CC Lingo

Whenever you begin something new, there are new words to learn. (We call those words the “grammar” of the subject, as you’ll read below.) We realize that if you are new to classical Christian education there will be a lot of unfamiliar words. A team of experienced, as well as new, homeschooling parents put together this list to help you get started. (They goofed off some during their work, so please excuse the joking around. Contrary to popular belief, classical educators can have fun, too.) For more information please visit our website at, or consult the catalog.


An acronym for Classical Conversations, an organization dedicated to supporting homeschooling parents and cultivating a love of learning through a Christian worldview in fellowship with other families. Our mission is to know God and to make Him known.


A dialectic and rhetoric-level program for ages 12 through graduation which offers more than a complete middle school and high school curriculum through six seminars which ultimately develops thinking, speaking, and writing skills across the subjects of math, Latin, literature, logic, science, economics, history, philosophy, and theology; meets weekly for 30 weeks; what students call their coursework as in, “Mom, this is a real challenge!”


Classical Education

A time-tested philosophy of education that teaches a student how to learn anything and is ultimately concerned with cultivating knowledge, understanding, and wisdom in the life of the student; recognizes that the trivium is the most efficient and effective method of learning

Canons of Rhetoric

The five elements (or steps) of good speech or essay writing: (1) Invention (2) Arrangement (3) Elocution (4)Memory (5) Delivery
Common Topics of Invention—the five elements of invention: (1) Definition (2) Comparison (3) Relationship (4) Circumstance (5) Testimony (or Authority); these are also elements of good discussions


the art of learning to think well, associated with asking questions, sorting, comparing and practicing the knowledge learned in the grammar stage


Experienced Classical Conversations parent who has the spiritual gift of organizing messy science and art projects and managing the Foundations, Essentials, or Challenge programs that meet in their weekly local CC community; person dedicated to nurturing homeschooling parents


a dialectic-level program for children ages 9 to 11 (with a parent) which teaches English grammar, writing, and math drills; meets weekly for 24 weeks; sometimes referred to as, “not your mama’s grammar class;” NYMGC for short; (It might possibly be your grandmother’s grammar class, if you are old enough.)


a grammar-level program for children ages 4 to 12 (with a parent) which teaches students how to memorize in a fun, interactive environment; meets weekly for 24 weeks; commonly referred to as, “this is fun, Mom!” or (TIFM for short)


The art of learning the structure of language or the foundational knowledge needed to tackle a new subject.


an acronym for Homeschool Legal Defense Association a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms


an acronym for Institute for Excellence in Writing: Andrew Pudewa’s organization which produces the excellent writing program used in the Essentials program: Teaching Writing Structure and Style and accompanying support books


an acronym for The Lost Tools of Writing, a writing program for youth and a ninja-thinking program for parents of teens, disguised as a writing program for youth

Memory Master

a Foundations student who can recite all the memory work covered in the twenty-four weeks of the Foundations program


the best educators for their children


1) a course of study which involves practice of the studied theory; 2) a free three-day conference on classical Christian home schooling sponsored by CC in which you will learn a lot, are encouraged, and practice teaching skills with like-minded home schooling parents


what comes after the trivium: four more areas to delve more deeply into: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. (If you add the trivium (3) to the quadrivium (+ 4) you get 7 which make up the seven liberal arts.)


the art of expressing well, practicing the skills associated with communicating the truth of a subject through writing, speech, or conversation.


an acronym for Support Representative; an experienced CC homeschooling parent who nurtures and supports approximately five CC communities and their respective directors, helps to grow the organization; can be some of the most cheerful people outside of Disney

Saxon Math

a rigorous, trusted math curriculum which provides step-by-step instruction in math with plenty of practice problems and maintains quality of instruction all the way through advanced math and calculus; the recommended (but not required) math curriculum of CC


what CC calls their Challenge classes, as in, “We have six seminars in Challenge I: math, Latin, literature, government, philosophy, and science;” the word seminar is derived from the Latin word seminarium, meaning “seed plot”; a small discussion group which delves more deeply into a topic than a lecture-style class could


the Latin word for “three ways” which refers to the three stages of learning: (1) grammar stage, (2) dialectic stage, (3) rhetoric stage


homeschooling parents who are willing to be the leading learners of a group of homeschooled students and their parents in weekly seminars with lots of support from Classical Conversations; mentors of students through learning all six seminars in a full day of class that meets weekly for 30 weeks

Writer’s Circle

a group of dedicated writers who contribute to an article a day to encourage and inspire parents who wish to home school classically; articles can be found on (You can also sign up to receive the articles via e-mail every morning.)