For those involved with Classical Conversations, it is also time to plan to attend a Parent Practicum this summer, and to invite others to attend. Parent Practicum is three days of free training for parents in both the philosophy that undergirds classical education in general, and the specifics of CC in particular. It is an intense and overwhelming three days, and totally worth it. Here are some tips for how to get the most out of it, especially if it is your first time attending.
- Meet up with other parents from your campus if you have joined one. If you are still deciding if CC is for you, then meet parents from the campus that you are thinking about joining. Assuming you are attending a Practicum in your geographic area, this is an ideal chance to get to know other parents. Even if you don't remember all of the new faces (I didn't), they will remember you.
- Ask your husband to attend the Dad's lunch. My husband attended the entire Practicum last year, but was particularly impressed by the presentation at the Dad's lunch, which he felt was an excellent explanation of the classical approach in general, and CC in particular. It is mostly moms who implement the CC curriculum and who run the CC communities, but we need the support and understanding of our husbands. Oh, and the lunch is free. :)
- Take advantage of the bookstore. And not just to buy something, although it is great to be able to stock up on what you need and want all at once. Remember that for Foundations, all you need is the Foundations Guide and a tin whistle. You don't have to buy anything else. But when I went last year, they also had Saxon math materials on sale and we took time to look at the materials for Challenge, too, to get an idea of what is ahead. And we spent time talking with the person running the bookstore and asked her our questions about materials and about CC in general.
- Sign your kids up for the camps. Yes, it costs something for kids, but they will love it. And this is a chance for them to make friends with some of the kids who they will be learning with this year.
- Expect to be overwhelmed, especially if you are new to homeschooling or to the classical approach. When I attended Practicum last year for the first time, I felt that I was completely in over my head. Everyone seemed to know each other, everyone seemed to know what they were doing and what math curriculum they were using. But I think everyone feels that way when they are new. Take a deep breath and absorb it little by little. And know that next year, you will be the experienced parent welcoming the newbie into the world of classical education.