On day three, I offer a reading list. With a little bit of luck, the classical school to which you send your children isn’t demanding they do too much work in the absence of an actual classroom and there is sufficient time for leisurely reading. What follows is a list of books I recommend for high school students, especially chosen for the time of year and the cause of this unexpected hiatus from formal schooling.
On Sunday morning, I woke and— like many faithful Christians over the last two thousand years— did not go to church. Last Friday, the archbishop announced that a skeleton crew would conduct the Divine Liturgy every Sunday morning through the end of the month. The faithful were exhorted to stay home and pray the Typica, a lay service of Psalms, prayers, and Scripture readings.
Over the next ten days, ten posts on ways to use all the free time which has suddenly fallen into our laps.
The risks which the coronavirus pose to large crowds have many American schools closing their doors and experimenting with remote learning. When a hurricane or earthquake closes down schools, students aren’t doing math and history at home, but picking up pieces of the garage. With the coronavirus, however, more than a few American high schools are sending students home for weeks with books to read and assignments to submit electronically.
Written by Horace Gaines
PARENT: I’ve read some of the things you’ve written about the perils of dating in high school, as well as the dangers of letting teenagers use social media or form missionary friendships with unbelievers. I understand that these things aren’t good for most teenagers, but my son has a strong walk with the Lord. Doesn’t the spiritual maturity of the teenager matter? Is it really fair to judge all teenagers similarly incompetent to handle these things?
GIBBS: Would you say your son has a strong walk with the Lord?
PAREENT: Yes, I would.
You can learn quite a lot about classical Christian education by dropping in on a dozen randomly chosen CCE websites, meandering through the “About Us” section, and noting what is common to all.
Is this classical school right for your children? The fifth graders chanting in Latin are impressive, the presentation on Dorothy Sayers is intriguing, the uniforms are sharp, but what prospective parents really want to know is what the lunch table conversations are like.
You’ve probably met people with theoflective personalities before, but maybe only once or twice in your whole life. This is because people with theoflective personalities, also known as theoflects, are some of the most rare and important people in the world today. Fewer than one in five thousand people manifest theoflective personalities, although they may be even more uncommon than that. However, my daughter is one of them. My daughter is a theoflect.
What follows is a fantasy. A very, very sane fantasy.
PARENT: Thanks for the tour of your school. I wish we had found classical education years ago. Having talked it over with my wife, I think we’re ready to sign a contract. I do have to ask, though, how much is tuition?
ADMIN: Well, it depends. If your child does not have a smart phone, tuition is $9,500 per year. If your child does have a smart phone, it’s $19,500. There are also additional tuition charges if your child has an Instagram account or a TikTok account.
PARENT: Are you serious? Why?