Monday, October 20, 2014

An Early Review of Classically Catholic Memory

This year I, along with two other moms from our homeschool support group, started a Classically Catholic Memory co-op. We are having a great time so far! 

The Program

We are using Classically Catholic Memory. Classically Catholic Memory offers memory work in eight subjects: Religion, Latin, Math, History, Timeline, Geography, Science, and Great Words. It is a four-year program, geared toward ages five through twelve. Each year has a name (Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma) and consists of 18 weeks of memory work. The four years can be taught in any order. Classically Catholic Memory is very detailed and provides step by step instruction for the parent to lead their child through each subject. It works as a supplement to your homeschool lessons. 

The Details of Our Co-op

There are three moms and ten children in our co-op. We meet every other Monday for about two hours to introduce new material and to complete group activities. We spend two weeks on each week of the program, so that the program extends over the entire school year. Currently, we meet in each other's homes, alternating each time we meet. The children are between the ages of four and thirteen. We broke the children into two groups that by chance happen to be of equal size. Our younger group is kindergarten through fourth grade, and our older group is fifth through eighth grade. 

We start our morning together with a prayer, and then we go over Religion and Latin together. Then we separate into groups. One mom teaches the younger group; another mom teaches the older group. The final mom teaches Science (it is the most involved subject) to both groups separately and helps with the youngest group once both groups have finished science. We meet after breakfast and finish before lunch, so that we do not need to have a snack break.  At home, each family goes over the new material daily (it takes about 15 to 20 minutes) as part of their school day until we meet again. 

My Review 

Since I started homeschooling ten years ago, I knew that I wanted my boys to do memory work. But beyond learning prayers and a few poems, I struggled to include it in our curriculum. I think Classically Catholic Memory is a wonderful program because it guides the parent step by step and covers eight subjects. I think the materials are of good quality and pleasing to use. I teach science, and I appreciate all of the information and activity suggestions. The information in the teacher edition can not be read word for word aloud to the group. To prepare, I spend several hours making teacher notes and worksheets for the kids, looking up extra information on the computer, and gathering supplies for the activities. 

What the Boys Think

They like it! They look forward to their daily memory work and smile big when they correctly remember a subject. Thomas (age 11) is gaining confidence in recitation. He holds his head up and doesn't mumble like he used to. And the other day, while he played with his Mega Bloks, I overheard Ralph (age 6) repeating part of his history memorization from week one. 

If memory work is important to you, but you find yourself struggling to add it to your school lessons, I think Classically Catholic Memory would be a great addition to you curriculum. Or if a co-op is something that you are interested but there isn't one in your area, all you need is another family or two, a home to meet in, and a program like Classically Catholic Memory to get you started.  


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  2. ^^^that so made me LOL! spammers. Anyhoo--this is my first year using CCM too. I really enjoy it. Struggling a bit to find the balance--my second grader can recite the memory work but then we aren't getting to phonics. And so forth. My thought was to move memory work to the second half of the day but then--we end up skipping it. I really do love the program so I'm determined to make it work. :)

    1. Is the memory work so much that your second grader is too mentally tired to do phonics?

    2. Leslie, I can not answer for Hope.
      However, I will say that adding CCM memory work to our school day did take time away from our regular subjects. Fifteen to 20 minutes of extra time doesn't sound like a lot of time, and it isn't really, but adding anything new to an already working schedule will shift things. It makes it feel harder to complete everything - especially for the younger kids.
      Though I still think it is a great program.

  3. This sounds wonderful! What an accomplishment for you and the other moms to set this up for your children. We are in a co-op for my older girls, but I may look into something like this for my younger kids as the begin school. Is it compatible with a Charlotte Mason style curriculum?


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