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    What book would your recommend to a friend?

    So I recommended to a friend that she nail down her philosophy of education before researching curricula. I've done this before, but this friend actually asked for a book recommendation. I realized--hmm, which book would I recommend that covers the educational philosophies and helps one choose the best one--which, of course will be Latin, right!? But...I don't think Climbing Parnassus or even The Well-Trained Mind is a great place to start unless someone has already done a bit of reading and researching. I'm leaning toward recommending some Classical Teacher Articles, but it would be nice to recommend a book that is simply a good place to start. Her child is only a few months old so that plays into it as well. (Can you imagine reading Climbing Parnassus when your first born was an infant? Don't think so.) And, if it is a Memoria Press book...well, I have obviously drunk the Koolaid, so I feel like my friends will just nod and keep going if the book isn't neutral to specific curricula. Is there a book that does a good job of giving the history of various educational philosophies, but for a layman? I could combo-recommend that book (if it exists) with a few MP articles, and I think that would do nicely to start her out.

    Thanks for any suggestions!
    Michaela
    Daughter: Age 11 MP 6A (MPOA for TFL, 6th grade math, and composition)
    Son: Age 6 1st Grade MP Traditional Spelling, Literature, Math, and Handwriting
    for 2019/2020 school year

    #2
    Originally posted by ClassicalFamily View Post
    I'm leaning toward recommending some Classical Teacher Articles, but it would be nice to recommend a book that is simply a good place to start. Her child is only a few months old so that plays into it as well. (Can you imagine reading Climbing Parnassus when your first born was an infant? Don't think so.)
    Thanks for any suggestions!
    I love this question! Also, I really do not have any specific book titles so I will be following along to glean information. What I was going to add was just my experience regarding helping other homeschoolers figure out their philosophy. Your friend is unique in that she has a newborn so right now seeds are just being planted.

    My experience, specifically in letting others know about MP, has been to give them the specific articles relating to Classical education that MP has produced. I usually point them toward the website or give out my copy of the Classical Teacher (once I am finished reading it of course). Many families have also spent time just actually touching all of my materials and looking through them. I have attempted to be generous in that way, although letting go of your precious materials even for a season, can be very difficult. There have been many scoffers and those who have turned their nose up and that is OK. There have also been others who have melted into the information and related to it so deeply that they knew that classical education was an educational philosophy to buy into.

    I have found that homeschoolers don't always know what they want until they touch it or read it in such a specific way that they say, "YES! That's what I want for my kids, I get that idea!!". I try to avoid getting into conversations about all of the other homeschool methods and curriculums available. I just stick to what my convictions are and share that, along with the resources that support it and my experiences.

    My kids are walking evidence of what classical education produces. It is when I think back to my earliest days just starting out homeschooling, I was so overwhelmed with all of the different options and philosophies. I have to say that I am so thankful for the individuals that took the time out of their lives to so generously share Memoria Press with me. There wasn't judgement, just their experience and I could see the fruit in their kids. I wanted that. The seeds that were planted in me years ago are now sprouting and even thriving, some even starting to bloom! I imagine that your friend, having such young children now, will see that fruit in you as well. That will be the best book she can ever read.

    Just my two cents.
    Callista
    Long time homeschooler with MP

    Comment


      #3
      Wow! Did I read your comment correctly that she is researching curriculum while her oldest is an infant? That might be a bit early even for me. My gateway to homeschooling and classical education was Suzuki group class when my oldest was 4. It really showed me that I could teach her something that I didn’t know, and it showed me that I valued a mastery based method. The Well Trained Mind was my first read (it led me to MP Latin along with unsettled feelings of not being to do it all) and Latin Centered Curriculum was my next read (it led me to lots of MP and a more settled feeling that it didn’t have to do everything). There was some Sonlight thrown in early on as well which I continue to love on an “as it fits in basis”. My feeling is that some more general, less curriculum specific books would be good. Possibly the Well Educated Mind whose focus is on the adult rather than the child. Climbing Parnassis might be too much for an a mom with an infant. I think MP articles are nice bite sized chunks for those just starting to think about educational philosophy and most don’t seem to curriculum specific.
      Dorinda

      For 2019-2020
      DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
      DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
      DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
      DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

      Comment


        #4
        Cathy Duffy's book, 102 top choices. She does a very even discussion of different methodologies with pros and cons. Quick quiz to help you discover which bent you lean towards. Obviously, the specific curriculum will change.

