer to share why privately without being accused of "bashing" CC.

 

I just really appreciate that this site exists. It is very hard to find a critical analysis of CC anywhere on the internet. There are so many bloggers out there who promote CC. If you only hear from active CC members who parrot the party line, it would be hard for someone to discern why it may not work for everybody. Hopefully, as the CC PR/marketing machine begins ramping up, people will find their way here and at least hear diverging points of view. One of the 4 local CCs in my area (there are even more outside my 30 mile radius but still in the metro area) already has an information meeting for next academic year scheduled for the end of January. So it looks like the season to fill communities is off to an early start. 

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Why does CC act like it is the only homeschooling group out there that purposes to honor the Lord and serve homeschooling families? I

I just really appreciate that this site exists. It is very hard to find a critical analysis of CC anywhere on the internet.

 

I've appreciated this site and what it's done for our homeschool for well over a decade too. It's been interesting watching this discussion here while simultaneously reading through another CC-related discussion over at the Ambleside forums. Someone over there finally linked to this thread, so I thought I'd link there. It's a thought-provoking discussion, and I've appreciated the intelligence and perspective of the ladies involved. Add to that the fact that AO has always been a FREE lifeline to many homeschool moms.

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Why does CC act like it is the only homeschooling group out there that purposes to honor the Lord and serve homeschooling families? I know of many wonderful co-op and homeschool support groups that have as one of their primary missions to serve home schooling families - and none of them charge the fees that CC does for their ministry or the blessing of the community! The home school leaders I know serve, work, pray, and encourage. This CC attitude drives me bonkers. Why should people build the CC kingdom if they have good reasons for not wanting to join a CC community? There are many ways to support other home school families.

 

I am concerned more that the promoting and marketing that is required by the national organization affects the overall home school community. It is by far the most well-marketed group available to home schoolers, because of the national advertising and presence at every convention. I believe people who would otherwise be starting new co-ops to meet the local needs are instead becoming a cog in a business model with a Christian vision statement. 

 

 

I think I can speak of CC from experience having directed Foundations/Essentials and now Challenge for seven years. My question for you would be when does CC say it is the only way to homeschool. I am great friends with the leaders of many other  co-ops and have directed numerous families their way when CC is not a fit for them. These groups are secondary benificiaries of our marketing efforts since people come to us looking for some way to be connected and often can't find any other groups that are available. I would be the first one to say that CC is not a one size fits all for families. I have been known to say "pray and see if this is a good fit for you or if the Lord would have you do something else". Personally, my CC group doesn't currently need to market much, we are usually full with waiting lists but the homeschool community is growing faster than the number of available co-ops. We also are blessed to support many military families.  Every spring I get calls from CC families (many international) who are being transferred here with the military. They are seamlessly able to transfer into a CC community here which gives a great sense of continuity for their children. When they are transferred again, they can go to another community in another state. I know of one family who has done this four times. As far as cost goes, we get a lot of families trying to homeschool after private school -  our prices are a bargain in comparison.

 

You also have a concern about the "business model". Why is it a bad thing to have oversight and accountability. CC works hard to insure that their programs are implemented with quality and continuity. It is extremely hard to find programs for homeschooled high school and middle school that will take you from 7th through 12th grade. When my 2nd dd was in high school it was stressful to wonder who I would find to help her with science and math each year and provide the social outlet she needed. CC is attempting to fill this niche.

 

Finally, the title to this thread is curious to me. Classical Conversations is neither? I could fill another page addressing this but I would invite the original poster to visit a Challenge community to see how this really works.

 

 

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I was referring to a previous poster's assertion that even though a poster didn't feel like CC would be a good fit for her family, the reluctant mom was advised to pray about serving homeschoolers through CC - as if there aren't any other groups that may better meet her needs/family situation and allow her to fulfill a calling to serve the homeschool community. That attitude does seem to prevail among many people involved in CC.
 

 

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CC is a very unique home school business in the sense that people have to choose between paying a tuition for other moms to teach or becoming a contracted employee themselves. While it is not an MLM, it seems to employ a lot of the same techniques to expand that MLMs do with peer marketing, etc. See the above commentary about having to report to higher levels with numbers of contacts made, open houses, etc. Sometimes it seems that the starting of new communities has less to due with demand and more to do with someone willing to start a new one. 
 

