The Mystery of the Peanut

transcoderThe following is a guest post from a 10-year-old boy who is one of my classmates. This research project is the culmination of a year’s study in English grammar and writing styles that homeschoolers in Classical Conversations perform in grades 4-6.

George Washington Carver was the most popular black man in the late 1800’s. He was born in 1864. Although born into slavery, he became a world renowned scientist. He is often referred to as, “The Plant Doctor “, which began at only ten years old.  He learned from Creator God, which inspired his love for nature. He became a professor at the south’s famous black college, The Tuskegee Institute.  With all his diligence and honors he received, he is most famous for helping others for free. Continue reading

The Message and Method of Classical Education

I would like to dedicate our annual back-to-school post to our new community of Classical Conversations gathered in Newton, MA. Good strength and success to students and teachers everywhere, and may God grant us all a good and prosperous school year.

class-is-boring-1092x400“I mean, like, with culturally relevant teaching…[?]…” her high-pitched voice droned, lilting upwards at the end of the phrase as if everything said was more of a question than a statement. Was she really that unsure of what she was saying or was it a habit learned from an academy which no longer believed truth to be something definitive? I was sitting through yet another required teacher training seminar wondering if I was the only one in the room more interested in the message than in these interminable lectures on teaching methods. Yet this particular post-modern drill sergeant took the message/method dichotomy a step further than I had ever heard it taken. She delivered a conclusion to her talk that can only make sense to a brain thoroughly washed in ideology and completely abandoned by common sense: “It doesn’t matter what we teach our students…[?] as long as we teach them with the right method.” Continue reading

Shut Up And Memorize It

For our annual back-to-school post, I would like to highlight a new homeschool program we have joined that has brought back great memories for me of learning things by heart when I was a young man. Congratulations to all students on the commencement of a new academic year, and kali dynami or good strength to all in your studies!

Finish this verse: “Watch that wobble, see that wiggle…”
“Cool and fruity, jello brand gellatin…”

If you could complete this little ditty or many others like it without even thinking about it, you have become an unconscious evangelist for a marketing campaign. And if we are so good at unconscious proselytizing for products, could we not consciously put to memory songs and words which ennoble our souls and not just fatten our bodies? Continue reading