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How does one provide a classical education? Circe Institute lovers?

children\'s literature the great conversation 8filltheheart wisdom circe book lists good books classical ed discussion wtm awesome thread andrew kern the scary thread

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#1 lovetobehome

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:14 AM

I have been listening to Andrew Kern of Circe Institute speak at our homeschool conference for several years, and it is beginning to sink in.
I am reconsidering everything I know about educating my children.
I truly am at a loss.
I have no idea where to begin, as far as curriculum is concerned.
I beg of you, throw me a bone...where do I begin?
If I want my children to love learning, become human, and above all other things, love the Lord, what in the world am I supposed to be teaching and how?
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#2 Kfamily

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:34 AM

I actually asked this question once...I posted on the high school board asking Andrew Kern about a curriculum by him or Circe Institute. I would link it for you, but I'm using my phone and can't figure out how to copy & paste on it!
Type in Andrew Kern and Circe Institute curriculum in the search box & it should come up. He did post a response.

#3 lovetobehome

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:06 AM

Thanks, Kfamily....I found it, read it, and inspiring as it is, I still feel..lost.
Going to rest my brain now and take a hot bath.
I would love to see what your family has found useful....do you have a list on your blog?
ETA here is the link: http://www.welltrain...ad.php?t=257193

#4 Zoo Keeper

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:00 AM

Thanks, Kfamily....I found it, read it, and inspiring as it is, I still feel..lost.
Going to rest my brain now and take a hot bath.
I would love to see what your family has found useful....do you have a list on your blog?
ETA here is the link: http://www.welltrain...ad.php?t=257193



Oh my. :) Thanks for the link to that beautiful conversation. Maybe one day I'll be able to talk with the grown-ups too, instead of just listening in the corner with my toys while they drink coffee and talk. ;) Maybe.

Very inspiring, it all is. I AM comforted by the fact that each family will have a different way of achieving that grand goal of walking through those rooms..


ETA: Kfamily--I find your blog very well done. Lots of good stuff there. Thanks for all your hard work and willingness to share.
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#5 Bang!Zoom!

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:12 AM

There's a really interesting pdf file at this link:

http://stjeromes.org...l_education.htm

It's fairly long, but comprehensive for a 'parent booklet' as it's meant to serve in purpose. Some excellent titles there as they lay out the years of learning and achievement.

I've found a few useful things there as far as pattern and time. :)

#6 Jayne J

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:17 PM

I have been listening to Andrew Kern of Circe Institute speak at our homeschool conference for several years, and it is beginning to sink in.
I am reconsidering everything I know about educating my children.
I truly am at a loss.
I have no idea where to begin, as far as curriculum is concerned.
I beg of you, throw me a bone...where do I begin?
If I want my children to love learning, become human, and above all other things, love the Lord, what in the world am I supposed to be teaching and how?


I've listened to many Circe Institute talks in the past and walked away dazed as well. Much to my chagrin, Andrew often ends his talks with, "Well, I am out of time and I won't be able to discuss application..." Arrgghh!:tongue_smilie:

Have you listened to these? One*Mom turned me on to them and I have spent a lot of time, energy, and thought working my way through them. She's evil that way.:D
But I know exactly where you are at--I keep talking things over with my husband and find myself saying, "But now what? What do I do come Monday morning? How do I translate this to...daily life? What does this look like?" And poor dh has to back away slowly from the wild-eyed crazy lady. :lol: One straw I have grasped is this: in his talk Analytical Learning, Kern quotes somebody as saying that teaching is the spontaneous overflow of the teacher's soul into the life of the child. So, in life-raft manner I have grabbed onto this and begun contemplating what kind of soul is overflowing into my children's lives and trying to start there. Still doesn't help me come Monday morning, but it has given me a handle to hold onto until things start to make sense.

I'm:bigear::bigear::bigear: for the input of others about this...
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#7 yvonne

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:42 PM

I've listened to many Circe Institute talks in the past and walked away dazed as well. Much to my chagrin, Andrew often ends his talks with, "Well, I am out of time and I won't be able to discuss application..."


I've had this experience, too. Andrew is wonderful at painting the vision and giving a sense of where I'd like to be, but I could never translate that into the reality of day to day schooling. A couple of weeks ago, I attended a very down to earth, nuts and bolts workshop by Leah Lutz on using the Lost Tools of Writing. I was able to go home and USE it!

Circe Institute has an event calendar posted here. If you have a chance to attend one of Leah's workshops, seize it! If you don't, you could get a group together and arrange for her, or one of the other Circe instructors, to come out and do a LToW workshop for you. (I know Circe is more than LToW, but, if you see how LToW works in the real world, I think you'll have a wonderful sense of how their whole philosophy would influence how you teach & learn in all areas!)
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#8 Bang!Zoom!

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:48 PM

Andrew's words haunt me literally. At the most unexpected times, something he says suddenly jump into the present moment and I "check" myself against what I heard him say.

Some of the toughest ones for me to grapple with are these:

"Why are you doing this?" (Crosses my mind about 50 times a day, try answering that one..good luck..)

"What does your curriculum say about you as a teacher?"

