We are on our third year of Classical Conversations and each year we have hit a learning curve. I have to admit that this year I was sure we had it all figured out after the last two years, but life happened and we got hit with a curve ball again!
Last year we started introducing the weekly material ahead of time, simply because my girls were overloaded on the campus day with too much new information during our first year. I realize that this isn’t the standard CC way, but the beauty of homeschooling is that we can tailor the material for our children. The difference was immediate – the girls thrived and each campus day was greeted with delight instead of tears and groans. We decided to continue introducing the material ahead of time this year because of last year’s success.
However…..this year we ran into an issue that I never suspected. Sophie is the youngest in her class by at least 6 months and has trouble connecting with the rest of her class (her class is all girls). I originally thought it was because she was missing her best friend who didn’t return to CC, or that she didn’t enjoy her new tutor, or that she didn’t like the new location of the CC campus. There was a lot of change for our girl this fall and she doesn’t thrive with change so I assumed this was why she wasn’t excited about CC. It turns out that wasn’t the problem.
Because of Baby I’s issues I’m not able to sit in class with Sophie, so I try and touch base with her tutor every week to see what’s going on. After sitting in on the last few review periods and working with her at home, I thought I knew what was up but I wanted to verify with the tutor. Today she confirmed what I suspected – Sophie is bored in class. She knows the material cold, does great with review and loves the science experiments and fine arts, but she is not being challenged enough during the class time.
I don’t have an easy answer for this. What I love about CC is the structure of the classrooms and that lessons are taught in block settings with repetition. For Bella (and probably Sam) this is exactly how they learn best. They need to hear the material over and over to cement it in their minds. Sophie seems to grasp the material on the first go round and then gets antsy when she needs to repeat it again and again (and again.)
I’ve stopped introducing the memory work ahead of time for her, but it hasn’t made much of a difference. We are doing more independent work at home which is great – but that’s not something she can do while in her class. The plan is to finish this year and then I’ll be researching over the summer different techniques and ways that might help her stay engaged during class next year. If you have any tips I’d love to hear them!