The local CC communities are not my only exposure to CC. There are a sizable number of home school blogs right now pumping reasons why people should join CC.

 

I encourage you to read the thread from the beginning. The original poster is in a CC community and had been asked to become a tutor of one of the higher levels (can't remember which one).

 

I don't think it is fair to compare the cost of a private education to the cost of CC. It is comparing apples to oranges.

 

 

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Ironically, most of the people I've seen end up in Classical Conversations weren't pursuing a classical education before CC, so I don't even think they are aware of the different neo-classical interpretations and their differences. The Ambleside forum was pretty insightful fleshing those distinctions out. I was aware of them but not to the degree that was discussed over on that forum.

 

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CC is a very unique home school business in the sense that people have to choose between paying a tuition for other moms to teach or becoming a contracted employee themselves. While it is not an MLM, it seems to employ a lot of the same techniques to expand that MLMs do with peer marketing, etc. See the above commentary about having to report to higher levels with numbers of contacts made, open houses, etc. Sometimes it seems that the starting of new communities has less to due with demand and more to do with someone willing to start a new one .

I think you've summed up my experience with those in CC. The appointing of tutors seems to be based upon the financial need of the tutor and not the expertise --kind of like in MLM where someone offers the "business opportunity" to customers so they can get products at a discount or for free. Then you add in the CC tutors, whom I don't know, but have contacted me for help in a subject that I have a reputation for teaching in our area; and I continue to have major doubts about the CC model. We are not part of a CC community.

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I was reported to the local regional CC support person by my previous director (from 2008!) because of the content of this post. Thankfully, I've known the Regional contact for years. Honestly, I didn't know she had assumed that position alongside directing Foundations. But seriously, is my 27 Reasons list so threatening to cause such a brouhaha? Our experience was not "bad," but many things made it not a great fit. I know my perspective is not unique having spent some times on these forums. I also have some concerns about the aggressive recruiting/expansion strategies. I am very careful to keep my comments to "wasn't a good fit for us" on our local facebook homeschool group (300 families). Really. Reported. Makes me really happy to no longer be a part of my local community. That may be my new 28th reason. 

 

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I am uncomfortable with how aggressive they seem to be, at least in my area.  I have purchased several things from them (LOVE their History and Science cards), which gave the rep in my area my email address.  The first time she emailed me I politely told her that I was not interested in joining a CC community but that I'd keep her information in case I ever changed my mind. I (perhaps naively) thought they would realize I wasn't interested and remove me from their email list but I still receive emails telling me about the communities in my area, etc. 

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I think I am going to be getting hate mail via Facebook for days now, because some local CC people just discovered my 27 Reasons list. Apparently I am ignorant and don't "understand" CC's big picture. I'll just leave it at that.

I'm sorry. I would stay far away from the type of people to send hate mail. We are in CC this year, but I have been disappointed and we are not going to sign up for next year. Next year's registration is due this week and I'm nervous about being asked where my paperwork is. But I don't think the people in my group would send hate mail or anything!

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I'm sorry. I would stay far away from the type of people to send hate mail. We are in CC this year, but I have been disappointed and we are not going to sign up for next year. Next year's registration is due this week and I'm nervous about being asked where my paperwork is. But I don't think the people in my group would send hate mail or anything!

 

I sincerely doubt anyone in CC leadership positions would send "hate mail" of any kind. We are taught to use a Matthew 18 approach to handle conflicts.

 

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You also have a concern about the "business model". Why is it a bad thing to have oversight and accountability. CC works hard to insure that their programs are implemented with quality and continuity. It is extremely hard to find programs for homeschooled high school and middle school that will take you from 7th through 12th grade. When my 2nd dd was in high school it was stressful to wonder who I would find to help her with science and math each year and provide the social outlet she needed. CC is attempting to fill this niche.

 

 

 

 

As far as cost goes, we get a lot of families trying to homeschool after private school -  our prices are a bargain in comparison.

 

No, it's really, really not. I don't know about the quality of education your particular families were paying for, but for a public school here, it's expected that a high school teacher have a degree in his or her teaching area -- history degree for history teachers, and so on. What you are offering is a self-taught amateur. It's a steep price for a self-taught amateur, given that you can get someone with at least some level of subject matter knowledge at your local school for free.

 

When my 2nd dd was in high school it was stressful to wonder who I would find to help her with science and math each year and provide the social outlet she needed. CC is attempting to fill this niche.

 

The person teaching her math through CC is no more qualified to teach your daughter math, or help her with her science, than you are.  Which means it's a social outlet. It's an expensive social outlet.

 

 

 

Finally, the title to this thread is curious to me. Classical Conversations is neither? I could fill another page addressing this but I would invite the original poster to visit a Challenge community to see how this really works.

 

 

I can't attend a Challenge community, and I really shouldn't, because I'm not your target market and I'd be wasting their time. They don't exist in my area anyway. But I listened to Leigh Bortins' presentations and I was surprised by how unimpressed I was by the description of the Challenge program in particular. YMMV.

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I think CC has far more to do with the social and accountability aspects than the actual education going on.   All the people I know who join CC just really really enjoy the community aspect- being together, taking pictures together, learning together, eating lunch together, and they also enjoy the accountability to get the memory work done, and in later years stay on top of their writing and math.  

 

I looked into it very seriously this year when I moved to a new state, and I'm going to be honest- I would have joined mostly for the community more than anything else. But that's what CC advertises- that's the "conversation" part of it...the community is the biggest selling factor.  In the end, I just didn't see the point when my kids are doing wonderful with the curriculum we have, and I didn't like the idea of paying 1200.00 for non-credentialed teachers to "teach" my kids.  AND I especially wouldn't want to pay all that money and then have to sit there every week.  I think the 27 reasons are very very helpful and they did not seem biased or slanderous or rude.  They seemed quite fair.

 

If I do join next year, it will primarily be for the community!  When the kids get older and they are different personalities and genders, it is very difficult to create community.  I will follow the academics and let my kids soar as best they can, but if people ask me why I join CC (if I did), i would immedately answer, "community!"  I think community is not a shameful thing to need or want.  It is part of human nature.  I wish CC would vamp up its Challenge program in some areas, but maybe not.  Maybe it's better not to push kids too far, anyway.

 

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I was reported to the local regional CC support person by my previous director (from 2008!) because of the content of this post. Thankfully, I've known the Regional contact for years. Honestly, I didn't know she had assumed that position alongside directing Foundations. But seriously, is my 27 Reasons list so threatening to cause such a brouhaha? Our experience was not "bad," but many things made it not a great fit. I know my perspective is not unique having spent some times on these forums. I also have some concerns about the aggressive recruiting/expansion strategies. I am very careful to keep my comments to "wasn't a good fit for us" on our local facebook homeschool group (300 families). Really. Reported. Makes me really happy to no longer be a part of my local community. That may be my new 28th reason. 

 

Go back and reread your 27 reasons list.  As a whole, you sound bitter, sarcastic, and mean.  It is not exactly a charitable description of why it "wasn't a good fit" for you.  It certainly doesn't sound like your "experience was not 'bad.'"

Are you really surprised that you are receiving negative reactions?

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I think I can speak of CC from experience having directed Foundations/Essentials and now Challenge for seven years. My question for you would be when does CC say it is the only way to homeschool. I am great friends with the leaders of many other  co-ops and have directed numerous families their way when CC is not a fit for them. These groups are secondary beneficiaries of our marketing efforts since people come to us looking for some way to be connected and often can't find any other groups that are available. I would be the first one to say that CC is not a one size fits all for families. I have been known to say "pray and see if this is a good fit for you or if the Lord would have you do something else". Personally, my CC group doesn't currently need to market much, we are usually full with waiting lists but the homeschool community is growing faster than the number of available co-ops. We also are blessed to support many military families.  Every spring I get calls from CC families (many international) who are being transferred here with the military. They are seamlessly able to transfer into a CC community here which gives a great sense of continuity for their children. When they are transferred again, they can go to another community in another state. I know of one family who has done this four times. As far as cost goes, we get a lot of families trying to homeschool after private school -  our prices are a bargain in comparison.

 

This is the ideal IMHO.  You view CC as a resource and are very comfortable directing people away if you sense that it isn't the right choice for someone.  You present your program fairly and honestly. 

