We've always done a mix of Charlotte Mason, Classical, Traditional, Unit Studies, and Delight-Directed Learning in our homeschool....which I guess would just be labeled, "Eclectic."
But this year, we've made a change. A change that is big, but not so big. A change that has me wondering how it can be so easy, but so complicated at the same time. A change that has me scratching my head with thoughts of, Is this really all that is needed? Am I doing enough? Can it really be so simple to retain so much information? Will they remember this stuff for years to come? And when I verbalize those thoughts to families that have been involved in CC for years, the answers are, yes, yes, yes, and yes!
We joined a local Classical Conversations (CC) Community and we are really enjoying it!
There's a funny story behind how we came to be involved in CC.
Our kids had gone to a Christian school on Wednesdays for the past two years, but sadly they closed their doors this year. At first, I prayerfully searched for a different school that could offer what Wednesday school offered, but didn't find what we were looking for locally. We then decided that we'd just homeschool without any extra things added on, like we did our first three years of homeschooling. BUT...I kept hearing about how great Classical Conversations was, so I decided to check it out a bit online and finally emailed the director to see if I could attend a meeting or get some more information.
Well, long story short-er ;) we had decided against CC and I was set to start the school year without any extras.
On a Friday in late August, I went to a water park with a friend of mine. While there, a lady approached me and said,
"Have we met? Are you one of my CC moms?"
I had never seen her and she had never seen me, but she says she was "drawn" to me and was SURE I was going to be at her CC campus this year. Turns out, she was the leader of the CC closest to me that I had emailed a couple of times!
It was a very cool, kinda strange, but God-ordained meeting that, once again, had us looking into CC.
I discussed CC again with my husband that weekend and we kept praying. A couple days later, I went to the Essentials parent meeting and paid my fee to sign up for the year. CC classes started a week and a half after that!
The amount of stuff the kids (and I!) are already memorizing is amazing to me. Most things are put to music, which is always a great way to memorize something (especially for my music-loving, but not always "school-loving" son.)
Before we decided to go with CC, I read Echo in Celebration: A Call to Home-Centered Education by the lady who started CC, Leigh Bortins.
These quotes so resonated with me that I wrote them down on a scrap of paper and am now writing them here so I can recall them at a later time when...say, my children are whining, "Why do we have to learn this?? I'll never use it!"
"Utilitarianism, teaching only what is useful, is a poor educational model for free men. True education is more than useful or pragmatic. It is beautiful and inspiring."
"Instead of saying, 'This is hard, I'm no good at it.' I switched to, 'This is hard. I wonder how I could make it easy?'"
"I will not just teach you about the things you like to do, because your children, spouse, boss and neighbors may need you to do things you do not like to do. I will prepare you to learn any information and use it well."
I'm interested to see how this year in CC pans out. I tend to be really excited about things when they're new and then the excitement fizzles as the new isn't so new anymore.
But SO FAR, we're learning a lot, enjoying the memorization process, and having fun meeting new people!
Thanking God for how He directs our steps,