Our 3rd Year of Homeschooling Using Classical Conversations

First Day Of School Jitters!

Last August we embarked on a new homeschooling journey.  For our first 2 years of homeschooling we used a curriculum called K12.  But then we heard of this amazing group of homeschoolers in our area that meets weekly – and they were doing a curriculum called Classical Conversations .  After looking over the curriculum – we were excited to join!

This group divided into 4 classes after opening session

 

Every Tuesday for 24 weeks my children attended this class from 9am-12pm.  All of the mothers attend and stay with their children. Some of the subjects we covered in class were history, geography, latin, math, grammar, anatomy, geomotry, music, art, and science.

Weekly Science Experiment

Each week all the students did a 2 minute presentation on an assigned topic.

Weekly 2 Minute Presentation

Alexis really improved by the end of the year!

When class ended at noon the children went to play on some indoor slides (inside the church where we meet) for 30 minutes.

The kids LOVED getting to play here every week!!

Then we went to the cafeteria for lunch!

Alex and his buddies!

We also used the “Rod and the Staff” English, Grammar, Phonics and Handwriting curriculum and Saxon Math Workbooks.

Last spring I did a 5 part video series with some of our thoughts on homeschooling.

Part 1 – Why We Homeschool

Part 2 – The Benefits of Homeschooling

Part 3 – Our Daily Homeschool Schedule and Curriculum – we have changed curriculums this year – the updated video below explains it all!

Part 4 – The Challenges of Homeschooling

Part 5 – Sheltering Children and My Experience in Public Schools

Since the video from Part 3 has changed, I thought I’d make an updated video about our homeschool changes this year (including some samples of what Classical Conversations School work looks like) and the one change we plan to make for next school year.

(if you are reading this in an email or feedreader - click here to view the video)

Tomorrow I’ll share pictures of us doing school at home.  If you homeschooled this year – how did it go? Is there anything you loved and would like to recommend?  Share it with us!

 

Walk with the King,

Comments

  1. says

    This year our homeschool was amazing. We experienced ups and downs as well as frustration and joy, but overall I think it has been a good year. It was my first year to get to be home as main teacher instead of my husband and I sharing the responsibilities (PTL for growing my husband’s business to this point). Our biggest success was that my oldest son was finally able to grasp reading. It has been a struggle for him as he struggled with some neurological issues for a while. After hard work he can finally read. Then my youngest son is starting to read three letter words. At the beginning of my time at home my youngest would tell me how he preferred the babysitter to me. Then last week he finally decided that he likes me being home and he prefers my company to the babysitter. So those were huge successes for us. We use My Father’s World Curriculum, along with Saxon Math, and Apologia science as well as reading countless classical literature books. We plan to continue using all of these next year as well. Have a great summer!!!!

    • says

      I just loved it when my children learned to read too!! It is such a JOY to get to be the one to teach them this amazing gift that will bless them for many many more years to come!! Keep up the great work and enjoy!
      Courtney

  2. says

    I just put my daughter in Christian private school after homeschooling for half the year. It was good and bad. Great because I prepped her well. she flowed right in and her A+ and S+ are all she brings home on the report cards. I could not be more proud she’s amazing but She trusts school over her parents now. HUGE red flag! School taught her more about God and Jesus than I could have. (I still have much to learn) I also enrolled her in an Awana program (she is 6) I still have a problem with school’s and it just fries me that even a private school is so legalistic. I have seen them put my sweet sweet daughter’s little fire out several times and that turns my furnace up! Yes I have gone toe to toe with them 2x now and I am ready for a 3rd. I am desperate to find something new for homeschooling that is not so regimented and works for us. I will have preschool and 2nd grade next year and I know we can do it luckily my daughter is way better a student than I am a teacher since I scramble with a curriculum. Not that there will not be ups and downs. I am going to look into these things you ladies have used. I used a Charter school curriculum and though I liked it it lacked Christ and that is probably why it was a battle before I gave up and dumped her in a “great Christian school.” I am worried about pulling her out because she loves it and I do not want this to backfire or reflect badly or put her back in any way. I feel stuck right now and it’s registration time. OYE prayers please prayers. I have been riddled with this for 2 weeks now. I filled out forms but deliberately did not pay because I am so on the fence. It was right to put her in but I don’t think it’s right to keep her in. I live in Idaho my homeschooling opportunities are endless but where to start?

