Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Literary Mom

Does anyone else think Classical Conversations is neither?

Recommended Posts

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.    

 

Can I double "like" this post? I also agree with Lori D. and find the geyser's 27 Reasons Not To do CC helpful - and after seeing I agree with at least 16 of these reasons, I know my zero interest in CC is justified. I also tend not to mention anything as I have a friend who's crazy about CC and wouldn't want to hurt her feelings. Her daughter, who's a type A personality, also seems by all outward appearances to do well with it.

 

That said, I find it great that we have choices, people. Frankly speaking, I find it bizarre for *me*. It wouldn't make any sense to me to sign up my kids to do this - and for that cost. However, I can understand what the appeal is for some.

 

I do agree with 8FillTheHeart too that teaching is having simple conversations and helping children make connections - as a mom who is close to her children is adept at doing naturally. No need to complicate things. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I started this thread (which I had no idea would turn into such a long dialogue), it was mainly addressing Foundations. Now that that we have finished out the CC year, I have decided we will not continue with my younger children, but Challenge is still a question mark for my oldest (putting aside my misgivings about the character of CC as a business), so last week I started a new thread asking for input on that. Interestingly, the comments on this thread turned toward that topic as well, so I'd like to steer the discussion about Challenge to where it's already underway:

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/510149-wtm-way-andor-cc-challenge-a-for-7th-grade/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LIke many homeschoolers, I've seen our options for classes outside the home - in many forms - just balloon over the years.  I love the choice this offers parents.  I am very sympathetic to those who, for various reason, are departing public/private schools and are finding it very challenging to take on the full-time responsbility of homeschooling their children.  If we as a community can offer co-ops, classes, and other educational options to assist them on their journey, that is fabulous!  

 

Also, like many homeschoolers, I have watched the rise of CC.  I am glad that many of my friends have found that it works for them. I have a few concerns I'd like to share on this topic.

 

1)  A good number of families have pulled out of co-ops in order to join CC.  I miss some of my friends and my children's friends.  Be assured - I support individual choice.  They have every right to do so, but it has changed the dynamic of co-op for those of us who remain.  For myself, I prefer more co-operative learning in general - coming alongside each other to support, encourage, and serve together ... without financial benefit.  Speaking of which ...

 

2)  My friend became a director a few years ago in a southern state.  I didn't know much about CC at the time, but I recall how concerned she was about the size of her young campus.  I thought perhaps she was finding validation in the number of parents signing up and I encouraged her to remember that if God built it, it would grow - and it would do so in His time.  However, each year she has remained just as concerned.  Ah, but then I learned that corporate CC puts an expectation upon the groups to grow.  And I also found out that CC staff get paid more for each child that attends ... hmm.  Sounds a bit like the public school model to me.  (I realize that outside classes such as those for science or writing at someone's home also pay their instructors per pupil, but do you see a HUGE growth in these classes vs CC??  Nothing like CC.)

 

3)  An adjacent city to mine has several CC campuses and they have quickly become 100% full.  Naturally, there are three more CC locations being opened in that area for next year.  However, in my city, CC campuses have sprung up like daffodils in spring.  Directors are struggling at some campuses because families are constantly on the move - trying to find a better group or one with more children their kids' ages etc.  Someone sets up shop and two more locations are opened the next year in close proximity.  NONE of those opened in the last two years are even half full.  I think the corporate leadership in this area should reject new CC location applicants until there is more 'filling-in' of those already in existence.  (Ah, but there is that financial incentive rearing its head again ...)

 

Anyway, that's my two bits as an outside non-CC observer.  I tend to see CC as the flavor of the month.  No doubt it is here to stay - and I see lots of good that it provides many families.  It truly seems to be an answer to prayer for many - from my observation less so for academic reasons and more so for accountability and community.  But, like all trends, I think over time it will be balanced out with other newer options.  

 

In the near future, it would not surprise me to see a movement arise that morphs the best that CC offers with more contextual learning and hands-on experiences ... at a more palatable cost.  This is something I would definitely consider - if I don't have to stay in the classroom with my oldest grade 8 child (!) and IF the instructor's qualifications (not a degree - just prove to me you're smart, organized, passionate about teaching, and thus a great choice for my kids) are laid out for me so that I may confidantly choose that teacher before putting down my (non-refundable) tuition.  I know in my case I'd want to observe several full days of classes first.

 

Thanks for letting me share.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Misconceptions of CC.

 

Okay, I have been reading this thread for a long time now, and feel that there is misinformation that needs to be addressed.  Full disclosure, I was involved in the corporate leadership of CC for many years.  I am not currently involved in the organization, and we do not currently attend a CC community.  

 

Let me start by saying that I do think that some of the criticism of CC is warranted. Often there are problems in implementation by the company, directors, and tutors, and sometimes there are problems because of the policies set by the company (true of any business.)  I think it is important to understand the bigger picture of what the leaders of this company are trying to accomplish. The goals of this company are something that, while we won't all agree on the implementation, most of us can support.  

 

It looks like where people are trumped up most is in the memory work.  On one hand people are impressed with all that can be accomplished.  The minute they see it they are blown away.  On the other hand people just don’t get it.  They say, “Why would someone memorize the facts without content?† I believe both of these views are short sided.  Let me explain why.   

 

For the impressed:  I can’t blame you.  It was the first thing that sold me.  It looks impressive, and it is a great selling point, but the truth is that anyone can memorize.  Memorization is a skill that anyone can develop.  It is simply brain training.  Even some severely disabled children are successful in applying memory techniques, and are memorizing large amounts of material.   Sadly, most of us are impressed because we don't believe that we are capable of memorizing big bodies of information.  That is a lie.  Your brain is remarkable. 

 

For the skeptics:  You will have to stick with me because the explanation is not simple.  I will say that the true underlying purpose of memorizing the material is not just in learning the facts, it is developing a skill in the process of “How to learn.†

 

This is a very long post.  So I will break here and start another post below.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How to learn    (continued from above)

 

CC has set the premise that Classical Education is a way of learning.  Just as Dorothy Sayers states in the Lost Tools of Learning, CC believes that learning is implemented best in three stages.  

 

Their premise starts with saying that the first stage, called the Grammar Stage, is not only a phase in child development, but is also a process in the stage of mastering any material.  They think that to master material we should break the material down into its basic parts, and learn the parts first.  The example I will use is the CC classical way to learning botany.  CC thinks that you should learn the basic parts of botany first.  Let’s start with their sentence about plants.  "What are the parts of a plant?"  Answer, "The parts of a plant are the leaf, stem, and roots."  The student would then go on to explore the subject further by reading books about plants and by accumulating information (facts.)   

 

The next stage in the learning process is the Dialectic Stage.  This is the stage where the student starts a process of questioning and discussing the material/subject.  CC says that, in order to learn something well, the student should take the parts of the subject that he has learned in the grammar stage, and ask questions about the facts. 

 

"Why does the plant have a leaf?  What is the purpose of a leaf?  How does the leaf, stem, and roots work together?  How do botanist create hybrids?

 

CC now moves a step further to foster understanding.  They say that not only should the student question the material, but he should also have discussions about the material.  Questions are generally created on our own knowledge base (in other words, we don’t know what we don’t know), so it is nice to discuss material in groups.  Discussing the material with others might lead to greater insights than an individual might have on his own.  In fact when this happens it is common for the student to have great leaps in understanding.    