(Trust me, that one can hurt introspectively, but my bookshelves have been dramatically affected by that statement..)

I listen to Anaylitical Learning at least once a week I swear, get something new out of it every time I listen as well. Just when I think I have it memorized, I hear something else, it's a crazy amazing talk.....
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#9 abrightmom

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:56 PM

I've listened to many Circe Institute talks in the past and walked away dazed as well. Much to my chagrin, Andrew often ends his talks with, "Well, I am out of time and I won't be able to discuss application..." Arrgghh!:tongue_smilie:

Have you listened to these? One*Mom turned me on to them and I have spent a lot of time, energy, and thought working my way through them. She's evil that way.:D
But I know exactly where you are at--I keep talking things over with my husband and find myself saying, "But now what? What do I do come Monday morning? How do I translate this to...daily life? What does this look like?" And poor dh has to back away slowly from the wild-eyed crazy lady. :lol: One straw I have grasped is this: in his talk Analytical Learning, Kern quotes somebody as saying that teaching is the spontaneous overflow of the teacher's soul into the life of the child. So, in life-raft manner I have grabbed onto this and begun contemplating what kind of soul is overflowing into my children's lives and trying to start there. Still doesn't help me come Monday morning, but it has given me a handle to hold onto until things start to make sense.

I'm:bigear::bigear::bigear: for the input of others about this...


Thanks for putting my thoughts into words.....

Getting from the ideal to the real.....

:bigear:
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#10 lovetobehome

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:13 PM

I asked him this year, about the practical, how do I do this stuff. He started to answer me, then we got kicked out of the dining hall to do our respective presentations, and we never had a chance when we were both free to talk again. So I emailed him this morning. :-)
I actually sort of kind of think it might be seeping into my brain...I am suddenly realizing I can let go of all of this stuff, and LEARN together with my children.....
maybe there is hope for me yet...or am I just hopelessly romantic and idealistic?
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#11 Bang!Zoom!

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:23 PM

Have you seen the apprentice program at Circe?

lol :svengo:

That's all I have to say.

http://apprenticeshi...einstitute.com/

#12 abrightmom

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:25 PM

I listen to Anaylitical Learning at least once a week


Can someone please link to this talk???:001_smile:
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#13 Bang!Zoom!

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:37 PM

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name - Rolling Stones

Enter at your own risk of mental health.. lol

Look for the talk titled Analytical Learning

Welcome to the Light

http://www.societyfo...ence-recordings
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#14 abrightmom

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:38 PM

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name - Rolling Stones

Enter at your own risk of mental health.. lol

Look for the talk titled Analytical Learning

Welcome to the Light

http://www.societyfo...ence-recordings


:001_smile: Thanks! :001_smile:

#15 Halcyon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:45 PM

Listening in.

#16 Halcyon

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:47 PM

Have you seen the apprentice program at Circe?

lol :svengo:

That's all I have to say.

http://apprenticeshi...einstitute.com/


Oh my.

#17 Bang!Zoom!

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 06:19 PM

:001_smile: Thanks! :001_smile:


That is my all time favorite. About thirty seconds in, he gives the illustration and suggestion:

"If we cannot be teaching in a context of and with the goal of virtue and honor, then I'd request that you do not teach anymore."

Man, did that statement ever sit me in my seat.

Hard.

I walked around all day with that one ringing in my head. :)
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#18 bethben

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:03 PM

So, the question is - how does one teach math, science, Latin, or grammar with virtue and honor?

Beth
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#19 lovetobehome

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:12 PM

So, the question is - how does one teach math, science, Latin, or grammar with virtue and honor?

Beth


:lol:
But really, we respect the child's personhood.
That alone is a challenge for me.

#20 bethben

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:14 PM

So, maybe this would be my example. Ds is having trouble with a challenging paper to write. The point of the paper becomes to never give up when you're presented with a challenge not necessarily getting a "perfect" paper. And yes, this has happened. I realized that the issue was giving up when things got hard - the paper became secondary.

Beth

#21 shanezomom

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:52 PM

Beth, isn't that just good old-fashioned character training?

Rhonda

#22 Jayne J

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:05 PM

I was discussing this again with my dh (dear man is so patient) and he said, "You know, in business management, something we learned is that removing obstacles to get where you want to go is more productive than making sweeping changes." I had a little light bulb moment. I am overwhelmed at the...hugeness, the impossibility of "packaging" the Good the True and the Beautiful into something I can tackle on Monday. Maybe I should start by looking at what I am doing already and seeing what is NOT the Good, True, Beautiful and eliminating those things first. Making more room for the the best things to enter our lives.

I don't know. It just seemed more...doable.:D
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#23 Jayne J

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:09 PM

Have you seen the apprentice program at Circe?

lol :svengo:

That's all I have to say.

http://apprenticeshi...einstitute.com/



:001_tt1:

Sigh

#24 justamouse

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:10 PM

:grouphug::grouphug:

You know, I was thinking myself that had I listened to CiRCE's podcasts and read their articles when I first started, my head would have exploded.

Now that I've been doing this years, and with a world view that has much changed since I first began this journey, I am SOAKING in the awesomness that is those lectures and it's water for my well.

