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Combining Grades for Memoria Subjects in a Co-op/Hybrid School

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    Combining Grades for Memoria Subjects in a Co-op/Hybrid School

    I'm in discussion with another family about starting a small hybrid school in our area. Our family used Memoria Core Kindergarten this year and plan on staying with Memoria as it has worked fine for us. Such a hybrid school for us would likely need to limit subjects and combine grades, at least initially. I realize certain subjects are sequential and thus grade dependent (e.g., Latin and Math).

    Which subjects might work to place on a yearly rotation, where you could have years A, B, and C? It seems to me Christian Studies could work (K-2, 3-5), Classical Studies and Modern Studies (3-5), and Enrichment/Nature Studies (K-2, 3-5).

    Is it possible to put any of the MP subjects into "forms" the way some Charlotte Mason approaches do?

    Thanks!

    Blake


    #2
    Blake,

    It’s exciting to hear that you are still planning to form a hybrid school this Fall. I, personally, would still love to connect via a phone call to talk about your hybrid.

    Regarding your specific question, I think your suggestion about what classes could be combined sounds reasonable. Here are a couple of thoughts on how it might work out in particular instances.

    Because the enrichment curriculum relies on a teacher reading aloud to his or her students, the teacher can adapt the classroom discussion on the reading to any age. So, a rotation of enrichment should work well in the primary years.

    For science in the middle school years, Mammals, The Book of Insects, and The Book of Astronomy are each one year programs at a similar difficulty level that could give you the three year rotation that you are looking for.

    For classical studies, D’Aulaires Greek Myths is a very important book for preparing students to read The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid in junior high. One way you could still have a rotation of combined classes, would be to have two classical studies courses. One class would rotate between Famous Men of Rome and Famous Men of the Middle Ages. The other class, for third graders and beginning students would cover the D’Aulaires Greek Myths with the one-year lesson plans.

    For Christian studies and American/modern studies, these classes can be rotated, but we don’t typically recommend it. For Christian studies, you will have to be mindful of which recitation questions and memory verses the students will have covered. For American/modern, you will need to use The States & Capitals one-year lesson plans; you won’t be able to complete the regularly scheduled United States Review with new students who join your Geography I course the following year; and, you would experience the same issue with Geography I Review in your third year.

    My only additional suggestion would be that you could put together a literature rotation as well. Farmer Boy, Charlotte’s Web, A Bear Called Paddington, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, The Cricket in Times Square, The Blue Fairy Book, Dangerous Journey, The Moffats, and My Side of the Mountain would all work across a few grade levels in grade school.

    Regarding Charlotte Mason, perhaps someone else can jump in who has experience with their curriculum. I’m not very familiar with it.

    I hope that helps!

    Comment


      #3
      Also, have you posted on the board dedicated to starting a cottage school? There may be other veteran leaders of schools who can share what they did when they started, such as pickandgrin

      AMDG,
      Sarah
      2020-2021
      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
      DS, 17
      DD, 15
      DD, 13
      DD, 11
      DD, 9
      DD, 7
      +DS+
      DS, 2

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks, Sarah and Shane.

        Shane, yes, let's connect. I'll reach out this week.

        Blake

        Comment


          #5
          Blake,
          Hello! I would say that whomever you have participating and the grade levels of the children participating are likely going to drive the bus on what you offer and in what groupings. You may need to see who wants to participate then offer what meets those needs this year.

          My best suggestion would be not to group cumulative subjects like reading (phonics, spelling) or math. As part of that keep an eye on the skills that students are using in the different courses because that's where disparity will show up most. Everyone can sit and listen to a read-aloud, most can use scissors and crayons. When you get into the students reading aloud in literature studies, or having some sort of game where speed is required with recitation or math facts, that is where it will show up. An attentive and experienced teacher can mitigate most of this in a classroom. A rookie may struggle.

          My final suggestion would be to give the most "school" time to what you value most. If you offer enrichment you will attract everyone. Guess why!? It's so wonderful and compatible with everything. If you want to build a program that will have young students ready to move in to grammar school Memoria Press materials in third grade, then you may want to focus a significant portion of your time on the core classes of reading, the physical act of writing/cursive, and arithmetic mastery. Students in third grade or above could study Latin and classical studies. If what you have in mind long-term is a classical program, then I would encourage you to lead with a classical program right from the beginning. If you have vision, then put it out there right at the beginning. MP may be central to that vision, or it may be the most convenient vehicle, or it may be incidental. You may already know where you are on this, or you may still be thinking though. All options are ok!

          In our first year we combined first and second grade and that proved very difficult. Now we do not do any combining in Kindergarten through about 4th grade. After that, the early skills kids and the regular skills kids have about leveled out. From then on many of our classes have a slight range of ages, usually within two years of each other but occasionally spanning three grades depending on their birthdates. Placement in cumulative classes is done strictly on content and mastery; everyone starts at the beginning of those.

          As for forms, I don't know that you would need to do that unless you just wanted to use it as some sort of organizing principle. The Memoria Press curriculum already has distinct divisions between Primary, which is kindergarten through second grade; Grammar, which is third through about sixth; and Upper, which is what is normally considered middle and high school. The language of "forms" might be confusing if you plan to ever get involved with First through Fourth Form Latin. So many forms!

          These are just a few thoughts from some of our experiences here. Each co-op or tutorial will have its own distinctives based on its purpose, mission, and goals.
          I wish you all the best, and I hope some of these thoughts are fruitful for you.
          Festina lentē,
          Jessica P

          '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
          DS Hillsdale College freshman
          DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
          DD 8th • HLN & Home
          DS 5th • HLN & Home
          Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

          Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

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