My daughter chose Clara Barton to research and do her Faces of History report for Essentials (CC's grammar, math and writing program). Therefore, I decided to read aloud a book about her to everyone. We chose the Heroes of History version. They decided to play Legos while I read. I learned early on in my homeschooling career that kids listen better when they can keep their hands busy. Of course, sometimes I wonder if they are really listening, but every time I ask them a question they repeat back the exact words I said!
When I first learned about Classical Conversations I wondered about all the memorization they do. My public school teacher self wondered if that was just the lowest form of learning. Boy was I wrong! It was explained to me that when kids memorize facts it gives them a peg to hang any knowledge they come across upon. I have seen how much my kids are learning this year, but today I really got to see it in action.
We were on the chapter about Clara Barton's service during the Civil War. I could hardly read for the boys interrupting me excitedly saying, "I know about that!" They started spouting off their history sentences about Lincoln, Lee, and the Civil War. They truly understood it more because they already had a basic understanding of the big picture of that time period. Plus, because it sounds familiar to them and they are proud to know about it, they are instantly engaged.
This was such a great time. They loved this book so much that they have begged me to order some more Heroes of History biographies! It was so wonderful to get such a confirmation that this method truly works and that my kids are flourishing with the classical method!