An important turning point in Heidi comes when in Chapter 10 “another grandmother” comes to visit Clara and Heidi in Frankfurt and shows Heidi a book: “For a moment or two she looked at it with brightening eyes, then the tears began to fall, and at last she burst into sobs. The grandmother looked at the pictureContinue reading “‘Heidi’ – an unschooling Classic? Part 2 – Learning to read”
There is a really interesting passage in Johanna Spyri’s Heidi where Heidi’s grandfather resists the great pressure that is put on him to send Heidi to school. “I am going to let her grow up and be happy among the goats and the birds; with them she is safe, and will learn nothing evil,” heContinue reading “‘Heidi’ – an unschooling classic?”
On digging rich earth from the bottom of the compost heap the other day, I couldn’t help but think about education. I’d been working on my compost for a long time and now, at last, when the children wanted to plant vegetables, it was ready to do some good. The work I had put inContinue reading “On Compost, Quarantine Homeschooling, and Home Education”
Professor John Sullivan of Liverpool Hope University has sent me this kind review which he wrote for the Spring 2020 issue of Networking, an English Catholic education journal: Did Jesus go to school? By Roy Peachey (Redemptorist Publications, 2019) Pp.149; £9.95. This is an engaging, down-to-earth, original, wise and spiritual book about parents, children andContinue reading “A kind review”
A lecturer in the department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge once told me that the question she is most often asked is, “How long did it take you to learn Chinese?” Her reply to this unanswerable question was always “I don’t know, because I’m still learning.” Much the sameContinue reading “Slow Education: an extract from ‘Out of the Classroom and Into the World’”
Since I’m focusing on Slow Education at the moment, I thought it might be worth reposting this article I wrote for First Things a while back: Throwing my bags into the car, I waved my wife and children a hasty goodbye and then reversed out of the drive, automatically turning on the radio as I went.Continue reading “Fishing for Koi with an Afghan Veteran”
In The Creed in Slow Motion, Ronald Knox points out that “if it was an astonishing thing that our Lord should die, equally it was an astonishing thing that he should stay dead”. We take it for granted that he stayed dead for three days but it is certainly not an event that could possiblyContinue reading “Teaching us gradually – an extract from one of my books”
“I think we ought to start a nursery school on Saturdays.” [said Joan.] “How?” asked Peter. “We could use Timmy’s yard and play games with them. And we could educate them too. I’ve got a very interesting book. It says a lot about discipline. I don’t think Mother has ever read it,” Joan added reflectively.Continue reading “Hilda van Stockum on parenting and education”
Here’s my latest article for UnHerd in which I write about education during and after the lockdown, industrial and slow education, and the importance of leisure.
“The customary branches of education are in number four; they are – (1) reading and writing, (2) gymnastic exercises, (3) music, to which is sometimes added (4) drawing.” Politics, Book VIII, Chapter 3
And here’s an earlier article I wrote for UnHerd: ‘Who needs schools anyway? What homeschooling taught me – and my kids‘. I should point out that I didn’t write the headline!
Here’s a recent article I wrote for UnHerd on ‘The secrets of successful home teaching‘.
I have been writing quite a few articles in the last few days and weeks, so I thought it would be a good idea to post links to them here. First up is my article for The Catholic Herald on ‘Making the most of isolation: How to strike a balance in homeschooling‘.
My latest article for UnHerd on ‘The secrets of successful home teaching’ is now available: https://unherd.com/2020/03/how-to-survive-as-a-home-teacher/ . I hope it helps.
St Anthony Communications have a new website with all sorts of interesting books, videos and other material available. There’s also an area of free content, which includes some of my essays. I’m delighted to be in the company of Fr Andrew Pinsent, Sr Mary of the Trinity and Fr Peter Stravinskas and am delighted thatContinue reading “New Website”
“Doctors of ancient times used to recommend reading to their patients as a physical exercise on an equal level with walking, running, or ball-playing.” So says Jean Leclerq in his wonderful The Love of Learning and the Desire for God.
In the preface to his great book, The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School, Neil Postman pointed out that in “in tracking what people have to say about schooling, I notice that most of the conversation is about means, rarely about ends. Should we privatize our schools? Should we have national standards ofContinue reading “What is the purpose of education?”
Today I’m introducing a new section to the site: 3 Great … And I’m starting with 3 Great Audiobooks for children.
It can be a dispiriting experience reading the first drafts of students’ personal statements – it can also be dispiriting to read the fifteenth draft but that’s another matter – because many students simply don’t write very well. Their grammar is creaky, their vocabulary is limited, and their paragraphing is all over the place.
I am currently reading Reading Reconsidered and will review it properly in the next week or so. However, I couldn’t resist mentioning a couple of statistics from the book (both from page 210) before I do so: