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.
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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. (Here is a bit more detail on our Memory Master Prep.)
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.
Note: For more specifics on our Cycle 2 Schedule or What we are Actually doing for Cycle 2, read this post.
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.
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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.
This Post Has 9 Comments
Hi, sweet Leah!!! I happened to come across your Gathering placemats for morning time, and I am so very happy!!! This is exactly what I have been wanting for my homeschool!!! Please, please, please consider making Gathering placemats for each month of the year!!!! I LOVE them, and my children need them!!! Thank you, Leanne from Michigan
Hi Leanne, Stay tuned. There are some coming for the upcoming year! I have finished through December 2019 and am working on the rest of the school year. Thank you for your words of encouragement – I am happy to hear they are a blessing to you!
Hi Leah! I just found you today=) THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your talents through your place mats!!! I can’t wait to incorporate them into our family time around the table. Your talent and willingness to be used as a blessing to others blessed my family for sure. I have already printed out the 4 that came in the email, are you keeping the new ones (if there are any yet) in another location? I would love to collect them all=) Seriously, thank you again, I have no talent like this but I CANT WAIT to use these!!!
Hi Jill, Thank you so much for your kind comments! What an encouragement to keep going. Currently I have placemats for subscribers (an evergreen version and a preschool version – you can find those in the subscriber exclusive area of the site) and Gathering placemats for the 2019-2020 school year (available in the shop). I am currently working on more preschool versions of the placemats (I want to use them in our home to make sure they are a blessing before I share them here). And I am planning on creating some more Classical Conversations specific ones later in the year.
The best way to keep up with the new sets is to watch your inbox on Saturdays for my Saturday Stroll emails – I will keep you updated there!
Again, thank you for your kind words – they make my heart soar and humble me at the same time.
This is amazing! It appears to be an effective and efficient schedule, something I am lacking in our CC memory work time. Since you only cover one subject each day (except Geography), do you go over all the grammar learned up to that week or just focus on the current week?
Hi Molly, I set a 15 minute timer and work backwards through the memory work. So if we are in week 6 (having gone to community day), I start with the memory work for that week and go to week 5, week 4, etc. until the timer goes off. I change it a little bit for the Science portion because we have a simple game we play most weeks. So we do that game and if we have time, review the rest of the weeks.
Thank you! I really think this will work well for us. I appreciate you taking the time to describe your process.
Thank you for your amazing schedule. I had this idea of breaking it down this way, but never did it because I was afraid that I wasn’t covering every subject every day. So just to be clear, on Monday you don’t tackle any of the subjects other than Latin and Geography. Correct?
Thank you for your help!
Jackie O (mother of an energetic 5 year old boy)
Hi Jackie. Thanks for your kind words. I am glad our schedule is an encouragement to you. Yes, we just do Latin and Geography on Mondays. By the way, my little guy (almost 5) is going to be starting CC this year and can barely stand still, too. SONGS!! They are just such a wonderful way to review the memory work for our active guys. My guy loves to sing and picks up songs so fast. Blessings to you and your guy.