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One question I’ve heard many times is, “Why classical education?”
Why teach your children a dead language? What’s the point of struggling with long reading lists?
Why Give Kids a Classical Education at Home?
I’ve thought about this question, and why I give my kids a classical education. After some thought, I decided there are many reasons to use the classical method of homeschooling in my family.
Learn About Important Historical Events
Classical education isn’t concerned with only the present. You learn about history as a story with a beginning, middle, and end. History begins in the distant past when civilizations were first developing in China, India, and the Middle East.
And the story continues through the years to the present day. As kids learn history they’re also exposed to important historical events.
- Learn about the building of the Great Wall of China
- Watch Caesar crossing the Rubicon
- Find out why Attila the Hun became so famous
- Learn about the development of Islam
- Study the Renaissance
- Explore the reasons behind the Reformation
- Watch the Mayflower crossing the ocean
- Learn about the rise of the Opium Trade
- Study the Mexican-American War
- Find out how WWI began
Children learn these along with many other intriguing historical events.
Learn About Fascinating People
History isn’t just about the events that happen. It’s a story and a good one at that. History teaches you about many fascinating people as you study.
This allows kids to:
- Study Hammurabi and his laws
- Learn about the reign of Hatshepsut
- Conquer the world with Alexander the Great
- Study Philosophy with Socrates
- Watch Augustus Caesar become the first emperor of Rome
- Learn about the reign of Queen Elizabeth I
- Study how Toyotomi Hideyoshi helped end Japan’s civil war.
- Compare George Washington with Napoleon I
- Study Gandhi and Indian Independence
- Learn about Martin Luther King. Jr and the Civil Rights Movement
Kids discover great men and women as they travel the annals of time!
Study Interesting Places
The planet Earth is covered with as many fascinating places as there are interesting people and important events. Classical education encourages you to explore the world.
And for kids to:
- Learn the continents of the world
- Study the geography of Japan
- Learn about the terrain in Mali
- Find out about the climate in Australia
- Explore the country of Russia
- Learn about the geography of Canada
- Find out how each state is different in the United States
- Explore the terrain of Brazil
- Learn about the country of Cyprus
- Explore the diversity of Earth’s geography
Take advantage of classical education’s fascination with geography to learn about far-off places!
Learn Different Languages
Back in the day, an educated person knew more than one language. After all, language is how people communicate with each other. Language is how people talk and connect.
This is why it’s important kids have the opportunity to:
- Learn Latin
- Study Koine Greek
- Learn Attic Greek
- Study Hebrew
- Learn French
- Explore Japanese
- Learn Russian
- Study of Arabic
- Learn Spanish
- Study of Korean
Encourage your kids to learn another language as you give them a classical education!
Classical Education Encourages You to Memorize
Memorization is a lost art in these days of looking things up on Google. And we’re losing the joy of reciting a funny poem with our kids, singing jingles and chants in the car, and being able to win trivia games! Memorization allows you to own the information, to stand in line and enjoy the beauty of a sonnet, and to make connections between historical events.
Kids can memorize:
- Shakespeare Sonnets
- Countries of the World
- Historical Events
- Periodic Table
- Greek Gods
- Roman Gods
- United States
- Layers of the Atmosphere
Read the Great Books
Ultimately the goal of classical education is to join the great conversation humanity has been holding over the centuries. A conversation about what it means to be human, what is the world, and why are we here? It encompasses all disciplines of learning.
You and your teens can read books like:
- Epic of Gilgamesh
- Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey
- Herodotus History of the Persian Wars
- Augustine’s Confessions
- Dante’s The Inferno
- William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
- John Locke, “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding”
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
- Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species
And this is just a start on the list of great books you and your kids can read!
Classical education isn’t just about reading great books and humanities. Science is also important! Exploring nature and science builds a sense of wonder, curiosity, and joy in our kids.
So grab your kids and:
- Explore nature with your kids
- Study animals
- Explore the human body
- Learn all about deciduous trees
- Complete chemistry experiments
- Explore Newton’s Laws of motion
- Learn about rocks and minerals
- Learn all about Marie Curie’s studies into radioactivity
- Explore tectonics and learn the layers of the atmosphere
- Study the stars and wonders of the universe
Classical education encourages you to enjoy exploring science with your kids!
Explore the Fine Arts
Classical education gives you the perfect opportunity to introduce your kids to the fine arts.
Not only do you learn about the fine arts, but you and your kids:
- Learn about the musical system of the Ancient Greeks
- Study the art of China
- Learn about color
- Explore perspective
- Study art appreciation
- Explore great music by meeting the composers
- Study Impressionism
- Try your hand at mixed media
- Study Picasso
- Learn the instruments of the orchestra
Remember that studying the masters of the fine arts is an excellent opportunity to learn how to create masterpieces yourself!
Study Logic and Rhetoric
Logic and rhetoric are especially needed these days. You need to form logical arguments, pull the arguments together, and communicate. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a paper, posting a blog post, or posting an update on Facebook. You need to communicate clearly.
And classical education encourages kids to:
- Learn about the premise
- Develop an argument
- Explore conclusions
- Learn about fallacies
- Study Statements
- Learn about inventio and how to formulate an argument
- Study dispositio and explore how to pull your argument together
- Elocutio teaches you to evaluate the words you use
- Develop skills in memoria and pronuntiatio
- Learn how to communicate well with people
Ultimately children need to think and communicate clearly with the world.
Why Classical Education?
So why do I give my kids a classical education?
- Classical Education is a timeless education
- Kids become well-rounded
- Classical education pulls kids upward to something higher than themselves
- Kids learn to think critically
- Classical education is a Life Education
- Kids learn to understand the world and see the beauty in Gods design
- Classical education helps kids develop a sense of wonder
- Kids learn to love what they ought to love and hate what they ought to hate
- Classical education learn about what is True, Beautiful, and Good
- Kids learn that 21st century America is not the center of the world
- Classical education gives children a beautiful education
My answer to why classical education is that classical education is a timeless education. It’s an education that withstands educational fads and prepares my children’s hearts, minds, and souls for whatever life may bring.
What is your answer to the question, “Why classical education?”
- The Well-Trained Mind
- The Liberal Arts Tradition
- Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition
- Do You Really Know What Classical Education Is?
- How to Easily Start Classical Education at Home
- Classical Education & The Less Academic Child