I hope to sit down soon and post a blog that goes into more detail about our homeschooling and the new program we have been a part of this past year. But until that happens, this is a little snippet of what we joined up with last fall. It is called Classical Conversations and it is a program/community that follows the classical education model for teaching and learning from the pre-K years all the way through high-school. I will provide more details on what that entails in that someday-to-happen-sometime-off-in-the future post, but if you want to read a little bit about it now, you can do so by by clicking here.
According to this Classical model, our girls are currently in the “grammar stage.” This is said to be the first stage of learning and it is where they are taught and filled up with lots and lots and lots (and lots more) of the basic terms and facts associated with a subject. The understanding of these facts is not the focus, it is just the accumulation of such that is stressed. And then all these facts becomes little “pegs” from which more knowledge can more easily hang on. And thus it turns into a greater comprehension and understanding and love of learning for the the places, people, and events of our world and the creation around them. The subjects they are going through (and will continue on with through the high-school years) are Latin, Geography, History, Math, Science, English and a timeline of events from the beginning of history through present. It has been such an amazing thing to see that my girls’ minds, along with all the other children in their group, can hold all this information!!
Here is a quick summary of what those facts included through our 1st year of Cycle 1 Classical Conversations:
✔ 161 events and people in a chronological timeline
✔ 44 U.S. presidents
✔ 24 history sentences that add depth to their timeline
✔ 120 locations and geographic features in Africa, Europe, South America, and the Old World
✔ 24 science facts (including classifications of living things and each continent’s highest mountain)
✔ Latin and English noun cases, and 5 Latin noun endings and their singular and plural declensions
✔ English grammar facts (including 53 prepositions, 23 helping verbs, and 12 linking verbs)
✔ Multiplication tables up to 15×15, common squares and cubes, as well as basic geometry formulas and unit conversions
And while I do feel that what Halle did is an incredible accomplishment, because the mastery of all these facts did take extra diligence and studying on her part, I also want to say that the accumulation of facts in the minds of children is not something that only a few can do. Children’s brains are naturally inclined to memorize a H-U-G-E deal of information. And I was able to see the proof of that with just how much Dee and Gracie have been able to learn and retain this past year. They can say from memory ALL the timeline facts and presidents. They can say all the geography from memory (they just struggle with pointing to it all on a map). They know about 90% of the history sentences and science facts, but with a little prompting can get through the ones they struggle remembering on their own. They also know all of the English we covered in the year. The Latin noun declensions are hit or miss, sometimes they say them correctly, other times they don’t. And the Math is still a work in progress :-) So all that to say, if you know anything about Dee and Gracie, (and you have observed how they are not quite as gifted as Halle when it comes to academic things), you can see that all children’s minds can do this!
Now please hear this one more important thing I really want to convey with this post. It is important to me that all this said accumulated knowledge does not come across in an arrogant or puffed-up manner, that is far from my intent. Even though I am super proud to have seen how much information my girls are taking in and are memorizing, and that Halle worked hard to achieve Memory Master, there is something greater to my heart in all of this. The foundation for my excitement really lies in that I consider it a wonderful privilege and blessing to be a part of this Classical education style. All these little grammar facts that are being stored up in our girls’ mind (and mine too) are becoming to us like a new set of lenses for us to wear and see the world with. Life around us, events that have occurred, and places on the globe are becoming so much more rich and alive and real!
Because of the geography learned this year, we can hear mention of the island of Crete when we read from the book of Titus and see where that is in our minds, sitting out there in the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Greece. We now know where in the world the Red Sea is and the Sinai Peninsula, which makes the story of the Exodus and wandering in the desert something we can grasp more fully. When the news talks about the Gaza Strip and the Middle East, or our church sends a missions trip over there, we know the references and can point exactly to those places on a map. Historical points in time that we might come across in our read-aloud books, or our American Almanac, or the Bible find their place in the master timeline the girls learned. And then those things are able to have a more permanent and concrete place in their minds because they know other events that were going on during that same period, or leading up to it. I really could elaborate more and more on this elation of my feeling super privileged because of this information the girls are storing up, but I will stop here. And I will finish with the long list of all the things the girls covered this year, which is what Halle had to say in one sitting. Warning, you will have to scroll down a lot to get to the bottom of this!
