To know God and to make Him known.

Graduation and Getting There

A handful of friends gathered around sharing stories, celebrating achievements, and finally, praying over Daniel as one season of life was coming to a close and a new season was beginning. It was a time of joy, a time of tears, and a time of testimony.

As I look back, I wonder: how did we get here? I can remember three car seats in a minivan and meeting my first Foundations tutor. I remember meeting Leigh Bortins at our Classical Conversations campus and sitting in a nursery with our youngest children on our laps discussing ideals of education. I joined the community.

As I look back, I remember learning the memory work along with my children in the Foundations program. The timeline, geography, history, English Grammar, and Latin held many lessons in humility for me and my college education. The flow of ideas, peoples, nations, and language were coming alive to me. My children and I were enjoying this journey together. We were all being transformed in our unique ways.

As I look back, I remember learning writing, language, and arithmetic with my children in the Essentials program. In the summers, Andrew Pudewa was my private tutor, video tutor that is. Our Mother Tongue taught me structure and meaning of my mother tongue as I read and watched my children play in the pool. Against my young, Baptist sensibilities, playing cards became easy tools for multiplication and addition drilling at a moment’s notice.

As I look back, I remember learning literature, logic, philosophy, composers and artists, western civilization, poetry, natural world, Latin, and more with my children in the Challenge program. Adam Andrews taught me forms of discussing literature. Andrew Kern’s Christ-centered conferences and classical teacher apprenticeship became some of my greatest gateways to growth as both a thinker and learner.

As I look back on the journey of graduating my first born from high school, what I remember most was us learning together. Please hear me correctly, I did not say that I did all the same “problems” and “lessons,” but we did engage in learning together and the form that this learning took was most often reading, reflection, and conversation. I started my journey with three preschoolers and worksheet worship, irrational algebra fears, and transcript anxiety. I was desperate for a Christ-centered education, yet had no idea what this might look like, but I could feel and sense that I was missing it. Through prayer, faith, seeking, humility, repentance, and many conversations, I slowly sought to cultivate learning by creating a culture at home that could sustain true learning.

I learned many secrets of simplicity and the art of learning from others who have gone before me, godly women like Leigh Bortins, Charlotte Mason, Simone Weil; great writers and thinkers from Homer, Plato, Augustine, and Aquinas to Pearcey, Schaffer, Sproul, Kern. Secrets that help turn the daily details of life and Latin lessons into formational moments of meaning whether our family be on the potter’s wheel, in the fiery furnace, in a light-deprived cocoon, or in revelation’s radiant beams when truth is apprehended.

What subject do you need to attend to so you are better prepared in the years to come? Pick up a resource this summer and learn a little more. What literature would you like to preview before you begin the next school year? Look over the Challenge literature, you will find great ideas there. Is there a book of the Bible you would like your family to focus on this coming year? Consider James or John. Is there a classical book you would like your family to focus on this year together? Consider a book from your oldest child’s literature for the upcoming program year.

How will you spend your time this summer? Are you attending one of our free parent conferences being offered near you this summer?

As I look back, those summers went by faster and faster. Spend your time well with lots of rest, reflection, and even a little reading ahead!


Heather’s favorite links:


Classical Christian Education Made Approachable

The Question

Leisure the Basis of Culture



CATEGORIES: Classical Christian Education

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