    • Suzanne says

      Hi Lesley,
      Just wanted to let you know about Heart of Dakota. It is a WONDERFUL, Christian curriculum. We have been extremely happy with it. Just go to http://www.heartofdakota.com . I find their website to be a bit of a run-around, but worth running around :) You can request a free catalog.
      Adding to what others have mentioned, my sister is a past user of My Father’s World and loved that as well.
      Good luck as you enter the new school year. Being on the fence isn’t a fun place to be :)

    • juliana says

      Hello! It sounds like you and your daughter might benefit from a Charlotte mason approach. If you still want to stick with classical, there are a couple really wonderful “classical Charlotte mason ” curriculums available. My fathers world and “living books curriculum” are among them. Many prayers your way. You can do this!

    • says

      Oh girl – I hear your heart! Schooling decisions are agonizing and all of our choices can lead in many different paths. I encourage you to be still before God, pray, ask your husband for his thoughts – maybe even write out the pros and cons so you can see them clearly on paper and then go forward in peace. Schooling decisions are not permanent decisions – you can change course mid-year but I also encourage you to persevere and not give up when the road is bumpy. Some difficulties are God appointed – for us to walk our children through with God’s help. Listen to the spirits nudging and to your husband and I am praying for you to have wisdom as you decide.
      Much Love,
      Courtney

  3. Samantha says

    Loved the videos! It makes me more indecisive though :) Classical conversations sounds very interesting! My daughter will be entering Kindgergarten this coming year and I don’t know what to do. My husband wants me to homeschool and I’m leaning towards public school. There are several private schools around , just not affordable for us. I feel exactly like you said, I don’t feel good/ adequate enough to homeschool . . I looked online at classical conversations and they 4 different locations set up within 20 minutes of me. So what curriculum do you use? Do they offer a whole curriculum? I just read through some but it definetly sounds like something to check out! I’ve been a stay at home with her since she was born and I already can’t bear to think she will be gone for 7 hours a day, five days a week! Its hard to determine if Im doing what God wants me to do or if I’m doing what I want. I feel selfish for wanting her to be home.

    • says

      OH my word – you have 4 near you – you gotta give it a try!!! Not only is the curriculum such a blessing BUT the community! I can’t say enough good things about watching my children develop sweet friendships and the encouragement of the other moms every week!!! I really encourage you to look into joining one!

      As far as curriculum – they will provide all of your history, science, art and music. You will need to purchase curriculum for phonics, writing, reading, and math.

      And it is NOT selfish to want her home with her – it’s just an overflow of your enjoyment of being with her. It is SO much fun to get to learn along side of my children – truly a gift of time with them. Enjoy this gift – it only comes once – they grow up quickly!!!
      Much Love,
      Courtney

      • Christine says

        The community aspect is the only reason I am debating over using CC next year. My husband and I came across the Sonlight catalog and we fell in love with it. We are starting our first year of homeschool next year, and I would 100% choose Sonlight all the way except that the community appeal of CC is pulling me a bit. Do you make your own lesson plan, or is it handed it to you in an instructor’s guide?

        • says

          Christine, I am having the same exact dilemma. I dearly want to use Sonlight for a literature rich curriculum, but feel my little ones would greatly benefit from the community aspect of CC. I also have lots of questions about how to integrate “regular” curriculum with CC. It sounds as though some families just supplement their chosen curriculum with the CC memory work, rather than basing their home studies off of what is being learned in CC. That option appeals to me — as we could practice the CC work just briefly while still following a literature-based program. No real answers…. but I think it might be possible to do both!

