As we embark on this new Classical Conversations year, I thought I might pause from my usual Latin discussion to focus on what I love about homeschooling alongside Classical Conversations. I may warn you that some of these reasons are slightly superficial!
1) I love taking my daughters to the store to buy back-to-school outfits, backpacks, and lunch boxes. Ovid wrote that in ancient Rome people went to the chariot races “to see and to be seen.” I appreciate the fact that in our homeschooling we can still have that experience by going to our communities once a week. We read and work on Saxon math during the summer, but it is nice to have the feeling of a new beginning that comes with starting a new year in a Classical Conversations community.
2) One thing I have noticed while working with homeschooling families is that they sometimes tend to switch curricula. I love the fact that Classical Conversations has a curriculum which they advocate and use for themselves. From a planning standpoint, it makes things easier. I also know that the curriculum is tried and true. I have yet to be disappointed in any classical education book or other material that Classical Conversations has advocated.
3) I am thankful that my daughters and I have appropriate mentors. Had God not led me to Classical Conversations, I do not know that I would have sought them out on my own. However,
with Classical Conversations I can be assured that my daughters’ tutors know God and will endeavor to be His light throughout the year. Moreover, I appreciate having mentors to help me on our homeschooling journey. Homeschooling, to me, is quite a bit more challenging than teaching Latin to public school students for two reasons: The first is that, although I loved my public school students, I love my daughters more and do not want to hurt their education. The second reason is that homeschooling is a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week job. God has been very gracious to me throughout my homeschooling experiences and I am thankful for that. He has also put mentors along my path who have helped alleviate some of the nervousness I experienced while choosing a different educational path for my children.
4) The fourth aspect that makes me happy about Classical Conversations is that I can see the whole curriculum laid out for students through high school. I can also talk to and work with students who are nearing the end of the program and see how they have benefited from it. I have seen how well they are prepared for the next step in their lives. The students I have encountered predominately write well and speak well. They can debate and wrestle with ideas in philosophy, theology, and history. If you are a Foundations parent, try to make an effort to get to know the Challenge students. This will help you stay focused on your homeschooling goals.
5) The last and most important reason I love Classical Conversations is because I know the goal is to know God and make Him known. This is so succinct, yet so profound. As a public school student and teacher, I never considered that I was teaching and learning academic subjects in isolation from knowing more about my God. Of course now, looking back, I realize that all knowledge of truth points to God. I console myself about my teaching career by hoping that all the Latin words I taught may have helped a student understand Scripture better and may have pointed him or her to God. Now that I know the difference, it makes more sense to learn the interrelatedness of all knowledge and the fact that it further points to God.
As we embark on this exciting new year, let us all pray for our communities and give thanks for all the blessings we have received from them.
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