Adam Andrews

Adam Andrews is director of Center For Lit and a homeschooling father of six.  He and is wife Missy are the authors of Teaching the Classics: a Socratic Method for Literary Education, which presents a step-by-step method for teaching literature in grades K-12.  Center For Lit offers curriculum materials and support for parents, teachers and readers at

Adam Andrews Mar 7, 2018

Have you ever read “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” William Wordsworth’s famous 1807 poem about the daffodils? It is worth quoting in full, and for a reason that you may not have considered:

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Adam Andrews Feb 28, 2018

To all parents and teachers who have ever attempted a lesson in literature and composition: Does the following teaching strategy sound familiar to you?

Adam Andrews Feb 8, 2018

By my latest count, I have heard the following dictum at least a dozen times in the last month: “literary analysis destroys the love of reading.”

Parents and teachers who say this often assert that reading, especially among the very young, is primarily an experience of the heart and soul, to be shared between parents and children, and that too strong an emphasis on mental exercise prevents them from using story time to build deep relationships.

Adam Andrews Jan 31, 2018

In The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis cautions us against idolizing our memories of the past: “they are only the scent of a flower we have not found,” he says.

I am sure he chose that image because of a flower’s beauty, but I wonder if he had in mind how fleeting that beauty was designed to be. I wonder if he was intentionally echoing the prophet Isaiah, who said, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field…the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” (40:6-8)

Adam Andrews Jan 24, 2018

Woody Allen’s 2011 movie Midnight in Paris has it all: a star-studded cast, fantastic music, beautiful settings and great camerawork. However, its greatest feature is the story itself. The protagonist is aspiring writer Gil Pender, who stumbles into a magic vortex that allows him to travel back to 1920s Paris, a place and time that he considers the high point of Western culture. He befriends all the great artists of the day, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali, Gertrude Stein, and others.

Adam Andrews Jan 18, 2018

My high school students cannot tolerate ambiguity. This is why they have a hard time with the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf.

Listen to this famous pronouncement from the poems eponymous hero:

For every one of us, living in this world
Means waiting for our end. Let whoever can
Win glory before death. When a warrior is gone,
Win glory before death. When a warrior is gone,
That will be his best and only bulwark. (1384-89)

Adam Andrews Dec 20, 2017

We teach Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn every year in our American Lit class. Despite its unassailable status as an all-time classic of the genre, my reasons for the choice are as personal as they are professional. I assign it over and over because of how much I loved it as a boy.

Adam Andrews Dec 13, 2017

The marriage bed of Odysseus and Penelope gives us one of the most powerful images in Homer’s Odyssey. Carved from a living olive tree still rooted in the ground, it symbolizes the centrality of marriage to the health and preservation of a good society. Odysseus’s struggle to return to this bed and his slaughter of the usurpers who would take his place there form a satisfying climax to one of history’s greatest stories.

Adam Andrews Nov 30, 2017

A framed poster of the cover art from Patricia MacLachlan’s All the Places to Love hangs on a wall in my house, and there is a signed copy of the story on my desk. It is one of my favorites. We live on a hill in a rural area just like the family in the story, and I love my home place just like they do.

Adam Andrews Nov 12, 2017

Bible scholars and Sunday School teachers routinely divide Paul’s Epistle to the Romans into two distinct sections: the first 11 chapters, where the apostle explains the gospel in theological terms, and chapters 12 through 16, where he discusses their moral and ethical implications.

The dividing line between these two sections is verse 12:1, which reads, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (KJV)