"People are created in the image of God to reflect back his goodness. Thus through Christian education, students can come to appreciate what is honest, good, true and beautiful in a broken and fallen world."
- Julie Oestreich
Tell me about yourself:
I have been married to my best beloved for 26 years. We have 3 children ages 22, 19 and 15. I became a Christian when I was 33 years old. Reading is my passion, I especially enjoy classic literature that challenges my mind. Additionally we are a very physically active family. I love bike riding, hiking and running. Our family vacations are often built around some kind of cycling activity. On the weekends, I can be found working as an ER nurse at Wellstar Cobb Hospital.
Why did you decide to homeschool?
When my oldest was approaching kindergarten age, I knew that I did not like the public school system. I began looking around at private schools and talking with my husband about it. He was not overly enthusiastic about the cost of private school and he also felt that for the money, the education was not really significantly better. I knew only one person at church who was homeschooling. I approached her and talked to her about it. I figured my husband was not going to be interested and I came up with a good argument to present to him about why I should homeschool. Turns out, I didn’t need the argument. He was all in favor of it! So we started that year and have never looked back.
What led you to Classical Conversations and what do you like most about it?
The year before I started Classical Conversations, I had been part of a homeschool hybrid program because I had been asked to teach biology and anatomy for that program. My older two children were in the program. I really did not enjoy that program because I felt that I had lost control of my homeschool. A friend of mine heard about a new program in the area called Classical Conversations and she set up a time for us to go to an open house. Even though I had been homeschooling for years, I knew almost nothing about classical education. The first program we visited had only Foundations and frankly since I didn’t understand classical, it seemed very weird. I told my friend that I didn’t think that was for us. But thankfully she talked me into going to an information session for a new CC in West Cobb. That was 8 years ago and it has been the best homeschooling decision that I made. I love the whole program. It is comprehensive and completely cohesive. Everything ties together in amazing ways. I love the community aspect and the accountability.
What made you decide to apply to direct?
I had been teaching biology and anatomy to high school students at the hybrid program we were at before CC. I learned from that that I really enjoyed working with teenagers. They have fresh opinions and are often passionate about subject matter. My oldest son was Challenge I age and since it was a brand new program, they were looking for a Challenge I director. Knowing that I liked to work with high school students, I jumped right in. It has been a fantastic adventure and I am redeeming my own education. I have tutored Challenge B, Challenge I and Challenge III. This year will be Challenge II. I am planning to tutor Challenge IV in the future with the hope of completing my own classical education.
What are you most looking forward to in the classroom this year?
I am very excited to be tutoring Challenge II this year. The literature for this level is so rich. I am looking forward to exploring what is truth, beauty and goodness through the medium of truly some of the greatest novels that have ever been written. The Francis Shaffer book How Should We Then Live also is a fantastic resource for in-depth discussions on western civilization. There are so many aspects of Challenge II that I love, it is hard to narrow it down to what I am most looking forward to. With Lincoln Douglas debate, it is a joy to watch students think deeply and really hash out ideas. Overall, I am looking forward to being the lead learner and really digging deeply into the concept of “choices” with the fresh perspective of the students.
How does your faith inform your work as a director?
As a Christian, I see the world through the perspective of God at the center of everything. All subjects point back to God’s direction and plan for his world and his creation. People are created in the image of God to reflect back his goodness. Thus through Christian education, students can come to appreciate what is honest, good, true and beautiful in a broken and fallen world.
How can people who are interested in your program reach out to you?
I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org