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I am uncomfortable with how aggressive they seem to be, at least in my area.  I have purchased several things from them (LOVE their History and Science cards), which gave the rep in my area my email address.  The first time she emailed me I politely told her that I was not interested in joining a CC community but that I'd keep her information in case I ever changed my mind. I (perhaps naively) thought they would realize I wasn't interested and remove me from their email list but I still receive emails telling me about the communities in my area, etc. 

 

I've bought CC materials as well and tested through them, and I get all their e-mails. It doesn't bother me because in general, if you use a service once, you're likely to do so again. It doesn't seem excessive to get an e-mail in the fall telling me where the communities in my area are and when their open houses and the like are, one in the Spring outlining summer workshops, and the occasional one about sales in their store. I get as much from pretty much any company I've bought curriculum materials from online. And I appreciate CC selling their materials without having to be part of a community.

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I've bought CC materials as well and tested through them, and I get all their e-mails. It doesn't bother me because in general, if you use a service once, you're likely to do so again. It doesn't seem excessive to get an e-mail in the fall telling me where the communities in my area are and when their open houses and the like are, one in the Spring outlining summer workshops, and the occasional one about sales in their store. I get as much from pretty much any company I've bought curriculum materials from online. And I appreciate CC selling their materials without having to be part of a community.

 

What bothers me the most is that they just keep coming, even after I politely let them know that I'm not interested.  If it was an email advertizing their products (like what's new or on sale at their bookstore) I wouldn't mind.  Those type are typical and have an option to opt out of being on their list.  The ones I receive are only trying to get me into a community and have no way for you to stop them.  The first time one came it didn't bother me at all.  I thought it was nice that they were letting me know what was in my area.  Now I just find it annoying and a turn off.

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Mrs Twain- I beg to differ. The only ones, after re-reading it twice that sounded even remotely mean, were number 7 and 17.  And that could be solved by just taking out the word "silly" in number 7 and in number 17, the only reason I think it could be left out is that there's no negative for the individual- that is just another straw on the camel's back of a situation that already didn't work for her.

 

I think the list was helpful. Let's put them in reverse:

 

1.) You are required to stay and observe the class if you are not tutoring. You think you’ll be bringing newspapers or a novel to read by the end of the year. Maybe you’ll even brazenly start clipping coupons, because it only takes one other mom to pass out crayons.

 



2.) You like your history in four or six year cycles and can’t imagine reducing it to three.

3.) You like teaching your children their memory work in context.

4.) You don’t need to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars (depending on family size) for the benefit of a home school community.

5.) You don’t want to choose between “fleshing out the material at home†and teaching memory work out of context.

6.) You like other classical latin programs that use song for teaching your little ones latin memory work much better than what CC offers - and you can wait until they are ready for it.

7.) You think it is silly to compare the cost of trained music teachers to tutors when there is very little training of one compared to the other.

8.) You don’t appreciate the strong sales pitches made to join CC at every turn. (*This may be most relevant to you - as you will feel a need to grow your community/business*)

9.) You understand that while all that is required is the tin whistle and the Foundations guide, to really succeed you need to buy a memory work CD, a CC Connected subscription, pictorial timeline cards, and some cute memory cards on a keychain.

10.) Opportunity cost: you value your time and money. You can buy a lot of books and can afford an online latin class for the cost of CC. You can join a co-op that better meets your specific areas of weakness.

11.) You realize that if you purchase curriculum from classical publishers, they have memory work built into their programs. CC grammar memory and math songs would be redundant.  

12.) You think CC corporate is extremely quirky about their position on copyright. So how many times do you have to purchase their material anyway?

13.) You don’t think CC is the only way to provide a Classical Christian education.

14.) You realize CC corporate exists to serve classical homeschoolers who are members of their communities.

15.) You like The Well-Trained Mind better than The Core.

16.) You lean a little more Charlotte Mason.

17.) You feel like CC Connected is unfairly benefitting from the hard work of its valuable paid members, because the members supply tons of content and to your knowledge receive no monetary reimbursement for their time and effort (CC owns the material and the forum).

18.) You think it is crazy to mandate 4 year-old siblings to register for the program instead of playing in the preschool room. But then again you are paying an extra cost for babysitting your little ones - not a preschool program.

19.) You would have trouble abiding by the following: Thou shalt not say anything critical of or negative about your personal CC experience and why it wasn’t a good fit for your family.

20.) Not all tutors are equal.