I think that my own readings have haphazardly herded me toward a shallow understanding of the true fullness of a classical education, but thankfully, my still schooling kids are still young enough for me to perhaps get these later years right. :001_smile:

(books like The Jesuits and Education by William McGucken, The Jesuit Model of Education at Edocere, And, believe it or not, reading Tolkien's On Fairy Tales helped, too. So did CS Lewis' On the Fairy Tale. )

You'll hear Dr. James Taylor talk about John Senior, one of the leading Generals for the Great Books education, Senior's books are amazing, though not for the lite of heart. His first rule is to throw out the TV, and second, to bring a piano into the house.

Edited by justamouse, 18 March 2012 - 08:17 PM.


#25 Mrs. A

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:15 PM

I was discussing this again with my dh (dear man is so patient) and he said, "You know, in business management, something we learned is that removing obstacles to get where you want to go is more productive than making sweeping changes." I had a little light bulb moment. I am overwhelmed at the...hugeness, the impossibility of "packaging" the Good the True and the Beautiful into something I can tackle on Monday. Maybe I should start by looking at what I am doing already and seeing what is NOT the Good, True, Beautiful and eliminating those things first. Making more room for the the best things to enter our lives.

I don't know. It just seemed more...doable.:D


I like this very much!

#26 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:26 PM

You know, I was thinking myself that had I listened to CiRCE's podcasts and read their articles when I first started, my head would have exploded.

Now that I've been doing this years, and with a world view that has much changed since I first began this journey, I am SOAKING in the awesomness that is those lectures and it's water for my well.

I think that my own readings have haphazardly herded me toward a shallow understanding of the true fullness of a classical education, but thankfully, my still schooling kids are still young enough for me to perhaps get these later years right.


:iagree: I can so relate to your post b/c it is where I am right now......looking at my little ones. (ETA: I just saw that you edited your OP while I was typing up my response. Wow.....I think our meanderings that are supposed to resemble some map of the paths we have taken must have criss=crossed over each others multiple times over the yrs!!)

I have been soaking up the Circe recordings, too. I used to listen to Kreeft talks while I cleaned (I heart Kreeft!!), but they are now charging for his unless I go searching for them. :( But, I am loving the Circe talks! :001_smile: I am really becoming inspired to revamp things for the younger crew.

I do find a lot of overlap between Ignatian philosophy and what Circe promotes. To summarize Ignatian philosophy:

The Ignatian education goal is to have individuals achieve “the ultimate end for which they were created.” It is through the interior mental freedom that the spiritual life begins its fulfillment. Educationally the objective is to enable one to have interior mental freedom from societal humanism with the objective of allowing true freedom of will to live life according to the Way of the Cross.


But.....it is the **how** that it plays out in reality in our home that I am digesting/evaluating/re-thinking.

I recently posted on the high school board that I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on our almost 2 decades of homeschooling and sorting through my mind why our biggest successes have been so successful. Our best yrs have been the yrs focused around Chronicles of Narnia, LOTR, and Anne of Green Gables (AGG is the study I have been doing w/my 7th grader this yr. A superficial description of it may be read here: http://www.welltrain...ret#post3721394 )

As I reflect on the past and attempt to figure out where I want to go in the future w/my younger kids (I have been kidding around w/some board friends in email that the advantage to having a family like mine is that I get to keep having re-dos until I get it right! ;) ) I have made a few firm decisions.

1- I am no longer going to incorporate historical fiction. My boys, especially, b/c they were not avid readers, wasted so much precious time reading historical fiction that could have been spent reading great children's literature.

2- Literature is going to be the driving force behind our K-8 studies. Typically I have fallen into the history pattern. (you know......pick lit to match up w/whatever history we are studying. :tongue_smilie: ) I'm not suggesting that we will not be studying history. It is simply not going to be taking history and wrapping lit around it. This yr I have taken literature and wrapped history around lit and it has been truly the best homeschooling yr I have ever had.

3- Latin is going to become a focus in our homeschool. (I really fought this for yrs. My 16 yos is the one that convinced me that I have been completely wrong on this. He is right. So, now they are all learning Latin.)

4- One thing I am NOT changing is my view toward education and younger kids. Less truly is more and long hours for imaginative play is by far one of the best educational gifts I have given all of my kids. At least it didn't take me 18 yrs to realize this. Imaginative play builds cognitive skills and learning from play/nature is vital to their intellectual development and mental freedom. Period. (this is completely non-negotiable w/me. :lol:)


Philosophically, my end goal have not changed at all b/c of the fact that I have always embraced Ignatian philosophy. Yrs ago I defined my homeschool objective as being: Educating the mind to think independently……to observe, digest, and reach its own conclusions…….to study history and appreciate man’s role in where man has been, is, and will go…… to appreciate the order of creation and man’s being a creature completely dependent on the Creator and meant to live according to those principle. How do I guide the formation of our children to meet those incredibly intangible, non-in-a-boxed=curriculum objectives? That is what I am personally wrestling w/as I evaluate my older kids education w/what I want my younger kids' education to look like.

From a practical POV, I completely agree w/Andrew Kern's linked post about the compartmentalization of subjects. I think that is probably why when you listen to their talks they don't really get down into the nitty=gritty of how to apply their philosophy. It is not clearly defined like something you can buy in a box.......it is something you have to figure out how to make work in your own home.