Chronological Timeline Events:
Age of Ancient Empires;
Creation and the Fall;
The Flood and the Tower of Babel;
Mesopotamia and Sumer;
Indus River Valley Civilization;
Minoans and Mycenaeans
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World;
Patriarchs of Israel;
Hittites and Canaanites;
China’s Shang Dynasty
Hinduism in India;
Phoenicians and the Alphabet;
Olmecs of Mesoamerica;
Israelite Exodus and Desert Wandering;
Israelite Conquest and Judges;
Greek Dark Ages;
Israel’s United Kingdom
Early Native Americans;
Israel Divides into Two Kingdoms;
Homer and Hesiod;
Rome Founded by Romulus and Remus;
Israel Falls to Assyria;
Assyria Falls to Babylon;
Lao-Tzu, Confucius, Buddha
Judah Falls to Babylon, Temple Destroyed;
Babylon Falls to Persia;
Jews Return and Rebuild the Temple;
Golden Age of Greece;
Persia Falls to Alexander the Great
India’s Mauryan Empire;
Mayans of Mesoamerica;
Rome Conquers Greece;
Roman Dictator Julius Caesar;
Caesar Augustus and the Pax Romana;
John the Baptist
Jesus the Messiah;
Pentecost and the Early Church;
Persecution Spreads the Gospel;
Herod’s Temple Destroyed by Titus;
Diocletian Divides the Roman Empire;
Constantine Legalizes Christianity;
Council of Nicea;
Augustine of Hippo;
Jerome Completes the Vulgate;
Visigoths Sack Rome;
The Middle Ages;
Council of Chalcedon;
Empire Falls to Barbarians
Byzantine Emperor Justinian;
Benedict and Monasticism;
Muhammad Founds Islam;
Zanj and Early Ghana in Africa;
Franks Defeat Muslims at the Battle of Tours;
Golden Age of Islam;
Vikings Raid and Trade
Japan’s Heian Period;
Charlemagne Crowned Emperor of Europe;
Alfred the Great of England;
Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson, Norse Explorers;
Vladimir I of Kiev;
Byzantine Emperor Basil II;
East-West Schism of the Church
Norman Conquest and Feudalism in Europe;
Zimbabwe and Early Mali in Africa;
Aztecs of Mesoamerica;
Francis of Assisi and Thomas Aquinas;
Incas of South America
Genghis Khan Rules the Mongols;
England’s Magna Carta;
Marco Polo’s Journey to China;
The Hundred Years’ War and Black Death;
China’s Ming Dynasty
Age of Exploration;
Prince Henry Founds School of Navigation;
Slave Trade in Africa;
Gutenberg’s Printing Press;
Songhai in Africa;
Czar Ivan the Great of Russia;
The Spanish Inquisition
Columbus Sails to the Caribbean;
Age of Absolute Monarchs;
Spanish Conquistadors in the Americas;
Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion;
Council of Trent;
Baroque Period of the Arts
Jamestown and Plymouth Colony Founded;
Age of Enlightenment;
Hudson’s Bay Company;
First Great Awakening;
Classical Period of the Arts;
The Seven Years’ War
Age of Industry; James Cook Sails to Australia and Antarctica;
American Revolution and Gen. George Washington;
Madison’s Constitution and the Bill of Rights;
Second Great Awakening;
Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark Expedition
Napoleon Crowned Emperor of France;
Liberation of South America;
The War of 1812;
The Missouri Compromise;
Immigrants Flock to America;
The Monroe Doctrine;
Romantic Period of the Arts
Cherokee Trail of Tears;
U.S. Westward Expansion;
Marx Publishes The Communist Manifesto;
The Compromise of 1850 and the Dred Scott Decision;
U.S. Restores Trade with Japan;
British Queen Victoria’s Rule Over India;
Darwin Publishes The Origin of Species
Lincoln’s War Between the States;
Reconstruction of the Southern States;
Dominion of Canada;
Otto von Bismarck Unifies Germany;
Boer Wars in Africa;
The Spanish-American War;
The Progressive Era
Australia Becomes a Commonwealth;
World War I and President Wilson;
Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia;
U.S. Evangelist Billy Graham;
Modern Period of the Arts;
The Great Depression and the New Deal
World War II and President Franklin D. Roosevelt;
Stalin of the USSR and the Katyn Massacre;
The United Nations Formed;
The Cold War;
Gandhi and India’s Independence;
Jewish State Established;
Mao and Communist Victory in China
North Atlantic Treaty Organization;
The Korean War;
Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement;
Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, Missionaries to Ecuador;
The Antarctic Treaty;
The Vietnam War;
U.S. Astronauts Walk on the Moon
Age of Information and Globalization;
Watergate, President Nixon Resigns;
Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe;
European Union Formed;
Apartheid Abolished in South Africa;
September 11, 2001;
Rising Tide of Freedom
Week 1: Tell me about commandments 1–5.
