Before I jump into the reasons that we chose Classical Conversations specifically, let me start a little more generally. Long before we pinpointed how we would go about homeschooling, one thing was clear to me: we would be a part of a regularly meeting group. This boils down to one of my many character flaws. I am a horrible finisher. I’m a great starter, and I get the bulk of the work done early. But those lingering details? Not my strong suit. In college I finished the essence of my honors thesis a month in advance, but b.a.r.e.l.y. made the cut-off date to turn it in. Once the paper was written and the personal fulfillment of having written it and grown in my understanding of the subject matter was complete, I had such a hard time attending to the details that made it presentable. All that to say I am a person who NEEDS accountability to stay on track with anything that will take at least 15 years to complete (assuming we have no more children, I’ll be done with Jack in 15 years). By the way, this is also why our school year will run from the beginning of August to the end of April; Classical Conversations ends in April!
So…why Classical Conversations (hereafter CC)?
- CC is a Christian organization that shares our worldview, and the adults who participate will echo the beliefs of our family. If you haven’t read the first post in this series, you might want to read it now before you continue. Since one of our main goals in homeschooling is to educate our boys from a Biblical worldview, it is essential that any adults who share in this task believe basically the same things we do. Maybe later I’ll do a Biblical worldview post, but I want to keep this particular post short enough that you’ll read it. 🙂
- We see value in the classical model/method as a means of guiding children into true understanding and, Lord willing, wisdom. The classical model is based on the trivium (three roads): grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. Essentially a classical model argues that for all learners of all ages, there are these three stages of learning. Grammar is the learning of basic information pertaining to the subject at hand and memorizing key facts/definitions associated with the subject. The dialectic stage involves understanding how these things work together. For example: How do you apply a basic knowledge of sewing to enable yourself to make a baby blanket? or What were the factors that eventually led the US to become involved in WWI? In the rhetorical phase, a learner is able to clearly communicate the basic language and understanding of the subject and to perceive likely results based on his/her understanding. If you’d like to read more about the classical model, you may read to your heart’s delight here.
- We appreciate the community that CC offers as needed support and encouragement for me and a healthy dose of interaction with others for the boys. God made us as social beings who need one another. I love, love, love Mr. Thompson and our boys but I will be a sad puppy if I never see anyone else! While we obviously have friends in other settings, it is important to me that we are sharing our homeschooling journey with other families who are also in the thick of it.
I am so looking forward to the first official day of school (August 5th in case you’d like to pray for me!!) and all of the adventures that we will have while on this trek. Being a complete nerd, I’m really looking forward to getting a fabulous education as I learn and stretch alongside my children.