          • says

            Colleen and Christine – I have the answer! Yes – you can do both because that is what we are doing this coming year using Veritas Press – it is literature rich meaning we will be reading Chronicles of Narnia and all the classics. CC only provides you with your history, science, art and music. They give you a touch of math and grammar – but you still must supplement with a full math curriculum, phonics, handwriting, grammar and reading (or literature).

            CC does not give you lesson plans – just memory work. For example – you may memorize a fact about the Boston Tea Party. It is your job to go home and look up on the internet or find a book at the library to help you teach your children what the Boston Tea Party was all about.

            Hope that helps. :)
            Courtney

          • Christine says

            THANK YOU, Courtney! I am so impressed at your ability to answer your readers. I really appreciate it.

  4. An idea says

    There are so many curriculum and groups out there that are christian and good academically. I feel strongly about homeschooling even if I went to a christian school most of my life. No matter how good the school and teachers are there will always be a negative influence from the other children and other things. The schooling of your children is a life changing position and must be decided with much prayer. I can only advice homeschooling in any form or fashion. Whatever works for you and for your children is good. The more say so you have in the education of your children the greater the blessing.

    Here is a curriculum that is biblical sound but also academically challenging:
    http://www.landmarklfbc.com/

  5. Linda B says

    I’m retiring from homeschooling after 17 years. We homeschooled our 4 children all the way through high school, and our youngest is now graduating. I’m curious to see what God has for me in the next stage of life, as I don’t completely know yet!

    Looking back on our parenting/homeschooling journey, I have no regrets about our decision to start homeschooling (our oldest was in a Christian school for K (where I was his teacher) and 1st; then we switched to homeschooling), and no regrets about continuing to homeschool. It quickly became a way of life for our family. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t wish we had done a few things differently, but much of that is with the benefit of hindsight, and we honestly did the best we could with what was available to us at that time. And overall, we are very happy with how homeschooling impacted our whole family. Our children have excelled academically, are on solid ground spiritually, and have good relationships with each other.

    There are more opportunities and more choices now than when we began, which has benefits (I’m pretty sure we would have tried Classical Conversations if it had been around back then), but it also makes the decisions even harder to make! My thoughts now are that there are many great programs available, whether you go it completely alone, or are involved in a co-op, or use online resources (as we have to supplement high school). If you know yourself well, know your children well, and make the best decisions you can make given your time, financial resources, opportunities available, and lean on the Lord, you probably aren’t going to go too wrong. So choose something, put your whole self into making that work for that year, and don’t second-guess yourself all the time. Then after each year, if you and your husband can work together to evaluate your year, and make decisions for the next year, you have the opportunity to make changes as needed.

    Here’s what our 17 year journey has looked like:

    We began homeschooling on our own, with the support of a few field trips from the local Christian homeschooling group. I made up our own unit studies, and we started following history chronologically. After a few years of that, which was great fun, we did a couple of years of Sonlight. We loved that, also, particularly year 5. At that point, we now had all 4 children schooling. Next we used Tapestry of Grace, which was also Wonderful for us. We even had a co-op that we formed, with other Tapestry families, that met in our home. This was so helpful as our children moved into junior high and high school. We had great discussion groups for history and literature. Then I felt we needed to put our energy back into our own family, and the co-op disbanded naturally, anyway. We started to use some online Advanced Placement classes for upper high school, and online English and math classes through Potter’s School. This was all great, as it eased the burden for me. (With our children every 2 grades, it was very busy during junior high/high school years.) Our younger two children went to group science classes weekly all the way through high school, and we used more online resources as they became available and we became able to afford these. No two homeschooling years have looked exactly the same, as the children both aged into homeschooling, and then gradually left the nest. But what a journey!

    • Melba says

      Linda, you can join a CC community as a tutor! It could be a double-edged blessing. Our community is utilizing the experience of a mom who is done homeschooling her children also next year. Look into it!

