Before I get going on this post, I want to make some things clear. I do not have children, but I have to interact almost daily, with other people’s children who have received a sub par education. It shows. Also, I bought the whole ‘why do I have to learn this I’ll never use it’ bit hook, line, and sinker. I thought wisdom lay in learning only what was needed to do the career in which I was interested. I stole so much from myself with that wrong mentality. Now, at the age of 50, I’m trying to teach myself what I was too ‘smart’ to bother with when I was a child. If you have kids, where or not you home school, pay attention to what they are, or are not, learning and make adjustments as needed. There is no reason why kids have to spend all summer forgetting everything they learned during the previous school year. Put a book in their hands, teach them how to journal about what they read, what is in nature, etc. The more they learn now, the more they will get out of life later.
So… my rant.
First of all, wake up about this, S.T.E.M. nonsense. There is more to life than S.T.E.M. However, the hysterics behind just about every news report on the topic would make it seem that if your child graduates from high school without knowing how to write a line of cod, he/she will be labeled an imbecile and end up picking up garbage on the side of the road for the rest of their life, or at least until they are replaced by a robot. Not true. Do not allow the hysterics of lame stream media, or your ignorant neighbors, keep you from giving your child a better education than the limits of S.T.E.M. It is wrapped up in a great deal of hype, but S.T.E.M., at its heart is just another form of servile education. The people who are in engineering jobs are paid well, usually, but they are still in a feudal/serf type setting. Unless you are the, Bill Gates, or, Steve Jobs of the world, you are still a minion. Oh sure, you’re not walking behind a plow, or using a blacksmith’s hammer but still… serf. If you are ok with that then you can stop reading right now. But keep reading to learn more of course.
Presently, the world is filled with people’s opinions. They are bandied about as if they were facts. I was reading an article the other day in which the writer was talking about ‘greater’ and ‘lesser’ cranes. The person did not like those terms. They weren’t PC enough for the ‘lesser’ cranes. Wouldn’t want to hurt a crane’s feelings now would we? We have come to the end of reasoning when how species are labeled scientifically is considered hurtful to animals. Some people have even, conveniently, ignore that you must have XX chromosomes to be a woman, and XY to be a man. Perhaps a classical education would help people remember that genetics is not subjective? No matter how many surgeries you undergo, you cannot override genetics and turn yourself into something you are not. No matter what is on the outside, the inside, the code that makes you what you are remains unaltered. No amount of opinion can change that fact.
We have seen on t.v. and in movies how people who say they are getting a liberal arts degree are mocked. How every powerful these images have been. We have allowed ourselves to be duped into giving up reasoning, wisdom, virtue. etc. for pseudo ‘wisdom’.
Before I get started reading all of those classics, books on rhetoric, etc., I am reading; Beauty for Truth’s Sake, On the Re-enchantment of Education, and Well Educated Mind. These two books, and others if you choose to do more research, will help guide you toward how to give yourself, or your children, a classical education.
Why am I doing this at the age of fifty? Well, I’m not dead yet. When I was in college, there was an 80+ year old German man in my journalism class. I thought that was very optimistic of him to be in school at such an advanced age. There is wisdom in what eh was doing, not optimism. Be a learner always. Read. Create. Build. Discover. Just because you graduated, or not, does not mean you are done with learning. Cultivate within yourself the spirit of curiosity. Whether it is a classical education, or some other form of; continual-seeking-of-knowledge, do not allow your mind to turn to putty.
And for heaven’s sake people, learn how to pronounce the word, strength.