Over the past 9 years our homeschooling journey has shaped our family in countless ways. But to be honest, those first few years were about survival. Although I was a teacher by trade, I had no idea what I was doing when we started homeschooling. Thankfully our first child was Miss Independent and learning came easily to her. With a small budget and a background in education, we were able to get by with an eclectic mix of curriculum, yet I knew something was missing.
Enter Classical Conversations.
Many families that I knew and respected were involved in CC, so with nothing to lose, and some thoughtful prayer, we jumped right in. At that time we started with two children in the Foundations program, two in the nursery, and one in my belly! What a year!
Giving birth two weeks after we started made that first year a bit of a blur, but I knew we were home. CC has answers for so many concerns I had as a parent and an educator which I talked about in my blog here, “The Top Ten Reasons Our Family Loves Classical Conversations.”
Year TWO we added another child to the Foundations program (which made 3) and now had two toddlers in the nursery.
With one year under our belt we settled in a bit more and even had our first memory master! I had no idea what our children were capable of.
Our THIRD year we now had four children in Foundations,one in Essentials, and I also began tutoring Foundations. (Teachers are called tutors because the parent is the primary teacher.)
This was the biggest game changer for me! Classical Conversations is built around the philosophy that we are learning with our children, yet it wasn’t till I began tutoring that I fully embraced this concept. Having to study and prepare the material for my class, enabled me to fully engage with my children at home which produced enormous benefits. And this year we had TWO memory masters! To become a memory master, at the end of the year your tutor asks you these questions:
And you give her these answers:
Year FOUR we added our fourth child into Foundations,
We now had two in Essentials, and I continued tutoring Foundations. This year we also had two memory masters.
Lastly we come to this year, our most exciting thus far. All five kids are in foundations, (Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is 5 weekly presentations) and two are in Essentials. And in addition to tutoring Foundations, I was given the privilege to tutor Essentials.
And just like tutoring foundations enhanced my homeschooling in immeasurable ways, tutoring Essentials has done that even more so! Previously, I was not a great Essentials parent-learner. And although parents are required to learn alongside their student in the classroom, paying attention is not my strong suit. You see, I really thought I knew English grammar enough to get by without investing much time. It wasn’t until I started tutoring the class that I realized how much I had been missing by not studying along side my children. After all, I was their primary teacher, but I had missed out on equipping myself to do just that. And not only did tutoring essentials equip me to be a better teacher to my children, it also made me a better writer and communicator in my own life.
With this year drawing to a close, and our oldest about to enter the Challenge program, I was given another amazing opportunity to become a Challenge A Director. This would mean that I would be leading the Challenge A program our oldest daughter was about to jump into. After much discussion and prayer, my husband and I knew this was a great fit for our family.
CC’s Challenge program provides everything we have ever wanted for our children’s education.
And it starts next year in Challenge A.
- A strong foundation in Apologetics and reasoning (my favorite!!)
- A working knowledge of Latin
- Total mastery of a world Map
- Developing scientific research skills to make their knowledge of science meaningful
- Thorough literature program with persuasive writing and discussion
- Learning the language of math
While being a part of CC has enriched our lives immensely, it is true that there have been times I have felt overwhelmed…many times! And it is in those moments that I am reminded of a verse shared in a training webcast this past summer. Knowing I was going to be tutoring Essentials for the first time, I was so anxious about the upcoming year, yet as I began to put the time in to prepare I felt my anxiety lessening day by day. Then a trainer through the webcast shared this verse and man, could I attest to this truth!
Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Parenting is challenging. Directing your children’s education is challenging. Following Christ is challenging. All of these endeavors require diligence and vision led by God. Our family is taking this challenge head on with the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the equipping of a brilliantly designed educational program, and the encouragement and support from an incredible Classical Conversations Community, both local and worldwide. Yes discipline can be difficult, but harvesting the fruit from these last five years has brought such peace and joy, we happily push on with perseverance the race marked out for us!
As Christians we are entering unprecedented times in which we and our children will be required to know God on a deeper level than ever before. We will also have more and more opportunities to make Him known. Our family praises God for a program that equips us to fulfill that calling to the best of our ability. As I look back on these last five years I am blown away with what God can do when we step out in faith. God knew where we needed to be each step of the way, and we boast in His goodness and faithfulness every day! Amen!
If you would like more information about any of our Classical Conversation programs, including Foundations, Essentials, Challenge A, Challenge B, and Challenge I , please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or check out classicalconversations.com