Hi! this is Jennifer Dow. I am a teacher, a learner, and a homeschooling mom.
When I started out on my homeschooling journey, I had a serious learning curve ahead of me. I had never read a classic work of literature, other than the Bible -and I had not even read all of that- and I would have been hard pressed to tell you all the eight parts of speech. Nevertheless, I did not want to stay where I was so I embarked on a life of learning and challenging my self to move beyond where I found myself to be.
My journey has led me to books, conferences, conversations, and other teacher training opportunities like the CiRCE Apprenticeship, all of which have increased my knowledge, understanding, and love of truth more than I could have asked or imagine.
Since then, I have become a CiRCE Certified classical teacher, started writing about classical homeschooling at the Expanding Wisdom blog, had the opportunity to teach in various homeschool settings and online classical academies, and have started, along with some other great ladies, The Paideia Fellowship, a classical homeschool community in our area.
Through all of this I have come to discover a few important things about classical teaching and homeschooling.
Classical Teaching is an Art
One. I believe classical teaching is an art that has the potential to change the lives of our children, students, families, and culture.
Homeschool Moms are Real Teachers
Two. I believe that homeschool moms are real teachers who are every bit as capable of becoming exceptional educators as those who receive education degrees.
Teaching our Children is Worth it.
Three. I believe that if the only students we ever teach are our own children, every ounce of effort exerted in mastering our art is well worth it and replete with fruit. Classical teaching has a way of stewarding moments that bring heaven to earth in the hearts and souls of our children and that is a work worth pursuing.
Mastering an Art is Hard Work
Four. I believe that mastering the art of teaching requires work, just like any other art. There are skills we must practice, knowledge we must gain, and big ideas we must immerse ourselves in to master our art. For this, we need a guide, a coach, and a community where we can dig in and learn. Knowledge and principles presented from books can only take us so far. We must engage with others. Iron sharpens iron.
This seems to be where a tension point arises for the average homeschool mom. Where can the everyday homeschool mom, who wants to be a great classical teacher go to learn, be coached, and supported? Where can we go to receive insight in how to resolve the questions and tensions that arise in our classical homeschools?
The Tension & The Solution: An Online Course for Classical Homeschool Parents at a Brand NEW website!
This tension is why Expanding Wisdom exists. Helping to resolve this tension has been my heart since the beginning of Expanding Wisdom, and is also why we have just launched a brand new website called The Classroom. The entire site is devoted to publishing courses and resources that will bless and help you in your classical homeschool. Including our very first online course. The 5 Elements of Classical Homeschooling.
The 5 Elements of Classical Homeschooling are the 5 areas you need to address to help you gain the skills, knowledge, and understanding you need to cultivate a vibrant homeschool consistent with the Christian, classical liberal arts tradition. Each of the 5 Elements are dependent upon the others to create the harmonious whole, yet, at the same time, retains their own identity with their own principles, particulars, limits, and possibilities.
The First Element
The Element of the Classical Narrative, answers the question “Why are we teaching classically?” and “Who are we teaching? The Classical Narrative explains what the Christian Classical tradition is and where it comes from and provides a solution for the times we are unmotivated with homeschooling and need our belief and spirits nourished.
The Second Element
The Element of the Course of Study, answers the question “What do I teach in my classical homeschool?” This element gives you an overview of the entire liberal arts curriculum and a host of very practical places you go and things you can consider in selecting and refining your homeschool’s course of study.
The Third Element
The Element of Classical Teaching, answers the question “How do I teach classically?” Studying this element gives us access to the skills, ideas, and knowledge we need to successfully teach anything, in a way that cultivates wisdom and virtue.
The Fourth Element
The Element of Liturgy and Logistics, answers the question “How & Where do I make this happen?” It leads us to consider the atmosphere and rhythm of our homeschools and helps us discover ideas for scheduling, lesson planning, creating our homeschool spaces, and other administrative details.
The Fifth Element
The Element of the Teacher, answers the question “What is my role as a classical homeschooling mom” and “How do I prepare myself?” The element of the teacher helps us ask the right questions of ourselves so we can apprehend with greater clarity what our children and homeschools need.
This course invites you to take an in-depth look at each element. This course will help you see how each element addresses the problems and questions we all face and guides you in how to begin practicing and mastering the elements.
If we learn about and practice these elements, we will find we are on a solid path to growing in the skills of leading a harmonious classical homeschool. I would love to continue this journey with you. The 5 Elements of Classical Homeschooling is the perfect way for us to do that.
The course contains 7 modules and a 90-page printable workbook, that will lead you to learn about each element, reflecting on big ideas, and practicing it in real ways. Also, you will have access to a private forum where we can help each other by answering questions, discussing ideas, and encouraging one another.
- 110-page Downloadable Workbook
- Private course forum to ask questions, discuss ideas, and receive support.
- MP3 Downloads of each lesson
- Introductory Module
- 5 Core Modules (One for each Element)
- Bonus Module (Course Downloads and a Bonus Lesson: ‘Principles at Work in the Classical Homeschool’)
- Engaging lessons that explain how each element works and how to think about it.
- Thoughtful questions and challenges to deepen your understanding and experience with each element.
- Clear explanations and directions for how to practice each element.
- An individual Liberal Arts Year-at-a-Glance Chart for 1st – 12th grades
- Copious tips, links, and resources for further study.
Teaching is indeed the highest form of learning. Every great teacher is first a great student. Will you learn with me? Head over to the Classroom at courses.expandingwisdom.com and enroll in the course today. Learning is so much better in a community of like-minded friends. I look forward to seeing you there!
Expanding Wisdom, extending grace,