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What is Classical Homeschooling?

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Are you wondering, What is Classical Homeschooling? Well in this post we will outline what a classical education looks like, look at a brief history of classical homeschooling, and the key principles behind the theory. We will also point you in the right direction for classical homeschooling curricula, and classical education co-ops.

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Classical homeschooling is a form of education that emphasizes the study of classical literature, history, and philosophy. It is based on the idea that the classics provide a solid foundation for learning and that students should be taught to think critically and independently. This approach to education has been around for centuries and has been used by many great thinkers and leaders throughout history.

Classical homeschooling is different from other forms of homeschooling in that it focuses on the study of the classics rather than on modern textbooks and curriculum. Students are taught to read great books and analyze original works of literature and philosophy, and to think deeply about the ideas they encounter. They are also taught to write and speak clearly and persuasively, using the tools of logic and rhetoric to make their arguments.

The classical approach is a rigorous and challenging form of education, but it is also highly rewarding. Students who are educated in this way develop a deep understanding of the world and their place in it, and they are well-prepared for further study at the college level. If you are interested in the classical education method, there are many resources available to help you get started, including online courses, books, and support groups.

A mother and daughter pointing to a globe with the words: What is Classical Homeschooling?
What is Classical Homeschooling?

Understanding Classical Homeschooling

Classical homeschooling is an educational approach that focuses on the study of classical literature, history, and philosophy. This approach is based on the idea that there is a core body of knowledge that every educated person should possess, and that this knowledge can be taught through the study of classic works of literature and history.

One of the key features of classical homeschooling is the use of the trivium, which is a three-part approach to learning that was developed in ancient Greece. The trivium consists of three stages of learning: the grammar stage, the logic stage, and the rhetoric stage (also known as the dialectic stage). In the grammar stage (elementary age students), young children focus on learning memory work of basic facts and rules of a subject to be used as building blocks for the next stages.The logic stage (middle school age students), students learn to think critically and to reason. In the rhetoric stage (high school age students), older students learn to communicate effectively and to express themselves clearly.

Classical homeschooling also emphasizes the study of Latin and the importance of memorization. Latin is considered to be the foundation of many modern languages and is believed to be essential for developing strong critical thinking skills. Memorization is also seen as an important tool for learning, as it helps students to internalize knowledge and to develop strong recall abilities.

Overall, classical homeschooling is a rigorous and disciplined approach to education that emphasizes the study of classic works of literature and history, the use of the trivium, the study of Latin, the study of the fine arts, and the importance of memorization. It is a popular approach among homeschoolers who value a traditional, rigorous education for their children.

mom and son looking at homework with words What is the history of the classical education model?
What is the history of the classical education model

History of Classical Homeschooling

Classical homeschooling has its roots in ancient Greece and Rome, where the classical education model was first developed. This model of education emphasized the study of classical languages such as Latin, Greek, and the great works of literature, philosophy, and history from these cultures.

During the Middle Ages, the classical education model was preserved and developed by the Catholic Church, which established universities and schools throughout Europe. This system of education was largely unchanged until the 19th century, when the rise of industrialization and the growth of public schools led to a decline in classical education.

In the last century, classical education experienced a resurgence, particularly in the United States, as parents sought alternatives to public schools. Homeschooling became increasingly popular, and many homeschooling parents adopted the classical education model for their children.

In modern times, classical homeschooling remains a popular choice for parents who want to provide their children with a rigorous, traditional education that emphasizes critical thinking through the socratic method, logic, and a deep understanding of the humanities. Many classical homeschooling curricula are available, and classical homeschooling co-ops and communities have formed across the country to support families who choose this educational path. If you wish to learn more about the roots of classical education, this article called Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers is a great place to start!

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Key Principles of Classical Homeschooling

Classical homeschooling is an educational approach that emphasizes the study of the liberal arts and humanities. Here are some of the key principles of classical homeschooling:

Trivium

The trivium is a three-part approach to education that was first outlined in ancient Greece and Rome. It consists of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

  • Grammar: This stage focuses on the basics of language, including vocabulary, spelling, and sentence structure.
  • Logic: This stage teaches students how to think critically and logically, including how to identify fallacies and arguments.
  • Rhetoric: This stage focuses on effective communication, including writing and public speaking.

Quadrivium

The quadrivium is a four-part approach to education that was also first outlined in ancient Greece and Rome. It consists of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.

  • Arithmetic: This stage focuses on the basics of math, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Geometry: This stage teaches students about shapes, sizes, and spatial relationships.
  • Music: This stage focuses on the study of music theory and composition.
  • Astronomy: This stage teaches students about the stars, planets, and other celestial bodies.

By combining the trivium and quadrivium, classical educators aim to provide students with a well-rounded education. It emphasizes critical thinking, effective communication, and a deep understanding of the humanities and liberal arts.

Benefits of Classical Homeschooling

Classical homeschooling is a teaching method that emphasizes the study of classical literature, history, and language. This approach to education has several benefits for students and parents alike.

