We’ve finished our second year of Classical Conversations.
Here’s a photo of the Essentials students on their final day of class when they presented their Faces of History essays. They all dressed up as the famous American they did their reports on. My daughter is in the Native American costume. She did her report on Sacagawea.
My oldest daughter also prepared for Memory Masters testing this year, our first experience with that process. She made it through the tutor proof, arguably the hardest part, but in the weeks between the tutor test and the final, director proof, she decided to quit. There were many tears and much confusion, but I decided to let her have her way and drop out. I didn’t push her to finish, badly as I wanted to, easy as it would have been to do so.
Looking back, I can see that she didn’t really want to do Memory Masters badly enough all along. She said she did. But I was the one who reminded her to study everyday. I was confused by this, but I thought it was just immaturity on her part and she needed the structure I provided. But, I was a tutor this year for the first time, too. And now that I have tested a few of the other students during this process, I can compare her performance with theirs and now there is no doubt in my mind that her heart wasn’t in it. The answers flew out of those kids’ mouths. They were eager to perform. They were frustrated when they made even the smallest mistake. Though my daughter knew the material, she was always slow to respond, quick to make mistakes because she wasn’t really focusing, slow to correct her mistakes, etc. All of these should have been tell-tale signs that she wasn’t really interested in Memory Masters. I share this experience because it may help another mom and child out there avoid the drama we went through. A kid can be able to do it all day long, but they also have to want to do it without prodding.
Next year, I’m not reminding any of my children to study. If they want to test for Memory Masters, they’ll be reminding me that it’s time.
I attended a Classical Conversations Webinar called “Cultivating Learning: Creating a Parent Practical Learning Plan.” I am already doing what the webinar suggested because I have been working through a Saxon math text the last few months. I wrote down a bunch of notes and titles of books I want to read. It was a very encouraging, inspiring, motivating Webinar.
My middle daughter recently finished one of her Kumon books. When she started the book, her scissor skills were appalling. There would be nothing left of anything she tried to cut out! She has greatly improved. I love these books.
I am trying another spelling program with my oldest. This will be the forth spelling program we’ve tried.
This time, we’re doing Phonetic Zoo Spelling. I’m going to let my daughter use it for a while before I really rave about it, but I am hopeful this one will work for us longterm and in ways the other programs have not.
One of the dads cooked burgers and dogs and we all brought sides. The weather was perfect. It was a glorious day.
The older Challenge kids lead the Foundations kids in games. Here’s a photo of my middle daughter running in a game that I think they called Pony Express. She looks very intense, but she was trying to get through before a big kid caught her. She told me later, “I want you to sign me up for a real race like you do sometimes, because I’m fast, Mom.” I brought my parachute and took the kids through some games at the end of the day. Here we are playing “catapult” with my teddy bear.
One of the things I love most about Classical Conversations is the community. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, kids of all ages from high school to infants, are together for “school” events like this. Or is it a “family” event? I guess it’s both! I imagine this is what school events were like in early American villages. Classical Conversations allows kids to go to school while also remaining a part of their families. I feel so incredibly thankful for this unique, healthy, intelligent, spirit-filled community my kids and I are enjoying.
My youngest child was worn out from all the fun. Here she’s sleeping, holding the bear on the way home from the park.