Homeschool teacher working to promote ‘Classical Conversations’

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Parents looking to educate their children outside of public or private schools have homeschooling as another option. The opportunity to learn more about it will be presented during an upcoming informational meeting through Classical Conversations, which describes itself as “a home-centered, Christian education program that equips you to teach your child through resources and community support.”

Working to getting the word out in Franklin and surroundings is Shari Earhart of Gates, North Carolina. A former public school teacher for 14 years, she and her husband, Eric, decided to use Classical Conversations as an alternative for their six children.

Earhart loved teaching, but came to realize there were things about the profession, as put it, “that I could not change.”

One of those issues was all the testing required of students, which she feels has been overdone at everyone’s expense.

“I wanted to pick the literature,” Earhart said was another attraction about CC. She mentioned “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “The Lord of the Rings” and “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” as well as other Newberry Medal winners.

The program offers different levels of learning for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The youngest students will be at a grammar or knowledge stage, which can include the fundamentals such as learning numbers, words and parts of sentences. The dialectic or understanding stage is for fourth through eighth graders and focuses on how things work.

The rhetoric or wisdom level is for high school-age students. Not incidentally, all three stages take their inspiration from Proverbs 24:3-4:

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

Earhart said, “The [Classical Conversations] community helps me to really stay focused. It makes me a better teacher.”

She listed a few “fast facts” about CC:

• It was begun in 1997 by Leigh Bortons with 11 students.

• 104,000 students are registered, as of March.

• 42,000 families are involved in 2,000 communities throughout the nation as well as 16 other countries.

The next session will be on Thursday, July 27, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Hosting the event will be Ellen Anderson. To learn the location, contact her at 553-2653 or Registration can be done at