Sunday, December 31, 2017

Back to the Classics 2018

I love this time of year with everyone talking about their favorite books of the year and what they're looking forward to reading for the coming year.  This year I'm going to attempt one challenge:  the Back to the Classics Challenge.  Here are my tentative picks:

1.  A 19th century classic:  Great Expectations by Dickens (1860-61)

2.  A 20th century classic:  Howard's End by Forster (1910); I am determined to read at least one book with the Close Reads podcast this year.

3.  A classic by a woman author:  Little Women by Alcott (never read!)

4.  A classic in translation:  The Cross by Undset; this is the third book of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy.  I read the first two in 2016.

5.  A children's classic:  The Jungle Book by Kipling; I have lots of options here.  We'll read aloud many children's classics throughout the year.

6.  A classic crime story, fiction or nonfiction:  The Hound of Baskervilles by Doyle

7.  A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or nonfiction:  Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Lansing

8.  A classic with a single-word title:  Emma by Austen

9.  A classic with a color in the title:  The Woman in White by Collins

10.  A classic by an author that's new to you:  Wuthering Heights by Bronte

11.  A classic that scares you:  The Odyssey by Homer

12.  Re-read a favorite classic:  Till We Have Faces or The Great Divorce by Lewis

Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Food for the Mind {The Liberal Arts Tradition}

" the body requires wholesome food and cannot nourish itself upon any substance so the mind too requires meat after its kind."  {Charlotte Mason, Towards a Philosophy of Education}

I am slowly making my way through The Liberal Arts Tradition by Clark and Jain, and am learning so much about the Christian Classical educational tradition (say that five times fast).  Along with Andrew Kern's podcast, the pieces are beginning to come together in my mind.

I thought I would share some of the quotes I've highlighted so far.  I'm not going to provide commentary; I'll let you chew on the ideas :)

(*all emphases are added)

"Since human beings are more than just intellects...the curriculum must develop more than just intellectual virtue.  Creatures formed in God's image must be cultivated in body and soul -- mind, will, and affections."

"This full-orbed education aims at cultivating fully integrated human beings, whose bodies, hearts, and minds are formed respectively by gymnastic, music, and the liberal arts; whose relationships with God, neighbor, and community are marked by piety; whose knowledge of the world, man, and God fit harmoniously within a distinctly Christian philosophy; and whose lives are informed and governed by a theology forged from the revelation of God in Christ Jesus as it has been handed down in historic Christianity."

"Grounded in piety, Christian classical education cultivates the virtue of the student in body, heart, and mind, while nurturing a love for wisdom under the lordship of Christ."

"The foundational distinction between traditional education and modern education is that the ancients believed that education was fundamentally about shaping loves...It was an education in love.  Personal values were not simply explored or discovered on one's own but were passed down and lived out.  This required trust and commitment, and thus piety, the proper love and fear of God and man, was the critical virtue.  It aligned one's will with the family, society, and God, and expected the young pupils' desires, beliefs, and habits to be shaped over years in the process of incarnating them."

"...the metaphysical and theological beliefs passed down through the culture, church, and universities truly governed the forms and content of the curriculum as the faculties of universities sought to understand the ways of God at work in the world...Education in this manner, coupled with the grace of Christ, was not a matter of indoctrination, but about bringing each nature to its fullest potential in a living and vibrant community."

Until next time!