A few words about our approach to education -and learning in general- here at Classical Wisdom Kids.
We subscribe to the Greek Philosopher Plutarch's excellent insight that:
“the mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.”
This is even more true for children. They have open minds, not empty minds.
This philosophical perspective is important, because rather than just instructing kids on what to learn or think, we want to inspire them to think for themselves, to solve the problem or come to the realization by themselves. The beauty of this is that it kindles a life-long love of learning, a curiosity of the world and an appreciation of wisdom.
Of course, the most famous proponent of this tactic was none other than Socrates himself. Rather than giving lectures, he asked questions (albeit sometimes very leading questions) that encouraged his students to learn.
How to Start the Lesson
As such, we might suggest, especially for our Philosophy segments, to introduce the lessons in a natural and casual way. These aren’t subjects solely for the classroom, for the hallowed academic halls or beautiful (though sometimes stuffy) libraries. These are subjects for living right now.
Philosophy, history, art, math and literature offer ways of looking at life. It is about thinking, perspective and appreciation.
So instead of setting aside a ‘lesson’ time (which can be tricky in our very busy lives!), maybe try telling the story over lunch or dinner... Bring up the discussion points while on a walk... or start the activity as a fun project.
Of course, this is only a suggestion. If you and your family prefer learning in a more structured manner, and that works for you, that’s wonderful! You do you.
With regards to the layout of Classical Wisdom Kids, the idea will be to have a short story and a concept, followed by discussion points and activities. The story can be read aloud/paraphrased for younger children, or enjoy the print out option (along with a word bank) for kids who can read.
At this moment, the lessons are geared more towards elementary kids, especially the activities (since our almost 8 year old is helping create them!) However, they can certainly be adapted to older kids. We also have a philosophy section for adults/older children, which will include more resources and reading materials. Check out some of our issues, for instance, and decide for yourself!
Finally, this is a cooperative effort!
Our mission here is to help instill a love of the Classics, philosophy and literature in children, because they are the future stewards of history...Already too much history has been lost over the millennia when generations did not care, so it is important that we don’t lose anymore.
As such, if you have ideas - please let us know! If you have a cool concept for an activity - for any age - that relates to the topic, please add it in the comment section. If you find more reading materials or videos - especially if it helps adapt for other kids - add it in the comment section. If you think of an interesting discussion point - add it in the comment section.
I feel so fortunate to have such a beautiful Classics loving community, and your unique experiences, education, and insights are invaluable to our project.
We are truly in this effort together.
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I am so glad to have found an approach and method so congruent with my own path as a home educator though the simple means of a search on the Substack app on a weekend morning. I am happy to be here and I hope that, as your community grows, there will be a space for meetings and discussion. Thank you!
I love the fact that you indicated, 'this is a cooperative effort."