  6. says

    I LOVED watching this! Thank you so much for sharing!! We were all prepared to enroll our little boy- who will be 5 this July- in CC, but then I sort of felt like I got a reality check. He has 2 little sisters and a baby brother, and I really don’t know if I could realistically get them all there each week(the CC group is 30 minutes away from my house.) So I’m not sure what we’ll be doing this fall, I love the classical method, but we’ll see, obviously we haven’t even started yet so I still have a lot to learn! Thanks for sharing this!

    • says

      OH Jessica…this is a hard decision. I would recommend that you give it a try. The connections and community there may be a great breath of fresh air each week for you. But I will admit that getting all your little ones out the door is going to be a challenge – you are in a very difficult season of life and since he is just in kindergarten – you could wait a year or two and enroll them all as they get older. This is our 3rd year homeschooling but only our first year in CC – so for kindergarten and first grade my children were using other curriculum and slipped into the program this year with NO trouble! It was a great relief and blessing and I believe we’ll be here for a long time – we love the community and curriculum. I am saying a prayer for you right now that God will give you wisdom as you decide.
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  7. says

    We are part of a Classical Conversations group, too!! We absolutely LOVE it! It has completely changed how we homeschool for the better. When we began 2 years ago, I soon realized that I had mental peace. I didn’t know I needed that until we started CC. By that I mean that I was no longer wondering if my children were getting a good education…..if I was creating any gaps in their education….if I was doing enough. I finally knew that they were getting what they needed. Phew!

    B/c of a weekly meeting, I now had accountability. My girls had accountability, motivated to finish their work so they wouldn’t be the only one without a presentation, or the only one who couldn’t join in the games b/c they hadn’t reviewed their memory work.
    They looked forward to their work at home b/c they knew it would matter the next time we went to CC.

    This year my youngest daughter earned the Memory Master award. Wow, are we ever so proud of her! What an accomplishment.
    My two older daughters were in the Challenge programs (A & 1). Both have grown soooo much in their abilities to learn, present what they learned, and set goals for their school work.

    I wish I had started with CC a lot sooner, b/c what we were doing before was not working.

    • says

      Girl – your experience is the same as mine!!! I was wondering about the gaps in education too and CC has put that to peace and yes – the accountability is SO great! I have to do less prodding to get them to learn simply because they are motivated by the class review session!
      And congrats to your little memory master – way to go!!!!
      Courtney

  8. Christina R says

    We Love Classical Conversations! This year was my 10th year of homeschooling. I started in Sept 2001 with a 5th grader and 2nd grader (they are now 21 and 18). I have tried almost every curriculum and some worked for some of my kids but nothing worked for all of them.

    We have 4 younger now (10, 9, 7, 1 year). I found Classical Conversations last Spring and, after much prayer, decided to direct a new community in our area! We loved it and learned so much! We are very excited to begin Cycle 1 in September. I feel like, for my family, Classical Conversations is the perfect fit! I tell people, it is structured enough to help me not feel as though I’m on my own, yet flexible enough that we can mold it to what works for us!

    I also have my 11 year old nephew whom I am guardian of and he was with us too! He has been in the public school and he absolutely loved Classical Conversations! He really wants to continue! He felt successful and safe in the environment and I’m so blessed he could participate with us.

    We use Math U See (but will be switching to Saxon this year) for everyone and Easy Grammar for the two youngers. The older 2 are in the Essentials program with CC!

    Everything that Tonja (above) says, I echo! I have so much peace and feel as though we are all clicking with Classical Conversations! My only disappointment is that we didn’t find it sooner. CC has been in my state (Washington) for 3 years!

