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re: Has anyone heard of a program Classical Conversations

Has anyone heard of a program Classical Conversations

I have just discovered that our city hosts a few of these programs that follow the Classical Education model. It meets one day a week. It looks really good. I currently and using the Robinson Curriculum. If you have done this or heard of it, please share what you know.
How much work does this add to your day?

re: Has anyone heard of a program Classical Conversations

I know a lot of people who do CC. I have friends who have tutored in the program. Here is my take on the program:

The woman who started CC like the campuses run exactly as she sees them being run. Some of the directors at the campuses do not like to deviate from the program to meet the needs of the students and some do. This sometimes goes to when the students need breaks. I know many people who have read a book written by the founder and they found it very disjointed.

The work load can be very, very heavy, especially in the upper grades. If you child has any outside activities, this may interfere.

CC is a pyramid business, just like Tupperware and Pampered Chef. The directors make more money based on how many students and teachers they can get. Many times people agree to teach because they want to get their children in the course. I would want anyone who tutors my child to do so because they want to, not because the family needs to money, KWIM? I also know people who had teachers who were not exactly kind to their children, again prompting me to question qualifications as teachers.

I know many people who really like CC. I know many people who strongly dislike it. I don't know anyone who is neutral. It is expensive for the parents and time consuming for the students. Most of the families I know who left said "This isn't what I envisioned homeschooling to be and I know it doesn't have to be this way," The people I know who love it say their kids thrive under the pressure. The other thing I have noted is that the people I know who are in it love it, but then they suddenly leave and start talking about how unhappy they and their kids were.

If you join, I would be very, very careful about the campus you join. The director can make a huge difference on your experience.

This post was edited on Mar 21, 2011 10:55 AM

re: Has anyone heard of a program Classical Conversations

You should visit an open house at the CC campus in your area. Also, check out the website:

My 1st grader did CC on a campus last year, did it somewhat at home this year, and will go back to the same campus next year. There are 3 levels of CC, and they are all quite different. Foundations is the preK-6 program (grammar) that is pretty much just memory work with science experiments, fine arts, and presentation time each week. Essentials is an english grammar and math facts program for 4-6 graders (meets in the afternoons after Foundations). Challenge programs are more intense, and are for grades 7 - high school. For foundations, it is as much work as you want it to be. For me, I just use it as a supplement and enjoy the community of kids and moms. Others I know actually build their curriculum around it.

The best way to understand how it works is to visit. It is hard to understand until you see it in action. I agree that the director of the campus can make or break your experience.

re: Has anyone heard of a program Classical Conversations

I totally agree with NOrwegian. I have looked it over extensively, met the students and seen it in action, and met the moms and teachers...

The foundations can be fun if you can afford it. If you have to out. It will add an entire day away from your children, and time preparing, and your little ones will be stuck in a nursery all day.

After foundations, the level of pressure raises exponentially. Students have to be on par with everyone else and caught up to the CC model in every area. Here, new students who were trying to jump in mid-way were getting made fun of...

HOWEVER I know a friend who is part of a CC group that flies solo= they order the materials, don't charge anythign to attend, and only invited 3 families and all the moms help out and take turns. My friend who was always a die hard CM'er...she loves it and says it's fun and easy.

But she doesn't know the pressure that would be put on her kids if they were not only doing FOundations memory work.

re: Has anyone heard of a program Classical Conversations

I also agree with Norwegian. It was in our area we moved from and coming to where I live now. I had a good friend in it and the pressure on the kids was INTENSE in that group (at the elem. level). My friend purchased all the curriculum and it was very expensive only to hate it and not do it again. She spent so much time on it, her other homeschool studies took a back burner. I think that's how she ended up with their curriculum---trying to streamline. I guess everyone will have their own story and I have not done it so you can forget what I'm saying. But, I know it's starting up where I live now and they are seeking out all the homeschool groups trying to recruit people to come to a sign up party in March. They are wanting a big group here and actively seeking (quite agressive) members.

This post was edited on Mar 21, 2011 01:09 PM

re: Has anyone heard of a program Classical Conversations

I'm debating signing up for our local group for 3rd grade; however, I haven't made up my mind yet. It's more time away from home, and I wouldn't use it for my curriculum...just as extra info and memorization. I don't know yet if I'm sold on it. While I love the thought of having consistent "school-mates" and the knowledge...I just don't know if I want to spend that much $$$.


re: Has anyone heard of a program Classical Conversations

I think all the heavy recruiting is a typical MLM technique. What I hear is what I had to do when I sold Pampered Chef. ("no sales experience? No problem. ANYONE can do this!") My friend who tutored did get pressure to recruit people to be under her. She confirmed it is definitely an MLM. Again, in this economy with people doing what they can to help with the bills and still homeschool, I don't really view that as good motivation for teaching my kids.

It seems to be running its course here. The people it really works for are staying; the ones who aren't into the high pressure academics are falling by the wayside. Honestly, to me it is just the latest and greatest in homeschooling until the next thing comes along.

Have you thought of a co-op? Much less pressure, much less money, meets one day a week, if you work it is not an all day commitment, a lot of times you don't even have to teach. Our co-op is designed to give the best education to students have also have strong outside interests which they want to pursue and develop, like dance, baseball, swimming and writing. There are all types of co-ops that will provide the accountability and socialization CC does without the time and pressure. In fact, many of my friends in the high school level say their kids never have time for family activities, much less seeing their friends from CC because of all the work.

This post was edited on Mar 21, 2011 02:30 PM

re: Has anyone heard of a program Classical Conversations

Thanks so much for your responses... I plan on attending a meeting sometime next week. But after hearing some of the posts here and on another board I am part of, I really hesitate to want to join the group. I don't need any extra stress in my life-- and for that reason I am loving Robinson Curriculum and it is going great with my dc's. I just really liked the idea of the memory work and facts.

Thanks again! Welcome more insight...

This post was edited on Mar 21, 2011 03:55 PM


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