When people ask me what I do, I excitedly answer that I get to hang out with kids all day and talk about the books they read! Does it get any better than that? Rare are the students that even read real books anymore, but these students’ books are annotated and highlighted, questions scribbled into the margins for use during seminar. Who would not want to be a part of that?
I am blessed, and in return, I pray that the students and parents are blessed.
I have homeschooled since 1994. My two youngest graduated from Classical Conversations, yet I continue to direct. Why?
Directing is the perfect way to contribute to our household by lightening my husband’s financial burden and helping others to lighten their homeschool burden. I have walked where homeschool parents are walking. I have wrestled with wayward children, with academic transcripts, and with balancing all the roles of a homeschool mom—the perfect experience to use the gifts that I have been blessed with.
Homeschooling is hard, but in community we can hold each other up. Directing assured me that there would be a class for my child. I saw the benefit of homeschooling in community, and I wanted to be a part of making sure that our community thrived.
Work as Worship
I remember listening to Robert Bortins talk about work as worship, and I’ve discovered that directing is an excellent opportunity to put this idea into action.
After my last child graduated from our homeschool, I wrestled with my future plans. What would life after homeschool look like for me? Would I return to my previous occupation in satellite technology or return to school?
It did not take long for God to make it very clear to me that he had already prepared me for what I was to do. I was to continue to mentor homeschool families. He had spent thirty-five years changing the heart of this rebellious, selfish, never-wanting-to-have-children woman into a passionate, devoted homeschool mom of four children.
My path was clear.
Directing Your Own Students
I started directing because I needed the money to pay tuition for my own children, but I continue because I cannot imagine not having these students and their parents in my life. They keep me young. I love our days together.
My favorite years were when I was my own children’s Director. That experience disciplined me to be a better homeschool mom for my own children because of the accountability that came with always being prepared to direct. Directing my own children made the jobs of both directing and parenting easier by combining the two jobs into one.
Becoming a Better Homeschooler
Directing has also made me a better homeschooler.
The training we receive as Directors in Classical Conversations is excellent. Although I homeschooled classically before joining Classical Conversations and becoming a Director, my focus was still on content, not skills. Even though I was highly schooled, I was poorly educated.
Since becoming a Director, I have learned so much about classical education and the tools of learning. Not only is Classical Conversations a “buy one, get one” education (you pay tuition for your child and you redeem your own education at the same time), but as a Director, you can get paid to become a better homeschool parent with all the support you receive in learning how to direct.
Did You Know?
Directors receive further equipping in the form of learning paths
and resources with CC Connected.
Mentor or Mentee?
But my strongest reason to direct is the students.
Truly, I cannot imagine my life without them. It is a delight to be gifted the opportunity to be a part of their conversations. We get to pray together, sharing each other’s burdens. Together in seminar, we wrestle with ideas struggling together to uncover truths. The students challenge my thinking. I love listening to their perspectives. They see the world differently. I have the opportunity to point them back to scripture. They have the opportunity to point each other back to scripture.
I do not know any other place where these conversations would happen. They are a group of peers discussing some of the questions that have been discussed since Plato and Augustine. I am sometimes the rudder but as they mature they need me less and less. I am delighted to not be needed because that was our goal all along.
Watching their spiritual growth is a gift, and playing a small role in this development is worth more than anything. They challenge me to dig deeper, to look at things from a different perspective, to delight in the small details. And I pray that I challenge them.
This is worship with your heart and with your soul and with your mind, or as Robert would say, “work as worship.”