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:lol: I kept complaining to DH about how there was nobody I could talk to about some of this stuff. Then I just accepted it. And poof, this thread came up. Funny how that happens.

 

And speaking of coincidence, I just came on here to share the following beautiful post. It speaks of the relationship between student and teacher... and also about the isolation we feel at times.

 

'A School for the Lord's Service': St. Benedict's Rule and Classical Education

 

That link is so good!

 

Ok, I just came out of the attic carrying a huge stack of books. I didn't find everything I was looking for b/c some of the boxes of books simply didn't get unpacked when we moved here 4 yrs ago! But, I have 5 bookshelves in my attic (I am my own small library w/no place for all the books in my house!) and I did pull out some books that I bought several yrs ago and never used. (huge shame on me!!)

 

Anyway, The Great Ideas Program series http://www.thegreatideas.org/gip.html actually includes some information and self-check questions.

 

The Gateway to Great Books includes introductions and shorter/less-"intense" works. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_to_the_Great_Books (I could only find 2 of the 10 volumes. The rest of the books must be in one of the unpacked boxes.)

 

Another title I pulled out is THe Great Conversation.

 

(But, unfortunately, the reality is that more than likely the majority of the wisdom in these books will be remaining between their covers b/c I just don't have that much free-reading time. But I thought someone else might enjoy knowing of their existence. :) )

:001_smile:

Oh yay, more books!

 

We could all get jobs as hand sellers, and book sales would go through the roof.

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:lol: I kept complaining to DH about how there was nobody I could talk to about some of this stuff. Then I just accepted it. And poof, this thread came up. Funny how that happens.

 

And speaking of coincidence, I just came on here to share the following beautiful post. It speaks of the relationship between student and teacher... and also about the isolation we feel at times.

 

'A School for the Lord's Service': St. Benedict's Rule and Classical Education

 

I really enjoyed the blog link! Thanks for sharing.

 

Fabulous thread, everyone. I feel like I'm back in college where we stayed up late at all-night diners wrangling about how one truly defines beauty or if one discovers truth best through reason or experience. Love it!

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I really enjoyed the blog link! Thanks for sharing.

 

Fabulous thread, everyone. I feel like I'm back in college where we stayed up late at all-night diners wrangling about how one truly defines beauty or if one discovers truth best through reason or experience. Love it!

:iagree: It has been an incredibly thought-provoking conversation.

 

 

So here are my night-time thoughts before I crawl into bed: what I am about to post is blatantly Christian, so ignore if that offends.

 

One of the visions that has gone through my head during this thread is the scene in Screwtape Proposes a Toast where Screwtape discusses everyone being required to have the education "like everyone else." He is celebrating the destruction of classical education and the destruction of the deliberate formation of the individual as an individual. I decided to post this small part b/c maybe it might relieve some of the fear of not "being like everyone else." Seeking the truth, the good, the beautiful all targeted toward the formation and cultivation of wisdom is the anti-thesis of what Screwtape desires!

 

(Hopefully the quote will encourage you to throw off the feeling of the need to replicate institutionalized education resembling Screwtape's one described in glee.)

 

I'm deleting all but enoughkey words for anyone who wants to search for this selection:

 

The basic principle of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be “undemocratic.†These differences between pupils – for they are obviously and nakedly individual differences – must be disguised. ...

If ever there were a bunch of stalks that needed their tops knocked off, it was surely they. As an English politician remarked not long ago, “A democracy does not want great men.â€

(If you have never read Screwtape Letters, well, I don't let my kids move out of our home w/o having read it. ;) Here is a link to just Proposes a Toast http://screwtapeblogs.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/screwtape-proposes-a-toast/
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Lol, :iagree:

 

Math-I have NO clue how to teach math with virtue, all I know is that I'm not doing a very good job of it at all, it's a black white thing to me. There are these facts and they need to be understood and here is how three plus two equal five and never six.

 

I can see that math holds truth. Because two plus three equal five and never six. And I know it's the way the universe is ordered.

 

Other than that, I've got 'nuthin.

I've only read about half of the thread so far, so I apologize if this has been mentioned.

