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Welcome to another week of the Teaching the Trivium book club! I am so excited to read and discuss this book along with you. I loved the discussion last week and would love to hear from more of you! Today we talk about how education continues even past the Rhetoric Stage.
Chapter 15 -The Finishing Level: Ages Nineteen and Onward
This is (pretty much) the last chapter in the book. Wow! I can't believe that we made it through all 400+ pages! Next week we will have a concluding discussion, so go ahead and read the conclusion and thumb through the Appendix. Then we will resume in June for our next book (more on that in a later post!)
The trivium is more than a curriculum, it is a way of life. (page 433)
That is so true! Classical education is about creating a culture of learning, discussion, and contemplation. The school years are just the preparation for a life filled with these things. This chapter is all about life beyond their formal academic years.
In your mind, what are you preparing your child for? What is the goal of your homeschooling? Are you preparing your child for a good job? To go to college? To be a productive citizen? To be a light in the dark world? To be ready for marriage?
I think that all these things have merit. The Bluedorns argue that preparing your children for marriage should be the focus of the late teen years. I think they have some good points. If two people are self-focused, set on pursuing whatever dreams and goals they have, how are they going to transition into a life together? Marriage is about serving one another, and each person has skills that they will need in order to do this. We talked about this a bit last week, but it is worth bringing up again. Readying a child for adulthood includes more than academics, and I think we have mixed up our priorities a bit lately. I think we could see more solid families if children were purposely taught the skills they need to be husbands, wives, homemakers, fathers, etc.
Principles for Making Decisions and Setting Goals
The Bluedorns list twelve principles for making decisions and setting goals. A few of them I found extra helpful and interesting. I will comment on them here. If you want to discuss any of the others, just bring them up in the comments!
Instill in your children the desire to listen to advice from their elders.
I think every child thinks they are wise. Dare I say, the most wise? I remember thinking this way. Hey, I probably still think this way! They made a good point of modeling this behavior for our children. I don't think I would have thought of that! Even as adults, we can practice respect and being teachable.
Accumulate Multigenerational Wisdom
I have to admit that I just don't typically think this way. Do you? I think my husband and I are more "family of God" focused than physical family focused. Here is what the Bluedorns have to say. I'm not saying it's wrong, it is just not how I've been taught to think. What do you think?
The goal is for a family to accumulate wisdom for making decisions, and to pass that wisdom on to each succeeding generation. (pg 435)
Don't work without clear goals. Yes!
Learn to sort the necessities from the niceties.
I think this is so huge! We are all so prone to think that we deserve things just because they are available, or because we see that others have them. We really need to consciously practice contentment. The Bluedorns also apply this principle to the things you choose to do: the must-dos, should-dos, and might-be-a-nice-idea-to-dos.
Limitations may be your greatest opportunities.
Wow, this is a good, but hard one. It is so easy to get discouraged or resentful when things don't go our way. They give the example of Joseph being sold to the Egyptians and then put in prison. That would have been an easy time to become resentful. Little did Joseph know that God was preparing him to be in just the right place and position to save his family from starvation (along with many other people!) If we can teach our children to have this attitude, they will be well served.
A boy's goal is to develop a livelihood.
This is especially good to remember in these recent days. We seem to be in a culture of boys who never want to grow up, let alone take responsibility for a family. Parents, teach your boys to be hard workers and good providers!
A girl's goal is to be a homemaker.
I know these are fighting words in many circles, but they are so true. Not saying anything about what else a girl does with her life, our daughters do need to learn to take care of their (future) homes. Homemaking is looked down upon these days, so many people are reluctant to teach these skills. That is too bad. Moms, will you teach your daughters all you know about keeping a home? If you feel like you are not adequately prepared, will you learn along with her?
I really liked this:
If we train up our daughters to live independently, then guess what? That's how they're likely to live. If they enter a marriage with an independent spirit, and without the skills to motherhood and homemaking, they guess what? It is likely that their home will lack peace and harmony...On the other hand, if we prepare our daughters to marry - to have a submissive spirit, to care for others, and to rule their homes - then will we be surprised if they become loving wives and mothers with orderly and peaceful homes? (pg. 438)
I know I could benefit from a little more order and peace! What about you? What do you desire for your daughters? What do you desire for your sons?
What about college?
The next part of the chapter is all about college. What are your thoughts about college these days? Honestly, my opinion of college is getting lower and lower =) The Bluedorns give lots of reasons why not going to college might be a better choice. This post is already really long, so I'm not going to discuss all of them, but I would love to hear what you think! Will you encourage your children to pursue college?
If we took a snapshot of the idea product of this (classical) education, what would he look like? He knows how to learn from books. He knows how to train his hands to perform a skill, and to train his mind to think. (pg 445)
Thanks for reading along this week! Leave comments here on the blog post, or share about it on social media (#ClassicalMamasRead). I'll be sharing too, so follow me on facebook, twitter, or google+ and we can chat about it there as well! Don't forget, if you want to share your thoughts about Teaching the Trivium on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!
Teaching the Trivium. If you don't have your own copy, I still recommend getting your hands on a copy! Check your library or order one soon. Feel free to comment on any past book club posts, because I'm always happy to keep the conversation going! Also, this is a 600+ page book, so I am only touching on certain points of each chapter. There is so much great information that I am not covering, so if this discussion interests you, you are going to want to make sure to pick up your own copy so you can read more!
Classical Mamas Read Link-Up
Did you write about Teaching the Trivium on your blog? Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)? Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)? I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!
I think I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions. If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.
Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).