84 Responses

  1. Majd Chana
    Majd Chana at |

    Please tell me that youre going to keep this up! Its so good and so important. I cant wait to read more from you. I just feel like you know so much and know how to make people listen to what you have to say. This blog is just too cool to be missed. Great stuff, really. Please, PLEASE keep it up!

  2. RockerMom a.k.a. Jen
    RockerMom a.k.a. Jen at |

    I think it's really great of you to tell it like it is (for you). I've stopped reading most blog reviews because I rarely see anyone do anything but sing the product's (or program's) praises. I had a VERY hard time last year making a decision about CC, but the price factor was the main reason we ultimately decided not to join our local group. I've since wondered if we made a grave error (quite often, actually). Your post has assured me that CC would most likely not work for our family. Thanks!

  3. coffee addict
    coffee addict at |

    I am so thankful for this post, as it is very real, and you make some great points about what you prefer for you family. :) Thank you for sharing! I did want to mention a few things. As for the science, the main goal each week is to teach the Scientific Method. It is not to be all about what the kids experiment with, or the demonstrations they see, but it is for them to learn the Scientific Method within each weeks projects so they can grow up to be scientists and experiment and demonstrate with ANYTHING! :) With Tin Whistle, the same goes for that. The Music Theory is the main thing the children are to take with them. Then, for those of us parents that are more musically inclined, we can take the backbone of what they were taught and flesh it out at home. For those not so musically inclined, they are getting great music theory and will have great success if starting to play the piano or any other music. It is like an opportunity for the parents to recognize each child's gifts and to run with it or settle on the information for now. As far as the memory work going to fast? Well, that is one thing I love about CC. YOU are the parent, so you can study it as long as you want! There are breaks in between each semester that you can delve into a subject more deeply, there is 4-6 weeks over the holiday time that you could read books or watch movies about that area…you could study about missionaries or bible characters that lived there and ministered there. Due to CC only being 24 weeks out of the whole year, you have 28 additional weeks to squeeze in anything that you want. :)Thank you again, so much for sharing your opinions! It is great to hear how things are working (or not working) in other families. I hope my offering some insight on some of the areas was not offensive and that you would see my heart as just being helpful. :) Thanks for listening to both sides. I have loved and appreciated your blog! Keep up the good work!

  4. Milwife Mama of One
    Milwife Mama of One at |

    Thank you for sharing specifics on what CC components work and don't work for your family. I've been on the fence about joining a local CC community (or another similar to it). This post was extremely helpful!

  5. Raising a Happy Chil
    Raising a Happy Chil at |

    This is a very balanced review that is indeed rare in the blogging world. Good luck with your curriculum choices for the next year!

  6. Michelle G
    Michelle G at |

    Point by point, I agree with what you have said. We are not returning to CC this year. I have signed the kids up for Co-op which is more like $100 a semester! And they get to focus on classes that interest them. I hope you'll keep sharing your great ideas though!

  7. Teaching Stars
    Teaching Stars at |

    So many of your concerns have been rattling around in my head too!! I also have two girls I would be enrolling and I can't help but think of all the cool things we could do around our new home for the price. Chickens and goats for the girls, maybe. That would be quite a learning experience! I am so glad you posted this and I will be sharing it with some friends of mine who are on the fence. It's true how online you tend to just read positive reviews … it's nice to hear the other side of things.p.s. Don't forget to link up your posts on my link up :) http://www.teachingstars.com/2013/06/17/my-homesc

  8. Ticia
    Ticia at |

    We're actually looking into incorporating bits and pieces into our school year next year, mainly the songs and such…….

  9. Stephanie @ Discover
    Stephanie @ Discover at |

    Ahhhh…summer! That time when homeschools start to really look at what worked and what didn't! I love that you have really taken the time to do that! I am still looking at our year, but I think that we are going to be looking at some big changes here too! I hope that you keep documenting your awesome homeschool journey! happy Schooling! :)

  10. K M
    K M at |

    Thanks for sharing. I agree with a lot of your points. For our family, we will continue with CC. I LOVE having all of the "other subjects" like science, latin, fine arts and oral presentations covered in one morning. It allows me to just focus on math and language arts and then we read history books for fun on the other 4 days of the week. The $ is high, so now I'm a tutor and it covers the cost for 2 kids and my supplies.