 

The exciting part of math, to me, is the beauty of it. I mean, ponder for a moment this thought: if you make a perfect tiny circle on a piece of paper and measure its diameter, then take that diameter like a piece of string and make it fit around the outside of the circle... it will fit once, twice, three times, and then a little bit more. 3.14 times to be fairly precise. Pi times.

 

And then, if you make a perfect, enormous circle out in a farmer's field, and you measure across its diameter with a long piece of rope, and then use that rope to see how many times it will fit around the circle, it will fit once, twice, three times, and a bit more. 3.14 times.

 

It doesn't matter HOW large or small we make the circle. It will always do this bit of magic. Isn't that, you know... beautiful in its own way? Kind of mind-boggling? Something that deserves a moment of awe?

 

That's just one small example of beauty in math. There are so many.

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Andrew, thanks so much for joining the discussion!

It is a blessing to have this community, I wonder where we would be without a way to talk through this together. I know where *I* would be (collecting more curriculum, and worrying)

I came into this so lost, but through reading and praying and thinking, I have come to realize this is all just what I somehow knew once upon a time, and buried underneath my quest for the perfect curriculum tools to meet the goals established by the world. Though outwardly I would say I was rejecting their standards, in the back of my mind was always fear and anxiety that I would let my kids down if I didn't provide them with a 'standard' education like their counterparts in the schools. I wanted to improve on it, but I wasn't thinking drastically enough! But lately, more and more over the past year, I could not get away from this feeling that I needed to throw off all this 'education' stuff, and just live beautifully with my children....to coexist without nagging, pestering, hounding, snapping. My witness before them was not pretty....my energy was all on 'getting through our schoolwork'. And I was growing more and more uncomfortable with this. I was toying with the idea of throwing out all the schoolwork, and spending Lent praying together, reading the lives of the saints and those who have trod the path, enjoying nature, cooking, loving. I felt like I could EITHER do school well OR live life well.

The lightbulb for me here is that living life well IS school. That doesn't mean we won't do any work or lessons or that we become unschoolers, but that our focus is on wisdom, virtue, truth, beauty. In each other, in what we say and do, in what we read and write, in everything. If we approach lessons with that in mind, we become more human....it is holistic. We are not warring with ourselves, divided and broken. There is a greater purpose and unity in our efforts.

I feel this tremendous burden has lifted, this impossible task seems possible again. In fact, it seems like it is EXACTLY WHAT I (and we as a family) NEED to draw near to our Lord, and to approach what He means for us to be. I am beyond excited...I am ecstatic.

 

This is similar to what happened to me.

 

I am enjoying the thread and have thoughts to share later, but for the math question, a good book for Christian moms and upper high school students to read is:

 

Mathematics: Is God Silent?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-God-Silent-James-Nickel/dp/187999822X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332268616&sr=1-1

 

(Busy week and I think I have strep, waiting on a 72 hour culture because my AF clinic couldn't get along with the AF clinic that does the rapid strep test. They were surprised I was so understanding about the whole issue...I told them I used to work in the AF and I understood beaurocracy.)

 

I am reading this book right now and LOVING it though only in the history part still. Math with virtue: using it as a medium towards thinking big thoughts about God via the discovery and contemplation of the infinite detail, order and beauty of His creation. Einstein said that the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility. The reality of it's comprehensibility is awesome to contemplate but it is no mystery - Romans 1:19-20 "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;" - math points to God and it ought to be inspiring worship rather than the wringing of necks. (I have these enlightened moments when the children are in bed sleeping far more so than when they are awake, unfortunately although I am a bit of a dork and actually like math even when it seems dull so long as its me doing it and not me trying to get a 6yo to do it).

 

 

 

Eta: I'm up to page 20 but REALLY need to sleep.

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I've only read about half of the thread so far, so I apologize if this has been mentioned.

 

The exciting part of math, to me, is the beauty of it. I mean, ponder for a moment this thought: if you make a perfect tiny circle on a piece of paper and measure its diameter, then take that diameter like a piece of string and make it fit around the outside of the circle... it will fit once, twice, three times, and then a little bit more. 3.14 times to be fairly precise. Pi times.

 

And then, if you make a perfect, enormous circle out in a farmer's field, and you measure across its diameter with a long piece of rope, and then use that rope to see how many times it will fit around the circle, it will fit once, twice, three times, and a bit more. 3.14 times.

 

It doesn't matter HOW large or small we make the circle. It will always do this bit of magic. Isn't that, you know... beautiful in its own way? Kind of mind-boggling? Something that deserves a moment of awe?

 

That's just one small example of beauty in math. There are so many.

 

I love this. I don't really get math, and I would never have thought this out quite in this way. DD hates math, and I'm going to share this with her tomorrow. Hopefully she will see the wonder in it as I do. Thanks for sharing.

 

I can't believe I've finally made it to the end of this thread! For now anyway. Off to reread....

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Wow. My brain is in complete overload. .... I'll have to reread this. So, does this mean instead of spreading out authors (say the Chronicles of Narnia) that we should read them in a row? I get the feeling this is gold, but I can't quite grasp it. 8FillTheHeart - I'd love to hear more about your studies!

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(If you have never read Screwtape Letters, well, I don't let my kids move out of our home w/o having read it. ;) Here is a link to just Proposes a Toast http://screwtapeblogs.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/screwtape-proposes-a-toast/

 

That quote was quite disturbing. I read Screwtape so long ago I hardly remember a thing about it. Obviously I need to remedy that.

 

We've been making a book of centuries to use as the spine of our history-not like CM, though I did read about exactly how she had the children make theirs. And, I don't agree with her idea that the children should be left to it alone to put in only what strikes them.

 

I guess it would be more discovery led in that I'm not pursuing one era at a time, though not so quite led in that I do intend to cover all times.

 

I've also been making family trees that we've used as we read through Our Island Story so that the order of kings wasn't lost.

 

The BOC is NOT a timeline, nor is it a printout (hate bought stuff like that). I got a bound sketchbook at the store and took ideas from this blog post.

 

THIS IS NOT MY BLOG but this post is where I got the ideas from

 

Yes, it was a bit of upfront work for me (and I'll get to taking pictures of ours) but I think it needs to be ascetically pleasing so that the hatchlings will take care with it. I want it to be a family heirloom, not printouts that will hit the recycle bin.

Edited by justamouse
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This is such a wonderful thread. It had caused me to think so much as we are starting our homeschool journey. Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas and thoughts! I have so much to learn! sigh...

 

My reply below is Christian and is not meant to create an argument. Please skip if you wish:

 

 

 

I think math put on display God's glory. Everything in creation and the universe screams of a creator simply by the incredible mathematical and scientific principles that are involved. God is orderly. Scripture is chock full of illustrations of this. Some of these include- creation, Noah's ark, design of the tabernacle, numbering our days, etc.

 

When we learn mathematics, it is an attempt to discover more of who God is. It is an attempt to "think God's thoughts after him". We learn it not to get into college but to discover the beauty of the ordered world around us and thus discover more of who God is. It inspires us to copy this loveliness and order in our own lives. Organization, design, and neatness are some personal virtues that come to mind as a result of this.

 

Well, I don't know how coherent this is. But, I am very grateful for this thread.

 

Lauren

 

 

I'm so thankful to find others of like mind. I loved reading (the first installment of) 8FillTheHeart on Math also (I'm up to page 22 so am yet to see if she came back to those thoughts).

 

I just want to add that I wish there was a whole forum for this discussion not a single thread. I can't express how much I'm getting out of everything that everyone has had to say on here.

 

I empathize. This thread could be many threads. Does Circe not provide a discussion forum? That would be awesome.

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Circe does have a forum -- The Lost Tools of Writing forum. Working through LToW is a simple and powerful way to do what Andrew describes. It all leads back to LToW, and we haven't found anything quite like it.

Edited by 1Togo
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Do you mean the one on Yahoo?

 

It's posted in the upper right hand corner as a link on this page:

 

http://www.losttoolsofwriting.com/pages/online-academy-faculty

 

You can read the message board here, but have to sign up to post to the board I believe. Catch me if I'm wrong on that one.

 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LTWmentor/messages?o=1

Edited by one*mom
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:iagree: It has been an incredibly thought-provoking conversation.