    • says

      Wow you stepped up as a director!!! Way to go! You are a seasoned homeschooler so it’s great to hear your perspective on this – thanks for sharing it!
      Courtney

  9. Kelley Howard says

    I love that you posted this. I do not homeschool my kids for two reasons: I LOVE THEM TO you know what but I don’t have the patience to homeschool them and secondly, although me and my husband go by the trad. roles in the bible, I still would have to work to help provide (which isnt a problem at all, I am currently in school and after I finish I just want a part time job so that we can strive to be better and live better, I mean come who doesnt want a house with a fence!!). AND I also love this video because it shows the kids having some interaction with other kids (socialization) and the kids are still getting the homeschooling curriculer. LOVE IT. I actually asked my husband about homeschooling and he said no because he wanted our kids to get that experience at school and I understood because when they are not in school, that does not mean that I cannot teach them about god or help them advance to the next level. God videos, LOVE YOU COURTNEY, YOU HAVE SAVED MY MARRIAGE

    • says

      Wow Kelly – your final sentence humbles me deeply – that is God at work – he’s so faithful and I praise him for his power working in your marriage! Beautiful!!

      And I like that you went to your husband about homeschooling and are respecting his choices. It’s important that we follow their lead in everything – including homeschooling.

      I wrote about the day my husband decided it was time to send the kids to public school at the link below…it definately started WW3 in our house lol! But it ends on a high note and now we talk about homeschooling our kids all the way through 12th grade all the time – God has totally changed his heart – it’s unbelievable – you can read about it here:

      http://womenlivingwell.org/2011/08/our-2011-2012-homeschool-curriculum/

      Keep teaching your children about Jesus!
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  10. Sarah says

    Hi Courtney,
    We too struggled with a LA curriculum. When we finally found “Learning Through Literature” this year I was hooked. I have two girls in the same grade and the total for their work books, novels, and the teachers manual for the whole year was under $100.
    The teachers manual allows me to participate with a pretty simple 5-10 minute setup, but gives me the extra hints that make the lesson go smoothly.
    In addition, it breaks it all down so I’m not trying to do too much in one day. Each lesson has 5 parts and most lessons have a review activity. I can’t rave enough about it.

  11. says

    Oh how I vwould love to do Classical Conversations however not sure we have any in Las Vegas if so I may pray real hard!! We started in the middle of last year doing K12 virtual academy and so far so good but am in desperate need of a really good Bible curriculum we have not had that this year just sorta winging it and you can sorta tell yikes!! I would so love the community and friendships Classical Conversations seems to bring and really have not found a homeschool group yet that fits our families needs!!! I have always homeschooled my 7 children ages 18-7 and we have tried all kinds of curriculum prayer please for where God wants us we have decided to do K12 next year as well!! Any thoughts for a Bible Curriculum??

  12. Kristy Bartlett says

    I had to laugh – we have almost the exact same curriculum, and that NEVER happens! We loved it and are doing all the same things next year too. (We use a different handwriting program, that is the only difference!)

  13. says

    This was our 7th year of homeschooling (counting Kindergarden) and it was great! We switched this year to Heart of Dakota and we LOVED it. We started with Rod & Staff English but didn’t stay with it…we also used Teaching Textbooks for Math for the 3rd year and STILL love it. We will stick with Teaching Textbooks & Heart of Dakota (Rev2Rev). We are so excited to do it again next year. I’ve heard GREAT things about Analytical Grammar & AAR & AAS. I’m not sure what to do about Language Arts except I KNOW, KNOW, KNOW we are going to do “God’s World News” Writing curriculum for 7 & 8th grade. I’m thrilled that Heart of Dakota will be using Apologia for Bible Study & Science.

  14. Toni says

    I looked into CC last year when you mentioned it and found that it is in my area (I was familiar with the classical model, but not CC at that time.). I would love to try it. My concern is that my oldest is almost 13 and a bit of an introvert. Could she handle jumping in at the 8th grade level? I’m not sure, but then again she’s a child who could use the accountability and challenge in front of peers too. What to do??? Also, I see they exclusively use Saxon at that level and we’ve used MUS all along (and she’s a bit behind, though she grasps math fairly well.) I’m wondering if the math issue could prevent her from jumping in? I’d hate to have her miss out based on one subject. I have 3 other children who would be entering 5th, 4th, and K. I would LOVE for them to try CC, but wouldn’t really want to do something totally different with my oldest (speaking of my own limits with juggling multiple curricula/approaches.) Lots to think about. :/
    Blessings,
    Toni

    • says

      Toni – I recommend you visit the one in your area and look at the materials when you visit. I think she would do just fine and would find that she has a lot in common with the other kids attending. It would be a very comforatable warm environment for her. You could also choose to put the little ones in and just have her attend with you and do her own independent study while the kids are in their class. Then maybe the following year she’d feel comfortable joining – after she’s gotten to know some of the kids and the learning style and environment.

