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I just love this thread. :) I am learning so much from all of you. Thank you for taking the time to write out your thoughts and ideas. I wish I had more to contribute, but for now I'm just soaking it all in. :)

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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 understood the "our country" more from the point of view of Circe, which is an American organization that was set up in response to circumstances here.

 

Yes, so did I. And in light of what I understood to be the "spirit" of the OP (asking about how to provide a classical education - not *just* about providing a classical education via the way Circe does it - people's responses reflect a wide variety of ideas that aren't just Circe-oriented), I thought Kern's post to be exclusive in this particular thread. Not all classical educators are providing such for the betterment of America. To me, that post, by a person revered by the homeschool community, gathered up all the American classically educating Moms from within a thread that wasn't about American/Circe-only education, gave them a pat on the back, and left the rest of us classical educators/thread contributors out. And I'm an American-born-and-raised Canadian dual citizen with that opinion. :D

 

Other than that, I've enjoyed parts of this thread; esp. the parts where people like 8FilltheHeart practically answer the original question: How does one provide a classical education?

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If you change your homeschool to more literature based rather than history based -- what do you use for teaching history? I am sorry if this was asked and answered earlier. I read the whole thread - I think:) There is the possibility that I missed it in the 50 plus pages of posts.

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Well, today I read bruce coville's version of hamlet to the kids, and it was wonderful. Seriously, I understand Hamlet better myself now, and am going to add t to my book list. We also got a few other Coville Shakespeare books, and are looking forward to reading them also found a Rumer Godden book and the boys are loving Reddy Fox! Thank you all!

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If you change your homeschool to more literature based rather than history based -- what do you use for teaching history? I am sorry if this was asked and answered earlier. I read the whole thread - I think:) There is the possibility that I missed it in the 50 plus pages of posts.

 

 

Sheldon, you just asked my weak spot, and one I've been asking myself for days, weeks, and a few months, since I recognized the differences in focusing on literature as opposed to history. :D

 

I signed up for LTW Mentor (Lost Tools of Writing yahoo group), and Mr. Kern had a short post that kind of lit things up for me.

 

I'm going to paraphrase-pick a big event. Say the Battle of Hastings (which is what I used to test this idea) and ask, should he have done it? Should Harold have promised William the crown? Should William have invaded England?

 

To use the 5 topics of invention

 

1. Pre-perception (almost like Prelection?) What do you know about this subject?

 

2. Perception-look at the ideas of truth within the pivot point. (should ___ have ___)

 

3. Contemplate types. Did Harold have a right to promise the crown? Was William right to go against the will of the English people?

 

4. Apprehension-points of understanding

 

5. Representation-embody the truth taught

 

he also said to add to this honorable/dishonorable advantageous/disadvantageous (which would totally rock the conversation).

 

Mr. Kern, feel free to correct if you see this!

 

I THINK I'm going to use a yearly study of TWTM's history breakdown and pick the turning points, and delve into them. I'm using Our Island Story and The Old World's Gifts to the New for my littles, which they love, so I'm going to ahve to figure out the practical application of all that, though that conversation went SO well! I was jumping up and down how that slight shift of questioning really brought more analytical depth out of them.

Edited by justamouse

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Well, today I read bruce coville's version of hamlet to the kids, and it was wonderful. Seriously, I understand Hamlet better myself now, and am going to add t to my book list. We also got a few other Coville Shakespeare books, and are looking forward to reading them also found a Rumer Godden book and the boys are loving Reddy Fox! Thank you all!

 

Wow, thanks for this! I'm off to add Coville's Shakespeare to our fourth grade studies next year :)

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Re:History

 

Justamouse's "turning points" reference reminds me of a series of Teaching Company lectures http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=8580 Turning Points in American History.

 

I ran across these lectures a few months ago and I love the emphasis on turning points. Turning points will always be debatable (and I love a good debate). This framework of turning points in history is quickly becoming the lens through which we will bring History into focus. (Not necessarily this set of lectures, BTW. I just mention them here in case anyone else wants to look into them.)

 

In addition, original sources will be at the core of our studies. Learning from original sources takes a certain level of maturity from the student, but I do believe that younger students can learn a lot when we model the process of reading, thinking about, and questioning the ideas embodied in original source documents.

 

If I try to plan too much ahead of time, I fail. I am much more effective choosing the resources ahead of time and then leading my children in discussion. I need my computer nearby because it is inevitable that my children will ask something that I do not have the answer to.

 

I just cannot scrape together enough time ahead of lessons to anticipate where our discussions may lead and to find all of the answers in advance. (I am not even sure this would be possible!) In this regard, I guess the way we cover history is somewhat emergent, but with starting points that I arrange.

 

I am likely breaking every rule of classical education, but my goals are to get my children to think critically, to seek wisdom and to develop virtue. In addition to great literature, I believe one of the greatest opportunities we have for these fruitful learning experiences comes from history.

 

So, why I am explaining this if it is not truly a classical approach? This thread has reminded me to focus on wisdom, truth, beauty and good. I have been professionally trained to think logically and to argue well. For me, a classical approach reminds me WHY I am teaching my children to understand, question, connect with knowledge and argue. The fact that rhetoric is the underpinning to all curriculum strikes a real cord with me- Discovery (Invention), Arrangement, Elocution, Memory, Delivery- music to my ears. This is who I am as a learner, and as a teacher.

 

Our lessons may not unfold in a strictly classical model, but they seek the same ends (as I understand them, anyway.)

 

Now, to focus my attentions on how I will seek these same ends in Science. Any suggestions?

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Yes, so did I. And in light of what I understood to be the "spirit" of the OP (asking about how to provide a classical education - not *just* about providing a classical education via the way Circe does it - people's responses reflect a wide variety of ideas that aren't just Circe-oriented), I thought Kern's post to be exclusive in this particular thread.

Perhaps we're looking at this from different directions, then. To me, given that "how to provide a classical education" is a practical question, the answer is going to depend to some extent on local circumstances and culture. And then the OP specifically mentioned Circe's talks. The writers and speakers involved with that organization are working on bringing their understanding of the subject part-way down to earth by addressing it in an American Christian context (though of course, much also applies to others). For instance, a primarily French-speaking family wouldn't necessarily be well served by the Lost Tools of Writing. Or the storybook lists. Or -- and this is just a thought -- maybe even the whole emphasis on Good Books. (CleoQC has posted elsewhere about the differences between the French and English approach to children's literature.)

