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    Teacher Intensive

    Speaking with my SIL, who uses Classical Conversations, and the flow of our days, I've concluded one of two things: either my children are not as independent as they should be, or Memoria Press just requires a lot of the parent teaching wise.
    Would any of you agree that it takes a lot of the parent to facilitate and/or teach a MP core?

    I do think MP is parent intensive on the days when new content is introduced. (I purposefully introduce some of it on Sunday nights.) But some subjects really lend themselves to launching independently depending on age. (You didn’t say what ages you have. My oldest does cursive, copy work, most of spelling, and a lot of the written Latin independently.) We are incredibly routine-oriented, which lends itself well to the structure of MP materials, I think. In most of the guides you know with certainty what order things will happen in and then you can assume the student knows the “how” of the assignment and can focus on the “what”.


      My main cores are for my seventh and fourth grader. The seventh is independent and the fourth is getting there. Reading is still a struggle for him so for lit I read out loud and science (insects) as well. I teach spelling and do the lessons with him. Comp, math, latin and grammar are all with me as well. There is a lot of recitation and I want to make sure they are comprehending what they're learning.
      My seventh grader does American History, Literature, most of comp and FMOG independently but grammar, latin, math, 200 questions on history and all recitation is with me. Am I perhaps not giving them enough independence?
      Last edited by Kallie BURRUANO; 01-25-2023, 04:16 PM.


        It’s personal preference, but I think a lot of people put the flash cards on a rotation.


          There are the sowing days and the reaping days with Memoria Press. We're on our 20th week of the year, six years (and nine grade levels) into homeschooling, and I am so thankful to have found MP and read up on their approach. If you ever have the privilege of attending a conference, you will find that the heart of a Memoria Press education is teacher-directed learning. It is Classical at its core, and MP headship always acknowledges the homeschooling parents as being wholly deserving of their awe because they know it isn't easy. Parents are modeling, teaching, leading, showing students how to find mistakes and errors in their own work, and encouraging children to complete assignments diligently. There is no substitute for listening to your child read a book aloud or recite poems, Bible verses, spelling words, Latin declensions and more. There are plenty of ways we parents find to take shortcuts when there's not enough Mom to go around. We farm out that ear to our husbands, the grandparents, a neighbor, pastor or Sunday School teacher (Bible verses!). We play audio books on car trips or let The Internet Grandpa read great literature as we follow along. We let our kids play math games (with family) or on a device. We laminate maps and check the capitals later in the day (or assign Seterra if they can be trusted on the computer).

          Teacher-directed learning is actually more time-preserving than one might think. For those parents who have to assign pages without first teaching a lesson or who go days without checking for errors, it can be painful to go back and fix ingrained mistakes.

          Most of us do what we can, but it's really dangerous to compare yourself (and your children) to others. Few children are self-motivated and independent workers prior to 4th or 5th grade, and most crave social interactions with their primary teacher or other students. Still more have special learning needs where one-to-one teaching makes all the difference. I also don't remember which grades or how many levels you're approaching, but the demand for at-shoulder time lessens each week, month and year. For us, in the second half of the year everyone knows the routine and sails through lessons in half the time (if I've been diligent to stay on top of things for the first half). Sixth grade has been a blessing, and while I am so proud of my eldest, I am looking more toward Memoria Academy (formely MPOA) than ever because I have appreciated the ways the instructors take her through the material even deeper.

          You chose MP for a reason. I don't know any mama who doesn't walk this road without second-guessing, envying the good day you see another parent having (or the white-washed version she's selling online). See what you can streamline, encourage, exhort and motivate where necessary, and take a couple of deep breaths. This is an incredible path, and it's so worth the walk.
          Mama of 2, teacher of 3
          SY 22/23
          6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim w/ Elementary Greek Year One

          Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
          SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math)


            Sorry, I worked on that post for a few hours and didn't get your update on grade levels. If you're in pre-algebra, that's hard. Unless you're doing videos, it needs a good teaching. I keep my teaching to 20 min then walk away while problems are attempted. I grade math later and ask for redos for anything wrong.

