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The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
- Plutarch


About us

The Classical Kids group started in January 2002 with a handful of families following a classical method of homeschooling. There are currently about 250 families on our membership list with children are all ages. Since its inception, Classical Kids has helped thousands of parents homeschool their children. Most of the families in the Classical Kids Network are located in Fairfield County, Connecticut, but we have members across Connecticut and in surrounding states. Classical Kids provides support to our families with events throughout the school year.

The Kids' Forum. Our forums take place monthly and run from September to May of each school year. The Forum provides children the opportunity to present ongoing work from their homeschool curriculum - poetry, recitations, history reports, science experiments, musical performance, etc. Students get acquainted with other homeschooled students while inspiring one another to strive for excellence in their work and to learn new topics.

Fairs. Classical Kids holds two fairs each year: an Arts Fair and a Science Fair. There is no judging or prizes for projects in the fair; only recognition for participation. Participants have an opportunity to view other students' displays and pose questions.

Homeschool High School Meetings. These quarterly meetings are offered to adults who are homeschooling students through high school. Discussion topics include how to put together a high school curriculum, addressing the emotional needs of teens including social issues, peers, and puberty, record-keeping and the college admissions process, and more.

Welcome Teas. These quarterly get-togethers are for those new to the Classical Kids group or new to homeschooling. The Welcome Teas take place at members' homes and offer an opportunity to meet other members, network, and get answers to homeschooling questions. Welcome Teas also provide an opportunity for veteran homeschoolers to reconnect with other homeschooling parents while meeting new Classical Kids members.

All events that are open to the public are listed in the public Events page. Anyone seeking information about homeschooling or our group is welcome to attend these events.

Classical Kids members continually organize additional classes, workshops, field trips, social events, and service opportunities that they open to other homeschoolers. These events may be accessed on our members-only Events page.

We have many members across Connecticut who do not regularly attend events, but stay connected via the Classical Kids website.

Our homeschooling philosophy

The families in our group are not wedded to any particular doctrine or formula for homeschooling. There are almost as many different expressions of a classical approach as there are families in our group. Yet we find support and inspiration in our connection with each other; we share with one another our challenges, experiences, and discoveries and in this way learn from each other.

At the same time, many of us share certain approaches:

A commitment to the fundamentals. Many of us tailor our curricula to emphasize reading, writing, math, and history. Such an emphasis is not intended to constrain our homeschooling but to give it focus.

A chronological approach to history. Many of us are using history and chronology as an integrating and organizing principle for many other subject areas, like math, science, geography, and the arts. By studying history chronologically, children build a mental timeline of all of history. By weaving geography, science, and other subjects into history studies, children naturally create a mental map of the world and infer the relevance and inter-relationship of the achievements of mankind

"Real" books and great literature. Many of us avoid textbooks and superficial history texts. Instead, we emphasize first-person narratives, literature contemporaneous with the period being studied, biographies, high-quality histories on specific periods or peoples, and even good historical fiction or adaptations for children of great works.

Early exposure to fine arts and music. Many families in our group use art and music as mainstays of their curricula. Starting at an early age, exposure to fine art and music can engage the child and develop sensitivities and appreciation for art and music that will enhance the child's understanding of history, science, and other disciplines.

Foreign language study. Many families add the study of a foreign language to their curricula during the elementary years or grammar stage; some even study Latin or Greek. The emphasis during this time is often vocabulary memorization and word study. The study of foreign languages has many benefits: it expands the child's vocabulary, trains his or her mind to think in an orderly fashion, and often improves or enhances the child's grammar skills.

Early writing grows into extensive writing. Starting in about first grade, many families encourage their children to narrate back the main ideas of a lesson or a story. The parent sometimes records the child's words and reads them back to the child. The process of having to recall the lesson or story has other benefits: it not only helps the child internalize lessons learned, it provides the parent-teacher a clear sense of the child's degree of understanding. Many families dedicate a good deal of their curriculum to helping their children learn to be good writers. (For more about teaching writing to children, see the article entitled, Teaching Kids to Write, in the Library under Coursework: Language Arts - Writing & Rhetoric.)

The trivium. A guideline of classical education, called the trivium, can be used to design a classical homeschool curriculum. The trivium breaks the twelve years of education into three stages: grammar, logic or dialectic, and rhetoric. The three stages coincide with a child's cognitive development as he or she matures. During each stage, the curriculum gives the child tools for learning while teaching to the child's natural strengths. (For more information about the trivium, visit the Library, Tools for Parents-Classical Education.)

Learning to proficiency. Despite the difference in choices of curricula, methods, scope and sequence, and daily routines, many parents allow their children to study a subject for the length of time needed to develop proficiency. As one parent put it, "It's why we homeschool. We don't have to move on just because the child is advancing to another grade. Isn't the real point of education to really learn a subject?" As a result of this pedagogical approach, children develop a depth of knowledge and firm understandings for the subjects they study.

Each family chooses from these, and other, aspects of a classical education based on their priorities and needs. Many of us also find that our approach evolves as we learn and grow with our children.

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upcoming events

All of the events below are open to nonmembers, and each offers an opportunity to meet our members and find out more about our group.