Monday, February 28, 2011

A New Way of Learning!

A couple months ago I received an email in my inbox about a program in Castle Rock (about 20 minutes from Parker), called Classical Conversations.  I knew a little about Classical education, from reading A Well Trained Mind a few years ago (when I first started thinking about homeschooling).  I was intrigued and attended an informational meeting in January.

I was completely amazed at the information the children were learning - the Classics, the fun ways in which it was taught  - music and movement, and the complete nature of the program - developing a WHOLE well rounded child through a classical method of teaching.  This was an answer to a prayer!  I had been struggling and wondering if I was covering all the right material, finding outlets for the children to meet others who homeschool on a routine basis, and being able to expose the kids to a world of topics.  This program meets all those needs!

The group meets once a week throughout the school year, with parents in tow.  They offer childcare for those under 4, so Eric gets some play time too until he's 4.  They cover the classical model of teaching so lots of memorization and recitation.  The kids also are required to make a presentation to the group each week, at this age it's more like show and tell but it's great to have the kids speak in front of their peers and others.  It's a Christian group and kids are placed within a group of their peers, but there is time for socializing on the playground at lunch time with all the kids in the program.  You can learn more about Classical Conversation (a program found throughout the USA and abroad) at www.ClassicalConversations.com .

Unfortunately,  we were not able to jump into the program for the remaining school year.  However, we have signed up for the Fall 2011-2012 school year.  In the mean time, I decided to start the program at home to become familiar with some of the material.

Ella is doing a great job memorizing the material in only our 2nd week.  She has learned about Charlemagne and William the Conquerer.  Biomes and Consumers, the 8 Parts of speech, and European bodies of water, and how to conjugate verbs in Latin.

video

We of course add in our Saxon Phonics and Singapore Math as well. We don't just memorize the material, but we use the topics for the week as our spine for our lessons (History, Science, Grammar, Geography, etc.) Now if that's not a comprehensive program I'm not sure what else is.

Even Eric has been wanting to recite as well, his favorite is conjugating the word "amo" in Latin. Although, he hasn't picked up the different endings, I think he actually carries a tune pretty well ....

video

This week we are learning about Archeology and started reading "The Story of the World."  We will be creating a timeline of Ella's life thus far and also a family tree in the coming weeks.  

Our recent reads are Pinocchio and we've she's also started reading "The Boxcar Children" independently.  Ella's reading is coming along remarkably well!

We are so excited and are enjoying our new way of learning, more classic literature and readings.  Less worksheets and the mundane.  It's fun, interesting, and we're learning together