Finally they say that when the student has mastered a subject, that he has reached the Rhetoric Stage.  Years are spent preparing for this stage.  The rhetoric stage is not only about mastery of a subject matter, but it is also about mastery of a developed skill set.  In order to truly be at the rhetoric level in a subject, the student would need to be able to communicate well, write well, and defend his position well.  The skill set at the Rhetoric level allows the student to not only communicate or teach others, it would also allow him the ability to create/invent new ideas about the subject matter.  For instance, a Botanist would know plants so well that they could teach the subject, have debates on the subject, and furthermore, could develop disease resistant plant varieties. 

 

In the next post we will talk about how CC began implementing this education process, and how they have arrived at their current system.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The process.  (continued from above)

 

Since CC believed that the dialectic and rhetoric stage required discussion and presentation, it was obvious that the student’s classical education would be enhanced by meeting together in groups.  CC's goal was/is to show children how to learn, and give them a set of skills/tools that would allow them to reach the rhetoric stage.

 

They started with the High School age students, and it didn't take long to realize that it would be nice if these students came in with some basic skills in writing, speaking, and questioning.  It was then they developed lower levels of Challenge and Foundations.   

 

In Foundations/Essentials a program was created to help children learn the first stages of mastery.   They hoped to show the student how to break material apart, and learn the little bits inside out.  To master this skill they would need to train their brains.  The training would help them to organize information in their head, and process the information quickly (quick recall.)  They also saw the benefit of having basic foundational skills in math, science, history, geography, English, and a foreign language, so the memory work was created to fulfill both causes.  The other mastery skills that they hoped to develop at this level were oratory skills (presentation) and writing skills (grammar and writing).  By the time the student has left Foundations, he should be able to memorize easily, speak well in front of others, and have some tools of writing underway.    

 

In Challenge their purpose is to provide opportunities to improve the students' dialectic and rhetoric level skills.  Students all study the same materials, and come prepared each week to present and/or discuss the information they have studied.  The tutor spends time prepping and learning the materials along with the students, so that she can prompt discussion, and lead the students through a series of debates/questions.  CC does not set up the Tutor as the teacher.  The tutor is instead the facilitator of discussion, and is there to help the teacher (the parent) with accountability.  CC does not want the tutor to teach a lesson in class.  They want the tutor to lead the student through the dialectic process, and allow the students to practice their rhetoric level skills.  The outcome they hope to achieve is that the student will learn the process of how to learn and develop a classical set of skills. 

 

So from the onset, if you are not looking carefully, and you have some preset ideas about education, you could very easily be misled about what CC does and its usefulness.    

 

Let’s look further into some of the limitations of CC in the next post.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Limitations of CC. (continued from above)

 

It is true that the tutors in foundations don't spend a whole lot of time fleshing out the sentences.  As we have learned, the ultimate goal of offering the sentences is not just to learn a basic set of knowledge, but is more importantly a skill of learning to break material down into small pieces for mastery and recall. It is again a process of brain training, and brain organization.  CC decided that it was impossible to flesh out the sentences in an hour or two a week.  Instead they thought it should be done at home over a period of years.  They simply introduce the sentences, and review for accountability.  Parents should be fleshing out the sentences within their homeschool.  The fleshing out is done most often by using outside material.  CC recommends materials like SOTW for History, Saxon for math, IEW for writing, Essentials for grammar, and Apologia for science.  They realize the limitation of trying to teach all a child needs to know in a few hours a week.  They are not designed to cover all a child needs to know, only to provide opportunities for the child to use the classical tools of learning. 

 

I think, though, that people (including those who are implementing the program) are caught up in the monkey trick of impressive memorization, and not the real reason for the program.  The memory work is just a small part of what should be happening.  From the posts on this thread it is obvious that CC hasn't always done a good communicating these goals.  Communicating these goals is supposed to be the purpose of their practicums.  Perhaps they should offer more concise information on their website, or through materials, so that people within the program will fully understand the goals. 

 

Let’s talk a little more on the limitations of a one day a week program.  In order to understand the limitations you must know a little about recall.  The average person only recalls about 5 percent of a lecture, 10 percent of what they read, 20 percent of an audiovisual, 30 percent of a demonstration, 50 percent of a discussion, and 90 percent of immediate use/application (information found in Lori Verstegen’s Teaching with Games.)  Given the limited time frame of a tutor, which is around 30 minutes for a foundations tutor per subject, and 1 hour for a Challenge tutor per subject, where do you think that her time is best spent?   CC believes that the time is best spent in discussion and application.  So their program is designed for those aspects of learning. Since CC is devoted to discussion and application, there is little time for the tutor to teach.  They expect that the parent will facilitate the teaching at home.   

 

CC is different.  It has a different goal than a school or homeschool cooperative.  Those goals are simply to provide opportunities to use and master the tools of learning.  They start with brain training, giving the tools of memorization, organization, and quick recall.  They help with writing and speaking skills, giving the skill of communication.  And finally, the students use those skills for discussion, debate, and presentation.  Their hope, being a Christian organization, is to support children and parents in the endeavor of a Christian education, so that the students will learn to use the tools to someday masterfully serve their Master.    

 

I hope I have helped clear up some of the confusion and misinformation of the CC program design.  I felt that many were essentially trying to put a square peg into a round hole.  In answer the posters question, I think that CC does a great job of being classical, but I also think that their definition of a classical education is different from many.  Therein lies the criticism.   

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Limitations of CC. (continued from above)

 

It is true that the tutors in foundations don't spend a whole lot of time fleshing out the sentences.  As we have learned, the ultimate goal of offering the sentences is not just to learn a basic set of knowledge, but is more importantly a skill of learning to break material down into small pieces for mastery and recall. It is again a process of brain training, and brain organization.  CC decided that it was impossible to flesh out the sentences in an hour or two a week.  Instead they thought it should be done at home over a period of years.  They simply introduce the sentences, and review for accountability.  Parents should be fleshing out the sentences within their homeschool.  The fleshing out is done most often by using outside material.  CC recommends materials like SOTW for History, Saxon for math, IEW for writing, Essentials for grammar, and Apologia for science.  They realize the limitation of trying to teach all a child needs to know in a few hours a week.  They are not designed to cover all a child needs to know, only to provide opportunities for the child to use the classical tools of learning. 

   

 

I'm not sure I understand how the students are being taught this skill (to break the material down to help their own mastery/recall), as the material is already presented in small units. If you say they are practicing the skill of memorizing small pieces of information, that's a different skill, and one that I think accurately applies. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just read through all of these pages because I'm one of those New Homeschooling Moms (is NHSM on the acronym list?).  My 6yo DS is currently attending a wonderful-for-us ACCS school that's a half-day model for K-8, 5 days per week.  It's a school.  The teachers are teachers, he does all of his basic subjects there, and the half-day model allows us (the parents) to provide enrichement or not, and to really help at home if there's some subject he's struggling with.  Although in some ways I don't consider myself a NHSM because I read WTM years ago and feel like I've been preparing to HS before my kids were even born.

