The year I committed to homeschooling my children, the Lord brought our family to Classical Conversations (CC). While this program is not a fit for everyone, it gave structure and a process to the idea of homeschooling for us. To this day, I don’t recall much of what went through my brain in regards to choosing the classical method of homeschooling, but I’m grateful for my friend who shared with me about classical homeschooling and the people who mentioned CC to me in the beginning.
When I began CC, it “WAS” the classical method to me. About four years in, I discovered it was a process which used the classical method. It provides the primary “knowledge” for memory work in the early years and then adds to it using a process that follows the students natural learning methods as they grow, culminating in junior high and high school years that have a more fully-structured program, though mom & dad are still in charge and can choose curriculum different from what is recommend (such as math) or a different topic for writing your weekly essay on for another example.
Having friends (who I am forever grateful too) diving deeper into the classical method pulled me deeper into wanting to know more. The Great Homeschool Convention (plug, plug, plug) provided what I needed to truly fall in love with classical education.
More from Dr. Perrin here about classical education and it’s many facets.
I LOVE listening to the current “experts” on Classical Education. In fact, if you told me that I couldn’t go to the Great Homeschool Convention next year, I would cry. Seriously! I’d fall in a puddle on the floor right before your eyes. And then I might scream and yell at you. THAT is how much I love to hear what these men and women have to say.
It’s my getaway – my refueling each year. (Ha – I’ve only been once, but I foresee attending each year for the remainder of my life.) And if you aren’t planning to go – you should. If you like classical education, it would be like going to New Orleans for seafood. Cream of the Crop! If you don’t like classical education or seafood for that matter, I hope it isn’t because you haven’t tried it.
One of my favorite things about these “experts” is that I can put expert in quotation marks. I spoke to one of them at the last convention, and I asked – “Why do you always start each seminar with the definition of classical education you are referring to? I mean ALL of you do it.” He said because there are so many ideas out there as to what classical education truly is. And we are not experts (hence the quotation marks), but we are students of this model, learning more and more and sharing what we glean with others.
The humility factor sold me there on the spot! I can listen to a group of men and women who stand up there and say we don’t have it all together, but we are learning and then teaching what we have learned and have put into practice. Leading the way in something not 100% defined is not an easy task.
Then, another speaker had the nerve to get up and tell us that his wife told him not to speak on a topic since he wasn’t living it himself. Whoa! Again – humility. Honesty. And not for the sake of “I don’t have to live what I preach,” but to share their failures, which they rise from to give it another go. (Homeschool your child for one week, and you’ll see this happen in your own home. Or parent or be married for a week. No one is exempt.)
Some of these people are deep, as in over my head kind of deep. But I take away what I can, and ponder it. And I accept that it will take me years to be where I want to be with classical education in my home. And that’s ok. It has to be, or I’ll bail. And I don’t plan on doing that any time soon.
And I can’t listen everything they have to say – such as reading articles and listening to podcasts. I have a three year-old who needs his momma – often. So I hear what I can, understand what I can, and apply what I can. If I can just apply a little more each year, then I’ll get there!
Some of my favorites to (attempt to) listen to and read are:
I’m still gathering names, knowing one day I’m going to get to listen to them all!
Who do you listen to and read?