Once a year I get to pretend I do something besides stay at home and teach my own kids. I get to pack 5 or so matching outfits, things normal people wear in public, and head out to the annual CiRCE Conference. Since I am rarely in public except to attend baseball games which require an entirely different set of clothing, this is a big deal. I don’t even put my sweats in the suitcase although I do throw in a few pomegranate chocolates to share with friends.
I am not going to lie, I lied. It was last year at the Summer Institute which has already rolled around again. We were studying The Odyssey and David Kern turned to me and asked, “Have you read it before?” I didn’t intend to lie. I was almost afraid to even look the question in the eye. Of course, I had read it before, hadn’t I? Of course I had. I knew all the stories. As the week proceeded and I continued to read I began to feel like maybe I hadn’t really ever read it before and on the drive home as I listened to Charles Griffin reading, I knew. I had lied.
When asked what my favorite new book on education is I only have one answer: Stratford Caldecott’s Beauty in the Word. I just love it so much (said in my best Holly Hunter accent). I love it so much I am rereading and blogging through it this summer. Nine posts in and I am only part way through Chapter 2.
I suppose that the trivium is such a powerful tool because it is rooted in the natural and the supernatural: The Trinity. Three is the essence of the metaphysical. I once heard someone say that if you asked a math genius their favorite number it would be divisible by 3. This is how I know I am not a math genius.
When you stumble upon a cord of three it is a good idea to pay attention.
Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric.
Truth, Goodness, Beauty.
Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding.
Last month I wrote about the future of my own quest for knowledge. In the center of the post was a quote by Charlotte Mason:
“The question is not, how much does the youth know when he has finished his education, but how much does he care?”
These words have haunted me all month. In fact, they have given me much hope, despair, and fodder for the mind. I hope you do not mind if I write about some of my thoughts as part of The Great Conversation.
As I near the end of my homeschooling career, it has dawned on me that I am not really nearing the end of anything at all. In some ways my own education began when I started homeschooling my children and I hope that it will continue until I reach the end of this earthly stay. Being a stranger and an alien on this planet, there has been a lot to learn and I have not even scratched the surface as my education is teaching me.
I began the new year with one of those thumping good books that readers love to read: a book about reading books. Susan Hill’s Howard’s End Is on the Landing delighted me in every way. Her name dropping of authors and books, which, according to the reviews, either causes joy or annoyance, was just so fun. I kept being reminded of books I wanted to read and even more importantly those I have wanted/needed, to re-read.
Are you busy enough yet, mom, teacher, mom and teacher?
Advent: a time of preparation. Perfect. We are the preparers.
We fill stockings, bake cookies, prepare devotions, cut out snowflakes, bake gingerbread houses, wrap presents, attend meetings and recitals, take pictures, decorate trees and mantles, and most of all we try to make it all mean something. We the preparers prepare. That is what we do.
I have been thinking a lot about death lately. It is that time of year. It started with a funeral.
Every once in a while in my life I have come across metaphors which have opened my eyes to the hope of heaven. They have driven me to understand what it will mean to see Christ face to face and to be like Him. The first time I remember was while reading the book of Revelation: the crystal river of waters flowing into the city of God captured my imagination and haunted my young life with hope.