Some time ago my daughter asked me if she could learn French. I told her we would not have time to study French with the same intensity as we study Latin, but I would purchase First Start French for her if she wanted to learn.

During the school year, I work with her on this somewhat intermittently and then give her a schedule for practice. I do not retain much of the material, but she follows along with the CD. She often studies one lesson for five or six weeks in a row. I hear her speaking French out loud with the CD in her room. A lovely sound. More on this in a moment.

In another thread, I mentioned that Michelle now requires medications seven times daily, some administered with food, some on an empty stomach. One of the medications, taken three times daily, requires administration 1 hour before or 2 hours after food – each time. Although the schedule is now established, the regimentation with eating has yet to become automatic for either one of us.

Instead, mid-afternoon she notes objectively, “I'm really hungry.” I look at the schedule and the timer. “Yes, and you can eat again in 45 minutes.” Somewhat miraculously, she does not complain. She just waits to hear from me when she can again enjoy some food!

The other day on our way to the hospital's outpatient clinic for her blood work, I parked the car and said, “Michelle, I want you to know how much I admire your courage.” She smiled and covered her face with her hands. Despite her embarrassment, I continued. “I do not think I would remain so cheerful if I endured everything that you do.”

She looked up and paused. She said quietly, “C'est sa raison d'etre.”

“What does this mean?” I asked.

“That is her reason to be,” she explained, "Lesson 6 of First Start French."

She looked at my face to see if I needed elaboration, but I understood. I found her contented interpretation mature and comforting.

This is courage in a man
To bear unflinchingly what heaven sends.


From the Christian tradition:
Though He slay me,
Yet will I trust Him.

The Book of Job

Classical Christian education promotes an understanding of self, God, and the world. Even when we study the modern languages within this context, we seek to cultivate Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in our students. The consistency of presentation between Memoria Press' First Start French and Latina Christiana has assisted her learning; even more, she has appreciated and grown from the emphasis on insights within learning, no matter the area of study.

“We can do nothing for the Great Tradition; our fidelity to it can do everything for us.”

Albert Jay Nock quoted in The Great Tradition, Richard Gamble editor, Educational Resources


Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with Foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith