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The Promise of Classical Education


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We have more or less followed SWB's guidelines for our homeschool, particularly in regards to the history/literature component. Dd13 will be going into 9th grade in the fall. I gave her the 9th grade literature list from WTM, and asked her to pick out twelve titles she'd be interested in reading. She chose the Illiad and Odyssey because Odysseus is an old friend. She was introduced to him eight years ago, and has since read Sutcliffe's versions and has also listened to them on audiobook. Moreover, she can't wait to read The Birds by Aristophones because she finds the premise hilarious, which is because she has read Greek myths not only for school, but also for her own enjoyment because she is a reader. This is pretty much what SWB promised, and (so far) it has proven true.

It is hard to believe we are here on the verge of high school.

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Thank you for this post. It’s tough to find posts from veteran homeschoolers who stuck to a certain way of educating all the way through. I’ve always been curious to see what the fruits of certain methods would have in our children!


Ive always been fond of SWB’s way of the student learning to research on their own and educate themselves. It’s so different then the way I was taught to spoon feed kids in public schools with worksheets and PowerPoints. 

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I have been quite pleased with how my kids are turning out.

DS24 is fully an adult.  He learned at home until the end of 9th grade, then did dual enrollment between a small charter and the local college for his last three years.  He has taken a break from college.  He did not find his footing after a year away, and has the ability to go back anytime he wants, but he's not there yet. It doesn't worry me.  At his age he is well read, loves math, and has developed all of the skills I was adamant he learn. He casually dropped last night that he was asked to proofread materials because his grammar/writing ability was highly regarded.  The child who struggled so hard between the ages of 9 and 13 grew up confident in his skills.

DS13 just went to school this year.  He received a silver medal in the National Latin Exam and was one of 2 seventh graders invited to compete for his school's Certamen team. He had read many of the books they studied or talked about in school, to the point where when I went to get him something for the summer, I realized he had read nearly all the classics I thought were appropriate for his age group.  (We will hold off on Brave New World and the like). He also failed history for his second semester. Not because he didn't know it (Greece & Rome), but because he didn't see the point in the art projects his teacher asked for. His last round of Greece and Rome had been reading and responding to original texts and pulling together sources. He lacked the maturity to do the work because the teacher asked for it, choosing only to do the work he felt appropriate. He is my rulebook child, but only if he thinks the rules are correct.  It will be interesting to see what the next year brings as he's starting to figure things out. 

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