            Personally, I would move 200 questions to Quizlet & independent review but listen as he reads. Assign more Latin as independent until the translations and let him come to you for questions. Assign review as quizlet or recitations while you prep lunch. We got EGR down to 10 min twice a week. Keep it simple: assign FC or use quizlet and ask them to make it on the leader board for matching.

            Have you heard of Vita Beata?
            Mama of 2, teacher of 3
            SY 22/23
            6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim w/ Elementary Greek Year One

            Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
            SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math)


              I would agree that MP is quite teacher-intensive, compared to the programs that some of my friends use. That is part of the design of the curriculum. I don't know that giving your children more independence is exactly the goal with this curriculum, although it may be a personal goal of yours. They should be independent with certain reading assignments, final drafts of essays, most of spelling, study guide questions after say 4th grade, and most of geography. But the classical model MP uses is always expected to include a knowledgeable teacher giving instruction, so the goal isn't to finally wash your hands of teaching them and just let them learn everything on their own. Actually, I probably spend more time with my oldest than with my younger kids because there is a lot to discuss in 9th grade literature! And science is challenging, so we read that aloud together and I explain things as we go. In fact, I often wish I was able to spend a bit more time with my 3 older kids to ensure that they had more read-aloud practice, more help with composition, and more extensions of science. We definitely adapt the MP materials to our abilities, but I do expect to be in "teacher mode" for a good 5+ hours a day. Other homeschool programs are designed to require less of the parent, but MP is the most rich, rigorous, and beautiful complete package that I have found and I wouldn't trade it for anything now!

              Fall 2022:
              DS 14 9th
              DD 12 7th
              DS 10 5th
              DD 7 2nd
              DS 5 K
              DS 2


                Originally posted by Kallie BURRUANO View Post
                Speaking with my SIL, who uses Classical Conversations, and the flow of our days, I've concluded one of two things: either my children are not as independent as they should be, or Memoria Press just requires a lot of the parent teaching wise.
                Would any of you agree that it takes a lot of the parent to facilitate and/or teach a MP core?
                Quite simply, Yes! MP is attractive to me for this reason since I want to stay involved K-12. Most families I know begin outsourcing some subjects in middle to high school which changes the parent load and responsibility depending on the scope and nature of those choices. The early years of homeschooling (K-about 4th/5th) require a lot of foundation building. I've seen the good fruit of later independence though. Early homeschooling to me is very similar to parenting in the baby, toddler, and preschooler stage.

                I love enbateau 's comment about sowing and reaping. I'm still massively sowing with my youngest (massively), but I'm doing loads of reaping with the older kids.

                If the load on the parent ever becomes too great, that's a good time to consider some outsourcing (MA, form a casual co-op, bring in help). There are many good comments above with ideas. One of the reasons a friend and I started a cottage school back in the day was that we knew we didn't have enough of us to go around if we wanted an MP path for our kids. We wanted a partner to help who would help us stay on the path, not pull us from it.

                A question or two to ponder: Are you happy with what your kids are getting out of their studies? Are you able to provide the teaching intensity they need in this season of your life? Are you comfortable with homeschooling requiring more of you than others? Do you prefer the path you are on, even if that means you'll have to invest more daily time?

                No need to answer here. These are just to think about. Best wishes!
                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 • Just finished MA Fourth Form for Adults! Moving on to a Latin readings class. (Pray for me)

                Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
                Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016
                "Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in one year and underestimate what they can accomplish in five." -Mrs. Cheryl Lowe


                  This is an interesting discussion, with two interesting questions.

                  Is MP requiring a lot of a parent's time? Yes, definitely. I find MP exhausting, and I find I am prone to burnout because with my natural temperament all this teaching is extremely taxing. There are definitely many days when I'd like to run away! But I've persevered long enough to see, like Jessica in her comment above, that all the work does bear fruit in a most wonderful way. My oldest two now don't work with me anymore, they do almost everything with Memoria Academy and a bit with Schole' Academy. It's quite the expense for us, but it saves my sanity - but besides this, the point I wanted to make is that I look at my kids in class, and what they write and discuss, and I am in awe that all this came after and because so much painstaking work with me years ago - and at the same time, it's all their doing and they've gone well beyond what I can trace back to me as the teacher. It's like when you teach your child to go on his bike, and you have to follow him so closely, and it may take a while to create confidence, but then he's off to the races. Of course there is more than one way to homeschool, and even to do MP itself, but I just want to highlight how yes, you will reap big time.

