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    Considering Memoria

    Hello, I am considering Memoria Press for the next school year. I have 4 children: DS 10 yrs (4th grade), DD 8 yrs (2nd grade), DS 6 yrs (K) and DS 1 yrs. I have been in a Classical Conversations Community for the past four years and for various reasons we will not be returning in August. Currently, we use Math Mammoth, Logic of English, Rod and Staff Grammar, IEW composition, CC Essentials grammar for memorization and Fix It! grammar for my DS 1. I have several questions for you Memoria Press users.
    1. How difficult is the transition to Memoria from other curriculum? I think I would like to continue with Math Mammoth.
    2. My DS 1 is consistently behind in his schoolwork. He complains a lot. Would adding Memoria just frustrate him?
    3. How do you manage multiple years with multiple children?!
    Thank you!

    Hi and welcome to the forum!

    We have been using MP for a number of years while also attending a Classical Conversations Community for social reasons. I will try to offer my perspective on your questions and then others can join in.

    First, you said that you want to continue with Math Mammoth. We currently use Saxon Math and I have found that math is the easiest thing to switch out so you should be fine there. You also asked how difficult it would be to transition to MP. I think that it always takes some time to become familiar with the expectations of a new program so I would just make sure to give yourself that time and plan how you would make that transition, both for yourself and for your children. One suggestion that I have seen before is to do a "soft" start. In other words, take about 4 weeks to complete the first 2 weeks of the core. That way, you are doing about half of the work required in a given week which will give you and your children time to see what the expectations are and how the MP programs are layed out. I have found that the expectations are pretty consistent from week to week so once you have done a couple of weeks, you will have a better idea of how much time each task will take, where your children will need some extra help, and where your two older children can work a little more independently. I really don't think that it would be a difficult transition, but you are still going to need to give yourself some time and grace as you start the new school year.

    You said that your son is behind in his schoolwork and that he complains a lot. One thing that I have noticed with families in CC who have children enrolled in Essentials is that this is a common complaint, especially for fourth graders who are doing their first year of Essentials. Probably about 75% of the parents I have talked to have said that tears, frustration, and complaints are typical throughout that first year. The Essentials grammar especially seems to be developmentally inappropriate for most fourth graders. The number one key for you would be to make sure that your son is placed appropriately in an MP core, and the best way to do this would be to call MP and speak to someone directly. They can help you find the best level for each subject. I would do this even if you are not sure if you are going to go with MP because it would allow you to focus on their recommendations for him as you are looking at samples online and as you are looking through the forum. I think that you may find that appropriately placing him in an MP core will cause his frustration level to drop because he won't have developmentally inappropriate expectations on him and MP just has a layout across their curriculum that becomes familiar and predictable over time.

    I will let others chime in on how to handle multiple cores with multiple children as I have a 13 year gap between my two children so I would be of no help whatsoever there.?

    Lastly, if you are really thinking that MP is for you, you may want to consider attending Sodalitas in the summer. It is a great way for you to get familiar with the curriculum and to have actual real-life conversations with people who are doing the same things that you will be doing.

    I hope that some of this helps!


    Dd20 - homeschooled through 8th grade using WTM, now a junior in college
    Dd7 - mostly MP 3M with Saxon Math, All About Spelling, and First Language Lessons


      Mine are 10, 8, 5, 2.5, and nb. I just wanted to say it can be done. We are in the midst of 5th, SC4 mix of 2nd and 3rd, K, and Preschool. We all do school every day, but a specific day is available to each of them to really get extra help if needed. We are all behind in Arithmetic and are using Rod & Staff, but we also use computer supplements with IXL, CTCMath, and Smartick. This moment, my 8-year-old is quizzing my 10-year-old with flashcards.
      Margaret of GA, in west TN – Enginerd’s wife & Mama

      Trekking along at a student self-pace...
      DD Summer 2009 · 7th
      DD Summer 2011 · SC
      DS Summer 2014 · 2nd
      DD Summer 2017 · Preschool/SC
      DS Autumn 2019 • Tot-preschool
      MP, Seton, Sonlight, Beau. Feet, Notgrass, IEW, Saxon

      Memoria Scholé Academy 2011-2022
      Blog: Creative Madness Mama
      @ CherryBlossomMJ


        Welcome, welcome! Those are great ages to place into MP. I fell in love with MP when my eldest had finished first grade and my youngest was looking for a slow intro to preschool. We wound up doing a condensed and accelerated pace of certain MP1 (first grade) components in the summer before we went with full cores. It was a good idea to get the feel for how it all fit together and catch up on the math facts that are assumed to be so fast and fluent. We had used numerous math programs before finding Rod & Staff, and it's been a wonderful fit ever since, but don't feel like you have to change and sell all of those books if you have them and they produce the same result of fluency and fact memorization.