Anyway, all that to say we won't have the school option next year because we're moving.  As a NHSM, initially I thought I would need to do something for accountability and community that we previously got for our son in school.  And I thought CC was going to be that something.  It seemed natural to go to a classical co-op, given my personal philosophies on education.  Based only on reading the website (which is actually pretty confusing to me) I thought CC would provide a spine to our curriculum.  I thought there would be science classes and art offered, we'd fill in with math and some LA at home, but that CC would be, basically, a history course that we could branch out from and they would provide the science and art too.  I thought it would take some classes off my plate.  However, after going to an information meeting, I found out that was not the case.  I realized it was an extra.  It was something to go on top of everything else.  After looking at what I wanted to teach next year at home and then trying to add in a whole day of the week that we would be out of the house doing other stuff, I decided it would be too much.  I wanted that extra day for catch up, or field trips, or the library or just relaxing and reading.

So, I just want to say that as a NHSM who was sure she would put her kids in CC and now decided not to, I want to say that I didn't feel preyed upon or pressured at all and I did feel like I figured out what CC was before we ever got into it and that it wouldn't be a good fit for us.  I do feel like most of the people (other moms, not the director per se) I met at the information meeting were very...high pressure or Type A...if that makes sense.  Like, I brought a tiny little notebook just in case I needed someone's contact info, and everyone else was taking scads of notes on 8.5x11 paper in binders, and one woman even looked at my little book and said, "Do you want a bigger piece of paper?" as if I was unprepared.  I could never figure out what they were all writing down so furiously, because I mainly just circled a few page numbers in the catalog and totalled up tuition costs.  But the focus was really on, "Look at what your kids will be doing by the time they are in high school," and, "Small Christian colleges see CC Challenge on an application and look at it really favorably."  So, we did talk about Foundations and Essentials, but as a means to get to Challenge and college.

And my guy has a fall birthday, and I was really turned off by the strict age requirement for whatever level it was down the line where they cut him off and make him do another year of Foundations(?).  If he's ready for the material then, why wouldn't you allow him to continue?  If not, then say so, but arbitrary age requirements really bug me.  The director said, "They just found that kids were going to be graduating from high school at 16 and that's just too early."  Um, why?  Could you please let my husband and scads of other homeschoolers know that they graduated high school too early?

 

I think CC could be great fun, but if I'm going to homeschool, I just don't see how I could fit it in without sacrificing in other areas that I find important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure I understand how the students are being taught this skill (to break the material down to help their own mastery/recall), as the material is already presented in small units. If you say they are practicing the skill of memorizing small pieces of information, that's a different skill, and one that I think accurately applies. 

 

 

I agree that the skill of breaking the material down won’t be taught just through memorizing the sentences, but is a skill best learned and taught when learning about sentences.  At first though, a student can just be taught that when we want to learn information, it is best to break it down into its basic parts and memorize those parts.  Adding that, CC has already broken down some material into its basic parts and made sentences for you to memorize, but someday you will learn to find the basic parts of a subject out of the materials you read and study. 

 

When the student studies and researches the material at home, he can gain a greater understanding of the grammar method.  He will start to see that if material is broken down into its parts and learned, it will be easy to question and apply new knowledge to the shelf.  For Example:  When the student is studying plants, he will first remember that the basic parts of a plant (leaves, stems, and roots), and will go on to ask why a plant has a leaf and what its purpose is, etc…  It is neat to see this systematic process in action.  I wish that I had learned this process before heading off to college.   

 

HTH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And my guy has a fall birthday, and I was really turned off by the strict age requirement for whatever level it was down the line where they cut him off and make him do another year of Foundations(?).  If he's ready for the material then, why wouldn't you allow him to continue?  If not, then say so, but arbitrary age requirements really bug me.  The director said, "They just found that kids were going to be graduating from high school at 16 and that's just too early."  Um, why?  Could you please let my husband and scads of other homeschoolers know that they graduated high school too early?

 

 

I know it seems odd to have an age requirement, but the reason for this has nothing to do with a child's knowledge base.  It is because the students in Challenge A are starting to study at the dialectic level which requires a dialect brain.  This process doesn't start for most people until they are 11 and usually later for boys.  Until this pruning process happens in the brain, it is very difficult for the child to process at the next level.  

 

Here is a slide presentation I found on line that might help to understand the brain pruning process.  If you look closely at slide number 10 you will see the difference between 7 yo brain vs a 15 yo brain.  http://www.slideshare.net/nationalsafeplace/adolescent-brain-development-and-its-effects

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it seems odd to have an age requirement, but the reason for this has nothing to do with a child's knowledge base. It is because the students in Challenge A are starting to study at the dialectic level which requires a dialect brain. This process doesn't start for most people until they are 11 and usually later for boys. Until this pruning process happens in the brain, it is very difficult for the child to process at the next level.

 

Here is a slide presentation I found on line that might help to understand the brain pruning process. If you look closely at slide number 10 you will see the difference between 7 yo brain vs a 15 yo brain. http://www.slideshare.net/nationalsafeplace/adolescent-brain-development-and-its-effects

Which demonstrates totally why people homeschool. :). Avg is simply a statistical avg and children are individuals. It is why the "avg age" for alg in this country is 8th or 9th grade but there are a lot of people on this forum with kids doing alg very successfully in 4th (a few even earlier.).

 

Homeschooling is homeschooling for a reason. CC is more aligned with school philosophically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it seems odd to have an age requirement, but the reason for this has nothing to do with a child's knowledge base.  It is because the students in Challenge A are starting to study at the dialectic level which requires a dialect brain.  This process doesn't start for most people until they are 11 and usually later for boys.  Until this pruning process happens in the brain, it is very difficult for the child to process at the next level.  

 

Here is a slide presentation I found on line that might help to understand the brain pruning process.  If you look closely at slide number 10 you will see the difference between 7 yo brain vs a 15 yo brain.  http://www.slideshare.net/nationalsafeplace/adolescent-brain-development-and-its-effects

 

I know about developmental levels, but I also know that not every kid hits the same developmental levels at the same age.  The difference in these things can not be measured by September 30th (or whatever arbitrary day the school decides).  I don't know or even assume my September 23rd kid will be ready for a grade in school by a certain year, which is why I would prefer that the student is evaluated for maturity/ability/knowledge instead of looked at as an age.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The marketing scheme in all of the CC advertisements right now is, "Don't GO it Alone!"  "You don't have to homeschool alone."  "help for your Journey."  

 

And one of the greatest beauties of homeschooling is tailoring the education to the specific child year by year, even month by month at times, so that the child can soar to his or her own potential.  With CC children are locked into a year by year expected outcome, and starting in Essentials they are also locked into using the same curriculum at the same pace.

 

It's school light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Avg is simply a statistical avg and children are individuals. It is why the "avg age" for alg in this country is 8th or 9th grade but there are a lot of people on this forum with kids doing alg very successfully in 4th (a few even earlier.). Homeschooling is homeschooling for a reason. CC is more aligned with school philosophically.

 

:hurray:

 

...I also know that not every kid hits the same developmental levels at the same age.  The difference in these things can not be measured by September 30th (or whatever arbitrary day the school decides).  I don't know or even assume my September 23rd kid will be ready for a grade in school by a certain year, which is why I would prefer that the student is evaluated for maturity/ability/knowledge instead of looked at as an age.

 

 

 

:iagree:

 

But it's easier for the tutors/directors (and of course the managers/corporate) if it's a uniform law.

 

And one of the greatest beauties of homeschooling is tailoring the education to the specific child year by year, even month by month at times, so that the child can soar to his or her own potential.  With CC children are locked into a year by year expected outcome, and starting in Essentials they are also locked into using the same curriculum at the same pace.  It's school light.

