Now we do, and you can download it.
You can color it in, use stickers, check the box, or come up with another creative way of using this chart.
I chose the tortoise & hare theme simply because it features a trail (the tortoise’s trail), and that is one of the analogies used in the Essentials guide. I also hoped to show that we are not aiming for short-term memorization just so we can regurgitate and quickly forget what we “learned,” but we are working towards long-term retention – a sometimes slow but steady mastery of all charts over the course of three years.
Do you have another idea for a simple creation? Let me know! Although I can’t guarantee that I can pull it together, the idea may have a quick and easy solution.
A special thanks goes out to Samantha for asking a question that spurred an idea. Thanks, Samantha!
As a follow-up to my previous post on The Well-Trained Mind Schedules, I’m attempting to answer some questions I received about how The Well-Trained Mind fits in with Classical Conversations®.
First, let me say that I am not a Classical Conversations® (or classical education) expert. I am just a mom who completely believes in the mission, model and method of Classical Conversations®. Leigh Bortins (along with a whole bunch of other people who have paved the way!) inspires and equips me to provide my children with a quality education – the education I wish I’d had myself when I was younger. Now I am restoring two generations of education as I teach my own children.
For those who are not familiar with Classical Conversations®, click here for a description of what a day in the life of a Foundations community looks like. The Classical Conversations® 2014 Catalog includes thorough descriptions of classical education and Classical Conversations®. This is my absolute favorite catalog. I refer to it about a thousand times per year. Visit ClassicalConversations.com to download or order a copy.
Before I mention some similarities I see between Classical Conversations and Well-Trained Mind, there is a significant difference between the two, especially as you enter the dialectic and rhetoric stages of learning. The mission of Classical Conversations is “To know God and make Him known.” The mission of Well-Trained Mind is to develop a well-trained mind. Classical Conversations provides a Classical, Christian Education in which all subjects are interrelated and point back to God, as He is the Creator of all subjects. You can read more about a Classical, Christian Education here.
For a thorough comparison between the two programs (well, between The Core and The Well-Trained Mind), visit Melody’s article CC and The Well-Trained Mind at And Here We Go!
In this post, I am specifically comparing Classical Conversations to Well-Trained Mind at the grammar stage (preschool to grade 6).
“During the Foundations program, students will focus on building a core body of knowledge to build on later studies. At home, Foundations parents can supplement their daily practice of the memory work with the following:
- Daily math lessons
- Daily math drill
- Daily reading including read alouds, phonics studies, and independent reading
- Weekly spelling practice
- Additional history and science studies
- Young children should practice copying a sentence every day while older children can practice copying paragraphs. This develops the discipline in writing and prepares students for their own original writing.
With that, let’s revisit the Well-Trained Mind schedule for younger Foundations students…
What’s the same? Math, reading, spelling, history, science, and writing/copywork
- First, the Well-Trained Mind is a suggested course of work for parents/students who are not participating in a classical education community.
- The Well-Trained Mind offers a suggested timeframe for doing each activity, but because it is only a guideline, you should adjust the times to fit your own needs.
- The Well-Trained Mind offers suggestions for notebooking and how to do it if you are unfamiliar with notebooking. Notebooking can take the form of narration, dictation, and copywork.
- Religion is something that comes up throughout all the subjects, so we as Classical Conversations® parents are not limited by the 15 minutes suggested for the formal study of religion/Bible.
- Art and music are fine arts subjects that Classical Conversations® communities rotate through every six weeks. The addition of Prescripts for extra drawing/art practice and listening to classical music would fill out the rest of the suggested WTM schedule.
- Note that the majority of the time suggested in the WTM schedule is for reading. Also note that I do not follow this strict schedule in our own homeschool. I’ve been told that not even Susan Wise Bauer follows this strict schedule!
- Both emphasize lots and lots and lots of reading
Now… on to a specific breakdown for students in 4th grade who are enrolled in the Classical Conversations® Essentials Program:
Download a pdf of the above schedule here.
For the WTM schedules for other grade levels, visit Revisiting Plans and Schedules with the Well-Trained Mind.
Essentials is rigorous and thorough. If you back off from planning too much those first six weeks especially, you will likely thank yourself for being so wise.
Although it is not required by Classical Conversations® they’ve suggested that parents introduce a simple Latin program (like Song School Latin) by 4th grade. [I’ve also been told by many Challenge parents that it is beneficial to introduce more Latin vocabulary during the Foundations years.]
This again is my own personal interpretation, but I just wanted Classical Conversations parents to know that Leigh Bortins has structured Classical Conversations® to provide a quality, classical Christian education to children and their parents. You need not concern yourself too much about whether you’re doing enough. Provide your children with a literature-rich environment in the Foundations years and teach them how to write via copywork and dictation. Essentials will prepare your child for Challenge. And Challenge will prepare them for the world that is set before them when they graduate from high school.
To find out more about our own experiences in Essentials, visit our Essentials posts.
Please feel free to ask questions! Many times the questions I receive spur me on to better explain myself. I enjoy the questions, as they help me learn how to articulate my thoughts better. (And boy! Do I have a whole bunch of room for improvement in that area!)
