Classical Education’s Demands (Norms & Nobility Notes, ch. 1, III)

Although my book club just finished reading and discussing chapter 4 of Norms & Nobility, here on the blog I’m taking a slower, more ruminant approach so that I can sit with these ideas longer and so that you can follow along with me without pressure. Previous: Classical Education’s Delight, chapter 1, section 2 Next: chapter 1, section 4 planned for June 26th Our aim in education should be virtue – not only knowing what is good and true and … Read More

Classical Education’s Delight (Norms & Nobility Notes, ch. 1, II)

Previous: Classical Education’s Distinctives, chapter 1, section I chapter 1, section III planned for June 5 Did you know that, historically, not only were the ideals of education and virtue intimately linked, but so was the ideal of happiness? When our founders wrote that we have a right to the pursuit of happiness, they were drawing on the classical tradition, which firmly believed that happiness was tied to virtue, not to consumer goods. Stating that the first true source for … 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

Twelve-year-olds are persons, too.

Charlotte Mason’s First Principle, applied I am in a local book club, studying Charlotte Mason’s 20 Principles using the study guide by Brandy Vencel. I’ve done this study in an online group before, but there’s something different and more personal in a local group that includes people who know your kids and family. Last month’s meeting was on Principle 1: Children are born persons, and one of the extra readings linked to in the study guide is a post I … 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

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

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