One approach that has been at least somewhat successful is avoiding most textbooks. That by itself goes a long way. Textbook history/science and excerpt literature pre-digest all information for the student so there is no attempt to form the mind of the student to think independently or to even stretch the mind to discover. Modern educational philosophy is focused on feeding in bits of data and hoping for some reasonable form of output. It attempts to create "intelligence" via base knowledge vs. educating which leads to higher levels of critical thinking.

FWIW, there was a thread on the high school board about the top 20 books to prepare our kids for the great books. Andrew Kern and several others mentioned My Book House series. I just got this set for my youngest girls. I already own the Jr Classics and we do read those, but I am intrigued by the My Book House. (that is another great thread: http://www.welltrain...t=my book house )

Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 17 March 2012 - 09:30 PM.

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#27 Jayne J

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:41 PM

:grouphug::grouphug:
SNIP
(books like The Jesuits and Education by William McGucken, The Jesuit Model of Education at Edocere, And, believe it or not, reading Tolkien's On Fairy Tales helped, too. So did CS Lewis' On the Fairy Tale. )

SNIP


Oddly enough, I just finished Tolkien's "Tales from the Perilous Realm" which contains "On Faerie Stories," along with many of his Faerie Tales (LOVED Smith of Wooten Major!!) I just started reading a collection of George MacDonald's works, including his essay on fairy tales and his fairy stories (LOVE The Golden Key). He was a major influence on Lewis and Tolkien in this area. Check him out!:001_smile:

Edited by urpedonmommy, 17 March 2012 - 09:45 PM.
added links


#28 justamouse

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:58 PM

:iagree: I can so relate to your post b/c it is where I am right now......looking at my little ones. (ETA: I just saw that you edited your OP while I was typing up my response. Wow.....I think our meanderings that are supposed to resemble some map of the paths we have taken must have criss=crossed over each others multiple times over the yrs!!)

I have been soaking up the Circe recordings, too. I used to listen to Kreeft talks while I cleaned (I heart Kreeft!!), but they are now charging for his unless I go searching for them. :( But, I am loving the Circe talks! :001_smile: I am really becoming inspired to revamp things for the younger crew.

I do find a lot of overlap between Ignatian philosophy and what Circe promotes. To summarize Ignatian philosophy:

The Ignatian education goal is to have individuals achieve “the ultimate end for which they were created.” It is through the interior mental freedom that the spiritual life begins its fulfillment. Educationally the objective is to enable one to have interior mental freedom from societal humanism with the objective of allowing true freedom of will to live life according to the Way of the Cross.


But.....it is the **how** that it plays out in reality in our home that I am digesting/evaluating/re-thinking.



Oh man, I'm jumping up and down and meeping (closed mouthed eeps) on the inside. We've come to exactly the same conclusions. And yes, I see Ignatian philosophy as our own, also. I mean, exactly the same 1-4.

There's not enough time for great literature and historical fiction. I've always taught them Latin, but not with as much force that I could have-no longer. I've learned that great literature has had more of an impact on them than anything I've done with them. Sitting around reading-me reading to them, talking about books we've read, is when the leaps are made. And yes, they need to play. I let my 12 year old son play as a small one-and now by far, he is my greatest student. I fully lay it at the feet of his absorbing what was going on around him as he played.

Kreeft-I posed on the Why Literature thread-

"Philosophy makes literature clear, literature makes philosophy real. Philosophy shows essences, literature shows existence. Philosophy shows meaning, literature shows life." Peter Kreeft, p22 The Philosophy of Tolkien.


And a few paragraphs later he says,


"Literature incarnates philosophy. You can actually see fate when you read Oedipus Rex. You actually hear nihilism when you read Waiting for Godot. As the acts of the body are the acts of the person, as a smile does not merely express happiness (the nine-letter word does that) but actually contains it, so literate actually contains or incarnates philosophical truths (or falsehoods).

All literature incarnates some philosophy. This all literature teaches. In allegory, the philosophy is taught by the conscious and calculating part of the mind, while in great literature it is done by the unconscious and contemplative part of the mind, which is deeper and wiser and has more power to persuade and move the reader. Allegory engages only the mind, while great literature person: for allegory comes from only the mind, while great literature comes from the whole person.

Literature not only incarnates a philosophy: it also tests it by verifying it or falsifying it. One way literature tests philosophy is by putting different philosophies into the laboratory of life, incarnating them in different characters and then seeing what happens. Life does exactly the same thing. Literature also tests philosophy in a more fundamental way. It can be expressed by this rule: a philosophy that cannot be translated into a good story cannot be a good philosophy."

Peter Kreeft, p22-23 The Philosophy of Tolkien

Urped, I've read MacDonald, and you are right, it is fantastic. I think that you reading those already is more than coincidence. :001_smile:

#29 Bang!Zoom!

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:58 PM

:001_tt1:

Sigh


She's got it b.a.d.

