Last week, I was delighted to host a Classical Conversations “Taster” session at my home in South-West London. I also had the pleasure of meeting Meina (in real life as opposed to FB!) who kindly offered to be our tutor for the day. The session lasted from 10:30 – 2 p.m, and we had another lovely mum and her two children join us.
We started with Bible reading and prayer, requesting the Lord to bless our time together. Miena then turned to her whiteboard, which had all the memory work written on it. Right in the middle of the whiteboard was a big bubble labelled “God” and the other knowledge areas were connected to it. This was to display how knowledge is integrated and hence should be seen as a ‘whole’ instead of as separate subjects. All our learning is centred around, related to and ultimately leads to further knowledge of God.
Did I tell you how much I love CC’s mission statement?
“To know God and to make Him known”.
Our tutor then proceeded to teach us the memory work: First, we learnt the timeline followed by Maths, Science, Latin, English and History facts. For Geography, we practised a bit of map work using printed A4 maps that Miena brought with her.
I won’t lie…there were a load of facts to memorise, and I, as a newbie CC mum seriously wondered if my children (and I!) would able to memorise all these facts in a week! Miena, who is a very enthusiastic tutor, however, made it look super easy and fun though.
Next, we had a quick lunch break, and then the mums spent the next hour or so discussing how the science experiments and fine arts would be conducted on community day. We also had the chance to talk through and discuss other concerns, some relating to CC and others about general homeschooling.
Some of my lessons learnt from the day were:
- Memorisation techniques: In CC, we memorise facts by using a variety of methods:
- Repetition: memory work for each knowledge area was repeated at least seven times.
- Songs: facts were sung to the melody of popular tunes.
- Gestures and actions: while singing were carried out during memorisation.
All the above helps to cement in the memory work.
- The taster gave me a good idea of what the schedule for community day might look like. Also, it helped me see how I could fit memory work into our daily home schedule throughout the week.
- CC connected: we browsed through the CC connected website and had a look at its features. It’s the go-to place to get access to videos/songs and nifty shortcuts, tips and tricks that other parents have created and uploaded. Miena said it is the “Pinterest” of Classical Conversations! So beware 😊
- We discussed timeline cards and how to store them for easy retrieval and safekeeping (not to mention, for saving your sanity too!). An A5 photo album is a good option.
- We also discussed when and at what point other resources such as the human body book, tin whistles, Classical music for dummies, etc. would be used. Answer: after the 6th week.
All in all, it was a good day of learning and fellowship together.
I’m excited about delving into the big world of Classical Conversations in the next few weeks!