The Essentials program is Classical Conversations’ (CC) complete language arts program. Essentials classes are designed for students ages 9 through 11 and take place from 1:15 PM to 3:15 PM on CCDT community days.
Essentials serves as a bridge between the grammar and logic (also known as dialectic) stages. The Essentials program comprises three segments: English Grammar, Writing, and Math Games.
Using The Essentials of the English Language Guide, and under the guidance of their Essentials tutor, students learn the fundamentals of English grammar, including: basic grammar rules; the eight parts of speech; as well as the structures, patterns and purposes of sentences. Through afternoon Essentials classes, and consistent practice at home, students master the diagramming of sentences, editing exercises, and grammar charts.
The writing component of an Essentials class is guided by the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s (IEW) History Based Writing Lessons series. Using IEW’s Teaching Writing: Substance and Style handbook, students learn to write clearly and methodically by following IEW’s step-by-step model — the perfect approach for reluctant writers! IEW guides students and parents from keyword outlining to writing, and students are encouraged to share their papers in class.
The final component of Essentials is 30 minutes of math drills and games. This segment helps students solidify math skills, particularly their grasp of addition and multiplication facts. The goal is to help students achieve greater speed and accuracy in their mental math skills, in preparation for the algebra and higher math they will encounter in the coming years.