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Language Instruction plus Classical Conversations

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    Language Instruction plus Classical Conversations

    I have a 2-part question. My children have been doing well with All About Reading and so I think I am going to continue on with it and we will be adding in All About Spelling. However, I had a question about Language Arts. Last year, I was using First Language Lessons for my two boys (8 & 10). It was a nice gradual program. We didn't make it through the entire book, but I didn't really focus on that. I was curious when you cover things like Nouns, Pronouns, etc. I am considering switching over to your writing program as well as adding in the Storytime Treasures for Comprehension. I was just curious what is the sequence of introduction. I have all three levels of FLL, but unsure if I want to keep that or let it go.

    Another question: I am in a situation where I am working hard at teaching three kids how to read (with a toddler running amok). Plus, two of my boys are struggling with Math a bit. Last year, I did very little science/history/art. I have decided to join a Classical Conversations Group this year as a way to get some fun memory work in plus give me an outlet to outsource the art, science and some history. Do you have any experience with CC? I was just curious. We are giving it a "try" this year. We will see if we will stick with it for the future.

    Thank You!

    Re: Language Instruction plus Classical Conversations

    Good morning!

    You can build your own curriculum with AAR, AAS, FLL, and CC. These are all good programs. We never joined CC, but many families enjoy CC. Just add arithmetic, literature, and composition.

    --For arithmetic, as you know we highly recommend R&S for efficient, steady mastery.

    --You could add SC (or MP) Storytime Treasures for literature and composition.

    --Add SC Writing for daily, predictable lessons in writing sentences. Sometimes homeschoolers focus too much on input (easier) without teaching good output (harder). I did this at times, so my children knew much but could not write a good sentence! SC Writing seeks to help remedy this common error.


    More on Creating Your Own Curriculum

    Some homeschoolers prefer piecing together different components from different publishers. (I did this too. In part, I think it makes us feel as if we have more control in our own choices! Just beware a smorgasbord effect on the student over time.)


    If you ever want something more cohesive and open-and-go with one coordinating planner, the full SC Curriculum will unify skills and content for you.

    Decoding, encoding, grammar, composition, penmanship, and literature are all woven together with good arithmetic, number sense, art, history, music, and biblical studies with targeted recitations to "cement" learning in each area.


    To answer your other question:

    SC introduces nouns, pronouns, proper nouns, and verbs at the primary level within the context of literature study, comprehension, and composition. This is preparatory for Prima Latina, which we introduce at the end of SC 3.

    Prima teaches English grammar alongside beginning Latin. However, we found in my homeschool that my children with specific learning disabilities, language disorder, and autism spectrum disorder did not absorb grammar and parts of speech through Latin "automatically," but needed more explicit instruction. We provide this in SC Storytime & SC More Storytime, SC Writing, and Intro to Prima.

    All of these occur in the Primary Levels of SC 2 and SC 3 with beautiful books! Then the student is ready for full study of Prima Latina in the Grammar Level of SC 4.

    Thanks for the questions!



      Re: Language Instruction plus Classical Conversations

      Thank you for the input Cheryl!

      Truthfully, I have been struggling all summer long to decide whether or not I wanted to do your curriculum as a whole or to use the pieces which I did not have yet.

      All About Reading seemed to make a difference for my son. They have also now added some comprehension to their program. It is something my kids are used to, but I am still not 100% certain. I can understand your comment about the smorgasbord. When it comes to Spelling, we haven't done it yet. The AAR program adds spelling when you get to Level 2 in the reading program. Would that pose an issue with jumping into SC2 if we haven't done any spelling (other than the public school)?

      As far as CC goes, I was really looking for a program that would give me a fun and unique way to memorize facts while providing Art, Science and a community of kids. Those are things I found challenging during my first year of homeschooling. I am not certain if it will be the right fit for us, but the gal who runs our local Chapter has a son with some special needs.

      I guess my hesitation with switching over completely is that in our previous Evaluation, the Dr told me that Anthony would need a step by step Mathematics program and that it would be better to focus on one topic at a time. That was why I was thinking of sticking with MathUSee.

      As you can see, I am still struggling to make up my mind and I need to hurry up so I can finalize our school plans!

      Thank you for all your feedback.


        Re: Language Instruction plus Classical Conversations

        Good morning, empokorski,

        Let's back up a little.

        I'm reminded of several important facts from this post.

        -You have 4 children, now approaching ages of 11, 9, 6, 3. Your ~6yo is a girl; the others are active boys. (In other words, much to juggle!)
        -Your oldest boy TJ has 1st-grade skills, dx: autism, cognitive impairment, adhd, anxiety
        -Your next oldest boy Anthony has 2nd-grade skills, nvld, dyslexia, difficulties with math fact fluency
        -This will be only your second year homeschooling, as you recently pulled your two older boys from public school due to frustration with the progress they were making in that setting.
        -You began with MODG, then realized special needs required a more incremental approach, so you taught reading & math from AAR & MUS.
        -In March, at the time of the post, you were considering SC 2 for TJ at the time and wondering about enrolling in CC too.


        With this information, we really need to focus on the core, basic skills of those three older children.

        -All three need to receive some daily reading instruction, preferably one on one, even if you teach them all from the same program.
        -All three need to read orally daily with your guidance, preferably one at a time. (Group turn-taking reading can work, if everyone is supportive of each reader.)
        -All three need a good arithmetic program.
        -All three need spelling and writing each day.

        At the same time:
        -You need a plan that is manageable, so you maintain order and discipline while teaching.
        -Your youngest needs read-alouds, a harmonious home, and constructive playtime.
        -Your older boys need good, daily, physical exercise, preferably outdoors.
        -You need a long-term plan to introduce classical studies. (This will help develop a sense of the heroic in those boys.)
        -You need time to refresh with friends, hobbies, or quiet time.

        Whatever you select needs to match these goals and any others you and your husband have set for your family.

        In other words, the key for this year: Do not attempt too much.


        With this in mind, I would recommend either of these options:

        1. If everyone is doing well with AAR, keep going with this. Add the AAR comprehension, if it looks good to you. Consider switching to R&S, if only because of Anthony. R&S works facts to mastery in an amazing way. bonus: After you learn to teach R&S the first year, the remaining teacher's guides will be similar. All levels focus on incremental mastery. (However, if this sounds entirely too stressful for you, given the new memory work demands you will encounter with CC, then stay with your current math program.)

        2. Switch everybody over to SC 1 and SC 2. Combine wherever possible. Use the online book samples, readiness assessments, or advice here to make the switch. This seems as if it would streamline everything for you so much. You have religion, art, music, literature, arithmetic, reading, writing, and spelling all in one planner. Bonus: SC 2 focuses on reading comprehension! In the Appendix, you receive visual comprehension helps. In your guide, you receive comprehension questions written for students with special learning needs.

        3. Teach from AAR, MUS, and CC this year. Add your own religion. Add SC Storytime Treasures, because it will be enjoyable for everyone! Everyone in your home can participate in the stories and oration exercises. Then your older students can participate in the composition and comprehension questions. (I see now why you wanted to add this.) Good news: SC More Storytime Treasures will be released before too long, so you can continue if everyone enjoys this literature-centered, skill-based study.

        Know this: You will do well, no matter which configuration you choose. You will be teaching from good programs, so they will help you. Just don't give up. Keep teaching, and keep everything as simple as you can. Low stress, high structure.

        We're here for you to help any way we can.