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Does anyone else think Classical Conversations is neither?


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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.

I agree. That is weird. I guess I can see someone contacting her to see why she had such a bad experience so that the person can try to fix any problems. Clearly if you are posting a huge list of why not to go somewhere it was more than just not a good fit. However, if she was reported or was contacted in a sort of cease and desist way that is freaky and just plain wrong.

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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.

Now I know for certain this is not something I want my children to be involved in. I appreciate your taking the time to explain it. We have a differing view of how children learn best. For our family, I rely less on projects and fun and more on understanding. We try to keep things simple and deep at our house. I can see how others would have a different teaching style.

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8...Heart--In order to understand this you would have to agree with teaching the Trivium, which goes by the stages of learning. In short, at the grammar age (Foundations Classes), kids like to memorize (even though they don't know what it all means) and THEN when they get older and see the topic again, it will be FAMILIAR.  That's when the parent "teaches in context". But what's the harm in giving the child a head start in their early years when it is fun to memorize, sing, chant, etc? But I digress.

 

We are not there to model good "teaching". We are giving ideas of how to GO ABOUT/ENHANCE teaching. No one said we don't advocate sitting down with your child and having a conversation. This is just a PART of the picture.

The tutor is presenting, let's say, the distributive law. She may show hand motions or a catchy tune to help the child remember it. So now, the Mom goes home and SHE teaches ("sitting down and having a simple conversation") what it means (if she wants at that time in the child's life). But say the kid IS old enough but just can't remember the law and the Mom is at her wits end. So, enter the fun jingle or hand motions idea from the tutor. No, not everything has to be fun but sometimes, with some kids it is very helpful.

 

CC is extra for me. My son and I do My Father's World at home. CC is a co-op thing where he is learning stuff. At CC he learned a sentence about King John and the Magna Carta and several weeks later we got to that point in our history reading and guess what?? He was already familiar with it and it made the learning easier.

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Now I know for certain this is not something I want my children to be involved in. I appreciate your taking the time to explain it. We have a differing view of how children learn best. For our family, I rely less on projects and fun and more on understanding. We try to keep things simple and deep at our house. I can see how others would have a different teaching style.

But you CAN be simple, deep, and teach understanding at HOME. CC can be used as a springboard for your home studies or, like me, an extra. My son learns the history sentences to a jingle, but for him, he prefers to recite them without the jingle. The memory tools that the tutor presents are offered and Moms can take them or leave them. As I tutor I do a lot of the "erase method". I write, say, the 8 parts of speech on the board, read them off, have the kids repeat them and then I erase one and they repeat them and fill in the missing one. And we do that several times until all 8 are erased and they can recite them all. Not a project, and not necessarily "fun" but can anyone tell me that that is a horrible way to help your kids remember something? I bet some teach your kids to recite all the books of the Bible. Wouldn't the "erase" method be helpful? They don't know about all the books of the Bible but memorizing them in order is a good start.

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I attended a CC seminar last summer (in my previous state) because I was curious about it, and I came away feeling a bit disturbed about the whole thing.

 

One of the major questions posed to the community leaders was how much hs'ing needed to be done at home. The Director, who was also going to be a regional director, I think, answered, "None, this is our curriculum." Nothing else, really? "I have them watch documentaries sometimes." Documentaries? "Yes, like the History Channel." Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Add onto that the fact that the "resources" book table was filled with books by Doug Wilson (including the book where he states that the Confederacy was the last Christian nation, about which I have nothing to say other than that I am completely miffed that he is ignorant about Ethiopian history) and no, I did not want my kid to have a "conversation" with anyone there. For a good conversation to work there needs to be some basis of good knowledge there first.

 

During the seminar they did show a video of Leigh teaching a math class, I think it was Advanced Algebra. That was interesting; everyone was wearing academic dress. Not sure if that is required for upper levels, or if it is just Leigh's thing, but I enjoyed it.

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8...Heart--In order to understand this you would have to agree with teaching the Trivium, which goes by the stages of learning. In short, at the grammar age (Foundations Classes), kids like to memorize (even though they don't know what it all means) and THEN when they get older and see the topic again, it will be FAMILIAR. That's when the parent "teaches in context". But what's the harm in giving the child a head start in their early years when it is fun to memorize, sing, chant, etc? But I digress.

 

We are not there to model good "teaching". We are giving ideas of how to GO ABOUT/ENHANCE teaching. No one said we don't advocate sitting down with your child and having a conversation. This is just a PART of the picture.

The tutor is presenting, let's say, the distributive law. She may show hand motions or a catchy tune to help the child remember it. So now, the Mom goes home and SHE teaches ("sitting down and having a simple conversation") what it means (if she wants at that time in the child's life). But say the kid IS old enough but just can't remember the law and the Mom is at her wits end. So, enter the fun jingle or hand motions idea from the tutor. No, not everything has to be fun but sometimes, with some kids it is very helpful.