 

And then, if we want to make use of their suggestions, we are going to be bringing them down even more to a family context. So it makes sense to me that the thread is both universal in appeal (at times), and also a bit US-centric (at others).

 

Speaking of the local, I am impressed that Wendell Berry will be speaking this year. I thought about trying to attend the conference last year, but this just adds to the draw. :)

Edited by Eleanor
clarification

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Perhaps we're looking at this from different directions, then. To me, given that "how to provide a classical education" is a practical question, the answer is going to depend to some extent on local circumstances and culture. And then the OP specifically mentioned Circe's talks. The writers and speakers involved with that organization are working on bringing their understanding of the subject part-way down to earth by addressing it in an American Christian context...

 

The answer is going to depend to some extent on local circumstances and culture if the thread OP was all about the Circe way of doing classical ed. And I don't think that's what the OP was completely about. And based on the replies, I don't believe everyone else who participated here thought so, either. You are correct - I am not reading the OP the same way you are. Thus, my frustration about his addressing all the participants as though they were all coming from the same American-centric view. And thus my speaking up on behalf of the others who don't hold that view.

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Sheldon, you just asked my weak spot, and one I've been asking myself for days, weeks, and a few months, since I recognized the differences in focusing on literature as opposed to history. :D

 

I signed up for LTW Mentor (Lost Tools of Writing yahoo group), and Mr. Kern had a short post that kind of lit things up for me.

 

I'm going to paraphrase-pick a big event. Say the Battle of Hastings (which is what I used to test this idea) and ask, should he have done it? Should Harold have promised William the crown? Should William have invaded England?

 

To use the 5 topics of invention

 

1. Pre-perception (almost like Prelection?) What do you know about this subject?

 

2. Perception-look at the ideas of truth within the pivot point. (should ___ have ___)

 

3. Contemplate types. Did Harold have a right to promise the crown? Was William right to go against the will of the English people?

 

4. Apprehension-points of understanding

 

5. Representation-embody the truth taught

 

he also said to add to this honorable/dishonorable advantageous/disadvantageous (which would totally rock the conversation).

 

Mr. Kern, feel free to correct if you see this!

 

I THINK I'm going to use a yearly study of TWTM's history breakdown and pick the turning points, and delve into them. I'm using Our Island Story and The Old World's Gifts to the New for my littles, which they love, so I'm going to ahve to figure out the practical application of all that, though that conversation went SO well! I was jumping up and down how that slight shift of questioning really brought more analytical depth out of them.

 

Thank you. This is the rub for me. I think though, it is doable to do both history and literature, at least for one of my children. My avid reader could easily read all of the historical fiction and biographies by herself. I could do history as a subject just as I do for science and math, add the relevant books for the child to read, then have our read aloud time focus on good books and spend some time really delving into those books.

I am not sure how this would work in practice, but it sounds good when I write it out. :001_smile:

My second child is not an avid reader, so this plan would not work for her.

 

I get that the whole point of this is NOT to have a boxed curriculum. I know that. BUT, but,but, but .... when you have lots of kids and school has to get done, boxed is better than nothing which is what would happen if I was left to my own devices.

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Now, to focus my attentions on how I will seek these same ends in Science. Any suggestions?

 

I've had a very long day, but did spot this question and wanted to answer with my own personal plans. I'm too tired to detail out exactly the method of it, but I'm using as a portion of next level learning the science series by Joy Hakim.

 

Here's a link if you've not seen these before:

 

http://www.joyhakim.com/

 

There are sample chapters, etc.

 

Now, for the microwave & laundry issues around here...:svengo:

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Thank you. This is the rub for me. I think though, it is doable to do both history and literature, at least for one of my children. My avid reader could easily read all of the historical fiction and biographies by herself. I could do history as a subject just as I do for science and math, add the relevant books for the child to read, then have our read aloud time focus on good books and spend some time really delving into those books.

I am not sure how this would work in practice, but it sounds good when I write it out. :001_smile:

 

This is what I'm thinking too. I'm sitting here paging through "The Annotated Alice" plotting tomorrow's lit lesson, while dd is reading a Rosemary Sutcliff historical fiction . . .

 

Can't I have it all???? :D

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If you change your homeschool to more literature based rather than history based -- what do you use for teaching history? I am sorry if this was asked and answered earlier. I read the whole thread - I think:) There is the possibility that I missed it in the 50 plus pages of posts.

 

For me that is easy and was an aha moment lol. We are gong to do history the way the earlier WTM suggested. Outline Kingfisher, choose a biography from the time period that interests the kids, and follow rabbit trails if they come up, but not force them because it is another box to check off. I am also going to spend more of my time learning about periods that previously didn't interest me. I find it easy to discuss and make interesting what I find interesting.

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It was great and I find myself energized for today. What was so interesting to me was the amount of conversation we had. Granted, my crew is still youngish (5th, 4th, 4th and 1st), but in asking more "should...." questions I was surprised by how opinionated they were :D.

 

In math we ran into another situation where they were taught a shortcut by a ps teacher. I explained that while they could use the shortcut, it would not be good in the long run and here was why. It was math with character study ;)

 

None of this was distinctly "classical," but it was implementing some principles that had spoken to me at the beginning of this thread. Mainly, reading good literature together (not necessarily historical fiction) and bringing the pursuit of virtue, beauty, and wisdom back into our homeschool.

 

This sounds lovely!! :D.

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This is what I'm thinking too. I'm sitting here paging through "The Annotated Alice" plotting tomorrow's lit lesson, while dd is reading a Rosemary Sutcliff historical fiction . . .

 

Can't I have it all???? :D

 

Why can't you have it all?? I have NO INTENTION of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I really like historical fiction, to read, for myself.....and some of my kids really like it too. I would never read ONLY Hx fiction, any more than ONLY read biography, or sci-fi....or....oh pick a genre:D

 

I say GO FOR IT!! If your kids like historical fiction, have fun tossing all those great Sonlight readers at them....if not, maybe they like the encyclopedia...like one of my Ds.

 

Save the Literature for read aloud and discuss it time. There really isn't a formula...or if there is one, WILL SOMEONE PLEASE SHARE IT???? Lol.

