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    #16
    SaintJude7 ,

    Your description of how you make the decisions that are right for your own family is exactly what is necessary and good for each one of us, and for each one of our children. But I think what you realize within your own home in the descriptions of your kids is that you are making different choices (whether slight or great) for each one of them - and that by doing so, they will each end up with different outcomes. You expect that as part of the fact that each one of them is different, and each of their experiences are proving to be different. Even your final question speaks to that in a way - there are no guarantees, and you DO expect the outcomes to be different. It’s only logical.

    This IS actually my point. Different decisions, different choices, do end up with different outcomes. What I was trying to refute was the idea that you can make any choices you want and they will all come out the same. I make adjustments for each one of my kids too, and in doing so, am adjusting to address each of their strengths and weaknesses. This is all completely right and good, and what we have always encouraged.

    But what really irks me is when I hear that type of argument that suggests that these decisions, choices, adjustments, or whatever, DON’T make a difference. They do, and it is not insulting anyone or putting undue pressure on anyone to be real about that. I know full well that any changes we make - however worthy and appropriate they may be for a particular child or for our family situation - are going to result in a different experience for that child, and therefore a different outcome. Which again, is all fine and good. I firmly believe that our mission in all of this is to help each child become the very best version of himself or herself that God has intended - nothing more, and hopefully nothing less.

    But there are so many voices that say, “Don’t strive, Don’t sacrifice, Don’t worry about Parnassus - this other way is just as good” that I have gotten more (not less) of a fire in my belly about it as the years have gone by. You only get to go down this path once with each one. I just hate when people lower the bar right from the beginning. I am not saying that is what you are doing, but rather that it is comments like “they all end up the same” that seem to do that and rhat really make me cringe.

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #17
      KF2000 agree! I've seen several recent posts both here and on fb saying that they want a 2 hour school day. That's all well and good for 2nd grade and below, but after that, by having your goal be short school days it does impact educational outcome. There's no way an upper elementary or above student, especially middle school or high school should aspire to that short of a school day.
      DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
      DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
      DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

      We've completed:
      Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
      Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6

      Comment


        #18
        My view of "they all end up the same" is that they will all be equal in dignity and precious in the eyes of the Lord. (To be clear, I was not describing my own children as Kids A, B, C, and D, although I guess we have an even greater variety.) I hope that my children will maximize their potential, but then again, I may not actually be the best judge of what that is. I'm bringing my own biases, weaknesses, and desires to the equation.

        The answer to my final question was that we actually don't know (and can't rig) the outcomes. My best friend in high school hated academics. Theater and music were her whole world even in college. After failing to make a living as an actress, she joined the Navy -- and became a doctor. Another friend couldn't score 1000 on the SAT but became a chemical engineer. A third was unschooled (and unchurched) for high school. She spent a lot of time reading and cooking instead. She graduated from college, became a nurse, and now homeschools her large, Christian family.

        Latin and Greek and classical studies are what my currently-homeschooling children enjoy, so they are willing to spend time (about 6 hours per day) on those pursuits, at least for now. Some have used Kolbe or a mix of Kolbe and MP for high school. We'd like them to have a classical education, but I'm open to compromise. If they wanted to dump Greek for French, I would buy them the proper resources. We could probably make two hours a day work, especially since we don't take summers off. My 16-year-old could skip the last two years of high school, never attend college, and do quite well in life. If he comes to me tomorrow and makes that case, I'll listen to him.

        I know other parents who started down the all classical path, found that it was not a good fit for their child or family, and moved on. More power to them for realizing that they didn't need to keep butting into a brick wall until their child was 18. They were not lowering the bar. The other path is not necessarily a lesser path. Just within the Catholic homeschool curriculum world we find so many possibilities, even Catholic unschooling. If someone tells me they like Seton or Veritas or Classical Conversations or CHC or OLVS or a co-op that puts together their own curriculum, I'm happy they have found what works for them. And if they tell me they unschool, I love hearing about the way they learn. Surprisingly, there are people using ALL of these models who are also purchasing materials from Memoria Press.

        Blessings,
        Jude
        DD24
        DS21
        DS18
        DS16
        DD14
        DS11
        DD9

        Comment


          #19
          Yes, I completely agree that each person is equal in dignity and precious in the eyes of the Lord. I would also add that we have each been given the potential God intends for us to become what He wills - a saint. Therefore, you are right to describe that there are as many outcomes as there are people and that all of these have the potential to be good outcomes. But I don't think that gives us leave to say that any path is equal to every other path and acceptable as long as there is a good outcome. That these variety of paths become acceptable by the fact that these children ended up in good places in life. The ends are being used to justify the means.

