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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Classical Education...to be or not to be???

We have been homeschooling for 2.5 years now and I am just now feeling "in the groove" of it all.  I finally feel like I know what curriculum works for our family and understand how Alison and Eli learn best (Colin is still a mystery...osmosis maybe?).  Ben and I are feeling more convicted each day that this is the path our family is supposed to be on for the long term and I'm thankful to say that I feel like we're thriving even under the extraneous circumstances we've taught through pretty much the entire 2.5 years.  

With that conviction, we've been working on naming our school.  We want the kids to be proud of where they are educated and have a firm answer to give people when they ask where they go to school.  We also know it's important for a diploma and future college and job applications.  However, it's not an easy decision!  I feel like I'm naming a child again *face palm*.  We've tossed around several ideas, most have which have resulted in an eye roll from the tween.  There's been a debate about whether we should have 'School' or 'Academy' and the final cherry on top was the topic of adding 'Classical' to it.

Our homeschool family doesn't stick out quite as much here in the desert, but I still have to say at least once a week, "Well, we homeschool" as an explanation for something.  99% of the time, the other person will follow up with, "Oh, what curriculum do you use?"  This is such a hard question for me to answer, since we use something different for each subject and I know they are really just looking for validation to our schooling; they are looking for me to say, "We use Sonlight." or "They take classes online with Veritas." or "K-12".  However, my answer is usually, "We modge podge" which always leaves a big question mark on their face.  On the flip side of this, 99.9% of other homeschoolers I meet, will say, "We do Classical Conversations" to which I'll reply, "Oh yes, we follow classical education, just without the classical conversations."

The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise has been my schooling bible for the last 2.5 years and I felt like we were following a close classical model.  That was until I read 'The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education' by Leigh Bortins.  The first half of the book was amazing and I will be doing some posts about my favorite parts.  It articulated so many things about education that I believe, but also backed it up with research (which I weirdly love). It was such a good read about education that I wanted to shout "EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS!!!"  However, here's a little detail that makes it interesting, Leigh Bortins is the founder of Classical Conversations. The book left me thinking, "Wait.  Is is possible to classically educate without the tool of Classical Conversations???" 

Colin selfies from my desk
I started to question the concept of classical education as a whole.  I feel a panic though.  I need to have a clear direction and mission for our schooling.  I thought I did...but I don't think that our family is 100% classical and Classical Conversations isn't a fit for us either.  We have a unique direction and I think it's time to hash out exactly what that path is.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting--I look forward to reading more!

    ReplyDelete