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Protocol for Homeschool conventions

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    Protocol for Homeschool conventions

    I was at the Arlington TX homeschool convention last weekend, and I asked an MP rep to explain Memoria Press. She handed me the catalog that was already sitting on my desk at home and said, "Read this."

    So, in the name of better service for MP, may I ask readers to answer this question.

    Q. At a busy convention which requires attendees to pay for admission, and which is open for only a few hours over two days, a curriculum rep would prove winsome and helpful by

    A. placing long reading assignment into hands of potential customers

    B. saying, "My kids love it. The bird study was such a good experience."

    C. memorizing and loosely quoting, "The Classical Core Curriculum is a complete classical Christian curriculum that emphasizes the traditional liberal arts of language and mathematics and the cultural heritage of the Christian West as expressed in the great works of history and literature. The curriculum has an early focus on the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic and a special emphasis on Latin. Latin is the best way to gain an academic vocabulary, to learn the formal system of grammar, and is, along with math, the best early critical thinking skills training. The curriculum's study of the cultures of Athens and Rome, as well as Biblical and Church history, is designed to provide a basis for a proper understanding of European and American history."

    D. Other (Explain your answer)


    I am so sorry you received that response. We go to conventions in order to speak to people one on one, and our intention is never to give curt responses with long reading assignments.

    I would be more than happy to talk to you about classical education at your convenience. You can call me at 502.966.9115.

    Kind regards,
    Paul Schaeffer
    Paul Schaeffer
    Academy Director
    Memoria Press Online Academy


      Ben -

      Sounds like you caught someone in a off-moment or who was preoccupied. I feel comfortable enough to speak for the regulars on this forum to say that Memoria Press has incredible customer service and goes above and beyond to offer support for homeschool parents who choose this curriculum. Just take a look through some of the questions posted here and see how quickly and regularly we receive thorough answers to our inquiries...I haven't found many curriculums that offer this type of support and interaction. And if you ever need more communication they are quick to encourage phone calls or emails. Give them the benefit of the doubt and I think you will be pleased.

      Last edited by hilaryblair; 05-13-2013, 09:16 PM.

      Mom to 6 sweet girls and finally a boy!
      SB - 9 - starting MP 5M
      A - 7 - starting MP 3rd
      M - 5 - starting MP 1st
      F & SG - 4 year old identical twinners
      CJ - a rascally, busy 2 year old
      GH - 4/17/2017, much adored, baby brother!


        Hoping to be helpful

        Ugh Ben. I am sorry for your frustration. I had a similar experience with a well-known company at a convention years ago. Honestly, I think they just weren’t anticipating the sheer volume of homeschoolers at that convention. I never saw them there again, and I didn’t purchase their materials again. In hindsight, maybe I should have written them, as you are doing, and tried to see what was going on.

        I am not sure that I am the right person to respond to your question/comment. I’m not an MP Rep. I’m just a mom, poorly educated myself, trying to find a way to teach my children how to study their Bibles, and how to provide an excellent an education for them. In lieu of answering your question. I’ll share how I came to be so fond of MP after treading the murky homeschooling waters for the past eight years.

        When I first read about Classical Education, it sounded like a fantastic idea, though I don’t know that I really could have explained it to anyone; and I probably still cannot adequately explain a classical education. But whatever I did hear, just seemed to make sense to me. What I did know was that I was a bit unorganized and therefor putting together and implementing a classical curriculum simply was not a likely prospect. I ended up trying three particular curricula, two of which were distinctly classical (from what I understood of the different kinds of education). The one that wasn’t classical had the weekly lesson plans that I needed. The other two were good, but either too much or too little in the way of direction for me.

        Then we also had the whole English Grammar and Composition battle (I have boys and my eldest is the typical fort-building, tree-climbing, bike-jumping kind of boy). Most experienced homeschoolers just told me not to worry about grammar as ‘that would come’ or recommended an inexpensive but direction-lacking composition program/workbook that was horrible for both of us. Neither put me at ease to the extent that I wanted any more of their ‘homschooling counsel’.

        I didn’t come to MP (for a full curriculum) through the rave reviews of a friend. I actually found them after first trying Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). Andrew Pudewa adequately described my dilemmas with my son, and gave me a reasonable remedy. (I listened to many of his and MPs materials online as it’s been a few years since I’ve been able to attend a convention). We tried an entry-level program with him and experienced a complete turn-about in my son’s writing and attitude towards composition! After hearing Mr. Pudewa and Cheryl Lowe explain their perspective on teaching phonics, then Latin to children, I thought I’d give it a whirl. So I handed my (then 6th grader) Prima Latina (that I had since he was in 2nd grade, but thought he needed to have a good grasp of English Grammar before starting a second language). At any rate, he wanted to skip to the more challenging level, so we bought him Latina Christiana. Apparently we have a tendency to learn and understand grammar better when we learn it through a second language study. Poor child! I’ve been hammering grammar on him for years and he loves his Latin studies!