:cheers2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The previous might need to be listed under Reason #28 not to do CC. It ocurred to me, whilst rereading much of this thread, that I had another reason: outsourced classes. Since my children start up at our local university at 14, they need to be able to schedule classes when they are offered. No way could we block off an entire day. Since many CC happen on Fridays, we also couldn't do it--we're on the road for sports at noon on many Fridays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The marketing scheme in all of the CC advertisements right now is, "Don't GO it Alone!"  "You don't have to homeschool alone."  "help for your Journey."  

 

And one of the greatest beauties of homeschooling is tailoring the education to the specific child year by year, even month by month at times, so that the child can soar to his or her own potential.  With CC children are locked into a year by year expected outcome, and starting in Essentials they are also locked into using the same curriculum at the same pace.

 

It's school light.

 

True, choice is one of the beauties of homeschooling.  We value the choice of choosing materials as well, and have enjoyed the freedom of curriculum choice since leaving CC.  On the flip side,there is much that we miss.  The problem here is that material has to be chosen in order to practice the classical tools within community. Not everyone will agree on the materials, but those who choose CC agree to give up some of that choice for the other benefits of the program.

 

That being said, the parent still has a great deal of freedom within the CC program.  CC is there to help, not mandate what is going on within a homeschool.   Many parents choose not to do every aspect of the program, or perhaps choose to spend more time on a particular assignment.  Parents are told they have that choice from the get go.  

 

No one is hoodwinked into attending CC.  It is a choice people have made.  In fact, given the cost it is a very serious well thought out choice.  Many find being in the community a benefit , many do not.  I will not belittle peoples choice of being part of CC or any other program or school.  We've made many choices during our 17+ years of homeschooling. My oldest attended a couple of classes at the public school one year.  We have taken part in many different cooperatives.  We've utilized the dual credit option in our local community college.  We've taken individual and online courses.  We've attended CC, and we've gone alone on our own.  It all depended on our needs at the moment, and I'm glad we had the options at the time to choose from.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've homeschooled for 12 years.  This year I will graduate my first.  I have a type A, a musician, one that learns "differently", and a 2 year old.  I have a natural, creative writer, a perfectionist, and one that would rather stick a sharp object in his eye rather than write a sentence.  I have a math guy, a writer, and a memorizer.  Point is they are all VERY different.  

 

I am an educated, well-rounded, Christian woman who can think for herself.  I'm fairly confident in my homeschooling knowledge and my ability to lead my kids through these years.  However, I'm also aware that I'm not perfect and others may have more experience and wisdom in some areas, so I'm open to listening and learning.  

 

My only regret with CC is that we didn't start it earlier. It was introduced to me 6 years ago and I passed it up.  Over the next two years, it kept coming in front of me and finally, a close friend, who I would trust with my life, suggested we look into it.  We haven't looked back since.  

 

I'm not a kool-aid drinker, and honestly, how many people do you think you will win over with this argument?  Perhaps those same ones you're talking about who are not confident in their ability to homeschool and are easily swayed by what others think, but others will just dig in deeper.  So, thanks, I guess :)

 

Instead of labeling and name-calling, let's lift one another up and state the facts.  As parents, and homeschooler specifically, we need to encourage one another.  There are enough nay-sayers.  We don't need to divide from within.  It's OK to offer opinions and critique.  Actually, CC is ALWAYS improving.  This year the IEW books have been revised so it's not as confusing!  Other improvements are constantly being implemented.  No program or curriculum is perfect.  I've used Abeka, Bob Jones, Alpha and Omega, Sonlight, virtual schools and many others.  They all have problems...because they are created by imperfect humans.  I've seen mistakes printed in every one of the curriculum above.  That doesn't discredit the whole thing, just as one tutor who mispronounces a Latin word doesn't discredit CC.  

 

Yes, CC focuses on memory work in the younger years.  And yes, this is classical.  This is how it was done until the 1900s. Teaching was not always about making the student feel confident and making sure they have fun.  Perhaps you did not enjoy the foundations classes, but guess what, you're not in the grammar stage! :)  They are not designed for you to enjoy.  They are designed for children who are in the grammar stage of learning to enjoy.  And like you said, your kids DID enjoy them. 

 

And for those who think it's indoctrination, the memory work is just facts.  You can't argue when WWII began, or who were the Allies and Axis Powers, what the parts of the sun are. Parents are left to expound and explain the facts at home.  The memorization is simply on facts, laws, dates, people and NOT opinions.  Therefore no child is being indoctrinated with anything except facts and knowledge.  When did this become a bad thing?  Yes, I want my child to be a critical thinker.  Yes I want them to be able to learn on their own.  But I don't see how helping them learn facts interferes with this.  It only enhances it.  They have more knowledge and depth in which to think critically.  When someone tries to convince them that a dictator on the other side of the world has the right to run over as many people and countries as they want and we should just stay out of it, well they have some knowledge to draw from as to when that didn't go so well in the past.    

 

And I will agree, Essentials may not be the most FUN.  But why is it that learning should always be like a game?  Sometimes, kids need to learn that hard work pays off.  There is a reward for it.  And sometimes, learning takes work.  If we make it ALL fun and games, they never understand the true reward of just experiencing growth for growth's sake.  My son just completed his second year of Essentials. He HATED it last year. But we stuck with it. If we quit every time as soon as we don't like it or because it's hard, what are we teaching?  This year, he wrote a 5 paragraph paper all on his own.  It was very well-written.  The only reward he got was that he did it.  On his own.  I have never seen him more proud and happy with himself.  Not when we played games to review.  Not when he won prizes or tickets in class.  Not when I treated him with ice cream for trying.  There was more confidence, contentedness, and pride in his eyes from just completing a well-done piece of work than anything else.  

 

This year my oldest completed Challenge.  Wow.  We have never had such rich conversations and actual growth in all of his 18 years.  

 

The goal of CC is to teach children how to learn.  To be lovers of learning.  To be confident to tackle hard things.  To see Christ in the middle of EVERYTHING.  As with any decentralized organization, there will be times when the program pulls from the original intent.  Instead of blaming the whole organization, I've chosen to become part of a program and idea that I believe in and to make it better from the inside instead of tearing it apart from the outside. 

 

I'm sorry you had a bad experience.  Or that it didn't work for your family.  But as others have mentioned, that doesn't mean we're standing here with a naked emperor.  It's working for us.  It's working for MANY actually.  The results honestly speak for themselves, and that is why I don't often respond to things like this. 

 

CC is not a fad.  It's been around for 17 years.  

 

CC graduates have a 1740 AVERAGE on the SAT.  This is at nearly 400 points higher than the national average. And they've had a few perfect scorers.  

 

CC graduates have been accepted to more than 200 colleges and universities.  And a CC grad has NEVER been denied entry to ANY higher education program based on academics.  Actually, in 20011, 80% received financial aid based on merit!

 

It's working.  And while you may not have liked it, others do. That is that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've really appreciated this long thread. I have to say that when I see someone reply who is "just visiting" or only has a couple of posts I can't help but wonder if they were sent by CC to post. That is just my personal opinion. Just saying that when I read the post above I thought "hmmm, sounds like a very pre-planned, high sell of CC to me." Which is one thing that has bothered me about CC- the high sell.