Welcome to the February 2014 in Review edition of the CC (& Classical Education) Carnival, a place for us to encourage one another and share our classical learning experiences! For more information on what a blog carnival is and how to participate, scroll to the bottom of this post.
First, an announcement about changes to the blog carnival:
After experiencing some difficulties with our blog carnival submission process, we’re transferring to a new way of organizing the monthly Classical Education Carnival. Over the next couple of months, we will phase out the use of the blog carnival submission site. Submissions for March will take place directly on this post using the inlinkz link-up that is included at the bottom of this post. Bloggers may also submit articles using our very own Blog Carnival Submission Form. At the beginning of each month, I plan to publish an article that highlights some of the previous month’s submissions along with a link-up for the current month. This is in an experimental phase, so it will likely be tweaked in the coming months! (In fact, I know I will have to streamline and simplify this process because it took me many hours to pull together this post! I hope you all enjoy it!)
Essentials Ideas at 101 Days of Homeschooling
Anne at 101 Days of Homeschooling shares a series of posts for Essentials students and parents, stating that “through Essentials, I have not only taught myself about the English language, but I have learned that I truly enjoy it. Language is logical and mechanical. Studying it the way CC has enabled us to teaches us and our children how to learn and how to think. Nothing is more important. Seven years ago my husband scored 780 points (a near perfect score) on the Language portion of the GMAT granting him a full ride to Case Western Reserve University’s MBA program. My highest compliment now always comes from him when he says, ‘You know more about the English language than I do.’ I learned all that I know from the Classical Conversations Essentials program.” The following ideas were provided by Anne for everyone who reads the Classical Education Blog Carnival!
Create an Essentials Alphabetical Word Wall as a way to practice Essentials memory work. Using a chart labeled A-Z, write words that are from Essentials memory work. (Example: The Letter A’s Word Wall List would have adverbs, adjectives, appositive…)
Drawing pictures as shown in Interjections with Pictures and Adjective Artwork: “The more you draw memory work, the more your children will grasp the concept. Draw a picture for each part of speech. Sketch out what a compound or complex sentence looks like. Anytime you can help your student to visualize the concept, it will begin to make more sense to them.”
Play Games, such as ABC Adjectives, Labeling Nouns or Parts of Speech Bingo. “There are so many games you can quickly create to make the learning fun.”
IEW Sentence Openers
To wrap up, Anne says, “I hope this helps other Essentials parents. Essentials, especially at first, can be overwhelming. However, I believe, if you take the time to learn the material, it can also be loads of fun. For you and for your child.”
Grismar at The Wise Nest shares Measurement Equivalents, saying “I made a file folder game for my kids to learn their capacity equivalents and also a self check “flip the flap” sheet for them to test their knowledge on their own. “
For science: Curling and Newton’s Laws of Motion: Using Olympics to Teach Physics
They’ve also put together an entire series of posts called Properties of Light Series on fun, simple experiments to do for studying the properties of light.
For other subjects: World War I and World War II Resources and Discussion Ideas. Becki shares about different resources and tie-in topics their family discussed during their study of World War I and World War II (the Olympics, missionaries, and Christians). Parts of Speech Learning through Fun Books is how they are using all of Brian P. Cleary’s grammar books in our learning at home to go along with the rest of the English memory work this year. (As a personal side note, our family loves the silly Brian P. Cleary books!)
Beth at Classical Conversations at Home shares the following posts:
Do-It-Yourself Skip Counting Boards: “See how we’re using handmade skip counting boards to review our math memory work and get a visual peek into the beauty of math!”
She also shares what worked for her family as they continued to homeschool through the beginning weeks of pregnancy sickness at Homeschooling Through Sickness, saying “Maybe you’re experiencing a different kind of sickness or discouragement? I hope you can find some bits in here useful for your family!”
A Day in the Life with the Watsons, saying “I’ve been running a series of posts – one new each month since September – with CC families sharing a Homeschooling Day in the Life. These are great friends of mine sharing encouragement and organizational ideas through the reality of their day-to-day life. You can start with the link I’ve shared here to my Day in the Life post & make your way through them all. Surely, you’ll see a little of yourself there, be encouraged, & maybe even inspired!”
Physics of a Snow Day, which shows how physics can be seen in the fun of a snow day.
Projects for WWII and Newton’s Second Law, with an emphasis on dressing up like World War II leaders and their experiments focusing on F=ma.
Isaac Newton’s 1st Law of Motion! where they dressed up like Newton and soldiers in honor of World War II while we beginning a look into a variety of experiments that concentrate on learning some of Newton’s laws.
Indians and Fine Arts, where she provides details for making some great fine arts projects for Degas and Monet!
Memory Master Time & End-of-Year Activities:
Beth shares The Making of a Memory Master, a simple game plan to become Memory Master with links to posts sharing more ideas from others and my son’s journey to become a Memory Master last year (at the age of 7).
For more about Memory Master, you can check out the following links as well:
What do Memory Masters memorize? details our our first experience with Memory Masters the last time we were in Cycle 2, and why I was glad we attempted it.