 

CC is extra for me. My son and I do My Father's World at home. CC is a co-op thing where he is learning stuff. At CC he learned a sentence about King John and the Magna Carta and several weeks later we got to that point in our history reading and guess what?? He was already familiar with it and it made the learning easier.

There is nothing classical or "trivium" about teaching information for them to parrot back w/o context. That is the worst form of an educational methodology imaginable. A song is just words w/o meaning w/o understanding the context. I lived in Brazil where kids were singing English songs all the time and didn't have clue what they were singing and didn't understand a single word of English. It is the lowest level of cognition possible....there is a reason they refer to it as parroting b/c even parrots can learn words.

 

I can't imagine building an educational approach around what you are describing. Yuck.

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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.    

I was also kind of horrified by that explanation, and thinking the same thing: In a homeschool setting, "teaching" means to transfer knowledge and understanding from one person to another. Which requires that the teacher knows what she's talking about...

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I was also kind of horrified by that explanation, and thinking the same thing: In a homeschool setting, "teaching" means to transfer knowledge and understanding from one person to another. Which requires that the teacher knows what she's talking about...

 

I really don't know how many ways I can say it...the TUTOR is NOT the TEACHER, the MOM is. And again, the TUTOR is NOT the TEACHER, the MOM is.

Maybe I should use the "erase" method I talked about here b/c some of you are not getting it. I am not trying to be mean, I am just baffled at how this is still being misconstrued.

 

I, as a tutor, know and can say the 8 parts of speech and so I can PRESENT the LIST of them to my class.

MOM can TEACH what they all mean at HOME. If Mom doesn't know how to TEACH them to her kids then SHE can look up the definitions and examples of how to use them in a grammar book. I am just presenting the LIST.

It doesn't have to be your whole curriculum. Just allow the kids to learn and be with other kids. 

 

If you are not interested in having someone present english lists, history sentences, math facts, science lists, geography locations, a history timeline, guide them in art projects/meet artists, play the tin whistle, listen to composers, do science labs, and meet other homeschooled kids and their moms, then stay home. It's OK.

 

It's also about community and frankly, those who are this critical about CC would bring their local CC community down. Those of us who go, enjoy it, and enjoy seeing and supporting each other. Enough said from me. Thx for listening.  :)

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8...Heart--In order to understand this you would have to agree with teaching the Trivium, which goes by the stages of learning. 

 

I'm sorry...does anyone else find it humorous that 8 is getting schooled on what the Trivium is?  No disrespect meant to anyone ... but I'm seriously having a giggling fit right now.   :D

 

 

 

And back to the topic at hand.  I personally appreciate the responses put forth in this thread from both sides.  As the director of a local

co-op I consider it a privilege to offer support, information, resources, and community for many homeschoolers in the area.  I've more than once directed someone to a thread here on the forums as a way to hear pros and cons and personal experiences for any number of topics.  Most homeschoolers I know aren't going to base a decision on a few negative posts, nor on a few positive posts but strong personal opinions may help them determine what specific issues they may need to look into further.  

 

One point I'd like to make ...someone up thread said something to the effect that CC ensures that there is continuity and quality in their programs, however based on the varying opinions and experiences discussed on this thread I find it hard to believe that this is true for all aspects of the program. The content may have continuity but the implementation can be extremely erratic.   Some CC communities may be pillars of perfection while others may not even have a clear idea of what exactly CC is. Case in point: recently a new homeschooler on a local FB group was asking for clarification on what classical education is.  Along with several links to resources for reading about classical education I mentioned TWTM. Several tutors from this CC chimed in touting that CC was the best form of classical and that CC was based off of TWTM. :001_rolleyes:  I let them know that they might want to look up Leigh Bortins and read The Core

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I really don't know how many ways I can say it...the TUTOR is NOT the TEACHER, the MOM is. And again, the TUTOR is NOT the TEACHER, the MOM is.

Maybe I should use the "erase" method I talked about here b/c some of you are not getting it. I am not trying to be mean, I am just baffled at how this is still being misconstrued.

 

I, as a tutor, know and can say the 8 parts of speech and so I can PRESENT the LIST of them to my class.

MOM can TEACH what they all mean at HOME. If Mom doesn't know how to TEACH them to her kids then SHE can look up the definitions and examples of how to use them in a grammar book. I am just presenting the LIST.

It doesn't have to be your whole curriculum. Just allow the kids to learn and be with other kids. 

 

If you are not interested in having someone present english lists, history sentences, math facts, science lists, geography locations, a history timeline, guide them in art projects/meet artists, play the tin whistle, listen to composers, do science labs, and meet other homeschooled kids and their moms, then stay home. It's OK.

 

It's also about community and frankly, those who are this critical about CC would bring their local CC community down. Those of us who go, enjoy it, and enjoy seeing and supporting each other. Enough said from me. Thx for listening.   :)

 

 

Does "tutor" not mean "teacher?" Maybe you (CC) should stop using that word.

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So I pay a tutor (who is most definitely NOT a teacher) to present a variety of lists to my children (and I sit in and watch this so I can be inspired by their creative list presentation methods), and then I go home and do the actual teaching (because the tutor is not the teacher; mom is)?

