Monday, April 28, 2014

Mom's Education Matters - Notes from the Great Homeschool Convention

On Saturday I went to a panel about Classical Education by Andrew Kern, Martin Cothran, Christopher Perrin and Carol Reynolds. It was one of those things where you feel smarter just breathing the same air.

Some of it went over my head, but that just gives me something to aspire to reach. The rest of it I was feverishly scribbling notes.

Here are a few of those notes (be thankful you're not trying to decipher my handwriting. I took the notes and yet I'm struggling to read them). These are not necessarily direct quotes, but how I copied down what I was hearing:

We used to think the cosmos was a work of art by a creator. Now we treat it like an on-going self-perpetuating science experiment. (This is a quote from Andrew Kern.) 
"If you love Shakespeare why are you killing him?" - on the importance of not "dissecting" literature
The reason an education major receives a B.S. (Bachelor of Science) is because teachers today are technicians. They have to be effective, efficient, analyzed and measured. (This is my paraphrase of a wider thought by the entire panel.) The loss of education and learning as an art should be sobering.
A Classical Education is primarily the cultivation of wisdom and virtue. It is for the perfection and cultivation of the soul.
The best way to pursue a classical education for your homeschooled kids is to be teaching yourself: model it, study, love learning, cultivate your own sense of wonder, listen to good music, look at good art, go to new, beautiful places. Do those things with your kids. Stop setting up false standards and models to evaluate your child's learning.
Master the seven liberal arts and pursue the truth at all costs.
The panel also answered audience questions and the conclusion I came to: those of us who desire a classical education (Which, the panel pointed out, used to be just "education") are MAKING IT TOO HARD. We have lists and we feel we have to cover every subject ever in the history of the Rainbow Resource catalog and, not only cover them, but cover them well.

It's too much.

There is no way we can teach our children everything. But we can instill a love of learning, kindle a passion for excellence and truth, introduce them to the great minds of the past, and we can model it by pursuing those things ourselves.

Books I've added to my reading list because of this one session:

I would have added more but they were just talking too fast and I had a determined baby boy trying to grab my pen out of my hand every time I wrote something.

If you'd like to learn more about these speakers and their work you can find them here:
Andrew Kern - CiRCE Institute
Martin Cothran - Memoria Press
Christopher Perrin - Classical Academic Press
Dr. Carol Reynolds - Professor Carol

Several of those include blogs and nearly all have podcasts, articles and other resources available.

This post is linked here:
Living and Learning at Home
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Rebecca Marie said...

Hi Karen!
I found your sweet note on your card in our booth! Thank you so much for your encouragement! I missed the Classical Panel because our booth was so busy all weekend, but loved hearing your summary.

Lesli Richards
The Homegrown Preschooler

Amy Maze said...

We were breathing that same (make-you-feel-smarter) air that day! I'm hoping to get a post up this week re-capping my time at GHC. I made lots of notes, but I don't think I wrote down a single book title because I knew it would be too much for me =) "1 book at a time" I kept telling myself. Though, my husband did want to get The Liberal Arts Tradition from CAP, so I'm sure I'll be reading that one sooner than later! Thanks for linking up to Trivium Tuesdays!

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