“For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything…” 1 Thessalonians. 1:8
Classical Conversations is twenty years old. A young adult. Full of vigor, forward-looking. And as the anniversary confetti settles to the dance floor, I am caught up in expectation as I wonder what a third decade will bring.
It’s only been eight years since our family stumbled into the life-changing world of classical education, but it isn’t hard for me to imagine those first years of Classical Conversations’ infancy, exploring just what this ancient art was and could be. The grammar years.
When we fell in, Classical Conversations was already operating at full-tilt. Our seven years have included many a practicum, lunch hour, and campfire meeting with parents hashing out big ideas and how to bring out these ideas at our kitchen tables. We have been savoring together the feast before us. We have been dialectical.
The last few years have been different. I don’t believe in coincidence, so I think we’re entering a new wave. I think the ripples are deepening. Let me tell you some stories.
The last two years, my husband and I have suddenly found much overlap in our work spheres. This doesn’t usually happen because I am a song-writing housewife and he is a Marine Corps pilot. But he had been made the de facto dean of an elite military school, and I had been made a director of a miniscule Classical Conversations campus. All at once, we were sitting up late discussing educational theory and how my husband could make his school more dialectical. He was perusing my shelves of Classical Conversations publications and finding ways to improve methodologies. He shook things up at that school. He left dusty, classical fingerprints on everything.
Then the Marine Corps moved us across the country. I returned to tutoring, and he was now a student in a military graduate program. And, serendipitously, my new director’s husband was an instructor in that program. Not long ago, my husband came home from a seminar in which our director’s husband had given a thorough briefing of the trivium to a room full of military officers.
That very week, Classical Conversations celebrated its anniversary all around the country.
These anecdotes are, I hope, part of a larger pattern. We read and talk, and the ideas take on their own lives, sweeping us along with them, invigorating us. We cannot help but share. It is much like the contagious effect of saving faith, because the pursuit of truth and beauty is an expression of that faith. The better we know God, the more clearly we can make Him known. And as we mature in community, our dialectical tools are sharpened and we spill over, rhetorically, into the broader circles in which God has placed each family.
Sally forth, friends! Give thanks, “remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
Ours is a nation in need of thinkers, a time in need of historical footing, and a people in need of the knowledge and fear of God. May this next decade take the tiny drops of our daily homeschooling journeys and multiply them in an irrepressibly joyous tide.