Thou shalt … 1)have no other gods before me 2)not make unto thee any graven image 3)not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain 4)remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy 5) honor thy father and mother: that thy days may be long upon the land the Lord thy God giveth thee.
WEEK 2: Tell me about commandments 6–10.
Thou shalt … 6) not kill 7) not commit adultery 8) not steal 9) not bear false witness against thy neighbor 10) not covet
Week 3: Tell me about Greek and Roman gods
Week 4: Tell me about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World are: the Great Pyramids, Hanging Gardens, Temple of Artemis, Statue of Zeus, the
Mausoleum, Pharos Lighthouse, and Colossus of Rhodes.
Week 5: Tell me about the split of the Roman Empire
The Roman Republic fought the Punic Wars, which were followed by the Pax Romana. In 286 AD, the empire divided into the Western & Eastern empires until Germanic barbarians defeated the Western Empire, in 476 AD.
Week 6: Tell me about the fall of Rome
Taxes, slavery, unemployment, & diseases all contributed to the fall of Rome.
Week7: Tell me about Hinduism:
Hinduism, founded around 1500 BC, teaches Brahman is the “one great spirit” & that people are divided into castes. Founded around 530 BC, Buddhism teaches that Siddhartha was the “enlightened one.”
Week8: Tell me about the Age of Imperialism
During the Age of Imperialism, the British established rule over India in 1858 & Queen Victoria was declared the Empress of India in 1877. Before his assassination in 1948, Mohandas Gandhi led the passive resistance movement which helped win India’s independence
Week9: Tell me about Confucius
Confucius, who lived from 551 BC to 479 BC, taught obedience & respect. Taoism means “The Path” and emphasizes harmony with nature.
Week10: Tell me about the Heian Empire
As the Heian government weakened in Japan, Shoguns began to rule & expelled all foreigners during the period of isolation. Circa 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the US restored trade allowing the Meiji to modernize Japan.
Week11: Tell me about the Byzantine Empire
In 313 AD, Byzantine Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity. Emperor Justinian’s Code gave rights to all men. After Basil II and the Golden Age, Muslim Turks conquered parts of the Byzantine Empire, which led to the Crusades.
Week12: Tell me about the Muslim Empire
In 622 AD, the Muslim Empire’s religion was founded by Muhammad who worshipped Allah. The Ottoman Empire expanded the Muslim Empire until weakness forced westernization.
Week13: Tell me about the Kush:
The Kush mined gold along the Nile River from 2000 BC to 350 AD. The Berbers traded gold, iron & salt in the desert.
Week14: Tell me about the Songhai
In the 1400′s, the Songhai ruled Timbuktu. The Zanj were skilled craftsmen & traders. The Zimbabweans were wealthy, skillful stone craftsmen.
Week15: Tell me about Henry the Navigator
In the 1400′s, Henry the Navigator established colonial rule in Africa, leading to slave trade between the Portuguese & the Ashanti.
Week16: Tell me about the civilizations of Mesoamerica
Three of the advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica from 1200 BC to 1500 AD were the Olmecs, Mayans & Aztecs.
Week17: Tell me about the Aztecs
The Aztecs used pyramids in rituals of human sacrifice. Their civilization began to fall when Hernan Cortes of Spain defeated Montezuma in 1519.
Week18: Tell me about the Mound Builders
Circa 1000 BC to 1450 AD, three North American mound-building civilizations were the Adena, the Hopewell, and the Mississippians.
