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

What I learned from being homeschooled

I wasn’t allowed to ride my bike. Back in the 80s, homeschooling was not hip. Homeschooling was not even a category anyone but a few families who listened to Focus on the Family had in their heads. So riding my bike during school hours was not ok – I’d be stopped as a truant for sure. In fact, once I did go ride my bike around the neighborhood at lunch. It was the early 90s, and I was probably wearing … Read More

You Need Self-Control, Not Self-Care

The other day as I stared into the empty bottom of my coffee mug, a movie quote jumped to mind: “I don’t want to see the bottom of this glass,” uttered desperately. It’s an early scene in Mask of Zorro, before the drunk vagabond is chosen by the master for a transformation. We’re like the drunk vagabond. We want a transformation. We want a different sort of a life. But we also don’t want to see the bottom of our … Read More

Why Call It Classical Education?

Every once in awhile I chat with someone who wants to quibble about using the term classical education. For one reason or another, they think the label classical should be abandoned. On the one hand, I don’t care. Call it whatever you want. We can have a conversation about True Education, Real Education, a Liberal Arts Education, or Christian Education if calling it Classical Education trips you up. But regardless of the label, the discussion will be same because the … Read More

Early childhood in the early church – Chrysostom on education

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And we’re back with more from The Great Tradition: Classical Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being! Arranged chronologically, the book is a source of what true education has been known to be – and ideas for how to impart it – since Ancient Greeks started philosophizing about it. True education, noble and worthy training of the heart and mind, has been known by various names throughout the ages: liberal, humanist, classical. However, the aim has … Read More

Morning Time As Happy Time

What is happiness, really? That’s actually a deep philosophical question expounded upon by great minds for millennia. Too often, we think happiness is doing what we want, having no laundry to fold, or eating chocolate. And our kids think happiness is sleeping in, playing computer games, and having no chores. Guess what? We’re both wrong. If that’s your idea of happiness, make sure your goal is not to keep your kids happy. Then again, we can’t say happiness doesn’t matter. … Read More

Education in Life: Why Kids Need Chums, Church, & Chores

Yes, education is a life, but life also educates. As mother-teachers our job is much bigger than a school administrator. While he oversees curriculums and courses of study and rhythms of the school day, we do that while also overseeing meals, housework, sports, music lessons, outside activities, wardrobes – basically, every little detail. Good news: this means we have the ability to create paideia. Paideia is a Greek word and concept that means a system of broad cultural education or … Read More

The Best Character Building Program

“Mommy! He hit me!” “But he was being annoying!” How easy is it to start barking out the orders: “You, don’t tattle.” “You, don’t lie.” “You, don’t hit.” “You, mind your own business.” …and then collapse in a heap on the floor, exhausted and ready to throw up hands in dismay. We can sense that our imparted wisdom is falling on deaf ears and hard hearts. Time to work in everyone’s character! Maybe if we buy a character curriculum, the … Read More

Why Homeschooling Is Hard

One of the mottos in our Morning Time binder this term is a Shakespeare quote: “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” As we’ve repeated this saying day in and day out for the last 5 weeks, I’ve been contemplating how true it is. It’s biblical, echoing James: But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown … Read More

We need to know what we’re after. – Xenophon on education

If we start off on this homeschool journey with no idea what education is, why we’re doing it, or where we want to be at the end, we’ll flounder, frustrated and fickle. We’ll have no idea whether what we’re doing is working or if we’re doing a good job. We have to have a measuring stick to determine if we’re straightened out and moving forward. A measuring stick has a beginning and an end. Every Most Wednesdays here in 2016 … Read More

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