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OT/Cross-post: Adult Ed, Brittanica's Great Books of the Western World

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    OT/Cross-post: Adult Ed, Brittanica's Great Books of the Western World

    I'm getting crickets on the 9-12 board so I'm crossposting here:

    Did some of you at one time talk about the 10 year reading plan through this Great Books set? I thought I remembered someone asking long ago. If yes, please PM me. I'm trying to figure out who it was and my keyword searches have come up dry.
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
    @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
    S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
    D · 8th
    D · 5th
    S · 2nd

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

    #2
    Not me...but you sparked my interest and I just searched for the plan. I love this idea. I could work through the whole list before my youngest graduate.
    Katie

    2019/20 6th year with MP
    DS 15: 10th, MPOA: Latin & HS Comp II
    DD 12: 7th, MPOA: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Chreia/Maxim & Ref/Con
    DD 9: 4th using 3A
    Twin DD's 7: 1st

    Comment


      #3
      Click image for larger version

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ID:	111176 Read with me, Katie! I've started year one because... where do you start? At the beginning, that's where.

      I had been collecting the books one by one for the last few years and had a hodge-podge "set" of 33 mismatched volumes. However, as I searched for several in particular I found they were super expensive, specifically volumes 2 & 3 which are Mortimer Adler's "Syntopicon." Those two volumes alone are a masterpiece. They are 102 great ideas traced through every book in the set. It's a pre-Google marvel of cross-referencing which came from deep and earnest scholarship and love for the texts. Imagine searching all the sub-nuances of "justice" from Homer to Freud. It's stunning. You can get lost in there (to reference Martin's newest Letter From the Editor.)

      Once I realized how costly it would be to fill in all my missing volumes I switched to hunting for a compete set. I scored a very affordable complete used set this winter from a lovely Kentuckian on Facebook Marketplace. It turns out these sets are sitting on many people's shelves and no one is reading them, so they are being sold as sets online. (Tip--make people an offer. My seller took half of what she was asking when I told her I wanted them for actual reading!)

      There are multiple ways to approach the reading, but I'm following the plan in the back of volume 1 that lays out 18 selections per year for ten years. Each year assumes you've completed the previous year's reading. Each year's readings get longer and ask more of you.
      Here's what I've learned after 2 months: keeping up with "what are you reading?" lists (especially in classical ed circles) are seriously disabling me from getting around to the source material for all the authors and books I really admire. I actually just thanked Cheryl Swope today for encouraging us to read the ancients at Sodalitas 2016. I can still remember her reading from her dog-eared paperback of Plato. Of course I was slack-jawed in awe at that moment but her point was precisely that they are so accessible, often much more so than modern writing about them. That's exactly what I am finding as well. Here's an additional insight: I am getting more out of what I'm listening to (podcasts or talks) because I'm catching the direct references to the ancients. So in a weird way I've stepped off that reading list treadmill and yet found myself further along!

      Who knows how long I'll be able to stay with it, but you don't finish unless you start. Make haste, slowly.

      (Bonus prize: my kids are starting to use them as reference books, especially my oldest in Traditional Logic 2. Now I'm thinking that each kid may need a cheap set for college. Who needs a laptop? Give that child 50 pounds of hardbacks to haul to their dorm!)
      Last edited by pickandgrin; 04-05-2019, 10:28 PM.
      Festina lentē,
      Jessica P

      SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
      @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
      S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
      D · 8th
      D · 5th
      S · 2nd

      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the advice, Jessica! I just scored the full 54 vol. set off of Ebay! The seller accepted what I thought was a silly low offer. Yay!! I love the idea of my kids being able to have these for reference. Nothing like a big stack of old books.

        Now I'll have to buy another bookcase. Eek. Didn't think of that. Our others are full. (Thank goodness we are finally in our "forever" home. Those book boxes are the hardest darn boxes to move!)
        Katie

        2019/20 6th year with MP
        DS 15: 10th, MPOA: Latin & HS Comp II
        DD 12: 7th, MPOA: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Chreia/Maxim & Ref/Con
        DD 9: 4th using 3A
        Twin DD's 7: 1st

        Comment


          #5
          Awesome, Katie!
          Festina lentē,
          Jessica P

          SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
          @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
          S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
          D · 8th
          D · 5th
          S · 2nd

          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

          Comment


            #6
            I had never heard of them before you started this thread. Seeing them makes me want them as well. Not sure where I would put them...who’s kidding, that has never stopped me before from buying more books ;-)
            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


              #7
              So what were you able to get the set for? Any content differences between publication years?
              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


                #8
                Dorinda,
                Yes, they added some volumes along the way adding up to 60 volumes in 1990 and changing out a few of the titles. I have 54 volumes from the 28th printing in 1986. I got them for $200/no shipping since she was already driving right by my exit a few days after I purchased them! They had been offered for $400 and I just offered half right out of the gate. Before I had been picking them up at my local used mega-bookstore for $3-5/volume. The cheapest I could find volumes 2 & 3, the two volumes of the Syntopicon, were $75! That's when I decided to make a new plan of attack. My edition year has nice thick pages which are easy to mark up (avid book marker here). It was Christmas/birthday money well spent.

