River Cities

Miami Springs Baptist hosts home-schooling group

NEW-WAVE EDUCATION: Homeschooled children learn with their parents by their side every Tuesday night at Miami Springs Baptist Church as Classical Conversations aims to empower parents and encourage students.
NEW-WAVE EDUCATION: Homeschooled children learn with their parents by their side every Tuesday night at Miami Springs Baptist Church as Classical Conversations aims to empower parents and encourage students. ANGIE AGUILA

We typically think of a church building being used primarily on Sunday mornings, but what happens at churches throughout the week?

Many Miami Springs churches have preschools during the day and Bible studies or meetings during the evening. The Miami Springs Baptist Church is no different, other than their massive quantity of square footage. The Baptist Church has rooms to spare on their enormous property that is located on Westward Drive and plenty of those rooms are being put to good use throughout the week, especially on Tuesdays when Classical Conversations meets and draws in children and parents, alike, for engaging lessons in History, Latin, English, Math, Science, Geography, fine arts and even some science experiments.

Classical Conversations (CC) is an organization that supports parents and students along the journey of homeschooling. Their belief, that every child is uniquely and wonderfully made and parents can be the best teachers for their children, is at the core of everything they do. Just a few short weeks ago CC began their 24-week cycle and homeschool families from all over South Florida converge for a day full of learning, encouragement and support.

The classrooms are filled with eager children and parents from Miami Springs, Hialeah, Doral and Miami Lakes. The group used to meet in Doral but is growing rapidly and needed a better fit.

CC hosts different programs for homeschooled children depending on their age and level: Foundations, Essentials, and the Challenge Program. Children and their parents study a timeline from Creation to Modern Day, History, Latin, English, Math, Science, and Geography. In addition every student does a 3-minute presentation every week. A love of learning is cultivated through a Christian worldview in fellowship with other families.

“Homeschooling with Classical Conversations supports the parents and students with the accountability to get through much more material in one year than we could possibly learn on our own as well as an audience for our children’s presentations. The families in our community are amazing and become our closest friends! What is better than to be friends with your children’s friend’s parents,” said Susan Fraga.

Fraga is a Classical Conversations Foundations & Essentials director and homeschools her two daughters, who are 9 and 12 years old.

“We started homeschooling because while in kindergarten, with 28 students in her class, my eldest daughter just wasn’t getting her questions answered and that hindered her learning. Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace without labels or being singled out as being the ‘best’; they’re just learning for learning’s sake.

“What I most enjoy about homeschooling is the time we share and the strong relationships that are built within the family. I also enjoy learning right alongside my children. I don’t have to know all the answers because when I don’t know something, I am modeling for them how to find the answers and how to learn. Our goal is to have children that know how to learn and seek knowledge and truth for themselves.”

Classical Conversations believes there are three keys to a great education: Classical, Christian, and Community. A Classical Education homeschooling approach builds skills needed for leadership: logic, debate, public speaking, clear reasoning, researching, writing, and communicating. The classical model divides the learning process into three stages: grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. In the grammar stage, children devour facts. In the dialectic stage, children ask many questions as they sort and evaluate these facts. In the rhetoric stage, teenagers synthesize their knowledge and apply it. These skills are practiced in every subject at CC and this specific approach prepares students to become leaders in any field that they pursue.

From beginning to end, the Classical Conversations curriculum is founded on the Christian faith. CC teaches that all subjects are not only interconnected but that God is the author and creator of each subject. Community is important to CC because being a part of a like-minded and committed community provides both the parents and the students with priceless encouragement, fellowship, and accountability.

CC can be found across the United States and in several other countries. Since CC came to South Florida, they've been growing every year. In 2009 the southernmost CC was in Pembroke Pines. The following year one began in Doral; the following year grew to Hollywood and Kendall. Now there are seven local locations, including Miami Springs.

“I would like to thank the Miami Springs Baptist church for allowing us to use their space,” said Fraga. “They are the amazing hosts of our program here in Miami Springs and we feel honored that they support us in this manner. We look forward to growing our program alongside them.”

If you go

If you are interested in learning more, you are invited to attend the Classical Conversations Open House on Nov. 4. RSVP by text or call Susan Fraga at 305-323-4676.