NOTE: This is part of a series that began with these earlier posts:
- Classical Conversations #1: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
- Classical Conversations #2: What Led You to Join a Classical Conversations Homeschool Community? #ClassicalConvMadeKnown
- Classical Conversations #3: Leaders Delete Comments and Block Commenters Who Don’t Toe the Line
- Classical Conversations #4: A CC Veteran Gives Advice to New People Considering Classical Conversations
- Classical Conversations #5: Classical Conversations #5: Leaders Threaten to Use Legal Force to Silence a Concerned Parent
- Classical Conversations #6: Rigid Rules and Legal Tax Concerns
- Classical Conversations #7: Business or a Non-Profit; Cult or a Christian Homeschool Group?
- Classical Conversations #8: Personal Story and Financial Nightmare
Note from Julie Anne: “IngonitoToes” shares her experience and concerns when her family participated in her local Canadian Classical Conversations group. She brings up some important issues:
- Pride and arrogance among students and parents
- Memorizing information without an understanding of the material
- Implications of the CC program on Canadian homeschool laws
- Anarchy from Corporate
- No asking questions
Update 1/18/2019: I have had feedback from people that this post does not have the same tone other posts in this series have had. This was originally a comment that came in on an older post that I made into a post on its own. I did so because I thought it was of the recurring themes that I mentioned in the bullet points above, but also because of the possible implications in Canadian homeschool laws.
There is a local homeschool group in my town that is functioning fine. They have good leaders, and if they read this series, they might be surprised to learn of the difficulties and spiritual abuse others have experienced.
Spiritual Sounding Board’s purpose is to be a safe place for those to share their experiences. I do this because many times there is not a place where they can do so in their location. It is important to note that if IngognitoToes shared her story on the Classical Conversations Facebook group, it would be removed immediately. That should tell you something about the Classical Conversations culture. A healthy organization is not afraid of pushback. They are grateful for it because it gives them an opportunity to improve. ~ja
IngognitoToes Shares Her Story
We are from Canada and we tried the Classical Conversations group in our city, but found it very cliquey and hugely disappointing. There seemed to be an arrogant ignorance among the clique of mothers, and if you wanted to be truly accepted in the group, you had to blindly conform and follow with no questions asked.
Asking questions was offensive. This arrogance trickled on down to the children, who some could neither read nor write at the age of nine (to each their own), but they seemed to be very prideful that they could recite words that they had no true understanding of.
My kids who are literate were made fun of for not memorizing everything by the illiterate children… The bullying was considered positive peer pressure to conform to the group & was very much condoned by the mothers & the director.
I agree that Classical Conversations is likely a cult, but with a twist of anarchy. The academic standards were lower than the standards of our public schools in Canada. In fact I would not be surprised that this is the group that will likely be the reason for homeschooling to eventually become illegal in Canada! They make the rest of the homeschool community look very backwards!
As for the corporate part of Classical Conversations, between the communications with the bookstore and the people responsible for training the tutors, it was quite obvious that the arrogant ignorance and anarchy comes right from the company themselves.
There is one BIG thing we did come away with from this experience. It was IEW; and Classical Conversations can NOT take credit for this writing program whatsoever! Other than that, we came away with nothing valuable, not even friendship, although we made huge one-sided efforts!
We “were unevenly yoked”… Haha… But I’m still dealing with the after effects of the backwardness of the bullying of the illiterates on the literates.
On a side note:
I am looking forward to reading through this entire blog because honestly, this experience was a great example of how abusive & backwards Christianity really can be.