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Re:History

Now, to focus my attentions on how I will seek these same ends in Science. Any suggestions?

 

I have fallen head over heels in love with Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding.

 

It is demanding of a parent, and with a huge pile of everything, it may not be the thing for everyone.

 

That said, it is awesome. :D I bought it (the three levels, I have one in each) for my kindle and made myself a huge three ring binder. I outline every chapter, and wrote out the flow charts so that I can teach it. It is NOT open and go, you have to teach it. I wrote those outlines for the first few chapters for three days straight, every chance I got. Brought it in the car with me.

 

But it's blazing fun and totally worth it. :001_smile:

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Thank you. This is the rub for me. I think though, it is doable to do both history and literature, at least for one of my children. My avid reader could easily read all of the historical fiction and biographies by herself. I could do history as a subject just as I do for science and math, add the relevant books for the child to read, then have our read aloud time focus on good books and spend some time really delving into those books.

I am not sure how this would work in practice, but it sounds good when I write it out. :001_smile:

My second child is not an avid reader, so this plan would not work for her.

 

I get that the whole point of this is NOT to have a boxed curriculum. I know that. BUT, but,but, but .... when you have lots of kids and school has to get done, boxed is better than nothing which is what would happen if I was left to my own devices.

 

I hear you. Sometimes...like this year...I need boxed, but I don't let that stop me from sneaking in learning wherever I can. I bought a poetry anthology with a CD, and play it in the car. Same for our classical music studies this year....Stories of Great Composers in the car.....

 

Daily math, LA, Bible, history and science come from a box.

 

Our literature studies happen at bedtime. We read for an hour or 2 each night...discuss....and then talk about what we are reading the next day too....

 

The nice thing is school doesn't only happen during certain hours on certain days. Seat work happens Monday -Friday in the morning for my little boys and dd works a little longer. Lit studies happen more in our OFF time if that makes sense. We are all more relaxed then. :D

 

 

Enjoy!

Faithe

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Thank you. This is the rub for me. I think though, it is doable to do both history and literature, at least for one of my children. My avid reader could easily read all of the historical fiction and biographies by herself. I could do history as a subject just as I do for science and math, add the relevant books for the child to read, then have our read aloud time focus on good books and spend some time really delving into those books.

I am not sure how this would work in practice, but it sounds good when I write it out. :001_smile:

My second child is not an avid reader, so this plan would not work for her.

 

I get that the whole point of this is NOT to have a boxed curriculum. I know that. BUT, but,but, but .... when you have lots of kids and school has to get done, boxed is better than nothing which is what would happen if I was left to my own devices.

 

That's my plan. The kids will continue their historical tie in novels but read alouds will be for " fun". We almost always read aloud at night. It's easier to talk when snuggly:001_smile:. I'm hoping to hit many of the childhood classics I missed:lol: We do poetry but I'm going to try to do more art and music. Music with breakfast and lunch? Maybe some art prints next to our maps and timeline. Thinking, thinking and figuring I WILL NOT make a box to check.

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Can I just say how excited I am that I finally learned how to do a multi-post response!!

 

First of all I want to thank all of you for your amazing insights this past week. I have learned a lot and I really needed some motivation about now!

 

Sheldon, you just asked my weak spot, and one I've been asking myself for days, weeks, and a few months, since I recognized the differences in focusing on literature as opposed to history. :D

 

I signed up for LTW Mentor (Lost Tools of Writing yahoo group), and Mr. Kern had a short post that kind of lit things up for me.

 

I'm going to paraphrase-pick a big event. Say the Battle of Hastings (which is what I used to test this idea) and ask, should he have done it? Should Harold have promised William the crown? Should William have invaded England?

 

To use the 5 topics of invention

 

1. Pre-perception (almost like Prelection?) What do you know about this subject?

 

2. Perception-look at the ideas of truth within the pivot point. (should ___ have ___)

 

3. Contemplate types. Did Harold have a right to promise the crown? Was William right to go against the will of the English people?

 

4. Apprehension-points of understanding

 

5. Representation-embody the truth taught

 

he also said to add to this honorable/dishonorable advantageous/disadvantageous (which would totally rock the conversation).

 

Thank for this list. I love how you simplified everything, and it does seem to match up with what Kern wrote in one of his posts.

 

 

 

 

Can I just say I can't wait until the Circe forums open up?

 

I'm gonna be so :auto:

 

I have to be honest, I have been genuinely shocked by all the detractors. It actually just makes me very sad. This has been such an innocent and thoughtful conversation about classical education that I really can't see how anyone could have any problems with it, even if you are 100% classical.

 

 

 

I've had a very long day, but did spot this question and wanted to answer with my own personal plans. I'm too tired to detail out exactly the method of it, but I'm using as a portion of next level learning the science series by Joy Hakim.

 

Here's a link if you've not seen these before:

 

http://www.joyhakim.com/

 

There are sample chapters, etc.

 

Now, for the microwave & laundry issues around here...:svengo:

 

These books look beautiful and well written. Do you know what ages they are for?

 

Thanks again!

:grouphug:

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I just happened across the history series when I was purusing a library. Then I went to the website and discovered the science ones.

 

Then I downloaded the samples on the website and my heart was beating like a big bass drum.

 

Got home later that day and started researching this board about them.

 

I handle texts as guides basically. This particular series by Hakim fits like a hand in glove for me and the way I do things.

 

Grade level is a difficult quesrtion for me, I don't know what the age/stage these would equal on a universal kind of scale.

 

I'm getting them simply as a map and guide.

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it's amazing - I just began reading this thread and I'm so encouraged. I've always had a list of historical fiction books my kids were supposed to read, but we just never got to them - because I always had great old books that I thought "This is so awesome they just have to read it - even though it totally doesn't match our history!" I guess my love for good books won the battle and that's ok. No more guilt for not reading the recommended historical fiction! :)

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For me that is easy and was an aha moment lol. We are gong to do history the way the earlier WTM suggested. Outline Kingfisher, choose a biography from the time period that interests the kids, and follow rabbit trails if they come up, but not force them because it is another box to check off. I am also going to spend more of my time learning about periods that previously didn't interest me. I find it easy to discuss and make interesting what I find interesting.

 

Thank you!

