After completing a year at a Classical Conversations Community, I decided to use the curriculum on my own last year. I had several reasons, but at the top of my list was having my fifth baby. I just didn’t want all the pressures of getting all the kids out every week.
I began the year having a class at home with my children once a week to learn all the new grammar (The grammar includes all the memory work for all the subjects). I did pretty much the same things I was doing when I tutored a class at the community only this time I was teaching my four kids. I only did the memory work and did not plan to nor did I attempt to include the science experiments, art, etc.
Not all of the same activities worked as well with my mixed little group as they did with the class I tutored, but that happens with every new group I think. With my kids, I tended to keep a bag of M&Ms handy to keep things fun.
This worked well for the first semester or until I had the baby. My plan was to take a few weeks off and then jump back into things. Well, seven months later I still have not gotten to the point where I’ve been able to jump back into my pre baby #5 routine. After Bobby was born the only times we worked on CC were when we listened to the CD in the van while driving. And you know what? I am okay with that. There are just going to be times when it’s not possible to do everything I set out to do.
What I find the most helpful about the Classical Conversations memory facts is the math skip counting songs. I struggled with my eldest daughter to teach her multiplication. I’m talking grueling hours of tears. When I introduced multiplication to my second daughter after a year and a half of Classical Conversations, she told me she already knew all that and proceeded to sing her skip counting songs. Division was equally easy. She understood the concept right away.
For next Fall I really considered trying to get back into a community. The kids and I missed it in a lot of ways. In the end (unless something changes before the Fall) I’ve decided to keep working on CC at home. My reasons are #1 the cost, and I am not ready to want to tutor again. #2 The communities close to me are full, and I was not excited about having to drive farther to join a different group. #3 Right now with Bobby still little I’d like to keep things simple and not get over committed. I like the freedom of being in charge of my homeschooling schedule.
Sounds smart to me on every point.
Sarah Abuhl says
I had no idea you did CC! We just signed up to start w/ Lucia in the fall (in the Flower Mound community). What did/do you use for math and language arts? Do you like the overall experience?
Audra Michelle says
I love hearing that others are ok with routines going out the window after new babies! I’m 7 months postpartum with my third and things have been much more laid back since Fletch was born!
I loved homeschooling my son, and the freedom to explore so many learning areas.
Could you elaborate on which CC materials you continue to use at home? While we would like to educate our boys classically, the cost of classical conversations seems to rule that option out. I would like to try a classical curriculum at home and wondered what works best for you. Thanks!
Courtney Williams says
I’m curious to know where you now stand in your CC journey. We are completing our 2nd year as part of a community- and my first year tutoring abecedarians. I completely understand the higher stress level that you mentioned. If you’re still doing this at home, what is the oldest age you are teaching, if you don’t mind me asking? My oldest should begin Challenge A next year and I’m a little nervous about trying to pull it off on my own at home with 3 others in Foundations; 2 of those also in Essentials. Our nearest Challenge program is an hour away. I definitely need a break from community for a bit, but still desire to give my kids the rich education I feel CC provides. After reading your blog (I came across it by googling “doing CC at home) I’m curios to hear your thoughts.