21.) You may not like the emphasis on earning Memory Master status, especially if your child has learning challenges.

22.) There is no 100% satisfaction guarantee. All money is paid up front.

23.) You don’t need someone to model memory work. It just isn’t that tough.

24.) Youtube is free.

25.) Twenty-four weeks of six subjects of memory work is a very long time and a whole lot of unrelated information. In fact, it is too fast and too much for your personal taste. Can we memorize a poem or a hymn now (see #16)?

26.) You don’t see how it is possible to really teach quality art, science, and music in the time allotted if the parents aren’t asked to supplement with context at home and the paid tutors may or may not know what they are talking about. (See #7 and #20)

27.) You don’t think the community at CC is somehow academically superior to other groups serving the elementary ages and recognize that people use many different philosophies and methodologies for their child’s education - and God uses them too.

 

 

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nm...I don't have time to go through them now.  

 

But I agree... a few are a little snarky.  But it all depends on how you read it and your tone of voice.  I think CC is best in Essentials and especially Challenge.  I think a lot of people just aren't going to thrive in Foundations unless they are very social creatures. :o)

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You think you’ll be bringing newspapers or a novel to read by the end of the year. Maybe you’ll even brazenly start clipping coupons, because it only takes one other mom to pass out crayons.

 

 

 

 

4.) You don’t need to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars (depending on family size) for the benefit of a home school community.

 

 

13.) You don’t think CC is the only way to provide a Classical Christian education.

 

14.) You realize CC corporate exists to serve classical homeschoolers who are members of their communities.

 

 

 

 

19.) You would have trouble abiding by the following: Thou shalt not say anything critical of or negative about your personal CC experience and why it wasn’t a good fit for your family.

 

23.) You don’t need someone to model memory work. It just isn’t that tough.

 

24.) Youtube is free.

 

25.) [...]Can we memorize a poem or a hymn now (see #16)?

 

26.) You don’t see how it is possible to really teach quality art, science, and music in the time allotted if the parents aren’t asked to supplement with context at home and the paid tutors may or may not know what they are talking about. (See #7 and #20)

 

27.) You don’t think the community at CC is somehow academically superior to other groups serving the elementary ages [...]

 

 

 

 

Besides what you mentioned (7 and 17), all of these sound either bitter, sarcastic, or snarky. 

 

#1 -- She implies that the only reason that parents are supposed to attend CC is to pass out crayons.

#4 -- This implies that the only thing CC provides is a homeschool community.

#13 -- She implies that CC claims it is the only way to provide a classical Christian education.

#14 -- This is a complaint that CC corporate only serves its members.  This is a negative?  This is supposed to be a reason not to join CC?

#19 -- I have never read that statement in any CC materials.  Could she provide a reference?

#23 -- Does she think the families who sign up for CC to help them with memory work are all idiots and dunces? 

#24 -- This statement implies that taking part in a CC community and watching YouTube are equivalent.

#25 -- She implies that there is no time to do anything else besides CC work.  CC only takes 24 weeks, and there are 52 weeks in year.  That leaves 28 weeks to memorize a poem or a hymn.

#26 -- The statement seems to assume that one of CC's primary components is to provide quality art, science, and music classes.  I have never heard that claim from CC.

#27 -- She implies that CC claims it is academically superior to other groups in each local area.  Could she provide a reference?

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I found it ironic that this thread came back up as I heard (via the homeschooling grapevine) that a CC rep was going to have a meeting 'in my area' (30 minutes away) soon about starting up a community there. I'm not interested in joining, but I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting because I don't think there are enough homeschoolers in that area to get a group going.

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I'll just try and respond as I have time. While this list is not perfect, I think it is a helpful springboard for talking points. Unfortunately, I think people who love CC are less likely to want to hear any counterpoints or truly understand why someone isn't as enamored as they are with the program. There is a zealousness that is out there. I do think the MLM analogy is helpful, because people start to become defined by their involvement. In their minds, no longer are you assessing a program or a curriculum or a methodology, but to them you are critiquing them personally.

 

#1 - I think it would be pretty easy to set it up so that the parents have access to the hand jives, etc. without actually being required to attend, especially with the aid of CC Connected. By the end of my time in Foundations, I was bringing newspapers and things to read, etc. The only thing to really do to contribute was help with the crayons during the geography portion. That was my experience. Maybe others are fine to chill out. I just knew I couldn't be a silent observer again. I would have to tutor but that mandates becoming a contracted employee.

