"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Classical Conversations

I'll share a little with you about our CC journey.  When we were considering joining (at that time the only campus was in Cypress), we decided that I had to see it as a need for Jacob's education.  When I visited a classroom, I was blown away. I was so impressed by what 4 and 5 year olds could memorize and learn.  They were developing presentation skills and they were being challenged and sharpened by fellow students, all within the context of teaching through the lens of the Bible and with their parents alongside of them.  I was immediately welcomed into a community of mother's seeking the same thing I was. For one day a week, I would be surrounded by like-minded moms wanting to teach their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord and to do it well.  At that time, I was feeling particularly unequipt to teach my children, not unable, just unequipt. CC provided equipping for me.  As well as, the support network to challenge and sharpen me.

We joined and were immensely blessed beyond words.  The commute (one hour one way) was killer. Thankfully, a campus much closer opened up.  At this campus there was a need for a tutor position. Because I was the only parent who had participated in the program before, I thought I could be helpful to our campus and serve them with the example I had been given.  Our new campus was exactly what we were looking for, our home school community, in our community!  We all developed sweet friendships and learned great truths.  As long as we are able to, we will be a part of a CC community.  I see it as a NEED to my children's education for these reasons...
~they hold me accountable to the subjects I usually neglect; geography, fine arts, Latin, science, etc.
~they provide my children with the opportunity to present materials to their peers
~it is a place where I can receive more training and equipping for homeschooling
~it is easy to teach the same material to many of my children at the same time
~I benefit from other Mom's expertise in areas I am not familiar with
~my children are spurred on by fellow students

I really could keep going with the reasons I love CC but you get the point.

In a typical 3 hour session (they do go by fast!), we had a structure to our learning. My time has been spent mostly with the 4-5 year olds so some of the older classes might look a little different.  We begin our class with designated subjects. So it may look like this...30 min. devoted to geography,  30 min. devoted to fine arts, 30 min. devoted to science projects, and 30 min devoted to new grammar work (the memorization of new facts), 30 min. devoted to presentations and 30 min. of review.  For the little ones, I try to throw in some break and snack time in addition, they really need it!
In terms of cost, the greatest expenses will always be the tuition, and purchasing the materials to begin with. Building upon your collection year by year helps minimize the cost but there are a few basics as parent and even as a tutor that are essential.  For Foundations, I would say I spent approximately $200 in startup materials and each year I spend $75 for additional materials.  For Tutor materials, there were a few extra books that I had to buy and they cost about $35, everything else I used from what I had previously purchased.
In terms of time, preparing for your class doesn't consume much more time that what you are already doing to prepare your own children.  My method for teaching last year was to start a week early in teaching the material with Jacob, and by the time I had to tutor the class, I was already familiar with the grammar.  In all, I would say I spent an extra 2-3 hours a week preparing for my class. The reason for that is because I'm already preparing by going through the material with my own children. Remember the tutor is called that and not teacher because the tutor's job is to demonstrate to parents (in the class with their children) different techniques for mastering memorization of grammar work. It is NOT the tutor's job to teach everything there is to learn about that grammar work nor is it their responsibility to get the children mastering the memorization of that information. That job belongs to the parents.
In terms of experience, EVERYONE at my campus last year was new and had never before seen a classroom in practice (except me).  And we had phenomenal tutors at our campus.  If you love children, if you're excited about education and if you can think of creative ways to get children/parents memorizing grammar facts, you CAN do it!


  1. I have been trying to get more informataion about CC in Cypress. I haven't found a link to their website, but I found your blog! I think CC might be just what we are looking for. If you have any contatct info that you could send me, I would be grateful!

  2. Thank you so much for this post. After much prayer and encouragement, I have decided to become a tutor for the upcoming year. This was very encouraging for me.