I have been in love with the classical model of homeschooling for a long time...like before I even had kids =) Many years ago, I remember reading about a program called Classical Conversations, but there were no communities near me and my kids were too little anyways. Fast forward a few years and now there are handful of Classical Conversations communities within a half hour or so of me and both my kids are old enough for the program. So, it would make sense that I would join, right? Well, it still took me a while to come to that conclusion.
Why I Originally Decided Against Classical Conversations
My son will be 6 for the coming school year, so we could have done Classical Conversations the last two years, but didn't. Honestly, I have seriously considered joining probably about 6 times before now, but something always held me back. I am the type of person who needs to completely research and understand something before making a decision. Here are some of the things that were holding me back:
- I was using and loving Veritas Press history. I didn't want to give it up, but it didn't make sense to add another history timeline and song to our repertoire.
- Classical Conversations goes through history on a 3 year cycle, which is faster that I would prefer.
- I like to control what we learn, so the idea of someone else's schedule didn't appeal to me.
- The cost. If CC was going to just be an add-on, I really couldn't justify the price.
- I would have had to drive a half hour to get to a campus. That's not too bad, but was not enticing.
- We school year round and I wanted to be free to take breaks when I wanted, not be tied down to CC's schedule.
Why Now is the Time for My Family to try Classical Conversations
So many of you are a part of Classical Conversations communities, so I am reminded of the program frequently. Summer came and (of course) I started thinking about CC again =) For some reason, it just clicked this time. Some things have changed and some of my thinking has changed. Here is what was going through my head.
- I still love Veritas Press, and am sad to leave it, but I don't feel as tied to it as I once did. I even like how the CC cards focus on more of the world and are completely integrated.
- I took some time to evaluate what was going well in our school from last year. I realized that math and English were two subjects that we were doing really well. Those are the two subjects you have to add on to your CC work.
- My son loves learning history and science, but I wasn't giving it as much time as I should have been. He learns well from reading independently, so I think it will work well for him to get a bunch of library books on the topics from our memory sentences and continue his learning in the week. (Something off my plate a bit.)
- I still love to plan, but am also feeling overwhelmed lately, so I am looking forward to part of our curriculum being planned for me now.
- There is a new campus opening this year in my city! (And I have a dear friend who will be there =)
- I had already decided to break next year into trimesters, so the two 12 week CC sessions fit in perfectly. I will just add a 12 week summer session, to complete the 'tri' in trimesters.
- I found myself wishing that there were people around my area that I could get together with who were also using the Veritas Press curriculum. People to have fun celebrations with, people who understand classical education, people who are studying the same thing we are. I must be pretty hard headed, but I finally realized that is exactly what CC is, I just have to switch my timeline cards =)
So, there you have it! I have officially decided to be a part of my local Classical Conversations community. I am looking forward to the presentations, friendships, and memory work. I am looking forward to moving on to American History. My kids are already looking forward to learning the tin whistle =) Most of all I'm looking forward to the community.
I went to a practicum last week and learned pretty much everything I need to know. I still have a few reservations, but I am ready to give it a shot! Who knows if this will be a long term schooling change, or if it will just be a one year experiment, but either way I am excited to see what this year will hold!