  11. livinginthemidwest
    livinginthemidwest at |

    I completely agree with all your points. It's nice to know I am not the only one thinking those exact things. We are not doing Foundations this year as well (last year was our first year). I think their vision and talking points sound neat in theory but for us it was so abstract in content that unless you review all that they memorize every year until they get to those subjects, not much will be retained. I have always homeschooled classically but to me this is a program that needs to be better developed. Now the Essentials program, I highly recommend it!

    1. Nan
      Nan at |

      Hi! Please share how else I can homeschool classically…I need info and “help”~
      and thanks in advance!

    2. aenor427
      aenor427 at |

      I’m not sure how you can recommend “Essentials” without “Foundations” since the former builds in the latter.

  12. Heidi Kreuter
    Heidi Kreuter at |

    Thanks, this was a balanced review. We just heard about CC and were looking into it for our 2 kids. The expense is a major consideration–like your example, I have to think about using the money for things such as family experiences versus the set community.

  13. Edelweiss
    Edelweiss at |

    Thank you so, SO much for writing this "review". A brand new program is starting up in our area and we are pressed to make the decision about whether or not to enter this year. Your views, having been in the program and seeing both what worked well and didn't work so well for your family, are a huge help!!

    1. Laverne
      Laverne at |

      What’s the name of the brand new program starting up in your area? And where is it?

  14. Edelweiss
    Edelweiss at |

    Thank you so, SO much for writing this "review". There is a new program starting up in this area and we are pressed to make a quick decision as to whether or not we should commit. Your views, being one who has experienced the program, are extremely helpful. Thank you!

  15. gina
    gina at |

    I think your review is fair. Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in as someone who has four children who will eventually all be educated at home. I feel like CC has helped to streamline our schooling and saved my present and future sanity in keeping up with ally schooling and household responsibilities, while also being able to document and measure effeciently what my children have learned over the course of the year. If you are someone who is not very organized (me!) and doesn't have great follow through or discipline to stay on track with all subjects (also, me!) then a program like this is well worth every penny for the peace of mind that someone like me can possess at the end of the year. Honestly, if I am not committed to being somewhere at a certain time each week and having things ready like you have to do with CC, then it mostly likely won't get done. I have big dreams of letting our interests direct our education, but am not disciplined enough to make it happen. I admire your commitment to education and blogging and presenting a fair and balanced assessment of the program! I agree that it's not for everyone. (And I wish my school room was as neat and organized as yours is!)

    1. Vanessa
      Vanessa at |

      Thanks Gina. I think your “2 cents” adds a great perspective. Thank you.

  16. The girl who painted
    The girl who painted at |

    @gina -Thank you for the wonderful compliments. I do believe the CC program is excellent and that it is a good fit for many families. I also wanted families to have an unbiased view. People in the program generally love it so they are biased toward it, even if it may not be a good fit for the family asking about it.And please know that my school room NEVER looks as good as the day I clean it for the photo shoots for the blog! As I lay on the couch in our updated schoolroom, if I were to take pictures of it as it is right now, you would feel very comforted! Maybe one day I will be brave and show the world how "real" my home can look! Right now though, I like being able to come to the blog when I am discouraged and seeing just how clean and organized it can actually be! lol.

  17. Kristen
    Kristen at |

    Thanks so much this review, and Gina I cannot thank you enough for your comment. You addressed similar concerns that I have about lack of discipline as a homeschool parent. I hate to admit that, but I'm so thankful there are others who are willing to be honest about that as well. Granted I know homeschooling will be a lot of trial and error, but I think CC will give us at least a good start, even with some flaws. And as far as the cost, it is still a fraction of private school, and comparable to other homeschool curriculums. My sister in law just paid $1500 for one year of Sonlight curriculum for her two children.

  18. KR
    KR at |

    Thank you for your review showing the pros and cons of CC. I have considered it for a couple of years now and am actually visiting one this week. I have only heard wonderful things and was really interested to hear from someone who had a different prospective. It would be a huge expense for our family and I really need to take every aspect of it into consideration before making such a big commitment. I love the idea of accountability, group projects and public speaking, but don’t know if that is worth the expense that could be used elsewhere.
    Thank you for your help!