That's so cute! :D

#30 justamouse

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:06 PM

You know, in that Analytical talk Mr. Kern gives, he ends with saying to read Norms and Nobility, and Lewis' The Abolition of Man, and strangely enough, both are already in my Amazon cart. I guess I should buy them, then? :tongue_smilie: I think Auntie Leila from Like Mother, Like Daughter posted that all homeschooling moms should read them, too.
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#31 Bang!Zoom!

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:19 PM

The sophists, economists and calculators will thank you greatly for that purchase.

or -

Will they?

(That's meant to be a circular question, lol)

#32 angela in ohio

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:38 PM

I think the point is that you can't buy the curriculum for it. :001_smile: It's about *you* and your student. The best thing you can do is just keep listening and reading and use it to influence the way you teach anything. It's a change to investing in your own skills and knowledge and away from a search for the right curriculum.

I'm so sad that all of these great threads are finally happening, and it's in the midst of crazy busy days at our house. This is all I have time to say, but I am reading when I get a chance. Similar sets of threads ten years ago here, followed by much reading and listening, brought us to where we are today: reaping the joy of our older children who delight in knowledge, truth, discovery, beauty, logic, humor, conversation... Keep up the search; it's worth it!!

Edited by angela in ohio, 17 March 2012 - 11:39 PM.

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#33 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 11:03 PM

Peter Kreeft, p22-23 The Philosophy of Tolkien

:


I have been really busy and haven't had a chance to read that whole thread. But.....I had to tell you that The Philosophy of Tolkien (along w/ Pearce's Tolkien: Man and Myth, a Literary Life) are on my night stand and I have been reading them both formulating my plans for my 10th grader for next yr.

You know, in that Analytical talk Mr. Kern gives, he ends with saying to read Norms and Nobility, and Lewis' The Abolition of Man, and strangely enough, both are already in my Amazon cart. I guess I should buy them, then? :tongue_smilie: I think Auntie Leila from Like Mother, Like Daughter posted that all homeschooling moms should read them, too.


I am planning a Tolkien/Lewis yr for my ds for next yr. I am still in the percolating stage, but right now The Great Divorce and Til We have Faces are 2 of Lewis books I am considering. (none of my kids graduate w/o reading Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity, so those are given at some pt in high school. This ds has already read Screwtape.) I may even end up doing more Lewis and have him read the Space Trilogy. (ETA: I am really leaning toward this direction) Just so many wonderful options that I am really having 100s of scenarios form in my mind. :tongue_smilie:)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 17 March 2012 - 11:29 PM.


#34 CourtneySue

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 01:16 AM

I love to listen to Andrew Kern too. He has deeply changed the way I think about education. I haven't listened to the Analytical Learning talk yet, but just today I was listening to his one on the Contemplation on Nature. I think it was one of the best lectures I've ever heard. It's free here (the James Taylor one is awesome, too): http://circeinstitute.com/free-audio/

I don't know if others have reached this conclusion, but I have started to find that Charlotte Mason and her ideas about education are very close to Kerns ideas. Even today as I was listening to his lecture on nature--I found myself thinking that this is what Mason meant when she wrote that "a child is a person". And I'm finding myself more and more drawn to the Charlotte Mason curricula out there like Ambleside Online and Charlottemasonhelp.com. I think they get it.

Great thread! It's great to know that there are others out there that love this stuff as much as I do!

#35 Kfamily

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 01:39 AM

This is the thread I've needed to read! Thanks to all of you for contributing to it. I have found my inspiration and regained my focus. Thank you.

8FilltheHeart, thank you for your 4 points. I hope you don't mind if I bring them into my own plan.:001_smile:

#36 Halcyon

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:09 AM

This is such a great threa, and links up so nicely with the Charlotte mason discussions going on on the boards right now? I agree there does seem to be a close link between the philosophies. I also realize that I need to focus more on the virtue part of homeschooling.

#37 Jayne J

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:17 AM

[quote name='8FillTheHeart']:iagree: SNIP


1- I am no longer going to incorporate historical fiction. My boys, especially, b/c they were not avid readers, wasted so much precious time reading historical fiction that could have been spent reading great children's literature.

2- Literature is going to be the driving force behind our K-8 studies. Typically I have fallen into the history pattern. (you know......pick lit to match up w/whatever history we are studying. :tongue_smilie: ) I'm not suggesting that we will not be studying history. It is simply not going to be taking history and wrapping lit around it. This yr I have taken literature and wrapped history around lit and it has been truly the best homeschooling yr I have ever had.

SNIP

From a practical POV, I completely agree w/Andrew Kern's linked post about the compartmentalization of subjects. I think that is probably why when you listen to their talks they don't really get down into the nitty=gritty of how to apply their philosophy. It is not clearly defined like something you can buy in a box.......it is something you have to figure out how to make work in your own home.


SNIP [quote name='8FillTheHeart']


That is so helpful. After listening to Taylor's "Good to Great" lecture my first thought was that I needed to make time for Good literature, and historical fiction tends to be my focus as well. I am beginning to think that my tendency to focus so strongly on history as an organizing principle in our school may need changed.

[QUOTE=justamouse;3724424
Kreeft-I posed on the Why Literature thread-

"Philosophy makes literature clear, literature makes philosophy real. Philosophy shows essences, literature shows existence. Philosophy shows meaning, literature shows life." Peter Kreeft, p22 The Philosophy of Tolkien.


