Thinking Beyond a Book…

Thinking Beyond a Book…

Summer time is approaching and that can only mean one thing…  Parent Practicum season is here! Homeschooling is a journey that takes vision and careful planning. Check your bearings and plan the best route for your family at Classical Conversations’ free 3-day Parent Practicums. Join me, or any one of this year’s practicum speakers, as we explore practical tools for bringing breadth and depth to your family’s learning. Discover how the classical model takes education beyond a textbook for relational and transformational learning. CiRCE Institute founder, Andrew Kern, visits in select cities via a multimedia presentation to share his heart for education that reclaims the whole student, challenging educators everywhere to adjust their thinking. Economically-priced Care & Camps for Kids…While you are learning, your students will be too! Whether they are being cared for in our nursery, playing and chanting in our play camps, memorizing and drawing God’s world in our geo-drawing camp, or learning more about language, writing, science, or communicating in one of our older academic camps, your students are sure to enjoy the group learning environment. Visit Classical Conversations’ Event Calendar and register for one of these exciting and equipping events today! click here...
From Triangles to Tattoos?!?

From Triangles to Tattoos?!?

Each week, I have the privilege of gathering with a group of 16 and 17 year olds where we learn math and more about the God behind the language of math! This week, we were once again learning even more about triangles. Let me just say, I love triangles! Triangles are so important in measuring and relating to God’s creation that there is a whole course called Trigonometry devoted to them! And guess what, my God is a triune God.  Interesting that He would choose the triangle as a corner piece in understanding so many aspects of His creation. Very interesting, isn’t it?!? So this week, we were contemplating triangles. Formulas for triangles, similar triangles, right-triangles, congruent triangles, … and I stopped! “Students. What do the words congruent triangles mean?” A student replies reading the bold text from a lesson, “Congruent triangles are similar triangles with a scale factor of one.” “Good!” I replied. “So you could say congruent triangles are the same. They have the same side lengths and same angles.” Frustrated and forlorn, one student states, “Well then! Why don’t we just say that then! Why do we have to use strange words!” YES!! The moment had come! You see, I have been waiting, waiting for this fated pivotal moment. The moment when the stars aligned, and I could share a secret I learned seven years ago – a learning secret. “Every subject has a language that we have to learn! This is called the grammar. Do you feel stupid when someone keeps using a word as if you should know what it means? I sure do!...

Our Trip to Jamestown

We’re back!  From Great Wolf Lodge (GWL) in Williamsburg, VA to touring Jamestown – the Shirley family had a wonderful trip! If you haven’t heard about Classical Conversations annual GWL in Williamburg Deal every September, you are missing out!  Loads of family fun at 1/3 of the price! It is during Williamsburg’s homeschool week, which is usually around the 2nd full week of September!  We see other CC friends and home schoolers from across the nation! Due to the fun I was having a the GWL water park – I have no pictures of our time at the water park.  However, Jamestown is a different story!  I mean Jamestown was fun too, but I actually have pictures :). Jamestown is the first permanent English settlement in the new world. It was founded in...

Edu-tainment vs. Stick and Sand

In our generation, there has been a turning tide, a tide that has been eroding true education. In a desire to be brief, let me cut right to the chase. In short, I call it “edu-tainment.” What do I mean by edu-tainment? Let me expound… Edu-tainment replaces modeling, dialoguing and thinking with flashy tools or games, thus leaving the student in a passive state of receiving stimuli, but not really processing and owning the material or skills needed for a successful learning journey. Classical educators have referred to this approach as filling a bucket, pouring information into or around a student (the bucket) until they can’t take any more. The student is viewed as a passive receiver – a bucket. Long term this edu-tainment or filling-focused approach is very unsatisfying for the student, leaving the spirit of the student disengaged, which eventually leads to disinterest in life’s great learning adventure. Classical Conversations programs, tutors, and parents strive to light the fire, to engage the student in learning process. This is primarily through modeling, working alongside the student with extensive dialogue and encouragement, and finally the student working through their studies more independently and confidently because they have had a sound model and encouraging mentors. Now is there anything inherently wrong with tools? Of course not, but they should never replace discussions and engaging the student’s brain in the thinking process. As a parent-teacher, it is easy to be fooled into thinking we are “teaching” when in fact we are simply gratified by the impressed excitement around our tool (or perhaps the quantity of worksheets we have completed), while leaving...

Essentials – 411

Here are a couple of important links… If you have an Essentials Guide from 2007, you may have a strange A13 page (blurred or something of the sort). Is so, here is a pdf file you can print and replace it with Essentials pA13. Invaluable pdf file for those NEW to the EEL Guide!  Want help in understanding the layout and appendices of the EEL Guide and more? Click here. Next, for those of you who have your own laser printer at home, and would like to print pages from Appendix B or C on demand, here is a link to purchase the EEL Student Mastery Sheets download. Psssst! Have you heard about the new CC site, Connected Classical Community. Connect with hundreds of families and educators across the US. When you register on the site, you have access to a few special Essentials printables… so you’ll want to check that out! Visit Connected Classical Community and register now. If you decide you would like to subscribe to the Foundations Tier and you are a member of a local CC community, ask your director about the special coupon code to receive a substantial discount off the retail price. Finally, note that the CC Press Room contains some important posts, announcements, press releases and wonderful CC history. So be sure to check out the CC Press Room from time to...