Using Classical Conversations as a curriculum spine, like we do, helps us organize many different subject areas. The “meat and potatoes” subjects are history, science, geography, English, Latin, and math. In addition, there are science experiments for each week, and I’ve already mentioned that we supplement all of these topics with great books for independent reading or family read-alouds.
The final piece of the puzzle is a “fine arts component” to include each week, which consists of lessons in music theory (with a tin whistle), drawing, learning about great artists and different art techniques (like Michelangelo painting ceilings), and learning about orchestra. If you belong to a “CC” group, your child’s tutor does all of this for you. If you do not belong to a group (like us), then you will want to get this component understood and organized, so you can really enjoy it and not be stressed-out by it!
I have actually advised other stressed-out moms to consider the fine-arts component optional, at least until you get the “meat and potatoes” portion of the program fully implemented and organized in your home. You have 52 weeks each year to teach your children, so if you don’t get the 24 fine-arts activities done on-time, during the exact, suggested week, it really is not a big deal. One of the main reasons many of us homeschool is just so we have flexibility in our lives when we need it. All that said, however, the fine-arts component is, truly, the “happy” and “fun” part of elementary school, the most hands-on and interesting to young children. So, as soon as time permits, read about it, understand it, and get these subjects organized and planned! I hope to offer a few tips here.
We are almost half-way through our 3rd year of using this program at home, so I’ve seen almost all of the material by now, and I’m excited about getting to repeat it over the next 3 years! Each year you use the program, you will understand it better – that’s just the benefit of time. Early on, you will want to read the description of this component in the appendix of the Foundations Curriculum Guide, (pages 133-171.) This book is now on clearance for only $15! I paid $50 for mine and thought it was well-worth the money!
I recommend having a dedicated binder for this component, divided into 4 sections, one for each subject. To help you organize the lessons, I have put together this detailed packet of information – check it out! [button link=”https://helpingchildrenlearn.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/fine_arts_binder.pdf” style=”download” color=”silver”]The Fine Arts Lesson Organizer[/button]
These are the types of lessons I would do with my children in the evenings or during the summertime if they were enrolled full-time in a school somewhere! Let me know what you think of the Organizer.
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