Great question!! Why exactly does it cost so much?
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I'm curious too. Someone save me from having to research this. Where does all that money go?

I think they told me at the info meeting, there is a fee that goes to corporate. Then 40% goes to the director and 60% to the tutor. Someone who actually does CC would know better than I.

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I really don't know how many ways I can say it...the TUTOR is NOT the TEACHER, the MOM is. And again, the TUTOR is NOT the TEACHER, the MOM is.

Maybe I should use the "erase" method I talked about here b/c some of you are not getting it. I am not trying to be mean, I am just baffled at how this is still being misconstrued.

 

 

If you are not interested in having someone present english lists, history sentences, math facts, science lists, geography locations, a history timeline, guide them in art projects/meet artists, play the tin whistle, listen to composers, do science labs, and meet other homeschooled kids and their moms, then stay home. It's OK.

 

It's also about community and frankly, those who are this critical about CC would bring their local CC community down. Those of us who go, enjoy it, and enjoy seeing and supporting each other. Enough said from me. Thx for listening. :)

Ok.....so you are not teaching them how to teach. You are teaching them how to entertain. Gotcha. B/c originally you said you were helping moms learn how to teach which must have meant that you were teaching in order for them to model it. Now the person is a tutor (which, btw is defined as:

1.a private teacher, typically one who teaches a single student or a very small group) which is newly defined as entertainer. (so, classical, trivium, and tutor all have neo-CC definitions. :laugh:

 

And, thankfully, I will stay at home and educate my children in how to use grammar, read and discuss history, teach the concepts behind math facts, associate geography to history and current events, etc. I'll leave the parroting to others and spend our days in great conversation. :)

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I confess I am disappointed. I've never been able to afford CC but I've been curious from afar. But I see I've been imagining it according to my own yardstick for classical education (or any kind of education): I also thought the tutors were teaching students in classroom settings and teaching parents how to present the material effectively.

I think I would rename the whole thing and call it, "Educational Recitations." And I would stop calling the leaders tutors since they do not teach.

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I know I said I was done but!!!!   lorisuewho--YOU win the gold prize! You got it! Yay! I will even take the sarcasm.   :)

 

No, it's not rocket science. Anyone can buy the Foundations Guide and present the lists to their kids themselves.  Some have done that and meet with another homeschooler and just learn the lists together.

It's not just about the lists but, like I said, it's about community. And some moms don't want to deal with art and science labs and so CC does that for them. CC also guides the kids in weekly presentation skills, which I forgot to mention before.

 

OK, now the $ question. I am only a tutor and so I don't know for sure if some of it goes to corporate (but I am sure some does), but the rest gets split by the Director (40%) and Tutors (60%-split b/w # of tutors). The Director has to buy the supplies for each child (and there are a lot of supplies) for 24 weeks. The Director and Tutors do spend a lot of time preparing and so it is nice to get some compensation-although I would have done it for just my child's tuition.

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OK so maybe CC could have chosen a better word than tutor since ya'll are getting technical and looking up definitions.

CC doesn't want to take away the parents role as teacher. Otherwise we might as well send them to school.

But I do want to be clear that I have only been referring to Foundations program. The Challenge program for 7th-12th is a bit of a different animal and there is more teaching going on there but it is only one day a week. The parent is "on deck" for the rest. 

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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.

 

 

You should stop using the word "tutor." Tutors teach. They instruct. It has a connotation of instructing in small groups and/or outside of the general school system, but "tutor" doesn't mean anything like what you're describing. Maybe you want "presenter."

 

 

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!".

 

Wow, and I thought Suzuki prep class was a bit of an assault to my dignity.

 

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.

 

 

Seriously? These are _school-aged children_. You can't handle a group of eight school-aged children without needing several of the children's mothers present? How out-of-control are kids in your neck of the woods? My kids are in a variety of instructional settings, some I attend. When I attend my children's private music lessons, I'm there to take notes to guide their practice, not to coerce them into participating. They take swimming and group music classes and never have I seen an instructor who _required_ parental assistance in order to maintain control. Also, can't a six-to-sixteen-year-old walk himself to the bathroom and back -- you know, like they do in public schools all over the fruited plain?

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I did learn something new last night. I had always wondered where the $75/child + $50/each additional child registration fee was going. I was told that money goes to funding all the regional support directors for ensuring support, oversight, and quality. That layer seems to be getting much deeper as the communities mushroom.

 

I get disheartened when I hear about moms struggling with the memory work in CC. It just seems like memory work is so much easier when it is learned in context at an appropriate age/time. Learn grammar memory in grammar; learn Latin memory in Latin. The grammar stage goes all the way to 6th grade or so. You don't have to teach Latin declinsion endings to 4 year-olds. I don't think memory work is taught in classical schools the way CC presents its copious amounts of unrelated information in 2 three-year cycles completely out of context. There is no room for flexibility in the CC model. It just doesn't have to be so complicated or daunting. We've learned African geography this year in our co-op and we are spending all year on it (with mapping, some living books, and context). There is no reason to blow through the entire world in three years. The beauty is that even the way that I have found that works for us to do memory work isn't even the right way or the only way. There is no prescribed time table or list that is mandated in classical ed in a home school. Ironically, as CC is so against Common Core, I kinda see CC as the Common Core of classical ed. Every child learns the exact same thing at the exact same time.        