          Related to this, I would agree that on the one hand, for every path, the potential for a good outcome exists. But I think you also have to be aware that potential is not the same thing as likelihood. Case in point, the likelihood of my dh making something of himself was extremely low. He had pretty every strike against him that he could have had, apart from learning difficulties. He would agree that the outcome was good, but he would not recommend the path of getting there to anyone. This is why you cannot use the ends to justify the means.

          I do not disagree with you that it is great for families to determine what is the right path for them. That is the freedom we all possess to determine for ourselves what it means to follow God's will in our lives, and it is not right for us to impose on other people by declaring what decisions they should be making.

          But the reason I continue to press this point is that in education, as in other aspects of life, there is an argument to be made for the existence a scale of goodness within the choices we make. There are those things that do a better job of leading us to the proper end of the human being - that is, union with God - than those that, while they do not remove the potential for that union, do not help it along as much as others.

          Consider just one example: Dante's Divine Comedy, the masterful allegorical depiction of a soul's journey through hell, purgatory, and ultimately, to paradise. There are so many different encounters that are possible between a person and this text, but I want to use just a few to hopefully illustrate what I mean.

          Person #1: A person who never reads the Divine Comedy.
          This person may still end up have a many experiences in life that draw him or her closer to God, but this process will not have been helped along at all by DC because the experience was never had. Potential remains, but the likelihood of a strong relationship with God is indeterminate; other experiences would need to be hand to replace this one.

          Person #2: A person who stumbles upon the Diving Comedy with little to no preparation.
          This person will have the benefit of the experience of reading the DC, which might impact his/her understanding of and relationship with God, but the overall likelihood of that happening remains pretty low given that the person may not truly understand well what has been read.

          Person #3: A person who has been raised with a decent amount of background knowledge of the Christian faith who then decides to read the Divine Comedy.
          This person has a leg up on Person #1 and #2 because he or she has been primed to catch a greater depth of meaning because of the previously-gained knowledge that enriches the experience for him/her. Therefore, not only does the potential exist for the person's relationship with God to benefit from the experience, but the likelihood of that happening has increased.

          Person #4: A person who not only has been raised with a knowledge of the Christian faith but has also been exposed to the historical component of classical history decides to read the Divine Comedy.
          This person has two legs up on Person #1 and #2, and another leg up on Person #3, which again, increases the likelihood of the text having a significant impact on his/her relationship with God.

          To jump ahead a bit...
          Person #5: A person whose entire education has been steeped in steady, disciplined study of the Christian faith, in mastery of classical history, and even knowledge of the classical languages who then becomes capable of reading the Diving Comedy not only in English but also in Latin.
          This person is nearly guaranteed to receive an exceptional understanding of the text given the background preparation and the ability to spend a significant amount of time with the text in two languages, which then makes the likelihood of the text having an amazing impact on the person's relationship with God nearly a guarantee.

          IF the outcome we desire is a strong relationship with God, these examples point to the fact that different choices do help that along more so than others, and that such choices can indeed be ranked according to how well they increase the likelihood of that desired outcome.

          To make sure I am clear, I am not making a conclusion that any one of these people is "better" than any of the others. I am merely trying to point out that choices impact the likelihood of certain things occurring more so than others. Not guaranteed, of course. There is always the personal choice to cooperate with grace or not in any outcome. But I would say, trying to make some outcomes more likely - especially in education - is a better way to go than simply hoping for the best.

          AMDG,
          Sarah
          2020-2021
          16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
          DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
          DS, 17
          DD, 15
          DD, 13
          DD, 11
          DD, 9
          DD, 7
          +DS+
          DS, 2

          Comment


            #20


            To jump ahead a bit...
            Person #5: A person whose entire education has been steeped in steady, disciplined study of the Christian faith, in mastery of classical history, and even knowledge of the classical languages who then becomes capable of reading the Diving Comedy not only in English but also in Latin.
            This person is nearly guaranteed to receive an exceptional understanding of the text given the background preparation and the ability to spend a significant amount of time with the text in two languages, which then makes the likelihood of the text having an amazing impact on the person's relationship with God nearly a guarantee.