 

Why can't you have it all?? I have NO INTENTION of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I really like historical fiction, to read, for myself.....and some of my kids really like it too. I would never read ONLY Hx fiction, any more than ONLY read biography, or sci-fi....or....oh pick a genre:D

 

I say GO FOR IT!! If your kids like historical fiction, have fun tossing all those great Sonlight readers at them....if not, maybe they like the encyclopedia...like one of my Ds.

 

Save the Literature for read aloud and discuss it time. There really isn't a formula...or if there is one, WILL SOMEONE PLEASE SHARE IT???? Lol.

 

I really love the look of Memoria Press. If I only had one or two children, I would totally do that. I have 4 though and running 4 separate programs sounds like a recipe for disaster. I think we will continue with combining my oldest two in history (Sonlight next year) and science and add either Memoria Press or Angelicum Academy study guide for 4 or 5 books each year. We already read aloud or listen to audio recording of books that are considered great literature.

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These books look beautiful and well written. Do you know what ages they are for?

 

I don't know what age the author intended them for but I use them with a 12 year old and it works out just fine. Maybe 5th grade at the very youngest. There are supplemental books with worksheets and experiments and writing assignments that are maybe a little bit more mature. The supplemental books aren't necessary but I like them and use them (and they are written to public schoolers). They are published by the Johns Hopkins Talent Development Program/Smithsonian.

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I know it was asked upstream but I couldn't find an answer, so I am going to ask as well ... If you only had the means (take that to mean money or time or both ;) ) for either Teaching the Classics or The Lost Tools of Writing, and your oldest was just hitting the end of fifth grade, which would you pursue for yourself, and eventually for your children?

 

I was never taught this way and I am sorry to say, but I have never read many of the books I am now adding to our home library to read with my children. Either my teachers didn't know much about how to truly teach literature or they just assumed we had been taught by someone previously, I do not know. But, I need to teach myself (and have bought a few books already listed in this thread including Peter Kreeft - already in love!).

 

So, I'm thinking one of the two above mentioned programs would be good for me right now, and at least Teaching the Classics looks like something I could immediately put into practice (I was thinking LToW would be something for me to use to teach myself until my kids were old enough to use the program for themselves). Suggestions?

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I shut off all the lights in the house.

 

Everyone is asleep now but me. This is honestly my favorite time for studying. There is an absence and space here where I can just focus on me and my thoughts. It's what one person I read recently stated, "It's ONE conversation."

 

A hundred years ago, when I was doing the poetry circuits in a place almost 3 thousand miles from where I sit now; I was being hit left and right by all these "people" and their work with words.

 

I didn't know it then, that the things I'd hear and see would literally sear into my memory for a lifetime, and that I'd return to them again and again, but this time, without the partnership and deep understandings that can form, connect and "become" something, even if it was just in a one.second.too.long glance. sort of way. Being blown apart inside, something new would grow, and we'd experience it as a collective, and then as solitary individuals..but still..in the sharing of "it" - it was rather holy in a way.

 

So to bring this full circle, this W. Barry....on one of the podcasts, he does a reading of six of his poems. I just sat here in the dark, listening about white haired things below, a thing he calls a "they" and a "you"..sprinkled with some sun, raspberries and of time and eternity.

 

After I heard that, I suddenly found myself missing the days of the circuit. If "we" had been gathered together, listening carefully to that; it would certainly be food for one of those glances and understandings.

 

I miss living among writers and poets like him.

 

My oldest daughter, at the time, was attending (there's that word again) the slams, the outings, the meetings right long side me. Now, today, as a full grown adult; the exposures she had then remain with her now.

 

I won't stop to think who she might be today had we not done the circuits together, but I will stop to think about this youngest one.

 

She does not attend readings, slams, performances - and it would be unreasonable for me to think that the magic that happened to my oldest will happen to my youngest in the vacuum I've set before her on the table.

 

She, this young one, needs to hear this. She'll be eating it for breakfast tomorrow, if only it's ghost, I promise you that.

 

Wendell, his background, I've only hit a few pages worth, but I already know where this is headed.

 

And I love it.

 

Edit: Upon a little bit more reading, I am utterly fascinated by the fact Wendell Berry was a friend of Thomas Merton. We've been studying the life of Merton here. Mr. Berry's biographical "lists" of associates- um, they are significant indeed.

 

But the Merton thing, because I understand it, I can only sigh and dream of what their lunches and conversations might have been.

 

I'm going to look at the stars out my back door now.

Edited by one*mom

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it's amazing - I just began reading this thread and I'm so encouraged. I've always had a list of historical fiction books my kids were supposed to read, but we just never got to them - because I always had great old books that I thought "This is so awesome they just have to read it - even though it totally doesn't match our history!" I guess my love for good books won the battle and that's ok. No more guilt for not reading the recommended historical fiction! :)

 

My thoughts exactly! If it's good literature we'll still read it but will mix in a bunch other good stuff as well---guilt free!

 

We'll still do SOTW and things like that that we love.

 

Someone else mentioned boxed curriculum. I would be VERY lost now if I hadn't used boxed curriculum for years! It taught me a lot so now I feel able to plan more on my own. Very grateful for it and think that you could still do some curriculums in the CIRCE type mode as a mindset.

 

I still love WTM, LCC, and CM all of which heavily influence the content of what I use. I think CIRCE is another source to draw from now as well and so far that's from a philosophical standpoint in that that through this thread is affecting my heart.

 

What a rich era we get to homeschool in with soooo much at our disposal!

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I know it was asked upstream but I couldn't find an answer, so I am going to ask as well ... If you only had the means (take that to mean money or time or both ;) ) for either Teaching the Classics or The Lost Tools of Writing, and your oldest was just hitting the end of fifth grade, which would you pursue for yourself, and eventually for your children?

 

I was never taught this way and I am sorry to say, but I have never read many of the books I am now adding to our home library to read with my children. Either my teachers didn't know much about how to truly teach literature or they just assumed we had been taught by someone previously, I do not know. But, I need to teach myself (and have bought a few books already listed in this thread including Peter Kreeft - already in love!).

 

So, I'm thinking one of the two above mentioned programs would be good for me right now, and at least Teaching the Classics looks like something I could immediately put into practice (I was thinking LToW would be something for me to use to teach myself until my kids were old enough to use the program for themselves). Suggestions?

