Updated: Jun 25
Jill is our Challenge 1 Tutor (ages 14-16). Here is what Jill has to Say!
"My favorite thing about Classical Conversations is the fact that it puts God at the center. All “subjects” and creation point back to Him since he created it all."
- Jill Marks
1. Tell me about yourself.
My name is Jill Marks. I have been married to my husband, Curtis Marks, for 22 years. We have four children: Gabriel, 17-years-old; Abigail, 16-year-old; Isaac, 14-years-old; and Micah, almost 11-years-old. As a family, we love to cut up and have fun and never take ourselves too seriously. We love board games and camping in our pop-up. We are animal people. We have 5 dogs, 6 goats, and 5 chickens. We are members at Villa Rica First United Methodist Church and love our church family. My children are active in the youth group there.
2. What led you to Classical Conversations and what do you like most about it?
My husband has wanted me to homeschool my children since my oldest was 2-years-old. I told him “No” for a decade. I said that I did not feel called to it and that I could not wait to send our children to school when they were old enough. I was overwhelmed. I had three children ages 3 and under at one point and I desperately wanted a break. By the time I had my fourth child, we were a public school family. My youngest entered Kindergarten in the Cobb County School system in 2014. By that time we had decided that public middle school was not for us, so we enrolled our oldest in ...a hybrid homeschool program. This worked well because we had the benefit of homeschool, but I didn’t have to pick the curriculum or teach the material myself. We didn’t start homeschooling all of our children until the following summer, when a friend told me about Classical Conversations.
I learned about Classical Conversations during the summer of 2015, when a good friend of mine came to stay at my house while attending a CC practicum. We were in the midst of deciding if we were going to continue [the hybrid program] for my son and my daughter, who were going into middle school. My friend started talking about CC as another option, but I still had my walls up. I was not interested in teaching my children myself and I was certainly not going to pull my younger two children out of elementary school. God had other plans. I eventually agreed to go to the Friday morning session of the Practicum. I am so glad I did. That morning I realized that God wanted me to homeschool my children. I had never heard of the Classical model and it made so much sense to me. The Practicum taught me that the Classical Teaching model addresses the shortcomings that I had noticed in the Public School System. I wanted God to be the center of our children’s lives and education, however public education has completely omitted Him. I also had been worried about my 3rd grader’s performance is school. I discovered his difficulties were because the school was expecting dialectic answers from a grammar stage child. As I learned more about these concepts and others, I felt the stress that I had over the education of my children melt away. I decided that day that my children were never going to public school again.
My favorite thing about Classical Conversations is the fact that it puts God at the center. All “subjects” and creation point back to Him since he created it all. I also love that CC
equips students to answer hard questions in logical, intelligent ways. CC gives them the tools to defend their faith confidently.
4. What made you decide to apply to direct?
This was out of my comfort zone, but I was asked to consider directing during my second year with CC. I prayed about it and felt God prompting me to do it. I also recognized that this was His provision for paying my own children’s tuition.
5. What are you most looking forward to about being in a classroom with students next year?
I always look forward to having great conversations with my students and helping them make discoveries about the topics we are learning about. I love to help students grow and mature in their understanding of God’s world.
6. How does faith inform your work as a director?
I would not be here without my faith. This is a journey that God has been leading me down. I try to approach all of the subjects that we study with an eye on the creator of it all. Here are the questions I ask myself: How would He like me to present the material? What message does God want my students to hear through our Challenge 1 studies? How would He like to reveal Himself to me and the rest of the class?
7. Is there anything else that you would like to tell us?
I am excited about the new school year. I look forward to journeying with my new families in Challenge 1.
8. How can people who are interested in your program reach out to you?