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I think I might have something in my eye

My boys spent the week at a mission trip and my sweet Mother-in-Law hosted my girls at a week of Camp Grandma, so I was able to spend an entire week alone at home. I cleaned all of the dark corners and listened to inspiring podcasts and seminars from Circe Institute.

There were too many good things to begin share it all, but I have a new perspective for our school year that I must share. One speech that strongly challenged me was The Seventh Day and Its Implications on Our Teaching by Christopher Perrin.

So many good things there, but something in particular stood out to me. Regarding the verse that speaks of removing the splinter from your brothers eye only after you've removed the log from your own: Remember that children are persons...before removing that speck from your 6 year old or your 16 year old, remove the log from your own.


Another excellent session was The Classical Paradigm by Martin Cothran. He gives a beautiful definition of Classical Education, as being the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. It fit in so nicely with the teachings of Christopher Perrin and the need for Schole. Restful, purposeful learning.

Multum, Non Multa.

Much not Many.

I've always opted for many rather than much. There are so many fabulous things out there, I just want to squeeze as much of it in as I possibly can! But so little is retained when you try cram in learning. It is so much better to soak in good things, discuss and chew on topics until you own them. Much will be changing in our new school year.

Finally, a session you just have to hear is Further Up and Futher In: An Exploration of the Classical Quadrivium by Andrew Kern. Kern rambles like a madman, but there are so many good insights, it truly is worth holding on tight and listening to again and again. Something in particular that stood out to me is the reminder of Man's Primary Purpose. We've been going through the Catechism with the kids (very slowly) and we've certainly learned that Man's Primary Purpose is to Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever.

And then Kern asks: Are you sure? Are you sure your son's purpose isn't to go to college? Of course not! It might be part of the process God wants to use with your son in the specific way God intends to be glorified through him, but even then, it is but a means to an end. It is NOT the end.

I've been terrified of this upcoming senior year and all of the applications and tests and transcripts and credits and and and..... This was a good reminder for me.

And finally, in that same talk, this beautiful game changer:
[Socrates:] I am amused, I said, at your fear of the world, which makes you guard against the appearance of insisting upon useless studies; and I quite admit the difficulty of believing that in every man there is an eye of the soul which, when by other pursuits lost and dimmed, is by these purified and re-illumined; and is more precious by far than ten thousand bodily eyes, for by it alone is truth seen. Republic VII
Do you see that?? The eye of the soul is purified and re-illumined by the pursuit of "useless studies". Are your children's eyes dulled to learning? To life? Are your eyes dull? Are you gazing upon Truth, Goodness, and Beauty? There just isn't time, right? So much to do! So little time! It feels silly to pause to read a good book, listen to Mozart, or gaze upon a painting. Do it anyway. Go watch a sunset. Walk and hold hands. Read a poem, learn a new Latin phrase, sketch a picture. Wake up your mind and remember how good it feels to think on these things.

I cannot wait to begin school with my family. My final year of school for oldest baby. Man. Whatever.

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"Man lives by affirmation even more than by bread." - Victor Hugo