I teach a group of homeschooled 12th graders. This is my second year teaching them, having followed them from 11th to 12th grade. I introduced them to The Lost Tools of Writing Level 1 at the beginning of the 11th grade and we’ve continued the lessons into this second year.
A friend and father of three recently asked me about books and parenting. I asked if he could remember his own reading habits early in life, and I told him about my own.
I am sure that most of you, like me, have fought hard to overcome a perpetual desire to relax and procrastinate when important tasks loomed. Those of you who have never battled with procrastination--well, your problems are obviously of another sort. In college, I recall several who transformed the practice of putting things off into art. Do you remember the guy in your dorm hall who wouldn't begin his term paper till the night before it was due--and somehow still got an A? These types make it tempting for all of us.
As I have worked with and observed schools over the past twenty years, I have become ever more concerned about the degree to which the infinite and immortal souls of the children who attend them are treated as tertiary matters (maybe, at a good school, secondary) by the school leadership. What keeps leaders up at night seems to be whether enough parents will enroll their students to pay for the building program or whether the bills will be paid.
I may as well admit that I didn't like the Iliad very much the first time I read it. It was Samuel Butler's translation and while it moves fairly quickly and is interesting, he didn't seem to have the music of Homer in his voice. Others like this translation very much, so I won't say anything more than that it didn't do much for me when I was a young reader.
In a few days my 3rd son will be graduating from college.
In his classic work, Economics in One Lesson, New Deal-era economist Henry Hazlitt critiques modern liberal economic theory. His analysis is interesting and extremely relevant to the current debate surrounding our own economic crisis. Why do the liberal economists win the day? How do they succeed in convincing people that government intervention in the economy will work—despite so much evidence to the contrary?
Stratford Caldecott’s 160-page new book Beauty in the Word has proven difficult for me to finish, and I mean that as a sincere compliment.
Over at the LTW Mentor we've been discussing what book of poetry folks recommend to a mother who wants to give her daughter a gift book. As you might expect, I wandered from the point when somebody asked what to choose if you don't already know what you like.
It's a good question and it underscores our dilemma. We want to be educated, but, to quote that boxing manager from the '20's, "We was robbed." So what do we do?
Guest post by Andrew Pudewa