Simplifying Classical Education by Andrea Newitt is an e-book published by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine that provides a balanced and encouraging overview of classical education. While I am by no means an expert on classical education, I have spent a fair amount of time (ahem) reading about it online and in books like Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Trained Mind. Classical education appeals to Steady Eddie and me because we weren’t taught that way and our most important educational goal for our girls is that they learn to think for themselves. We have both taught enough to know that thinking students are few and far between, and we want our girls to defy the odds. Although we are not committed to adhering to only one method of education for the course of our girls’ lives, the classical method really appeals to us.
However (and that’s a BIG however), I am more than a little bit intimidated by it. The prospect of teaching the Great Books to my children when in fact I have never read many of them myself (and I am an English teacher, no less) gives me pause. We won’t even discuss Latin. I had a smidgen of a chance to take it myself in high school (I think it was phased out by the time I was a sophomore), but I chose the more “practical” route of Spanish class and later Russian. (How practical is that??!) I do think learning Latin is important, though; this is another reason the classical method is appealing.
Simplifying Classical Education makes the task seem less overwhelming. Andrea Newitt writes in such a way that I feel like I have discussed classical education over lunch with my older and wiser homeschooling friend. She writes about how she has learned alongside her children. She liberally mentions the curricula and books her family has used and to a curriculum junkie like me, this is a real treat. Reading this article made me feel like providing a classical home education for my children is something I can do successfully and that it is a worthwhile venture. I would recommend this article to anyone struggling to find the right educational philosophy for his or her family.
Disclosure: I received this e-book free through the trial process of securing a position on The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew.