Why do I have to come to an information meeting before visiting the campus?
Without attending an information meeting, it can be easy to misunderstand the purpose of the what you will see when you visit a campus. Once you get the big picture of CC at an information meeting, you can see how a Foundations class fits into this model.
When you say “Classical” education what do you mean?
The classical model of education emphasizes three stages of learning, also called the Trivium. Each stage of learning has a name: grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. Grammar (or parrot stage) is when vocabulary and facts are emphasized, providing the “foundation” for learning any subject.
Our Foundations’ programs were created to expose students to a wide variety of vocabulary, events, people, and lists of information, with the goal of memorizing/mastering the information. This information will then be assimilated, understood, and applied in the later phases of learning during our Challenge Programs and throughout their lives.
The classical model builds academics differently than traditional schools. Since most parents were brought up in traditional school, there is a learning curve parents need to travel in order to learn how to teach the classical model effectively at home. Our programs and Parent Practicums are designed to aid parents in seeing the benefits of the classical model of education, and also model how to teach subjects classically at home. Once you capture the vision of teaching classically, you will find your home schooling to be more effective and efficient. You will also “light a fire” in your child’s heart for learning.
What does a Foundations Tutor cover during the weekly, community class time?
The short answer is A LOT!
New Memory Work: The tutor is responsible for introducing the new memory work for the week for each core subject – History, Geography, Science, Math, Latin, and English Grammar.
Review Memory Work: The tutor is responsible for reviewing previous memory work through drills, games, and other creative avenues.
Fine Arts: The tutor is responsible for facilitating the six‐week sessions on drawing, music theory, great artists, and orchestra.
Science Projects: The tutor is responsible for facilitating these six‐week sessions, alternating between science projects utilizing the scientific method and creative hands‐on science projects.
Presentations: The tutor is responsible for facilitating the student presentations each week. The presentations can range from “show and tell” for younger students to more advanced presentations by the older students.
What is the difference between Foundations Communities and my state’s local support groups?
Local home school support groups, formal and informal, provide an important service for home school families. These groups are in tune with the home schooling laws of your state; provide communication concerning local home schooling events and opportunities, and much more. As a homeschooler, you will want to be plugged into a local support group in your state.
CC Communities differ from local support groups, in that they are nationally‐based and not locally‐based. CC Communities also provide different services for home school families than local support groups.
What do I, as a parent, need to be doing at home with my Foundations’ student?
The answer to this question will vary from family to family, depending on the season of life and ages of the children. Some families simply review memory work each day. Others add in reading resources, autobiographies, field trips, and/or hands on projects corresponding to science, history, or a timeline event being studied. Many parents of older Foundations students enjoy working on a project at home relating to one of the academic topics being covered, and then bringing it in for a presentation.
Parents need their own core language arts/phonics program for their younger children and a complete math curriculum. If you have 4th‐6th graders, and plan to attend our Essentials Program, parents may transition to CC’s Essentials curriculum for language arts and writing, but will still need to maintain their own core math curriculum at home.
Through weekly tutorial programs, Classical Conversations provides students with motivation and encouragement to complete assignments well, on time, and in an interesting manner. Parents are responsible for testing, grading, teaching and overseeing assignments. The parent’s role is to home school. This means providing their student with the tools, time and instruction needed to meet the goals of their home school and home school laws. Each family is advised to develop a constitution for their home school that reminds them of the purpose for home schooling and the educational goals they expect to see achieved. We provide parents with suggestions in running their home school and encourage both parents and students to aim high in their academic aspirations. Parents wishing to enroll their children in any Classical Conversations program are required to sign a Parental Compliance Agreement, which acknowledges that the parents are duly registered as a home school, and that they fully satisfy the laws of the state in which the parent resides, with all the rights and privileges as outlined in their state’s home school laws. The parent further acknowledges in this agreement that they understand that they are primarily responsible for their child’s education, and that Classical Conversations is a complementary service to their home schooling program. Therefore, parents need to be committed to providing a quality education for their child in accordance with their state’s existing home school laws before seeking enrollment in CC programs.
