SC022: A Liberal Arts Education

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Season 4: Classical Education Basics

The liberal arts are the tools of learning.

These are not subjects, not really. These are modes, ways of thinking, practices that teach us how to think and how to learn. They are not seven topics to study, but seven paths that prepare us for thinking, for philosophy, for virtue, for life. They are the prerequisite skills for an understanding of the world.

Grammar teaches the skill of “grasping concepts”; it includes not only formal language grammar (English and Latin), but also the material that informs our understanding, our grasping, of language: literature and history.

Logic, or Dialectic, teaches the skill of reasoning, questioning, and thinking. It includes research and of dialog as dialectic modes. Logic is taught so reasonable, stimulating, edifying conversation may be had.

Whereas logic is more about expressing oneself correctly, rhetoric is about expressing oneself winsomely and beautifully. The persuasive essay more than the book report is part of rhetoric. Rhetoric could include the subjects of debate or media studies as well as composition.

The first of the four number-centric quadrivium studies, arithmetic comprises what we would know as elementary mathematics: knowing the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts, as well as how to figure all the long forms.

Geometry studies is the study of geometry, but deductive reasoning is part and parcel of that study.

Historically and definitely classically, it has been astronomy that has been the area of study requiring the scientific method and abstract mathematics. It is about creating mathematical theories and systems that fit the observed data best.

Music as a liberal art is not primarily about playing an instrument, but about seeking and seeing harmonies of all sorts.

If you are at all interested in a historically-sound classical education, The Liberal Arts Tradition is a must read.

Whereas Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Arts Tradition deftly explains the philosophy of classical education, The Liberal Arts Tradition provides a rich yet readable explanation of what the liberal arts truly have been and should still be.

Read the original posts: Learning the Liberal Arts Tradition

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Simple Sanity Saver: A Morning Prep Sheet

When do you use a prep sheet?

A morning prep sheet is an attitude focusing tool. It’s simple and straightforward, and might even seem silly. But I promise it’s crazy effective.

So, when do I use my prep sheet? I’ve had several different scenarios that work.

Sometimes I’ve read a page of my selected favorite quotes in my early morning reading before the kids are up. Sometimes I do it while everyone is gathering for Morning Time. Sometimes, instead, I read a prep sheet as the kids are dismissed from Morning Time and putting their things away, so that I can move into the next, more intense, part of our day with focus. Sometimes I catch or copy a snippet at lunch.

When doesn’t matter as often as the repeated revisiting of the same great thoughts. It’s the returning again and again that builds up and makes a difference over time. Repetition is the key.

The Art of Homeschooling is all about choosing to repent, rejoice, and repeat every day, with direction, conviction, connection, motivation, and expectation – in fact, those are the names of the 5 modules.

Download your own prep sheet!

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