If you are using the classical model, it seems so simple: just learn the memory work. But somewhere we get so easily distracted! All we really need is a list of facts, and if using the program Classical Conversations, that means the Foundations Guide (which non CC families can also purchase to try out the program on their own) is alone is sufficient until 6th grade, but why are we lured into complexity when it’s so simple. Printouts and games found online and on the CC members’ sharing area (CC Connected) are great ideas, but our dishes beg to differ and are just as crucial.
So how do you do actually do your Classical Conversations memory work at home?
If you’re new the classical model like I am, you are learning more about the classical model, balancing other math, reading and Bible activities, discovering the world of the mommy bloggers and their amazing FREE materials…. but are we simply lovingly helping our kids learn the memory work through their learning style, building that relationship so that as things get harder, we KNOW how to help them through?
It may take some trial and error to create a sustainable routine, set realistic expectations, and it may change from year to year as your home “landscape” changes, but here are some of the ideas I’ve found through conversation and online searches.
Here is a compilation of 13 (so far) great ideas to keep it simple and focus on the memory work at home! These are nuggets I’ve found through asking/listening to more experienced moms and directors. I haven’t seen a list like this online, so I created one myself. If you know of one, leave it in the comments so I can link to it. Or if you have ideas, comment them so I can add them into the post!
Each one of these, I believe, would be sufficient ALONE. Each one just represents different styles of moms and their strengths and desires.
(1) One experienced CC mom says she starts the day with the memory work songs being physical and active as she reviews everything with a focus on fun and movement–“getting their sillies out.” Managing the songs on different discs can be a challenge for some, and this year I finally put them all together in iTunes as a playlist that I sinced with my phone for easy access. (Not an easy feat, but worth the time.)
(2) One TN Foundations Director says she spends 15 minutes per day on NEW grammar, going through it exact same way as the tutor, saying each new grammar fact around 7 times.
(3) Our middle TN regional Director says that because she likes to review all weeks, starting week 7, she chooses 2 subjects per day (with geography getting a day of its own, since locating the locations is included).
(4) Last year my director used basic templates for every week having her kids do some kind of written work or drawing with each memory work fact throughout the week.
(5) “Notebooking” is popular among many CC mommy bloggers. A quick google search pulls up many resources. The idea is that the kid will have his own interactive activity for each subject in one place to review throughout the year. I think it’s a great idea, but it seems time/print intensive on top of other household tasks. Here is a great blogger on this! http://classicalconversationsathome.com/2014/08/what-is-a-classical-notebook/
(6) The Queen Mother of everything supplemental to Classical Conversations blogs here. (Half a Hundred Acre Wood) This site is full of printables for every type of memory work project you could ever dream.
(7)Here is another Mom’s plan she created for her memory work. http://myclassicalhomeschool.blogspot.com/2011/03/classical-conversations-and-memory-work.html?m=1
(8)This is a pre-made prescribed system that one mom created to take the guess work out of the balancing act. If you are looking for a clean cut approach, look here. http://www.homeschoolstory.com/new-memory-work-system-for-classical-conversations/
(9)At one point last year, I put the weeks’ memory work on repeat while they played with their toys or colored. I would make sure it played about seven times in a row! I wanted to DIE and I wasn’t sure it would work, but they never complained and those are some of the weeks that stuck the most when it came to review time! (In fact, as I write this, it reminds me to go back to that! SIMPLICITY!)
(10) By the end of my first year, I realized I had a very disjointed routine of:
History at the computer, with their great videos connected to the songs.
Math using the APP on the go–during waiting times when the temptation to give the kids your phone breaks you down.
Timeline cards on the living room floor.
Everything else just on the CDs.
(12) My tutor this year made a simple chart like this to give stars for each piece of memory work. The timing and prompting level is up to each mom. I only did this with my child who is in year 2 of CC, not my first timer.
(13)This year I tried a new routine
LISTEN & LOOK DAY–“Let’s look at this week’s stuff!” Involving them in putting everything out (science cards, timeline cards) Listening to the new songs to learn them and look at all the visuals (hung up in one place.)
TASK DAY–interact with the material.
Circle the skip counting on the math trivium table.
Trace the new geography locations. Ask the kids to sing along.
GAME DAY: Play a game with colored flash cards, reviewing 6 weeks worth of material.
CHALLENGE DAY: this is my short and sweet check in with them to see if they can actually say back this week’s memory work with or without prompting. It’s not a priority, but it helps me see what is sticking and what isn’t, and is another session of tuning through the facts.
So far this is working, but I don’t know how my style will evolve, and I will always be gathering different ideas from those further down the road!
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