 

I have one finishing 5th grade and have been debating this too. I think I'm going with Teaching the Classic because it seems more transferrable to all my kids. But then I think, maybe we should just enjoy and discuss. :confused::confused: Part of the joy of this thread is getting away from shoulds/boxes/rules.

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I know it was asked upstream but I couldn't find an answer, so I am going to ask as well ... If you only had the means (take that to mean money or time or both ;) ) for either Teaching the Classics or The Lost Tools of Writing, and your oldest was just hitting the end of fifth grade, which would you pursue for yourself, and eventually for your children?

 

I have one finishing 5th grade and have been debating this too. I think I'm going with Teaching the Classic because it seems more transferrable to all my kids. But then I think, maybe we should just enjoy and discuss. :confused::confused: Part of the joy of this thread is getting away from shoulds/boxes/rules.

 

Take this with a grain of salt because my oldest is 7. But I've been reading CiRCE and getting their CDs for years now and drooling over LTOW (and considering purchasing it at conference for me this year), but I would get Teaching the Classics now and LTOW in a later year (or read the long thread on writing in the Logic Stage forum before any purchases).

 

A friend and I watched the TTC videos several years ago, and if you don't have that kind of understanding literature background, the writing in LTOW will be much more difficult. They are not essentially the same. TTC teaches the parent (and the student if you allow them to watch) how to

find plot points, rising and falling action, theme, character development, etc. It is not a writing program. LTOW is a writing program. It will do some of that, but in essentials it is taking the student through how to write.

 

LTOW can *wait* for later in Logic Stage, some teachers teach it earlier, but it isn't necessary (from all that I've read).

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So, I'm thinking one of the two above mentioned programs would be good for me right now, and at least Teaching the Classics looks like something I could immediately put into practice (I was thinking LToW would be something for me to use to teach myself until my kids were old enough to use the program for themselves). Suggestions?

 

On the LToW site there are downloadable pages for you to look at, and they also say that the course should be started in 7th. I can fully understand that after seeing the level of skills involved. I am going to be using it with my 7th grader next year.

 

It's what one person I read recently stated, "It's ONE conversation."

 

:D I know whatchoo been readin.

Edited by justamouse

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So um, is anyone really up on their Wendell Barry?

 

I'm embarrassed that I'm at ground zero.

 

Any good stories out there?

 

I have only read one book of Wendell Berry's. It was fiction (Hannah Coulter) and I found it to be very thought provoking as her life is similar to mine (an agrarian lifestyle.) I started to read one of his essay collections but I just wasn't in the right head space at the time to conquer it.

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So um, is anyone really up on their Wendell Barry?

 

I'm embarrassed that I'm at ground zero.

 

Any good stories out there?

 

If Kern and Circe make your head spin, Berry will make it explode. I have only read his essays--Home Economics is my favorite collection--but I know many people like his fiction, especially, "Jayber Crow." Really, any collection of essays will give you food for thought for decades to come. Wrap your head first to keep your brains from bubbling out of your ears though. :D

 

ETA: Berry's "Imagination In Place" also looks great-- it is now on my reserve list at the Library. If you don't hear from me again, know that my head did in fact explode, but I likely died happy...

Edited by urpedonmommy
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I know it was asked upstream but I couldn't find an answer, so I am going to ask as well ... If you only had the means (take that to mean money or time or both ;) ) for either Teaching the Classics or The Lost Tools of Writing, and your oldest was just hitting the end of fifth grade, which would you pursue for yourself, and eventually for your children?

 

I was never taught this way and I am sorry to say, but I have never read many of the books I am now adding to our home library to read with my children. Either my teachers didn't know much about how to truly teach literature or they just assumed we had been taught by someone previously, I do not know. But, I need to teach myself (and have bought a few books already listed in this thread including Peter Kreeft - already in love!).

 

So, I'm thinking one of the two above mentioned programs would be good for me right now, and at least Teaching the Classics looks like something I could immediately put into practice (I was thinking LToW would be something for me to use to teach myself until my kids were old enough to use the program for themselves). Suggestions?

 

I'm right there with you. I was never taught to do anything more with a book than read it (and badly at that, apparently). I looked at TtC last year, but didn't spring for it. I have decided to purchase it this year. You should listen to some of Adam Andrews' seminars, they're very helpful and inspiring, but in a bite-sized way.

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If Kern and Circe make your head spin, Berry will make it explode. I have only read his essays--Home Economics is my favorite collection--but I know many people like his fiction, especially, "Jayber Crow." Really, any collection of essays will give you food for thought for decades to come. Wrap your head first to keep your brains from bubbling out of your ears though. :D

 

ETA: Berry's "Imagination In Place" also looks great-- it is now on my reserve list at the Library. If you don't hear from me again, know that my head did in fact explode, but I likely died happy...

 

 

Don't get the book, we need you here. Really. :D

 

I only hyper-linked Barry's name earlier, but for those that scrolled by it in life as it happens...Wendell Barry is the Paideia Prize winner at Circe for the 2012. This is the tenth year of the awards at conference.

 

Anyway, the availability of things Barry are highly available, which is ironic, because he is a bastion of the anti-tech life. There are some websites run by fans, (one of them, a Brother) - forums, just reams of things, and they are all excellent and insightful. Very unique man.

 

I found this in a poetry archive, and I wanted to share. I think there are many phases and stages of life where this is a perfect key to understanding, and I would hope that it speaks to someone here.

 

For myself, personally-I'm printing this and tucking it in my purse. I might even laminate it so I don't wear it to shreds...I dunno yet. It's the kind of thing you want to print copies of and leave in mysterious places to send messages to people..lol...

 

Here it is, the title is Do Not Be Ashamed

 

barry.jpg

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!

 

Snipped the following quote

 

I am convinced that my desire to control our homeschool has led me to dread and disconnection.

 

Our homeschooling days have always been both beautiful and fruitful when I have planned a little and lived a lot! As my children get older, I add in self-education (because frankly, when they are little it is easy to stay ahead of them without a lot of extra time reading, studying, learning- but that does not last for long!) But, as you and others have said, that self-education cannot be a path back to control. Self-education allows me to offer more to my children. As my children offer their thoughts, feelings and ideas from a place of vulnerability, I must meet them at that place.