And a few paragraphs later he says,


"Literature incarnates philosophy. You can actually see fate when you read Oedipus Rex. You actually hear nihilism when you read Waiting for Godot. As the acts of the body are the acts of the person, as a smile does not merely express happiness (the nine-letter word does that) but actually contains it, so literate actually contains or incarnates philosophical truths (or falsehoods).

All literature incarnates some philosophy. This all literature teaches. In allegory, the philosophy is taught by the conscious and calculating part of the mind, while in great literature it is done by the unconscious and contemplative part of the mind, which is deeper and wiser and has more power to persuade and move the reader. Allegory engages only the mind, while great literature person: for allegory comes from only the mind, while great literature comes from the whole person.

Literature not only incarnates a philosophy: it also tests it by verifying it or falsifying it. One way literature tests philosophy is by putting different philosophies into the laboratory of life, incarnating them in different characters and then seeing what happens. Life does exactly the same thing. Literature also tests philosophy in a more fundamental way. It can be expressed by this rule: a philosophy that cannot be translated into a good story cannot be a good philosophy."

Peter Kreeft, p22-23 The Philosophy of Tolkien

Urped, I've read MacDonald, and you are right, it is fantastic. I think that you reading those already is more than coincidence. :001_smile:[/QUOTE]

I've GOT to find that book. Thanks. You know, I have always believed in the power of literature (it was my major in college) and yet somehow I have let other things crowd it out with my children. I have been feeling like I should be reading more fairy tales, more poetry, more good books and worried because I "didn't have time." I am beginning to think I have wasted alot of time on secondary things. I am completely re-thinking next year's book purchases.

[quote name='one*mom']She's got it b.a.d.

That's so cute! :D[/QUOTE]

:tongue_smilie: You know I blame you, right? How weird is it that I am scanning my shelves to see which of the books listed I already have and which I would need to find in order to try a home study version, right down to writing the papers.:001_huh:

[quote name='justamouse']You know, in that Analytical talk Mr. Kern gives, he ends with saying to read Norms and Nobility, and Lewis' The Abolition of Man, and strangely enough, both are already in my Amazon cart. I guess I should buy them, then? :tongue_smilie: I think Auntie Leila from Like Mother, Like Daughter posted that all homeschooling moms should read them, too.[/QUOTE]

Absolutely read them. (I currently have a cart full of John Senior books that I am now convinced I should go buy.:lol: Amazon must love it when we get to gabbing!)


(Hmmm. This is my first multi-quote and I am not sure what happened to 8fill's quote. Sorry.)

#38 CourtneySue

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:56 AM

1- I am no longer going to incorporate historical fiction. My boys, especially, b/c they were not avid readers, wasted so much precious time reading historical fiction that could have been spent reading great children's literature.

2- Literature is going to be the driving force behind our K-8 studies. Typically I have fallen into the history pattern. (you know......pick lit to match up w/whatever history we are studying. :tongue_smilie: ) I'm not suggesting that we will not be studying history. It is simply not going to be taking history and wrapping lit around it. This yr I have taken literature and wrapped history around lit and it has been truly the best homeschooling yr I have ever had.[/url] )


Can you explain what you mean in both of these points? For #1 why? For #2--what do you mean by "wrapping literature around history" versus the other?

Thanks! There is so much wisdom in what you are saying, I'm just trying to make sure I understand it.

#39 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:52 AM

Can you explain what you mean in both of these points? For #1 why? For #2--what do you mean by "wrapping literature around history" versus the other?

Thanks! There is so much wisdom in what you are saying, I'm just trying to make sure I understand it.


Are you familiar w/Sonlight? This thread http://www.welltrain...ad.php?t=358108 has a lot of people describing how they go about putting together their own plans. These descriptions are very similar to how I have done things in the past.

Why am I rejecting that approach now? B/c wonderful children's classics like The Princess and the Goblin get overlooked and by-passed in order to make room for historical fiction. I have always read books like those for bedtime stories, but the number read is low compared to the high number of historical fiction we have read (or that I have assigned them to read). To what end? Yes, it creates an appreciation for the historical time period, but it is at the expense of the elevated language, vivid imagination conjured by the truly great books for children. It boils down to which is actually more important in the formation of a child's cognitive development?

Spending the last couple of yrs completely absorbed in great literature w/my younger kids has been enlightening. I have witnessed growth in vocabulary, searching for allusions, appreciation for literary techniques (pure enjoyment in how something is written, not necessarily analyzing the writing. This is a quote that my dd fell in love w/just from encountering the words on the page b/c of the images the evoked for her: I hied me away to the woods--away back into the sun-washed alleys carpeted with fallen gold and glades where the moss is green and vivid yet. THe woods are getting ready to sleep--they are not yet asleep but they are disrobing and are having all sorts of little bed-time conferences and whisperings and good-nights. That type of writing is not found in the majority of historical fiction. Setting/plot/dialogue are more the focus vs. the use of language. (If you have ever read any of Henty's books, my kids can't stand them. They say it is the same story w/different characters simply moved into a new setting.....:tongue_smilie: )

What I mean by #2 is that my literature selections from here on out are going to be selected by the merits of the piece of literature. For some works, like AGG, I can build history off of the literature. (actually an entire yrs worth of literature and history.) Annotated children's classics give background information that can lead down numerous paths from the allusions/references w/in the story itself. (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have more text for the annotations than for the stories themselves!!) In other cases, history and lit simply won't be interconnected in any deliberate way.