                Fun fact: If you'll watch the MP Facebook live videos you'll often see volumes from this set in the background.
                Festina lentē,
                Jessica P

                SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
                @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
                S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
                D · 8th
                D · 5th
                S · 2nd

                Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                Comment


                  #9
                  Some people have shipping north of 100...I like the look of the 1952 set, but found someone local with a set from the early 80s still in the plastic wrap in the original shipping boxes.
                  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


                    #10
                    Plastic wrap!? Winner!
                    Festina lentē,
                    Jessica P

                    SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
                    @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
                    S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
                    D · 8th
                    D · 5th
                    S · 2nd

                    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Sounds great - but aren't the books unwieldy? I try to always have a Great Book "going", but carrying around an encyclopedia seems impractical.

                      editing to add more questions...

                      Is this your only reading now? I'm not sure what you meant by the reading list treadmill part. Do you mean you've ditched all other reading lists to do this?

                      How much time does it take per day or week?

                      I'm all for narrowing down the reading list to the best, but I'm still trying to learn Latin --- and Greek is tempting me -- and I committed to a big Bible reading plan this year -- and there's so much modern history I don't know -- and I only have so much study time. So I'm curious if this takes all your personal study time.

                      There's a 1954 set listed on CL near me for $80 (OBO). I do love the idea!
                      Last edited by melaneesa; 04-08-2019, 02:48 PM.
                      Melanie
                      2019-2020 ~ 6th MP year; 11th year homeschooling
                      DD15 ~ 10th grade MPOA diploma program
                      DD13 ~ 8th grade
                      DS10 ~ 5th grade

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by melaneesa View Post
                        Sounds great - but aren't the books unwieldy? I try to always have a Great Book "going", but carrying around an encyclopedia seems impractical.

                        They aren't that big--9.5" x 6.5" and vary on thickness. They aren't books I'm taking around with me. This is at-home reading, usually at bedtime or sanity-break-time in the afternoon.

                        editing to add more questions...

                        Is this your only reading now? I'm not sure what you meant by the reading list treadmill part. Do you mean you've ditched all other reading lists to do this?

                        This is what I'm reading as far as physical books are concerned. I'm still listening to audio books (mostly fiction or Lewis/Chesterton type things) personally and we listen to books in the car as a family. The reading list treadmill is where you already have 10 unread books on your nightstand and you order 3 more because you just heard an amazing podcast and they say, "Everyone should definitely read X, Y, and Z" so you go buy them. For me, this is books mostly about academic topics--education, philosophy, literature, etc. I need to stop buying new books and read the old books.

                        How much time does it take per day or week?

                        I'm trying to read at least an hour a day, sometimes it's more and sometimes less. Some days it's none because I don't have enough quiet. We are selling our house right now so there are showings and such to work around. Some sessions I make a lot of progress and other times I sit down and can't get past a particular paragraph. That's OK. I'm working on the first year, but I'm not trying to do it in any particular time frame. I'm just starting and going on from there.

                        I'm all for narrowing down the reading list to the best, but I'm still trying to learn Latin --- and Greek is tempting me -- and I committed to a big Bible reading plan this year -- and there's so much modern history I don't know -- and I only have so much study time. So I'm curious if this takes all your personal study time.

                        Here's what I want: I want these books behind me (inside me) for a big part of my life so I need to dive in and get going. Latin will take a lot of my time next year because I'm moving up to teaching Second Form. For now, I'm not feeling like I'm missing out on the other reading I was doing. So much of what I'm reading applies to daily life, to teaching, to leading people...I've been shocked at the level of relevance.

                        There's a 1954 set listed on CL near me for $80 (OBO). I do love the idea!
                        That's a great price!! Even if you decide you don't want to read through using their plan, they are still great to own. There are multiple ways to approach the books listed in volume 1. The 10 year plan is just pre-ordered and dosed for you. I will not have read them all in 10 years, just parts of all of them.

                        Festina lentē,
                        Jessica P

                        SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
                        @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
                        S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
                        D · 8th
                        D · 5th
                        S · 2nd

                        Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                        Comment


                          #13
                          My grandparents had these when I was growing up. I remember looking through them as a kid. I just emailed my mom to see if they still have the set. Here’s to hoping...
                          Heidi

                          2018-19
                          dd- 3m
                          ds- SC 1
                          dd- SC B

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by VAmom View Post
                            My grandparents had these when I was growing up. I remember looking through them as a kid. I just emailed my mom to see if they still have the set. Here’s to hoping...
                            Wouldn't that be the best?! They were very costly back then. That says a lot about your grandparents that they would value them enough to own a set. Please keep us posted!
                            Festina lentē,
                            Jessica P

                            SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
                            @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
                            S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
                            D · 8th
                            D · 5th
                            S · 2nd

                            Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Two years ago I read the beginning volume, The Great Conversation, and was convinced that I should begin the ten-year reading plan. I even wrote down the list for Year 1! Our library has the set, and they have been rarely used, so I have easy access to the whole set. I never did start. You have motivated me to take a stab at beginning again!
                              2019-20
                              DS--9, 3M/4M
                              DD--7, mix of 1 and 2
                              DD--5, MP K
                              DS--3
                              DS--1

                              Comment

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