In Which Plato Changed My Life

I started as a Classical Educator. I’m sure I was drawn to the classical model because of my own experience with Plato. I went to a liberal arts college with a strong core curriculum, so we read lots of really amazing books. I was terrified of them and sure that I wouldn’t understand them. Somehow the thought of studying Plato had me frozen in fear.

When I finally read The Republic, I was hooked. I loved it. That moment crystallized for me the idea that I was afraid of the classics because I had not been exposed to them early enough.

Fast forward to my reading of The Well-Trained Mind. I love so much about that book: Jessie Wise’s story of how she came to be a home educator; the schedules; all the resources lists… But after a year of trying to educate just one small person (granted, I was chasing two smaller ones at the same time) in the classical model, I saw how teacher-intensive it is as an educational model. I was looking for something that both respected and depended on the child as a learner, and I found Charlotte Mason. And I turned into a Charlotte Mason educator. But I think that the classics are a part of the feast CM wants us to offer our children. I don’t want my children to be picky eaters, so I offer them a wide variety of foods. I don’t want them to frightened readers, so I am exposing them to a wide variety of great literature, art, music and nature.

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