Let’s Contemplate!

One of the introductions and taglines of my favorite homeschooling podcast Schole Sisters, is scholé everyday.

That segment is simply what are you reading now? (Of the gazillions!) How is it affecting the way you think?

One of Dr. Christopher Perrin‘s 8 Principles of Classical Pedagogy, scholé is about slowing down, engaging in thought, as to the ancient Greeks would say that the highest goal of education is friendship, discussion, seeking, and finding, and exploring the truth, goodness, and beauty in the cosmos and in one another.

Scholé may sound rather intimidating, but it is simply a leisurely, contemplative conversation. It’s a Greek term meaning leisure, from Latin “scola”, and it is where we get our modern word “school.” The modern word for school means leisure!

To us moderns, one of the tensions in the way we were brought up in traditional school is the width and span of topics, versus the depth of it.

Let’s consider Sarah Mackenzie’s Read-Aloud Revival, an encouraging take on the doability of scholé and contemplation.

Their ultimate purpose is to foster good relationship and bonding with your child:

  • What does this character want & why can’t he get that?
  • Should he have done that? Why?
    Thinking in metaphor
  • How are the characters or their items different/alike from each other?
  • Who is the _____ in this story? How and why? When did he show this ______?(Is it bold, capable, charming, considerate,cowardly, creative, dangerous, disloyal, determined, foolish, friendly, generous, grateful, honest, loving, merciful, noble, persistent, pleasant, reliable, resourceful, sad, selfish, sincere, wise?)
  • What does this story remind you of?
  • What does the character fear the most?
  • What would you chamge about this story? This character?
  • What surprised you the most? What did you expect?
  • Which character most reminds you of yourself?
  • Which part is your favorite? What is something you dont want to forget?

On the one hand, why even go deep in a topic? On another, don’t you want to raise thinkers? Surely we have more time for this now, in this pandemic?

Just 1 or 2 of these per reading is enough for a good conversation. Lovely memories are built as we aim for meaningful conversations and lasting connections with our child.

Scholé is good for Mommy first & foremost, she needs time to think deeply, to keep sharp & equipped since and even as she keeps sharpening & equipping her kids!

Certainly, Mommy will “still have her brain with her,” (to recall Susan Wise Bauer) to converse with Daddy, or her friends, long after the kids are gone and the nest is empty. 🙂

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