09 February 2010

The thrill of systematic education

The thrill of systematic education

Our view of classical education convinces us that a systematic approach to education  -- approaching things from the fundamentals, the beginning -- is the best way to put knowledge into perspective.  There are plenty of other theories out there, and sometimes when jack is browsing the school shelves wistfully, eager to get to the Romans or impatient to learn about knights, I sometimes wonder whether it would be better to indulge his interests as they appear.
The problem with indulging him too much is that either we make new units less interesting, because he "already knows that" and so doesn't want to study the topic in its appointed time and place, or we start to present history all out of order, losing many of the benefits of the classic sequential presentation.  So far I have compromised by keeping him out of the materials we have set aside, but not interfering with what he finds on his own at the library.  So far so good.
Then, last night, Jack got a glimpse of the connections we're presenting to him.  We were reading a book about Ancient Egypt (God kind by Joanne Williamson) and this edition has a map that includes not only the Nile, but also the Tigres and Euphrates.  Jack spotted his old friends the T&E and got very excited when he realized that they were so (relatively) near and that characters from his Mesopotamian stories could (and maybe did) probably travel to Egypt.
He enjoys his stories, but he is also beginning to sense the thrill of "putting it all together".  That's a lot harder to do with a scattershot approach and I'm thilled to see the payoff coming so early in his career!  woo hoo! 
I have had a lot of that same thrill of putting the peices together into a coherent whole as we've studied over the last year and a half.  I never really got to study history at school-- it had been replaced by the much more 'relevent' (to what, they never explained) social studies by the time I was old enough.  (And don't get me started on my many year quest to find a geography class in public schools!) 

1 comment:

  1. john morris wrote:
    I'm amazed that they don't have topics set up in any logical way there ... it seems an awful way of presenting material that should flow more logically than it does, cheers ... j


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