 

And btw, we were part of CC for a year

 

Anyway.....I could be wrong, but that's what jumped out to me. I also think it's odd that people feel such a strong need to defend CC. Another thing that makes me think "hmmm".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

CC graduates have a 1740 AVERAGE on the SAT.  This is at nearly 400 points higher than the national average. And they've had a few perfect scorers.  

 

CC graduates have been accepted to more than 200 colleges and universities.  And a CC grad has NEVER been denied entry to ANY higher education program based on academics.  Actually, in 20011, 80% received financial aid based on merit!

 

It's working.  And while you may not have liked it, others do. That is that. 

Would you please share your source for these figures? Especially the one about no CC grad ever being rejected by a college based on academics, because I'm not sure how the organization would know that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CC graduates have a 1740 AVERAGE on the SAT. This is at nearly 400 points higher than the national average. And they've had a few perfect scorers.

 

CC graduates have been accepted to more than 200 colleges and universities. And a CC grad has NEVER been denied entry to ANY higher education program based on academics. Actually, in 20011, 80% received financial aid based on merit!

 

 

If a student is considered a CC grad that makes the assumption that it is more aligned with school than homeschooling a valid argument. Attempting to promote it with an avg SAT of 1740 :blink: I recommend the college forum. :). I'm guessing the WTM poster stats blow CC out of the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you please share your source for these figures? Especially the one about no CC grad ever being rejected by a college based on academics, because I'm not sure how the organization would know that.

 

I'd like to see this, too. At the presentation I attended, the director was telling how her 15yo son had passed one of his Western Civ CLEPs with a 50 (if you're not familiar with CLEP scores, that's barely a pass on a relatively easy exam), and she was using this as a shining example of CC success. :confused:  I think if she had had the statistics posted by ladybugjung above, she would have and should have used them instead... eta - although, like 8 above (who was posting while I was posting)...I'm not sure you would want to use that SAT avg in advertising either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, CC focuses on memory work in the younger years. And yes, this is classical. This is how it was done until the 1900s.

This part deserved its own post. I would definitely like the evidence that classical education was memory work in younger yrs ESPECIALLY prior to the neo-classical definition of classical which arises post early 1900s. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How ironic. I have said before that I have seen it printed on the CC web site that it is some corporate CC people's goal to plant CC communities within 15 minutes of every home schooler's house. It is this "takeover mentality" that really concerns me. We have another national chain of classical courses for home schoolers in my local community (a little farther away though), and they do not have this same need to push excessive growth.

 

From https://www.classicalconversations.com/florida-classical-christian-homeschool.html:

 

"April Jung, who has homeschooled for more than 10 years, uses Classical Conversations so that her children will be steeped in truth and wisdom.  The foundational wisdom they gain in this program sets them up for success in every area of life.  It is her vision that every homeschooling family in Miami would have access to a Classical Conversations Community within a 15 minute drive from their home.  Each community will provide the support, accountability and companionship these families need in their pursuit of academic excellence." 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the above completely annoying.  I've reported other CC advocates on here for spamming because I am so convinced that is all that it was.

 

The above poster is a cc director.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have another national chain of classical courses for home schoolers in my local community (a little farther away though), and they do not have this same need to push excessive growth.

 

 

This really interests me - I've been wondering if there's another competitor to CC anywhere.  What's the name of it?  Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And a CC grad has NEVER been denied entry to ANY higher education program based on academics.  

 

Now this is just silly.  How in the world can you support this claim? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder how many CC grads are out there and how you would define that term. Even though our area has a ton of CC campuses (I've been told 11 in our metro area), I don't think any of them go all the way through from Foundations to Challenge IV. I know people talking about driving to another city to be able to advance to the next stage of CC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a student is considered a CC grad that makes the assumption that it is more aligned with school than homeschooling a valid argument. Attempting to promote it with an avg SAT of 1740 :blink: I recommend the college forum. :). I'm guessing the WTM poster stats blow CC out of the water.

 

That's actually good for an average, but likely it was the average of only those who reported their scores.  They wouldn't have access to all of them, and some probably didn't report it or didn't take the SAT at all.  And we don't know how many actual students that number reflects.  In other words, not enough information in order to evaluate the validity of that number.  

 

A local prep school ($30,000/year tuition) with extensive AP classes has an average very close to that, BUT they don't admit everyone and say on their website that their numbers are based the highest individual score with all juniors and seniors taking it.  That I believe.

 

And getting into college really isn't a big deal these days.  You can get admitted to the community college as long as your placement scores are OK, you have a high school diploma and transcript, and your criminal background check passes their criteria.  Only a very few are rejected.  I know the admissions people at the college where I teach, and they freely admit that they spend maybe a minute glancing at the transcript to verify that a high school program was completed.  The details aren't important to them.  But even the pricey prep school I cited says "100% college admission."  Oh well...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know about developmental levels, but I also know that not every kid hits the same developmental levels at the same age.  The difference in these things can not be measured by September 30th (or whatever arbitrary day the school decides).  I don't know or even assume my September 23rd kid will be ready for a grade in school by a certain year, which is why I would prefer that the student is evaluated for maturity/ability/knowledge instead of looked at as an age.

My daughter was given an exception to go into Challenge A early. But I know they have buckled down on giving that exception. I can tell you that it may seem that even though the student is ready for Challenge A, the problem comes in at the later levels. I have noticed that some of the thinking skills have come along a bit later for my DD than her classmates. She is still very successful working at this level but she works very hard to keep up with Challenge 1. Most parents don't realize that she is younger until I tell them because of her maturity.

 

However, another boy was given an exception the same year. He did fine in Challenge A but totally failed and became difficult in Challenge B because the work was too difficult. His mom blamed the material and the tutor. I really don't think he was ready and would have benefited to wait another year. She was going to advance him on to Challenge 1 anyway rather than repeating B. Some issues came up that pulled them out of CC altogether so the issue was avoided.

 

I think they no longer give exceptions because this happens too often. It has nothing to do with the age of graduation. CC doesn't graduate anyone, the parent does. It's more a matter of being developmentally ready for the skills and not just looking at the year in front of you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How ironic. I have said before that I have seen it printed on the CC web site that it is some corporate CC people's goal to plant CC communities within 15 minutes of every home schooler's house. It is this "takeover mentality" that really concerns me. We have another national chain of classical courses for home schoolers in my local community (a little farther away though), and they do not have this same need to push excessive growth.

 

From https://www.classicalconversations.com/florida-classical-christian-homeschool.html:

 

"April Jung, who has homeschooled for more than 10 years, uses Classical Conversations so that her children will be steeped in truth and wisdom.  The foundational wisdom they gain in this program sets them up for success in every area of life.  It is her vision that every homeschooling family in Miami would have access to a Classical Conversations Community within a 15 minute drive from their home.  Each community will provide the support, accountability and companionship these families need in their pursuit of academic excellence." 

 

 

I find the above completely annoying.  I've reported other CC advocates on here for spamming because I am so convinced that is all that it was.

 

The above poster is a cc director.

Wait a minute, does this mean that the poster I responded to, "ladybugjung" is this same April Jung who wants CC within 15 minutes of every homeschooler in Miami?

 

She could just move to my area which does have CC saturation to this level. :glare:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you please share your source for these figures? Especially the one about no CC grad ever being rejected by a college based on academics, because I'm not sure how the organization would know that.

They send out surveys to CC students, so basically it is self reported...

