Monday, September 18, 2006

Some final thoughts this evening

In catching up on my reading, I worked through Chapter 4 of Teaching the Trivium by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn. What follows is some thoughts on the subject matter that I thought I would share with you.

First, the Bluedorns describe the Trivium. "First the Grammar of the subject (is studied) - the facts - the who, what, where and when. Second, the Logic of the subject - the theory - the why. Third, the Rhetoric of the subject - the practice - the how."

The Bluedorns (and I for that matter) believe that the classical Trivium is rooted in our created nature. I was so impressed on Sat. at the science workshop (the title of which was Science and the Attributes of God) that the speaker was able to correlate so many parts of nature to the attributes of God. For example, 3 things make up the, time and matter. There are three dimensions to an object....length, width and height. God is in 3 persons....the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our speaker refered to this chemical that we were using and in the presence of a alkaline substance it turned one color and in the presence of an acid it turned another color....always. The rule never changed....just like God and his love for us never changes. I believe that this is what the Bluedorns are trying to explain here.

The learning process for almost everything falls into three categories: Knowlege, Understanding and Wisdom. There are many bible verses that refer to these: Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 3: 19-20 The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

"""Our Creator worked the fundamental structure of the Trivium into the very fiber of our natural being. We come to know things in the natural world through our natural senses. We come to understand these things with our minds. We put our understanding into wise practice through our muscles."""" pg. 88

The Bluedorns go on the explore the problems with modern education.
"""Our first observation is that modern education majors on the minors. It pursues Trivia, not Trivium. True education should not be like filling an empty bucket. It should be like lighting a fire."""" pg. 93

This reminds me of a favorite book of mine....Ignite the Fire by Teri Camp. This was such an important book in explaining how to nurture the interests of my children. I still refer to this book often.

And continuing: """Our second observation is that modern education interrupts the natural progression of learning.""" pg. 94

And finally: """A true liberal arts education is the mastery of those skills which liberate us from our teachers so that we can learn on our own.""" pg. 99 I couldn't agree more. My goal as a parent/teacher/mentor is to give my children the basic skills and the love of learning. Then I can set them free to learn the things that they need or want to know. This doesn't mean that I don't teach them anything, it means that we leave room for the things that interest them. We follow the "rabbit trails" and see where they lead us. I will never know how the study of a subject will impact my children. God may use my children's special interests for His kingdom. What a shame if I passed by on an opportunity to explore the world that interests them.

In case you, like me, didn't receive a classical education, here are some tips that the Bluedorns give to get us started in the right direction (all taken from pgs. 102-103)
1. Kick the entertainment habit
2. Start reading
3. Ask the Lord to give you an inquiring mind
4. Build vocabulary
5. Have discussions with your children
6. Make sure your children obey you
7. Establish family worship

Happy learning :)

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