I am peeking out from my piles of painstaking planning to say, “Hey, CC Cycle 3 planning parent!” How’s it going? Are you overwhelmed yet with all the “extras” you want to add to your favorite curriculum this year?
Or are you still in that beautiful planning stage where every detail is settled and each puzzle piece placed into the picture-perfect year? All you have to do now is carry it out to the letter.
How’s that perfect puzzle now?
Oh, sorry. Did I mess up your idea of those perfect plans?
Good. Because this is real life and it is going to get messy. That puzzle you crafted throughout the summer of 2020 – it is going to get tossed around a few times.
And guess what… it’s okay. Life will hand you things this year no plan could account for. It happens every year.
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So, how do we prepare when we don’t know what lies ahead?
I strip everything I can down to the basics and adjust my expectations to their minimum setting. That way I can celebrate when my expectations are exceeded.
This is our second time through Cycle 3 for Classical Conversations. And this time, I am really…no really, planning what we are going to actually do.
And it may surprise you to know that it is super simple!
Our Actual Plan for CC Cycle 3
We aren’t really doing much. Promise! I have already shared here our routine for Grammar review with Classical Conversations. I also have begun to prepare Cycle 3’s One Thing More ideas for adding on to the science, geography, OR history portion of our year (look for those soon!).
Today, I am hoping to help you simplify the add-ons to the grammar.
By the way...I fully subscribe to the idea that the grammar is enough! It truly is. But there are many more hours in the day and there are things our kids will attach themselves to – and sometimes that is school-related (bonus!) Why not offer them a simple feast of activities to engage their brains in the direction of the grammar they are learning each week?
In case you are wondering where we are on our Classical Conversations journey, here are the details of our homeschool. I currently have 3 CC age students: a 4rd grader and a 2nd/3rd grader, and a pre-K/K student. We have been part of CC since we began homeschooling 5 years ago. We also have a very-interested 3 year-old (who requires much attention and is very interested in what we are doing). Our community day is on Tuesdays. And we are, as a family, what I would call laid-back.
When I introduced our Simple Classical Conversations Reveiw, I told you how simply and quickly we got memory work review in. Thus, this Actual Plan for CC Cycle 3 will fill you in on what we will do that relates to Classical Conversations. Last year, when I shared our Actual Plan for Cycle 2, I followed our review schedule pretty closely.
This year I am changing things up quite a bit. There are a number of reasons for this (one of them household overwhelm), but the changes will be reflected in this year’s plan. Thus, this year’s Actual Plan for CC Cycle 3 is grouped by subjects, rather than days of the week. The days of the week will still follow the review schedule, but things are grouped differently.
Goodness…that was a lot of prefatory remarks. Let’s get to it.
What is different for us this year is our embarkation of the “semi-formal” study of Latin for our 4th grader (and me). Thus we will be doing a Latin version of our Gathering each Wednesday as a family. I am still working out the details of it. But I am calling it, Conlatio – Latin for “coming together, gathering.” Our time together will include Latin prayers, songs, phrases, and grammar. And it will also include recitation of John 1:1-7 in Latin – that’s twice a week now – see what I did there? We are loosely (extremely loosely) following the Latina Christiana curriculum from Memoria Press. Our actual Latin instruction (a separate time) will be from Artes Latinae.
We are dealing with a wide range of math abilities this year. For our younger two students, we will be working on the skip counting in our usual ways. We are also going to re-do the fun Skip Counting Art we did last year. When CC moves on from skip counting, we will still be doing it in our Saxon Math curriculum.
NOTE: I had an epiphany last year about why CC recommends Saxon Math so heartily – it has to do with skip counting. It is worthy of consideration.
We also will have lots of fun as a family with our Liquid Equivalents activities (and cards).
For our Essentials student, we will be working on our times tables. I created some flash cards for her (because the CC ones always seem to be sold out).
We are also intentionally adding more math and logic related games to our school and leisure time. I read Teaching the Trivium this summer. While I DO NOT agree with the Bluedorn’s approach to math in the early years, I took to heart what they had to say regarding games and logic. We have already started playing some card games and Battleship together – she loves it!
For English will be returning to work through First Language Lessons. I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed this curriculum in our first three years of homeschooling. It fits very nicely with CC definitions of terms with a few modifications.
The songs we (my oldest and I) have in our heads as a result of the review portion of First Language Lessons will likely never leave us. They always put us in good stead to remind us quickly of the definitions and lists.
Our two youngest students will be working in First Language Lessons together. We will do as I did when our oldest was going through it with her younger sister: modify expectations to ability.
