Classical Conversations (CC) is a homeschool co-op that takes place one day a week for 3 hours for 24 weeks in the year. It usually begins in August or September and ends sometime in April. This year the cycle is Classical Conversations Cycle 2 and I cannot wait to share Classical Conversations Cycle Two resources with you to get ready for the new year.
Many Christian families opt to joining this Classical co-op because of the many positive things about it. Among these positives (particularly in Cycle 2) is how CC tackles the many topics in and around the Middle Ages that go untouched when families study History at home. They’re just harder topics to teach kids. But CC actually makes them easier through their Trivium model.
In this post, we will discuss what Classical Conversations Cycle 2 is about, how the Trivium works for Foundations kids and what you need to prepare for Cycle 2. Now before I get started I have shared about Classical Conversations many times here on the website before. If you missed any of those posts, check them out:
- Classical Conversations Cycle One History & Geography Books
- CC Cycle 1 “Who Is” Booklist match up
- Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Language Arts and Writing
- Top 5 Reasons To Do Classical Conversations Challenge
- How To Prepare For Classical Conversations Foundations
- Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Ultimate Booklist
- Cycle 3 Games & Videos
- Going Back In History- Teaching Ancient History
- Favorite Resources To Teach Botany & more all through the website!
The Trivium, Foundations and Classical Conversations
Remember that the Trivium Classical model has three parts: Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric. CC Foundations is parallel to the Grammar stage. It cultivates the Five Core Habits. Yes, Foundations focuses on forming habits. The Five Core Habits are: Naming, Attending, Memorizing, Expressing and Storytelling.
Keep these in mind as you pay attention to what your children are doing in their weekly Memory Work in CC. They are naming places on a map and they are attending (listening) to material repeated over and again in song, rhyme, rote repetition, etc.
Kids are also memorizing seven pieces of information every week (Timeline, Math, Geography, English Grammar, Latin, Science and, of course, History). Children are expressing their thoughts in the Science Experiments and Fine Arts bits and they are also applying Storytelling as they do their weekly Presentations (public speaking).
Focus on these five things and you will see how your children will flourish in Cycle 2! During the Foundations years, find books that apply to Cycle 2 and read aloud a lot. If you have older kids, they can read aloud to their younger siblings.
Cycle 2: Math, English Grammar and Science
In this cycle, children will review what they have already learned in other cycles, including skip counting up to the 15s, the squares and the cubes. They will also learn and memorize some measurements, the areas (circle, triangle, square, rectangle) and also the Laws (Associative, Commutative, Distributive and Identity).
The younger kids will only memorize the skip counting numbers, but the older kids will learn the complete multiplication sentence (i.e. 12×12=144).
Here are some great resources for Math. And the best part is that you can use them for the 3 cycles.
Multiplication Chart by School Smarts Fully Laminated Durable Material RolledFun-Flap Facts: Multiplication, Grades 2-4Learning Wrap-Ups Keys For Multiplication and DivisionEducational Insights Foam Magnetic Numbers with Board
In English Grammar, Cycle 2 will be looking at the parts of speech and going into detail with pronouns and dedicating at least 1 week to each one (definitions on what they are). I personally think that this is enough information for kids to memorize, aside from giving them a handful of sentences showing them how these parts of speech apply.
Science in CC is a lot of fun. In Cycle 2, we learn about Ecology (weeks 1-8), Astronomy (weeks 9-13) and Physics (weeks 14-24). Here are some fun reads about the different subjects:
Janice VanCleave’s Ecology for Every Kid: Easy Activities that Make Learning Science FunThe Everything Kids’ Astronomy Book: Blast into outer space with stellar facts, intergalactic trivia, and out-of-this-world puzzlesThe Cartoon Guide to Physics (Cartoon Guide Series)My First Book About Physics
Cycle 2: Timeline, Geography and Latin
For Timeline, we read the backs of the Timeline cards for a little more information, but there are some hands-on resources like (Laura, pick any that you have affiliate links for) Homeschool in the Woods and Thinking Kids. They have great timelines to fill out as you learn about the major events in History.
