Summer is a time for homeschool moms to have a break from the day-to-day rigors of the school year. It's great to rest, refresh, and refocus for the next year. While some moms choose to school year round, I choose to make summer a time of learning fun for the kids, but ramp up my study for the upcoming year. Classical Conversations offer a free parent practicum (training where you get to practice and discuss what you learn) to help encourage and equip moms for this very purpose.
I have attended more than ten of these parent practicums over the years. Each time I find encouragement, fellowship, and inspiration. Here are my top seven reasons to attend a Classical Conversations Parent Practicum:
No. 1: Parent Practicums Strengthen Friendships
This home school job is a tough gig. You can not do it alone! When the CC year ends in March or April, it might be four to six months before you see your CC friends again. Parent practicums offer a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends.
If you're not in a community yet, parent practicums provide an excellent opportunity for meeting other homeschoolers in your area. Don't be afraid to go and meet other homechoolers in your area. Even if you do not join a community, you'll be blessed and encouraged by other moms on the same journey you are on!
No. 2: It's like a Family Reunion
The longer you're in CC, the more friends you make in other communities. This could be from previous practicums you've attended, or connecting at area wide park days. When you gather back together at a local parent practicum, it's like a family reunion catching up with old friends.
I've been a part of several communities, two with my original community, one with my sister's community, and the last few starting a new community down the street from where I live. I never left a community for bad reasons. Each time my CC family grew as I didn't lose friends, but gained more. I love seeing them at our summer parent practicum (and my kids love it too!).
No 3: Shopping at Parent Practicum is AWESOME
Okay, if you've read my blog, you know I'm a total thrifty book shopper. However, I do love supporting my local book rep, and CC by shopping at the parent practicum. I always start by finding my list of "still needs" and piling them up along the wall on the first day. This guarantees that the things that I really need are still there by the time I want to check out.
Next, I listen for inspirations, recommendations, or clarifications throughout the three days to see what I really want to purchase. Sometimes I end up putting something back, but most often I hear of new products that I'd love to have handy during our next year of study. The good news for me is that I almost own everything CC offers. Now my pile doesn't grow as much as it used to!
And love on your local book rep. She works tirelessly to provide amazing service for her community. My sister was a book rep for four years. Her whole family served our area by hauling books around all summer. Yes, they get paid, but not nearly as much as they are worth!
No. 4: Kids Camps...nuff said
During the parent practicum training, fun and educational camps are offered for the kids. While the little ones mostly play, there is some really amazing training going on in the older camps. Last year I attended the Debate camp as a helper (generally a paid position). I received awesome equipping from the camp leader that I used to bless my Challenge I students during the year.
This year my daughter will attend a Lost Tools of Writing camp that will set her up beautifully for Challenge A. In three days, she'll get to play with the basics of LTW that she'll be using the next three years. All of the camps are amazing, and I love that they're offered each summer at a low rate.
No. 5: Opportunities for Community Service
Do you have a high-schooler that is working on building up their transcript with community service hours? At a parent practicum they can serve as a kids camp helper to earn community service hours. My nieces serve at as many as they can. They do this because they love the leadership training, fellowship with friends, and encouraging kids. It's such a great opportunity for your students to serve...and it's free!
No. 6: Each Year has a Different Theme
Every summer the theme for the parent practicum season changes. This year is debate (history), last year was research (science), and the year before was rhetoric (writing). While the theme or focus changes each year, they still take time to review the basics. This is a great opportunity for moms to strengthen their understanding of classical education. Let's face it. Most of us were not educated this way, and we need to hear the same thing multiple times before it sinks in. I know I have a pretty thick skull. I enjoy the repetition.
Since I've heard it all before, I make sure to find new moms around me that are still wrapping their minds around the info. I remember my first parent practicum. It felt like a fire hose at times! I truly enjoy being an encouragement to the moms around me.
No. 7: Tutor Training at Parent Pracitum
Do you ever wonder how and when Classical Conversations tutors are trained? During the afternoons of each parent practicum, tutor training is offered for each level. Now, they don't have every level of training at every parent practicum, but there are lots of opportunities.
It's great to meet other tutors to learn from them and discuss tutoring strategies. I always leave with great ideas and inspirations for another year of tutoring. The best part is that the training is free. You might have to pay to put your kids in camp, but they're having a good time, so it's worth it!
Our local parent practicum is coming up soon and I can't wait to get back to the fun!
What's your favorite part of a parent practicum?
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.