We had been an official part of a Classical Conversations community for less than a year. My children were thriving, and I was realizing that a classical education meant more than memorization, pounding Latin, and reading boring books.
My oldest was ready to move to a Challenge program, so I started visiting Challenge classes at other campuses and loved what I saw. Since I wanted our entire family to remain at the same campus, I realized that I might need to be the one to start a Challenge program at our campus. After praying, I decided to step into the exciting opportunity placed before me.
Becoming a Challenge director was a God-ordained decision for me and our family. As I look back on my first year of directing, the growth it spurred in my faith, my family, and my community has offered ample confirmation of my decision to become a Challenge tutor and director.
One of the most important areas of my life that showed tremendous growth after becoming a director was my faith. As I stepped into uncharted territory for our family and community, I had to trust in God’s provision in new ways for strength, wisdom, and the growth of the Challenge program. Time and time again my faith grew as I watched God provide in miraculous ways. Secondly, I became part of a larger Classical Conversations community whose mission “To know God and to make Him known” does not just extend to the families participating in the programs but to every director and every person that works with CC. After each in-person training and online training, I would come away better equipped for my role as tutor and director, mainly because I was truly strengthened in the Word of God. I do not know of another organization whose mission to serve God translates into such a consistent and strong discipleship program for all those involved. Finally, through our community days as I in turn discipled the students in my class, my faith continued to grow as I watched the Holy Spirit move and work. God used becoming a director to challenge, grow, and strengthen my faith.
Besides being propelled to know God more and make Him known as a director, God used becoming a director as a blessing for my family. Becoming immersed in the Challenge program moved me into a richer understanding of what a classical education is truly about. Before Challenge, I understood the vocabulary and had a surface-level understanding of what composed a classical education, but it is easy for the grammar stage of a classical education to fit in with a modern paradigm of education. By practicing, learning, and questioning with my own child and the students in my class, I began to grasp how mastering the tools of learning is different than just studying a subject. As I deepened my understanding, that depth changed what our learning looked like at home in concrete, practical ways. It changed our family conversations and problem-solving skills, and for the first time it gave me the confidence and desire to homeschool through high school. Without becoming a director, I don’t know that I would have moved into the dialectic stage of understanding classical education or would have had the courage to continue pioneering our education in the high school years. My prayer would be for all Challenge parents to have the chance to direct a Challenge program at least once because of the understanding and growth it brings to a family. Because of directing, I have true understanding of what a classical education means, and our family is being changed through implementing a true classical education in our home.
Finally becoming a director changed our community since we had Challenge for the first time on our campus. Personally, I was blessed by the students in our class and by walking alongside the other parents and encouraging them as I learned the Challenge program. I had the chance to serve our community in a deeper way than ever before, and I now have a greater commitment to the community that God has called us to. I can also see how our community is changing. Parents with younger students are now beginning to catch the vision of what a classical education looks like in the dialectic and rhetoric stages, making education in the grammar stage more meaningful. What families in our community are doing in Foundations and Essentials is beginning to carry more weight and have greater value. As those families move up, I am excited to see how God will continue to grow the Challenge program. Becoming a director helped me to serve and bless our community in greater ways than before.
Now let’s be honest. You may be thinking what has been shared sounds wonderful, but you don’t have the knowledge, time, or skill to become a director. It’s just too intimidating. Do you love learning? Then your love of learning, your desire to redeem your own education, and your willingness to engage is all the expertise that is needed. You are not supposed to be the expert. Coming in as an expert will actually be detrimental to teaching your students the tools of learning. You are the example of the lead learner in the class of students and in your home. Additionally, the training that Classical Conversations provides is incredible and inspiring. Time and sacrifice are involved, but the time I invested has been returned twofold to me in a myriad of ways. My family, my faith, and my community have been blessed by my investment and my willingness to be a lead learner.
You may also be thinking that there are other parents more qualified, and you are not sure if there is enough interest in your community. If God is calling you, He will equip you and provide what you need. The parents are still the teachers. Your job as the tutor is to hold space for your students each week, to love them, and to ask good questions. If you are teaching your child at home, you are qualified to be a tutor, and becoming a tutor is the best way to become more qualified at home and in your community. If God is providing you the opportunity, do not step away because of fear or doubt. You are qualified by your willingness to serve.
Becoming a director changed my life. My faith, my family, and my community all grew and were blessed because I accepted the opportunity God placed in front of me. You, your family, and your community will be blessed and become more fruitful if you are willing to step out and answer God’s call when it comes. God places us in communities not only to provide for us, but also to help meet the needs of others. How is God calling you to serve your community? You might be surprised by the provision and plan He has in store for you and your family when you step out in faith.