I remember when I first picked up the book, “The Well Trained Mind.” I was ready to deliver my sixth child and my oldest was not even eight years old. Yet, even in all of the chaos, this clarity came over me. This “classical” approach to education was everything I wished I had experienced. (You can read below in the longer version why that wasn’t possible for me.) The author, Susan Wise Bauer, detailed how and what to do to make my homeschool classical. Sign me up. I had the benefit of a great relationship with the local librarian and together we pulled together tons of books, videos, and other resources to make this classical thing work.
After a while, I lost steam. The tedious work of putting together classical materials (on a budget) added to the overwhelming task of raising six littles. Although I had context, I had no models. For the purpose of sanity, I had to return to traditional homeschooling with the aid of a mainstream homeschool video program. Fast forward a few years (which I can hardly remember myself). Antsy kids and the weary of demands of traditional co-ops led me to a local Classical Conversations community.
This Classical Christian community packaged the highlights that I remembered of the Well Trained Mind into bite-sized, fun and fulfilling memory work. Classical became attainable! I signed my older kids up for Challenge (logic level) classes and younger ones up for Foundations and Essentials (grammar level) classes. I was hooked. Like many inspired moms, I ended up teaching both 8thgrade and 10th-grade level classical classes which integrated all six subjects including Latin, logic, math, science, writing/literature and history/debate. Any teacher will tell you…If you want to truly grasp a subject, teach it. I did just that. Tackling Latin and formal logic enough to teach it, was classical learning on steroids. Yet, I loved it. I developed a love for the Latin language, the clarity of formal logic, and of course writing and rhetoric.
Being the curriculum junkie that I am, I explored every classical curriculum, resource book and online resources one could find. I’ve developed a library or a wish list to aid many in this pursuit of truth through learning. Over time, the Classical Conversations model did not fit my family’s needs. Some still homeschool, some go to traditional school, but all of them, spend time with me, engaged in Socratic-style discussions about the things they are learning. My personal experience, teaching and much observation of others teaching classically revealed to me how differently classical educations looks. I love the classical education in the home, in the private and public schools and even after-school. My goal is to share these resources with you.
You may hear an unusual amount of gushing about IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing). As a disclaimer, I am the CA Exhibitor for IEW and a certified instructor because I think this is the best program to equip children with the tools and skills for writing. Writing IS classical. When students master the skill and art of writing, they can truly appreciate and communicate the classical ideas which they are learning.
I would love to hear from you! Do you have a great link, book or program? Send it to me. I will feature Latin and logic programs that I absolutely love, resources I can’t live without and freebies for everyone. I will also be interviewing different classical educators and authors to learn about how they make classical education work in their world. I also want to hear your comments. Just know, I still have much to learn. My goal is to share a site with the numerous moms who ask me for help/advice. That’s the short bio. My longer version will be posted below (eventually).