On average, a homeschooling parent spends 180 days per year investing in their child’s education. That’s over 1,400 hours! Some of those days, we feel like we are on top of the world and we can conquer anything that is thrown at us, and then there are days where it feels like everything is written in another language (and I don’t just mean Latin).
Practicum is a purposefully crafted event to pour back into us as home educators.
The one-day Practicum is our time to gather together and intentionally seek our vision for the upcoming year. Our time to practice using new skills and ignite our excitement as lead learners. Our day to spend fellowshipping with other homeschool parents that become companions on our home education journey.
Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.
– Abigail Adams
Practicum Helps Us Remember Why
We all come to homeschooling for different reasons, but CC parents typically have a few things in common.
We recognized that the modern school system’s method of teaching was not the right choice for our family. We recognized that we wanted a Christ-centered curriculum that would help develop and strengthen our child’s faith and not just be another subject of the day. We also wanted like-minded families to lock arms with, to be an encouragement and accountability to one another.
Practicum is where we are reminded of why we started this journey in the first place. Our vision of what Classical Conversations is and has to offer gets renewed every summer by the passionate speakers and families whom we have made bonds with during the course of our homeschool journey.
Practicum Prepares Us with the Right Tools
If I were decorating a cake and using a whisk to spread the frosting, you would say that I was using the wrong tool at the wrong time.
CC equips us with 15 tools of learning, and Practicum is where we come together to learn and practice how and when to use each tool. Each year we focus on a particular set (the 5 Core Habits of Grammar—also called the NAMES tool—the 5 Common Topics, and the 5 Canons of Rhetoric) and have model conversations geared towards various ages.
There is nothing better than being at a table of your peers and experiencing someone have an “ah-ha” moment. Their excitement to go home and implement what they have learned is contagious and helps ignite your desire to make new connections of your own.
Practicum is Where We Make Deeper Connections
Not only are we gaining valuable academic training to use as home educators, but we are also gleaning wisdom and insight from those that have gone before us.
Getting to hear the trials and triumphs of more seasoned parents are like nuggets of gold that we get to tuck in our pocket for the school year ahead. There is also a cherished refreshment from the enthusiasm of those just starting out. Listening to the eagerness and anticipation of new homeschooling families is a boost of energy to those of us that have been at this for a while.
Practicum allows us to share our stories with one another and build connections with the larger CC community. This summer, as we plan to use the 5 Common Topics to have full, inquisitive, and thoughtful conversations, I find myself brimming with anticipation of where these conversations will go.
As I practice these tools with my fellow homeschooling allies, my excitement and passion for walking out the lead learner role is always strengthened. The one day spent creating community, being poured into, and equipping myself for the year ahead is an invaluable “professional development” day for me as a home educator.
I pray each of you reading this has been inspired to join in on a local Practicum this summer and that it will bless you as much as they have always blessed me.