One question I get asked all the time is are we still doing CC. In today’s post, I’m answering that million dollar question!
In my homeschool year recap post, I shared that things did NOT go according to plan and that essentially, our homeschool was reduced to the bare minimum of reading, writing and math. Many of you noticed I did not include our Classical Conversations memory work in that list. It’s reasonable to wonder if we are still doing CC now and the short of it is, no, we are not doing Classical Conversations.
Are we still doing CC?
The long story is that yes, I do still plan to do Classical Conversations. During the 2022-2023 homeschool year, THE PLAN was to go through cycle three. (I’ve always been off cycle with CC as a whole since I have done Classical Conversations on my own at home and had the freedom to do that.) However, we did not get to hardly any of that memory work for the 2022-2023 homeschool year.
Therefore, this coming school year (2023-2024) I do still plan to incorporate CC memory work into our year. However, there is a caveat. First of all, it is important to understand that CC without a community (how we do it) is just a curriculum. With all curriculum in our homeschool, I take what works and leave what doesn’t. That being said, while we will be attempting cycle 3 this year, I do not plan to incoroprate EVERY subject CC has to offer for cycle 3.
What CC subjects will we focus on?
With so much to offer my kids in their education, I do no believe it is necessary to give them EVERY piece of memory work for EVERY subject. There may be some die hard CC fans out there – especially you CC directors who I can guarantee are mentally arguing with me – but in our homeschool, we take a differrent approach to various subjects and the subjects of english grammar, science, geography and latin are not high on my priority list at the moment. Do I think those subjects are important? Yes! Do I plan to get to them at some point? Yes. Is that point now? No. Do I understand the value of memorizing that subject material? Absolutely. However, in this season of life, I am simply prioritizing other subjects.
This doesn’t mean that they aren’t getting ANY science, geography, grammar, etc. We have other curriculum that touch on those subjects and for now, I am letting that be enough. The memory work that I do plan to prioritize in our homeschool year are math, history, and the timeline.
How will we use CC?
For math, my kids are using Good and Beautiful and Masterbooks math. The skip counting and math facts are super helpful in helping them grasp the material in their math books so I make sure to review a couple songs in math before we begin our math lessons.
For history, we are following Ambleside Online’s history readings. These do not always line up with the corresponding history songs for CC. In fact, they very rarely do. That is okay. I want my kids to know the songs for history because history is so important to me and I believe memorizing the songs will give them an advantage in their history studies. I plan to review one song and learn one new for cycle 3 this year. This will happen any time throughout the day, not necessarilly alongside our AO history reading. However, if we get to a point in our reading, and it reminds us of a history song, you betcha we will be singing it right then and there!
The final thing I prioritize in the CC curiculum is the timeline. This goes hand in hand with history, however my approach to reviewing the song is VERY lax. At this point, all of my kids already know the song and it is simply a matter of reviewing it. I don’t have a specific schedule for reviewing the timeline. At this point, it’s mostly when I remember to do it. Ha! That roughly equates to maybe once a month. Twice at most.
An important side note about CC
One thing I will say about not being a apart of a community is that putting the memory work aside for the Foundations level is easy to do when you are not expected to show up each week with the memorized material. So if you are wondering if you can do Classical Conversations at home without a community, keep in mind that it is up to you alone to remain diligent in helping your child memorize that material each week. (Or however often you choose to introduce new grammar.)
Now, I am choosing to be okay with the fact that basically we skipped a whole year of CC. First, because the curriculum does not rule the day, I do, and circumstances were such that putting aside our memory work was necessary at the time. Second, since we school year round and CC only last 24 weeks, technically we didn’t skip too much. Also, because we are not a part of a community, I’ve customized our CC curriculum to fit our family and we have our own timeline when it comes to the memory work.
Third, I can always jump back in and pick up where we left off! Another pro when it comes to not being a part of a community. I am not beholden to anyone else’s schedule but my own.
So this sounds like CC is somewhat secondary in nature to our overall homeschool curriculum and that’s because it is. Like I said, I use CC as a curriculum. We take what works and leave what doesn’t.
There is no one size fits all homeschool method. I have come a long way in discovering what works for our family and what doesn’t. While we may have once been die hard CCers (without the comunity), I have since had to learn flexibility and compromise in our homeschool journey. This does not mean that CC is rigid and uncompromising. What I mean to say is that the way in which people often approach the CC curiculum can be a bit too rigorous in those seasons of life where we have alot going on and prioritizing every subject’s memory work for every week just isn’t reasonable for us in that specific season.
So to circle back to the question at hand, are we still doing CC? The simple anser is yes.