Classical Education is Idealistic (Norms & Nobility Notes, prologue)

Slow read with me through Norms and Nobility. Or, if you don’t have or can’t get a copy of your own, consider this your Cliff’s Notes version. 💜 Previous post: Preface Next post: chapter 1, section 1 – planned for May 8 The prologue primarily addresses the dichotomy between the modern view of man and his role and the traditional, classical view. Or, as James K.A. Smith has written, “Every pedagogy assumes an anthropology.” What you believe about man shapes … Read More

Studies for the sake of the church – Rhabanus Maurus on the liberal arts

No, I didn’t know who he was either, before reading this next selection from The Great Tradition: Classical Writings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being. Rhabanus Maurus was a Germanic monk who studied under Alcuin at Tours. In fact, the name Maurus is an honorific given him by Alcuin. He was deeply learned; read Scripture, the Church Fathers, as well as Greek & Roman literature; he wrote commentaries as well as textbooks on the liberal arts. … Read More

Dear Mom who wants to give her 5-year-old a classical education

Have you ever noticed? The most eager homeschooling moms are those whose oldest child is 4 or 5? I was one, myself. And when I felt the eye-roll behind the smile of older, deep-in-the-trenches moms, I bristled. “Take me seriously!” I wanted to plead. I knew they were sharing wisdom when they told me to back off and wait and just enjoy the young years. I browsed their shelves, watched a Math-U-See demonstration, picked their brains. I was in my … Read More

Classical Education: Definitions | Norms & Nobility Notes, preface

I am currently in an online book club studying Norms and Nobility by David Hicks, a classical education cornerstone. By the time I was halfway through chapter 1, I knew I’d have to blog through my readings. As I continued to make my commonplace notes and copy quotes, I also realized I was going to have to blog slowly, because I don’t want treatise-length posts, and I also don’t want to skip any of the ideas. So, if you want … Read More

What Is Character? and How to Build It.

Character is one of those words we toss around often. Too often, we do so without a clear understanding of what it is. We say we care about character, perhaps even homeschool for the purpose of shaping our children’s character, but what exactly does that mean and how exactly do we go about such a task? The dictionary defines character as: Suddenly, we are taken aback. 
Wait? 

Mental qualities are a part of character? Our character is not simply our … Read More

Speaking well is part of living well. – Charlemagne on education

_ If the goal of education is virtue, why bother studying science or spelling or rhetoric? Why not just hunker down and do character lessons and call it a day? Our idea of virtue is too shallow. We see our moral sense unconnected to our knowledge or even to our ability to communicate. But they are not unconnected. They should all – and do all – feed each other when submitted to God. The selection I’m highlighting today from The … Read More

What to teach and how and why. – Alcuin on schools

_ Once again we delve into the history of classical education as I slowly read through The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being. We now move from the early church into the early medieval period, erroneously called The Dark Ages. Alcuin of York was a pupil of a great and learned bishop and inherited the schoolmaster position from his master. Alcuin led a revival of learning in England and Europe, earning the … Read More

Is virtue an action or an attitude? – Gregory the Great on the contemplative life

_ Gregory the Great, of gregorian chant fame, was pope in the 6th century. Born of noble family and classically educated, Gregory opened monasteries, sent a bishop-led mission to newly discovered England, and is one of the four recognized “doctors of the Latin church.” The selection included in The Great Tradition is not about education per se, not about educating the young, at least. Rather, it is about the right kind of life to pursue. It is a pure life … Read More

Memory or Understanding? – Cassiodorus on Learning

Next up in the early church readings on education in The Great Tradition: Cassiodorus. Cassiodorus was a consul in Rome, living through the drawn-out fall of Rome, and ending up as an advisor to Theodoric along with Boethius. He was of noble birth and a devout Christian. Late in his life he founded a monastery with the express purpose of preserving ancient culture as he watched Rome’s disintegration. His monastery didn’t last beyond his own lifetime, but his works excerpted … Read More

Truth is from God – Augustine on learning

Augustine, doctor of the church, protected the church against heresy and also gave the church a rich heritage of philosophy and theology. _ 
Not only did he receive and use a classical education of the first caliber, he also had thoughts about education and for students as well. Today we’ll look at some of his advice to scholars, excerpted from The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being. Matters of study, matters to … Read More

1 2 3 4 13