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NASDAQ - Don't be too hard on the poster. It has been a really interesting series of threads though. It really isn't her decision how things are structured at CC. In fact, that is why I don't have any issues with anyone actually in or a part of CC. They really are just doing what they have been instructed or licensed to do. That is the policy, and they must follow it. I don't understand it either, but that is just the way it is. I would understand the need to have two adults present in the room for liability purposes. 

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60% (even split between people)  to someone to present a list of facts to children!  What!   Surely not.  

 

I teach art history, art, Greek history, Medieval history, public speaking, literature, and writing for free at our co-op (that's only what I teach\have taught - we have 8 classes per semester in addition to a nursery and PreK room with educational enrichment), which costs families only $25 per family per semester to cover cost of insurance, supplies, and provide a pool of funds for charity\service projects and to help with enrollment costs for families that need financial help.  Our community atmosphere doesn't cost anything extra. We have a reputation for having quality classes.  We have a waiting list for available spots. 

 

I don't understand why people choose to pay that much money for what is being described in this thread, which from what I understand isn't even close to being full curriculum.  If the draw is community why would they pay that much for it?  Are their no other options in their area to seek out community?  I'm genuinely curious.  

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NASDAQ - Don't be too hard on the poster. It has been a really interesting series of threads though. It really isn't her decision how things are structured at CC. In fact, that is why I don't have any issues with anyone actually in or a part of CC. They really are just doing what they have been instructed or licensed to do. That is the policy, and they must follow it. I don't understand it either, but that is just the way it is. I would understand the need to have two adults present in the room for liability purposes. 

 

If she said "those are the terms of our insurance", that would make perfect sense. But "I need them because I can't control the children" is weird. And I find it somewhat insulting to say that you're "not babysitting." People aren't trying to get babysitting because they don't want to sit in on classes for school-aged kids. They're operating under the assumptions that apply to almost every other activity for school-aged kids.

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As to the "why," I think even it is only "Educational Recitations," people might find tremendous value in it. An academic-minded community, a chance to make homeschooling  friends, a place to practice recitations and presentations, other parents who are teaching the same things at home...I have no problem with any of this. It sounds nice. Not affordable, not really about learning how to teach or about classical education being modeled, but nice nonetheless.

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I really don't know how many ways I can say it...the TUTOR is NOT the TEACHER, the MOM is. And again, the TUTOR is NOT the TEACHER, the MOM is.

Maybe I should use the "erase" method I talked about here b/c some of you are not getting it. I am not trying to be mean, I am just baffled at how this is still being misconstrued.

 

I, as a tutor, know and can say the 8 parts of speech and so I can PRESENT the LIST of them to my class.

MOM can TEACH what they all mean at HOME. If Mom doesn't know how to TEACH them to her kids then SHE can look up the definitions and examples of how to use them in a grammar book. I am just presenting the LIST.

It doesn't have to be your whole curriculum. Just allow the kids to learn and be with other kids.

 

If you are not interested in having someone present english lists, history sentences, math facts, science lists, geography locations, a history timeline, guide them in art projects/meet artists, play the tin whistle, listen to composers, do science labs, and meet other homeschooled kids and their moms, then stay home. It's OK.

 

It's also about community and frankly, those who are this critical about CC would bring their local CC community down. Those of us who go, enjoy it, and enjoy seeing and supporting each other. Enough said from me. Thx for listening. :)

I don't actually think that's the big issue people are having. I think it's that having someone do those things demands a commitment of money and time that seems out of whack with the value they'd assign those activities. I'd have no problem with the time and money if the tutor WAS the teacher. Then there would be a return comparable to what I was spending. Or if the cost was lowered and all the tutoring expertise was shared in a 3 day seminar with ME so I could take that home and not have to commit to the time CC seems to demand. Otherwise one can sign up for a free library program or join a cheaper co-op that provides similar benefits.
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I don't actually think that's the big issue people are having. I think it's that having someone do those things demands a commitment of money and time that seems out of whack with the value they'd assign those activities. I'd have no problem with the time and money if the tutor WAS the teacher. Then there would be a return comparable to what I was spending. Or if the cost was lowered and all the tutoring expertise was shared in a 3 day seminar with ME so I could take that home and not have to commit to the time CC seems to demand. Otherwise one can sign up for a free library program or join a cheaper co-op that provides similar benefits.

Just a little clarification- the tutor does not teach the memory work. That is only part of the morning. The tutor does teach the science and the art and oral presentations. Not trying to push anyone to CC, just trying to give a better idea of what tutors do.

