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A Classical Conversation of Sorts :)

We joined the adventure of classical conversations last year.  I was not planning to be a homeschooling mama; however, when a few friends mentioned "CC" and how much they loved it, I had to take a look.
We got to sit in on four and five year olds singing through the timeline of the world encompassing Asian History, Ancient Greek and Romans and our favorite line "Minoans and Mycenaeans"...
As early as my memory can take me I have always had a thirst for all things history and geography and the stories and biographies that go with them.
As I sat in the plastic preschool chairs and listened to four year olds quote history sentences complete with dates and places, I knew this was something I wanted our kids to be apart of.

My girls are in the foundations level of "CC" where much of it is storing the grammar of different subjects into their ready God - made sponge like brains. Songs, chants, rhymes, and rhythms are used to plants seeds of science like Newton's Laws and Latin conjugations. Believe it or not it sticks because it can be sang throughout the day.  (even by husbands shaving)
We enjoyed our day of "school" weekly where we met with our tutor and got to have a classroom experience with other children.  I enjoyed the camaraderie with other mothers and the wisdom, creativity, and different approaches they all take with their children.  One thing I love about CC is that the parents take an active part in their kids' education.  They are the cheerleaders of their child.  They want to know the information to.  It's almost like a second education for the parent.  I'm learning with my child.  Which truly is what I have determined being a parent is all about...
Learning and mastering life lessons along side of my child who assumes that I already know this stuff.  

The name Classical Conversations came from the middle and high school levels where debate and rhetoric are taught and mastered enabling children and teenagers to have classical conversations with each other.
We, here in the land of preK and kindergarten, had our own classical conversation...of sorts. :)
It is summer vacation and so we aren't doing anything much in work books or lessons, but we still were playing our timeline song and history sentences.
The kids were marching around the room making a 'cha-cha' train.  We had Evan, our friend-brother, with us and he joined in.  The history sentence this year that the kids would not stop singing was about the 100 years War and then the Bubonic Plague in the late 1340s.
Let me tell you, this is a springboard for some interesting conversation among a four, five, and six year old.
Evan's green-blue eyes rounded and he had to ask, "Are the rats dead?"
After I assured him that the rats of the late 1340s were definitely dead, I was able to pull out our world map and we had a discussion that moved to world geography.  He asked, "Do we live next to Europe?" Three sets of hands traced the path from Europe to North America and they all answered "EUROPE!" when asked where the bubonic plague occurred.
Evan still wasn't satisfied, "Is that possible?  Did this really happen?"
Our conversation naturally flowed to scientists and people who find cures for disease and what the word plague means.
They were all ears.
I remembered a story in their literature book so I let our classical conversation take us to that old story, The Pied Piper.  Its short and sweet and a wee bit frightening; however, they were mesmerized. After listening about a  rat problem of crazy proportions  and the cheated pied piper our conversation moved into the realms of morality and why breaking ones promise is wrong.
Meredith summed up the whole experience with this statement said with big serious eyes, "So if we went to Europe on vacation in the late 1340's we would be dead."
I was laughing big inside and I said, "One out of three of us, Meredith."  Then we talked about the idea of one out of three and what that would mean if it was a group of six and a group of nine.
Meredith decided to level everyone's love of Ring-Around-the-Rosies by telling them that the song originated out of the black plague. Thanks Meredith for decrying your sisters favorite carpet activity.

This whole conversation went on for quite a while and it reminded me of why I love homeschooling (when I never thought I would).  I love the natural currents that run through a day.  I love the way different subjects can all marry together and simmer.  I love that geography and map hunting can lead right into literature and then a discussion about insects being disease carriers...and guess what? nobody knew we were even having school.
Now I said this was a conversation of classical sorts...
I explained to them that there were several different names for the Bubonic Plague....the Black Death, The Plague...etc.
In mature four, five, and six year old fashion Evan said, "The Black Death of the Underwear."
This statement had them all laughing and Meredith and Madelyn got his joke...it happens to everyone at some point, Evan.  Still fresh on the minds of people who went through potty training not too terribly long ago.

We have so enjoyed Classical Conversations.  I have so enjoyed watching them learn in ways I didn't imagine...I've loved hearing Meredith tell people about the Cape of Good Hope and then talking about Richard the Lion Hearted.  We used the history sentence about Joan of Arc as a starting point of study.  The girls loved her story...she's a hero to them.
I love the idea that little people are big enough to know about the stories of the world...Little people need to hear other people's stories and have their understanding of the world explode. 

Fleas on Rats :) 


Map Quest 


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