        We also came from Logic of English. My eldest went through Foundations A-D, and she became a phenomenal reader. She has pretty much maxed out her ITBS (IOWA A) in reading comprehension and lanugage every year since. I do like the program. But towards the end, I found that it lacked SO much in its cohesiveness. Everything felt fractured and separate, and it took a LONG time to get through the lessons. The LofE games required so much one-on-one parent-child interaction that had my youngest not been in a Montessori preschool a few days a week, I never, ever would have had the ability to get through it. Also, it lacked the repetition and soft intro to writing that copywork provides. MP took my reluctant writer and made her more confident in spelling and sentence formation. They do this with Copybook Cursive, New American Cursive, Traditional Spelling II, and Prima Latina. If I could keep one aspect of LoE, it would be their emphasis on cursive-first and the explicit over-teaching of strokes instead of tracing to learn letters. Both of my kids needed explicit teaching on letter formation. YMMV. We also occasionally broke out the LoE letter tiles in Traditional Spelling II (MP2). The phonics word lists in Classical Phonics was wonderfully refreshing, as I really didn't think LoE had enough repetition, emphasis on word families, etc. My rising 2nd grader made a fabulous transition to MP2 from Foundations D. A few of the vowel teams are explained differently, but she caught on quickly, especially with the Traditional Spelling technique of colorful letters and Phonics Flashcards.

        What I love about MP is that there is so much overlap and repeated information that builds toward the next grade that younger kids can sit in on older kids' work and pick up much of the knowledge they'll be tracking towards. My first year in MP2 was like a breath of fresh air! I would be hitting topics in MP2 Enrichment that my youngest was reading about at a smaller level in SC B (the Simply Classical track for out of the box learners). The flow of the curriculum guide helped clear up so many of those awkward transitions where I had to psyche myself up for destroying my kitchen with science experiments, dragging out art supplies to the distraction of others learners, or toggle between puzzling and kids doing math facts. There is a predictable order to our day, and my kids find comfort in knowing what they're supposed to be doing at each transition.

        Definitely call in and get a consultation for placement. Expect to hear the same whining and moaning for things that are hard and new. But the learning curve is easy. Within 6 weeks my eldest went from foot-stomping in spelling to pushing me away to do it alone, by herself, and quickly (not the whole lesson, just the copying of the words, btw). Monday is my big teaching day for my eldest for all the subjects for the week. T-Th I take for my youngest in the morning to work on phonics, memory work and calendar time. My eldest uses those morning hours to copy Latin, spelling, EGR rules/wkbk, review flashcards, and start math. When I'm done with my youngest, he plays while I teach any new math board work, give new Latin examples to decline/conjugate, and assign literature guides and afternoon work. After lunch we do lit guide discussion questions and science, Classical studies, or geography. Fridays I try to end early so we can go to the zoo, botanical gardens or local art museum. We work on memory work all throughout the week (on family walks, at the breakfast or lunch table, in the car, at the park, while hiking, etc). Review is the theme for us, and we try to stay on task, but we go as slowly as we need to go to get it done well!
        Mama of 2, teacher of 3

        SY 21/22
        5A w/ SFL & CC Narrative class

        Completed MPK, MP1 Math & Enrichment, MP2, 3A, 4A
        SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math), SC2's Writing Book 1


          Welcome! As a classical educator, I think you would find MP a welcome change. As others have said, the beauty of having an intertwined curriculum that carefully lays a solid foundation then slowly and systematically builds on top of that foundation.

          You mentioned adding in MP; to clarify if you do MP cores, it is a complete curriculum and doesn’t need supplementing. Perhaps 4th for New Users for him for next year would be a good fit. You can continue with 5th grade math while allowing him a chance to build up his skills and knowledge. He would have a chance to use his knowledge from foundations memory work to apply it in States and Capitals and Latina Christina.

          Using multiple cores is possible but figuring out how it works best in your house is the key. For us, I work with one child at a time so they have my undivided attention (except for Christian Studies and recitation.) The other two children can play quietly by themselves or together. If they are at the table together, they distract each other. Our days are longer but more peaceful. There are lots of threads about working with multiple cores and some videos from previous Sodilatas conferences that provide other ideas.

          I hope your transition from your community goes smoothly. Change is hard and can be scary, especially for kiddos when it’s all they know. I will be thinking of you in the coming months.

          For 2021-22
          dd- 6th
          ds- 3rd
          dd- 1st
          ds- adding smiles and distractions