{Classical Conversations} The Game Plan

Image courtesy of Pawel Kadysz | Unsplash.com

*If you’re not familiar with Classical Conversations, read this first. We’re heading into Cycle 3 for the 2014-15 year.

A new year…a new plan. The beauty (and curse) of homeschooling is that you can be in complete control of what happens every year. Last year, I had grand ideas about our schedule. For some families with typically developing and healthily attached kids, last year’s plan is probably still a good one. With they dynamics in our house, let’s just say that schedule was overly optimistic. Our family needs a little more flexibility built into our structure and less group time.

If I learned anything from last year, it was keep group learning to a minimum. The engineer in me hates repeating lessons, but the truth, for now, is that certain sibling dynamics during school trigger one of our children which results in the kind of drama that can become violent and that Dad has to miss work to come help with. Nothing efficient there…so bye-bye large group (memory review, projects, etc.) it is. The only thing we seem to have mastered as a group is Bible listening and Student News before we start our day. And even that gets sketchy sometimes.

We are going to keep our notebooks. Those worked out quite well. Phew, at least something did.

I’ve created a checklist that can be used each week. My “behind” kids have trouble getting bogged down, and they work as slow as molasses. Because of this, I’m going to require time limits for each activity. Whatever they don’t finish in a day will have to be “made up” at some point (either on a Friday or over a break week…or over the summer). The goal for the year is to check off all the boxes…in however long it takes them. I’m hoping that this will keep them moving through the material while still going for mastery…here’s hoping.

The checklist style will help guide them when I’m not immediately available to give one-on-one attention and will make tracking and planning easier for me. In our family, once a child can read for comprehension, he becomes a mostly independent learner. I even video tape spelling lessons so the kids can do them at their leisure. Exceptions are things like first year Essentials kids needing help with analytical tasks and IEW papers. Otherwise, I just answer quick questions when needed and focus on the non-readers. Since we still have 4 non-readers, we hired a tutor to come help a couple days a week so I could stay out of a mental institution for a just a bit longer.

I’m contemplating creating a single reference sheet for every week that has all of their memory work (including Foundations, Essentials, and spelling lists) all at their fingertips. If I put those together, they will be on CC’s At Home Sharing Center due to copyright issues. Keywords–“contemplating” and “if.”

Below you’ll find pdfs and editable checklists, detailed instructions, and a color-coded notebook page for Foundations copywork. You’ll obviously want to tweak them to meet your family’s needs but they should be a good starting point.

Stay-tuned for posts containing weekly booklists and, hopefully, a couple other resources. If you want to see how crazy I was the last time we did Cycle 3, you can browse those posts here.

I posted about what our sixth grader is doing as a Bridge to Challenge here.

Downloads (right click links to save)

Checklist (pdf or docx)

Instructions (pdf or docx)
*I plan on printing this front to back and sliding in a sheet protector as a reference for the year.

Foundations color-coded notebook pages (pdf)
*This will also get printed front to back each week to save paper.

We will also include these catechism questions produced by CC. 

Posted in Education and Homeschooling, Uncategorized and tagged , , .


    • I just give them a copy of the week’s page to refer to. Most of mine read well enough to use it as a reference as they listen to the songs. You can also use it to guide copy work or use it as a checklist for what has been mastered.

  1. Pingback: 2014/2015 Curriculum Plans of the Real Life at Home Homeschool Writers - Real Life at Home

  2. Oh, when I click on your pdf link the tab actually says Microsoft – I’m only familiar with adobe pdfs. I don’t like the way the docx is showing in Open Office.

    I guess I’ll have to pass, maybe I can make something similar using your tips. Thank you anyways.

    • Are you trying to print the .pdfs or the .docxs? If your computer doesn’t have the font I used and you’re opening the Word documents, you may have to select the effected text and change the font. Hope that helps!

      • I believe it was the pdf, I don’t own the microsoft license. I might try again and see what happens. I intended to do pdf.


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