            IF the outcome we desire is a strong relationship with God, these examples point to the fact that different choices do help that along more so than others, and that such choices can indeed be ranked according to how well they increase the likelihood of that desired outcome.

            To make sure I am clear, I am not making a conclusion that any one of these people is "better" than any of the others. I am merely trying to point out that choices impact the likelihood of certain things occurring more so than others. Not guaranteed, of course. There is always the personal choice to cooperate with grace or not in any outcome. But I would say, trying to make some outcomes more likely - especially in education - is a better way to go than simply hoping for the best.

            AMDG,
            Sarah[/QUOTE]

            Sarah,
            I get what you are trying to show here, but a couple of things. First, Divine Comedy was written in Italian, not Latin. I do believe Latin study is important as is the experience of reading works in the original, this just isn’t that work where Latin will really help. Second, there are no guarantees when it comes to the relationship our children have with God. The hard work you describe in number five will help them understand the context of what they are reading, but there no guarantees that it will make an amazing impact on the reader’s relationship with God. Throughout history, there have been many classically educated men with great knowledge of Christianity and Latin and Greek, who undoubtedly ready Divine Comedy who are not in Heaven. A good curriculum is not going to actively undermine a student’s faith and will hopefully grow it, but as parents we cannot expect that our curriculum choice is going to guarantee that our child will remain a Christian. Our children, like us, are sinful and have free will. The quality of the curriculum will make them more or less educated, but God has shown that with a faithful heart that he can work with either one. My goal for my children is to get them to Heaven and have them educated as well, but if I had to pick one, I would go with the first.
            Dorinda

            Plans for 2021-2022
            15th year homeschooling, 12th year with Memoria Press
            DD College Freshman
            DS 10th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata Greek Dramas
            DS 8th grade - Vita Beata Literature
            DS 3rd grade - Vita Beata Literature, Right Start F, First Form Latin

            Comment


              #21
              Dorinda,
              Super good catch on the Italian/Latin thing...I was confusing the Aeneid that the kids study in Latin with Divine Comedy, forgetting for a moment that it was originally in Italian. Thank you for correcting me on that, but still acknowledging the point there!

              And your point about no guarantees is absolutely true...which I did include when I said that a person still has the personal choice to cooperate with grace in their lives or not. Again, likelihood, not guarantees.

              But I do wonder at the seeming contradiction you propose...that we should ever find that a striving for heaven is somehow in conflict with striving for a good education...??? As if development of our abilities to reason leaves us with less faith rather than more? I have always understood Aquinas to apply here...that the greater the development of our intellect, the greater our capacity for knowledge of and therefore love of God. Again, not guaranteed. But certainly well worth the effort, no?

              AMDG,
              Sarah
              2020-2021
              16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
              DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
              DS, 17
              DD, 15
              DD, 13
              DD, 11
              DD, 9
              DD, 7
              +DS+
              DS, 2

              Comment


                #22
                All Christians who lived in the first 1300 years A.D. did not read Dante. Dante's work is amazing. So much to take in. I enjoy reading Esolen's translation with the original Italian on the facing page and his endnotes. Didn't read it until I was over forty, when I already had a deep and abiding love of God. I probably got more out of it for that reason.

                I know people from all walks of life (some barely literate) who have an incredible relationship with Christ. I can't give my child that relationship. I do my best to expose them to God's truth, beauty, and goodness, but so often I am humbled by the simple things in which he chooses to reveal himself. Like Corrie ten Boom and "Thank God for fleas" or St. Theresa of Avila's "the Lord walks among the pots." I am teaching them to "do little things with great love," not to climb Parnassus. Maybe the gingerbread I just pulled out of the oven means more than the Latin they have learned, and the changing leaves more than The Iliad.

                You may feel that your model of education ranks higher on a scale of goodness or that it is more likely to lead a child to union with God. But I am pretty sure that the Christian parents who are unschooling or focusing on the 3 R's or a using a scholastic curriculum think they are also leading their children to that same union. Education is so much more than curriculum.

                Blessings,
                Jude
                DD24
                DS21
                DS18
                DS16
                DD14
                DS11
                DD9

                Comment


                  #23
                  Probably a good idea to keep in mind that, at the end of his life, Aquinas (although not retracting his works) received a revelation while celebrating Mass on the Feast of St. Nicholas that caused him to compare all his writings to straw.