      Definately something to put to pray and to maybe go and view to see what it’s like so you know what you are getting you and your kiddos into :)!
      Courtney

      • Toni says

        Thanks for responding, Courtney. My dh and I are now praying about this. We do intend to contact the teachers at the two CC groups locally (yes, there are 2, both within 10 minutes of our home, woohoo!) Great suggestion about asking to view the materials.
        Blessings,
        Toni

  15. Angela says

    Hi Courtney!
    We have been in the K12 program in OK since August and my sons have really enjoyed it. While I do like the program other homeschool moms that I know have told me that there are so many ther great programs out there if I would give them a try. My issue with that has always been that I didn’t want to feel like I was ‘on my own’. With K12 I have felt like I have had direction and organization. Now here we are at the end our first homeschooling year and I am feeling pretty confident that we could try another program. I was so excited to hear that your kids had an easy transition from K12 to CC. We have a CC group coming to our town this fall and I am considering it for my kids! One of my dislikes about K12 has been that I sometimes feel that my kids days are ‘packed’ with work to complete and it doesn’t feel as relaxed as I wanted homeschool to feel for them. Do you feel as though your children learn just as much now but in a more relaxed way and time? Thanks so much!
    Angela

    • says

      I would say that the one huge benefit to CC has been that the children are doing the SAME History, Science, Music and Art! Instead of having to over see 2 different grades of these subjects we can do it all together – which is really a time saver and enjoyable to all be doing the same thing. That’s the biggest change. Otherwise, we are still working pretty hard through out the day to get through our assignments – but it is more relaxed in the sense that we can go at our own pace :)
      Hope that helps!
      Courtney

  16. Nicole says

    Hi Courtney, we do CC and love it too! Just one question- where did you all get the flow chart for the classical music? That would have been great for my kids and I am sure the other tutors in our community would like to use it too, even if we have to make them anew for Cycle 1’s work. Can I find it on the C3 community file sharing perhaps?

  17. says

    Hi Courtney! First, I just want to tell you what a blessing your blog is to me and my family. I am also a stay-at-home Mom to two little girls, 3 and 8 mos. My oldest will turn four in July. With much consideration and prayer, we decided to plunge into the homeschooling world and have enrolled her in Classical Conversations in the fall of this year. I’ve prayed that God would send me a confirmation of this decision as we have worries about affordability and time. Then, along came much encouragment from my Mother and a follow-up with this wonderful post. I am greatly encouraged by you and your review – knowing that you have been a reliable representative of Christ’s love as long as I’ve been a member of WLW. Thank you for your commitment to our Lord and for allowing Him to do this wonderful work through you. Please pray for our family and for good fruit to come from our efforts in this new endeavor. Blessings to you and your family. In Christ Love.

  18. Anne says

    Hi Courtney!

    We have just finished our first year homeschooling…and loved it! As we finish out the year I feel like I am finally getting the hang of things, and I am so excited looking forward to next year. We used Sonlight this year and were so happy with it. We will be using Sonlight for sure again next year, and adding CC to our fun as well! In fact, when I went to visit our local CC, I saw you there :) I look forward to meeting you in the fall and becoming part of such a beautiful community. We have 3 girls and a little boy on the way! Our oldest 2 girls will be 2nd grade and Kindergarten-aged in the fall.

    I would highly recommend checking out Sonlight as a well-balanced, FUN, and exciting literature-based curriculum to you mamas who are researching curriculum for next school year. We are excited to add CC for weekly fellowship with other homeschoolin’ families and the challenge of the memory work.