Firstly, classical homeschooling provides a solid foundation in critical thinking and reasoning skills. By studying classical texts and analyzing historical events, students are encouraged to think deeply and critically about the world around them. This helps them develop a strong sense of logic and reasoning that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Secondly, classical homeschooling allows parents to tailor their child’s education to their individual needs and interests. Because the curriculum is flexible, parents can choose which subjects to focus on and how much time to spend on each one. This allows children to explore their passions and develop their talents in a way that traditional schools may not allow.

Thirdly, classical homeschooling promotes a love of learning. By studying classical literature and history, students are exposed to some of the greatest works of human civilization. This can inspire a lifelong love of learning and a desire to continue exploring the world around them.

Overall, classical homeschooling is a highly effective and rewarding approach to education that offers many benefits for students and parents alike.

Challenges of Classical Homeschooling

Classical homeschooling is a rigorous and demanding educational approach that requires a significant commitment from both the parent-teacher and student. While it offers many benefits, it also presents challenges that must be overcome to achieve success. One of the major challenges of becoming a classical educator is that most of us weren’t taught through the classical education model. It can take some time to change our views of how to do school, before we can proceed and truly succeed at classical homeschooling.

Classical Homeschooling Curriculum Providers

There are several curriculum providers that specialize in classical homeschooling. These providers offer complete curriculum packages that include textbooks, workbooks, and teacher guides. Some of the most popular providers include:

  • Memoria Press: Memoria Press offers a complete classical curriculum for grades K-12. Their curriculum includes Latin, logic, language arts and classical literature.
  • Classical Academic Press: Classical Academic Press offers a classical curriculum for grades K-12. Their curriculum includes Latin, logic, and classical literature.
  • Veritas Press: Veritas Press offers a classical curriculum for grades K-12. Their curriculum includes Latin, history, and classical literature.

Online Communities

There are several online communities that cater to classical homeschoolers. These communities provide support, advice, and resources for parents who are pursuing a classical education for their children. Some of the most popular online communities include:

  • The Well-Trained Mind: The Well-Trained Mind is a website and forum that provides resources and support for classical homeschoolers. The site includes articles, forums, and a curriculum marketplace.
  • Classical Conversations: Classical Conversations is a nationwide network of homeschooling communities that use a classical curriculum. The program includes weekly meetings, community events, and online resources.
  • Ambleside Online: Ambleside Online is a free online curriculum that leans a little more Charlotte Mason in its principles of education, but uses several aspects of the classical education method as well. The curriculum includes classical literature, history, and science.

Books and Guides

There are several books and guides that can help parents who are interested in classical homeschooling. Some of the most popular books and guides include:

  • The Well-Trained Mind: The Well-Trained Mind is a book by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise that provides a comprehensive guide to classical homeschooling. The book includes information on curriculum, teaching methods, and resources.
  • The Latin-Centered Curriculum: The Latin-Centered Curriculum is a book by Andrew Campbell that provides a step-by-step guide to teaching Latin and other classical subjects.
  • The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education: The Core is a book by Leigh Bortins that provides a guide to teaching the classical subjects of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
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Implementing Classical Homeschooling

Classical homeschooling is a rigorous and structured approach to education. It requires careful planning and execution to ensure that children receive a well-rounded education. Here are some tips on how to implement classical homeschooling successfully.

Join a Co-op

Classical Conversations is one of the most popular classical education co-op across the United States. You can search their website to see if there are any communities available near you. Finding a community of like minded classical home educators is one of the most useful things that you can do in your journey of homeschooling!

Can you use the classical education model without joining a co-op? Yes! But if you are new to homeschooling and new to the classical education model, it’s helpful to see how it works in person. It is also helpful to look ahead to what older students are learning. Watching a high school debate is encouraging to see where your child will be in a few short years.

Setting up a Schedule

One of the most important aspects of classical homeschooling is setting up a schedule. A schedule helps to ensure that children receive a consistent education and that they cover all necessary subjects. When setting up a schedule, it is important to consider the child’s age, learning style, and interests.

A typical classical homeschooling schedule might include subjects such as history, literature, math, science, and Latin. It is important to allocate enough time for each subject and to include breaks and physical activity throughout the day.

Choosing Materials

Choosing the right materials is essential for classical homeschooling. Classical education emphasizes the use of primary sources and classic literature. It is important to choose materials that are challenging but also age-appropriate.

When selecting materials, it is important to consider the child’s learning style and interests. Some children may prefer textbooks, while others may prefer hands-on learning or audiovisual materials. It is also important to choose materials that align with the family’s values and beliefs.

Assessing Progress

Assessing progress is an important part of classical homeschooling. Parents should regularly evaluate their child’s progress in each subject and adjust their approach as needed.

There are many ways to assess progress, including tests, quizzes, essays, and projects. In homeschooling tests and quizzes are not the best way to see where your child lands. Hands on projects, narration, and notebooking are a better way to view your child’s progress. It is important to provide constructive feedback and to celebrate the child’s achievements.

In conclusion, implementing classical homeschooling requires careful planning and execution. Parents should set up a schedule, choose the right materials, and assess progress regularly. By following these tips, parents can provide their children with a rigorous and well-rounded education. View all of our homeschooling styles posts here!

Happy Homeschooling!

Danielle

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