Classics and Classical education are related. Classics are the basis of a true Classical education.
So, what is a classic book?
Think about that for a minute.
One of the reasons you can read a classic book over and over again is that you find something new every time you read it. One of my favorite classics is Pride & Prejudice. Every time I read it, I discover something new about the characters or the relationships or my life. It’s written very well, it’s something that endures time.
In the beginning, find superb classics to read aloud to your family. There are classics at the grammar stage as well. The Tales of Winnie the Pooh would be a great start with preschoolers or early Grammar stage children. I am not referring to Disney’s Winnie the Pooh. I’m referring to that long, enduring classic by A.A. Milne.
Using Classics in Your Classical Homeschooling
Start simple by writing or drawing about the classics. If your kids are older, you can also draw conclusions about the classics.
How can you discuss Winnie the Pooh?
Talk about the characters in the story and how they behaved. Guide your Grammar students to learn about virtue.
At an older (rhetoric) age, your students will draw their own conclusions. If you need help using classics, I highly recommend Teaching the Classics, by Adam Andrews. Adam uses children’s story books for literary analysis, such as plot, characters, setting, climax, and so forth.
Be sure that you are reading classics as a family.
In our family, we read the classics, we write about the classics, we draw conclusions from the classics. This is not an assignment you “give” to your children. It is an activity in which you’re involved. In fact, I still have my journal where I kept notes about books that I read with the kids.
Although I’ve already mentioned the importance of not pushing your children too quickly in learning, it bears repeating. Kids need to be reading age-appropriate classics. If you’re giving your children books for a 12 year old when they are only 7, you are missing fantastic literature that was written for 7, 8, 9 year olds. You’ve missed some of the great children’s classics and your children won’t go back to read them. Be sure to take advantage of the good classics at each age level.
How do you use classics in your classical homeschooling … or other approach to homeschooling?
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