    Thanks Courtney for your honesty and encouragement!
    Anne

    • says

      Anne – hooray! I look forward to meeting you!! I think our girls will be together in class – Terry told me she is making a whole class out of the 2nd grade girls! So fun!
      See you in the fall and thanks for the sonlight recommendation – I need to look into it!
      Love,
      Courtney

  19. Bonnie Buck says

    Hi Courtney,

    I will be starting my 3rd year in CC with my four boys. I was thinking bout switching to K12 for Language Arts component for my two younger boys (rising 1st and rising 3rd). Since you have gone through K12, I would appreciate any thoughts you may have. Thanks.

    Bonnie

    • says

      Hi Bonnie! We did Kindergarten and first grade reading with K12 and really liked it – BUT that was before I discovered Veritas Press, Son Light and the Rod and Staff and so many other great resources. :)

      • Bonnie Buck says

        Thanks for you response Courtney. I heard Rod and Staff is a good curriculum for teaching a child how to read. Is the K12 phonic based? I do the Sonlight readers with the kids for comprehension. I thought I would get the best of both in terms of structure with k12 while doing classical. Sorry for all the questions. Very confused right now.

  20. says

    Hi Courtney,

    My family has been a part of a CC community for 2 years and have enjoyed it. I’ve only had 1 daughter in it while the others have been in the nursery. My dilema for this year is having to start my 4 year old son and not being able to be in his class each week. I would have 2 in childcare, a 4 year old, and an 8 year old. My husband and I wish families could be kept together, but that is not how the classes are separate. My 4 year old is on the shy side and doesn’t want to be without mommy. If he was older, I’d have no problem, but I’m not comfortable at 4 leaving him every other week. What are your thoughts?

  21. Kristin says

    Courtney,

    We’re entering our eighth year of homeschooling and our seventh year of CC. It’s odd how we can feel such a strong commonality with parents on different campuses who we’ve never met, but I feel like your campus might be right next door, where I could stop in to meet all these wonderful students and tutors. That’s a great feeling because we share such a beautiful common journey. :-). I just completed another year of tutor training a few days ago, and I am so excited for the Foundations/Essentials year to begin. The classical model of grammar/dialectic/rhetoric always reminds me that God Does Right. I was spending the evening looking for ideas for the beginning of Cycle 1 when I came across your site. I may not have found hand motions or games yet, but I did find encouragement. Thanks for that, and prayers for a wonderful year on your campus!

  22. Jana Lively says

    Hi there,
    I have been homeschooling since 2005, using MFW all along. We had a few bumps along the way in life as usual. My son was dx’d with autism, my Dad passed away, and then I was dx’d with breast cancer in 2008.

    I’m finally after 4 years feeling close to my old self again and am really ready to get my kids more involved with other homeschooled kids. I found a CC group in our area, and to be honest it sounds like a PERFECT fit for our family. I have a 7 year old daughter who is struggling to read, but very bright in other areas. She also CRAVES people interaction like me:) My son with autism is 9 and he is reading pretty well. I am thinking that the memorization alone for him will be exactly what he needs!! This is how he learns, his incredible memory. I also have a 12 year old daughter who I would consider gifted. She has been reading since she was 4 and just a blessing to teach.

    With all of this said, I think CC will be great for 1)structure for my kids AND me, 2) fellowship, 3) accountability, 4) direction & focus for me ( I have really been praying for God’s direction on how to teach our son) 5) possible break for me in the afternoon slot.

    My only concern is that I LOVE MFW so much, I don’t want to let go of it. Would it be possible for me to somehow do CC with all 3 kids, and mostly supplement my 12 year old with MFW? I will be focusing on phonics with my youngest. We think she has dyslexia. Any suggestions for that?

    I really must say I have not had this much peace and excitement at the same time about starting CC. I have been so isolated and I do structure well, so I think it would be great.