        Biggest advice...wait! Seriously. Her life is going to change over the next 6 years. Curriculum will change.

        Is it just me or is anyone else driven crazy by some Uber-youtube mama who insists she knows it ALL because she's homeschooling her two year old. Woman, you're not homeschooling anybody. You're doing this thing called parenting. Hands-on, interactive parenting. Get back to me when you're kid is 6.
        Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

        DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
        DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
        DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

        We've completed:
        Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
        Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

        Comment


          #5
          Have you checked out the Educational Reaources section of MP’s website? There are several really good books on Classical eduction there, including SWB’s books and one called The Great Tradition, which is a great one to suggest. Also don’t forget the value of Abition of Man by CS Lewis, and both Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man by Chesterton. They speak to the heart of who we are and why education matters so much even though they are not treatises on education per se.

          There are are two more that are my most, most, most favs but can be more challenging, so may not be for a total newbie but I will mention them anyway: Norms & Nobility by David Hicks, and A History of Education in Antiquity by H.I. Marrou. So much to gain from both of those.

          HTHs!
          AMDG,
          Sarah
          2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
          DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
          DS, 16
          DD, 14
          DD, 12
          DD, 10
          DD, 7.5
          DD, 5.5
          +DS+
          DS, 18 months

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks!! Your suggestions and comments helped me think this through! I gave her a couple of recommendations for books and then recommended she check out articles relating to the history of education and different educational models, noting Memoria Press and Well-Trained Mind (and a few others) as good resources as well as giving a brief description of how the various curricula differ. (My thinking is that if she does this, she will come across some of the other titles suggested, which I think is better than me recommending more than a couple of the titles. Plus so many of the MP articles are better than a lot of the books at succinctly laying out the case for a Latin-centered education.) I also suggested that she take the next three years to do all of this, and then dig in with the curriculum-specific and practical reads. Basically--give your educational worldview plenty of time to form and marinate before evaluating a specific curriculum. I recommended that she read Phonics A to Z at this later time but before choosing a specific curriculum.
            Michaela
            Daughter: Age 11 MP 6A (MPOA for TFL, 6th grade math, and composition)
            Son: Age 6 1st Grade MP Traditional Spelling, Literature, Math, and Handwriting
            for 2019/2020 school year

            Comment


              #7
              I was thinking about your post, Michaela, awhile back and never did write anything. I wasn't thinking about homeschooling at all until my oldest was around age 4, and then it was and still can be overwhelming to realize the number of possible routes to take. I think it's natural to be curious about the many methods out there, and I might suggest that she read about many different methods and philosophies now--many years before she needs to pick out any curricula. Even if she is leaning toward classical now, she might want a heads-up that she'll likely take bits and pieces of different methods to figure out what works best. Even classical can be defined differently by different people, which does not make the job of choosing the curricula and how to implement it in a home any easier. I read and very much enjoyed Climbing Parnassus, but I think education taking place at a school is not the same as what can be done at home. I end up discouraged from time to time because I want what some schools seem to accomplish but is not possible for us in our home with me as "teacher." All that to say that I think reading about education, methods, and philosophies and having lots of conversations about them is what I'd recommend to a new parent interested in homeschooling.
              2019-20
              DS--9, 3M/4M
              DD--7, mix of 1 and 2
              DD--5, MP K
              DS--3
              DS--1

