Saturday, March 19, 2011

Classically Classical

I am here at the Greenville, SC home school convention! I am so excited to be out here and I have been having a blast. So far the best thing has been talking and meeting other home school moms. I meet them randomly in the seminars or walking around the vendor area. I have met a lot of other Classical Conversations moms from areas near by. I have also have gotten great information on curriculum or books I was holding in my hand. Women love to give their opinion, me included. I don't mind when some one happens to talk to me and they have no idea who I am. Im social, I love to talk! But I noticed some women didn't want to talk to me, haha. That is just fine, I still kept on talking to myself. 
on my first day here I decided to go to the Andrew Kern seminar. First let me note this seminar was at 8:30 am and I had stayed up the night before searching curriculum online until 1am, the hotel coffee was weak to say the least and I was exhausted. BUT Mr. Kern was funny, wide awake and inspiring. The topic was Teaching Classical Literature Classically. He first asked us why we were there and what we wanted as parents from classical education. I would love to tell you how my mind went straight to work on those thoughts but remember I was still basically sleeping. As the hour passed he discussed with us how we as parents and teachers teach from an area of anxiety. We are constantly anxious! I was shocked! No not really, haha but I completely agreed. He said we need to teach from an area of rest. An area of rest? How do I do that? Well, we should be teaching from an area in which we love. That area, overall, is education. "Education?" you say, No not education as we know it but education as it should be. Where we seek out truth, noble things, pure things, beautiful things and know God created them all! I heard Andrew Kern once say, "Are your children a product to be measured, or a soul to be nurtured?" 
Are we loving what we are teaching not the mindless facts that go into the subject but the fact that God created it? Are we expressing the good? Expressing the beautiful? Are we showing our children that education or a certain book we are reading moves us? How can we show our children that they should search out truths in the books they read and find what is pure and noble? Mr. Kern mentioned Philippians 4:8  8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Yes this scripture can be applied to our child's education! 
In the end he gave us a few pointers:
1) Stop reading so many "things" read deeply and focus. Take 1 book and fall in love with it. If you don't think you can find it keep digging. You can only find treasure if you keep digging. 
2) Just let them listen. Let them process it. 
3) Then finally, ask questions. Not manipulative questions but questions that start with the word should and compare your other reading to what you are read currently. 
I was very happy with this seminar! He was truly nice and gave me some good advice on working with my 8 year old to help her enjoy reading more. 
My next couple seminars will be Susan Wise Bauer. I had planned to go to a lot more but I spent too much time shopping. Yeah, we'll see how that goes when I get home.

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