    Thanks for your help in advance!
    Jana Lively

  23. says

    Courtney, I happened upon your blog and it was so refreshing to read and view. It was a joy to read your responses to all the posts; I truly believe you have a gift of encouragement and a way with words. As a mom of 7, I’ve been on this homeschooling journey forever it seems. My oldest is 23 with a fiance and a soon-to-be-degree in English Lit, and is completely independent, while our ‘babies’ who are 11 months apart at ages 10 and 11 will still be home with us for many years to come. About 5 years ago, my best girl friend and I found CC and jumped in with both feet. She became the foundations Director, and I became Challenge A Director. We both had a full house the day we opened our doors. I am blessed that my husband has always supported homeschooling and would rather them spend the day in the library and at the creek with me for years on end than be in school, so I never needed to convince him of anything. That first year was a huge success for us. I am now in my 2nd year as a Challenge 2 Director, and I have my 4 youngest children in CC with 2 in Challenge and 2 still in Foundations. Even though I’ve been homeschooling for such a long time, and I have 2 adult children who live on their own (one in college after he spent 2 years independently in TN living and working), I still find much encouragement and iron sharpening at a blog such as yours. I am thought of sometimes as the ‘guru’ in my various circles, but there are times when I truly need to stop and reflect, to sit at someone else’s feet, and I never stop needing the help of my Father. I just wanted to say hi and was so enamored with your blog that I felt compelled to write. May the Lord continue to bless you as you walk in His ways and honor His word. ~anna

    • says

      Hi Anna – wow!!! I bet you could teach me SOO much about homeschooling!! I admire all your CC work! Amazing! We just started our 4th year of homeschooling this fall and are loving our CC group (just went today!).

      Thanks for stopping by with a word of encouragement!
      Courtney

  24. Melissa says

    We are thinking of Classical Conversations this year. I homeschooled for preschool age 3 and 4 (mainly b/c my toddler just needed something to do) and K and 1/2 of 1st for my eldest. Then we moved, we are military, to a nice little neighborhood with a small school and I was burnt out from all the moves, every 1 1/2 years for the past 12, so she has been in public school for 1 1/2 years and now we are moving again this summer and i was planning on homeschooling again. The children will be in 3rd, 1st, and 3yrs old. I’m very anxious about whether or not I can do what is necessary to educate them. I’ve heard a lot about CC but I need to attend a mtg. My husband would like to see how this works as well, he can’t figure out educating them all at the same time. I worry they will be behind. The only disappointment I have in using CC is that I was super excited to try out Apologia Science. Is the science in the program very extensive or is there room to add another program as well? I’m still on the fence of if I’m able to do this. I’m not super organized and terrified about what needs to be kept in a portfolio, but i’m try to seek God in his direction. I saw quite a difference in behavior with my first when she went to school, but the teachers at her school are very good. Unfortunately with us moving we never know what we will end up with .

  25. Tiffany Self says

    I feel like I need to give credit where credit is do, lol! I have 5 kids 7 and under… We have always homeschbooled but I got to the point last year with a 7 yo and two 5yo, a 3yo and a toddler, that I just didn’t know how to do this anymore so I was searching different ideas on the web and stumbled across your blog and saw this video over CC…. It was definitly a God-sent bc I had never heard of it and we have 3 communities near by! We are all signed up and my husband and I have been to the 3 day practicum and are so excited!! I am beyond thrilled 4 of my children will all be learning the same things!! I just have to separate math and LA (BTW, Phonics Road to Reading and Spelling) is so Great! (The Latin Road series)… But anyway, I just wanted to tell you thank you and that God used your blog to help direct our homeschooling direction and I can’t wait to begin!!

    • says

      Wow Tiffany! I’m so excited for you all! Thank you for sharing your story with me! I hope you all have a wonderful year at CC!
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  26. says

    Thank you so much for your thorough overview, and samples of what your kids did in CC. It’s our first year this year. I go to our Parent Practicum/Tutor Training this week, and I had really no true idea what to expect until finding your blog!

    It should be an interesting year; up until now we’ve been very relaxed homeschoolers. Hope you’re having a great summer!

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