              Comment


                #8
                I also chuckle that all of the books Martin Cothran and Andrew Pudewa quote are books I read *just* before coming to MP. I'm not sure I would have even entertained Classical education had I not had the foreground laid by greater thought than my own. G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, Why Don't Students Like School? by Daniel Willingham, and in part John Taylor Gatto's Dumbing Us Down and Weapons of Mass Instruction. The latter were on the edge of running contrary to Classical education insofar as he wound up unschooling his NYC PS kids, but the data on the current education system is what was most startling. The *history* and goals of education were eloquently presented, summing up the failures and fantasies I was taught while earning my degree in education.
                Mama to 2, Married 17 years

                SY 19/20
                DD 8-3A
                DS 5-SC C

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Emilylovesbooks View Post
                  I was thinking about your post, Michaela, awhile back and never did write anything. I wasn't thinking about homeschooling at all until my oldest was around age 4, and then it was and still can be overwhelming to realize the number of possible routes to take. I think it's natural to be curious about the many methods out there, and I might suggest that she read about many different methods and philosophies now--many years before she needs to pick out any curricula. Even if she is leaning toward classical now, she might want a heads-up that she'll likely take bits and pieces of different methods to figure out what works best. Even classical can be defined differently by different people, which does not make the job of choosing the curricula and how to implement it in a home any easier. I read and very much enjoyed Climbing Parnassus, but I think education taking place at a school is not the same as what can be done at home. I end up discouraged from time to time because I want what some schools seem to accomplish but is not possible for us in our home with me as "teacher." All that to say that I think reading about education, methods, and philosophies and having lots of conversations about them is what I'd recommend to a new parent interested in homeschooling.
                  Emily,

                  This is wonderful. <3 I have to keep telling myself that we are juggling teaching, parenting, and homemaking. Not an easy task.

                  Michaela,
                  I'd encourage your friend to pray over homeschooling. It's something I never did, but God had a way of laying things gently in my path, until finally, He had to hit me over the head.

                  I actually never researched homeschooling methods, which was actually a very good thing for me. I would have been completely overwhelmed, and would have likely wasted a lot of time, flitting about from one thing to another.

                  One book that I would encourage is Simply Classical. Even if you don't have children with learning struggles, it is an excellent 'why' on classical education.
                  Plans for 2019-20

                  DD1 - 24 - College Grad and rocking her own bakery business
                  DD2 - 13 - 8A Louisville HLS Cottage School and MPOA
                  DS3 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                  DS4 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                  DD5 - 7 - MP2, Louisville HLS Cottage School
                  DS6 - 5 - MP K

                  [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks to those who chimed in later. This topic dovetails well with some reading and thinking I am doing to benefit my own homeschool as well as my own personal development. I plan to improve my ready-response and recommendations I progress through these materials.

                    And...I think my own path to homeschooling definitely influences the advice I give! When my daughter was three, I remember coming across an advertisement for the local classical school and thinking, "Wow! They teach Latin? That sounds so smart and better than the rigorous (but traditional) Christian education I received!" And that was basically all the research I did for a while, as I wasn't planning on homeschooling long-term. I didn't enter the vortex of homeschool research until my daughter was in 2nd grade at this school (her only year not homeschooled). So, looking back, I wish I had researched the history and what/why of educational theories BEFORE she was in school and BEFORE looking at even one possible curriculum. I am thankful, however, that my daughter is my flexible learner and that three years of MP has made up for any lack of continuity of her early years and super thankful to have MP materials for my son who is likely to be a more challenging student for me to teach.
                    Michaela
                    Daughter: Age 11 MP 6A (MPOA for TFL, 6th grade math, and composition)
                    Son: Age 6 1st Grade MP Traditional Spelling, Literature, Math, and Handwriting
                    for 2019/2020 school year

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Actually, I'm thinking Cheryl Swope's book "Simply Classical" does a good job laying the foundation of why a classical approach makes sense and really sheds light on how new and modern "techniques" haven't really been fleshed out to show real results. It also shows that even in the face of real challenges, a classical education does an incredible job of training up the mind - even beyond our own measured IQ.
                      Melissa

                      DS (MP3) - 9
                      DS (MP2) - 7/8
                      DS (K) - 6
                      DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

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