 

 

(If you have never read Screwtape Letters, well, I don't let my kids move out of our home w/o having read it. ;) Here is a link to just Proposes a Toast http://screwtapeblogs.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/screwtape-proposes-a-toast/

 

I can't believe how incredibly prophetic and true this is. And I've read Screwtape, too, but don't even remember it.

 

I also want to thank you personally for your thoughts and wisdom about how to best approach this thing we call Classical Education. I have been thinking about your point about wrapping history around literature rather than the other way around from the beginning of this whole conversation. That was the first "a-ha" moment I had while following this thread (which I'm so glad I've done). It's dawned on me that the modern classical education movement has in large part been a response to the dismal history instruction that is going on in schools today, but that maybe they've gone to the other extreme of making everything about history. Maybe the point is that we need to let history be history and let literature be literature. Maybe it's even an abuse of a good or great book to read it purely for it's historical value or relevance. I'm starting to think that maybe this relates to what Kern is talking about in his talk on The Contemplation of Nature that this falls under the category of misunderstanding the nature of a thing.

 

 

 

Everyone please read this:

I emailed the Circe Institute telling them that they seriously need to consider setting up a forum (so we aren't stuck discussing these things in a single thread forever). They said that they are working on it and plan to have it up by the end of April. :hurray:

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Should I keep listening? I'm less than two minutes in and he is quoting Burke.

 

Burke's Reflections was published in 1790. Antoinette was executed in 1793. In 1790 Louis and Marie were residing in the Tuileries Palace, but they weren't under house arrest until June of 1791.

http://www.pbs.org/marieantoinette/faces/louis_xvi.html

 

The Norton Anthology says this about Burke:

 

"Reflections has become the classic, most eloquent statement of British conservatism favoring monarchy, aristocracy, property, hereditary succession, and the wisdom of the ages. Earlier in his career Burke had championed many liberal causes and sided with the Americans in their war for independence; opponents and allies alike were surprised at the strength of his conviction that the French Revolution was a disaster and the revolutionists 'a swinish multitude.'" (The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume D p. 152)

 

Burke wasn't as interested in protecting Marie as he was perpetuating the status-quo when it came to women. That's why Mary Wollstonecraft got so fired up.

 

"The first of many published replies to Burke's Reflections was by Mary Wollstonecraft, who appears elsewhere in this anthology as author of A Vindication on the Rights of Woman, the landmark work in the history of feminism. Toward the end of 1790, when Burke's Reflections came out, she was working in London as a writer and translator for the radical publisher Joseph Johnson. Reading Burke, she was outraged at the weakness of his arguments and the exaggerated rhetoric with which he depicted the revolutionists as violators of royalty and womanhood. Always a rapid writer, she composed her reply, A Vindication of the Rights of Men, in a matter of days, and Johnson's printer set it in type as fast as the sheets of manuscript were turned in." (Norton, pp. 158-159)

 

Norton picks up the story later on:

"This was a formidable piece of argumentation; its most potent passages represent the disabilities and sufferings of the English lower classes and impugn the motives and sentiments of Burke. This work, the first book-length reply to Burke, scored an immediate success, although it was soon submerged in the flood of other replies, most notably Tom Paine's classic Rights of Man (1791-92). In 1792 Wollstonecraft focused her defense of the underprivileged on her own sex and wrote, in six weeks of intense effort, A Vindication on the Rights of Woman." (Norton, p. 168)

 

I would recommend the rest of the Norton's introduction to her work. Very telling.

 

So should I continue listening? I'm not sure I have the same definition of "virtue." I think Burke was a stinker who wanted the aristocratic male to maintain his place on top. In any case, Antoinette wasn't dead in 1790. Nor was she really "imprisoned" - not in the sense of the word that we understand; that was still to come. Nor was Burke championing the rights of women as we understand them; he certainly wasn't claiming that women deserved any rights or respect beyond that which made men feel good about themselves.