Can you elaborate on Classical Conversations educational philosophy, so I can better understand the difference between Classical Conversations’ approach in learning and the more familiar “master” teacher approach?
Through the ages, especially ages of higher learning, one teacher oversaw the education of a small group of students. In this discipling atmosphere, students learned all subjects under one teacher, and learning thrived. Upon this observation, the key to producing successful learners must not be based upon the relatively recent utilization of segmented master teachers, but rather a relationship with an inspirational mentor that focuses on the tools of learning as well as the unique life of the student.
For many home school families, understanding this historical aspect of education has been the influential revelation that brought them to their final decision to home school. Once families commit to home schooling, they often look for inspirational learning mentors and communities to complement their home school. Valuing learning, the classical model, a Biblical worldview, and community, they find CC Communities provide the perfect complement.
Our Foundations’ tutors model learning the grammar of the core academic subjects while encouraging students and parents in their educational journey. Our tutors model learning by facilitating all aspects of the weekly, community class time. CC Tutors, at every level of CC programming, inspire students (and parents) to learn because they participate in this transforming process themselves!
If we expect and require students to learn several subjects, how do we inspire them to “own” such an endeavor? What more powerful way than through flesh and blood examples! The most desperate educational need in today’s culture is not more knowledgeable teachers; rather it is the presence of inspiring mentors that model how to utilize the tools of learning! Our tutors model learning, and by their example they inspire their students and parents to do the same. Within CC Communities, year after year, students and parents alike learn more than they ever thought possible, and as a result we witness the “lighting of a fire” that causes the student to “own” their personal learning journey.
‐ Leigh Bortins, CC Founder and CEO
I have heard CC speakers and leaders talk about the one‐room school house approach to learning – what is the reasoning behind emulating that model?
Students fifty years ago could read at a much higher level than most students today. America’s one‐room school houses produced these literate students that also knew how to think well. By nature, a home school family of younger children closely resembles a one‐room school house approach to learning ‐ multiple ages under one primary teacher, the parent. If these one‐room school house teachers could produce some of our greatest leaders, and with very limited resources, then so can today’s home school family! CC seeks to encourage families to rediscover the powerful core tools of learning – grammar, logic, and rhetoric, and their associated disciplines that have been used throughout history to educate students.
I still think the best teacher is someone who specializes in that particular subject…
We understand, as this recent approach is what is most familiar to many of us, but let us share with you a few points that you may consider before deciding if a CC Foundations Community is a good fit for your family…
• Year after year we have had parents, many that hold advanced degrees in certain fields, even as advanced as PhD’s, that appreciate the beauty of CC’s approach to one person teaching all the subjects and the more learning‐conducive atmosphere it produces.
• Home school parents must learn to teach, guide, and/or direct their own children in all subjects. CC Tutors model “a way” for parents to fulfill that task using a classical approach.
• We have had parents with advanced music and art degrees appreciate a tutor’s simpler, age‐appropriate approach in teaching basic music theory and art using the classical model.
• We have had parents with degrees specializing in mathematics and engineering, learn something for the first time concerning math!
• We have families who were once science‐illiterate, feel successful in approaching science as a result of CC’s Tutor philosophy, allowing CC Tutors to say “If I can learn it, and get it, so can you! And here are the tools to do it!”
• We have had families who were intimidated and overwhelmed by geography be inspired by a CC tutor using very basic tools, teaching young students to locate, memorize, and eventually draw the world, and all its countries, by heart.
• We have had “math and science” people fall in love with history and geography as a direct result of CC Tutors effectively modeling how to learn the “grammar” of these two subjects.
• We have had former English teachers who, by utilizing the Foundations and Essentials programs’ approach to learning, have shared their excitement over the classical process and of learning language in a way they had never before encountered. As a result they have had their “fire” for language rekindled.
• We have had families, intimidated by Latin when they first entered the Foundations program, fall in love with Latin after a few years because CC Communities do not intimidate through expertise, but rather inspire by modeling learning.