Does that help? (there are a lot of distractions around me, so I'm sorry if it isn't very coherent.)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 18 March 2012 - 11:12 AM.

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#40 justamouse

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:04 AM

Can you explain what you mean in both of these points? For #1 why? For #2--what do you mean by "wrapping literature around history" versus the other?

Thanks! There is so much wisdom in what you are saying, I'm just trying to make sure I understand it.


I love to listen to Andrew Kern too. He has deeply changed the way I think about education. I haven't listened to the Analytical Learning talk yet, but just today I was listening to his one on the Contemplation on Nature. I think it was one of the best lectures I've ever heard. It's free here (the James Taylor one is awesome, too): http://circeinstitute.com/free-audio/

I don't know if others have reached this conclusion, but I have started to find that Charlotte Mason and her ideas about education are very close to Kerns ideas. Even today as I was listening to his lecture on nature--I found myself thinking that this is what Mason meant when she wrote that "a child is a person". And I'm finding myself more and more drawn to the Charlotte Mason curricula out there like Ambleside Online and Charlottemasonhelp.com. I think they get it.

Great thread! It's great to know that there are others out there that love this stuff as much as I do!


You know, I was looking over AO's year 7, 8, 9 last night, and at the bottom of every page is a thank you to David Hicks, the author of Norms and Nobility, so it's pretty blatant that AO uses the scaffold that's put forth in the book. HOWEVER, as I was going through those years and writing down the scope and sequences, I was still not thrilled with the literature and history selections, and their focus is not one that I espouse. (I think for me, Mater Amabilis is a better fit, but still not right for our family.)

I am going to be using Angelicum Academy's literature sequences and study guides. Here's the 6th grade list. Dr. James Taylor, of the CiRCE institute wrote the study guides. Even up to 12th grade, the selections are fabulous.

Introduction by Dr. James Taylor

The Good Books by Dr. Elisabeth Carmack

Reading Skills

The Sixth Grade Good Books List

Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott

Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott

Work by Louisa May Alcott

Moods by Louisa May Alcott

Main-Travelled Roads by Hamlin Garland

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter

In the Reign of Terror by G. A. Henty

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

Michael O’Halloran by Gene Stratton Porter

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Dragon and the Raven by G. A. Henty

The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

With Wolfe in Canada by G. A. Henty

Evangeline by Henry Wadswoth Longfellow

Facing Death by G. A. Henty

Beric the Briton by G. A. Henty

The Sketch Book by Washington Irving

Henty Book List - Date/Location/Battle


LutheranGirl, I'm going to answer your question, too. :001_smile: It's not that history isn't going to be taught-it has to be taught. We need timeline pegs to hang our information on, but TWTM is a history centric method, of course! :001_smile: And, though character and virtue can be taught through history by reading historical fiction, there's better books out there for those ages, and those books get pushed aside for the historical fiction to fulfill the history obligation, which is wrapping the literature around history. In the past few months, I've been convinced by my own experiences that the great books have to come first. History can take the shape of a book of centuries, outlining, and papers, perhaps, but the bulk of reading is going to be spent on the best books for their age.


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#41 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:08 AM

Henty Book List - Date/Location/Battle


Ok.....I had a good laugh when I just read that! We were posting at the same time and blech, Henty, no thank you! :lol:

#42 justamouse

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:12 AM

Why am I rejecting that approach now? B/c wonderful children's classics like The Princess and the Goblin get overlooked and by-passed in order to make room for historical fiction. I have always read books like those for bedtime stories, but the number read is low compared to the high number of historical fiction we have read (or that I have assigned them to read). To what end? Yes, it creates an appreciation for the historical time period, but it is at the expense of the elevated language, vivid imagination conjured by the truly great books for children. It boils down to which is actually more important in the formation of a child's cognitive development?

Spending the last couple of yrs completely absorbed in great literature w/my younger kids has been enlightening. I have witnessed growth in vocabulary, searching for allusions, appreciation for literary techniques (pure enjoyment in how something is written, not necessarily analyzing the writing. This is a quote that my dd fell in love w/just from encountering the words on the page b/c of the images the evoked for her: I hied me away to the woods--away back into the sun-washed alleys carpeted with fallen gold and glades where the moss is green and vivid yet. THe woods are getting ready to sleep--they are not yet asleep but they are disrobing and are having all sorts of little bed-time conferences and whisperings and good-nights. That type of writing is not found in the majority of historical fiction. Setting/plot/dialogue are more the focus vs. the use of language. (If you have ever read any of Henty's books, my kids can't stand them. They say it is the same story w/different characters simply moved into a new setting.....:tongue_smilie: )

What I mean by #2 is that my literature selections from here on out are going to be selected by the merits of the piece of literature. For some works, like AGG, I can build history off of the literature. (actually an entire yrs worth of literature and history.) Annotated children's classics give background information that can lead down numerous paths from the allusions/references w/in the story itself. (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have more text for the annotations than for the stories themselves!!) In other cases, history and lit simply won't be interconnected in any deliberate way.

