Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Reflecting on Essentials




 The Classical Conversations Essentials program is a thorough grammar and English language curriculum. Students spend time diagramming sentences, learning to parse sentences, playing math speed games and also in learning the style of writing.

·         Similar to having finished a tour of Foundations, our family has also finished a three year tour of Essentials. Where I feel like I’ve really mastered the concepts and format of Foundations, I would not say the same of Essentials and know I will benefit from more years in that class! But I will say that there is such beauty in the three year tour. The freedom of knowing that I and my student {s} will get a certain amount of info/understanding the first time around, more the next time and most the third time is such a blessing in taking the pressure off of mom to master it the first time. 

·         I was one of those moms who put my trust in the model, I did not really do any English Grammar other than the memory work until we hit Essentials. There is no right or wrong way – and I love that there is beauty and peace in choosing what is best for your family and going with it! If it works for you to add Grammar before they get to Essentials – do it! If it doesn’t – don’t! 

·         I was always the mom who loved Foundations and was a little fearful of Essentials simply because I didn’t understand how it would play out in my family and I just hadn’t experienced it yet. Now that I have, I love Essentials as much or more than Foundations. It is such an excellent program!

·         As I think about the Essentials years – some things that come to mind are:
o   Excitement, kids are at an exuberant age and competitive and that is capitalized on in class
o   Continue to keep it simple, don’t over complicate
o   Know when to pull back on an assignment and when to push a little to accomplish something hard

·         Over arching word: Build
o   Building on the Foundation of Foundations J
o   Build Vocabulary
o   Build on the Foundations memory work
o   Build the art of asking questions – question confirmation anyone?!
o   Build the ability to begin working on their own
o   Build expectations to prepare them for Challenge and the future
o   Build understanding and analyzing skills
o   Build creativity and confidence
o   Build in layers – three year tour!
·         


           Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”

·         Proverbs 14:1, “The wisest of women builds her house…”

·         1 Corinthians 3:10-14, “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw – each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.”

·         Proverbs 1:5, “Let the wise listen and add to their learning…”

·         Proverbs 4:7, “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”

·         There are great nuggets of wisdom for these years in the Essentials Guide and also books like The Core and The Question

·        For our family, the theme of our Essentials years has been fun! The class has had great dynamics pushing each other to strive for more! They have acted out their vocabulary words which has brought laughter from all, written creative papers using lots of the dress ups they have learned, diagrammed sentences, memorized grammar charts, earned tickets and held an energetic auction to spend their tickets. The camaraderie in the class has not ended with the students either – it has been a time for us as moms to come alongside one another, laugh with each other, scratch our heads in puzzlement as we grasp a lesson and ask questions together. 

·         Essentials has been exciting and has expanded our Foundations knowledge and brought understanding and fun!
   
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1 comment:

Jordin Rider said...

I love this, Monica. Great wisdom and inspiration as we head into our first year of Essentials!