Classical Insights Blog

We Are the Indivisibles

~ by Dr. Christopher A. Perrin~ It seems like a truism to say that each one of us is an individual. How well we know that we are individuals. America, many would say, is a land where the individual can thrive. It is a land of opportunity and freedom where a man can...

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Classical Education: A Flood That Becomes a Filling

~ by Karen M. Harris ~ It started out innocently enough: I read a book about classical education. But soon, what had begun with merely discovering a term for a style of education became a flood that threatened to drown me in an unknown world: contemplation; the Good,...

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“What Is the Main Thing?” A Post for Mothers

~ by Brooke Diener ~ There is a legendary story of a rich man who came to visit a cathedral while it was being built and saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird...

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10 Reasons to Study Latin

~ by Dr. Christopher Perrin ~ You may have heard that Latin is a dead language. This is a strong, negative pronouncement to most ears. Scholars, however, use the term in a technical sense that leaves plenty of room for life. A “dead” language is one that is no longer...

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Classical Education: In It for the Long Haul

~ by Emily Price ~ We’ve just celebrated the birth of Christ, and as swiftly as it approached, the season of Christmas has concluded. Many weeks of preparation and anticipation through Advent have culminated in the Nativity of Christ. We have feasted, and now we look...

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The Invention of Advent

~ by Dr. Christopher A. Perrin ~ We are in the season of Advent, a time of waiting and anticipation. The word advent, of course, is rooted in Latin. Consider these related English words: adventure, venture, invent, inventor, convent, convene, convention, prevent,...

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Can Students Successfully Study Multiple Languages?

~ by Brittany Stoner ~ I have a confession: One day, I want to have a moment like in that Hyundai commercial when two drivers are stuck next to each other in traffic and find themselves singing along to the same song on the radio. Except in my version we’d just happen...

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The Ever-Elusive “Good Life” and Our Shrunken Souls

~ by Brooke Diener~ Stressed. That word permeates my subconscious and pulses out the beat of our culture. Everyone, at every stage of life, seems stressed, pushed, rushed. My children, my parents . . . why? I allow my mind to drift nostalgic and dream of the days back...

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Assessment that Comforts

~ by Dr. Christopher A. Perrin~ I am about to depart for a retreat (the Alcuin Retreat led by the Alcuin Fellowship) during which several educators will be considering the topic of assessment. What should assessment look like for those of us homeschooling our...

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Experiencing Scholé with Littles: A Moment of Grace

~ by Joanne Schinstock~ While sitting at the breakfast table, my oldest daughter noticed a beautiful, bright-colored bird sitting on our backyard fence. This observation of what we soon discovered was an eastern bluebird led to a substantial time of contemplation and...

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Teaching Math Classically

~ by Grace Prensner ~ Like all classical subjects, mathematics should be taught with the aim of fostering students’ humanity. Too often mathematics is taught using a “factory” approach: Here is a theorem (never mind where it came from or what it really means),...

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Teenagers and the Path to Self-Discovery

~ by Geeta Lalvani ~ When I was twelve years old, I, like many other young tweens and teens, thought that I knew everything there is to know about the world. In my case, my overconfidence was supported by my results from an online personality test called the...

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Learning English by Traveling in Another Language

~ by Dr. Christopher Perrin ~ Those of you who have traveled to a foreign country know how this works: No matter where you travel, you will learn a good deal not only about life in those countries but also about life in your own. I remember traveling to Belize years...

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C.S. Lewis and Classical Christian Education III

~ by Louis Markos~ In my previous post, I discussed how Lewis, in his book Out of the Silent Planet, the first installment of his Space (also called the Ransom, or Cosmic) Trilogy, frees his protagonist, Ransom, from his modernist prejudices and invites him into a...

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Dickinson, Commonplacing, and a Bump on the Head

~ by Emily Price ~ Wintertime brings anticipation and joy, especially during the seasons of Advent and Epiphany. But it also brings earlier sunsets and lower temperatures, with the dark and cold encroaching persistently upon each day. As daylight wanes, I feel life’s...

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The Economics of Attention

~ by Joelle Hodge~ I’m not one who gets a daily dose of social media. (No Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchats for me!) I prize my time (and my privacy) and venture online with purposeful intentionality. That’s not to say I reject all forms of digital media. I’m a big...

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Switching from Henle to Latin Alive—a Letter

~ by Suzanne Lichtenstein~ This letter was forwarded to us by a co-op leader who received it from a former Classical Conversations tutor and homeschool mom. It is posted here with the permission of the author. Please note that Classical Conversations is...