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Do to the enormous number of misconceptions/inaccuracies being bandied about, I can't even begin to address them all. I will just say this. If you've never been to a CC community - go visit one - with an open mind. If it looks like something that would benefit your family, try it for a year. If not, don't join, but don't criticize others for whom this model is a great thing. Why do you care where/how others spend their homeschooling dollars?

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Do to the enormous number of misconceptions/inaccuracies being bandied about, I can't even begin to address them all. I will just say this. If you've never been to a CC community - go visit one - with an open mind. If it looks like something that would benefit your family, try it for a year. If not, don't join, but don't criticize others for whom this model is a great thing. Why do you care where/how others spend their homeschooling dollars?

I didn't take it as anyone criticizing others for where or how they spend their homeschooling dollars. I think most people who are critical are critical of Classical Conversations itself, not of the people who choose to use their community.

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Do to the enormous number of misconceptions/inaccuracies being bandied about, I can't even begin to address them all. I will just say this. If you've never been to a CC community - go visit one - with an open mind. If it looks like something that would benefit your family, try it for a year. If not, don't join, but don't criticize others for whom this model is a great thing. Why do you care where/how others spend their homeschooling dollars?

I didn't criticize how others spend their money. I criticized a program that uses neo-classical terminology to promote an educational philosophy that it is strictly confined to the lowest level of Bloom's learning objectives, the worst form of education children can receive, knowledge with no understanding. There is absolutely nothing classical or trivium related to memorizing info in no context.

 

Terminology that evokes images of quality education......classical education and the Great Conversation.......has been used to cover weak educational methodologies and philosophies and promoted as helping mothers learn methods to model at home.

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I didn't criticize how others spend their money. I criticized a program that uses neo-classical terminology to promote an educational philosophy that it is strictly confined to the lowest level of Bloom's learning objectives, the worst form of education children can receive, knowledge with no understanding. There is absolutely nothing classical or trivium related to memorizing info in no context.

 

Terminology that evokes images of quality education......classical education and the Great Conversation.......has been used to cover weak educational methodologies and philosophies and promoted as helping mothers learn methods to model at home.

 

This is precisely the kind of misconception I am speaking of. I can assure you most of the children in our community are receiving an excellent education whether the parents use CC as their main curriculum, as a springboard along any other style of learning, as a supplemental weekly activity or as simply a community of friends. Most will never delve into the minutiae of classical vs. neoclassical. They simply want to love learning with their children and if CC with all its faults helps them in this capacity then wonderful, if not, then I pray they will find what does work for them.

 

There are many moms out there who are either new to homeschooling, or lack the confidence who need a simple, easy to duplicate structure that gets them started. By no means do we expect parents to stop at memorization with no context. Why do you think we sell SWB's Story of the World Series in our catalog? I am tired of seeing a criticism of the written description of a program that is designed to be carried out by living, breathing people. Talk about "out of context".

 

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This discussion reminds me of this poem...

The Blind Men and the Elephant
John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a WALL!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, "Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a SPEAR!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a SNAKE!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he:
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a TREE!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a FAN!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a ROPE!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

 

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Alright - did a little research into how much income a tutor can bring in.  It seems that most people tutor just so they can afford the tuition.  

(I found one blog that suggested doing fundraising during the year so that you can afford to enroll your kids if you don't want to tutor - maybe I could start doing fundraisers to pay for books  ;) )

 

So I'm curios why all the money has to change hands.   Why can't there be a nominal fee to pay for supplies\location fees and then the parents just volunteer their time to tutor?  If the largest portion of the money coming in is going just to pay for the tutors which then turn around and pay their income back to pay for tuition....what is the point?  Of coarse the director gets a cut of that money, but they probably use it to pay for tuition as well.  What am I missing?  

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Alright - did a little research into how much income a tutor can bring in.  It seems that most people tutor just so they can afford the tuition.  

(I found one blog that suggested doing fundraising during the year so that you can afford to enroll your kids if you don't want to tutor - maybe I could start doing fundraisers to pay for books  ;) )

 

So I'm curios why all the money has to change hands.   Why can't there be a nominal fee to pay for supplies\location fees and then the parents just volunteer their time to tutor?  If the largest portion of the money coming in is going just to pay for the tutors which then turn around and pay their income back to pay for tuition....what is the point?  Of coarse the director gets a cut of that money, but they probably use it to pay for tuition as well.  What am I missing?  

 

Simple math:

fees from parents -> tutor takes cut, uses money left over from class expenses to pay for own students -> money goes into CC's pocket (tutors/fees already paid)...this could easily be a thousand dollars per tutor at every location

or

parents all pay for supplies/location, tutors volunteer -> $0 goes into CC's pocket

 

 

(edited for clarity)

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Simple math:

fees from parents -> tutor takes cut, uses money left over from class expenses to pay for own students -> money goes into CC's pocket (tutors/fees already paid)...this could easily be a thousand dollars per tutor at every location

or

parents all pay for supplies/location, tutors volunteer -> $0 goes into CC's pocket

 

 

(edited for clarity)

 

The only fees CC gets from a community are the registration fees - currently $75 for the first child, $50 for addl children in the Foundations and Essentials levels and $120 per student in the Challenge levels. Training is ongoing and year-round for all tutors and directors. Some of that training is local and some is via webinars online.

