So I came clean and made it Facebook official tonight. After months of trying to resolve conflict – and really more than a year of being aware that there is a figurative warning signal blaring on the ship we’re on – I finally admitted to the world that our family is leaving Classical Conversations.
OK, I realize that to those of you who follow the blog because you just know and like our family… or you really want to know more about the random facts of our life… or you consider us a cautionary tale with way more livestock and poop stories than the average life… this type of an announcement might seem like WAY OVERKILL. And you’d be right, if you live in a normal world.
But, well, we aren’t normal and haven’t been for quite some time! Our CC community has been our core group of people who lock arms and live life together. In defense of those relationships, and because I loved them so much that I wanted to do everything in my power to promote community and make it achievable for others, I’ve served as an AR, SR, Director, Tutor, and parent in a revolving fashion for the last eight years.
I was one who proudly proclaimed, “I’ve drunk the CC Kool-aid.”
And here’s the thing – CC is pretty darn amazing! I don’t even care that this corporation that started in the basement of Leigh Bortins’ home has made literally millions off of their method. America is a capitalistic country and it’s a brilliant idea. Community meets a need (and it’s a huge need in the home schooling world because if we don’t get around other people we find ourselves going a little crazy while crocheting and wearing our denim jumpers).
(Disclosure. I really do crochet.)
(Secondary Disclosure. I haven’t worn a jumper since I was a child and I kind of miss them. Especially the ones that were one piece with an elastic waistband and had shoulder ties. I’m talking hot 70s action here.)
The CC curriculum is amazing. Like totally. And the community – if you’re in a community that’s healthy – it’s literally life changing. My local community has been the group of people that has remained constant for my kids, for my family, the ones we go to when we’re sick, when we need to borrow power tools, when we want to scream that our families are driving us crazy, and when we want to brag on our kids or the fact that we finally got all the clean laundry folded and off the sofa!
They’re my peeps.
But in our case, even though we’ve been running a CC community as close to the DLG and book as I’ve ever known… we got crossways with our state leadership. This isn’t the time for great details, but suffice to say it was big and it was wrong and at the end, due (I think) to a really prideful heart and perspective, there was just no way to move forward.
God had to make that really clear to us that the dream was dead because, well… as a family we tend to take stubbornness and loyalty to a fairly outrageous level. (Don’t even ask me to show you our tax returns for my CC work for the last eight years. You’ll decide we’re extremely stupid and I can tell you Dave Ramsey would not be proud.)
Enough of that.
Now I’ve come out of the closet and we have admitted we’re leaving CC, the next question people are asking is, “What are you doing instead?”
I don’t know.
I wish I knew, and I’m deep in research mode. But I don’t know how we’re going to handle the future for our rising Challenge B, Foundations/Essentials, and Foundations students. (And I have to train myself to be normal again and say things like 8th grade…) BUT I do know a few things… if I don’t start with the philosophical stuff we’ll be doomed to curriculum hopping and that’s not something I have time or energy to do.
Set me on a path and let me go already.
So, for those who are hopping over to this blog because I went public with our exit, let me tell you a few things that I’m researching and reading as we figure out our next direction.
Consider This by Karen Glass
Classical Christian Education Made Approachable by Classical Conversations, Inc.
The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty by Stephen R. Turley
Norms and Nobility by David Hicks.
ETA: For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
(Now’s the time I admit The Well-Trained Mind left me sucking my thumb in a corner and crying for my mama when I tried to read it several years ago. I used it as a booster seat for several years. And now I’m hoping I’m grown up enough to not run away and hide again.)
(I also am scared of Norms and Nobility. Like a lot. But page 107 is the start of this lovely sample curriculum plan and it doesn’t look so scary so far!)
We’re looking at curriculums: Claritas Academy, Ambleside Online, Ambrose, Classical Academic Press, etc.
We’re listening to podcasts from the Circe Institute, Classical Academic Press, Institute for Excellence in Education, Your Morning Basket, etc.
We’re researching like nobody’s business and talking to people who’ve graduated their kids out of high school already. We’re praying for discernment for what will fit our kids best. We’re living in freedom and refusing to be muzzled by disappointment in our decision.
It’s kind of a big deal in our world.
My goal is to work through these thoughts in a way that is relatively public because I’m realizing I’m not the only one who is struggling with these things… I’m not the only one who is so conscious that these children need an excellent education on learning to value that which is true and beautiful and good… or who wants community but also wants freedom!
So, in light of that last thought, here’s the Scripture that a sweet friend send to me today after we went public with our decision:
Freedom in Christ// “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
You’re not alone. Neither am I. And we’re going to taste some freedom.