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Using the Great Books Academy booklist--crazy or not?

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As I look toward the future with my dds, I am strongly leaning toward having them follow (mostly!) the reading list from the GBA. I will also have my youngers to school as well; is this an idea destined for disaster? I had a lot of views on the Logic stage board, but no responses yet...anyone here want to take a stab at it??


My reasoning for this is that I would like to get back to and make one more pass through the 4 year history rotation; I would like to have them exposed to these works; though this IS admittedly a heavy list, it would constitute history+literature+philosophy+writing(about what they read), and would really only need to have math and science added to it--plus some language (probably Latin) and continuing with music lessons.

Am I out of my mind? :D:bigear:

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I am not an expert homeschooling mom. I am a recent University of Dallas graduate. UD has a Core Curriculum which takes over two years to complete and contains a lot of the Great Books, meaning I have actually read either parts or all of quite a few of the books on this list within the past several years. My major was history, which means a couple more Great Books were added that other majors wouldn't have read.


One of the things I am most grateful for in life is that I've read works by Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Herodotus, Thucydides, Livy, Boethius, etc. However, just because I read them doesn't mean I had a clue, and some of these works are *very* difficult to get through. I don't know if I could have appreciated Aristotle or Plato in ninth grade at all -- and I greatly enjoyed various Dickens books at the age of 11.


That being said, the only books I would worry about would be the hefty philosophy books. I would think that the Aeneid, the Odyssey, the Iliad, etc. would be fine for high schoolers, if perhaps a bit difficult to get into. The Divine Comedy is the same way, however I would *highly* recommend a version with *footnotes* instead of *endnotes*, as the book is almost incomprehensible without constantly referring to the explanations of who all those Italians are! Also, Thucydides could be quite fantastically boring. Again, though, these are definitely surmountable. Philosophy is more difficult -- but I'd say, try it anyway and see what happens.


In short, having actually had to read quite a few of those books: no, you aren't out of your mind! :D But you may want to allow for the possibility that the philosophy just doesn't quite compute yet, IMHO.

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I teach a great books class and we are in our 3rd year. We have covered about 70% of the books listed on the Great Books list you linked. I agree with Hannah to a point. I have a degree in philosophy and there are some books I left off the list because they were just too challenging for me to teach to high schoolers, but many of their favorite books over the last couple of years have been philosophy. They read the Republic and did well with it. (I didn't do Aristotle, because we were too close to the end of the year.) Political philosophy has been a hit this year. We have had some good discussions after reading Locke and Rousseau.


Herodotus was the best book we read our first year, and they loved the Divine Comedy. We learned so much about Florintine politics!


You can do this! I have 12 students in my class and I have not thrown anything at them that they have not been able to handle.

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Without a live, in the flesh teacher, hosting scheduled classes, I wouldn't want to tackle even half the list in 4 years, and I'm an adult.


I'd rather be learning HOW to read these types of books and choose a few of the best ones, to fall in love with, and spend a life time tackling and learning to love this list.


I believe that high school is the START of the journey on the ground smelling the flowers, rather than the whole trip packed into 4 years, flying above in an airplane.

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Another option, if you haven't already looked at them, is Rutherford's Question for the Thinker series. There are three books, Greeks, Romans, and Old World Europe. They use Great Books, but what I believe is a more manageable list over GBA.


If you search here there have been a few reviews. I have not seen them in person, but have them marked as a Great Book option.


corrected link http://www.emmanuelbooks.com/display_results.cfm

Edited by elegantlion
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