3 Reasons Classical Education Principles Are Important

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Classical Education principles are vital for your homeschool.

Inside Classical Education has a wonderful video by Christopher Perrin, Ph.D. titled The Eight Essential Principles of Classical Education.

In it, Dr. Christopher Perrin runs through eight principles of classical education.

I highly recommend that you watch this video. Because the principles of classical education are like a lighthouse guiding us as we educate our kids.

These principles give us the guidance we need

  • to find a curriculum
  • to run our homeschools
  • and to know what’s important and what’s not

Ultimately, they help us educated our kids at the kitchen table.

1. Principles Guide Curriculum Choices

If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how do you know whether you should choose to study a subject?

  • Should you use a textbook?
  • Would a living book be a better choice?
  • Or should you just skip the subject?

This is why the principles of classical education are so important.

You need to know if you want to skim through the subjects and give your kids an overview of the subject. Or if you plan to dive deep and expect the kids to master it.

Is it a subject that needs to be mastered?

Principles guide you in choosing how to cover the information.

Sometimes this means looking for living books that immerse children and develop interests.

Other times it means looking for a curriculum with fun jingles that help children memorize the information.

Ultimately, you must understand the principles which are guiding your classical homeschool. Otherwise, you’ll end up far afield in your curriculum choices and not know how you got there.

2. Principles Guide How You Run the Homeschool

Do you have a goal that includes introducing children to truth, goodness, and beauty?

Then including a morning time spent listening to beautiful music, studying great art, reciting poetry, and reading great literature might be just the ticket.

Or you may follow an educational principle that says children need plenty of time for free play.

In this case, the homeschool day may be kept short and sweet to allow children time to swing, run, and jump outside.

Or perhaps you’re following a principle that says nature study is vital for all people, but especially for young children.

Do you spend an extra hour in group time together reading great books aloud, or do you spend that hour outside exploring a local park?

Classical education principles guide your homeschool choices and help to keep you on track.

This means you easily determine what is good and the best. And you can tailor your homeschool to your family’s specific needs.

Principles don’t just determine what curriculum is chosen, they also influence how the homeschool is run.

This leads us to the last point.

educational principles

3. Classical Education Principles Show Us What is Important

If the principles festina lente (make haste slowly) and multum non multa (much not many) are vital for your homeschool, then you’re going to make choices that allow you to slowly work through various subjects.

You’ll spend time diving deep and immersing yourself in your studies. You may spend a year studying the ancient Greeks. Or you may spend months slowly working through Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

On the other hand, if your principles say that it’s best to give kids a general and broad education, you’re going to make very different choices.

Instead of spending a year studying the ancient Greeks, you may instead choose to spend a year skimming all of world history before moving on to another subject entirely.

classical education principlesInstead of spending months on The Tempest, you may spend a single month on Shakespeare’s works before moving on.

This isn’t to say one is better than the other, but rather you need to know what principles are important for your classical homeschool.

How will you choose one subject over another?

Over the next 8 weeks, I’ll be slowly making my way through Dr. Perrin’s list of 8 Essential Principles of Classical Education and discussing each one.

Because these principles are vital for classical homeschoolers to understand and implement in our homeschools.

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  1. I love how you share that using these principles will help you find what’s important for your family instead of doing what everyone else is doing (even homeschool mom’s face peer pressure!). It’s so easy to get bogged down in curriculum choices and all the things you could be doing with your kids but it’s so much better to use a few good principles as guidelines for choosing what works. Great post! I’m looking forward to diving into these principles.

    1. Homeschool peer pressure is intense! It’s hard to keep keep the blinders on when everyone is raving about a curriculum or class that won’t fit your family’s needs. I’ve found having a clear picture of homeschool principles really helps. 🙂

  2. I love those Dr. Perrin videos. I’ve been meeting with some friends to watch them and discuss them together. I think I’ve seen them all, but I’ve been through 2 with my friends. It’s really nice to be able to stop the videos and discuss the principles together. I love how the principles he covers apply not only to homeschooling, but also life in general!

    1. It would be awesome to watch the videos and discuss the principles with friends. What a wonderful idea, Amy! The principles are so timeless, that you’re right. They do apply to both homeschooling and life in general. -)

  3. Oh my goodness so true! I don’t home school, but principles guide everything in my life and even in schooling my children What a great post

  4. This is lovely and really, principles are essential to guiding our practices and decisions as homeschoolers. I couldn’t imagine where we would be without clearly defined principles.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    1. It’s definitely worth taking the time to think out the principles we’re using to run our homeschool. They end up shaping so much of it.

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