  19. Janine
    Janine at |

    I was searching the internet for cc reviews and found this. I have been prayerfully considering CC not sure if it was right for us and I really appreciate your honest insight, very helpful. I love the idea, we went to an open house and I think its wonderful, but I don’t want to give up a day or be bound to it. I really want to do the classical learning at home and use some of the CC materials, is this what you are doing? Do you recommend purchasing the book to do this or just use the flashcards? I’m not sure about memorizing everything, maybe picking and choosing, Do you recommend that?

  20. Sarah Jax
    Sarah Jax at |

    Great info- thanks!!

  21. Mayra
    Mayra at |

    I am about to register my sons, but I wanted to know pros and cons and if I could do it from home. What I am looking from it is that my boys get a good base in English since it is their second language and I want the (9 and 11) to have a good foundation. They can express themselves well, but from this point on I want them to improve their knowledge, vocabulary, expression, confidence and to study more in-depth. Is there any person that has children living in the US that the English is their second language? I was considering enroll them just in Essentials, but I am not sure if that’s the best way to go since they have not done Foundations. Any thoughts or recommendations on this?

  22. Amanda
    Amanda at |

    Thank you so much for the review. While I’m sure CC is wonderful in its own way, I was getting really frustrated trying to find the “cons” point of view of the program. I can’t make an informed, educated decision, if the only thing I am hearing is the glowing, positive side. Thanks for sharing what didn’t work so we can evaluate all aspects and hopefully make the right decision for our family. I’m also thankful for all that piped in an provided their perspectives, they are equally helpful as we decide whether CC will fit our family needs.

  23. Stephanie
    Stephanie at |

    Hi, Julie!

    I know I’m coming late to this party, but as a CC alumnus, I just wanted to throw in a quick perspective :) (I found this post while searching Google for something else.) I remember as a Foundations student memorizing lots of dates and events with surprising ease. The learning stayed pretty shallow and basic for the most part, as you mentioned, and I definitely understand being concerned at the rapid-fire style of memory work.

    But that’s where the Challenge program comes in! :) I think the real problem with Foundations is when it’s taken out of context. It’s not meant to be the end of the educational road; it’s very much just the beginning, and the life-long rewards often don’t manifest until the Challenge years.

    I was shocked and delighted when suddenly the skeletal information I had committed to memory as a child started to serve me so well as a teen. All the science facts, Latin endings, history sentences, etc. leaped readily to mind when the occasion arose during my middle and high school years. It was tremendously helpful to have “memory hooks” on which to hang my fully developing understanding of the subjects. Instead of spending time learning the “grammar” of subjects, I could pick them up and dive right into deeper understanding and communicating.

    Even now, as a sophomore in college, I use the basic knowledge I gained in Foundations. At the beginning of this semester, my British Literature professor asked the class to get into groups and list any events we could think of that took place between AD 750 and 1500. Immediately, a tune wavered through my mind… “In AD 800, during the medieval period, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne…”

    I hope this comment doesn’t come across as snide or arrogant–I’m not a home-school teacher or even a mom, so I know I’m missing some key components in this discussion! I also strongly believe that the parent is the true teacher. CC is just a resource and it’s not for every family. I just wanted to say that the shallow, cramped Foundations style does eventually make sense and pay off :) I am reaping the rewards to this day!

    Blessings to your and your family!
    ~Stephanie

    1. Cheryl
      Cheryl at |

      I would like to hear more from Stephanie about her Challenge experience. Particularly the aspects that you liked the most, learned the most from, and also your dislikes.

  24. Shawna Ford
    Shawna Ford at |

    Thank you so much for this post! We’re considering CC for our first grader next year and really wanted to hear about another family’s experience. Thanks again!

  25. Mona@HealthyHomesteading
    Mona@HealthyHomesteading at |

    Thank you for this review! It’s put mind mind at ease about my decision to not join CC. My local homeschool Facebook group as been talking a lot about CC lately. I really like the idea of CC but felt there where things that would take away from our homeschool. I love the classical education model. I’m 17 years into homeschooling and this year was the first year of trying it out. It’s been great! Best homeschool year so far. With all CC praise I’ve been hearing I was concerned that I might be missing something if I didn’t join CC. But you touched on just about every concern I had. I’ve heard some cassical education social studies and science curriculum can be dry and uninteresting. We used Story of the World this year and loved it. And Apoplgia science is wonderful. I never want my daughter to say science and social studies is boring. Anyway, I’m just glad I read this review. Thanks!