Week19: Tell me about the Anasazi:
The Anasazi of southwestern United States built adobe villages on the sides of cliffs from 500 BC to 1200 AD.
Week20: Tell me about the Mexican Revolution:
Circa 1910, during the Mexican Revolution, Pancho Villa & Emiliano Zapata fought the federales for “Land & Liberty.”
Week21: Tell me about the exploration of Canada:
John Cabot & Samuel de Champlain explored Canada & the St. Lawrence River. Creation of the Hudson’s Bay Company, in
1670, eventually led to war between Britain & France. The maple leaf is the symbol of Canada.
Week22: Tell me about the British North American Act (1867)
The British North American Act established the Dominion of Canada. The Canadians gained total independence from Britain
in 1982. French is spoken in the province of Quebec.
Week23: Tell me about the liberation of South America
In the early 1800′s, San Martin of Argentina, O’Higgins of Chile, & Simòn Bolivar of Venezuela fought to liberate South
America from Spain.
Week24: Tell me about Napoleon
When Napoleon threatened the Portuguese Empire, King John VI fled to Brazil. His son, Dom Pedro, granted Brazil
independence in 1822.
Geographic features (they had to locate all places on an outline map, name the place on a map when pointed to, and name all the places within each week’s grouping)
Week 1: Fertile Crescent
Week 2: Assyrian Empire
Week 3: Hebrew Empire
Sea of Galilee
Week 4: Hittite Empire
Week 5: Egyptian Empire
Week 6: Roman Empire
Week 7: Indus River
Bay of Bengal
Great Indian Desert
Week 8: China
Huang He River (Yellow)
Chang Jiang River (Long)
Week 9: Eastern Asia
Week 10: Japan
Sea of Japan
Week 11: Byzantine Empire
Week 12: Muslim Empire
Week 13: Western Africa
Week 14: Ancient Africa
Week 15: Middle East
Week 16: Africa (Waters)
Zaire River (Congo)
Week 17: Southern Africa
Week 18: Mesoamerica
Gulf of Mexico
Week 19: Original 13 Colonies
Week 20: Mesoamerica (More)
Week 21: Canadian Provinces (1867)
Week 22: Canadian Waters
Great Bear Lake
Great Slave Lake
Week 23: South America (West)
Week 24: South America (East)
WEEK 1: What are the classifications of living things?
WEEK 2: What are the five kingdoms of living things?
WEEK 3: What are some parts of an animal cell?
WEEK 4: What are some parts of a plant cell?
WEEK 5: What are the major groups of invertebrates?
WEEK 6: What are the major groups of vertebrates?
WEEK 7: How do animals reproduce?
WEEK 8: What are some types of seed plants?
WEEK 9: What are some parts of a plant?
WEEK 10: What are some kinds of leaves and leaf parts?
WEEK 11: What are some parts of a flower?
WEEK 12: What are some plant systems?
WEEK 13: What are some parts of the earth?
WEEK 14: What are the three kinds of rock?
WEEK 15: What is each continent’s highest mountain?
Everest in Asia
Aconcagua in S. America
McKinley in N. America
Kilimanjaro in Africa
Elbrus in Europe
Kosciuszko in Australia
Vinson Massif in Antarctica
WEEK 16: What are the four kinds of volcanoes?
WEEK 17: What are some parts of a volcano?
WEEK 18: What are four types of ocean floor?
WEEK 19: What are three ocean zones?
WEEK 20: What are some parts of the atmosphere?
WEEK 21: What are the five major circles of latitude?
Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Capricorn
WEEK 22: What are some kinds of weather fronts?
WEEK 23: What are some types of clouds?
WEEK 24: What are some markings on the globe?
