Literature

Kings James Bible for Memorization

»Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Blog, Childhood Wonder, Literature, Poetic Knowledge | Comments Off on Kings James Bible for Memorization

Among our various reasons for using the Authorized Version for students’ memory work are these mentioned in a good NPR broadcast. Shakespeare will be child’s play after years of this, as will Milton, Melville, Faulkner, and others under its magnificent influence. Out of the mouths of babes and...

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Education in the Darkness of God

»Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Blog, Literature | Comments Off on Education in the Darkness of God

Education in the Darkness of God

The first steps of Dante’s education are taken into Hell. Beset in a wood as mirky as the hobbit’s, and off the “path of truth,” he finally sees the good way outside the forest, upwards to the light. But this way up the mountain is blocked by the leopard, lion, and she-wolf. The beasts are his sins. He must be guided “down another road,” because he cannot defeat these animals. He must be taken down into greater darkness and savagery. He must learn about his own “pity”full heart, and his lust, pride, and greed, and this by seeing others suffering justice and torment in the pits of Hell. He must see how far Reason can guide him, past violence, gluttony, or “futile wranglers.” And he must see where Reason...

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Bede on Studying History

»Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Blog, Literature | Comments Off on Bede on Studying History

Bede on Studying History

Northern Britain, 732 A.D.– Bede writes to his king on the study of history: I gladly acknowledge the unfeigned enthusiasm with which, not content merely to lend an attentive ear to hear the words of Holy Scripture, you devote yourself to learn the sayings and doings of the men of old, and more especially the famous men of our own race. Should history tell of good men and their good estate, the thoughtful listener is spurred on to imitate the good; should it record the evil ends of wicked men, no less effectually the devout and earnest listener or reader is kindled to eschew what is harmful and perverse, and himself with greater care pursue those things which he has learned to be good and pleasing in the sight of God. (from the preface to The Ecclesiastical...

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Uneducated in the Proper Way

»Posted by on Aug 17, 2012 in Blog, Education History, Literature, Mission-Type Stuff | Comments Off on Uneducated in the Proper Way

St. Gregory of Nazianzus (also known as St. Gregory the Theologian) has been one of the most influential Christian thinkers since the apostles. This is one of these guys who has given us more than we know, even 1600 years later, in our grasp of the Trinitarian foundation of the Christian faith (which Jesus set forth). What we sometimes take now as common Bible sense are in reality mysteries of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that have not come to us without the battles fought by faithful scholars such as Gregory. And these things matter a great deal in our daily walk and in how we teach our kids. Gregory is well worth listening to, and conveniently for us, but not surprisingly, he found the matter of education an important one. He makes some notable comments in...

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Classroom Hobbits & Their Loyalties

»Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Blog, Literature, On the Learning | Comments Off on Classroom Hobbits & Their Loyalties

Classroom Hobbits & Their Loyalties

Children are like hobbits not only in stature, but also in how quietly they can sneak about (once a certain coordination is attained), and then finally in the peculiar things they seem to remember most. More similarities could be pointed out, but educators will do well to remember the last one especially. Children have a funny way of remembering what they will remember, and not what they are told to remember. No doubt they have incredible capability to memorize, but what really makes an impression on them is often not what the teacher would expect or intend. The unpredictability of it is much like Frodo and his hobbit companions in their first encounter with elves. Each of them remembers random particulars about this significant event. For one hobbit, it is the...

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Credulous Insects

»Posted by on Dec 9, 2011 in Childhood Wonder, Literature | Comments Off on Credulous Insects

“A brown spotted lady-bug climbed the dizzy heights of a grass-blade, and Tom bent down close to it and said: Lady-bug, lady-bug, fly away home, Your house is on fire, your children’s alone; and she took wing and went off to see about it — which did not surprise the boy, for he knew of old that this insect was credulous about conflagrations, and he had practised upon its simplicity more than once.” (Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom...

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