  26. Shelly
    Shelly at |

    I Love this post. We just finished our third year in Foundations but will not be returning next year. Everything I like and dislike about CC is exactly what you wrote. The praise families give to CC is rather frustrating. It is not the be all end all of homeschool. It was hard for me to come to that realization. I had to realize my boys could receive a great education without CC.

  27. Pam
    Pam at |

    This has been great reading for me! Thank you for putting to words a lot of my thoughts. When I start thinking CC again, I can come here and remind myself that I CAN do our own memory work at home (like I did before I never heard of CC) and include the parts of CC that I like.

  28. Kate
    Kate at |

    Thanks for this. I remember a few years ago googling critiques of CC, and having a hard time finding any. Besides what you mention, I find the soft MLM structure a huge waste of time/money for the directors, who aren’t making very much money at all for the amount of time they are putting into selling CC. I was a challenge director when my kids were still babies, and it didn’t work out because, frankly, although I had background in both literature and Latin, I’m not a saleswoman. My opinion is the company got some slimy marketing and growth advice, and they grew faster than they could refine/improve the products (some of the editing outright errors were embarrassing–and they have a form and procedure for filing an error/typo, instead of just paying a good editor and multiple proofreaders.) Of late, the beaurocratic paperwork and meetings for directors have become ridiculous. They also clearly have a goal to brand classical education as synonymous with CC, which is unfortunate.

  29. Emily
    Emily at |

    Thank you for sharing! I am trying to decide what route to take with my kiddos and am researching CC. My question is-if you don’t join a community, what does CC look like for you? What are the things I should purchase to do CC only at home?

  30. kimatedenhope
    kimatedenhope at |

    Have you considered a Hebraic style of education? Hebraic education is a God-centered, God-glorifying teaching style that allows each child to develop into the unique person God designed them to be. Knowledge is instilled by teaching a love of learning and a desire to discover more about God’s creation. Adam learned Hebraically. God created him, breathed His Spirit into Adam and then directed him to take dominion over (learn about, understand, name…) the animals. Each evening God walked with Adam in the garden (discussion). At Eden Hope Academy, http://www.edenhopeacademy.com, our students create their own Timeline Cards – our timelines are in chronological order. Eden Hope provides 88 each year with labels and an accompanying song, and 10 extra cards for your children to define historical events they discover. Students LinkIt! facts and events throughout history, such as linking the Praetorian Guard of First Century AD with Hitler’s brownshirts. LinkIt! uses Natural Language Processing techniques to stimulate advanced thinking skills. Eden Hope Academy students learn by singing, building, making and exploring. We also teach Spanish and ukulele.

  31. Grace
    Grace at |

    Thank you for writing this! My son is turning 5 and this is our first year, doing cycle 3. I had some misgivings for the reasons you stated above. The only other co-op in the area requires you to be 5 starting out. My thinking is that we will do CC this year because he would be in pre-k in public school, so it’s more about the presentations and making friends at the class than academic content for us at this point. We may do next year too, but then take a break and consider coming back for middle school :) That way we can start our real study of history next year or the year after with some “pegs” in place, but follow the more relaxed 4-year cycles outlined in well-trained mind.

  32. solagratiaclassicalacademy
    solagratiaclassicalacademy at |

    Love your candid view of CC. So glad you shared your perspective. Blessings – Colleen

  33. Michelle
    Michelle at |

    Thank you for this post this many months later. My twin 5yo are enrolled in a CC Foundations co-op this year, and I’m having such a bittersweet time. I am new to homeschooling, and there are some wonderful things about CC that I just love: classical education, accountability, a classroom of peers, public speaking, parental support, and I even prefer the structure of the memory work and the supplemental fine arts and science experiments. (If I had more experience, I might be more critical; however, this is all fine for me just getting started.)

    Now, Classical Conversations provides these things and that is so great! But is it worth the price to pay a tutor to do these things once a week while you attend the class alongside your child? I do not want to spend my money that way. I would much rather take turns with other parents leading the class. I have two younger children who will also be homeschooled, and the thought of 2000 every year spent for this service feels wasted. I really appreciate getting to attend a CC community this year, but I have to say, you are paying for the CC Brandname when you can really get those things I love in another setting PLUS the ability to switch things around to your own liking without the headache of excessive rules, copyright chaos, and a big bill. (I think the rules, like requiring all children to attend if you are a director or preventing parents from sharing created work is unnecessary.) Yes, capitalize on work you provide, but balance that with the opportunity to promote classical education.