 

Georgia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's actually good for an average, but likely it was the average of only those who reported their scores. They wouldn't have access to all of them, and some probably didn't want to report it or didn't take the SAT at all. And we don't know how many actual students that number reflects. In other words, not enough information in order to evaluate the validity of that number.

 

A local prep school ($30,000/year tuition) with extensive AP classes has an average very close to that, BUT they don't admit everyone and say on their website that their numbers are based the highest individual score with all juniors and seniors taking it. That I believe.

 

And getting into college really isn't a big deal these days. You can get admitted to the community college as long as your placement scores are OK, you have a high school diploma and transcript, and your criminal background check passes their criteria. Only a very few are rejected. I know the admissions people at the college where I teach, and they freely admit that they spend maybe a minute glancing at the transcript to verify that a high school program was completed. The details aren't important to them. But even the pricey prep school I cited says "100% college admission." Oh well...

I don't disagree with your post, but in the context of CC, the part I quoted is ridiculous. The argument is coming out of both sides of the mouth. I meant to be mocking the post, not taken literally. They say they aren't a school and that parents are the primary educators and they are simply supporting parents. And yet they have CC "graduates." They don't have teachers. They only have "tutors" who are NOT teachers b/c they don't teach. They model, they facilitate, they support, but they don't grade.

 

B/c she registered on the forum just to post that post, it makes me suspect that she is completely unaware of how academic the majority of the posters are on this forum. 1740 is about the 76th %ile. But, I would suspect that the avg of the posters on this forum have a much higher avg. So....in my post my leap was not to compare their avg to the national avg of mostly ps students, but the avg of the WTM forums where she is posting. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter was given an exception to go into Challenge A early. But I know they have buckled down on giving that exception. I can tell you that it may seem that even though the student is ready for Challenge A, the problem comes in at the later levels. I have noticed that some of the thinking skills have come along a bit later for my DD than her classmates. She is still very successful working at this level but she works very hard to keep up with Challenge 1. Most parents don't realize that she is younger until I tell them because of her maturity.

 

However, another boy was given an exception the same year. He did fine in Challenge A but totally failed and became difficult in Challenge B because the work was too difficult. His mom blamed the material and the tutor. I really don't think he was ready and would have benefited to wait another year. She was going to advance him on to Challenge 1 anyway rather than repeating B. Some issues came up that pulled them out of CC altogether so the issue was avoided.

 

I think they no longer give exceptions because this happens too often. It has nothing to do with the age of graduation. CC doesn't graduate anyone, the parent does. It's more a matter of being developmentally ready for the skills and not just looking at the year in front of you.

If the parents are the primary teacher and CC is their to support the parent, then it should be the parent's call since

We believe parents are their children’s primary teachers

 

Either the parent is a good judge of how their child is uniquely and wonderfully made and know their child best, or a birthday dictates child development and CC regulations know better how to "tutor" children.

 

Simply bc the "avg" child is not ready does not negate the real children that are. There are definitely children that are more than ready. Many of them are posters on this forum. I have those children living in my house. It is one reason why I would never send my kids to school b/c they don't fit the "avg" definition of the "avg" child. I do know my kids better than any "school" and know what is appropriate levels of challenge for them. That is not a unique scenario.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, I thought about it for the classroom feel and a classic model somewhat and b/c my child wants that classroom feel.  However, when we visited the age thing came up over and over again and a lot of it was b/c the kids in challenge 1 were not actually 9th graders.  They push everyone to start at Challenge A even if you have done the material using the same materials.  In fact, they pushed Challenge B for next year for us even though dd is already doing Physical Science and Algebra 1 using the same materials they use for Challenge 1 at home right now.  So the challenge 1 class we visited had kids that were 15, mainly 16, and even an 18 yr old.  So yes my dd13 did seem young to all of them, but she was ready for the discussion.  The tutor was fine and I knew her from another group, but when I actually told her my child's age she said she could tell she was less mature than the other students.  I thought hmmm...up until 2 seconds ago when I said her age you were fine and she was having a great day (had been there since 9 am and it was 3 pm).  Then when I mention well how old are the other kids in the room it comes out everyone should be sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Well that isn't a fair comparison is it?  Anyway, we haven't ruled out cc b/c there just really isn't a lot of academic co-ops in our area that would really give stimulating dialect that my dd needs at this point.  There also isn't anywhere else that I could drop her off and not have to enroll the other 3 kids.  There also isn't anywhere else where I do not have to volunteer to teach a class and help in a class.  So while I am not sold on all of it and we did not have a perfect visit to cc, it would fit the bill for some of our needs and I just don't see us finding an alternative elsewhere.  So we are going to visit another campus next week and see if all cc campuses are the same.  Personally, I would rather save my money but I can see the appeal to an oldest child of 4 that is looking for that "school" feel without going back to school.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 1740 wouldn't make me too excited. I mean, I don't intend to push my kids to score a perfect score or anything, but I sure hope they can do better than that. If they don't that is OK and I won't think they are losers.  But to me, I am confused why that would be an awesome stat to sell an organization.   :confused1:

 

CC is OK.  It's probably great for some people.  But people need to know what they are gaining and what they are losing.  I personally would sign my kids up for the local Classical Hybrid two days per week Homeschool School, before CC.  It's 3x the cost but then again the teachers actually teach, you drop your kids off, and have excellent credentials such as degrees in their field and AP cerfifications.  They grade papers too.   :hurray: .... and all that other school stuff -that CC doesn't do although CC really is School Light.

 

I think if you happen to have an awesome campus with highly intelligent gifted moms, and a very high performing and strict type of parents in the general group as a whole, CC could be a nice low cost school experience.  No one is saying that CC is evil, or that CC doesn't in some way help moms to produce children with higher academics than those moms otherwise could have produced on their own.  We are just trying to sway the boat a little in the other direction, against the very aggressive and emotionally targeted advertising of CC...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, I thought about it for the classroom feel and a classic model somewhat and b/c my child wants that classroom feel.  However, when we visited the age thing came up over and over again and a lot of it was b/c the kids in challenge 1 were not actually 9th graders.  They push everyone to start at Challenge A even if you have done the material using the same materials.  In fact, they pushed Challenge B for next year for us even though dd is already doing Physical Science and Algebra 1 using the same materials they use for Challenge 1 at home right now.  So the challenge 1 class we visited had kids that were 15, mainly 16, and even an 18 yr old.  So yes my dd13 did seem young to all of them, but she was ready for the discussion.  The tutor was fine and I knew her from another group, but when I actually told her my child's age she said she could tell she was less mature than the other students.  I thought hmmm...up until 2 seconds ago when I said her age you were fine and she was having a great day (had been there since 9 am and it was 3 pm).  Then when I mention well how old are the other kids in the room it comes out everyone should be sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Well that isn't a fair comparison is it?  Anyway, we haven't ruled out cc b/c there just really isn't a lot of academic co-ops in our area that would really give stimulating dialect that my dd needs at this point.  There also isn't anywhere else that I could drop her off and not have to enroll the other 3 kids.  There also isn't anywhere else where I do not have to volunteer to teach a class and help in a class.  So while I am not sold on all of it and we did not have a perfect visit to cc, it would fit the bill for some of our needs and I just don't see us finding an alternative elsewhere.  So we are going to visit another campus next week and see if all cc campuses are the same.  Personally, I would rather save my money but I can see the appeal to an oldest child of 4 that is looking for that "school" feel without going back to school.  

