Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Review: The Case for Classical Christian Education


For several years I've heard the term "Classical Education" thrown around. Just the type of people talking about it made my ears perk up- good friends, intelligent folks, godly parents, bloggers whom I admire...

In any case, I knew that I was interested and wanted to learn more. Latin? Sure, why not? Studying original sources and basing curriculum off of great books? I'm in! 

Recently a friend loaned me Douglas Wilson's book, The Case For Classical Christian Education. Well S isn't even quite one year old yet, I thought that now was as good a time as any to become more informed on the topic. I dove straight in. 

The Case For Classical Christian Education presents an excellent framework for those who, like me, are fairly clueless on the matter. He begins with taking a look at the public school system- how it has failed, why it is philosophically flawed and thus not fixable, etc. 

From there he moves into the centrality of worship in education. He proves that from start to finish, through and through, education is a religious matter. Public schools worship the god of secular humanism, and their curriculum is thus centered on that god. If you want your children to know and love the God of the Bible, you lay a framework for this love by providing them with a Christian education.

Finally he draws up the details of what a Classical Christian ought to look like. He answers common questions, such as, "Why Latin?" Interwoven throughout the book is the story of how he (among others) founded a Classical Christian school in Moscow, Idaho, to meet the needs of their own children. It was both fascinating and compelling. 

At this point in time, Niall and I are eagerly planning on homeschooling. Chapter 24 discusses homeschool as an alternative to attending a Classical Christian School. Douglas Wilson presented common problems he has observed in homeschools. I felt that they were reasonable criticisms, and good issues to be aware of and to avoid as we seek to educate our children at home. This chapter alone was inestimably valuable!

The one disappointment this book left me with was the author's tone. While he was very engaging, witty, and sometimes even funny; at times I found that Mr.Wilson bordered on cynicism and even rudeness when discussing view points opposing his own. Every once and awhile I felt mildly offended and had to take a quick pause to renew my mind and receive it graciously. This only happened occasionally though, and over all I would highly recommend it- I just wanted to warn you of this before you picked it up so that you didn't think I was okay with it :)!

Do you homeschool (or plan on homeschooling)? What educational approach have you adopted?

2 comments:

  1. as a woman who has received a classical education that was also religious, I commend you for reading this book and exploring this opportunity. Your children will be blessed!

    Emily
    www.weakandloved.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so cool Emily! I would love to pick your brain about this someday...

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