    What I am waiting for is a parent to create an alternative memory list that is free and without all of the strings that CC adds. I’m thinking something in between CC and Well Trained Mind. I like both, but I would prefer to have a more specific plan that WTM and less regulation than CC. I’m thinking a third option would be ideal. Then parents could start their own co-op to get the accountability, peer time, presentations, and electives as desired. I don’t think I’m going to pay to attend a CC campus this year. I’m going to continue with my foundations guide, but I’m going to work on my own “units” (who knows–the term cycle may be copyrighted!?) of memorization for a different (lower cost) co-op down the road. Too bad I lack musical talent because that is one area where I think CC excels. Maybe someone else out there will come up with great musical melodies and memorization bits that are open to use and share with a group.

    1. kimatedenhope
      kimatedenhope at |

      Michelle,

      Have you checked out http://www.edenhopeacademy.com? Eden Hope Academy offers an awesome book with activities to go along with the memory work, Spanish, ukulele and dance, art, science, timeline cards set to a CD, history, geography, and more. Everything relates. History memory about King Arthur includes apothecary science, a stained glass art project and geography of England. Moms can teach the materials at home or with a group.

      Kim

      1. Michelle
        Michelle at |

        I will check that out. Thanks. :)

      2. Michelle
        Michelle at |

        I didn’t look through the site too long, but upon first glance, I’m not sure Edenhope has the differences from CC that I was looking for–namely in cost. Ha. I know that someone needs to be rewarded for their time, but it doesn’t seem too far off in this information age for the data to be collected and shared online. I’m so thankful for all of the work that people like Brandy from halfahundredacrewood.com do! I really like the CC curriclum and think the foundations guide itself is a good enough deal; I just think their copyright and “community” exclusiveness make the community option not as appealing for the cost.

        1. kimatedenhope
          kimatedenhope at |

          Thank you for checking out http://www.edenhopeacademy.com . Alas, you are correct, it costs little less than CC but not much. The differences are that moms can drop off their children, the program is more Bible-oriented, history intensive and kinesthetic, we play the ukulele and our materials are included in the tuition. Eden Hope materials are packed with pictures, color and activities. Students create their own timeline cards. They LOVE this. When you make something it stays in your brain forever. http://blog.edenhopeacademy.com/2015/02/tlc-great-timeline-cards/ Eden Hope is developing a video program to help families who would like to learn at home. As with CC, our leaders are paid a nominal amount. Perhaps that would be a solution for you. You sound like an awesome mama, there is no doubt that your children are learning, growing and being blessed by you.

    2. Trina
      Trina at |

      Michelle, I recently discovered through some web surfing, that My Father’s World may be offering the type of program you’re describing! https://www.mfwbooks.com/products/32/Synergy-Groups/ I am going to look into it further. We just finished our first year of CC (with my K4, 2nd grader, and baby who was 1 month old when we started in the fall) and although I was quite reserved about joining, it was a better experience than I’d imagined. As the year was wrapping up, I started to see things a little more “behind the curtain” and have had some new reservations start. I need to prayerfully consider what direction to take our homeschool next year, and maybe something like MFW’s Synergy Groups will be that direction. Or maybe we’ll continue with CC, as we are registered for the upcoming year.

    3. Laura
      Laura at |

      Hi, I just saw this site and I wanted to share that our family has been blessed by finding memory work from Claritas Classical Academy. They hired a professional singer and have 4 Cycles contains 28 weeks of memory work. Subjects include History, Science, Grammar, Latin, Geography, a Timeline, Scripture, Math, and Hymns. You can access the memory work for $3.97 a month at https://crossseven.org We use this material in our support group and it is great. There is freedom to conduct the group in any way the group chooses.