                  Blessings,
                  Jude
                  DD24
                  DS21
                  DS18
                  DS16
                  DD14
                  DS11
                  DD9

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by SaintJude7 View Post
                    Probably a good idea to keep in mind that, at the end of his life, Aquinas (although not retracting his works) received a revelation while celebrating Mass on the Feast of St. Nicholas that caused him to compare all his writings to straw.

                    Blessings,
                    Jude
                    This is not only not anywhere close to a retraction, but is instead a great point which enables us to ponder the stunning magnificence of God's glory if what Thomas had written so masterfully was as insignificant as straw. He was also told in another vision, "You have written well of me, Thomas."

                    Education is something that either helps or hinders our relationship with God, through our capacity for knowing Him, which fires our ability to love Him, which then pushes us to serve Him. It is not "my" education; it is a form of education that has long preceded me, and has been done much better by millions more people than me. But what I do know is that this life is hard. It's not for the faint of heart. And if I cannot teach my children to hang on through their educational pursuits, how on earth are they going to hang on against the assaults this world is prepared to throw at them? And in no way does any of this impede our ability to treasure these glorious days of fall, or to appreciate the simply, glorious things of life that reveal to us how much God loves us on a daily basis.

                    I am going to bow out now.
                    AMDG,
                    Sarah
                    2020-2021
                    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                    DS, 17
                    DD, 15
                    DD, 13
                    DD, 11
                    DD, 9
                    DD, 7
                    +DS+
                    DS, 2

                    Comment


                      #25
                      I feel like we need to define our terms.

                      Outcome. We've agreed that education can make certain outcomes more likely, while lack of education can make other outcomes more likely. We've also agreed that there are many examples of exceptions to these likelihoods. But what is our definition of the word outcome, in the context of the present discussion? Is it equivalent to the purpose of education?

                      Purpose. What is the purpose of education?

                      Path. Do we mean the specific method by which we reach that purpose? Or do we mean the universal principles that are essential to reaching that purpose? In other words, are we speaking of different roads or of a single road with several lanes?

                      ETA: Sarah and I were typing at the same time. Feel free to ignore this post if the conversation is best left alone.
                      Last edited by jen1134; 10-11-2020, 04:00 PM.
                      Jennifer
                      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                      2022
                      DS18: Graduated and living his dream in the automotive trades
                      DS17: MP, MPOA, headed to his favorite liberal arts college this fall
                      DS15: MP, MPOA
                      DS13: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
                      DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
                      DD10: SC3
                      DD7: MPK

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Hi Ladies, coming late to this but I thought the conversation was so interesting. I am a long time homeschooler of 13 plus years. But have not given my kids a strong classical education. We have been more of a Charlotte Mason type, Sonlight and Beautiful Feet sort of homeschool. I have been to these boards before and tried MP with my son a few times and it was a big struggle. My son is now off to college this year (virtually because of our ridiculous governor and COVID stuff....but I digress) But serious academics was not a main focus for my homeschool, we spent alot of time together reading books and doing a variety of interesting things, we spent alot of time talking about life, going places, talking about God. My son was very involved with Boy Scouts and became an Eagle Scout. As a teacher I was very laid back with him, not correcting alot of work or doing test, but just giving him lots of stuff to read and giving him things that he was interested in. Buying lots of Legos, Lego Mindstorms and art supplies like good quality art markers and eventually a digital art tablet. So we couldn't have done all the things we did if I would have had a more rigorous academic program like MP. I do not mean to imply that anyone is wrong. But I want to agree with you all about choices and the outcome. My son is doing well in college but he is really struggling with the academic workload and taking tests. He does so well communicating with his peers and professors. The professors have commented that they are impressed with the depth of his ideas and thoughtfulness. He works hard because of his Boy Scout experiences and influences. But he is struggling with some of the more academic rigor. So there are different outcomes. He also has dyslexia. I was very laid back and had my own struggles. But I know I prayed daily for God to help me educate my son and this is the outcome, so I left it at His feet and so it is what it is. Now with my daughter I am starting to relook at Memoria Press and she is a different student, and it's really amazing how different kids can be!! She is a 6th grader this year and she has had the same laid back approach as my son, but now I am seeing this approach may not be as good for her. At first I felt guilty about changing things for her, like I cheated my son out of a good education. I can't deny I am troubled with his struggle in college, but he is still doing well and he is going to a college that is a bit advanced. But I would lie to say I don't sometimes feel I did something wrong. That is why I constantly remind myself that I prayed every day for God to guide and help me homeschool and so it rests at His feet. But different choices do have different outcomes but I think some people have a hard time talking like that because they interpret it to mean bad vs good and that is not it at all. My son has strength and weaknesses, like we all do. There were alot of wonderful, strong and amazing outcomes with the way I homeschooled and some drawbacks. Anyway....just my thoughts of agreement with this discussion and it was really interesting.
                        Last edited by Nancy Ann; 10-14-2020, 12:34 PM.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          I will say just a bit further on this topic that in my experience as a homeschool mom, I have tried to juggle lots of blocks. Juggling these blocks and swapping things out and trying to manage them in such a way to produce a certain outcome. I think we all do this not just with homeschool but with life. But there does come a point, atleast in my experience that the juggling and the swapping and the figuring out and fine tuning all these blocks to get the most efficient and best outcome results in a huge amount of anxiety and being overwhelmed. So much so that it seems the blocks just become so many and so much you can't even hold anymore.