 

On a side note: In my 15 years of homeschooling the only co-op/support group that I have been a member of that is still in operating is my CC group. All the other groups were headed by volunteers. The tutors and directors at CC work very hard and I feel that they earn every penny. Payment does insure a certain level of commitment for both the tutors and the family participants. If you have paid for something you are much more likely to follow through, show up and be prepared.

 

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Do to the enormous number of misconceptions/inaccuracies being bandied about, I can't even begin to address them all. I will just say this. If you've never been to a CC community - go visit one - with an open mind. If it looks like something that would benefit your family, try it for a year. If not, don't join, but don't criticize others for whom this model is a great thing. Why do you care where/how others spend their homeschooling dollars?

I'll answer why I care. I care because of all those new homeschool moms you keep mentioning. You take these new moms who see multiple meetings listed multiple times on the local homeschool loops, and they decide to check it out. Maybe they like what they hear or see and join. At the foundations level, I have no issue with what or how your tutors present to the students. Some folks will like this method and some won't - to each his own. The problem for me comes in the older years where a qualified tutor, IMO, is a must. New homeschool moms don't always know to check the credentials of the tutors. After all, they wouldn't be tutoring if they weren't qualified, right? I'd love to hear more about the qualifications needed for your directors and tutors. Do you have a link that you can provide? It seems that CC lacks quality control in its business model which leads to inconsistent experiences from one community to another.

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One thing that kind of turns me off about the Classical conversations model is that the tutor does it all with that group. The fact is, not everyone is good at teaching all subjects. For example, I'm an excellent music teacher for young children, especially when it comes to teaching basic music reading, theory, and basic wind instrument skills (although I really think that tin whistle is a poor choice for a group of young children-it's harder to play than recorder, and there are many fewer materials available for self teaching for a parent to use at home), and fairly good at teaching math and basic Latin. But you don't want me teaching your child geography-those visual-spatial skills below the 2% mean that I'm lousy at it, and therefore, took history courses that didn't involve much geography as soon as I was able to do so, and while I could teach Art history, I'd be doing so from a book because, as a musician, that's not a subject I took formal classes in beyond the 6 week unit in 7th grade (and one required course to get an elementary school teaching license).

 

I could understand it a lot more if they had a lead teacher for each room, but then had parents who are good at teaching science, History, Latin, Music, art, etc teaching those specialist areas. There's a lot of good material in the CC guides, which is one reason why I use them, and it's more academically focused than most of the co-ops that would provide the community for elementary school aged kids (there are a lot of tutorials for older children, but most don't pick up until at least 5th-6th grade, and many not until high school). I think there absolutely is a place for an academic co-op to supplement what parents do at home and provide a community for people who want that group of homeschoolers on a regular basis and don't want to give up a day for art projects, PE, and fun stuff. My current co-op is a lot of fun, but the educational value is definitely debatable (for my math class last week, we did the Harry Potter potions puzzle from The Philosopher's Stone, played with numerology of our names, made flexagons, and explored binary expansions by building hydras-none of which really relates to what we're doing for math at home at all). But I want a teacher who knows more than what's in the book and truly enjoys and loves the subject, not one who might really know and enjoy one subject, but is stuck tutoring all of them because it's the only way she can afford to have her kids in the program.

 

Maybe other communities are more flexible in that regard and use teacher strengths better?

 

 

 

 

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I'll answer why I care. I care because of all those new homeschool moms you keep mentioning. You take these new moms who see multiple meetings listed multiple times on the local homeschool loops, and they decide to check it out. Maybe they like what they hear or see and join. At the foundations level, I have no issue with what or how your tutors present to the students. Some folks will like this method and some won't - to each his own. The problem for me comes in the older years where a qualified tutor, IMO, is a must. New homeschool moms don't always know to check the credentials of the tutors. After all, they wouldn't be tutoring if they weren't qualified, right? I'd love to hear more about the qualifications needed for your directors and tutors. Do you have a link that you can provide? It seems that CC lacks quality control in its business model which leads to inconsistent experiences from one community to another.

 

I will try to answer this later - I have to go now but we will probably run into a problem with the definition of "qualified". I will see if I can find you a link.

 

Also, this is a point you may not realize but that is emphasized at every info mtg and parent practicum concerning the Challenge level. The tutors at this level are teaching "skills" as opposed to subjects. We use math to teach the "skill" of logic. We use mock trial to teach the "skill" of debate, we use Latin to teach the "skills of grammar. This is one of the many things which makes us very different from a typical co-op. This is not something we just throw at parents when they enter the middle school years either. It is an often explained concept within our communities. I didn't understand it at first but as my kids got older I did.