  34. Jennifer
    Jennifer at |

    I am so glad I came across this blog! I have an old neighbor that told me of CC and let me come to an open house. I loved the idea of it and was ready to sign up for the first time. I have been researching and worrying because my son is 4 and this is my first experience with any type of homeschooling. I have been e-mailing directors and getting all kinds of information and found a community I thought we would love, but for some reason she was giving me reason after reason of why I couldn’t attend this particular campus. After tons of e-mails, I was devastated. I felt like I failed and that maybe I couldn’t do this after all. My confidence in homeschooling was shattered and I hadn’t even started. Then for some reason I decided to read reviews for CC since I’ve only seen the “good”. This blog is a glimmer of hope and boost that I needed to show me that I don’t need CC to start homeschooling and can still give my son a great education. I still plan on buying some of the CC materials (like the timeline cards because my husband and I want to brush up on our own education), but now I don’t feel like a loser for not “fitting in”. Thank you for this blog, insight, and all the moms that left comments!

    1. Jennifer Swearingen
      Jennifer Swearingen at |

      We took at break from Charlotte Mason a couple of years ago and did CC… we’re done. Back to Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Online. You really aren’t missing much Jen…Maybe it was all for the best you didn’t get in:)

    2. Trina
      Trina at |

      Jennifer, I don’t recommend that 4 year-olds begin their homeschooling with CC, especially most boys who really need to have run & jump & play time regularly, which they don’t get with CC until their 2.75 hour class is over. My almost 5 year-old girl did OK with this lack of recess (barely), but I think the entire class of 4/5 year-olds would have been better served with recess in the middle of their morning classes. Anyhow, I didn’t try CC until my oldest daughter was in 2nd grade, and I never would have put her in at age 4 or 5. We needed to focus on other things (phonics, reading, writing, math) first, not get ‘distracted’ by all of the demands of CC. I wouldn’t suggest that 4 or 5 year-olds start CC unless they are younger siblings and “must” enroll with their older siblings.

      1. Jennifer
        Jennifer at |

        I definitely see what you are saying now. I was blinded by all the good of the CC program. My 4 year old is actually very quiet and can sit still, so I thought he would love something like this. But the more I thought about it and reflecting on my own school experiences, I feel that I should just let him be a kid for longer before we do any kind of structure and I see him picking on all kinds of stuff by just going out and exploring. I was also lucky to meet a mom of six who also said to just worry about reading and math at first and everything else will fall into place. I’m glad I got to come across this and all the experience you other moms went through and the advice you have to offer. It has been greatly appreciated!!

    3. GB
      GB at |

      That is horrible, and I am so sorry. I do think 4 and 5 years old is a bit young to start CC. Not because they can’t handle it (some can!), but because, really, 3 cycles is all you need of Foundations, and they don’t “let you” (don’t get me started on that…) add Essentials until a certain age. The only reason I would even consider subjecting a 4 year old to CC would be if the child had older siblings in the program and wanted to be there anyway! It should not seem like some sort of elite club. It’s just a way for kids to get to be a part of an “organized classroom”-type experience one day a week. For some kids, the info really sticks and it is a great ADDITION to their homeschool curriculum! Ideally, I’d say age 7 or 8 would be a fantastic age to start, IF it fits into your family!!! That is how every homeschool opportunity should be vetted. Does this fit with my kids? Their personalities and strengths? Does it fit with my mission for them? Do the pros outweigh the cons? There is so much out there now. It’s boggling for a parent to try to decide what is best. I have found that I do a lot of changing… and learning myself.

      1. Trina
        Trina at |

        GB, I completely agree! That age 7-9 is a great time to start CC, and that 4-5 year olds shouldn’t even be there unless they are younger sibs. I purposely didn’t start CC with my oldest until she was almost 8 (2nd grade). My mature 4 year-old was able to do fine in the program too (I never would have enrolled her if she wasn’t a younger sibling). But I think it’s going to get pretty old as the years go by. We’ll probably take a break for a year here or there and do a fun co-op instead.

        Right now the benefits of CC outweigh the downsides, but there are long lists of each. It’s not perfect!

  35. Alisha
    Alisha at |

    Have you ever considered having your own private CC group? You don’t have to pay the fees, or follow their rules. Just get together with like minded families and do your memory work classrooms! Each mom can teach one class so it’s not all on one person’s shoulders. Everyone shares the expense of materials and no one gets paid. It’s awesome! 😉

    1. Laura
      Laura at |

      Hi Alisha,
      We have found using Claritas Classical Academy’s memory work to be the best! You can see their work here: https://crossseven.org

  36. Mommy of Three
    Mommy of Three at |

    Thank you! I don’t think CC would be a good fit for us right now, but it feels like all the home-school families I know are going that way. I really want to be involved with a community, but I can’t afford that one without great sacrifice. Thank you for giving me more information on what did and what didn’t work for you. I really helps me feel better about my decision. I am sure CC is great ( I hear great things all the time) I’m just not convinced it would be great for us right now.

