Polynesian boy sets out alone in a canoe to conquer his fear of the ocean and to live up to his name Mafatu, or Stout Heart.
There will be families who are very thankful for the appearance of this curriculum; for years it's seemed as though classical education and special needs might be incompatible. Then comes Cheryl Swope who just...does it. Not only did she start walking down the classical path with her special-needs twins, but she quickly realized that it was the very best possible educational path for them. The combination of systematic repetition, language skills emphasis, gracious implementation and quality content has reaped amazing results, transforming their challenging lives into those with meaningful expressions of beauty and service.
Simply Classical Curriculum, written by Mrs. Swope, begins with essentially a set of lesson plans coupled with a choice reading list and moves gradually into the Memoria Press Classical Core resources. If you take a quick look at these lesson plans you may conclude that this approach is simply a typical classical program slooooowed way down. You're not exactly wrong, but you're not exactly right either. It's rather that the possibility of slowing way down is built into the lessons. The daily collection of lessons - rich in quality literature - progress slowly and surely through the process of laying a very solid foundation in classical learning. The plans/program offers 10 key features:
- The rich, beautiful content of a classical Christian education
- A slower pace with ample review
- An emphasis on books with elegant illustrations to cultivate a taste for excellence
- A multi-sensory presentation of material
- Oral language components
- Skills checklists
- Integration across subjects
- Themed levels
- Socratic questioning
The Curriculum Manual for each level provides parents all the tools they need for success including the program overview, readiness assessment, list of required curricula and read-aloud/enrichment books or supplements, supply list, teacher notes, suggested schedule, lesson plans, and the week-by-week chart for recitation and memory work. The detailed readiness assessment for each level covers language, cognitive ability, emotional development, fine-motor skills, and gross motor skills and is followed by a set of skills in each area to develop during this level of the program. Other than making sure you have the required resources and supplies for the day prep is practically nil. Organized in a two-page spread, grid format, the weekly lesson plans provide assignments and brief teacher notes to support the lesson. Beginning with Level 5 & 6, combined levels are available in either a One Year Accelerated Pace or Two-Year Standard Pace. Simply Classical provides children with significant special needs or other learning struggles the opportunity to excel with a classical education. Parents of struggling learners will appreciate the slower pacing, review and predominately oral lessons that help children succeed.
Curriculum manuals and curriculum/read-aloud books are available separately. Where available, we offer different packages to simplify ordering. The Core Curriculum Packages include the Curriculum Manual plus the books/workbooks used throughout the year. The Read Aloud Packages include all the books used as read alouds for the year. New User Add-On Packages are available for levels that reuse resources from a previous level. The Supply Packages are a collection of school supplies that are needed to complete the program. ~ Janice/Deanne
Memoria Press now offers complete Curriculum Manuals and grade-level curriculum packages for PK-10 using the classical methodology. Recitation is used in every level for memorization of basic facts, systematic phonics and good books are used for reading education, copywork is used for teaching Bible truths, and music and art are included for enrichment in the early (K-3) levels. Each Curriculum Manual contains complete lesson plans for a one-year course of study.
The Curriculum Manuals are well-formatted and easy to use. In the front of each book you will find a checklist of the materials needed at that level, an explanation of this curriculum, instructions for lesson implementation, a recommended schedule and blank schedule for your own planning purposes, and 33 weeks of detailed lesson plans. Lessons include assignments from the books used at each grade level, as well as activity suggestions. The appendices include a variety of material for that grade level, and may include: prayers, letter activities, recitation, memory verses, read-aloud book list, poetry list and selections, and a paintings/music list for kindergarten and first grade. These pages are reproducible for family or classroom use.
Although most of the guides have been available for several years, the curriculum was restructured in 2015, with many of the programs originally included in 3rd grade now with a slower pacing to span 3rd and 4th grade. Guides for grades 3 and up have been modified to reflect this change, while the lower-level guides have only had minor changes. If you are already midway into the program with the original guides, you can still continue in that track with the older guides, now titled Acclerated Classical Core Curriculum Manual. You can find these along with the complete list of curriculum resources used with them on our website.
We have complete grade-level resource packages, consumable packages for “refill,” new user packages for levels that reuse resources from a previous level, read-aloud packages for each level and science and enrichment packages for the early levels. Curriculum resources are also listed individually (see website for specific contents of consumables and read-aloud packages). Please note that several of the programs include First Form Latin and Classical Composition, which should be completed in order, regardless of what is in the grade level package.If you have a student entering the program after fourth grade, you will need to start them in Classical Composition: Fable Stage and/or First Form Latin instead of what might be in the package.
This series is for the parent who wants a good classical curriculum which is outlined and ready to use. Simply open the book and follow the instructions. You will be well on your way to a quality education for your young ones. ~ Donna