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The only fees CC gets from a community are the registration fees - currently $75 for the first child, $50 for addl children in the Foundations and Essentials levels and $120 per student in the Challenge levels. Training is ongoing and year-round for all tutors and directors. Some of that training is local and some is via webinars online.

 

On a side note: In my 15 years of homeschooling the only co-op/support group that I have been a member of that is still in operating is my CC group. All the other groups were headed by volunteers. The tutors and directors at CC work very hard and I feel that they earn every penny. Payment does insure a certain level of commitment for both the tutors and the family participants. If you have paid for something you are much more likely to follow through, show up and be prepared.

 

So, let's say that one community has a class of 8 at each level (which I know isn't accurate, but hopefully it averages out).  I'll even make all the essentials and foundations kids little siblings.  That would be $1760 for one community.  And let's say that each state has 10 communities, which is grossly undershooting, but whatever.  That's $880,000 in registration fees alone.

 

Now, let's say each of these communities is comprised of 12 families, and each of these families chooses to purchase their materials through the store.  I will even round way down from what I estimated I would have to spend, so let's say $200 a family.  That's approx $1,200,000 in sales.  Not counting online subscriptions, apps, ect.  

 

In this VERY conservative estimate, CC corporate is pulling in at least 2 million a year.  So, let's not pretend that making money isn't part of the CC model.

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So, let's say that one community has a class of 8 at each level (which I know isn't accurate, but hopefully it averages out).  I'll even make all the essentials and foundations kids little siblings.  That would be $1760 for one community.  And let's say that each state has 10 communities, which is grossly undershooting, but whatever.  That's $880,000 in registration fees alone.

 

Now, let's say each of these communities is comprised of 12 families, and each of these families chooses to purchase their materials through the store.  I will even round way down from what I estimated I would have to spend, so let's say $200 a family.  That's approx $1,200,000 in sales.  Not counting online subscriptions, apps, ect.  

 

In this VERY conservative estimate, CC corporate is pulling in at least 2 million a year.  So, let's not pretend that making money isn't part of the CC model.

 

Would you prefer that they be unprofitable? I don't believe CC has ever represented themselves as a non-profit.

 

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I will try to answer this later - I have to go now but we will probably run into a problem with the definition of "qualified". I will see if I can find you a link.

Thanks for taking the time to look for a link.

 

Qualified can be an arbitrary term. I'm happy with a more concrete answer such as what does CC require for a person to tutor in its upper level programs -- experience, profiency, references, maybe degrees ( to me, degrees are not a necessity. )

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I will try to answer this later - I have to go now but we will probably run into a problem with the definition of "qualified". I will see if I can find you a link.

 

Also, this is a point you may not realize but that is emphasized at every info mtg and parent practicum concerning the Challenge level. The tutors at this level are teaching "skills" as opposed to subjects. We use math to teach the "skill" of logic. We use mock trial to teach the "skill" of debate, we use Latin to teach the "skills of grammar. This is one of the many things which makes us very different from a typical co-op. This is not something we just throw at parents when they enter the middle school years either. It is an often explained concept within our communities. I didn't understand it at first but as my kids got older I did.

Um, I just saw your addition, I'm speechless! What can you say to someone who infers that a tutor need not be proficient in a subject to use it as a tool to teach a skill? Please don't spend any of your time to answer my qualifications questions or provide a link. I no longer have any interest in giving time to this topic.

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The only fees CC gets from a community are the registration fees - currently $75 for the first child, $50 for addl children in the Foundations and Essentials levels and $120 per student in the Challenge levels. Training is ongoing and year-round for all tutors and directors. Some of that training is local and some is via webinars online.

 

On a side note: In my 15 years of homeschooling the only co-op/support group that I have been a member of that is still in operating is my CC group. All the other groups were headed by volunteers. The tutors and directors at CC work very hard and I feel that they earn every penny. Payment does insure a certain level of commitment for both the tutors and the family participants. If you have paid for something you are much more likely to follow through, show up and be prepared.

 

 

Not true.

Challenge tutors also pay a portion of the tuition to CC twice yearly, I can't remember the exact percentage (and that was a few years ago, so it may have changed) but it is at least 20%.

 

I highly doubt this has changed since I was a tutor, lol. They're making a lot of money...

 

Georgia

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Would you prefer that they be unprofitable? I don't believe CC has ever represented themselves as a non-profit.

 

I know you're feeling defensive, so rather than repeating what others have said, I'll just quote the succession of posts that led to mine.  Maybe if you read through with fresh eyes, you'll get the point I was trying to make.  

 

Alright - did a little research into how much income a tutor can bring in.  It seems that most people tutor just so they can afford the tuition.  

(I found one blog that suggested doing fundraising during the year so that you can afford to enroll your kids if you don't want to tutor - maybe I could start doing fundraisers to pay for books  ;) )

 

So I'm curios why all the money has to change hands.   Why can't there be a nominal fee to pay for supplies\location fees and then the parents just volunteer their time to tutor?  If the largest portion of the money coming in is going just to pay for the tutors which then turn around and pay their income back to pay for tuition....what is the point?  Of coarse the director gets a cut of that money, but they probably use it to pay for tuition as well.  What am I missing?  