Does that help? (there are a lot of distractions around me, so I'm sorry if it isn't very coherent.)


Your experience mirrors my own-the better the literature I read them, the better thinkers they become, the more connections they make, the greater their 'truth' meter goes up. It all starts to come together for them- The virtue, the character, the beautiful. They've started to embody what they are surrounded with and now that I've seen the effect of great literature on a child, I can't go back to a history centric approach.
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#43 justamouse

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:12 AM

Ok.....I had a good laugh when I just read that! We were posting at the same time and blech, Henty, no thank you! :lol:


Yeah, my kids hate Henty, too. Those would get scratched. :001_smile:

#44 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:16 AM

Your experience mirrors my own-the better the literature I read them, the better thinkers they become, the more connections they make, the greater their 'truth' meter goes up. It all starts to come together for them- The virtue, the character, the beautiful. They've started to embody what they are surrounded with and now that I've seen the effect of great literature on a child, I can't go back to a history centric approach.


This. Exactly.
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#45 justamouse

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:19 AM

This. Exactly.


Have you found that it also feeds the household culture of education?

#46 Gratia271

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:24 AM

Are you familiar w/Sonlight? This thread http://www.welltrain...ad.php?t=358108 has a lot of people describing how they go about putting together their own plans. These descriptions are very similar to how I have done things in the past.

Why am I rejecting that approach now? B/c wonderful children's classics like The Princess and the Goblin get overlooked and by-passed in order to make room for historical fiction. I have always read books like those for bedtime stories, but the number read is low compared to the high number of historical fiction we have read (or that I have assigned them to read). To what end? Yes, it creates an appreciation for the historical time period, but it is at the expense of the elevated language, vivid imagination conjured by the truly great books for children. It boils down to which is actually more important in the formation of a child's cognitive development?

Spending the last couple of yrs completely absorbed in great literature w/my younger kids has been enlightening. I have witnessed growth in vocabulary, searching for allusions, appreciation for literary techniques (pure enjoyment in how something is written, not necessarily analyzing the writing. This is a quote that my dd fell in love w/just from encountering the words on the page b/c of the images the evoked for her: I hied me away to the woods--away back into the sun-washed alleys carpeted with fallen gold and glades where the moss is green and vivid yet. THe woods are getting ready to sleep--they are not yet asleep but they are disrobing and are having all sorts of little bed-time conferences and whisperings and good-nights. That type of writing is not found in the majority of historical fiction. Setting/plot/dialogue are more the focus vs. the use of language. (If you have ever read any of Henty's books, my kids can't stand them. They say it is the same story w/different characters simply moved into a new setting.....:tongue_smilie: )

What I mean by #2 is that my literature selections from here on out are going to be selected by the merits of the piece of literature. For some works, like AGG, I can build history off of the literature. (actually an entire yrs worth of literature and history.) Annotated children's classics give background information that can lead down numerous paths from the allusions/references w/in the story itself. (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have more text for the annotations than for the stories themselves!!) In other cases, history and lit simply won't be interconnected in any deliberate way.

Does that help? (there are a lot of distractions around me, so I'm sorry if it isn't very coherent.)


:iagree::iagree:

Your thoughts are always so helpful to me. Thank you for taking your time to share them!

#47 Gratia271

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:26 AM

Your experience mirrors my own-the better the literature I read them, the better thinkers they become, the more connections they make, the greater their 'truth' meter goes up. It all starts to come together for them- The virtue, the character, the beautiful. They've started to embody what they are surrounded with and now that I've seen the effect of great literature on a child, I can't go back to a history centric approach.


Another :iagree: completely!

#48 PollyOR

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 12:08 PM

I am :bigear:. Thanks for the this discussion. :)

#49 lovetobehome

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 01:33 PM

I am indebted to each of you who has taken the time to post. It's like a veil has been lifted, and I have begun to see things so differently now. I have a vision! I am excited that it is early spring, and I have months to learn, read, and experience...but I think I will start tomorrow, a whole new approach that embodies all I have been hoping for, wanting, and didn't even know what I was looking for. :-)
I kept saying to myself, and to my husband, I think I need to throw out 'school' and just learn to live peacefully and beautifully with my children, live a life of prayer in action.
LIGHTBULB MOMENT!
I do want our lives to be service to the Lord, turning to Him, lingering on the lovely. It's all coming together, and it has nothing to do with curriculum...
What a relief!

#50 Jayne J

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 02:51 PM

And thanks to 8filltheheart and Justamouse for confirming a thought that had been growing in my mind for a while--literature is important, and we (our family) should be focusing on it more. I begin to know what to cut, what obstacles to remove and which things must become primary. Our school was becoming dry bones, just covering ground, and I knew it was not right. We needed some flesh. I still have a lot of reading and thinking to do this summer, but my husband may be less hunted-looking than previously.:lol:


Thank goodness I haven't hit the "send order" button yet. :D



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