THis is why the Challenge overall makes more sense than any of the other groups.  I hope you and your dd find a good fit, whatever that may be.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And my guy has a fall birthday, and I was really turned off by the strict age requirement for whatever level it was down the line where they cut him off and make him do another year of Foundations(?).  If he's ready for the material then, why wouldn't you allow him to continue?  If not, then say so, but arbitrary age requirements really bug me.  The director said, "They just found that kids were going to be graduating from high school at 16 and that's just too early." 

 

I think the strict age requirement is going to put _homeschoolers_ off. 

 

I know it seems odd to have an age requirement, but the reason for this has nothing to do with a child's knowledge base.  It is because the students in Challenge A are starting to study at the dialectic level which requires a dialect brain.

 

I think it is funny (ha-ha) that I have now heard THREE (3) separate reasons for the age cut-off. I already posted that our CC info meeting was told it was because of the college that CC is working with having strict age requirements for their dual-credit classes. Plus, the lady mentioned the material in later Challenge years was more 'mature' in nature - and not suitable for the younger kids. And she wasn't referring to having a 'dialectic' brain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the strict age requirement is going to put _homeschoolers_ off. 

 

 

I think it is funny (ha-ha) that I have now here THREE (3) separate reasons for the age cut-off. I already posted that our CC info meeting was told it was because of the college that CC is working with having strict age requirements for their dual-credit classes. Plus, the lady mentioned the material in later Challenge years was more 'mature' in nature - and not suitable for the younger kids. And she wasn't referring to having a 'dialectic' brain.

 

The age thing has put me off a bit.  I actually get the college they work dual credit with having age requirements, but not everyone doing CC will want to do their dual enrollment program.  The age thing puts me off b/c my kids didn't start school early and haven't been skipped ahead.  I keep getting the phrase but you homeschool you can say any grade.  Well my dd met the cutoff where we lived and went to public school until 3rd grade.  She just so happens to have a summer birthday and wasn't red-shirted so yes she is a year younger than most kids in our heavily red-shirted state for her grade.  

I like being able to work where my kid is at and having a "school" say sorry they have to be 14 by September 30 to go into Challenge 1 when they are already working through Saxon Algebra 1 and Apologia Physical Science makes zero sense.  I do think it is a school mentality overall and has heavy administrative guidelines.

I personally think it was directors and tutors that requested the age mandate.  I heard over and over how Challenge 1-4 was not 9-12 grade that it was meant to place the kid where they were at, but my dd13 isn't being placed where she is at...she will have to repeat Algebra and Physical Science in Challenge 1 if we do it.  It has put me off of it a bit.  Here it seems to be much more common to have more kids in Challenge 1 that are sophomores or higher in reality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the strict age requirement is going to put _homeschoolers_ off. 

 

 

I think it is funny (ha-ha) that I have now heard THREE (3) separate reasons for the age cut-off. I already posted that our CC info meeting was told it was because of the college that CC is working with having strict age requirements for their dual-credit classes. Plus, the lady mentioned the material in later Challenge years was more 'mature' in nature - and not suitable for the younger kids. And she wasn't referring to having a 'dialectic' brain.

 

I can't really speak to the college dual-credit classes as that was just becoming an option when we left.  It could be that is a requirement.  I can only speak to the information I was trained on at the time.

 

I can tell you that I witnessed the process first hand while tutoring Challenge A .   Everyone of the kiddo's had difficulty with the dialectic level questions until the 2nd semester, and even then some couldn't think at that level (small sampling of about 24 so take that with a grain a salt.) .  Actually, it was more than difficult, they just couldn't do it.  

 

I am obviously not neurologist but have studied the pruning process extensively enough to speak on the subject at conventions without flubbing up too much.  My fun story is that one of the moms in the audience was a neurologist.  We spoke afterwords and she confirmed the information, and applauded my efforts which greatly encouraged me.  Now what I don't know is if there are children who do prune at different ages. All the information that I have found says no, but I don't doubt just like anything in biology there are exceptions.  My oldest is a gifted, but still didn't progress to that level until well after he was 12.  So I guess what I am trying to say is I am happy to be wrong, but all the information that I have studied and everything that I have experienced points to the same conclusions.  :001_smile:

 

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The age thing has put me off a bit.  I actually get the college they work dual credit with having age requirements, but not everyone doing CC will want to do their dual enrollment program.  The age thing puts me off b/c my kids didn't start school early and haven't been skipped ahead.  I keep getting the phrase but you homeschool you can say any grade.  Well my dd met the cutoff where we lived and went to public school until 3rd grade.  She just so happens to have a summer birthday and wasn't red-shirted so yes she is a year younger than most kids in our heavily red-shirted state for her grade.  

I like being able to work where my kid is at and having a "school" say sorry they have to be 14 by September 30 to go into Challenge 1 when they are already working through Saxon Algebra 1 and Apologia Physical Science makes zero sense.  I do think it is a school mentality overall and has heavy administrative guidelines.

I personally think it was directors and tutors that requested the age mandate.  I heard over and over how Challenge 1-4 was not 9-12 grade that it was meant to place the kid where they were at, but my dd13 isn't being placed where she is at...she will have to repeat Algebra and Physical Science in Challenge 1 if we do it.  It has put me off of it a bit.  Here it seems to be much more common to have more kids in Challenge 1 that are sophomores or higher in reality.

Odd, if this is true then age requirements have changed greatly in the past two years.  You may want to try to ask for an exception.  

 

Also, we had many students that moved up to the next Challenge Level during the math hour.  It is very common for students to be at different levels of math.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No exceptions at all according to the SM, area, and regional managers I spoke to. You can only place your child where you deem appropriate if you're moving them -down-.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't really speak to the college dual-credit classes as that was just becoming an option when we left. It could be that is a requirement. I can only speak to the information I was trained on at the time.

 

I can tell you that I witnessed the process first hand while tutoring Challenge A . Everyone of the kiddo's had difficulty with the dialectic level questions until the 2nd semester, and even then some couldn't think at that level (small sampling of about 24 so take that with a grain a salt.). Actually, it was more than difficult, they just couldn't do it.

 

I am obviously not neurologist but have studied the pruning process extensively enough to speak on the subject at conventions without flubbing up too much. My fun story is that one of the moms in the audience was a neurologist. We spoke afterwords and she confirmed the information, and applauded my efforts which greatly encouraged me. Now what I don't know is if there are children who do prune at different ages. All the information that I have found says no, but I don't doubt just like anything in biology there are exceptions. My oldest is a gifted, but still didn't progress to that level until well after he was 12. So I guess what I am trying to say is I am happy to be wrong, but all the information that I have studied and everything that I have experienced points to the same conclusions. :001_smile:

 

 

Spend some time on the accelerated and college forums on this site. Even universities make exceptions and allow students younger than the "permitted" ages to DE with evidence that they are equipped for the work.

 

I had never heard of CC DE before, so I just went and read the info. http://www.classicalconversations.com/articles/classical-conversations-bryan-college

 

Enforcing strict age requirements bc Bryan College won't allow DE for those 5 classes is completely befuddling. 2 of the 5 are high school equivalent courses (completing Saxon Advanced Math over the course of 2 yrs). 2 more are the equivalent of APUSH (AP US history). (The bible class is the only other class.)