Geography is one of our favorite subjects! This Cycle, CC will be focusing on finding countries, mountains, bodies of water and more in Europe (throughout weeks 1-18), The Caribbean, Central America, Asia and southern Africa.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s important to focus on several areas in our great big planet. Many CC communities encourage drawing maps and adding details (country borders, bodies of water, mountains, etc.) as the kids get older. Here are some great books that we love.
For Latin all you need is the CC Foundations Guide book. There are ways in which you can expand learning Latin, but there will be plenty of that in the Challenge years. I think that what they learn in Foundations will solidify and make a lot of sense come the Challenge years.
Cycle 2: History, Science Experiments and Fine Arts
History is the best, in my humble opinion. If CC only focused on just one subject, I’d totally vote for History. Why? Because, like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we tend to be intimidated by the subject and often times we skip over topics that we don’t know much about.
This cycle is studying from the Medieval Period to the Modern Period. We will cover topics such as Charlemagne, the Magna Carta, the Renaissance, European Explorers and absolute Monarchs. The second half of the cycle will have History sentences about the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam Wars and more.
CC opens the doors to exploring about these topics by the History sentences the kids have to memorize each week. Sometimes, we expound on those History topics at home and here are some resources we recommend:
If You Were Me and Lived in…the Middle Ages: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout TimeIf You Were Me and Lived in…Renaissance Italy: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout TimeReformation ABCs: The People, Places, and Things of the Reformation―from A to ZWorld War I for Kids: A History with 21 Activities (For Kids series)
Science experiments are awesome at the CC co-op. I love that I don’t have to gather those materials at home and deal with the mess there. The kids learn about intricate hands-on Science concepts without me having to teach it or lead it. Cycle 2 will be doing experiments all over the place. From aerodynamics to Astronomy to Optics.
And lastly, for Fine Arts, you kids will do the basics of Art (weeks 1-6), learn to play the tin whistle (weeks 7-12), Famous painters (weeks 13-18) and Famous composers (weeks 19-24). Here are some of the books that you might find handy for Science experiments and Fine Arts:
Janice VanCleave’s 201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre, & Incredible ExperimentsMeet the Great Composers, Bk 1: Short Sessions on the Lives, Times and Music of the Great Composers, Book & CD (Learning Link)Monet and the Impressionists for Kids: Their Lives and Ideas, 21 Activities (For Kids series)Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music!
We’re not done yet. I have another resource you may not be aware of. I was given a copy of the My Memory Work Lapbooks Cycle 2 to review from Wisdom and Righteousness. Once I received the Lapbook, I did not ask any questions of the author regarding the content of the book. I did this because I wanted to see if the directions are clear and concise, but also I didn’t want my review of the Lapbook to be swayed in any way.
The owner of Wisdom and Righteousness, Karen, has done an amazing job with this Lapbook which accompanies Foundations in Classical Conversations.
If you’re familiar with Classical Conversations, you know your child has a limited number of times to get through the memory work. What I like about this Memory Lapbook is that it allows my kids extra time through the memory work. Do they need extra time? Honestly, who doesn’t need more time with memory work? Even as an adult I still need supplemental learning until I understand and lock in memory what I’m studying. This lapbook is a supplemental platform for your children.
The Lapbook has 73 pages of work, which seems like a lot, but it’s not. My kids enjoyed completing the assignments and each project helped to reinforce their understanding of the subjects. I’ll continue giving a run-down of the lapbook by section as well as speaking a little about various projects/assignments in the corresponding section.
The section on parts of speech was very creative. The project looks like a flower with the subject on one side of the petal and a description on the other. The creativity behind the project is fascinating and helped my kids memorize the content. On one of the petals, entitled “A Pronoun,” blank lines were available to write more information. When my 10-year-old asked what he should write, I scoured through the pages but was unable to find concise directions. We left that area blank and moved on.