 

This method of education requires fluidity, doesn't it?

 

I am just so excited to be back on the right track.

 

The reasons I got off track were likely many but they centered around societal influence for measurable results and traditional modern methods, my desire to control the process and my desire for an easier way. Little did I know that the "easier way" I followed this past year would lead me to dread homeschooling and begin thinking about sending my DC to school. No longer were the, "We love to homeschool. It is a way of life for us." statements coming from my mouth.

 

Yea! To be back here is a very good thing. And just look at the company I am in!

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Hi Justamouse,

 

Thanks for taking the trouble to represent what you listened to. You got it right with one little detail:

 

the five stages you described are the stages of the mimetic sequence, which is to say, the stages a child must go through to learn a truth or apprehend an idea.

 

the five topics of invention are questions that you can always have at hand no matter what you are studying, teaching, writing about, thinking about, or making a decision about. The are:

 

definition: what do you mean/what is it/what kind of thing is it/what are its parts, etc.

 

comparison: how is X like Y? different?

 

Circumstance: What was happening at the time?

 

relation: what caused X? What are the effects of X? etc.

 

Authority: who saw it? Who is able to judge it? etc.

 

Advantage and honor are additional topics that we introduce in higher levels of LTW, but that you think with anyway, so you might as well use them!

 

So the distinction I'm making is between the order of teaching a lesson on the one hand and the questions you can use to think about anything on the other.

 

They definitely interweave and LTW is about using both to teach thinking, writing, and teaching effectively.

 

I hope that clarifies more than it confuses. Keep the two different purposes clear in your mind and that will help:

 

On the one hand: thinking about something before you communicate it

On the other: teaching something interactively to somebody else.

 

Blessings!

 

 

Sheldon, you just asked my weak spot, and one I've been asking myself for days, weeks, and a few months, since I recognized the differences in focusing on literature as opposed to history. :D

 

I signed up for LTW Mentor (Lost Tools of Writing yahoo group), and Mr. Kern had a short post that kind of lit things up for me.

 

I'm going to paraphrase-pick a big event. Say the Battle of Hastings (which is what I used to test this idea) and ask, should he have done it? Should Harold have promised William the crown? Should William have invaded England?

 

To use the 5 topics of invention

 

1. Pre-perception (almost like Prelection?) What do you know about this subject?

 

2. Perception-look at the ideas of truth within the pivot point. (should ___ have ___)

 

3. Contemplate types. Did Harold have a right to promise the crown? Was William right to go against the will of the English people?

 

4. Apprehension-points of understanding

 

5. Representation-embody the truth taught

 

he also said to add to this honorable/dishonorable advantageous/disadvantageous (which would totally rock the conversation).

 

Mr. Kern, feel free to correct if you see this!

 

I THINK I'm going to use a yearly study of TWTM's history breakdown and pick the turning points, and delve into them. I'm using Our Island Story and The Old World's Gifts to the New for my littles, which they love, so I'm going to ahve to figure out the practical application of all that, though that conversation went SO well! I was jumping up and down how that slight shift of questioning really brought more analytical depth out of them.

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I am likely breaking every rule of classical education, but my goals are to get my children to think critically, to seek wisdom and to develop virtue. In addition to great literature, I believe one of the greatest opportunities we have for these fruitful learning experiences comes from history.

 

Our lessons may not unfold in a strictly classical model, but they seek the same ends (as I understand them, anyway.)

 

Now, to focus my attentions on how I will seek these same ends in Science. Any suggestions?

 

two things that I hope will help:

 

1. Classical education is not rule based, but purpose driven. Classical education, historically, has been about becoming human (this goes back to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and continues through the church fathers, to the Renaissance and early modern world), which means virtue.

 

It's inquiry driven, not methods driven. When your purpose is clear and you are driven by inquiry, you will find the tools and approaches you need. That is why for us as westerners we need, as a community, lots of Greek and Latin readers and writers: because if we lose the tradition we lose the old paths carved out for us by our ancestors. And our tradition is in Greek and Latin.

 

But it's not about the methods or curriculum you use but the reason you use them. Concrete, real world virtues!

 

2. You teach science the same way, but it can be helpful to realize how science was regarded prior to the 18th century. Science, you may know, comes from the Latin word: scientia, which basically means "knowledge."

 

In the 18th century the natural philosophers of France and England seem to have decided that they were the only ones who could give real knowledge, so they called themselves "scientists" as though those who had been studying ethics, politics, philosophy, and theology had nothing to contribute.

 

It's important, therefore, to love science and exalt it to the right place, and in my opinion it would be easier to do that if we called it by the right name. We should either call it natural science or natural philosophy.

 

Let me explain what I mean by teaching science the same way:

 

Whether you are teaching math, literature, history, or chemistry, the person learning is still human. He will still be learning the way humans learn. And that means that he'll need new information connected to old information, he'll need it communicated in a language he can understand, and he'll need to see the truths you want him to learn in flesh and blood types (examples, illustrations, metaphors, analogies, etc.).

 

The first step in teaching science, therefore, is specifying what kind of thing you are teaching in a given lesson. It could be one of three things:

 

1. Facts/information

2. Truths/ideas

3. Skills/arts/virtues

 

Science, therefore, is just as dependent on our ability to use the tools of invention from rhetoric as any other subject.

 

If you are going to teach information, the good news is, you can just tell them or show them. There are certainly ways to make it more interesting, but if it is facts you want them to learn it is facts that you should tell them. I always wanted my children, for example, to memorize that wonderful, gorgeous, mind-blowing table of the elements (I have a coffee cup with that table on it). They didn't, but that's an example of facts you could have them learn.

 

If you want to teach them skills, which would seem to be important, that's a little harder. But if they are going to "do" science, they need to learn the skills required to do science. For example, you can't do science without attentiveness, recollection, careful note-taking, close observation, alert senses, math (for higher studies) etc.

 

Therefore, to teach science they should learn how to draw close representations of things they are looking at so they can learn to see. They should cook, so they learn to attend to smells and mixes. They should be sing so they are taught to listen closely. They should garden so they can become familiar with the world as it is and note that you can't have your way with it. And so on.

 

And of course there are some skills that are more uniquely scientific, such as design and implementation of experiments, advanced calculations, etc.

