Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Bookshelves in the Schoolroom, Part 2

Back to the bookshelves ...

Which I dusted today, by the way.  Yes I realize I should have dusted BEFORE I took any of these photos, but that didn't occur to me at the time.  You'll see what I mean in some future post photos ... there's dust ... and you can see it!  Which is reality on most days.  Today was a fluke, I found a new Swiffer Duster pad and went to town on the shelves.  But now my nose is all stuffed up.  I knew there was a reason why I neglect to dust very often.  

So there are some great books on the first shelf I'm highlighting.  There is:  The Children's Bible that my 3-year old has just discovered and loves looking at.  Some resources for classical education:  Reading Between the Lines and Invitation to the Classics, neither of which I've managed to get around to reading ... yet.  How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer, which is considered required reading for serious thinkers.  At least that's what I read in a review somewhere.  It IS required reading for a Christian Studies course I would like my oldest to take at some point during her high school years.  There are 3 books from the Core Knowledge Series, What You're (Kindergartner, First Grader, Second Grader) Needs to Know.  These are fun to look through.  Also there's a great logic book, The Fallacy Detective, which I'm sure we'll get around to going through at some point. 



By far the most dog-eared, most go-back-to books on this shelf are: 
The Well-Trained Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, and The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.   
The Well-Trained Mind is basically my spine for home education.  When we first made the plunge to teach our kids at home I read a ton of books on the subject.  But it wasn't until I got my hands on this book that I said ... A-HA!  This is it!  Finally I knew how I wanted to do it.  I was able to tell my husband, we are going to give our kids a "classical education".  Of course I never knew what that meant until I read this book.  I finally saw a map for making it work.  Now I don't do absolutely everything this book prescribes, but it is my basic plan and I make adjustments as needed.  This is the one book I re-read every summer to renew my vision for homeschooling.  

One thing about The Well-Trained Mind though ... it made me think ... this is the education I wish I had received, but didn't.  Obviously I'm not the only one because Bauer wrote this book:


The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had.  Bingo!  I had to have this book.  It is a guide for how to read on many different levels.  And it's an outline of great books.  Books you should have read.  Books you still should read, at least at some point in your life.  Books that make you think, that expand your horizons and knowledge base, that enlighten you, that challenge you ... that change you.  That is the reason I read books to begin with.  That's what it's all about to me.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that I actually have read some of the books on Bauer's list.  But many I have not.  

So I set about on the quest ... to educate myself ...

Part of the journey is keeping a reading journal.  Of course I had to decorate mine.  Which required getting out my set of colored pencils:

I probably spent several chapters worth of reading time on doodling and decorating my journal.  I'm just like that.  

Susan Wise Bauer has divided her reading lists into genres.  I decided I wanted to read everything chronologically.  I like to do things in order.  I'm just like that.  So first up on the list was The Epic of Gilgamesh.  Here are my journal notes for Gilgamesh:


Of course I had to doodle in the notes too.  But at least it has something to do with the book.  After Gilgamesh comes The Iliad and The Odyssey.  And that's where I left off on my great reading quest.  I forgot to mention that I started this journey over 3 years ago.  And I'm only on the 3rd book on the list.  Sorry, I had a baby and got incredibly sidetracked.  But I'm picking it back up and we'll see how far I get this year.  

Oh and I found some great new colored pencils to assist me on the reading quest: 

These are so cool.  You don't have to sharpen them.  Just twist and go!  The kids thought I was buying these for them.  Nope!  I seem to have an addiction to art supplies, much like my addiction to books.  I guess I'm just like.  ;-)

1 comment:

Kristen said...

All right, you aren't fooling anyone, Missy. You don't want to actually read the books, you just want a cool looking journal. Heehee! I love both those books, and I actually started giving myself the Classical Education I never had, but I got bogged down in "Don Quixote" and never continued. Could be my incredible problem with falling asleep while reading, as well as my addiction to GH. My quiet time is from 2:00-3:00, so it's DQ or GH. Hmm, what a choice.