 

Wollstonecraft argues in her Vindication that women should be granted an education. I agree. Heartily. Yes, we should educate the girls. Does Burke agree? Is he really saying that chivalry is dead as the word might be defined by us gals on this board? Or is he only desperate that something else is dying? Norton says this about Mary: "She shows that women, because they are denied their rights as human beings, have been forced to seek their ends by means of coquetry and cunning, the weapons of the weak; and, having demonstrated that it is contrary to reason to expect virtue from those who are not free, she also recognizes that men, no less than women, inherit their roles, and that the wielding of irresponsible power corrupts the oppressor no less than it distorts the oppressed." (Norton p. 169)

 

I think you would be hard pressed to equate Burke's Reflections with a modern definition of the word "virtue" when it comes to Marie and her rights.

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

Edited by Janice in NJ
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[quote=LutheranGirl;3744345

 

Everyone please read this:

I emailed the Circe Institute telling them that they seriously need to consider setting up a forum (so we aren't stuck discussing these things in a single thread forever). They said that they are working on it and plan to have it up by the end of April. :hurray:

 

:hurray::hurray::hurray::hurray::party: I've been so grateful to wake up and see the thread still going strong, still inspiring me. I hope to see you all there--and here as well! (You all have time for more than one intense and stimulating forum right?)

Edited by urpedonmommy
My Latin is awful...fora? forum? forums? Heck, I'll just rephrase.
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The BOC is NOT a timeline, nor is it a printout (hate bought stuff like that). I got a bound sketchbook at the store and took ideas from this blog post.

 

THIS IS NOT MY BLOG but this post is where I got the ideas from

 

Yes, it was a bit of upfront work for me (and I'll get to taking pictures of ours) but I think it needs to be ascetically pleasing so that the hatchlings will take care with it. I want it to be a family heirloom, not printouts that will hit the recycle bin.

 

 

This blog is kept by some of my good friends!! That's so cool that you found it.

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Should I keep listening? I'm less than two minutes in and he is quoting Burke.

 

 

Which talk are you listening to? Is it possible that Burke has some good insights even if he was a "stinker"? I do remember Kern citing Burke, but I can't remember why. Sometimes he cites people he doesn't agree with to make a point (like Dewey and Nietzsche).

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Everyone please read this:

I emailed the Circe Institute telling them that they seriously need to consider setting up a forum (so we aren't stuck discussing these things in a single thread forever). They said that they are working on it and plan to have it up by the end of April. :hurray:

Yay!

 

He's not quoting Burke for a study in virtue, but instead to illustrate the framework of moral imagination.

 

You can find more of this concept at the Russell Kirk Center.

 

http://www.kirkcenter.org/index.php/detail/the-moral-imagination/

 

There is a lot of study available in the above article. Get those pens out. :)

 

You. You know you make it impossible for me to get anything done, right? :D OK, I'm getting stuff done, but so not what I had planned. This is me being Mary, not Martha.

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I finally caught up.

 

Everyone please read this:

I emailed the Circe Institute telling them that they seriously need to consider setting up a forum (so we aren't stuck discussing these things in a single thread forever). They said that they are working on it and plan to have it up by the end of April. :hurray:

 

Glad to hear this. What wonderful initiative you have. :D

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Hi Andrew, glad you've stopped by.. :)

 

Originally Posted by one*mom viewpost.gif

:::beatle fan screaming fit::: He's here, he's here! :w00t:

 

:lol: My thoughts, too. ;)

 

I noted last night after reading this that your name gets to be right beside his in the list of tags. You must feel very honored. Or perhaps Kern should feel very honored. :D

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This thread has really spoken to my heart. It's bringing back my dreams & goals when we first started HS & it kept slipping away from me. That motivation has been renewed & I'm just soaking it all in. My children will thank you. :)

 

Everyone please read this:

I emailed the Circe Institute telling them that they seriously need to consider setting up a forum (so we aren't stuck discussing these things in a single thread forever). They said that they are working on it and plan to have it up by the end of April. :hurray:

 

Awesome. Just Awesome. :D

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This thread will keep me busy for quite a long while, but am popping in to say that I just finished listening to one of the talks linked to by one*mom below. It's about 2/3 of the way down, by Linda Dey, titled, Reading the Right Books. I enjoyed it.

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.societyforclassicallearning.org/index.php/resources/media/15-2011-conference-recordings

 

I've snipped the following a bit...

