Learning to think deeply and critically.
As they enter their traditional high school years, Challenge I students are encouraged to think deeply and critically while refining their reading, writing, and research skills. As with our other programs, Challenge I mixes the traditional homeschool model with in-community work, providing not just education, but support and accountability for both parents and students. Parents entering this season of homeschooling will appreciate being equipped with a roadmap and confidence, giving them what they need to homeschool successfully through the high school years.
This Challenge level, along with Challenge II, has the largest volume of reading and writing. Through studies and reading in American literature, American government, traditional logic, Latin, physical science, algebra, free market economics, and Shakespeare, students hone their dialectical skills as they study discipline, the cornerstone of freedom.
Open the Door to Deeper Discovery
The Six Strands of Challenge I
Continue to stack the building blocks of increasingly advanced mathematical principles. Individually and in community, students further their understanding in math through study and group conversations about the building blocks: numbers, laws, relationships, shapes, equations of the first degree, knowns and unknowns, and variables.
Long-term learning relies on ritual repetition. Students continue their study of Latin with an emphasis on memorization of vocabulary, declensions, and conjugations. Directors review previous lessons and preview the new material from the upcoming lesson as needed.
Students can learn from a variety of sources. This is more textbook driven than the research strands of Challenges A and B. More textbook-driven than the research strands of Challenges A and B, students learn to take good notes and study from a textbook. Each week, students are assigned a physical science module from the text. In community, Tutors lead students through simple labs and explain the integrated math principles, as well as content from the current module. Integrating exposition skills, your homeschool student will also have the opportunity to learn how to write a well-structured research paper with appropriate documentation.
Logical thinking ushers in strong rhetorical skills. In the first semester, students study formal logic to learn the classical syllogism, the four logical statements, and the seven rules for validity. On a deeper level, students gain an appreciation of logic, as it serves to lead them from one truth to another and to a basic understanding of the Christian theory of knowledge.
In the second semester, using The Taming of the Shrew, students learn how to read and enjoy the plays of Shakespeare. Through their homeschool community days each week, they also complete a special project related to this play. The theme of this play centers around courtship, so community discussion embraces that theme and compares different cultural perspectives on relationships, courtship and dating.
Reading introduces new ideas while writing reveals the best ways to articulate them. Rigorous reading and writing regarding American literature characterize this seminar. Students read essays, Christian sermons, speeches, short stories, and novels, then practice the art of rhetoric by discussing American literature and by writing many essays during the year. Time management is key for both homeschool parents and students. In seminar, students engage in book discussions, and Tutors suggest ways that students can improve their writing.
Dive into the past to better understand the present and future. In the first semester, students read and discuss various original documents related to American government and its history. Tutors facilitate and encourage discussion of political ideas, past and present, in historical context. Integrating dialectic and rhetorical skills, students learn to perceive and understand context when analyzing political, social, and policy decisions.
Students also take the principles they have learned from American government and apply them to a series of public policy debates on current political issues, all firmly rooted in a Christian worldview. Students learn and practice the skills of research, argumentation, critical thinking, public speaking, and logic.
In the second semester, students read and discuss with their group original sources related to free market economics. Tutors lead discussions about the impact of free market economics on national histories and present-day politics. Students participate in various hands-on group projects that allow for real-life understanding and practical application of current economic issues.
We embrace a real-world approach in all aspects of our education. Local directors can choose to offer a yearly formal event for Challenge students to better learn how to interact with their communities and each other.
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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