Why homeschool? Why immersion? Why classical? Why Christian?
The answer to these questions is embedded in what I see as the purpose of education, and my goals for achieving that purpose. I agree with the mission statement of Classical Conversations that the purpose of education is "To Know God and Make Him Known." That is not to say that I want to mindlessly indoctrinate my children in Christian theology, shielding them from outside influences and ideas. Rather, my goal is to provide my children a complete picture of the world from the beginning of history to current times, and allow them to draw their own conclusions as to God's role in that history and in their own lives. To that end, I have thought intently on our specific education goals, both short and long term.
Long-term education goals
- To be rooted in faith
- To be grounded in humility
- To know and love God and his people
- To have a love for learning, both academic and applied
- To have a practical knowledge of the world
- To have a world-view mindset, seeing themselves as part of a bigger picture
- To be (at least) bilingual
- To be critical thinkers and problem-solvers
- To be solid in their beliefs and be able to defend/share them with others
- To understand the fruit of hard work
Short-term education goals
- To enjoy learning
- To have a strong reading foundation and a love for books and reading
- To appreciate and understand basic Spanish
- To learn the history of our world and how it reflects God's glory
- To have a picture of the world in their minds
- To have an appreciation for numbers and an understanding that math reflects an orderly Creator
- To communicate effectively in both written and oral forms
- To be respectful and use good manners
- To have an appreciation for/basic understanding of art and music
- To use the scientific method to make discoveries and answer questions about the world
- To play and work well with peers
After putting my goals down on paper, I realized that the Classical model for education aligned with them perfectly. If you are unfamiliar with the Classical model, I'll give my mini-version of what it entails. The foundation of Classical education is the trivium, the idea that learning takes place in three stages, the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages. The grammar stage takes place from Kinder thru 3rd grade and is a period of information accumulation, aka "the sponge stage." The logic stage occurs in 4th to 6th grade and is a time of organizing and making sense of all that stored knowledge. The rhetoric stage lasts through high school and is marked by expressing, evaluating and defending knowledge.
The core of the Classical model is history, which is to be studied in chronological order. Other ideas central to the Classical model are a solid foundation of reading and writing and an emphasis on memory work. For more information on Classical education at home, I highly recommend The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer.
To learn more about our journey, check out my other blog posts.