This review was lovingly and graciously shared with me by my best friend Hayley! I am so thankful for her wisdom and insight!
Over the past eight years of homeschooling, we have used a variety of resources for memory work. We spent five years as part a of classical, memory work focused co-op- first as participants in Classical Conversations, then in a classical co-op, which Erin founded. During those years, my oldest two children memorized amazing amounts of information about history, science, Latin, math, geography, English grammar, and world history. Now that they are in middle school and high school, I can see how all the seeds that were planted during the grammar years are producing much fruit.
As my children got older and my younger two joined us at the homeschool table, I felt that being involved in a co-op was not the best use of our time. Dedicating a full day to a co-op made it hard to complete all their other school work in the remaining four days. Despite making the difficult decision to leave our co-op, I didn’t want to leave memory work out of our curriculum. I wanted to ensure that my two younger children would have the same foundation in memory work their older siblings received.
At first, I considered using the Classical Conversations Foundations guide at home, but I never really liked the three year cycle for history. My first introduction to classical education was from The Well-Trained Mind, so I really wanted something that followed closer to that model. A homeschool friend told me about a memory work curriculum that followed the same schedule as The Story of the World and had a four year history cycle. It sounded exactly like what I was looking for. It was called Claritas Publishing.
I have to admit that when I first heard the name, I thought it was a knock off of Veritas Press, kind of like when you go to the dollar store and buy “Prongles” instead of Pringles. But it turns out the word claritas is Latin for “brightness, clarity, glory”.
As I looked at the samples on their website, I fell in love with this awesome program. Not only did it have a four year history cycle which perfectly lined up with The Story of the World, but it also included hymn study and weekly scripture memory passages as well. I decided to go for it, and even though we were already half way through the school year, I bought the Claritas Cycle 1 Guide.
There are so many things I love about Claritas. One of the big pros to Claritas is that it provides another option to families who cannot join CC due to the cost, availability of a campus, or like me, they want to do their own thing at home. It is a wonderful alternative that- in my opinion- improves on CC’s concept for memory work.
The content in Claritas is fabulous! Each week includes a memory sentence for English grammar, math, science, scripture, history, hymn, geography, and Latin. That sounds like a lot to memorize in a week, but what makes it easier is that Claritas offers a CD of songs for every single item of memory work. I don’t know about your kids, but my kids seem to be able to memorize anything set to music.
I’m sorry, but I can’t really think of many cons to share about Claritas. If you are looking for an alternative to Classical Conversations that you can use at home, I highly recommend it. They also have a co-op license so you could easily gather a group of friends and created you own Claritas Academy.
The one thing that might be a con to some families is that each cycle has a separate guide, which means you have to purchase a total of four guides (over four years) if you plan to use the complete program.
Claritas Guide: $45-This is a must have to use the program.
Memory Work Cds: $25-This is optional, but highly recommended.
Map Booklet: $20-We did not use these since the maps are included in the guide.
Claritas Timeline Cards: $65-These are new since I ordered our curriculum. There is a timeline included in the weekly memory work, but since we had previously memorized CC’s timeline, we continue to use it.
Now that we have completed Cycle 1 of Claritas Publishing Memory Work, I definitely plan to continue using it with my grammar stage children.