I also want to thank you personally for your thoughts and wisdom about how to best approach this thing we call Classical Education. I have been thinking about your point about wrapping history around literature rather than the other way around from the beginning of this whole conversation. That was the first "a-ha" moment I had while following this thread (which I'm so glad I've done). It's dawned on me that the modern classical education movement has in large part been a response to the dismal history instruction that is going on in schools today, but that maybe they've gone to the other extreme of making everything about history. Maybe the point is that we need to let history be history and let literature be literature. Maybe it's even an abuse of a good or great book to read it purely for it's historical value or relevance. I'm starting to think that maybe this relates to what Kern is talking about in his talk on The Contemplation of Nature that this falls under the category of misunderstanding the nature of a thing.

Here are a couple of C.S. Lewis quotes from Linda Dey's talk. The first, I think, has to do with the bolded above... how the wrong intent can get in the way.

 

"Those who do things to become cultured are the least likely to do so."

 

"The true aim of literary studies is to lift the student out of his provincialism by making him 'the spectator', if not of all, yet of much, 'time and existence'."

...and goes on to say...

"'History' alone will not do, for it studies the past mainly in secondary authorities. It is possible to 'do History' for years without knowing at the end what it felt like to be an Anglo-Saxon eorl, a cavalier, and eighteenth-century country gentleman. The gold behind the paper currency is to be found, almost exclusively in literature. In it lies deliverance from the tyranny of generalizations and catchwords. Its students know (for example) what diverse realities-Launcelot, Baron Bradwardine, Mulvaney-hide behind the word militarism."

 

I want to give a big blanket THANK YOU to all for this thread! It has been a timely March rejuvenation to help get over the February slump.

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Just wait until you start taking graphic layout notes instead of on lined notepaper trying to tie all the thoughts together.

 

Ow.

 

2012-03-23102746.jpg

 

Haha, yes! This is what my (lined) notebook looks like after yesterday's audio lectures. I should totally drop the lines...why didn't I think of that?

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Thought I'd drop back in to say hello! I feel for those of you who are reading this from the beginning! I have read each response as it comes along, so have had some time to digest.

I have also seen some of the spin-offs,which have interesting posts, too. I feel like there is a mini-renaissance going on here! We should be encouraged! I am sure all of our homes and the ways in which we each pursue educating our children (and ourselves) are quite different, but lovely all the same as we are reaching higher and deeper. The suggestions are fabulous. I love that the tone has been so positive, uplifting, and kind. Not judgmental or comparing, or bashing one curriculum or another. That is a BEAUTIFUL thing.

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Here are a couple of C.S. Lewis quotes from Linda Dey's talk. The first, I think, has to do with the bolded above... how the wrong intent can get in the way.

"Those who do things to become cultured are the least likely to do so."

"The true aim of literary studies is to lift the student out of his provincialism by making him 'the spectator', if not of all, yet of much, 'time and existence'."

...and goes on to say...

"'History' alone will not do, for it studies the past mainly in secondary authorities. It is possible to 'do History' for years without knowing at the end what it felt like to be an Anglo-Saxon eorl, a cavalier, and eighteenth-century country gentleman. The gold behind the paper currency is to be found, almost exclusively in literature. In it lies deliverance from the tyranny of generalizations and catchwords. Its students know (for example) what diverse realities-Launcelot, Baron Bradwardine, Mulvaney-hide behind the word militarism."

 

The quote I bolded above reminds me of one by Nathaniel Hawthorne: "Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."

 

...If you will sit down quietly to read a book...

 

"Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become."----C.S.Lewis

Edited by LivingHope
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8Fill, thank you for the Lewis quotation. Add me to the list of those who haven't read his work in years. The mention of the role of the middle class reminds me of Charles Murray's Coming Apart, which DH and I have been discussing recently. Disheartening as it might be, we can't just ignore the "system." We have to take an interest in the education of all children, because they are our neighbors. This is one of the great benefits of CiRCE -- that they don't encourage the attitude of division between schools and homeschoolers. There's a great deal we can learn from one another, regardless of where we do our teaching.

