Eastern Shore homeschool group enjoys ‘Classical Conversations’

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COURTESY PHOTO Students in the Eastern Shore Classical Conversations homeschool group gather for a photo outside of Red Bank Baptist Church, in Marionville. The group meets there weekly during the school year. Directly behind the students is an A&N Electric Cooperative bucket truck. The bucket truck was used for an experiment in which the students crafted different types of egg containers and dropped them from a height of 35 to 50 feet to see which containers protected the eggs.

BY STEFANIE JACKSON, Shore First —

Homeschooling doesn’t have to mean Mom or Dad is isolated at home with the kids every day or that the kids never get to interact with peers.

Just ask Jordan Dail, a director for the homeschooling group Eastern Shore Classical Conversations.

Classical Conversations is a Christian homeschooling co-op with locations worldwide and a focus on classical education.

Children as young as age 4 can participate, and the program runs through 12th grade.

Students following the Classical Conversations curriculum learn core subjects including English, math, history, science, fine arts, and Latin.

Moreover, the curriculum focuses on teaching kids “not what to think, but how to think,” said Dail.

Classical Conversations doesn’t just impart knowledge but teaches academic skills such as critical thinking and debate.

But Classical Conversations is more than just a curriculum. It’s a program in which homeschool students living in the same region get to meet once a week during the school year to do group projects and activities.

The activities are led by directors like Dail, who has been homeschooling all three of her sons, the oldest of whom is 15, since they began their formal education.

Eastern Shore Classical Conversations formerly met weekly at Cape Charles Baptist Church, but as the program grew and added students from both Northampton and Accomack counties, its directors realized they needed a more central meeting place.

They found it in a rather unusual way – a cold call to Red Bank Baptist Church, in Marionville.

Dail said Pastor John Robertson and the Red Bank Baptist Church board members were receptive to the idea of sharing their facility with the Christian homeschool group, and after several interviews, they allowed Eastern Shore Classical Conversations “to see if we could make it work.”

“And it has,” Dail said. “We’ve really been able to flourish there, and they have been very gracious to us, offering their facility free of charge.”

Eastern Shore Classical Conversations meets every Thursday, when no church services are held. The group just began its third year meeting at the Marionville church.

Dail is grateful to Red Bank Baptist Church for the opportunity to use the facility and “bring some life into their church on a different day of the week, not just on Sunday.”

For more information on Eastern Shore Classical Conversations, call Jordan Dail at 757-754-5362 or visit the Eastern Shore of Virginia Classical Conversations Facebook page.

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