In navigating education for our family, we're getting closer to intial decision time. I've had opportunities to talk with a lot of experienced parents and feel well supported in our search. Chicago has endless options, which is awesome and a challenge. From homeschool co-ops to specialized elementary schools, it's an overloaded buffet. In the fall, I've been recommended to attend one of Christine Whitley's Workshops on understanding CPS, and hope to see a bigger (simpler?!) picture. Chicago parents, I say we pool our funds and host the workshop ourselves!
An exciting first step will be park district 'Kiddie College' , where David will learn in a pre-school like setting two afternoons a week. Good news, his BFF will be in his class.
Classical Conversations Open House
This week, the boys and I attended a Classical Conversations Open House day. We were able to sit in on one of their Foundations class for kids around the age of 5. Unfortunately, the boys were pushing their limits on calm and quiet behavior that we stepped out just a few minutes before class ended, and therefore missed the discussion time at lunch. I had also overlooked that there was snack-time, and thus we had eaten everything I brought for lunch during that time. I'm sure someone would have shared, but I needed to head home.
After the CC Open House, I have had a lot to think about. There are some very good things and some take-aways that have inspired me.
- Elementary aged children were all excited to gather together for their class day.
- Friendships were evident as well as parent volunteer relationships.
- The opening meeting time included bible memory & recitation, pledge of allegiance and a show & tell on the subject of fishing.
- In class, there was lots of singing and the tutor (parent) walked the group of 8 kids through an agenda of advanced subject matter memorization.
- The class felt very much like school and the children were positively encouraged to practice good classroom conduct.
- Their morning included all subjects including art and science.
- I could start a home school co-op with families nearby and initiate a class-day to encourage relationships with children in our neighborhood.
- Bible memorization should be paired with any form of education and could be through Awana
Tripp and I may attend an information meeting where we can ask more questions about the logistics of Classical Conversations. For now, my questions for our family are - Would this work for us? Should we build community outside of our neighborhood, when there are families here that we wish we had more time to connect with? Is a classical homeschool education (with very advanced subject matter) the best for us?
The answer may be yes, and it may be yes because the structure of CC could really prepare our intense children to thrive. And it may be no, because we discover another way as we are navigating education for us.