                  Am I withholding independence? I find this a really good question to keep in mind. In my experience, my kids will let me know the answer. I am definitely not the kind of parent who will drop you in the deep end and tell you to start swimming. So even with school, I started with the idea I had to do everything with them all the time (no wonder I end up wanting to run away!). But then I learned to listen to them when they bristled and told me they could do it by themselves. And I learned to trust the MP method, which repeats across subjects, and which becomes familiar to the kids, so that they know what they're supposed to do and how. And I learned that, at least in our family, I did not need to cross all the Ts and dot all the Is of the curriculum, because learning is a multi-layered process that is not completely under our control, nor under our sole responsibility, so there is no need to treat the curriculum like a magic formula not to be altered in any way. So I think the answer to that question lies in you knowing your kids well and picking up some cues and experimenting. To go back to my bicycle metaphor, sometimes you will let go to see if your child is ready to be on his own - and it's ok to do this because you're tired of holding him up! Then you just observe what happens and draw your conclusions: you may have to go back to holding, or you may see that it's ok to do things differently now. As my mother-in-law famously quipped in the middle of my first brush with potty training, "Don't worry, he won't be in diapers on his wedding day!" Meaning, it's a lot of work for you now, but in the end people are built to be independent, they will get there
                  DS (17)
                  DD (16)
                  DS (9)


                    A different perspective from what has been said so far:

                    While we have used MA for composition and Latin, you don't HAVE to outsource in order to do MP well in the later years. My current high schooler has no outsourced classes and is completely independent. After I review his written work, I let him read the TM background/discussion points/answers for that lesson (he's a very honest child, but I have him do this in my presence "to keep honest people honest" as my dad used to say). He makes corrections and benefits from the lecture points and summaries even though I'm not able to present them. This child also has an auditory memory issue and suspected ADHD-inattentive so he not only learns WELL this way, he actually learns BETTER than he would otherwise.

                    As for when independence starts, my children have each been ready at different times. Just like life, it's a matter of building and preparing for as long as that individual child needs. Some children will be ready to travel the world at 18 while others will stick close to home until they're in their twenties.

                    In homeschooling, there's no point by which they "should be" independent. There are general ages when it tends to happen, but every child is unique! We've had the mostly-independent stage start anywhere from ages 8 to 13. And one of those shouldn't have been that independent until probably 15 — lesson learned.

                    But then there's the question of whether independence is a good thing. I look at it this way: each child should be given the level of independent work they are truly ready for and able to thrive with. If I keep them back even though they're ready, school inevitably becomes a battle-ground. The same happens when I push them towards independence too soon.

                    Don't let comparison make you push before they're ready, but don't let perfectionism lead to keeping them behind — or burning yourself out. You're the only one who will know which situation you're in with each child and each subject.
                    Blog: [url][/url]


                    DS19: MP grad; auto mechanic
                    DS18: College freshman
                    DS16: MP - Latin, medieval history, literature. Non-MP - math, biology, and agriculture.
                    DS14: SC/MP - Latin, literature, classical studies, spelling. MP/CTP - American history. Non-MP - science and math.
                    DD12: MP - Latin, literature, classical studies. MP/CTP - American history. Non-MP - science and math.
                    DD11: SC4
                    DD8 (Jan. birthday): progress held up by 2021/22 life events; finishing MPK


                      These have been fabulous, well thought out responses and I thank you each for your time. I absolutely agree that MP is worth is the time and the energy and it's nice to see that it's not taking a lot of my time and energy because I'm doing something wrong, but rather because this a beautiful yet rigorous program. It s a blessing to have this forum as I know no one personally who uses this curriculum.
                      Thank you again.