Category Archives: classical conversations

Dorothy Sayers: Lost Tools of Learning

The Lost Tools of Learning
Dorothy Sayers
That I, whose experience of teaching is extremely limited, should presume to discuss education is a matter, surely, that calls for no apology. It is a kind of behavior to which the present climate of opinion is wholly favorable. Bishops air their opinions about economics; biologists, about metaphysics; inorganic chemists, about theology; the most irrelevant people are appointed to highly technical ministries; and plain, blunt men write to the papers to say that Epstein and Picasso do not know how to draw. Up to a certain point, and provided the the criticisms are made with a reasonable modesty, these activities are commendable. Too much specialization is not a good thing. There is also one excellent reason why the veriest amateur may feel entitled to have an opinion about education. For if we are not all professional teachers, we have all, at some time or another, been taught. Even if we learnt nothing–perhaps in particular if we learnt nothing–our contribution to the discussion may have a potential value.

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Morning Time: The ‘WHY’ and ‘HOW’

Morning Time: The ‘WHY’ and ‘HOW’

What in the world can help our morning before homeschool? Why do most days start off rushed and irritating? Another day of forcing schoolwork? Kids arguing already? Is that even allowed before breakfast *coffee*?  In my book- NO.
Morning time is simply a way to start the day off right.  A way to all start on the same foot.  A way to focus on what is important first.  
This is what our Morning Time looks like right now:
We all gather around the table as we do Morning Time during breakfast.
  • We start with a family devotion.  Now, we each take a day to read out of Leading Little Ones to God by Marian M. Schoolland.  This was published back in the 70’s and is dear to my heart because I remember going through this book at night with my sister and dad.  It teaches an aspect about God and ends each day with a hymn and a prayer.
  • Fine art appreciation.  This is made so simple by Enrichment Studies.  Literally all the work except for choosing and printing is already done for you.  Our latest Artist study is titled “Women Artists of the Renaissance”.  I have printed the pages, which show a piece of art and give a little background about the artist and the piece itself.  Thats it.  Exposure.  done.
  • Next, we read aloud– and by we, I mean “I”.  Right now we are reading on a loop.  2 days, we are reading from Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and 2 days we read from Life of Fred.  Because we meet for Classical Conversations on Fridays, we only do our Morning Time Monday through Thursday.  While I am reading aloud, the kids each have a clipboard with blank paper that they can draw, doodle or whatever they want as long as they are listening and sitting quietly.
  • CC review- We take a couple minutes to review our Classical Conversations material that we
     learned that week and the weeks prior.  I get out a map, we sing songs, list etc.  The whole
     review takes about 15 minutes.  Done.

By the time we are done with our routine, everyone has finished breakfast and gathers their dishes and puts them in the sink (we will aim for the dishwasher soon).  All the kids gather their clipboards and pencils/colored pencils etc and puts them in our “Morning Time Basket”….

Its not a cure-all, but it sure helps us!  By the time we get down to the nitty-gritty, we have already learned a little about God together, sang/read a hymn together, prayed together, listened together, drawn together, and learned together.  Together is the best way to start the day.