Saturday, November 9, 2013

Oh how I love my Job!

Mary with her beautiful Largo Foundations Director, Christi Panek

As you know from an earlier post, one of my most treasured roles as the Pinellas County Support Manager for Classical Conversations is that I get to visit all the campuses twice a year.  It's amazing to see the consistency of our programs being brought to life by different families.  No matter where you go you feel at home when you walk through the doors of a Classical Conversations community. 

Two beautiful Largo moms

My purpose is to stay connected to the moms, directors, and tutors.  I get to watch what they are doing well and to celebrate all their hard work!


Every Classical Conversations Campus starts their Foundations program off with a weekly Assembly.  It begins at 9:15. (Whether you live in Florida, Arizona, or Alaska)  This is true across the world.

During assembly we walk out three "P's". 
  • Prayer
  • Pledge
  • Presentations

Family presentations are an excellent way to build community, fellowship, and strong relationships.  We are honored when husbands are able to join us when it's their families turn.  Each member simply shares what they love to do and then together they will share a favorite verse or song.  It's precious and the perfect way to kick off the day.


After assembly the students and moms find their classes and it's time to begin our 5 Crisp Components.

  1. New Grammar
  2. Science Experiments
  3. Fine Arts
  4. Presentations
  5. Review

They are called "crisp" components because each one last for 30 minutes exactly. 

Sweet Stacy Fox drilling the phases of the moon (New Grammar) with her Masters Class

Stacy using large muscle movement while drilling grammar.  It's a great tool to help the brain retain important information.

Jennifer Russo, drilling the New Grammar history sentence with her Journeymen class.

I loved how this tutor helped her students learn the different phases of the moon through this fun drill:  


The students were not just moving but saying each phase of the moon to help their brains retain this wonderful, rich, information.

One of my favorite "catches" of the day was what you see in this picture.  Jennifer constantly smiles as she drills the new information with her students.  It was contagious.

Mrs. Cullum and her precious Challenge B class.

After visiting the Foundations program which is for Pre-K through 6th grade, I went to see our older students in action!  We call these older classes the Challenge program. 

It was such a JOY to watch them in action.

Michelle does an excellent job of creating and allowing dialectic discussion to take place.  In our younger years the goal is to drill information and lay the foundation.
Parsing the Latin sentences

In our older programs we take all the wonderful information and begin to flesh it out with dialectic discussion.  In Challenge A & B we have three main skill sets we work on:

  • Research
  • Contrasting & Comparing Information
  • Arguing Respectfully 

"To Know God And Make Him Known"

Classical Conversations mission statement!


Mr. Sackett with his all boys Challenge II Class

One of the things that makes Classical Conversations Challenge program different is this:

We use our class time to have the Challenge I-IV students lead their class by doing problems up on the board they've either struggled with and need help from their tutor and classmates OR problems they've mastered and now will teach to others to demonstrate their mastery.  

Noah Sain humbly walked through making sure he understood the above concept from algebra II.  

Mr. Sackett lovingly and gently walked him through questions so that he could come to his own conclusion.  It was a sight to behold.  What an incredible moment it was to witness these boys walk through the higher level maths humbly together for the purpose of truly understanding the how AND the why!

Classical Conversations believes that learning happens within relationship.  Our tutors are not teachers (That's the parents privileged role and responsibility) they are mentors.  A tutor walks alongside a parent and a student to help them achieve their academic goals.  You never have to walk alone when you're a part of Classical Conversations.


In the afternoon our older Foundations students 9-12 yr olds meet for our Essentials program.  The afternoon is broken up into three strands:
  1. EEL (Essentials Of The English Language)

Largo's beautiful Jesus-loving tutor Kim Trujillo lovingly guides moms and students through the concepts of grammar.

She does an excellent job of making sure all of the students are engaged as she works on two different skill sets:
  1. Drill
  2. Dialectic Discussion

It was wonderful watching Kim drill the sentence patterns through fun exercises!

Since it is the afternoon program we are able to enjoy a nice cup of coffee while we linger over the rich, wonderful, content contained within Classical Conversations curriculum.  

One of my personal favorite aspects of Classical Conversations is how God is redeeming my own education along with thousands upon thousands of other families across the nation.  The first time through school I learned how, but oh how much better it is to understand why.  I thank the Lord for His faithfulness. 

They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago.  They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations.
--Isaiah 61:4-5



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