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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/05/2019 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    I came across this article that credits one of my favorite educators, John Taylor Gatto with the following information: “Keep children under surveillance every minute from dawn to dusk. Give no private space or time. Fill time with collective activities. Record behavior quantitatively.” “Addict the young to machinery and electronic displays. Teach that these are desirable to recreation and learning both.” “Remove as much private ritual as possible from young lives, such as the rituals of food preparation and family dining.” “Grade, evaluate, and assess children constantly and publicly. Begin early. Make sure everyone knows his or her rank.” “Honor the highly graded. Keep grading and real world accomplishment as strictly separate as possible so that a false meritocracy, dependent on the support of authority to continue, is created. Push the most independent kids to the margin; do not tolerate real argument.” “Forbid the efficient transmission of useful knowledge, such as how to build a house, repair a car, make a dress.” “Remove all significant functions from home and family life except its role as dormitory and casual companionship. Make parents unpaid agents of the State; recruit them into partnerships to monitor the conformity of children to an official agenda.” 7 Ways Schools Are Creating Empty Children What do you think? Do you use grades to rank your child's educational work or progress? Why or why not? Do you allow your children to have some private time or unstructured play time? How much is too much? How much is too little? How do you find ways to "transmit useful knowledge" such as cooking, building, sewing, fixing things? Do you sit often to a meal together, or how do you protect and cultivate family functions, times, and traditions? We do NOT eat at the table any more. For no real reason. Lord have mercy. We eat at various spots in the kitchen or ::GASP:: in front of the TV watching a show together.
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    We ended up going to meeting once/week instead of twice. Everyone seemed happier. We extended our day till 3. Next year we are going to try to have a class or two that is for everyone. I will be offering an art and music appreciation class. Everyone can look at a painting or sculpture and listen to a piece of music and start to pick out the various instruments and note timing and dynamics. I will assign older students some research and rhetoric projects. Any other ideas for classes that could involve a wider range of ages for a co-op?
  3. 1 point
    This life we live: it isn’t easy! But you are not alone. ❤️
  4. 1 point
    I'm reading this post over a cup of coffee at Panera Bread, and just a few minutes ago I overheard a conversation involving a young couple eating breakfast with their boy, who was playing games on a tablet, and a lady sitting next to them: "We bought him this when he was five. He's seven now, and it's his most prized possession!" I cringed a little bit, thinking about how Steve Jobs apparently did not allow his own children to use the very iPads that he designed. There's so much to say about technology...I'm just going to throw out a few semi-related thoughts on how I have tried to work through these issues: There's debate over what exactly "classical" education is. However one defines it, one of its chief (and best) characteristics is that there is, at its heart, an instinct to resist modern educational fads, most of which revolve around overblown promises about technology. Right now we're in the midst of a crisis over contemporary technology. Many generations have gone through similar crises. Neil Postman wrote Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business and Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology before the age of the internet, but they are as relevant today as ever. For a fun take on how people dealt with the technological developments of the past, see William Powers's book Hamlet's Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. I'm in the midst of studying the Industrial Revolution with my history students...now there is a period in which it took a long time for people to work through how to use technology in way that produced human flourishing rather than suffering. One of the best thinkers out there right now, in my opinion, is Cal Newport. He has a great blog you can subscribe to, and a book coming out next month called Digital Minimalism (his book Deep Work is also great). He has so many good ideas I'm not even going to try to summarize any of them here. Some evenings I spend more time than I should on my phone browsing through Facebook or news sites when I feel like I should be reading books. I realized recently that this is partly because I have a pretty noisy house (four kids, aged 2-11); when I'm not directly interacting with them, trying to read a book that takes real concentration is pretty difficult, and I get irritated at being interrupted. If I'm doing something not so important (being on my phone), I don't mind all the interruptions. So my being on my phone may be, psychologically, a logical response to the situation. I don't know if this is good or bad, but it sparks the thought that when we're thinking about wanting our kids to spend time in activities that require concentration, how do we best create a home environment in which that is possible? (Having the TV on a lot isn't going to help.) As a teacher, I find myself thinking quite a bit about my use of screens in class. If I'm giving a lecture, should I have a slideshow with lots of visuals, since that will help keep the students' attention? Or is this merely reinforcing their dependence upon screens? There must be a good balance here. From my own informal observations, having taught high school for over a decade, my students today seem to be simultaneously 1) more dependent upon their phones, and 2) more aware of their phones' dangers, and less likely to be wrapped up in the novelty of having one. Ten years ago, a student sneaking his phone out was probably having fun playing Angry Birds; today, he is probably keeping up with an ongoing group chat with his friends that feels (but actually isn't) very important. This year I have two students who chose to write their senior theses on the dangers of technology for young people. I think that's a good sign. (On the other hand, I hear Literature teachers questioning whether students are able to read as much or as deeply as they could before smartphones.) When I was a kid, from an early age, my dad frequently took me to the shooting range and taught me how to handle and safely use firearms. A gun is a powerful piece of technology, but growing up being trained to use one safely is, I think, better than simply avoiding them altogether if someone is going to be able to use them responsibly as an adult. (Europeans might make the same argument about consuming alcohol...but that's another story.) Maybe this is a good way to think about technology with our kids. My own kids have the privilege of spending time on screens on a regular basis, but my always insisting on specific limits to how much they can watch shows or play video games, they're being trained in the habit of having to be aware of how much they are doing--a skill they wouldn't develop if we banned screens altogether.
