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Main difference between Memoria Press and Classical Conversations

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  • Mom of 3 Arrows
    Thank you both very much! Great info and a lot to think on. I'll let me husband read as well. I'm sure I will return with more questions and advice! Thank you again.

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  • pickandgrin
    Thank you for saving me the time of finding that, Christine! And hello, Mom of 3 Arrows ! This is Jessica (from Nashville, actually) with whom you spoke at TTD. I'm so thankful to see you've come to the forum with questions. Christine graciously provided a previous post from me that I typed up answering a question about CC in the later years.

    After being at the convention and taking about this a lot I would add an additional distinction that CC believes and is based on the premise that the parents are the best academic teachers K-12 for their children. The parent is the teacher and the tutor is a tutor. While I do believe the parents bear the ultimate responsibility for the education of their children, I differ in the opinion that my children are best taught all subjects by me. That simply has not been something I was personally able to maintain and it started falling apart in lower middle school with three other kids coming up behind. It doesn't matter how smart or dedicated I am, there's just only so many hours in a day. Almost every home-school family I know with students in high school utilizes outside help, be that for math or science or languages or literature, in person or online. What that tells me is that I am not alone in this. I spoke with one mother who was actually heartbroken that she hasn't been able to keep up with her oldest student in high school Latin. My first thought was, "Well, of course you couldn't! I've tried too and failed!" Some families may truly be able to lead their students in all subjects, but that number is very small. Instead, my friend and I started our own little MP-centric community precisely so that our children could have amazing teachers across many subjects. As they age up, our role changes and we move to their side as helpers with their work and not leaders in it. We started homeschooling them, but by that age they themselves are the homeschooler.

    To your questions:

    "Does MP do testing while CC does not?"

    MP provides assessments within their curriculum for the subjects taught in their curriculum. Outside testing like Stanford Achievement, state tests etc. are up to each family. My family does none of these.

    "CC begins "public speaking" from the early years, while MP does not?"

    Correct. MP doesn't focus on public speaking, i.e. giving speeches or presentations. Students are given recitation to recite and composition to learn. This culminates in studying Aristotle's Rhetoric in high school but again focuses more on what rhetoric is rather than doing it. Having something to say and knowing how to say it well is a skill apart from public delivery. Especially in the early years it's a matter of what is the best use of your time. You can figure out plenty of ways for your children to speak in front of people (grandparents, church friends, local theatre, speech and debate, etc.) if you so desire. That doesn't have to be part of your academic curriculum. Preparing weekly presentations takes homeschool time that I'd rather use to focus on content.

    "Does MP's high school math go beyond Algebra 2 and geometry to say Trig or Calculus?"

    Yes, there are resource recommendations but not lesson plans/DVDs at this time. As I mentioned earlier, it's not uncommon for homeschool students at that level to be doing classes online or as dual enrollment at a local college. Very few parents can teach those thoroughly at home (myself included).

    The things I mentioned above your questions may not matter to the parent of a rising Kindergartener. My best advice to to compare apples to apples, curriculum to curriculum, philosophy to philosophy, community to community, pros to pros, and cons to cons. MP and CC aren't apples to apples, they are different things. I hope this helps and as I said in the post above, try to get your MP info here and your CC info directly from them. Look at what each does in high school-content, quality, focus, methods, workload, and so forth.

    If you are like me it's going to take you a few years of homeschooling to figure out what sort of homeschool you want for your family. Dive in to something this fall and read, read, read. And, come back here with questions!

    Best to you,
    Last edited by pickandgrin; 04-07-2019, 10:55 AM.

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  • howiecram
    I copy and pasted this, I hope it was ok!!!

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  • howiecram
    I see this is in “general” FAQ. I wonder if it gets posted in K-8 I& more people will see it. I asked Jessica about this very same thing when a local homeschool mom, who,has been in CC for 5 years was pondering what to do. (We have only done MP).

