Simply Classical Curriculum for Special Needs

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

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