 

Another benefit of an active CiRCE forum would be that we share a basic worldview, which allows for deeper discussion without all the explanations and qualifiers. So I think it's a great idea, and doesn't take away from the importance of these boards. Susan has created a sort of "public square" where people with very different beliefs and assumptions can all come together, share what they have in common, and express disagreements in a (usually) civil way -- which I think is amazing in itself. :)

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I've only read about half of the thread so far, so I apologize if this has been mentioned.

 

The exciting part of math, to me, is the beauty of it. I mean, ponder for a moment this thought: if you make a perfect tiny circle on a piece of paper and measure its diameter, then take that diameter like a piece of string and make it fit around the outside of the circle... it will fit once, twice, three times, and then a little bit more. 3.14 times to be fairly precise. Pi times.

 

And then, if you make a perfect, enormous circle out in a farmer's field, and you measure across its diameter with a long piece of rope, and then use that rope to see how many times it will fit around the circle, it will fit once, twice, three times, and a bit more. 3.14 times.

 

It doesn't matter HOW large or small we make the circle. It will always do this bit of magic. Isn't that, you know... beautiful in its own way? Kind of mind-boggling? Something that deserves a moment of awe?

 

That's just one small example of beauty in math. There are so many.

 

You are so right.

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As I reread the OP, it is so encouraging that the entire thread seems to support the notion that, although the "what" (i.e which books, curriculum, etc.) is certainly relevant, the "how" is what is at the core.

 

I find that freeing. In the past, I have spent a considerable amount of time and money trying to find the perfect things to use in our homeschool. I have chased other people's ideas, purchased the books that other people loved and tried to school as others did. With all the ideas, inspiration and book suggestions here and in s/o threads I needed to check myself so that I do not start doing that again.

 

How much better off I am concentrating on HOW to discuss the true, the good and the beautiful, instead of worrying that I have the "wrong" book or curriculum. In fact, I have experienced so much confidence (and grace) simply by making the decision that this is what I want to do. I am even better off "doing" it and readjusting, learning as I go, instead of worrying about doing it wrong.

 

There are a lot of classics out there and only so much time to read them. Better for me to select a few and get to work on them then to agonize over the choices I make. The very fact that a definitive list does not exist is evidence of this, right?

 

Better for me to spend my time reading threads like this, listening to the lectures that are linked and contemplating and gazing on the vision of how I want to teach my children.

 

This process is also so much more fulfilling. It feels like what I was made to do. I did not find homeschooling very fulfilling this past year- a year in which I selected curriculum (carefully) and wrote lesson plans and my children largely worked independently to complete it. Why was I doing this if I was not offering a part of myself in the process? Something was missing and this thread has been leading me to the answers.

 

Equally as encouraging is the fact that I get the sense that we are all continuing this work while we make these adjustments. No one seems like they are throwing in the towel and starting from scratch. We are working with what we have, where we are at, and doing our best to move in a refined direction.

 

Thank you all for your continued thoughts. This entire conversation has been invaluable.

Edited by Connections
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Connections and Others,

 

So, exactly what does the "how" look like for you? Exactly what do you plan to do with all the books in your bookcarts? Read them aloud or just get your children to read them? Will you read them first to develop discussion points? Will you read them aloud and stop your reading to ask questions? Will you wait for your children to see what is valuable, true or beautiful? In other words, how do you plan to make concrete the lovely ideas and inspiration?

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Connections and Others,

 

So, exactly what does the "how" look like for you? Exactly what do you plan to do with all the books in your bookcarts? Read them aloud or just get your children to read them? Will you read them first to develop discussion points? Will you read them aloud and stop your reading to ask questions? Will you wait for your children to see what is valuable, true or beautiful? In other words, how do you plan to make concrete the lovely ideas and inspiration?

I think 8 and I and a few others were already having these moments-it was the realization of reading good/excellent books and leaning focus there. With me at least. I fell into it backwards, a huge Aha in the conversations with the kids.

 

We talk a lot in our house, and that's how I started realizing it. The kids were bringing these thoughts and ideas from the books into our daily chatting. So no, we don't stop and ask, we discuss things all the time. What I will do with more purpose is bring the discussions deeper. I'm not one for reading and then talking about it, this happens after they digest and ponder the stories. It didn't happen after the first book, or the second, it started happening after we had enough stories under the belt to draw comparisons. Then we were able to relate them to life.

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