Accusative- Direct Object
Ablative- Object of the Preposition
1st Declension Noun Endings (singular, plural)
Nominative: -a, -ae
Genitive: -ae, -.arum
Dative: -ae, -.ıs
Accusative: -am, -.as
Ablative: -.a, -.ıs
2nd Declension Noun Endings (singular, plural)
Nominative: -us, -.ı
Genitive: -.ı, -.orum
Dative: -.o, -.ıs
Accusative: -um, -.os
Ablative: -.o, -.ıs
3rd Declension Noun Endings (singular, plural)
Nominative: various, -.es
Genitive: -is, -um
Dative: -.ı, -ibus
Accusative: -em, -.es
Ablative: -e, -ibus
4th Declension Noun Endings (singular, plural)
Nominative: -us, -.us
Genitive: -.us, -uum
Dative: -u.ı, -ibus
Accusative: -um , -.us
Ablative: -.u, -ibus
5th Declension Noun Endings (singular, plural)
Nominative: -.es, -.es
Genitive: -.e.ı, -.erum
Dative: -.e.ı, -.ebus
Accusative: -em, -.es
Ablative: -.e, -.ebus
A preposition relates a noun or pronoun to another word.
The prepositions are: about, above, across, after, against
along, amid, among, around, at, atop
before, behind, below, beneath, beside
between, beyond, but, by, concerning
down, during, except, for, from
in, inside, into, like, near
of, off, on, onto, out
outside, over, past, regarding, since
through, throughout, to, toward
under, underneath, until, up, upon
with, within, without
A helping verb helps another verb assert action, being, or existence.
The helping verbs are: do, does, did
has, have, had
am, are, is
was, were, be, being, been
may, must, might
should, could, would
shall, will, can
A linking verb makes an assertion by joining two words.
The linking verbs are: feel, become, remain, taste
seem, appear, look, sound
stay, smell, grow, be
Week 1: 1 & 2 Tables
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
Week 2: 3 & 4 Tables
3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36
4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48
Week 3: 5 & 6 Tables
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60
6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60 66 72
Week 4: 7 & 8 Tables
7 14 21 28 35 42 49 56 63 70 77 84
8 16 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 80 88 96
Week 5: 9 & 10 Tables
9 18 27 36 45 54 63 72 81 90 99 108
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120
Week 6: 11 & 12 Tables
11 22 33 44 55 66 77 88 99 110 121 132
12 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120 132 144
Week 7: 13 x 13 Table
13 26 39 52 65 78 91 104 117 130 143 156 169
Week 8: 14 x 14 Table
14 28 42 56 70 84 98 112 126 140 154 168 182 196
Week 9: 15 x 15 Table
15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135 150 165 180 195 210 225
Week 10: Squares (up to 15 x 15)
1 4 9 16 25 36 49 64 81 100 121 144 169 196 225
Week 11: Cubes (up to 10 x 10 x 10)
1 8 27 64 125 216 343 512 729 1000
Week 12: teaspoons and tablespoons
3 teaspoons (tsp.) = 1 tablespoon (Tbsp.)
2 tablespoons (Tbsp.) = 1 fluid ounce (fl. oz.)
Week 13: liquid equivalents
8 fluid ounces (fl. oz.) = 1 cup (c.)
2 cups (c.) = 1 pint (pt.)
2 pints (pts.) = 1 quart (qt.)
4 quarts (qts.) = 1 gallon (gal.)
Week 14: linear equivalents
2.54 centimeters (cm) = 1 inch (in.)
12 inches (in.) = 1 foot (ft.)
5,280 feet (ft.) = 1 mile (mi.)
Week 15: metric measurements
10 millimeters (mm) = 1 centimeter (cm)
100 centimeters (cm) = 1 meter (m)
1,000 meters (m) = 1 kilometer (km)
Week 16: The AREA of a RECTANGLE equals length times width.
Week 17: The AREA of a SQUARE equals length of its side squared.
Week 18: The AREA of a TRIANGLE equals one-half (.) base times height.
Week 19: The AREA of a CIRCLE equals pi (3.14) times the radius squared.
Week 20: The CIRCUMFERENCE of a CIRCLE equals two times pi (3.14) times the radius.
Week 21: The Associative Law for addition: (a+b)+c=a+(b+c)
The Associative Law for multiplication: (a * b) * c= a * (b * c)
Week 22; The Commutative Law for addition: a+b=b+a
The Commutative Law for multiplication: a * b=b * a
Week 23: The DISTRIBUTIVE LAW states: a(b+c)=ab+ac
Week 24: The IDENTITY LAW for addition states: a+0=a
The Identity Law for multiplication states: a * 1=a
That is a lot of information to be able to recite with perfection in one sitting!
Halle, you rock!!!