With her dying breath, Rachel named her newborn “Son of My Sorrow” (Gen. 35:18). Jacob knew that this would be a terrible legacy, so he renamed him Benjamin - “Son of My Right Hand.” What a difference!
Most parents spend hours pondering names for their children. Names help us to know and love a person or thing. In order to understand our community mission, let us consider the name of Classical Conversations.
What Is the Meaning of Classical?
We are recovering the ancient model of classical education and adapting it in our communities and homes. We are turning our heads back toward the ancient wisdom of the trivium (Latin for “three roads”).
Contemporary society says there is no certain knowledge, no absolute truth. As Christians, we believe the opposite. We believe that Truth is the person of Jesus Christ, and we can know Him. We believe that God has revealed himself to us in His world as well as His Word. We believe that the classical model will help families to know God and to make Him known to the world.
How will we do this? When our children are small, they are generally good at memorizing information. We choose to work with the child’s natural inclination as we teach them to memorize Scripture (God’s Word) and facts from academic subjects such as history, math, Latin, English grammar, science, and geography (God’s world).
As our children mature, they learn more through conversation than recitation.They need good books to contemplate and good conversations with peers and trusted adults.There are certain books that all people should read so they can enter the conversations that began at the dawn of human history. Thinking humans have always asked:
- Who is man?
- Who is God?
- What is man’s responsibility to other men?
- What is man’s responsibility to God?
- How can we find truth?
- How can we communicate truth to others?
The best authors have a lot to teach us about the answers to these questions.
The beauty of educating through Classical Conversations is in its simplicity. Contrary to the expensive tools of modern education, we really only need four things to educate our children well: books, paper, pencil, and time. We don’t need flashy presentations to convey truth to our students. We do need good books that are well written and thought-provoking. We do need time at home for students to process their ideas through reading and writing.
We do need time in community to guide students to refine their ideas through dialogue. Cultivating this lost art of conversation, we can seek truth together.
In our Challenge seminars, you will not see the latest technology. Instead, you will see relationships forming as students ask and answer important questions, conduct formal debates, give speeches, and complete scientific experiments.
In our communities, you also won’t find principals, teachers, or grades. We believe that parents hold ultimate responsibility for their children’s education. Trained Tutors model classical, Christian education for families and support parents on this journey. You won’t find students bouncing from teacher to teacher for different subjects. Instead, our students stay together in small groups for an entire day. Tutors thus communicate their love for students and their zeal for learning.
What you will see are engaged parents and students on a treasure hunt to find exciting truths that God has hidden about himself in math, history, literature, science, and, yes, even Latin. What you will see are families encouraging one another to work hard and to wrestle with big ideas because they believe that all subjects are God-ordained. What you will see are parents sharing great ideas and praying for one another. What you will see are parents redeeming their own educations.
Our timeless conversations become timely as students apply their reading of classics to the questions we still have today. The classical conversations spill over into the next generation.
To find out more, contact Cheree Harvey at charvey@