Are you interested in offering your children the best style and content of education, according to historical experience and modern research? Would you like homeschooling accountability and mentoring without releasing your authority over what your kids learn and how? Are you interested in partnering with other like-minded families to increase your family enthusiasm for learning and take some of the load off your shoulders?
These concerns are why, for three years, Fort Wayne parents requested a Classical Conversations campus. It finally arrived in fall 2012. Find below more information about Classical Conversations, the classical liberal arts, the new Fort Wayne campus, and local class times, locations, and teachers.
If you would like to put your email on the CC-Fort Wayne list or ask any questions, contact us through this site’s form here. You will hear back within two business days (we have tiny kids, and travel regularly, or it would be one!).
- What is Classical Conversations and How does it work?
- Where and When are CC-Fort Wayne classes?
- View our class and events calendar.
- Your Director and his helpful wife: Nathaniel and Joy
- Why the classical liberal arts?
Where and When
Times: Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for Foundations. We began the first semester September 11, and begin second semester January 8. Each 12-week session will have a one week break in the middle, with a month-long break for Christmas and New Year’s between.
Class location: Redeemer Lutheran Church, in the heart of Fort Wayne: 202 West Rudisill Boulevard, Fort Wayne, IN 46807.
What is Classical Conversations and How does it work?
Classical Conversations is a growing and popular education tutoring option that meets once per week for 12 weeks of classes in both the spring and fall semesters. Parents follow through on related curriculum and exercises throughout the week to comprise a student’s entire formal schooling. During weekly class time, tutors spend a half hour on group activities and instruction for six core subjects: math, science, history, geography, Latin, and English, supplementing with fine arts and student presentations.
Students divide by age and ability into three categories: Foundations (grammar, or ages 4 to 11, or grades K4 to 6), Essentials (dialectic, or ages 11 to 14, or grades 4 to 6), and Challenge (rhetoric, or ages 13 to 18, or grades 7 to 12). Grades 4-6 overlap and enroll in both Foundations and Essentials. For more in-depth information, continue reading here.
This year, we began with a Foundations group (class times and locations here). Our aim is to grow into also offering Essentials and possibly a Challenge A group in fall 2013, and continue growing until we can offer all CC levels with extensive class and tutoring options as parents demonstrate interest.
Nathaniel’s strengths lie in math and science, leadership and administration, and working with young men. He entered classical liberal arts leader Hillsdale College as a physics major, intending to go into engineering, but the liberal arts captured his attention and led him to switch his major to political science with extensive university-level math and science coursework. He graduated having also completed a capstone course defining and surveying the classical liberal arts with two of the country’s foremost thinkers on that subject (Dr. David Whalen and Dr. Mark Kalthoff).
Nathaniel has served as a tutor both informally for his spatially-challenged friends and formally for the college’s physics department. He has just completed teaching a classical humane letters course (blended history and literature) to homeschooled high school students, trotting them through the small and big pictures of history and drilling them on central historical and philosophical concepts.
Back in Washington, D.C., where the Pullmanns lived before coming to Fort Wayne, he was assistant manager for a multi-million-dollar company, daily supervising and acting as a father figure to low-income, minority young men for whom working with him was often their first job experience. He has further experience mentoring and keeping in line young men from his years as the warden, an elected officer who enforced public morality and respectability among members, for his Christian men’s music fraternity in college.
For three years, Nathaniel sang baritone for an a capella quartet that toured nationwide in 2009. He sight-reads four-part harmony and occasionally still joins his quartet members to sing.
Joy’s strengths lie in writing, literature, and teaching. Joy has more than a decade of experience running and teaching homeschool classes. She first taught the fundamentals of logic and rhetoric as practiced in speech and debate with classes of up to 20 youngsters aged 12 to 18. She and her students have earned national rankings in speech and debate. Based on this experience, she has consulted with other homeschool speech and debate groups, offering organization and teaching pointers and developing a simple public speaking curriculum for middle and high school students.
Joy has also taught middle school, high school, and professional writing classes, has tutored individual students in writing and literature, and has served as Hillsdale College’s history and literature tutor for an entire dorm of college freshmen. In college, she was also ranked in the top 20 nationally in competitive parliamentary debate.
Joy has also worked extensively with younger children, starting with writing and teaching a Sunday School curriculum to early elementary children, supervising church outreach to immigrant children for three years, and teaching several of her siblings to read.
The only reason she didn’t go into teaching directly after college? Editing and publishing gave her a better job offer out of the gate. Joy currently runs an education newspaper and serves as the education policy research fellow for The Heartland Institute, a nonprofit think tank headquartered in Chicago. She has traveled to speak at nationwide venues and is regularly published in local, state, and national newspapers and publications.
Joy graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English and journalism from the honors program of classical liberal arts leader Hillsdale College.
Why the classical liberal arts?
Two reasons: intelligence and character. The classical liberal arts is not just a course of study, but an application of the human soul to eternal truths with an eye towards inculcating moral and mental virtue. The liberal arts prepare a person not just for a job or specific skills that may change with the times, but to gather, retain, organize, and judge information, and translate it into virtuous action.
Many Christian schools and homeschooling methods emphasize morality or intellectual rigor, but the liberal arts rightly joins these in an engaged, time-tested curriculum and habits of mind. The liberal arts aim to inculcate in children a love for goodness, truth, and beauty that will continually lead them towards eternity. They train children to learn what is true, why, and to explain and defend it publicly.
Most liberal arts enthusiasts direct newbies to Dorothy Sayers’ essay outlining the structure of classical education, “The Lost Tools of Learning.” You can also find more books and essays on the subject at the Classical Conversations homepage.