  5. 1 point
    I do a bi-weekly co-op with my friend. All 3rd grade and below and 5 children. We recite IEW poems together, alternate with some art or history activities (using Tapestry of Grace) and natural walks or science activities. Then the kids have free time to play and we have lunch together, while my friend and I chat about homeschooling, etc. It's relaxing for us and we love to build relationship and do something fun together.
  6. 1 point
    Greetings All-- We have added a new forum that features six Scholé Muses and is based on their presentations and training aimed at classical homeschoolers. You can view some 20 presentations by the Muses on ClassicalU here and at no charge. Each of the Muses are veteran classical homeschool educators and leaders of homeschooling co-ops. You can interact with their presentations and ideas (and with the Muses themselves) on our new Scholé Muses forum.
  7. 1 point
    Greetings All-- We are seeking up to three forum curators who: Are college-educated, good writers, and who have been engaged in classical education for at least five years Would be able to write five posts weekly asking questions and prompting conversation across the forum Could focus on curating a few sub forums, while also ranging outward to prompt discussion in other areas We are able to pay curators $50 per month, paid at the end of each month by check. If this describes you and you are interested, please send a letter of interest with a basic resume to info@classicalsubjects.com addressed to Christopher Perrin. Many thanks! Christopher Perrin
  8. 1 point
    You know that those of us who are seeking to renew the tradition of classical education like to talk about it. This is natural for a couple of reasons: We are generally excited about what we are learning about classical education and the good stuff we are learning has to be shared. Second, none of us are able to renew this tradition by ourself; we must converse because we have gaps and holes, and because we can go nowhere meaningful alone. We learn best together. For a while now we have supported a platform for conversation among classical educators and leaders, but to be honest, we have needed to take this support to another level. We are now seeking to enhance the quality of the conversations we have by 1) investing in a state-of-the-art forum for managing and fostering conversations 2) partnering with our friends who are seeking to renew classical education. This means that you will find the ClassicalU forums elegant, clear, and easy to use. The software is remarkably clean, works well, and should make it easier than ever for you to participate and add your voice to numerous conversations. Please note the following about the new ClassicalU forums: We discuss ideas and practices with a goal of becoming "mentor" level educators and leaders. We want to grow to the point we can meaningfully help others. We are aligned with the presentations and ideas contained on ClassicalU.com . You don't have to be viewing courses on ClassicalU to participate in the forums, but you should know that many of our forum topics come from the ClassicalU. These topics will be of interest to any classical educator, but you will likely find members of the forum referring back to something from ClassicalU. The first several presentations of any ClassicalU course are available for anyone to view at no charge. We are primarily oriented towards the renewal of the classical tradition of education--including its history, philosophy, curriculum, aesthetic, formative purpose, and associated pedagogies. We are not generally focused on published materials that help us teach the classical curriculum. The best place to discuss published curricula is the Well-Trained Mind Forum, which we heartily recommend. We are committed to a conversation with charity, patience, and respect. Any posts that fail the test of charity, patience and respect may be deleted by an administrator without warning. We welcome members at any level of familiarity with classical education. We all have to start... at the beginning. Those beginning their journey into classical education are treasured and welcomed here. We are committed to the pursuit of wisdom, virtue, and eloquence--the classic aims of education. We also cherish the Christian tradition of classical education, but welcome those outside this tradition who are serving in classical charter schools or other secular settings, including secular homeschoolers. No doubt, we will evolve some additional "house rules" as we grow, but we hope these will suffice for the foreseeable future. Pax, Christopher Perrin, PhD Forum Administrator (one of several)
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