 

Here they need coaches, which may come from your home or from a co-op you are a part of, or some other source.

 

Finally, there are truths that science teaches or is based on. The latter include things like cause and effect, the law of non-contradiction, the law of identity, and other principles learned in logic/rhetoric.

 

The former would include things like gravity, generation and destruction (things come into being and go out of being - are born, die; are built, broken, etc.), change, etc.

 

Natural science has to do with things that are, how things are, and how things change in the material universe. It is totally dependent on truths drawn from metaphysics and it is totally responsible to truths drawn from ethics. It can't exist on its own.

 

So the other thing students need to learn in natural science class is its place. In an ethical and sensible cosmos, its place is lofty: just below the ethical sciences.

 

In a meaningless, material multiverse its place is nowhere: on top of all the meaninglessness it can't explain but enables us to use or adapt to.

 

That gives you three practical "assignments":

 

1. Determine how you will structure the overall science program from childhood to graduation. I recommend identifying the big ideas and truths you want them to learn, the skills they'll need to master, and the main domains of information they'll need to know. One page for each should do, though you might want to break the domains of information into matter (chemistry), force (physics), and life (biology).

 

2. Break that into annual syllabi.

 

3. Identify specific lessons based on the facts, truths, or ideas you are teaching. This is the ongoing lesson preparation.

 

Then get the program that helps you fulfill your objectives instead of implementing somebody else's curriculum.

 

I'm sure that has answered every conceivable question about science, so I'll go away now.

 

:auto:

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I am not good at putting things into my own words so here are a couple of links to information that helped me clarify what I want:

 

http://www.thenewatlantis.com/authors/matthew-crawford

 

http://www.accsedu.org/files/2009%20CLASSIS/2009%20Spring%20Classis%20Online.pdf

 

The first is a link to some articles by the author of Shop Class as Soul Craft. I particularly liked the last one about science and liberal education.

 

The second is an old newsletter from the Logos school. I don't necessarily agree with everything they say and it is quite religious (just a warning if it matters to you - it wasn't that hard to sort the method from the messenger) from a religious viewpoint that I don't share but there is a lot about teaching science classically that helped me think about what I was doing and how. This quote made me want to step up my teaching, lol, and use the grammar, logic, rhetoric methods and Sayer's stages in how and when I taught what.

 

A physics student in a classical

and Christian school sits down

to take a mechanics test. After

completing the typical grammar

questions of recalling certain

terms and equations, and the

typical logic questions of applying

those equations in solving word

problems, he then encounters the

following rhetoric test question:

“You are seated in a gathering

of somewhat sophisticated adults

watching a World Series baseball

game on TV. In response to a

batter hitting the ball over the

outfield fence for a home run,

one of the people in the group

wonders out loud how fast the ball

must have been going right after

the bat hit it in order to barely

make it over the fence such a far

distance away. Another person in

the group, knowing that you are

trained well in mechanics, turns

to you and asks you to explain the

physics involved in the baseball’s

travel. Write a detailed response,

clarifying all the factors involved.â€

Not only must the student

express exceptional understanding

of the phenomenon in question, he

must also now clearly, concisely,

and persuasively communicate

this understanding in terminology

his audience can grasp. Learning

i s p u s h e d t o w a r d s f r u i t i o n .

Science utilizes observation

and measurement to uncover

the regularities inherent in our

physical environment. With a

Christian and classical approach to

education, we naturally provide our

students with both the ideological

and historical foundations to

science

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Do a couple years of teaching the classics first, then when your child is in seventh or eighth grade re-visit LTW.

 

I know it was asked upstream but I couldn't find an answer, so I am going to ask as well ... If you only had the means (take that to mean money or time or both ;) ) for either Teaching the Classics or The Lost Tools of Writing, and your oldest was just hitting the end of fifth grade, which would you pursue for yourself, and eventually for your children?

 

I was never taught this way and I am sorry to say, but I have never read many of the books I am now adding to our home library to read with my children. Either my teachers didn't know much about how to truly teach literature or they just assumed we had been taught by someone previously, I do not know. But, I need to teach myself (and have bought a few books already listed in this thread including Peter Kreeft - already in love!).

 

So, I'm thinking one of the two above mentioned programs would be good for me right now, and at least Teaching the Classics looks like something I could immediately put into practice (I was thinking LToW would be something for me to use to teach myself until my kids were old enough to use the program for themselves). Suggestions?

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I have to get going to class now, but a favor please?

 

Can someone out there jabber on a bit about the "tools of invention of rhetoric" a bit?

 

My mind wants to pull back and look in Norms/Nobility for a connect, this one feels squishy to me and not quite set in cemented knowledge for me.

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Take this with a grain of salt because my oldest is 7. But I've been reading CiRCE and getting their CDs for years now and drooling over LTOW (and considering purchasing it at conference for me this year), but I would get Teaching the Classics now and LTOW in a later year (or read the long thread on writing in the Logic Stage forum before any purchases).

 

A friend and I watched the TTC videos several years ago, and if you don't have that kind of understanding literature background, the writing in LTOW will be much more difficult. They are not essentially the same. TTC teaches the parent (and the student if you allow them to watch) how to

find plot points, rising and falling action, theme, character development, etc. It is not a writing program. LTOW is a writing program. It will do some of that, but in essentials it is taking the student through how to write.

 

LTOW can *wait* for later in Logic Stage, some teachers teach it earlier, but it isn't necessary (from all that I've read).

 

I'm right there with you. I was never taught to do anything more with a book than read it (and badly at that, apparently). I looked at TtC last year, but didn't spring for it. I have decided to purchase it this year. You should listen to some of Adam Andrews' seminars, they're very helpful and inspiring, but in a bite-sized way.

 

Do a couple years of teaching the classics first, then when your child is in seventh or eighth grade re-visit LTW.

 

Thank you for your input ... I will go with TtC and when ds#1 is 7th or 8th grade (depending on how well he is doing with WWS by then, I will get LToW, probably for both of us. ;)

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You are correct - I am not reading the OP the same way you are. Thus, my frustration about his addressing all the participants as though they were all coming from the same American-centric view. And thus my speaking up on behalf of the others who don't hold that view.

 

i want to apologize to any of you who felt excluded by my comment. It was such an "American" thing to do, and as one who has lived outside of the States for a good decade I'm sorry to have fallen into that mistake.

 

I believe that American education, which I know best is in deep crisis and having reflected on this for nearly 20 years I believe that the Home School mom really is our last best hope. Whether that applies to other countries as well I cannot say.

 

What I meant to be praising, and being a man I stumbled over my missing chromosome, was the devotion of all of you mothers to your children. It is the love of a mother for her child that always "saves the world."

 

Please forgive me for not being more considerate of all of you.

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http://www.societyforclassicallearning.org/images/conf2009/andrew_kern_implementing_liberal_arts.mp3

 

If you are looking for inspiration, especially if you are not classically educated, this is a good talk to listen to. You may want to fast forward past the first few minutes (which have technical issues) and the next few minutes (which have techies talking). But past that is really good! :D

 

Just to encourage anyone still hanging on but not getting it, listen to the Audios. I had to listen to the Audio for any of it to really sink in. But this is all something you can do, even if you don't want to change the curriculum you are using. Curriculum is a tool, and so are these lectures and these ideas.

 

And a big thank you to evryone who posted. I am now reading Climbing Parnassus, Kopff's The Devil Knows Latin, and The Abolition of Man -- none of which was on my summer reading list before this thread! There is just so much here to delve into before next school year.

Edited by Asenik

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two things that I hope will help:

 

1. Classical education is not rule based, but purpose driven. Classical education, historically, has been about becoming human (this goes back to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and continues through the church fathers, to the Renaissance and early modern world), which means virtue.

 

It's inquiry driven, not methods driven. When your purpose is clear and you are driven by inquiry, you will find the tools and approaches you need. That is why for us as westerners we need, as a community, lots of Greek and Latin readers and writers: because if we lose the tradition we lose the old paths carved out for us by our ancestors. And our tradition is in Greek and Latin.

 

But it's not about the methods or curriculum you use but the reason you use them. Concrete, real world virtues!

 

2. You teach science the same way, but it can be helpful to realize how science was regarded prior to the 18th century. Science, you may know, comes from the Latin word: scientia, which basically means "knowledge."

 

In the 18th century the natural philosophers of France and England seem to have decided that they were the only ones who could give real knowledge, so they called themselves "scientists" as though those who had been studying ethics, politics, philosophy, and theology had nothing to contribute.

 

It's important, therefore, to love science and exalt it to the right place, and in my opinion it would be easier to do that if we called it by the right name. We should either call it natural science or natural philosophy.

 

Let me explain what I mean by teaching science the same way:

 

Whether you are teaching math, literature, history, or chemistry, the person learning is still human. He will still be learning the way humans learn. And that means that he'll need new information connected to old information, he'll need it communicated in a language he can understand, and he'll need to see the truths you want him to learn in flesh and blood types (examples, illustrations, metaphors, analogies, etc.).

 

The first step in teaching science, therefore, is specifying what kind of thing you are teaching in a given lesson. It could be one of three things:

 

1. Facts/information

2. Truths/ideas

3. Skills/arts/virtues

 

Science, therefore, is just as dependent on our ability to use the tools of invention from rhetoric as any other subject.

 

If you are going to teach information, the good news is, you can just tell them or show them. There are certainly ways to make it more interesting, but if it is facts you want them to learn it is facts that you should tell them. I always wanted my children, for example, to memorize that wonderful, gorgeous, mind-blowing table of the elements (I have a coffee cup with that table on it). They didn't, but that's an example of facts you could have them learn.

 

If you want to teach them skills, which would seem to be important, that's a little harder. But if they are going to "do" science, they need to learn the skills required to do science. For example, you can't do science without attentiveness, recollection, careful note-taking, close observation, alert senses, math (for higher studies) etc.

 

Therefore, to teach science they should learn how to draw close representations of things they are looking at so they can learn to see. They should cook, so they learn to attend to smells and mixes. They should be sing so they are taught to listen closely. They should garden so they can become familiar with the world as it is and note that you can't have your way with it. And so on.

 

And of course there are some skills that are more uniquely scientific, such as design and implementation of experiments, advanced calculations, etc.

 

Here they need coaches, which may come from your home or from a co-op you are a part of, or some other source.

 

Finally, there are truths that science teaches or is based on. The latter include things like cause and effect, the law of non-contradiction, the law of identity, and other principles learned in logic/rhetoric.

 

The former would include things like gravity, generation and destruction (things come into being and go out of being - are born, die; are built, broken, etc.), change, etc.

 

Natural science has to do with things that are, how things are, and how things change in the material universe. It is totally dependent on truths drawn from metaphysics and it is totally responsible to truths drawn from ethics. It can't exist on its own.

 

So the other thing students need to learn in natural science class is its place. In an ethical and sensible cosmos, its place is lofty: just below the ethical sciences.

 

In a meaningless, material multiverse its place is nowhere: on top of all the meaninglessness it can't explain but enables us to use or adapt to.

 

That gives you three practical "assignments":

 

1. Determine how you will structure the overall science program from childhood to graduation. I recommend identifying the big ideas and truths you want them to learn, the skills they'll need to master, and the main domains of information they'll need to know. One page for each should do, though you might want to break the domains of information into matter (chemistry), force (physics), and life (biology).

 

2. Break that into annual syllabi.

 

3. Identify specific lessons based on the facts, truths, or ideas you are teaching. This is the ongoing lesson preparation.

 

Then get the program that helps you fulfill your objectives instead of implementing somebody else's curriculum.

 

I'm sure that has answered every conceivable question about science, so I'll go away now.

 

:auto:

 

Andrew-

 

Ah, now I see your master plan...

 

Well, there goes the saving grace for the modern educational system.

 

You are trying to kill all of us homeschooling mothers off by working us to death!

 

Blessings,

Connections

(Tongue firmly in cheek- except for the blessings part)

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i want to apologize to any of you who felt excluded by my comment. It was such an "American" thing to do, and as one who has lived outside of the States for a good decade I'm sorry to have fallen into that mistake.

 

...

What I meant to be praising, and being a man I stumbled over my missing chromosome, was the devotion of all of you mothers to your children. It is the love of a mother for her child that always "saves the world."

 

Please forgive me for not being more considerate of all of you.

 

Thank you for addressing this here. Much appreciated.

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