  37. Kassia
    Kassia at |

    This is our fourth year in CC. I love your idea of memorizing info from the history cards. Would you be willing to email your sentences to me since we have the timeline cards, and are currently in a CC community? Thank you for your post, it was really helpful!

  38. GB
    GB at |

    CC’s benefit is so individual. I truly caution anyone from making a judgement based on someone’s review, though it is heartening to see people with opinions either way. It’s strange, because I have seen references to “drinking the CC kool-aid” and “only positive reviews”, but I haven’t seen that online at ALL. Our first year was ideal, as it was a start-up CC, and the group was half the size of what is allowed by corporate. As a (previous educator) parent, I thought I would lose my mind out of boredom, but my children THRIVED with the knowledge, loved the memorization, and couldn’t wait for each week to come where they could be with their classmates. No kool-aid here… it just fit my family. We had one good tutor and one questionably decent tutor, but that worked out okay, because I am their teacher at home! Our group doubled in size for this next year, and I agreed to become a tutor. Our director is very laid back, which worked for year one, but am finding very little support as a tutor for year two (I have fairly high standards for my classroom, because I know how much the parents pay!). The science experiments require full director support, and should be called Science Projects. I would completely leave at the half-year break, but my kids still say CC day is their favorite day of school, and they retain incredible information which they attach things to all week long! I don’t have the heart to pull them out of something that is working for THEM, even if it’s been a trainwreck for me in my life (My class of 8 is fantastic. Again, it’s just the lack of support and the 4-8 hours of prep time each week that is wearing me down.) Bottom line: if your children have trouble memorizing things, this program will either help (with the songs) or might not be a good fit at all. Your director sets the tone and flavor for the whole program. So, if you don’t like one community, you might find a completely different experience at another. Also, corporate CC is annoying. I don’t have enough space to even start. The comments regarding that are completely right on target.

    1. Laura
      Laura at |

      Hi GB,
      We love memory work and have seen the amazing results. We found a group that has written their own materials that are the best I’ve found, and any family or support group can use the materials in any way they want. There is no such thing as “having to deal with corporate”. Try Claritas Classical Academy memory work. Online version is: https://crossseven.org/products/

      1. Vanessa
        Vanessa at |

        Laura, Thank you for the info. I think if I wasn’t so invested (already have all the materials for the three cycles) I would HIGHLY consider going the Claritas Academy route. Thank you.

      2. Vanessa
        Vanessa at |

        Sorry, last comment…but I really like how the memory work includes scripture an hymns. I will be praying about this. Thank you for the info.

        1. Trina
          Trina at |

          I am so glad that this conversation is still continuing in the comments. I signed up for e-mail notifications so I’ll know what’s being said.

          Vanessa – the weekly memory week that is “introduced” during CC class doesn’t include the scripture of hymns. Maybe Claritas Academy’s does and that’s what you’re referring to? CC does have a scripture passage to learn each year. Last year, our community practiced Cycle 3’s passage during the opening large group meeting, and learned it because there was a fun song on You Tube. This year, Cycle 1 (same director), she just reads one verse to us for the week. One time. And there is no song that our community has found, nor is there a song on the CC memory work CD’s. Like many things with CC “you can do with it as much, or as little, as you want!” (eye roll)

          1. Vanessa
            Vanessa at |

            Trina, LOL! you’re funny. Yes, I was looking into Laura’s suggestion of Claritas Academy. They include hymns and more scripture than CC. I personally like that and that is why I commented on delighting on those additions that are not found in CC (at least not as much). Of course, you can add hymns and more scripture at home to CC as a supplement. I was just commenting on how, by just the overview, Claritas had hymns (which contains a lot of spiritual truths) and with more Scripture. This is our third year doing CC and have great and bad things to say about it. Nothing is perfect, and no program is perfect. However, I do feel like (and maybe this is just my community) it has more of a business feel to it than the core “to know God and make Him known.” All but one CC rep that has come to our CC group, has given that impression. And I am not the only one to notice. I am not trying to bad mouth here, I am still doing CC. But I am shying away and would rather be a part of a group whose whole focus is truly in knowing God. This is just my experience and our family’s desires. I guess I’m just disappointed as our first year of CC was not only a Godsend, but an experience my family will never forget.

