About a year ago, I saw a headline that made me squeal in delight: Pelosi Rips Trump: ‘As the President fiddles, people are dying’…
We had just studied Nero and the burning of Rome in our homeschool that same week! How timely!
(No, I certainly did not agree with the headline, I was only interested in the wording itself. Please see my Disclaimer about politics in this post – or the lack thereof – further in this post.)
Of course I took a screen shot and texted it to my big kids so they can share in my excitement. Admittedly, they were not nearly as thrilled as I was with this find, but they still took note.
Over the past year or so, I have carried out a little experiment. I am an avid reader of the news, both local and national. Each time I see a news story or headline that pertains to something we have studied, I take a screen shot on my phone.
I continue to be floored by the frequency in which our school work bleeds into the talk in the real world.
Let me show you in a few pictures what I mean.
Classical Education in our Homeschool
My children partake in a classical education here at the Hill House, which means we study a lot of Latin and Western Civilization. So much of our current literature, writings, and ways of thinking are directly based out of Western Civilization. And of course our current form of government has the direct influence of Western nations.
I want my children to understand the vital role that the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Hebrews played in the formation of our American culture and values.
That means that we read a lot. We read everything from The Iliad and The Odyssey to Greek Myths to The Constitution to the Federalist Papers to St. Augustine to Charles Dickens and much more.
Please know I don’t say that as a brag at all, it’s simply to say that I am very intentional with what my children read and study during their school time. I literally had never read a Greek Myth in my entire life until 3 years ago, so know my words don’t come from a place of superiority. Quite the contrary, these words come from a place of humbleness.
I feel like I had a (mostly) wasted education in my K-12 public school years, and I have spent a lot of the past 4-5 years reading and making up for that.
I am committed to ensuring my children are more well-read and have a solid grasp of our American history, which is rooted in Western Civilization.
So that’s the short version of why I am even looking for Classical references in the first place!
Finding References to Classical Education in the Real World
➡ Disclaimer: This is in no way meant to be a political post. While I actively seek to understand politics and happily discuss it in person, I never allude to politics or the current culture here at Mama’s Learning Corner. It’s just not the setting for it.
➡ Also, please look past the Right vs. Left headlines or sources I display below. The point is not to highlight which side of the Great Divide on which you might fall, but to show how knowledge of history helps us more richly understand the topics of today.
Of course one can read and understand the current news in America without knowing a drop about Western Civilization. I am proof of that!
However, now that I have read a moderate amount of books and texts in our Classical Education studies, I can grasp the meaning of these news stories with a deeper understanding. I glossed over the references before, inferring from context clues what the author intended.
I have found that knowing the “story behind the story” adds a level of richness that would not be gleaned otherwise.
Here is just a smattering of what I have gathered over the past 18 months:
A reference to Thucydides’ Trap: Untying the Gordian Knot:
Wall Street Flying with Icarus’ Wings: Origen Quote:
Sisyphean Folly of Printing Money: Bob Spindell Acting as Atlas:
A Couple of Homer References:
Multiple ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ Headlines:
And my favorite – Various references to Hector and ‘Hectoring’:
I often get this question, especially during the tween years, “Why am I studying this? Who cares?!”
That is a very valid question, in my opinion, regardless of age.
What is the point of doing what I’m doing? What does it matter if I know who Hector is and why it was a big deal that they dragged his body around? Why oh why do I have to memorize all of the Latin declensions and conjugations?
The list of questions goes on forever!
And because my children ask me why it is important they study what they are assigned, it makes it imperative that I have a solid, well thought through answer. They deserve to know, in my opinion.
Having a solid, classical education allows them to understand the world and our culture in a way that would not otherwise.
Obtaining “proof” from various headlines only makes it more interesting!
How do you merge school work and the real world?
What does that look like in your home?