My ZAP! board has been lurking in my classroom closet most of our CC year and this week it makes its grand debut in my Masters/Journeymen class of 3rd-5th graders. This game holds the edge-of-your-seat suspense of not knowing whether you’ll be rewarded or punished each turn. You may inflict the agony of losing points on the opposing team, or (GASP!) lose your points instead! Who knows? The uncertainty is thrilling!
Every single occasion I listen to this piece, I feel myself steadily descending into madness. One errant note at a time, I’m swirling into a crazed world of instruments playing out of range, rhythms that don’t make any logical sense, and seemingly no control whatsoever. Stravinsky has been called a genius. He is the father of modern music, and this piece is hugely important in breaking long-held “rules” of rhythm and instrumentality, but it also is a little nuts. So crazy in fact, it caused an actual riot when it was first performed in Paris on May 29, 1913. Gird your loins people. This piece is a wild ride.
One of the most common questions I get regarding Classical Conversations is “You are just filling their head with rote memorization. They don’t understand half of it. What good is that? All that stuff doesn’t even mean anything to them.”. While it is quite true that many of the facts we memorize mean virtually nothing to my children (what 5-year-old cares about Newton’s Laws of Motion?), there is a purpose and a path in our style of schooling that begins at the beginning. With young children who, like sponges, absorb every ounce of data around them. We all learn from infancy by rote memorization. How to speak by repeating the basic words our parents babble to us. The alphabet, the Pledge of Allegiance, The Lord’s Prayer. Kids can sing every song in their favorite movie. Recite entire books that are frequent bedtime stories. All these things are retained and recalled because of rote memorization. I’d like to share a little from Leigh Bortins book “The Core“, and then a story of my own to demonstrate these principles in action. Continue reading
There are three cycles of information spanning Ancient History to Modern in Classical Conversations. This upcoming year (cycle 3) the focus is on US History and Geography. We’ll be memorizing the states and capitols, as well as geographical features and historical timeline events.
As we hone in on the United States next year, I thought it would be exciting and enriching to see what stories and facts I could get regarding each state, from people who actually live there. So, I’ve set upon a great adventure to collect information in the form of mail (good mail…the kind with a stamp on it) for my kids. Mail is just flat out fun. Bonus: I got to sign my name 100 times. I love signing my name.
Anyone involved with Classical Conversations knows that Cycle 3 is all about the United States for Geography. Head on over to Homeschool Giveaways and pick up this freebie before it expires on Friday! Whether you’re sure you’ll be using it or not — get it before it’s gone! This would also make for great summer activities for any kid who’s studying US Geography or state history.
Included is 50 States and Where to Find Them, which teaches children the states and capitals region by region through mapping exercises and quality literature. Children fill out a map of the region as they learn about each state. State lessons include historical information about the state and coloring pages of the state flower, state bird, and state flag.
Each region wraps up with a crossword puzzle, a word search, and a bonus lesson pertaining to the region. Bonus lessons include topics such as heraldry, the Erie Canal, and the Underground Railroad.
Also included is The Student Workbook for 50 States and Where to Find Them which is a necessary component of this program. It includes all of the printable, reproducible sheets needed to complete the work.
I love free! Did you know that most library systems allow you to print for free too? My local library system will even let you print a limited amount in color! Check out the libraries where you live – they are a great place to stretch your budget! Yippee!
Here’s the link again if you missed it earlier. Free Geography Curriculum