I am grateful.

I am grateful: to begin our fifth year of homeschooling with the help of Classical Conversations.

I am grateful: that my oldest begins Challenge B this fall. She is excited about the new things she will be learning and doing like formal logic, mock trial, and science fair.  And I mean what I said. She is actually excited about the learning she will be doing, having taken real ownership of her own education last year in Challenge A.

I am grateful: that I will be "a Challenge B mom." So that means that will also be learning that formal logic, and doing mock trial, and science fair and all that as I teach my daughter those things at home. I'll say that I am also pretty excited about the new material before me, too.

I am grateful: for new challenges this year such as high school transcripts. I am making the choice to begin keeping a transcript for my oldest, grading her work in an official capacity, and translating that work into high school credits. That will be a totally new experience, because believe it or not, until now, we've only learned for learning's sake in our homeschool. We have never, ever learned anything merely to check a box or just make a grade or get a credit.

But, of course, I am constantly assessing my daughters' school work to see how they are doing. But that is only for the most practical of reasons, and in the most informal ways, so I can see what they know or what they need to do next, etc.  Official number grades have been basically meaningless to us up to this point, since I don't need numbers or letters to communicate what I already know to myself!

But my daughters may want or need to go to college, so that changes things. Now I will have to communicate what my students, my daughters, are doing and how well they are doing it to someone else.  So that means letters and numbers and credits and all that.  However tedious, grading will actually serve a real purpose now, so I will begin submitting to that process this year.

I am grateful: I will be tutoring Challenge A for a second year this year.  I get to mentor another group of students (with parents often watching the classes) through rich content. My students get to integrate every subject with every other subject and our class is a place where any topic relevant to the topic at hand can be mentioned. So science is mentioned in math, naturally. And history is mentioned in literature, naturally. It is all connected after all. And perhaps most importantly, God is allowed in our conversation and we constantly find that He is relevant to everything we are learning.

I am grateful: I will also get to support other homeschool parents through another year of Challenge A.  And that means I will get to grow for another year in relationship with excellent homeschooling families. Relationships are the greatest blessings in my life.

I am grateful: that I am compensated financially for the work I do as a Classical Conversations director. The income is allowing me to contribute to my household. I am also setting an example of industry for my daughters and I just love that.

I am grateful: that my two younger daughters will, of course, be in Foundations. For my middle daughter, it will be her fifth year. For my youngest daughter, it will be the second year.

I am grateful: to be homeschooling like I pondered doing since I was a teenager.

I am grateful: to be teaching like I dreamed of doing even as I decided not to go to college for education like I had planned, because after a few classes in education and few more experiences in public school, I just knew I couldn't teach in that setting.  I changed my major and believed that God would help me find a way of teaching that worked for me... and after all, He has.

I am grateful: for my husband's continued support of what I do and his growing knowledge and enthusiasm about education, homeschooling, discipleship, the Classical model of learning, and how all of those things are actually connected.

I am grateful: to have the structure, support, and community that Classical Conversations provides. I never want to go back to educating in isolation.

I am grateful: that my brother and sister-in-law and nieces and nephews are also on this journey with us now. They have been homeschooling for many years, too, but they were not using Classical Conversations, and they lived in Virginia until a few months ago.

But my sister-in-law has recently started using Classical Conversations, and has even more recently moved to Connecticut, too. Now they are only fifteen minutes away!

I am grateful: that my sister-in-law is the Challenge B tutor on our campus. So my daughter will be in her aunt's class and one of her cousins will be one of her classmates. And my sister-in-law is my coworker in the class next door to mine. And my niece will be in my Challenge A class.

I am just so grateful: for the life God has so faithfully lead me into.  I could not have imagined or contrived anything this good, true, and beautiful by my own means. To God be the glory! Great things has done and is doing!


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