                          I am an Orthodox Christian and we have religious icons. There is one icon in particular that is a favorite of mine and in a prominent spot in our home. It's the icon of St. Peter stepping out of the boat towards Christ walking on the water. For me this is an image of a person who has been juggling all these blocks and now just has to let it all go and completely depend and look towards Christ. I guess that is where I am. I have had the years of juggling those blocks and trying to figure out what things will result in the best educational outcome or the best outcome for my children and for myself and it's gotten too much.


                          Here is the icon: Sorry the link is to a store that sells it but was the only one I could find quickly. This is not an ad!!!?

                          https://store.ancientfaith.com/walki...er-large-icon/
                          Last edited by Nancy Ann; 10-14-2020, 01:45 PM.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Nancy Ann , thank you for your thoughtful and honest feedback. I really, really appreciate it.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              This is the epitome of educating our children. Thanks, mamas for your wonderful input.
                              -Victoria

                              at home:
                              boy - 3rd grade
                              boy - 2nd grade
                              boy - k/1st
                              girl - toddler

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by Nancy Ann View Post
                                I will say just a bit further on this topic that in my experience as a homeschool mom, I have tried to juggle lots of blocks. Juggling these blocks and swapping things out and trying to manage them in such a way to produce a certain outcome. I think we all do this not just with homeschool but with life. But there does come a point, atleast in my experience that the juggling and the swapping and the figuring out and fine tuning all these blocks to get the most efficient and best outcome results in a huge amount of anxiety and being overwhelmed. So much so that it seems the blocks just become so many and so much you can't even hold anymore.

                                I am an Orthodox Christian and we have religious icons. There is one icon in particular that is a favorite of mine and in a prominent spot in our home. It's the icon of St. Peter stepping out of the boat towards Christ walking on the water. For me this is an image of a person who has been juggling all these blocks and now just has to let it all go and completely depend and look towards Christ. I guess that is where I am. I have had the years of juggling those blocks and trying to figure out what things will result in the best educational outcome or the best outcome for my children and for myself and it's gotten too much.


                                Here is the icon: Sorry the link is to a store that sells it but was the only one I could find quickly. This is not an ad!!!?

                                https://store.ancientfaith.com/walki...er-large-icon/
                                Nancy Ann,

                                I really liked your description. I have always thought of it as the circus act where there are all those plates spinning on the tops of poles, and the performer runs back and forth, trying to keep them from falling. I used to be the mom who thought she could keep all those plates spinning. Luke 10:41 probably would have been the verse that best described me. I was going to check all the boxes, and, darn it, the outcome was within my control. God had other ideas, and he truly humbled me. I've definitely mellowed, in my expectations of myself, my children, and of other moms, homeschooling or not. Because you are right. It really is all about looking towards Christ, and we have to be willing to step out of the boat.

                                I love this line from The Imitation of Christ: "An unlearned peasant, whose contentment is the service of God, is far better than the learned and the clever, whose pride in their knowledge leads them to neglect their souls while fixing their attention on the stars." It's not that the quest for knowledge is bad, but we need to be careful to keep it in perspective. Thank you for the beautiful icon you shared. It made my day.

                                Blessings,
                                Jude
                                DD24
                                DS21
                                DS18
                                DS16
                                DD14
                                DS11
                                DD9

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