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Language Learning and Justice

~ by Julia Kraut ~ As we guide our students to make sense of the world and find their places in it, we prepare them to be just—to be wise arbiters of what is good, not only for themselves, but also for their country, as wise citizens. Justice is a hot topic these...

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Education and Feeding the Soul

~ by Andrew Kern ~ A friend of mine posted on Facebook a picture of his high school–aged daughter and some of her friends who attended a private school together. He mentioned how different these girls were from the ones he knew in his public school experience, and it...

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C.S. Lewis and Classical Christian Education II

~ by Louis Markos~ I’ve never doubted that C. S. Lewis, were he alive today, would be a great fan and supporter of classical Christian education. In my last post, I substantiated my claim by surveying The Chronicles of Narnia; in this post, I will shift my focus from...

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Scholé for Classical Christian Educators

~ by Dr. Christopher Perrin ~ As human beings we have lost our ability to rest and therefore we have also lost our ability to rest in education. Anyone who has followed my writing and speaking over the last several years knows that I have been advocating a return in...

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The Dialectic Stage: HOW are Teens Thinking??

~ by Joelle Hodge ~ It’s the burning question every parent of a teenager wants an answer to: “What is my kid thinking?” There’s a quote by Winston Churchill that I feel applies here. Speaking in October 1939 (at the beginning of World War II), the prime minister said:...

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Teaching with an Open Hand

~ by Sarah Mackenzie ~ As a homeschooling mom, I have a tendency to live in my ideals. I picture myself reading The Wind in the Willows with my children scattered around me, listening contentedly. Or they’re drawing amazing pictures of specimens they found in nature....

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Motivation and Language Learning

~ by Joshua Kraut ~ What makes for successful foreign language learning? Second to our natural, genetically determined aptitude for acquiring other languages (which we cannot change!), motivation constitutes the next most important factor in predicting the outcomes of...

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Summer Latin Practice Ideas

~by Karen Moore~ As the annual summer sabbatical sets in, parents often ask me how to help their students keep up with Latin over the summer. The idea is not necessarily to learn new material, but rather to help them maintain the knowledge and reading skills they have...

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Summer is for Scholé

~by Pam Barnhill~ Autumn is sublime; winter, necessary; spring, enchanting. Summer, on the other hand, is a gift. Summer is fresh watermelon, swimming pools, and sleeping in. Most importantly, summer is slower: slower days that are perfect for exploring the idea of...

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Scholé and THE LIST

~by Joelle Hodge~ We all look forward to summertime: the slower pace, a relaxed routine, an opportunity to get away from the drive and push of homework, deadlines, and class management. But, as much as we would love to just push pause for a moment and linger through...

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C.S. Lewis and Classical Christian Education

~by Dr. Louis Markos~ I’ve never doubted that C. S. Lewis, were he alive today, would be a great fan and supporter of classical Christian education. But what aspects of this vibrant and growing movement would have garnered his particular praise? Though I can’t “prove”...

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The Legacy and Modern Renewal of Classical Education

What are the liberal arts? What is wisdom, eloquence, or the virtues? How does classical education affect the modern student? Dr. Christopher Perrin answers, the liberal arts “cultivate a human being to be the fullest version of himself or herself” and discusses the...

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Teaching Reading—the Detour

About ten or eleven years ago, my friend Andrew Kern came to speak at The Geneva School in Winter Park, Florida. I hate to admit it, but I don’t recall the specific topic of the talk he gave to the parents and faculty assembled in the gymnasium that day. What I do...

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Classical Education: Rigorous or Vigorous?

Some say that classical education is rigorous. My response to this is both "yes" and "no." In one sense, we want rigorous education for our children, but in another sense we do not want it at all. The words “rigor” and “rigorous” are used in different ways, so we need...

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Once More, What is Classical Education?

As I present seminars on classical education and train teachers around the country, I find that this question—What is classical education?—persists. Even experienced classical educators keep asking it. To be honest, I keep asking it, and have been asking it and...

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Why Reading Dostoyevsky Has Changed Me

The spring before I left for college, my family experienced a trauma that has deeply affected our lives ever since. My ongoing response to this experience—the way in which I allow it to shape and affect me—still weighs heavily on my mind, and the road toward healthy...

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Weaving Our Next Web

Just recently, at a company “Scholé Lunch,” we read and discussed Walt Whitman’s poem “A Noiseless, Patient Spider.” We were slow to approach the poem, but after about fifteen minutes the discussion took on a life of its own. Here is the poem: A NOISELESS, patient...

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