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Classical Coversations offers God-centered option for home schooling

February 5, 2017 GMT

Students learning through the Classical Conversations home schooling curriculum displayed their knowledge of world civilization Thursday at a presentation for the Aiken community.

During the program, students from kindergarten to sixth grade recited the history of the world from its beginning to the 18th century in just about five minutes. Memorization and recitation are the foundations in the first level of the Classical Conversations learning model, which combines classical learning with a Biblical worldview, said Dina Young, the licensed director of the Foundations and Essentials Classical Conversations Program.

Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon and representatives from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office attended the presentation at the New Covenant Presbyterian Church on Hitchcock Parkway.

“We’ve welcomed in today leaders from throughout Aiken to this Excellence in Education program to see that we’re growing and to come along side us in making this a school option in Aiken,” Young said. “My desire was for Aiken to see that although we are a small community we are a school choice. I praise God for the opportunity to pick where my children go to school and who educates them.”

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The Classical Conversations home schooling curriculum divides the learning process into three stages: grammar, dialectic and rhetoric.

In the grammar stage, young children focus on facts, learning the words and terms associated with a subject.

“Grammar is the knowledge,” Young said. “In other words, you must memorize the vocabulary and basic rules and patterns associated with the subject.”

In the dialectic stage, children, ages 10 to 13, ask questions as they sort and evaluate the facts they learned during the grammar stage.

“Dialectics is the understanding state, and you’re able to understand how everything works and you can compare it,” Young said.

In the rhetoric stage, teenagers synthesize their knowledge and apply it, communicating the truth of the subjects learned in the dialectic stage through writing, speech or conversation.

“Rhetoric means you have the wisdom and knowledge of the subject you’re studying,” Young said. “Each stage builds on the one before. The Biblical equivalents of the three stages are knowledge, understanding and wisdom.”

Young said Classical Conversations emphasizes community and equipping parents to help their children learn. The Aiken community sponsors a 24-week program for grade-school students once a week at New Covenant Presbyterian.

“The parents in the classes with the children have a tutor who goes over and previews the next week’s lesson, and then the parents go home and do that work with their children,” Young said.

Young said Classical Conversations celebrated its 20th anniversary in the United States this year. More than 100,000 students from grades 4K through 12 participate in the program.

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Students who graduate from the program have a greater than 90 percent acceptance rate to the colleges and universities of their choice and their SAT scores are higher than the national average, Young said.

The program is a God-centered, Young said.

“It’s quite different than other Christian curriculums where they still have the child in the center of the subjects.” She said. “In our program, God is at the center of our subjects, which include math, science, art, language and Latin.”

For more information, visit classicalconversations.com, or search for the Classical Conversations of Aiken page on facebook.com.

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Children in the Classical Conversations home schooling curriculum will learn more than 500 pieces of information, said Dina Young, the licensed director of the Foundations and Essentials Classical Conversations Program.

In a school year, children will learn:

• 161 events and people in a chronological timeline

• 44 U.S. presidents

• More than 100 locations and geographic features in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world

• 24 science facts, including planets and the laws of motion

• Latin verbs

• English grammar, including pronouns, adjectives and adverbs

• Multiplication tables up to 15 times 15 and common squares and cubes.

Students also study art and music and make oral presentations.

“It is truly amazing,” Young said.