Thursday, September 23, 2010

Classical Conversations Week Two

In addition to our curriculum (more later) we have joined a Classical Conversations group. In a few words, this is a group which follows the classical model of the three stages of learning. Since my kids are in the grammar (or memorization) stage, there is a TON of memory work. Weekly memory topics include History sentences, English grammar, Latin grammar, Math, Science and Geography as well as Ephesians chapter 6 and the entire set (one hundred and so) of the Veritas Press timeline cards.

So Mondays are my day to experience the "getting kids out the door" feat. (Which I think I could do without) We eat quickly, get dressed (making sure nobody has holes in their pants or stains on their shirts)...lunches and snacks packed into three separate packs...Keys located (almost caused an uproar when I declared last week I didn't know where they were right before we had to leave...Max was ready to walk)...and off we go.

After leaving an excited Noah and a heartbroken Ollie in the (much appreciated) nursery, we assemble with the group for the opening group time. It is here that they sing, review the Bible verse and History timeline cards, have a family presentation, and make announcements. Finally, their squirmy bouncy bottoms are released to follow their tutor to the classrooms. Jake and Max head off to their separate classes and I follow one or the other to observe/assist with Lils on my hip.

The classes are dived up in about 30 minute segments and are packed with information. There is the review of last weeks grammar (memory work), followed by new grammar, a science experiment, an art lesson, and public speaking time. The tutors do an excellent job at holding the attention of their groups.

They then are released back into my care for lunch and "gym time." After that, they drag themselves

back to the car and I do my best to keep them awake until we get home.

As I have said, I take things one year at a time. For this year, it is perfect. For one thing, it fills in almost the exact "gaps" I jotted down at the end of last year (memorization, art and public speaking). For another thing...there are SO MANY large families there. It is so nice not to be met with wide eyes when people see us coming.

It's going to be a good year.

Here's a sample of what they do...their work from this week:

Tell me about William the Conqueror. After the church split into Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, William the Conqueror defeated King Herold of England in 1066 and started feudalism.

What is a pronoun? A pronoun replaces a noun in order to avoid repetition.

Locate Spain, Italy, France, England and the Czech Republic on a map

Count by 3s and 4s

Latin Present Tense conjugation of Love: amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant

What are three types of consumers? Herbivores, Carnivores, omnivores

Timeline cards: Creation, Fall in the Garden, Cain and Able, The Flood, The Tower of Babel, Unification of upper and lower Egypt by Pharaoh Menes, The Old Kingdom in Egypt, The first intermediate period in Egypt, Minoan Culture, The Call of Abram, God's Covenant with Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael, Sodom and Gomorrah, The birth and sacrifice of Isaac, The Middle Kingdom in Egypt, Joseph as a slave. (8 added each week)

And...Ephesians 6:1-2: Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first command with a promise.

I am incredibly thankful for this group


Mainely Me said...

Sounds like I need to join:/
Excited for you and the kiddos; it sounds great.

Sheri said...

oh Jan, I was thinking the same thing!
Sounds intense,fun and educational.

Janine the Bean said...

I'm glad you're having a good time there. We'll see about next year. The memory honestly scares me!

Jen said...

Hi Jodi! We used to live in OR and hung with J&K and your wonderful in-laws on Sundays. Found your blog around the time you were adopting Noah and read when I can! Long story short, I have 4 under the age of 5...(not planned, but completely thankful for HIS plan!) We moved to SC (husband is in military) and it's my first year homeschooling. AND we are doing CC, first year as well! We are 6 weeks ahead of you and I have to say we LOVE IT! I"m absolutely ASTOUNDED at their ability to memorize (my 3 year old knows it just as well and he's not even in class yet!) Things that have helped us TREMENDOUSLY in the intense memory work.
1) Log on to the CC website and join the CC Connected ($6/month)and the boys can go through all the topics with pictures/music/etc. Lets them have a little "computer" time with the mouse (my kids take turns hitting "next") as well as dual purpose memory work. Takes about 15-30 minutes/day depending on how much they go through.
2) Get the memory CD's...we listen in the car to whatever week we're on just one time through every time we get in the car and then we go on. Many times, they ask me to continue and I'm the one that has to say "enough is enough!"
3) Blow up a blank world map and have it laminated then use Expo's "washable" dry erase markers to practice landmarks. Our Ellie has this down pat. Knows Europe better than the U.S., sadly! She can point out the European Rivers but has no idea what River is running through our city! (Well, that has changed now but funny nonetheless.) The focus on the U.S. is next year so excited for that one too!

Anyway...just had to comment on this one since I never have before! It's overwhelming at first but now that we've got it down it's FUN! And I'm having fun learning right along with her! I had no idea who in the heck Eleanor of Aquitaine was prior to CC! :) wish we were in Oregon still! I'd love to have a friendly face! (We met once at our Small Group but I don't expect you to remember!)

Jen Duncan

Heidi Jensen said...

Jodi, I loved this post. I really want to learn more about this!!! So neat to hear something like this is in our community. I'm so glad this is working well for your family this year. And a big "yeah!" to big families. We love 'em, we're tryin' ;-)