One of the most curious parts of the Foundations curriculum for Classical Conversations, in my opinion, is Latin. Not because I think it is frivolous or unnecessary, but because it is the one most obscured by the bridge from Foundations and Essentials to the Challenge years. It is as though we parents of littles can see across a wide river the benefits of Latin, but we can’t see the passage across.
It is hard to see the connections between what we learn in Latin in the Foundations years and what our students will be dealing with in the Challenge years – especially cycles 1 and 2. Noun endings and verb conjugations are just so abstract at this point.
So what do we do for our students who show interest in Latin, but who are just now repeating a cycle in Foundations?
A couple of weeks ago I went to the mailbox to find a slim package for me(!). I love surprise mail! Tucked inside the package was Math Art + Drawing Games for Kids by Karyn Tripp. Inside the book were a LOT of projects that have my kids saying, “Cool! I want to do this one!”
Both my older girls immediately asked if we could make Pattern Block Cookies. And they have mentioned making them almost every day since. Although I am sure it is not hard, my currently slightly overwhelmed mama-nerves cannot handle a kitchen project at this moment.
Thus I gently directed the kids into something I knew would tie in to what we already are doing with school. Sometimes I love being in charge.
Each year we have prepared for Memory Master for Classical Conversations, I have thought about writing an article explaining our process (and my best tips). And each year (3 years) I have gotten behind and have not gotten around to it. Here we are in our 4th year of Classical Conversations and I am finally telling you my simple memory master prep thoughts and suggestions.
A word about Memory Master. This term is extremely foreign to non-CC families. When one announces proudly that Junior has achieved this accolade, the vacant smiles appear and the “Con…gratulations!?! What’s that?” start. Most people don’t understand what a HUGE deal this is.
For those of you reading this, hoping to make a similar announcement, direct your unknowning family members here and I will give a quick run-down.
This past summer the Classical Conversations topic for Practicum was Math. Groaning on the inside a bit, I attended each of the three days, stretching my brain a bit further each day. I had epiphanies – seriously – about math – I didn’t think it possible! And I enjoyed the challenge more than I would have thought. It was surprising for my history-literature-language loving self.
Another surprise from the three-day Practicum was the frequent aspersions cast upon my math curriculum of choice: Saxon Math. Now, I didn’t feel personally attacked, but I began to wonder, “Should we have chosen a different curriculum? Are we going to have to change it up later on?” And I was a bit saddened by that.
But one day, we just began. We jumped into the homeschool thing. And we have had a BLAST!
My inadequacies with teaching are still abundantly clear, but we have discovered ways to get knowledge into our 5-year-old’s brain in vast quantities through memorization while still having lots of fun. We work our homeschool program around the Classical Conversations curriculum and it has been such a wonderful fit for her.3
One of the most interesting things CC teaches kids is memorization of basic math facts. A typical Classical Conversations year includes learning new information about history, science, English, and Latin. But every year, no matter what else is on the agenda, the math facts kids are exposed to are the same.
I had almost forgotten that I made these Liquid Equivalents Cards earlier in the year. I updated the version I made the first time we went through Cycle 2 to be more visually appealing. Then in the busy-ness of learning and reviewing Skip Counting, I forgot all about them!
But Week 12 of Classical Conversations is upon us and it is time to break these out, laminate them and enjoy them with my kids.
But I don’t just want to share these cute cards with you, I want to give you my very best ideas for reviewing Liquid Equivalents.