Classical Conversations by Denise McLain

A parent has so many choices when it comes to how to educate their family. I was recently speaking with a family that had graduated homeschoolers and were now enjoying their grand-babies. Compared to them, I cannot begin to fathom putting together a curriculum completely from scratch for all twelve years of my five, soon to be six, children. I'm exhausted at the idea of it. I began my journey by reading all sorts of material on various models of homeschooling long before we even had children. Very quickly my husband and I began to see the value of the classical
model of education. We had settled on the plan laid out so nicely in Susan Wise Bauer's famous book, The Well Trained Mind. After plodding through that book for about a year with my oldest, I began to get overwhelmed at the idea of adding any subsequent children to my already rigorous plan. What I failed to learn was that my child's propensity to learn was much stronger than the plan I had constructed for the next twelve years.

In the classical model, a major aspect is to learn new information in layers and create a life long learner that seeks after knowledge in order to understand their world and their Creator. I had three small children under age five at this point and not quite certain how I would have time to create a personalized lesson plan for both children as well as take care of my familial responsibilities. Thankfully, I found an organization that had much of the research and structure put together for the entire twelve years, as well as a community of like-minded parents to support me. Finally I could enjoy learning along with my children, confident that many parents had already gone before me to lay these building blocks of learning.

This organization is called Classical Conversations. Being a part of this organization for four years has brought my family and I to a new joy and freedom in home educating that I had yet to experience. As a parent-led organization, its purpose is to equip parents to educate their own children to know God and make Him known. I have been blessed by the wealth of training, weekly parent support and accountability and have been overjoyed at my children's ability to thrive, all the while now homeschooling the oldest four. Learn more at Classical Conversations.

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