 

 

Simple math:

fees from parents -> tutor takes cut, uses money left over from class expenses to pay for own students -> money goes into CC's pocket (tutors/fees already paid)...this could easily be a thousand dollars per tutor at every location

or

parents all pay for supplies/location, tutors volunteer -> $0 goes into CC's pocket

 

 

(edited for clarity)

 

 

The only fees CC gets from a community are the registration fees - currently $75 for the first child, $50 for addl children in the Foundations and Essentials levels and $120 per student in the Challenge levels. Training is ongoing and year-round for all tutors and directors. Some of that training is local and some is via webinars online.

 

On a side note: In my 15 years of homeschooling the only co-op/support group that I have been a member of that is still in operating is my CC group. All the other groups were headed by volunteers. The tutors and directors at CC work very hard and I feel that they earn every penny. Payment does insure a certain level of commitment for both the tutors and the family participants. If you have paid for something you are much more likely to follow through, show up and be prepared.

 

 

 

So, let's say that one community has a class of 8 at each level (which I know isn't accurate, but hopefully it averages out).  I'll even make all the essentials and foundations kids little siblings.  That would be $1760 for one community.  And let's say that each state has 10 communities, which is grossly undershooting, but whatever.  That's $880,000 in registration fees alone.

 

Now, let's say each of these communities is comprised of 12 families, and each of these families chooses to purchase their materials through the store.  I will even round way down from what I estimated I would have to spend, so let's say $200 a family.  That's approx $1,200,000 in sales.  Not counting online subscriptions, apps, ect.  

 

In this VERY conservative estimate, CC corporate is pulling in at least 2 million a year.  So, let's not pretend that making money isn't part of the CC model.

 

I have actually visited a community, and I did think there was a lot to love about it, especially in Essentials and Challenge.  What I can't get past is the obscene amount of money that CC charges for memory work and very low level art and science.  I think the communities themselves are lovely, but the corporation is not something that I want to support. I think members of the community need to stop fighting people who make those points and just admit that you are willing to pay a lot of money for something that others don't consider worth it.  Our choice to not pay that money on the basis of the product and the company is not a personal affront to you, though like many life choices, it is easy to get defensive when others reject that which you have chosen.

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Um, I just saw your addition, I'm speechless! What can you say to someone who infers that a tutor need not be proficient in a subject to use it as a tool to teach a skill? Please don't spend any of your time to answer my qualifications questions or provide a link. I no longer have any interest in giving time to this topic.

I think that is a misunderstanding. I think she meant that those skills are learned though the subjects. Tutors are proficient and do teach the actual subjects as well as the skills in the upper level. They must be proficient in order to teach. Our tutors do have to be qualified and are evaluated throughout the year. They have several years teaching experience before they tutor for CC. They also have degrees, usually in one our more of the subjects. They have demonstrated ability in the others.
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Not true.

Challenge tutors also pay a portion of the tuition to CC twice yearly, I can't remember the exact percentage (and that was a few years ago, so it may have changed) but it is at least 20%.

 

I highly doubt this has changed since I was a tutor, lol. They're making a lot of money...

 

Georgia

 

Georgia, You are absolutely right. The Challenge Directors do pay a license fee to CC twice a year. In my typing haste I left that out.

 

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I have actually visited a community, and I did think there was a lot to love about it, especially in Essentials and Challenge.  What I can't get past is the obscene amount of money that CC charges for memory work and very low level art and science.  I think the communities themselves are lovely, but the corporation is not something that I want to support. I think members of the community need to stop fighting people who make those points and just admit that you are willing to pay a lot of money for something that others don't consider worth it.  Our choice to not pay that money on the basis of the product and the company is not a personal affront to you, though like many life choices, it is easy to get defensive when others reject that which you have chosen.

 

I agree completely with the bolded statement above. I am willing to pay a lot of money for something that I see as valuable that others don't see the same value.

 

What I don't understand is why those who don't value CC get so riled up when others do.

 

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I agree completely with the bolded statement above. I am willing to pay a lot of money for something that I see as valuable that others don't see the same value.

 

What I don't understand is why those who don't value CC get so riled up when others do.

 

Pointing out the flaws of a program is not the same as getting riled up. I would argue that those of you who have launched a defense of CC (some to the point of reporting people to area directors!!!!) are perhaps stoking the fire. IMO, you have chosen to defend many points that you should just concede to.

 

You know, even SWB has (on a board that she pays for) allowed for thoughtful criticism of her materials. I can't think of any program that hasn't survived a round of pros and cons on here.

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You know, even SWB has (on a board that she pays for) allowed for thoughtful criticism of her materials. I can't think of any program that hasn't survived a round of pros and cons on here.

 

Great point. I wonder how many people with criticisms here have actually approached CC directly with their concerns. At least SWB has the opportunity to address them if necessary.

 

Classical conversations can only address or explain that which is brought to their attention. I believe that is the biblical approach as well.

 

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