    2. Vanessa
      Vanessa at |

      GB, Tell me about it! Our family loves CC but Corporate CC is leaving me a foul taste. It makes me want to find other CC families and come together and do our thing without Corp CC (like Alisha was describing). It’s getting worse and worse I think. Like it’s all about the money, not about knowing God and making Him known. It’s like it’s more like a business rather than what is described in “What is CC?” talks.

  39. old mom
    old mom at |

    My family has been involved in Classical Conversations for the last 5.5yrs and we have been in 4 different communities. We have had to change communities due to moves and Challenge level availability. My kidos started the CC Program in the fall of their 4th and 6th grade year after we finished their public school year. Public school was not a great fit for us and I was willing to take charge. My husband does not help with our schooling process, but he does have a full time job and is full of love that supports us.

    My disclaimer is: I love the program. However, the program does not fit every families goals/needs for homeschooling. My children and I have had great directors and not-so-great directors. The not-so-great directors provided an excellent opportunity for me to step up.

    Through all the moves and directors, my kids love Classical Conversations. They are willing to work through the hard stuff and I am willing to work through it with them. I kept up (and still keep up) with all my oldest daughters homework. Not just accountability, but I DO the homework with her. I started this in Challenge A with her, so that when my second daughter began Challenge A I already understood the material.

    My oldest daughter started the Challenge program with strong math and science skills. Her verbal and written skills were low to average. The Challenge programs we attended provided ‘peer pressure’ that motivated her to get better. The debate strands in Challenge 1 & 2 were very hard for my daughter. We had to go to debate tournaments and watched formal debates on YouTube to even have a clue. There was no way a director could have done this work for us. WE HAD TO DO THE HARD WORK! One director was usually not even prepared to conduct science experiments, so we did the science experiments at home or watched a YouTube covering the experiment. In the midst of different director’s incompetence, I and my daughters learned to work on our pride issues. We chose to home-school. CC does not usually provide subject matter experts and sometimes directors are unorganized. We chose to love the director’s for the traits that they brought to the table. We chose to love them where they were. I also stepped up. I’ve done different things in different communities to share my gifting. I’ve learned to appreciate those who are gifted differently. Like in the book of 1 Corinthians, I am choosing to love the people in my life that are different.

    The CC Program at community day alone is not a whole package. There is not enough time in community to do that. The CC Program along with a family willing to work along side the scholars is a great package. My daughters work for most of the day 4 days a week so that they can dialog the best they can in class. The directors are not teachers and I do not expect them to be.

    To be honest, I cried with overwhelming fear when I opened the Challenge 3 guide this summer. Now that we are almost done with semester 1, I can honestly say that I’m excited to read about the next philosopher and I love to crunch through chemical formulas in Chemistry.

    Another disclaimer: All the families in my community do not do homeschooling the same way. Not just a little different, but very different. Some families do not ensure their /kids/teens are following the guide. Some kids don’t do Latin or are at a much lower/higher math level. Some families don’t follow the guide. Some families have their children in public school programs AND Challenge. Regardless, it is expected that kids come to class with a good attitude and a willingness to participate. This is a pre-req for joining the group. Come to community with a good attitude and a willingness to participate. If your student can not do this or they are more advanced/behind to hold them to that standard, then the program might not be a good fit. AND this is okay!

    Just one more disclaimer: I have an opinion on how homeschooling should be done. If you are reading this, I would guess that you have an opinion too. I appreciate that you are researching information and planning. This is good. I do not think that public school is a bad form of schooling. I do not think that private school is a bad form of schooling. I DO think that there are many options that families can use to help train up their children. Classical Conversations is just one option.

    In my opinion:
    If you are looking for a drop off program, CC may not be a good fit.
    If you want experts to teach you children different subjects and you aren’t an expert & you are not willing to seek out an expert, CC may not be a good fit.
    If you are in a community that you are not willing to work to love, CC may not be a good fit.
    If you are not willing to learn along side your kids, CC may not be a good fit.
    If CC is not a good fit…. that’s okay.

    Please continue to research and define your goals. Seek the Lord for peace. There are many different programs out there. CC is a great option for my family.

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