    My two cents given in 10 minutes or less is that MP is a curriculum while CC is a program. The tag-lines are "classical Christian community" for CC and "classical Christian education" for MP. If what you want is a community day for your high school child with a tutor to review and discuss work they learned and completed at home, then CC is for you. If you want a coherent high school curriculum with teacher materials, DVDs, streaming videos, a homeschool parent training, and unlimited help via the forum and customer service, the MP is for you. One bonus: MP is like a turtle's home on your back--it's not contingent on a group or location, you can pack it up and take it with you. The differences are most exaggerated in the K-6 years between the two options. With MP the student has already been studying Latin since second or third grade and is nearly to the end of the grammar versus just picking up Henle in A. The MP student has spent years on classical studies specifically, giving them a tremendous foundation for moving into those 7th/8th grade Iliad/Odyssey/Aeneid years that MP schedules. In my opinion, MP better prepares the student with classical skills and content in the K-6 years than CC does. CC simply focuses on other things, namely the timeline/memory master material and English grammar and writing through IEW. These are not unworthy foci, but they take time and you can only do so many things in K-6. (A small anecdote: my kids don't need to study up for the history section of the NLE; they have already learned it in regular school. A CC student hasn't already learned that by 7th grade.) Here's the other significant thing: who is responsible for teaching the material--is it still you through 12th grade, or is someone else going to be the teacher? In CC their model is to have one tutor lead across all subjects for a grade. In my experience of running a cottage school I can tell you that it's manifestly difficult to find one person who can lead across that many high school subjects with skill. It's a nice ideal, but very hard to implement. And then if your tutor for that year leaves, you have to find someone else the next year who can do all those same things.

    Here's what MP can't provide: the community day--you have to go and make that community yourself. If you have a vibrant youth group, church, local family/friends, or introverted kiddo this may not be as big of a need. Other options for this aspect with MP are a local cottage school or co-op which you may have to start if one doesn't exist or MPOA online classes and/or their online diploma program. This is not the same as face to face but it a God-send for academic community for those without access to a local group.

    My best advice is always to talk to people with older kids who are doing what you are considering (not people with younger kids--the situations are too different--you need pros). This board is a great place to talk with those of us in and loving the high school years with MP. I would encourage her to talk to local mothers or other through the CC network with high schoolers who are doing and loving CC. In my experience locally, there are tons of younger families doing CC but very few high school groups. Within about 50 miles of where I live and a huge city there are only 5 groups that have high school options and not all of those have every grade available.

    Some questions to ask:
    Why do they love it?
    Do their kids have time to pursue hobbies, recreation, work, volunteering, etc.?
    What do they not like about it?
    What responsibilities do the tutors/teachers have and what still rests on me?
    How does it prepare them not merely for college but for life?
    Is it what you expected? Better? Worse?
    What do you wish you'd done differently?
    What happens if your group folds or a director steps down?
    What happens if there are too few students in your child's age group?
    How does the cost compare for what you are getting? Is the value there?

    I think it's important to point out that they are doing good work and it's a good option for some families, AND it's quite a different approach and form to classical education than what MP does. Though many of us share a purpose, we do have different forms. That translates into options for families, which is good. Hope this helps!

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  • howiecram
    I see this thread seems to have gotten lost! “Jessica” is here on this forum! @pickingrin (I do not know how to “tag”)

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  • Main difference between Memoria Press and Classical Conversations

    Hello! I am new to this forum. My husband and I will begin homeschooling our 5 yo daughter in the fall. (We also have a 3 yo boy and an 18mo old boy.) She is about to complete Pre-K 4 at a local Christian school. There is a local Classical Conversations community which we have gone to observe and liked it. I even looked through the foundations curriculum, essentials and challenge A. However, we didn't know about any other classical curriculums at that time. A week ago we got back from the Teach Them Diligently homeschool conference which was amazing. Anyway, we briefly spoke with Jessica, from the Louisville, KY area, at the Memoria Press booth. The conversation focused more on latin but not by her fault. Clearly, my husband and I just did not know what to ask her and walked away not realizing the difference between CC and MP.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but from what I can tell by looking at the MP website, MP is a complete curriculum while CC requires you find your own spelling/reading/writing and math curriculums for the early years and becomes complete in the Challenge years.
    Does MP do testing while CC does not?
    CC begins "public speaking" from the early years, while MP does not?
    Does MP's high school math go beyond Algebra 2 and geometry to say Trig or Calculus?

    What about mixing CC and MP curriculum? I've read from some people online that the Challenge years in CC can be overwhelming and thus any combination of the two would not be possible.
    Jessica, at the MP booth at the TTDC in Nashville, told us that many CC folks use MP latin from 2nd-7th grade to help prepare the student better. To us, this sounded like a good idea. Again, I wish I could go back and talk to her more and thumb through more MP books and curriculum so I could really see its curriculum like I have CC's. Sigh.
    Anyway, I am sure I have written enough to show you that I'd like some clarifying info on MP and its differences from CC. I realize no one can tell me to choose one over the other but rather to base it on how my daughter does but I do want to choose the one that would prepare her best to succeed! (yes, i know she is just 5. so I should relax some)

    Any guidance would be helpful!
    Thank you and God bless!