 

#4  - Community is billed a being a major component of CC. Many people say they do it specifically for community. It is important to note that there are several ways to find community without having to pay for it. Some people think it is worth the money. It is something to seriously consider. Sometimes those opportunities may be harder to find, because advertising not a big priority for most home school groups and don't have the muscle CC has behind it. Unfortunately, most home school groups don't include 4 year olds, and I think a lot of moms (like me) are really excited to do something education with a group. So I do admit that it is tougher for a mother of a 4 year old to find a homeschool group where she can find community.

 

#13  - The way that CC defines Classical Ed one would think that every  interpretation of Classical Ed places as much value on those pegs as Leigh Bortins does. The Bluedorns, The Well-Trained Mind, etc. just seem to have a slightly different approach. If I research the other classical distributors or classical schools, you just don't see the volume of out-of-context memory work. Using "the core" seems to be a very unique to CC approach, but by reading CC materials, one would think that the methodology in Foundations is how all classical educators go about working out the grammar stage of the Trivium.

 

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While I am late in this I will add my two cents. CC is a rip off. Get yourself the app and the books "What you need to know about _____ homework" and that covers Foundations. LITERALLY word for word and in order. I truly think they stole their content from these books.

Also, As an atheist, I am excluded from tutoring even though some of the tutors they hire suck but meet their "standards". They also discriminate. If you do not have ALL of your kids in their program you cannot tutor. So essentially you must drink the Koolaid if you want in. I am staying this year because my friend is the Foundations director. I will not go again EVER. The Challenge programs box the kids in so much that there is little time for any other real literature that truly grabs them.

Sorry is this sounds bitter but I really feel like I wasted my money this year on what others have correctly referred to as a fad. It could be a good program but it is the most poorly run company out there. They have no control over what goes on. We have one of the main people in a campus near us(friends with Leigh) and they live above the law and do as they please.

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I attended a CC informational meeting for a new group that is forming in our area next year and this is the part I really just don't understand.

 

On one hand the leader was saying not to worry about the money because ANYONE can tutor. All the parent has to do is go to three days of training, and POOF they are qualified to teach. No degreee or special knowledge required. So I am paying for someone less qualified than myself to teach the material that is apparently so easy anyone can do it.

 

But on the other hand, it is NOT a dropoff program because the material is so intense that I must sit in on every single lesson each time so that I can reinforce it at home.

 

These two concepts down mesh together well in my mind.

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I think the 27 reasons list is pretty much spot-on. I don't think it comes across as snarky or mean-spirited at all. I sooooo wish I had read this thread at this time LAST year before we joined.

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OK I'll give you number 19.  That came off as snarky and it's unnecessary.... The other ones you mentioned are actually helpful points for someone interested in CC.  If people will just ADMIT that it's more about community and accountability than anything else, then I think it would be a lot easier on those who are trying to figure out if it's a good fit.  Let's face it, you CAN do memory work at home, you CAN find awesome memory work songs on You Tube, you CAN pay a real music teacher for the cost of CC's not-very-in-depth and not-taught-by-a-professional music classes.  You CAN easily teach Latin at home these days, you DO LOSE an ENTIRE day of your time going to CC (imagine how much productivity, if you are a strong self motivator, that you actually LOSE by joining CC), ,,,,

 

#1 -- Her point is that you must go into it knowing that you need to be completely involved.  She is not making fun of parents passing out crayons. You totally misread it.

#4 -- See my concluding statement

#13 -- "She implies that CC claims it is the only way to provide a classical Christian education."  CC certainly does not exactly claim that, but the advertising makes parents feel like the community is necessary.  This is subjective, admittedly.

#14 -- "This is a complaint that CC corporate only serves its members.  This is a negative?  This is supposed to be a reason not to join CC?" _Yes, if you realize that these types of exclusive, expensive, and time consuming groups divide the local homeschool community, ...it becomes a replacement for a school.

#19 -- I think your extreme defensiveness in this thread, as well as her blog being reported, are an obvious indicator that this can easily happen.

#23 -- "Does she think the families who sign up for CC to help them with memory work are all idiots and dunces?"  No. She is pointing out that memory work is easy if you are a self motivated person who believes it's important.

