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August 2023 Newsletter Resources

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Educational Gardening

Charlotte Mason

Teacher and Student

August 2023 Tip


Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety


Sailaway Highlight


Highlighting Options for Homeschooling (November 2022 Newsletter Submission)

Our family has taken advantage of various methods of homeschooling.  Years ago, I even read books on various approaches: Unit Studies, Principal Approach, Charlotte Mason, Eclectic, and more!  We’ve tried most of these variations and find joys in them all.  For us, the one that has been most rewarding, and the one that has made us most fruitful is the Classical Approach.  We do that through Classical Conversations.  Classical Conversations (CC) is marinated in Biblical concepts, which makes it Classical Christian Education.  How does CC work?


In the elementary years, students maximize their memorization potential through chants and melodies. Classical Conversations calls this part, Foundations.  In Foundations, students also experience an art component, play games, do science labs, and give show and tell type “speeches” weekly. Classical fans call this stage the grammar stage.


A homeschool friend of mine pointed out that memorization provides kids with the straw and mortar bricks are made from.  Later, when they are learning new math, science, language, and history concepts, they will already have bricks to build with.  Many students have to start out making the bricks, which puts them at a disadvantage when so much of what they encounter is new.  I’ve lived to see the beauty in the “I already have the bricks built” design!


CC trains parents how to educate their children using models as mentors on “community day.”  Parents find that two generations are learning together. 


In the late elementary years with Classical Conversations (CC), students add an afternoon session on where they learn grammar and writing concepts.  They play math games, too. I personally learned many concepts that seemed difficult for me, but these were made simple through CC methods.


Now we arrive at middle school and high school. With a classical education and a twelve year old, debate begins!  You already know this fact, right?  Around twelve years of age, students awkwardly begin to wrestle with concepts. God created their minds to begin to interact with material in new ways that will take them toward thinking like an adult. Classical fans calls this stage the rhetorical stage.  Then, students begin to know concepts well enough to teach it, to write about it, and to converse with others coherently.  Classical fans call this stage the dialectic stage. 


I learned early on that I wanted to follow a classical Christian model.  Classical Conversations prevented me from reinventing the wheel.  You are welcome to join me at an information meeting to learn more.  I am happy to discuss any of your homeschooling questions.


To know God and to make Him known,


April Shepherd

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