I saw the ending of the past school year with a weariness that I have never experienced before. That weariness was accompanied by discouragement and, yes, even with a sense of failure. Spring brought about a realization that I was failing my children in certain areas. Some of the areas were academic but most of them were spiritual and emotional. I seriously doubted whether I should be teaching my own children. Had I made a mistake in homeschooling them this long? Maybe it was time to hand over the gauntlet.
Summer came with numbness. Not only did I have to deal with my weariness over school and teaching but my mother experienced heart problems that placed her in the hospital plus a very dear friend and myself were having a bumpy time in our relationship. I felt unmoored, wandering aimlessly through the days without a sense of where I was headed.
Then I came upon the conference talks from The Society of Classical Learning. I have listened to talks from this group before. They have always been good but they haven’t soothed my soul as this year’s talks have done.
These talks seem to have a recurring theme. I don’t know whether this was planned or if it was a doing of the Holy Spirit. I have found that many classical education conferences weigh heavy on philosophy and principles and lack practicality. I understand why this is so. Every family, every child is different so to say that you must do this exactly this way is defeating the purpose of Classical Education. But when you are learning about how to teach classically, practical is good.
This year’s conference from the SCL is full of practical. I was jumping up and down with classical glee when I heard talk after talk about how to carry something out or how to teach a certain subject (like math. I hear so often as to how do you teach math classically. There is a talk at SCL on that very topic.) Many of these talks planted seeds in my heart as to how I could do these things with my own children.
As I listened to talk after talk, the numbness began to fade; the weariness transposed to excitement. I started to think of all of the changes I could make to my teaching. The one thing that I came away with from all of these talks was that consistency in the little things can make all the difference. I think the little things can make or break you. I will talk more about that in the oncoming days.
Our school year starts in 3 days and I am ready. I am excited. I am refreshed.