The primary way we will review the memory work for English is songs and chants. They add an overall celebratory tone to our school day which discourages sour faces.
My oldest will be embarking on her first tour of Essentials. Thus we will be excited to discover new things, review the things we do know, and manage expectations as we walk through it.
I also have a number of simple resources I made last time we went through CC Cycle 3 that we will be using for our review time. One such resource is the Sentence Pattern Cheer Poster. It is available in our Shop now.
Since they were such a big hit around here last year, we will do coloring sheets for memory work created by Amy Snider Design. I printed these out and had them bound – my students are already asking when they get to use them again.
For my older two girls Copywork is the “default school activity.” Since we have a rotation-system for our school day (detailed here), they can often find themselves unoccupied. Attempting not to be slavish about it (they can get up and run around or get a snack), I encourage them to do their copywork in the moments they are waiting for their next session with me.
This year I created some copywork notebooks for my older two students who are both working on cursive handwriting. I created a Copywork schedule for the first half of CC Cycle 3 for them to follow. This schedule (available soon) helps to sneak in some CC review almost daily. I am utilizing the Prescripts books from CC – making them a reusable resource for my kids.
For my younger guy, who is not quite writing-ready, we are just doing coloring.
We will attempt to average some super simple history extentions about every other week on Thursday. Listening to the History and Timeline during clean-up and review time, is on the agenda as well.
I created something specifically for my littlest learner (that my older kids are excited about, too) that fits into both History and Math. They are beautiful CC Cycle 3 Math + History Puzzles. They utilize the skip counts and math memory work to create beautiful images correlating to each week of CC Cycle 3. There are over 25 puzzles in the set. I am overjoyed with how they turned out!
My oldest student is also reading and journaling through George Washington’s World by Genevieve Foster. I am referring to it as a warm-up activity for our history lessons. She will read the mini-biography of one person each day (4-day week) and record her thoughts in a journal I made specifically for this book.
I also created a One Thing More for Cycle 3 History. It has some fun and simple ideas for making history a little bigger for your second time through a cycle. Look for that soon!
I do super simple review on our review days. I make it fun on the first week a science fact is in the Grammar, by playing hide and seek with the items on the list. We have a non-reading kid hide Post-it notes with the list items. The reading-kids will search for them in the right order and bring them back one at a time. Each time an item is brought back we will say the question and answer it, adding on until the answer is complete. It is super simple. But it is a kid-favorite around here.
I created some oversized Q&A Cards for Science this year to make this game even easier. You can get them by signing up as a Subscriber to my Saturday Stroll newsletter.
The kids will also have visual cues in our homeschool room to help review the science. I found this awesome set of anatomy posters which I am going to hang in the space.
When we switch over to study of the Periodic Table I have some fun Periodic table picnics planned for our kids. I even found a blanket for more Periodic Table fun.
I also created a One Thing More for Cycle 3 Science. It has some fun and simple ideas for making science a little bigger for your second time through a cycle. Look for that soon!
You may have noticed Geography is missing from the list above. That is because Geography is reviewed every day around here. It is our hardest subject. It is also our favorite in some ways because of the awesome songs CC Happy Mom creates for each cycle. My kids (all of them) love her songs and reviewing geography is never a chore when we have those songs.
I also created a One Thing More for Cycle 3 Geography. It has some fun and simple ideas for making geography a little bigger for your second time through a cycle. Look for that soon!
Resources for You for CC Cycle 3
That’s it! It sounds like so much more when reading/scrolling, but almost all this fits neatly into a 30 minute session of Memory Work Review, 4 days a week.
As you likely noticed as you read through our Actual Plan, I create a LOT of resources for Classical Conversations. I figure I am going to be teaching 4 kids for years to come, I might as well invest the time to make some resources.
So I would like to invite you to follow along with us.
I have started writing enough about Classical Conversations that I created a segment of my mailing list devoted to CC. If you are interested in receiving updates on our CC journey, encouragement for your CC journey, and notification of new resources to help you, please sign up here. If you are already a subscriber, it will NOT double-subscribe you.
I would also like to invite you to check out one of our FAVORITE THINGS EVER! Our Gathering has become something precious to us. My kids wake up ready for this every single day. If you have been interested in morning time, but you don’t know how to make it work for your family, you NEED this resource.
I was there. I couldn’t figure it out, either. But a little kernel of an idea inspired our Gathering Placemats. They have been a welcome tradition in our homeschool. And I hope they will be in yours.
You can get a FREE set of Gathering Placemats when you subscribe to our Saturday Stroll emails. You can do that at the bottom of this post.
I pray God’s rich blessings on you this year!