Our First Year of Classical Conversations

My husband and I had decided we wanted to provide our children with an education that was Biblically based, paced at the right level and inspired a love of learning. Home education was an obvious choice for us. However, my husband had concerns regarding friends for our children and opportunities for learning with others. I started to look for and attend home education meet-ups and soon was introduced to Classical Conversations. I had never heard of the curriculum before and had limited understanding of what a classical education meant. However, we were drawn to the concept of community and particularly a Christian home education community. We started to investigate CC online and reading about classical education. Following an introductory meeting and visiting the CC group in Oxted, my husband and I decided to join the community.

As much as we found the curriculum and methodology of learning to be good, as our oldest daughter was only turning five we had little expectation of her being able to keep up with the seemingly vast amount of memory work involved. She is also an introvert, and we wondered how she would cope with the weekly presentations. We continued to be mainly drawn by the concept of community and providing our children with a vibrant, Christian community of like-minded friends.  

We started the year with some trepidation and low expectations, and we couldn’t have been more surprised! Our daughter flourished. CC community days quickly became her ( and my!) favourite day of the week. We looked forward to being with the rest of the group and learning together. However, what surprised us the most was how our five year old was not only able to keep up with the memory work, but she actually looked forward to the next week and what may be next! We enjoyed hearing her sing her maths and history as she played at home, and we loved how the memory work led to conversations about history and maths and science. When out and about she was able to link memory work she had done to things in her everyday life. It felt like the CC memory work had opened her eyes to a whole new exciting world of learning. We even have our three-year-old joining in and learning the songs and actions. We didn’t find the memory work onerous or stressful; it became a daily time of reviewing work and learning about the wonderful world our incredible Creator has made! 

Our concerns regarding presentation time were also unfounded. Our daughter isn’t naturally someone who wants to talk in front of others, and it took some weeks for her to feel confident to stand on her own and share. But as the weeks went by, she grew to enjoy that time of community day and would regularly relay the presentations of her group to her dad in the evenings! It has been wonderful to see her grow in confidence in choosing her presentation and then giving it, it may only be a couple of minutes long but seeing her pleasure in having done a presentation has been invaluable.

We are so thankful we have the CC community, and we love the classical model. We are excited to see what the future holds as we continue on our CC journey!!

-Natalie

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