 

Even public schools have greater flexibility than that. Taking AP cal AB in 11th and BC in 12th is fairly normal for strong students which puts the public schools 2 yrs ahead of CC scheduling allowances. APUSH is not restricted to 11th and 12th grades and depending on the university earning even a 3 on the AP might earn 6 hrs of college credit.

 

A large number of universities will not grant college credit if the class is taught on a high school campus (which is only quasi the way CC is offering it. The parents are still the primary teacher with discussion based credit via a director (at least for the precal course I looked at http://www.classicalconversations.com/images/stories/pdffiles/BC/BC_Syllabus_MAT_117.pdf with some work being mailed to Bryan.......it sounds like the credits will not be accepted by many institutions) So in addition to the fact that many schools will view the math as remedial level and not college credit worthy, many institutions are leery of DE credit not earned on a college campus and reject it bc it was not taught by university faculty. It is far less likely credit will be given via a parent teacher with CC and then Bryan oversight. You are multiple steps away from being taught on a college campus. The history and bible credit will face the same hurdles.

 

Based on the above and the comment that "no" student has ever been witnessed to be ready for dialectic instruction at a younger age, I would suspect that is bc CC is self-filtering and self-selecting certain types of families and students and the results of that are seen in their classrooms. Saxon math and Apologia science are self-selecting in and of themselves. Many homeschoolers are taking multiple AP courses and using higher difficulty level texts. Parents are submitting their own AP syllabi to College Board and getting approval to label their homemade classes AP on transcripts. Those types of families and similarly focused families are not walking into CC and accepting pre-fab classes and dictated parameters.

 

Based on the quoted post above, I am pretty sure that you have not seen students like my kids that have taken AP calculus BC and chem as 10th graders and by 12th grade are dual enrolling in 300 level college classes. (not high school equivalent or 100 level introductory level courses) or 9th graders taking the equivalent of college literature courses. I'm pretty sure they are not neurological anomalies worthy of groundbreaking research on their brain maturation processes. :) Compared to many of the kids on the accelerated and college forums, my kids are not even that advanced! There are some very talented young people whose parents post on these forums and it is inspiring to read about their journeys, their educational methodologies, and triumphs.

 

There is a reason gifted kids are being homeschooled in high percentages. They cannot get their needs met in the school system. CC's course offerings are at an even lower level than the avg American ps with AP opportunities. I think Calming Tea's descriptor is most apt in the context of the entire Bryan scenario and dictates based on age 16 for that level of academics......school lite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on the above and the comment that "no" student has ever been witnessed to be ready for dialectic instruction at a younger age, I would suspect that is bc CC is self-filtering and self-selecting certain types of families and students and the results of that are seen in their classrooms. Saxon math and Apologia science are self-selecting in and of themselves. Many homeschoolers are taking multiple AP courses and using higher difficulty level texts. Parents are submitting their own AP syllabi to College Board and getting approval to label their homemade classes AP on transcripts. Those types of families and similarly focused families are not walking into CC and accepting pre-fab classes and dictated parameters.

 

There is a reason gifted kids are being homeschooled in high percentages. They cannot get their needs met in the school system. CC's course offerings are at an even lower level than the avg American ps with AP opportunities. I think Calming Tea's descriptor is most apt in the context of the entire Bryan scenario and dictates based on age 16 for that level of academics......school lite.

Thanks for addressing this point. Cc is huge around here- to the extent that there are postings in the paper about kids who do the challenges. There are amazing kids on the AL board and IRL, but I haven't seen them in cc despite the aggressive advertising. I think it is self selecting.

 

A few years ago I did go to a presentation by a neurologist studying brain development in gifted kids. Her data showed very real differences. There are, of course, different definitions and degrees of giftedness. I also think you can kill thinking in kids. We step into and out of school systems as needed so I have no aversion to systems. I'm just not impressed by cc and even less so the more I know about it. It's still great to have choices for all types though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can tell you that I witnessed the process first hand while tutoring Challenge A .   Everyone of the kiddo's had difficulty with the dialectic level questions until the 2nd semester, and even then some couldn't think at that level (small sampling of about 24 so take that with a grain a salt.) .  Actually, it was more than difficult, they just couldn't do it.    

 

My daughter would point out that this is an example of a hasty generalization fallacy. Heart gave one example as to why the small sample of homeschooled kids in CC might not have the 'early bloomer' types. I do think there are probably some early bloomers in CC - but those kids are being weeded out by the age requirements even if they aren't already self-selecting to not be included.

 

Odd, if this is true then age requirements have changed greatly in the past two years.  You may want to try to ask for an exception.  

 

The age requirement is Brand New for this fall. There will be no exceptions. (Ditto what dauphin said.) 

 

That doesn't mean CC isn't a great thing for some families. I'm sure it is. It just isn't the cat's meow for everyone. And I still haven't seen a good argument for how CC is "classical.' 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a link to an official document about the new age requirement? I have a friend who is in CC and plans to grade-skip her gifted October-birthday daughter this year. She may be in for a surprise when they get to Challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Odd, if this is true then age requirements have changed greatly in the past two years.  You may want to try to ask for an exception.  

 

Also, we had many students that moved up to the next Challenge Level during the math hour.  It is very common for students to be at different levels of math.  

 

I did talk to them about an exception and it is a really formal process.  You have to formally request it of your campus in writing, then they have to send it to the district director, and it has to go all the way to national.  I asked b/c dd13 and dd12 are both working on Apologia Physical Science and Saxon Algebra 1 this year.  dd12 wouldn't be able to do Challenge 1 for another year with the age requirement.  They are making it where Challenge 1 has to take all 6 strands and not trade out or skip anything.  So for us they were just saying...but Physical Science and Algebra will be great review for your dd.  Ummm...we are not standing still for a year in science and math.  

The new age requirement for Challenge 1 goes into effect this year in the fall.  It is national.  Apparently there has always been an age requirement for Challenge A and they are extending one to Challenge 1 this next year.  The reasons seem to be quite a few and not just one, but they are set in stone and there is apparently a huge process to get an exception.

 

ETA-yes, she may be able to move during math but they didn't know if she would be able to move to Biology instead of Physical Science.  I am on the fence really.  It is a lot of money for her to repeat 2 classes, but if we really aren't going for the academics mostly...well she would work the Science and Math at her level at home.  Latin does appeal to me and their literature as well but they are about to change it in Challenge 1 where it is more like Challenge B using the writing they start in Challenge B.  2 campuses here are piloting the new Challenge 1 next year.  

 

Also we do other outside classes that our lecture style that my dd12 just aged into their high school classes.  Her teacher is constantly telling me how dd12 is engaged and proactive in the discussions in class.  It is a mythology class and she is taking a military history class and doing excellent in the discussions in class.  The teacher has pointed it out so much that it must not be the norm for the 7th grade students moving up into the classes.  dd13 is the same way.  I think personally that CC is so much about memorization and not following up in the younger years that most students do need those years in Challenge A and B to get used to the sudden change in the way the class is ran and what is expected much the same way that public school students are prepped for the changes in middle and high school.  If a student is used to exploring topics and arguing their points validly or just discussing intelligently material with peers, then they are not going to need that time to adjust to those changes since they have not been in the CC program doing it the other way for so long.  I also did not see where CC was going to be where we couldn't do our own thing outside of it and add in more.  The history especially seemed lacking, but maybe I haven't gotten to see enough.  We go to a different campus on Tuesday for dd to sit in with the Challenge B kids who are going into Challenge 1.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...