This project reminded me of a searching game. You’re given a map and different parts of the world to find (i.e. countries, rivers, cities, etc.). My kids were instructed to cut out the points of interest (which is supplied in the lapbook) and glue them on the map. This was a fantastic project! In the past, I would call out an area of interest (continent, country, city, river, ocean, etc.) and have my kids find it on the globe. I actually like this project better!
My kids continued learning about William the Conqueror, The Renaissance, The Hundred Years War, and many other areas in history thanks to another project. As I mentioned before, this memory work lapbook accompanies Foundations. You will need your Classical Conversations Foundations reading and study material or a computer for this project. Each historical reference is shaped like a book. A colorful picture on one side and a fill in the blank on the other side. Once it is completed, cut out and fold the “books”. Again, the creativity and thinking outside the box is astounding!
This subject is covered by skip counting. I don’t know about your kids, but my kids sometimes struggle with skip counting, especially when skipping double-digit numbers. The assignment is laid out on a grid and the pupils count the blocks by placing an “X” or punching a hole in the specific box (e.g. every other box if skip counting by 2’s). I like this idea. However, it was sort of confusing. The counting began on the second box in the grid for each assignment. Personally, I think it would have been better if the first grid square was counted rather than skipped. For example, if I were counting by 1’s, according to the assignment, I actually began counting from the second grid square rather than the first.
This section deals with the days of creation. This project is similar to a project my husband created years ago for our kids as he was explaining the days of creation. It’s amazing how pictures make learning less confusing! I really like how it is put together and my kids enjoyed completing the project. The days fit together like a tabbed booklet. If my kids needed a reminder what God created on Day 3, they could easily turn to that tab and see.
This section is mostly fill in the blank. There are projects to complete that aid and assist your child in memorizing things such as grasslands, scrublands, tundra, and coniferous forests, just to name a few. For this project, my kids created a spin-book. Again, Karen’s creativity is amazing.
This section begins with a timeline that starts at the beginning of time and runs through 250 AD. Your child writes the timeline event on the line that most closely corresponds to the appropriate time period of the event. My husband even dove deep into this project after one of my boys corrected a timeline date he answered earlier in the day.
My kids were instructed to complete drawings called mirror images. Half the image was already drawn and they just had to draw the other half. Another project my kids enjoyed was “My Upside-Down Image.” In this area, they looked at an object and drew it as if it were upside down. They had the most fun with this project.
Your children will trace the memory scripture. An additional sheet is added to write another memory verse of your choosing. Trace writing helps with fine motor skills and also improves handwriting. I’m glad Wisdom and Righteousness added this project!
I might be a nerd, but I loved writing book reports in school. It’s a skill I’ve been trying to pass down to my own children, but they can’t seem to mimic the same passion I have. Having said that, I’m excited Karen has added in a book report to this Memory Lapbook! Instructions are provided along with sheets you can print out to help get your child started with a few nuggets of information about the book report. Two book report outlines are provided – subject and person – for your child to complete. If you elect to do both, I would recommend spacing them out. That is unless your child enjoys book reports as much as I do.
These are just a few of the projects and subjects that are covered in this Memory Lapbook. When I received it, I honestly didn’t think my kids would (1) have enough time to complete it and (2) would enjoy it as much as they did. I hate to say that, but it’s also the summer and they’re more interested in swimming pools and catching bugs (my middle son is leaning towards studying entomology or zoology). But both of my kids enjoyed this Memory Lapbook.
A few of the directions were a little difficult to follow, but in all, My Memory Work Lapbook by Wisdom and Righteousness is a wonderful resource to accompany Classical Conversations Foundations. Also, I personally requested a hard copy of the material. The course itself is on digital copy through the website with many other wonderful resources and games to help your kids through their CC Foundations journey.
I hope that this Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Overview was helpful to you. There isn’t a ton to expound on or additional resources to use, but some are definitely wonderful and helpful to use. And remember, I only share things that I have used and recommend because they are high-quality products and that you can use them as a family.
*** This post is sponsored by Wisdom and Righteousness. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. ***