Classical Home Education  with Classical Conversations

Will a classical home education approach work for a long time eclectic homeschool family?   We decided to find out. 

Will Classical Conversations work for someone who is more eclectic and literature based in their homeschooling?  It is working for us! 

At the time of writing this article, I am in my 17th year of homeschooling.  I have an age gap between my youngest who is 9 (almost 10) and the next two who are in their jr and sr years andthe next who is 22! 

We have always been rather eclectic and literature based.  So I was not sure how I'd like classical education. 


I'd always gotten the impression that classical home education was super academic.  You really need to be super mom and have super kids to work with this method. (of course MY kids are super!)

I don’t wanna be super structured. (hear the slight whine in my voice?)  I like my relaxed homeschooling.  Classical Home Education sounded….. hard!  I don’t want hard!  I want thorough, yes, but not hard.

I'll admit.... I had a minor case of homeschool burnout.

At the end of almost any school year, I look forward to the more relaxed pace of summer.  Even though we do lots of learning activities and I often still require math lessons and reading, summers are even more relaxed than our “school year”.

Last year…in the fall I was still feeling burned out and was NOT ready to get back into a regular homeschool schedule.  Classical Conversations sounded like a change of pace.  A change of pace was just what we needed!

I decided to enroll my youngest and jumped in with both feet and became an Essentials tutor as well. We are a new community and they needed tutors. 

We are now 2 weeks away from the end of our first CC year.  CC has made classical education so approachable!  We have had a great school year.  It is NOT hard! 

He enrolled in both Foundations (class for K-6th grade) and Essentials (class for 4th – 6th grade).  There is overlap in the ages of the classes. 

Everyone does memory work, Essentials adds more academics for elementary ages, preparing them for middle and highschool level work. 

Foundations is the bulk of the memorization skills.  This covers history, English, science, latin, fine arts.  The curriculum they use in his class is fun with music and games.   

Essentials is for the older elementary and includes English studies with Grammar and writing through the IEW program.  

After Essentials is the Challenge program this takes the kids through middle school and high school. 

Classical Conversations at Home

At home I add math.  We do math games and drills on CC day and we do some of these drills at home during the week.  We also use Saxon math.  CC recommends Saxon (which is my preferred choice anyway) but any math curriculum is fine!

We also add reading requirements.  CC doesn't haverequired reading until the Challenge years.  (highschool levels) My boy is 9 at the time I’m writing this and reads well, so I just require some reading each day. 

This actually works out perfect. I have always been literature based.  I can now assign books to my hearts desire.  And it all flows so nicely.  My son mostly chooses his own books with my approval.  I also ask him to read books that are pertinent to the history time that we are studying with the memorization in CC. 

If you have younger kids not reading yet, you’ll need to teach them to read at home.  Again CC has recommendations, but any program that will teach reading that works for you is great. 

(I suggest Explode the Code and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy lessons for beginning readers) 

The essentials guide does have spelling skills .... but I’ll probably supplement that next year as well.  Even though my boy is reading well his spelling needs work and I was not consistent this past year with CC's spelling suggestions. 

Classical Conversations made classical home education work for this eclectic homeschool family. 

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