#24 -- "This statement implies that taking part in a CC community and watching YouTube are equivalent." AHA!  Caught you!  It's about Community!! THat is what she is trying to say!  It's about community community community.  YOU CAN find all of the memory songs on You Tube.

#25 -- "She implies that there is no time to do anything else besides CC work.  CC only takes 24 weeks, and there are 52 weeks in year.  That leaves 28 weeks to memorize a poem or a hymn."  I'm sorry but one entire day out of my schedule is a huge huge chunk!  I think that's her point.

#26 --" The statement seems to assume that one of CC's primary components is to provide quality art, science, and music classes.  I have never heard that claim from CC."  AHA, so CC's Art, Science, and Music classes aren't really that top notch?  Exactly.  Whatever area a mom is weak in, she could spend her 1200.00 there instead.  Aka teach art herself but hire a trained professional music teacher.

#27 -- "She implies that CC claims it is academically superior to other groups in each local area.  Could she provide a reference?"  I'll give you this one.  it's a little biased with the use of the word superior....  CC does not claim that, but the moms who are likely to be drawn in will think that it is.  .....

Think about it, "Latin, Rhetoric, dialectic, academically challenging, "appropriately called the CHallenge program," ...those are directly from the website.  It is claiming to be very high academically.  I don't know enough about it to say whether or not that's true.  

 

The other big homeschool high school and junior high class center from my old neighborhood, said that it was college prep and just has a list of subjects. Several of my friends' kids attended, and were blown away by the level of depth and challenge, and it was a great experience learning from people with degrees in their subject!  They didn't have to stay there and help out.  They could drop their kids off, and it didn't take the whole day, and they could just take one class, if desired. All classes were taught by adults who had degrees in and worked in the subject, and were passionate and extremely knowledgeable.  What a better deal!

 

Unless..of course...you want a community.   :thumbup1: 

 

Think about it...it really really is about community because almost every other aspect can be easily replaced at home, if you want.   Why is this so negative?  isn't the community the biggest selling factor?  

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Thanks Calming Tea. I really don't have the time to address these all today. If anyone would like me to elaborate on any one particular point, I'd be happy to do that. I really didn't want to be snarky, but my goal was kinda punchy and succinct. I did have extensive facebook conversations with my previous Area Director today, and I probably need to go back and patch some things up with my friend who is the Support Manager. I think I really angered her by posting that she had contacted me on here. That said, the move does really support my feelings that very little is tolerated when it comes to speaking of the issues I've mentioned. It supports what people have said on here about being concerned about offending friends or receiving backlash.

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I attended a CC informational meeting for a new group that is forming in our area next year and this is the part I really just don't understand.

 

On one hand the leader was saying not to worry about the money because ANYONE can tutor. All the parent has to do is go to three days of training, and POOF they are qualified to teach. No degreee or special knowledge required. So I am paying for someone less qualified than myself to teach the material that is apparently so easy anyone can do it.

 

But on the other hand, it is NOT a dropoff program because the material is so intense that I must sit in on every single lesson each time so that I can reinforce it at home.

 

These two concepts down mesh together well in my mind.

Thought I'd quick offer some answers. First of all, the material in foundations is obviously not rocket science. The 3 day training is not teaching the tutors the material. It is teaching them teaching ideas and techniques. In my community we also then have a day long training in the summer just for tutors for our community. Then we meet 4 times during the year to really plan out the next 6 weeks. We focus on how to get the kids asking question, involved, etc.

 

Why isn't it a drop off program? In the foundations level, IMO, it's so that you are there in case any parenting (behavior, illness, etc) issues arise. Our moms also enjoy seeing their kids do the songs and give their presentations. We do have a parent coffee room where parents can go and chat for a bit, too. Community is a big selling point for CC. If parents aren't there, it's tough to have a community.

 

Could I do foundations info at home? Sure I could cover the material but I wouldn't do all the projects and probably not the songs. It would be dull. I tried it one year and failed. That's just me. I like that my son gets around other kids and does messy projects with someone else.

 

I suppose I could also do challenge at home. I'm not because my kids are getting things I can't provide at home, e.g., mock trial with a federal judge, lots of debate opportunities, etc. Their tutors are great and provide lots of feedback and guidance for the students. They also offer extra classes for free when they find areas where our kids are weak. This year they've offered organization classes, extra latin classes and study skills classes. Oh and a planning/scheduling class for parents. You aren't required to go. It's just something they do because they think it could be helpful.

