Because life is a series of edits

The Well-Blown Mind (Part 3)

In Thought on September 6, 2011 at 6:52 am

Picture 12
Making the decision to do Classical Conversations with my friends was much easier than making the decision to direct an official group. For the first month or so, two of my friends and I just decided to do it together and on our own. We didn't think we'd bother being official; we didn't need to be. We'd just get together at one of our homes and one of us would be the tutor to all of our kids. No problem!

Before I knew it, though, a couple of other families heard of our plan and asked to join. I didn't feel comfortable expanding the group without being an official CC group, so I began jumping through all the proper hoops, and by the end of the spring we were bona fide. By this time, another CC group formed on the other side of St. Louis, so there were two of us that year.

It was a great starter year for us. We only had 11 enrolled children and a handful of younger siblings. We had three classes and no nursery. We were very "fly by the seat of our collective pants" if you will. It was awesome. But slowly, word continued to get around about Classical Conversations in St. Louis. The following year two more groups started in other areas around town. My group had grown to 54 enrolled children and seven classes and 18 in the nursery. Growing from 11 to 54 in one year proved to be a huge learning curve in my leadership, but it was good.

During the third year, we maxed out our capacity and then some. We had 68 enrolled students and another nursery. I wouldn't say that we were a well-oiled machine by any stretch, but it was working. The power of community proved to be an irresistable force that overcame the intimidation that classical education can be for some families. Our kids were absorbing things as fast as we were throwing it out, and if you know CC at all, you know that information is thrown out hard and heavy (there are few things funnier to me than hearing a 5-year-old spout off Newton's Three Laws of Motion).

Here's the compilation video I made to end our group's third year. Even watching it now brings back a few tears.

I had no regrets in getting Classical Conversations up and going in St. Louis, but I was honestly starting to get burned out. As Craig was teaching at Westminster and we were planning to send our girls there when they were old enough, we felt like our oldest two would benefit from a traditional classroom experience on a smaller scale before tossing them into the sea that is Westminster. In the third year that I directed Classical Conversations, I only had two of my own kids enrolled, as our older two were attending a great little Christian school about ten minutes from our house.

While we felt pretty good about this decision, I had two internal conflicts: 1) I had all but abandoned the idea of classical education in the long-term for my family; and 2) choosing another educational route for some of my kids meant that I knew my days as a CC director were numbered. Honestly, I didn't mind that thought all that much, as balancing the two worlds of traditional school and homeschool was making me dizzy. I was getting close to needing to land on one side or the other.

It was in the middle of this third year that I started feeling some major change was on the horizon for our family. As it turned out, that feeling was the beginning of our transition to Oklahoma and our involvement with Veritas Classical Academy.

When that feeling became reality, it all just made sense. I've always had the heart of a homeschooler and have finally embraced the reality that I just can't do it the way I want all by myself. Being part of a blended model classical Christian school means now I don't have to: our kids get the best of both world, and I'm finally at peace with what we're doing with our kids.

When you are in the middle of trying to get everything figured out, it is easy to second-guess every decision you've ever made. After coming through several years of just this, it is sweet to me to see how all of these so-called-random decisions have been woven together to make up the story of how we landed where we are today. Having experienced so many other facets of the educational continuum, I am thrilled to be where we are today, and I look to the future with much more hope than trembling.

I certainly don't think we've arrived in our understanding of exactly what classical Christian education is and means, but I am certain of this: we're heading in the right direction and I'm excited about that.

  1. What a journey, Megan. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful, Megan. . . And, wow, what a great place to be with you and your family. Our schooling decisions this year are not quite what I want them to be, but I’m resting in the Lord that He’s using where we are for our children’s growth.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story Megan. We are glad you landed at Veritas…Karla Stafford

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