Editor's Note: Alongside our recent podcast conversation with Cindy Rollins and Chris Perrin, this blog post is part of a series of contemplation about how to kick the school year off well.
In the present age, an education in experimental science is an important and necessary feature for students; however, the Classical Christian Education movement recognizes the shortcomings of an education whose principal concern is teaching science and technology. The human dimension is often lacking from a predominantly scientific program. A proper education attends to the moral imagination of students, drawing from traditional and classical sources.
In light of my recent discussion with David Kern and Chris Perrin, I thought I would share my first adjustment of the school year. One of the greatest advantages of homeschooling is the ability to make adjustments. There is the danger of making so many adjustments that we never settle in to the work at hand but otherwise it is a great benefit to be able to change something that is not working.
Join me as I think out loud.
It was twenty years ago this fall that I plunged whole-heartedly and somewhat heedlessly into Christian classical education when some comrades and I started Providence Academy in Green Bay, WI. Since then, I have been hearing repeatedly the very sensible call for a practical education.
In theory, I have no objection to a practical education. In practice, however, the focus on the practical isn't as easy and the necessity for it isn't as obvious as many make it out to be.
Anyone who regularly reads contemporary fiction surely has encountered the trend of the time traveling novel – stories that zig-zag between different eras and epochs, challenging our notions of narrative structure, even subverting them at times. Such novels are, seemingly, a dime-a-dozen and too often, for all their narrative creativity, they lack the elements that make for a truly memorable work of fiction: dynamic and vividly drawn characters whose struggles and achievements the reader can feel nearly as dramatically as her own.
[Editor's Note: This is the first edition of a new weekly feature wherein we will be contemplating a single work of poetry or a portion of a poem. The tone of these posts will vary, ranging from academic to informal, but will always be driven by a deep and abiding love of poetry. We hope you enjoy and, please, join the conversation!]
For the weekend crowd, this is a sampling of what we've been reading this week.
The first time I spent a summer in Wisconsin I was eight, and I rode the upper western half of America in an eighteen-wheeler full of cherries and apples.
Yesterday Rod Dreher reflected briefly on Lee Siegel's lengthy July essay in the Wall Street Journal, "Who Ruined the Humanities?" in a post called "Against High School Literature" and it's right up the CiRCE-reader alley. He offers this from Siegel: