Students twelve years and older are introduced to the work of the Challenge homeschool program as they learn to own the joys and challenges of this discussion-charged program. Challenge A is a mix of grammar and dialectic materials with an introduction to basic rhetorical skills, all rooted in a Christian worldview.
We purposely limit the amount of reading to give these students time to work on their writing skills. This fulfilling, community-based program prepares middle-school aged students for later Challenge programs by serving as a bridge between the parent-directed Foundations years and more self-directed homeschool learning.
All Great Thinkers Start Somewhere
The Six Strands of Challenge A.
Clearly evaluate the world around you. Build a solid mathematical foundation through Saxon math, then raise questions and reason your way through complex equations during your weekly classroom conversations. Each week in their community group, students engage in conversations around numbers, operations, and laws, setting a firm foundation for higher math studies.
The classical model emphasizes language skills. In Challenge A, students study Latin with an emphasis on memorization of vocabulary, declensions, and conjugations. In community seminar, Tutors review previous coursework, introduce new concepts, and model parsing and translating from Latin to English and English to Latin.
Inquisitive minds ask the right questions and methodically seek answers. During the first semester, students study natural science using a purely classical method. Each week, Directors introduce and discuss different realms of nature. Students research and read about the assigned topic at home, using varied materials of their choice. They record their research, illustrate or make a model of their findings, and present the results in seminar.
The final five weeks of the semester allow students to implement their research skills as they practice the scientific method through their science fair projects. The second semester involves drawing, labeling, and memorizing nine human body systems (anatomy).
Genuine understanding and sharp argumentation stem from critical reasoning skills. Two general topics are discussed during the year: connecting ideas by constructing analogies and thinking and speaking truthfully. Both courses set the function as the foundational premises upon which subsequent Challenges build. Students are assigned weekly readings and exercises, including recognizing analogies, writing with stylistic devices, and identifying fallacies in argumentation. In community seminar each week, Tutors lead discussions on the materials studied, and students share their insights and completed assignments.
Students practice the art of persuasive writing by studying Newbery Award-winning literature. They are encouraged to consider both sides of an issue through a “should question” related to the action of a character out of their assigned reading. With step-by-step instruction, they learn to craft a persuasive essay. Over the course of the homeschool year, the essay requirements grow in complexity, as students learn how to ask good questions and how to employ stylistic techniques to enhance their argument, all filtered through a Christian worldview. This is a truly rhetorical writing curriculum.
Instill an early drive towards excellence. Over time, countries’ political lines are formed by the world’s ugliest form of debate: war. This seminar includes continent cartography and memorization of current political boundaries, countries, capitals, and 150 geography terms. When practiced daily, the content and skills learned establish a powerful framework in the mind of the student.
The goal of this seminar is for students to draw the world from memory. Each week, students practice drawing and labeling various continents of the world. Mastery of the contents of this seminar equips the students with senses of achievement and competency. This propels them to pursue excellence in subsequent middle- and high-school levels.
This was the best Practicum that we have ever attended. We worshipped together, prayed together, and grew together. I’m in awe. It truly blessed us. We feel more equipped.
This was the first [Practicum] I was able to attend and I truly enjoyed it. I gained support and encouragement throughout the entire training.
I was encouraged, challenged, and equipped with new information. I was also reminded of wonderful tools I have used in the past and may need to sharpen a bit. Thank you Classical Conversations!
I love Practicum because it reminds me to stop checking the boxes and pursue truth, beauty, and goodness.
The lost tools of learning we practice at Practicum can benefit everyone! Even if you’re not homeschooling. Even if you’re not parenting. The classical method can help anyone learn anything.
The encouragement and support from other parents is vital. I enjoy learning from those before me in their journey, encouraging those beside me, and sharing with those coming behind.
I am a grandmother homeschooling my 9-year-old granddaughter who has been through a lot of trauma with both parents. The moms, Tutors and Director have truly been encouraging and most accepting of this old grandma and her granddaughter. We are going into our 5th year at CC.
My CC community breathes flavor, energy, and structure into my homeschool. The steady support, motivation to learn perpetually, and sweet fellowship is vital to me personally and to my family.
As a longtime homeschooler, you can find 350 Classically-centered curricula on the market. What sets CC apart isn’t the carefully crafted history sentences, the infectious list of pronouns the kids chant, or the way you can tweak it to be whatever you want at home. It’s the community.
But what about socialization? I have to admit, I heard this question a couple times when I first decided to homeschool, but most people I come across don’t ask it anymore. If they do inquire about how I keep my kids socialized, I get to tell them about the amazing community God brought into our lives with Classical Conversations.
My CC Community has been an integral part of our homeschool experience. I can’t imagine being on this journey alone, as a ‘lone wolf.’ I love how CC covers aspects of homeschooling that I would not get to on my own, such as weekly science experiments and art projects, and memorizing a world history Timeline of events. CC provides a ‘one stop shop’ for all of my homeschooling needs.
Community is a very valuable part of CC. What other curriculum has weekly modeling lessons for us parents?
Our CC family is so much more than a group of fellow homeschoolers. They are the family who can truly understand my daily struggles as a homeschooling mom. They are the family who supported me emotionally and mentally when my husband passed away. They are the family that welcomed me with open arms when we had to move out of state and join a new CC family! There is nothing comparable to our CC family. I am so truly grateful.
My director and fellow parents are tutors are more than colleagues; they’re friends. I’m thankful for the support, accountability, and friendship they offer.
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