A few years ago we joined the Classical Conversations community as a supplement to our homeschool. When we started homeschool, we started Classical Conversations. So at this point, our girls don’t know homeschool apart from CC. We are extremely happy with our choice of CC.
That is not to say there have not been some bumps along the way. And we are not doing any of the things (homeschooling, Classical Conversations, life) perfectly. But we have settled into a great groove with CC and have had many successes along the way.
As I prepare for the coming year, I have been thinking about what makes CC work for us when other families struggle and/or move on. And, I think, for us it comes down to not making Classical Conversations memory work the schoolmaster, but utilizing the Classical model’s tools to add value to our homeschool day.
We are not the family who has chosen to go solely with CC memory work and a math curriculum (and a reading curriculum). We blend CC with a CM approach. We utilize the scheduling and book lists from Ambleside Online; but, again, we are not slavish about it. I would consider our homeschooling approach to be relatively laid back. It has structure, but it also has quite a bit of flexibility.
Anywho…we have come up with a super simple schedule for memory work review that I thought might be helpful for others to see. And I have some ideas for helping Foundations students review the memory work. The memory work review schedule we have settled into has allowed for my oldest daughter to be Memory Master for 3 years. I share that not as a way to puff up anyone, but to share that it is possible with a more relaxed approach.
My younger student is not interested in being a Memory Master and there is no pressure around here (or in our community) to be one. She gets the same review schedule as my older student.
A Simple Memory Work Review Schedule
Alright, what you have been scrolling for is here! Our
grand simple review plan goes like this:
We review one or two subjects per day, with Geography review every day. We have Community Day on Tuesday, so I do not have review on those days. Likely, the kids will be singing the songs or talking about the new Grammar on the way home from Community Day. I also do not allow my kids to “preview” the Grammar before Community Day (until we get to the latter weeks, if we are preparing for Memory Master).
Our review time is limited (by timer) to 15 minutes. And we have 15 minutes for Geography review, too. All told, this part of our day takes 30 minutes.
Here it is laid out with some of the actual things we do on the review days:
Monday: Latin – listen to the Latin memory work. If I am feeling really prepared and there is time for it, add Song School Latin for my younger ones to participate, too.
Tuesday: Community Day – no official review, we might play the Timeline song in the car at my kids request.
Wednesday: Math and English – for math we use skip counting cards I created, I also use sticky notes for the Laws in later weeks, we made up songs for the geometry and measurements. We also climb the stairs in our house to review skip counting.
English – we use songs/chants to review terms and lists. I have loved using First Language Lessons Levels One and Two in the past few years to help reinforce the memory work. I have reworked their definitions to fit the memory work. However, First Language Lessons does not replace our memory work review. We do both on the Wednesdays – so there is double review on those days, in some instances.
Thursday: History and Timeline – listen to the history memory work and timeline. I put out the timeline cards for the kids to see throughout the week. Sometimes we will work on scrambling them up and putting them back in order. Most of the time, I wash dishes while the songs play (and we do a quick clean-up around the house while we listen to the songs) – a definite WIN! Note: Because of our household’s lack of CD players (in cars and in our house), I have to rip the CDs to a thumb drive. That process makes it easier to take our memory work anywhere.
Friday: Science – we try to find songs that help us remember the science work. Sometimes, for lists, we will play hide and seek with sticky notes and the question. As we find each answer, we will say the memory work question and answer, adding each item on the list as we go. I have also created a flip book, of sorts, using resources I found on CC Connected.
Geography: daily we listen to the Geography songs created by CC Happy Mom. They are invaluable to our home geography review!! We get out the map and make sure we are pointing to the right locations along the way. I do not allow my kids to use the map with labels after the first day of review. I want them to get used to finding the geographical locations by sight rather than hunting for it by reading. With my older student, I have at times done some map-drawing – very basic.
That’s it! It is honestly super simple and laid back. I do include it on the to-do schedule every day. The girls have a certain amount of discretion as to when this happens, but we usually tack it onto the end of our Gathering. I have started including some of our memory work on the Gathering placemats I create each month for the kids. You can get a FREE set of Gathering placemats by subscribing to Simple.Home.Blessings.