        Skeptically and cautiously I transferred more and more of our classroom to the materials that MP uses (First Start Reading, Rod & Staff Math, then the curriculum guides for K, 1st and 6th grades). I was so disappointed when I couldn’t get into a classical co-op/cottage school a few years ago. I really needed the structure that it provided and I (thought) I knew that my children would flourish there. But life took a handful of twists and turns which forced me to try MP. I’ve been less than a model customer for them, but they have been continually helpful to me in my journey. I hope that if you are looking to provide your children with either a classical or an excellent education you would contact Mr. Schaeffer to answer some of your questions.

        Following is part of another post on the forum explaining what won us over to MP:

        What won me over to MP are the following:
        Phonics-->Latin-->Grammar: Focus on teaching Phonics first, then transitioning the young reader into Latin, thereby learning English grammar alongside the Latin model. From what I know, MP and IEW are the only two curriculum providers that recommend teaching grammar through the teaching of Latin. After years of struggling with Composition and English Grammar with my eldest and now working on the MP & IEW model, I am convinced that they have the grammar model correct where others are still heavy on teaching English Grammar and light on teaching Latin (or any second language). They also gently mix some grammar instruction into the Literature Guides. Truly a beautiful harmony!

        Age-appropriate teaching of history. MP does not try to fit the cyclical model of teaching history that others offer. I’m not necessarily opposed to the cyclical model; however I did have a hard time with the available materials about the Trojan War for my early elementary child, especially when they spend so much time detailing the sin of Helen and Paris. Yes, it is a central point to the story, but must we offer so much detail? Consequently, I have been very skeptical while gradually transitioning to MP materials. I began with the First Start Reading for two of my little guys, then we added LCI (after having my eldest do half of Prima). Cautiously, I purchased the 6th grade set (minus Math and English Grammar). The first piece I delved into was Olivia Coolidge’s rendition of Trojan War. I was hooked. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a tough read morally, but it’s written in a manner and to an age that we can discuss what’s wrong without being overwhelmed by the emotions that some of these folks are allowing to rule them (instead of being self-controlled as instructed in Titus 1:7-9). I really missed the mark with this one though. I had my eldest read it by himself and we should have read it out loud.

        Cost. MP really is the best bang for the buck. This year we purchased 3 curriculum guides (6th grade with the set, 1st and Kinder). We already owned some of the materials for the younger grades; but generally speaking when comparing the materials offered with a full classical curriculum elsewhere, MP is the best value for our money. We were recently discussing why we’re homeshooling. Ultimately, we started to give the children an education that treasures Scripture; but we also want them to have an excellent education. MP allows us to provide that excellent classical education at a reasonable price in an organized and peaceful manner.

        Curriculum Guides: I love the simplicity of these guides. I can see what we need to accomplish each week, and I can go through the school year and write down at the bottom of the page the date that I want to have that week completed. I used a similar guide with Sonlight and loved it. Every time I tried completing my own guide for a year, I suffered from what another mom called follow-throughitis. It just never was completed, or I’d get off track for a couple of days and give up rather then keep plugging away. At any rate, those little curriculum guides are soooo worth the price for my own peace of mind and the structure they provide where I lack!

        Like my title implies, I hope that I am being more helpful than adding to your frustration. Sometimes I have a hard time conveying that adequately.



          Also surprised...

          Ben, I am also really surprised by your experience at the convention, as your encounter does not at all reflect the level of knowledge, support, experience and expertise that I have received from the folks at MP. Kami provided you you with a great post about MP and Classical Education. Also, the archives of this forum really do reflect the daily check-ins that so many of us get from MP. And we do not have to enroll or anything....this is all done on their time, simply because ??? I will not answer for them....but as a beneficiary of their support, I can say that Memoria Press has been the most responsive, caring, and helpful "curriculum provider" that I know of....and we have been around the block when it comes to trying things. We forum members would love to answer any questions you have, but also know, this is also a fantastic connection straight to MP, who always help in any way they can.

          Hope you stick around!
          2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
          DD, 19, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
          DS, 16
          DD, 14
          DD, 12
          DD, 10
          DD, 8
          DD, 6
          DS, 2