Classical Homeschooling: Overwhelm and Perspective

This is part of the series: Classical Homeschooling. (This post may contain affiliate links).

I sometimes pause my reading of some or other book about homeschooling or classical education, or stop homeschooling for a minute and feel overwhelmed with all that I do not know.

  • How to I implement a classical education? (A true classicist probably wouldn’t call it “implementing.”)
  • Can I really even define the Trivium? The Quadrivium?
  • Oh, there’s more to a classical education than just the Liberal Arts? Oh geeze.
  • I don’t remember a *thing* I’ve read from Aristotle or Plato, and only a little of Augustine and Aquinas, etc. What about the massive list of great books I’ve never read or mostly forgotten?
  • I wasn’t even *aware* of the classical tradition all through college and early adulthood (and I studied philosophy!) Yeesh.

And on, and on…

Woman learning and writing notesI’m especially suceptible to feeling overwhelmed when I listen to others who have been involved in the classical renewal for many years.

For example, Cindy Rollins interviewed Karen Glass on the Circe Institute’s latest Mason Jar podcast episode. For those unfamiliar with this new podcast, it’s all about Charlotte Mason and integrating her educational philosophy with a classical approach to education.

Cindy and Karen are both veteran homeschool moms. Cindy has 8 boys and 1 girl, most of whom have already graduated high school. Karen is the mother of four children whose ages range from 11 to 24 years.

I, on the other hand, and many readers here, are merely fledgling homeschooling moms. My experience with homeschooling only goes five years or so–since I started learning about homeschooling when my oldest was about three. And I type this with my newest 5-month-old on my lap. Some of you are so new, you’re drinking from the firehose of researching homeschooling to see if it’s right for your family.

That is an intimidating place to be!

Cindy has spoken and written for many years about classical and Charlotte Mason homeschooling, while Karen has authored Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition, in addition to being on the advisory board of Ambleside Online.

In other words, they’ve been involved in a conversation for years–a conversation many of us are just now joining.

Remembering to Have Perspective

And then I have to remember where I am in the big picture. Cindy and Karen must have started there too. Their arms were once filled with babies and books like For the Children’s Sake. I can guess that they, too, felt overwhelmed in the face of the task ahead: giving their children an education which fed those little minds, bodies, and souls with truth, goodness, and beauty.

The most wonderful thing is that this classical renewal is like a snowball: gathering mass as it rolls along. We may feel like we’re fumbling in the darkness, but if we tap into the right resources, we newer moms can benefit from the experience of the veteran homeschooling moms around us. In Cindy and Karen’s case, they’ve so graciously written and spoken about what they’ve learned, all it takes from us is an eager ear.

I don’t know about you, but even though I have my share of overwhelm, I have more than enough eagerness to learn how to do this well. Let’s not let our fears keep us from joining this conversation about rebuilding our culture, one student at a time. And let’s take advantage of the generous wisdom offered by veteran homeschooling moms like Cindy and Karen.

Thanks ladies.

Leave a Reply