Classical Conversations Homeschooling – Part 1
- Mid-Late 90’s – When I was in 8th grade there was a girl who was homeschooled who started going to our public school (I was public schooled K-12 and had a good academic experience in a mid-sized city with a graduation class of about 400). This gal wasn’t real social and in high school went off the deep end. She was the only homeschooler I had experience with, therefore my perception was that homeschoolers fit the stereotype of not being social or well-equipped for the “real world.”
- Late 90’s – early 2000’s – I went to college in a small town (20,000) where I met quite a few families who homeschooled. I respected the families and the kids seemed “normal,” and I was even genuinely impressed by some of them. This broke my stereotyped perception and even opened me up to benefits of homeschooling.
- Mid-2000’s – I was looking for a job and a respected woman at my church approached me about being a nanny for her and her five homeschooled children. I accepted the position and learned a ton including the eye-witness of both pros and cons of homeschooling. It seemed like each week I wavered on what I would choose to do with my future children! I had many other families in our church that I began to glean from as well.
- 2008 – Our first son was born and we had tangible reason to start processing and praying about what we would choose for his formal education. (Note: we purchased our home in 2004 and one of the big draws was the good elementary school basically in our backyard. At that time I had visions of walking our kids up the hill and waving them off to school!)
- By 2010-11, in his 2nd or 3rd year, when my peers were considering pre-schools, we felt led to pursue home-education, so I began basic pre-school skills with him.
- Spring 2013 – we needed to decide what route we were going to take. Who knew there were so many decisions not just of curriculum, but basic schools of thought!?! Many of the seasoned families at church that I knew of had pretty traditional methods. One shared a book, “The Well-Trained Mind” with me. I began to skim through it and was immediately drawn to the model though I was still overwhelmed with the abundance of curriculum options in order to implement the model. Another friend told me that they started with a group called “Classical Conversations” (CC) and I should check it out. I went to an open house and liked that the kids were in small age-grouped classes and had an instructor and were learning a variety of subjects. We decided to follow that up with an informational meeting, where I learned that the model of Classical Conversations was the model that I was drawn to in “The Well-Trained Mind!”
Our church has a strong, long standing support group that I naturally wanted to be a part of. Because it was just kindergarten I didn’t want to “jump in with both feet” and get overwhelmed, so I was leaning toward just doing the support group for the first year and then maybe the Classical Conversations in the future (especially since the CC community 3 minutes from our house was full for that school year).
However, my husband was encouraging me to “go for it” and jump in with both feet. I knew it was easy to get overwhelmed in this homeschool journey and I was really trying to protect myself from that. But the more I prayed about it, the more the LORD helped me see that CC helps alleviate so much of that because they have set up so much of the curriculum where you basically just have to supplement with math and phonics/reading.
Another aspect that I was uncertain about was what to do with my DD3 and realized that the songs and chant learning of CC would be something that she could easily join us in. I’ll share in the next post a fuller explanation of what excites me about Classical Conversations, but this is the basics on why we chose CC as we began our homeschooling journey!
- Fall 2013 was official Kindergarten start and we decided it was worth the 20 minute drive to the new C.C. location opening in our city, even though the one closest to us was full. We don’t regret it! C.C. was a great fit for our family this year and I am excited to continue on as long as the LORD would have us! More details to come in the next post…stay tuned!!!...