What is a Memory Master?, which provides an overview of what a Memory Master is, how we’ve prepared in previous years, and what the proofing process looks like for our community. It also answers how we’ve handled the potential “failure” that we might have to face.
Memory Master Tips & Tricks provides some ideas for memorizing memory work and perhaps even achieving memory master.
Mock Memory Master Proofing Party shows how our community exposes all children to he Memory Master process in a fun, non-threatening way.
For activities and ideas that may be included in End-of-Year Ceremonies, visit Celebrating Community. In past years we’ve held a Geography Fair, which is always a highlight for our celebration.
To make you think:
Melody at And Here We Go! shares Is Sunday School Destroying our Kids?, a post about grace vs. moralism. Teaching kids to be kind is certainly essential to a healthy society, but it won’t save them. They need a transformed heart, which is only a result of the Gospel.
Here at Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood, we shared:
- Our humbling reality in Be-real-ism: Another Reality Check.
- Erasable Fine-Tipped Permanent Marker? a less messy method we’ve found for completing our Essentials charts on page protectors.
- A few simple experiments for Newton’s Laws of Motion.
- Our links for Orchestra & Famous Composers, which includes coloring pages and other activities. (It also includes the file names of some helpful resources available on CC Connected.)
- A look inside the New Prescripts Handwriting Books by Classical Conversations
- and the highly encouraging interview we had with Mary Prather at Homegrown Learners, Insight from a First-Year Challenge Mom.
- We have continued reorganizing our lists of resources on a week-by-week basis at CC Weekly Links.
Running the Third Lap, written by our Challenge 1 Director!
Trivial or Essential, Classical Conversations, an encouraging article written by a Classical Conversations graduate!
Classical Education Myth #3: Classical education is just not creative
That concludes this edition of the CC blog carnival! You can read the many great ideas from past CC Carnivals here. Please be sure to visit the CC Blogroll to find other CC Bloggers and the CC Weekly Link-Up for week-by-week ideas. And visit our Cycle 2 Resources Page for resources listed by subject and week for the entire school year.
Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Classical Conversations Carnival using the inlinkz form at the bottom of this post. To see past editions, visit our CC Carnival archives.
What is a Blog Carnival?
A blog carnival is a community of bloggers who share a common interest. Typically, bloggers submit their blog entries to be included in a newsletter (in this case, a monthly newsletter), and the host of the blog carnival collects these links, which point to other blog articles about a particular topic. Sometimes the host rotates between a select group of bloggers/websites; sometimes the host is always the same person/website.
Why a Blog Carnival?
I really enjoy reading about projects and ideas other CC users have implemented. A blog carnival would be a way for all of us to showcase our favorite projects each month and to become more of an extended community where we share our lives with each other. While the CC Weekly Link-up helps us to share our ideas organized by week for planning purposes, a monthly carnival would allow us to share what we’ve been doing with each other on a larger scale. If you already blog about your homeschool, you have very little extra to do to share your work with others.
How do I participate?
For non-bloggers, simply read our past Blog Carnival Entries here.
For bloggers, submit your links for the current month either via email or by linking up to the previous month’s blog carnival. (February in Review is where you will link-up your March entries.) We request – but do not require – that you link your post back to the blog carnival website either by using a text link or by using the code listed below. If you would like to include a description of the articles you have submitted (which helps me immensely to pull these together!), please email it to me at brandyferrell @yahoo.com (no spaces).
Using dry-erase markers on page protectors and laminated maps have proven frustrating because:
- it erases before you’re finished.
- the fine-tipped dry-erase markers are not fine-enough-tipped for us.
Likewise, using wet erase has proven to be quite messy for us, especially when using them on page protectors, as it tends to leave them sticky. (Plus, we usually make a mess when removing it with a damp cloth.)
If you like using dry-erase or wet-erase markers (or perhaps have found some that are of a quality that do not leave a mess), please continue with what you’re using (and let us know in the comments)!
However, a parent recently shared this tip with me, and it has provided a means to reduce the waste and cost associated with our Essentials English grammar and map-tracing practice without the extra mess. (Our Essentials tutor requests that students bring to class hard-copies of the sentence task analysis sheets and charts. For the chart practice, we are planning to laminate some blank sheets of paper to use in this same format.)
Even if you use dry-erase or wet-erase successfully, this is a simple way to remove permanent marker from markerboards and laminated posters.
Perhaps others would benefit from this magical formula?
Our ten-year-old incorrectly diagrams a sentence using Sharpie Ultra-Fine Point markers:
But never fear, Expo is here!
After covering the mistake with dry-erase, it wipes off clean!
Likewise, with our maps, our ten-year-old traces country borders and physical features with Ultra-Fine Point Sharpies:
Our eight-year-old traces over his brother’s map (with a bit less accuracy, as I had expected…):
Wipe off with a paper towel, and voila! A clean map again!
A word of caution: Just be sure your child does not press down too hard with ultra-fine point markers or they may permanently engrave the page protector or laminated map!