It was such a strange turn of events.
This summer we were leaning heavily towards putting our 2 children in public school and I had applied for four different part-time ESOL jobs in Prince William County.
I’m not really sure what happened. I guess it all started when we realized buying a house and getting settled in Dumfries (where my husband is now a pastor) by the first day of school was nearly impossible. Most of the homes that are available are short-sales or foreclosures that could take MONTHS. So my husband asked if I’d be willing to homeschool our kids for the fall until we got settled.
After assuring him that I’d do it, I went on a hunt to find a homeschool co-op in Northern Virginia. It wasn’t so easy. For those of you who live around here, you know the leviathan (also known as Interstate 95) that can make a simple 4 mile trek an hour long endevour. The options were limited by time, distance, and quality of the group.
Just when I was starting to feel helpless and hopeless, I met a homeschooling mom and she told me about Classical Conversations. It sounded amazing: a group that met once a week in a classroom with a curriculum built on the classical educational philosophy, an emphasis on memory work for the younger ages, and a social outlet for me.
I sent an email to the director of the Classical Conversations group in our area telling her that if I didn’t get into this group, I was not going to homeschool. It wasn’t passive-aggressive; it was simply the truth.
Her response: I’m sorry…we don’t have room in the 5 year old class. We need to find another tutor to teach it.
My response: Well…I’m a certified/licensed teacher in the state of VA. I can teach the class if you want me to.
The next thing I knew I was signing a contract for the year and getting trained on the philosophy of classical education.
Today was our first day of class. This is what we’ll learn over the course of this year:
Latin (yes, LATIN!!): Translate John 1
English: Participles, Irregular Verbs, and Clauses
Science: Anatomy and Chemistry
Geography: States and Capitals
American History Timeline: Christopher Columbus to September 11th, 2001
Math: Skip counting (2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s,…)
Bible: John 1:1-7
History: Presidents and the History of Time
I am totally new to this program, but I’m impressed with it already. Kids are like sponges so it makes sense to make them memorize things when they’re young to lay the groundwork for the other things they’ll learn throughout their education.
In addition to all that memory work, every week the kids do an oral presentation, a science project, and a fine arts activity. I’ll wait until the end of the year to do a final assessment of this national program, but for now, check out the website and get to know classical education in the 21st century!