1. Ellen

    I thought a classical education was focused on learning about the “classics” but I also realize now that it goes beyond that. I agree with you that it is a method on how to learn anything. It also serves as a great basis on learning anything.
    Although I love playing games like memory I found that area to be a weakness when working with my students. I realize that the brain is like a muscle and needs to be constantly worked or else it will not function properly.
    I am interested in reading about the classical method throughout the rest of the book. While I plan to homeschool my children, I will most likely use a few different methods to create a plan that will work for us.

  2. Your posts are making me consider reading The Core. As you probably know we mostly follow a classical approach. However, I visited a Classical Conversations group a few years ago and decided it wasn’t for us for various reasons. Not having read the book I feel like I can’t comment intelligently (but why should that stop me. :)). I am a fan of memorization but I’ve never been sold on the concept of memorization out of context which is my impression of what Bortins sometimes advocates for. So memorizing the multiplication tables, absolutely. Memorizing the Pythagorean theorem before you understand what a square is (or a right triangle is) doesn’t make as much sense to me.

    I have been thinking in my own kids’ lives about the concept of struggle and the importance of teaching them the value of working hard at something, even when it’s hard or boring. I think it’s a discipline that we’re trying to instill more in our family and school. It seems that is what Bortins is talking about here as well.

  3. Thanks so much for this. I don’t have the book, but I’m learning a lot from your discussion of it, and have decided to expand our memory time.

    We’ve always done memory time after breakfast, but because of my son’s babysitting job we quit last year; we never could get everyone up early enough. We now ‘only’ work on Bible texts and Psalms or hymns, but that will change. Thanks!

  4. Amy

    Thanks, ladies, for jumping into the discussion! I’m glad you’re benefiting from it!

    I have some of the same concerns, so I suppose we’ll see how this goes this year. I will say that I am making an attempt (!!!) at giving some context to some of what we memorize, but since there are only 24 hours in a day and we must sleep and eat, I know it will be impossible to do it all.

  5. Carla

    Loving all the comments….I only have one years experience in CC but let me say that memorization rocks! It is so easy to pop a CD in the car, computer or where ever we may be and do school! I too at first had reservations about just memorizing facts but I have seen fruit from it. Just the other day we were reading “America: A Patriotic Primer” by Lynne Cheney(which by the way I highly recommend) and some of the facts from her CC memorization were listed in the reading…it was awesome to see her face light up and her say ” I know that”…about the Boston Tea Party, the Preamble to the Constitution(of which she can recite) , the Bill of Rights( I venture to say she knows her rights better then most High Schoolers 🙂 ), Lewis and Clark , the Dred Scott decision and Brown v. Board of Education just to name a few. It really works…and you will find that while on a field trip or doing a study on another subject these facts will pop up and there will be opportunities for deeper understanding. Now that I have raved about CC, let me focus on chapter 2 of the Core. I love that memorization can be used at whatever stage in life to learn or relearn something….I have totally grasped that and it has changed the way I look at things now and especially how I teach my older son(not educated in the Classical Method because we didn’t know about it 🙁 ) Even though I only have two years of highschool left with him I will strive to mold the time we have left into a classical approach..I love what Lee said “The classically educated are not defined by their occupation so much as by their breadth of knowledge and understanding. And the processes of a classical education are so simple that all parents and educators can competently implement a classical curriculum and challenge the intellect of any child”, also ” Classical educators know the artifact will only be as good as the art practiced, so over-practicing a core of learning skills is as important as finding the correct answer” My son having a slight learning disability and having been in and out of public, private and homeschooling is behind especially in English…we have so struggled with this but now knowing the Classical method I have great hope that we can together relearn our English and succeed. Lee says “We learn by having our senses literally absorb data into our brain. The more we see the same information from different angles and through a variety of experiences, the more neural pathways we create to access that idea, and the easier information becomes to process or think about”, “People, whether mentally handicapped or gifted, learn through repetetive practice until a given concept is memorized.” This gives me such hope that we can reclaim the lost years of my son’s learning journey! Oh, I have rambled haven’t I…and I have so many passages from the book highlighted…so I will try to focus…”A goal of learning is not just to fill the shelves;it is to develop useful human beings who can use their talents in practical ways to feed the needs of fellow humans.” Yes, Yes and Yes!!! Enough said!! Love “The Core”

    • Amy

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, Carla! It really does commend the method that you’ve experienced so much success already with your daughter! I look forward to experiencing CC with you this year! 😉

  6. Great discussion again! I’m planning on expanding our memorization this year as well. Last year we only did Bible verses, but I’m hoping to add history and literature to that this year. This stuff makes me so excited, I only hope that I can implement it well =) Thanks so much for sharing with us again at Trivium Tuesdays!

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