Wednesday, June 13, 2012

About Organizing... and Memorizing... and Classical Conversations

For the newcomers:  My formidable list of links to free on-line resources is NOT a lesson plan (i.e., it is not intended that anyone do all of the listed activities; that would be completely and totally NUTS!).  They are simply a list of optional resources you can use if you'd like to supplement. In times past, I've actually FRUSTRATED people because they thought I was actually DOING everything I had listed in my resource list.  NO WAY, JOSE!  (I'm an overachiever when it comes to planning, not when it comes to implementation.) 

If you're new to Classical Conversations and you're reading my blog, I am so sorry.  Please read Classical Conversations for Beginners before you get so overwhelmed that you don't even make it to day one 

To get organized for the year, you can try Money Saving Mom's Homeschool planner.  I've also put together a planner geared towards Cycle 1:  Cycle 1 Planner 1-Page | Cycle 1 Planner 2-Page 

So... how do I use these lists of links?

Click through them when you have some planning time.  Take a blank sheet of paper (or print out the link list) and make a note of what you want to try.  If there are printables that you'd like to use, print them out and then file them in a file folder for the week you'd like to use them:

(And don't get frustrated when you don't get around to doing everything in each folder.  My folder ends up with leftovers, too.)
For a way to sort through and organize all the files on your computer, visit Online Organization.

What's inside my file folders?

In each of my file folders, I insert a note with on-line resources or activities I'd like to do for that week (from my list of links), a copy of the printable activities I'd like to do with my children (crafts, worksheets, etc. from my list of links), and the Classical Conversations resources from CC Connected, which include a CC slide for each subject (for our Tri-Fold Board), the History Highlights page, the Science Snippets page, and any other resources I will use from CC Connected.  If you have a CC Connected membership, the following are the file and user names for the resources I use for each week:

File Name
C1 Geography Semester 1.ppt
Cy1 Science Semester 1.ppt
Cy1 History Semester 1.ppt
Latin C1 Wk 1-24 Tri-fold.pdf
Cycle 1 Math.pdf
Cycle 1 English Grammar.pdf
Cycle 1 Bible
CC Cycle 3 Fine Arts.pdf (use this for Weeks 1-12 and 19)
2012 CY1 HistHighs (4 FINAL) 1st semester.pdf
2012 Cy1 Science Snippets 1st semester(4).pdf
2012 TinWhistle Master.pdf
2012 Tin Whistle Song Library.pdf
Cy1 MemMaster NB (4).pdf
Cycle 1 GeoNotebook by CC.pdf

We also heavily rely on the SONGS by users foundations and nogreaterjoy5.  

For more information on how to make the tri-fold board, click here.

Why Memorize?

You can read about my own doubts on the classical method and all that memorization at our interview on the Parents Magazine website.  For the rest of my thoughts about memorizing, I take this from our What is a Memory Master? Post during Cycle 2.
It's been lots of fun for us to come across things we've learned this year - in books, in movies, in museums - everywhere!  At supper one night, Stephen was talking about how his plate was like Europe. And the gravy was like Germany during WWII:  
"It's invading everywhere but there's a spot it didn't get to yet- that's Denmark. It's going to be invaded later." 
He would NOT have said something so funny a year ago - he didn't know the geography or history, nor did I.
Did we learn anything else beyond the facts [in becoming a memory master]?  We learned how to step up to a challenge and see it through even when it gets difficult.  We've learned patience, self-control, diligence, patience, failing together, patience, succeeding together, courage, edifying one another, and in the end, humility.  I thank God that my child took me on this little journey of discovery!  God has made Himself known to us many times throughout this journey, and our goal is to use what we've learned this year to make Him known to the world around us. 
Some other great resources to help you get a handle on the classical method is Dorothy Sayers's "The Lost Tools of Learning"  and Leigh Bortins's Echo in Celebration.  (I also highly recommend The Core after you are finished with these two free reads.)

Some resources for memorization:

To organize how you memorize, go to Simply Charlotte Mason's Memory System.  The downloadable flashcard computer program Anki uses this same principle to review material as well.

Or... you can just keep listening to your CC songs and reviewing your memory work using various Review Games.

Later this summer, I hope to post more details about our plans, the curriculum we will be using, and how we will organize our school days for the coming year.  Until then, you can visit our previous posts:

Other resources for Classical Conversations


  1. Hi Brandy, is the only difference between the science snippets and the science card the picture? I see pictures on the cards but not on the snippets. I'm debating on buying the cards for Cycle 1 only (which I believe are the biology and geology cards). If I can save money I'd like to but then again the pictures are neat and I'll be using the cards again in Challenge A, I believe. (Sigh) Decisions, decisions... Sorry had to post anonymous because couldn't figure out how to do it otherwise from my phone. Take care, Elaine

  2. Thank you, I'm sorry I'm new to Disqus and CC Connected and your site. I didn't know that you had written back. It's now Nov so I'll check in 2 weeks when week 12 is over.

  3. How I wish you were already in the Challenge program :) Would love to have gleaned how you would have structured it.

  4. Hey, I have just made the Latin Match Game for Cycle 1, uploaded by Karen Killingsworth, i cannot seem to find the answer key, though. There doesn't seem to be a "foundations" user. Any ideas?