 

CC is an option not a requirement. I don't understand why some people seem so fired up about CC. There are lots of schools and co-ops in my area. I'm not upset that others attend there instead of CC. That's why we homeschool, right? So we can do what works for us even if that isn't what works for others.

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Speaking only about Foundations…Just want to clear up the problem everyone has that tutors are not “qualified†teachers.


 


Tutors are NOT there to teach your kids. YOU are! You are the teacher and tutors are to make sure that is evident to the child. If a child asks a question beyond the memory work for the day, the tutor tells the child that is a great question and he/she should ask Mom when they get home.


 


Tutors are there to model how to present new learning and to encourage the parents. All of you on this thread may be smart and confident and feel you don’t need anyone to model that for you but, believe me, there are many moms who are struggling. They need ideas, suggestions, direction, etc. These ideas can be applied to any teaching, not just CC memory work.


 


The tutor role is to present that week’s material in fun and creative ways that some Moms may have never thought of. Their role is not to explain what “feudalism†or the “distributive law†is so they don’t need to be “qualifiedâ€. 


They are just trained how to present it and that’s why any Mom can become a tutor. Being a tutor also helps pay for your child’s CC tuition. Win, win.


 


The reason the parent is present is so she can get some ideas from the tutor, see how it was done in class, and maybe repeat or tweak it at home. It helps the parent to hear what the child heard in class so she can review the hand motions or the song or whatever was used. Also the parents are expected to be interested and even participate along with the child when they are learning. This is the parent modeling for their kid that learning new things is EXCITING. If your kid sees you sitting in the back texting and uninterested in class, they can take away the idea that learning is boring and why should they do it. When they see their Mom singing the song or doing the hand motions, they think, "hey, if Mom is doing it then it must be fun!".


 


Also CC is not babysitting. The tutors aren’t there to babysit your children while you go off and have a latte. The morning is pretty scheduled and so the tutors are busy presenting the material, leading the art/science, etc and she doesn’t have time to take your kid to the bathroom or correct the child when he/she is goofing off. The parents in my class are a God-send. I couldn’t tutor without them. They see me mess up and know that it is OK if they mess up at home b/c we are all human. If I wrote something wrong on the board and they point it out, we all get a good laugh and we know it is going to be OK. It gives the homeschooling Mom confidence that, yes, she is more than capable to homeschool her kids.


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Go back and reread your 27 reasons list. As a whole, you sound bitter, sarcastic, and mean. It is not exactly a charitable description of why it "wasn't a good fit" for you. It certainly doesn't sound like your "experience was not 'bad.'"

Are you really surprised that you are receiving negative reactions?

I think she was surprised that she was reported to and contacted by a CC rep over the list. That is odd and intrusive to the extreme.

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Tutors are there to model how to present new learning and to encourage the parents. All of you on this thread may be smart and confident and feel you don’t need anyone to model that for you but, believe me, there are many moms who are struggling. They need ideas, suggestions, direction, etc. These ideas can be applied to any teaching, not just CC memory work.

 

The tutor role is to present that week’s material in fun and creative ways that some Moms may have never thought of. Their role is not to explain what “feudalism†or the “distributive law†is so they don’t need to be “qualifiedâ€.

 

 

I have absolutely zero interest in CC and only clicked on this post by accident.   But, my goodness, this explanation just leaves me speechless.   I am completely at a loss to understand how presenting anything in a fun creative way without explaining what is being presented is teaching, let alone demonstrating to struggling mother a method to model.   WHY those ideas should be emulated or applied to ANY teaching is beyond me.   That is exactly the type of education I want my children to completely avoid.

 

FWIW, I would encourage any struggling mom to realize that teaching is sitting with your child and having a simple conversation about what you are reading/learning.   It does not have to be entertainment.   It does not have to fun.   It does not have to be creative.   Poor moms that think what you are describing is the model of good teaching methodology!!  Yikes!  Teaching is explaining words that are new so they connect with the child.  Teaching is putting information into context so that children understand what they learning and why.   Otherwise, it isn't teaching a student.......it is presenting information.    

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