August 22, 2007

Shake Off the Dust

Time to get things going around here. The boys have been "back to school" for a few weeks with a brief interruption for treehouse construction. This year finds Drew in 3rd grade and Jacob in 1st. Matty is cast in the role of spoiler. Latin and music will be begun in earnest this year along with the more usual studies. Drew's piano lessons begin next week. Jacob's lessons might begin in January. In the meantime Jacob is excited to begin his stage career. Saturday he will be trying out for a part in a local production of The Nutcracker.

May 2, 2007

The Older the Better

Of all the extra-familial forms of influence vying to shape my kids (friends, TV, music, etc.) I hope that books have the most profound effect. And the older the book the better. Drew has just finished Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie from the famous Laura Ingalls Wilder series, and now he is beginning a book by Barbara Willard called Augustine Came to Kent, which has been out of print since the '60s, but has recently been republished by Bethlehem Books.

Do take a look at Bethlehem Books; what great titles they have! I was especially pleased to be able to track many of them down through PINES, our library system here in Georgia. If you're not using PINES then GREAT! That's more books for me! But you really should take advantage of it anyway. You'd probably be stunned to know exactly how much you've paid in taxes to support the thing!

March 7, 2007

Paideia of God

Marian is currently reading, and I think she has agreed to provide a review of, Douglas Wilson's Paideia of God. Stay tuned.

Karate Graduation

The boys got their third stripes on their yellow belts last night. Drew will now be orange, and Jacob, who at age 5 is technically too young to be a full orange belt, will be a yellow-orange, which he thinks is cool, so that's a good thing! They both did great, especially Jacob. He is so intense! You can see the boys at their graduation ceremony this Friday @ 5:00. It will be at the Jim Fuller Karate studio on Salem Road in Conyers. This is when they will actually receive their new belts!

March 4, 2007

Some Good Children's Literature

Lately Marian and the boys have especially enjoyed several books by Geraldine McCaughrean (pronounced "Ma - cork - run"). She is a British author whose specialties are mythology and children's literature. Her retellings of classic stories are excellent. They have read Hercules, Pilgrim's Progress, Moby Dick, and several of Shakespeare's plays. Additionally she has some excellent adaptations of Bible stories.  The Jesse Tree is one such title they enjoyed.  A Jesse tree is a depiction of Jesus' family tree in wood, stone, or stained glass so that the unlettered might learn.  She writes in her introduction:

A priest could point to the figures or symbols an tell the stories of those Old Testament kings, prophets, heroines, warriors.  And the tree itself served to show how the New Testament grew out of the Old Testament; how, for Christians, the birth of Jesus was not just a beginning, but a completion.  He was the flowering of a tree planted long before, by God's own design.  By tracing his earthly ancestry back to King David and beyond, it was easy to see Jesus as a real historical figure.

I even appreciate how she laments the "Puritan vandals" of the seventeenth century who attempted to destroy these Jesse trees in their attempt to eradicate all "graven images." Someone needed to say it.
The book is the wonderful interplay of a young boy who comes upon an old man who is making a Jesse tree at a church. The boy is full of questions for which the old man hasn't the time; but he begins to tell the boy the stories behind the symbols on the tree.   We look forward to reading many more of McCaughrean's books.  There is a link at the bottom of the right sidebar to many of her books on Amazon.  Take a look!

February 19, 2007

Why Not Government School?

This is a good question, especially since a government elementary school is a stone's throw (or two) from our house. We've already paid for it with our taxes after all! My wife could be there in a minute if she were ever called. Etc. Etc.

Porterdale Elementary would definitely be the path of least resistance; however, here are some quotes in line with the way we have answered the question for ourselves:

The school system that ignores God teaches its pupils to ignore God; and this is not neutrality. It is the worst form of antagonism, for it judges God to be unimportant and irrelevant in human affairs. This is atheism." ~ Gordon Clark

2. Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal! life, John 17:3 and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him Prov. 2, 3." ~ from the Rules and Precepts observed at Harvard University, 1642

What is Classical Education, Anyway?

Well, it is the sort of education received by the original Sons of Liberty and most of the Founding Fathers of our nation. In fact, it is the type of education which for centuries produced the great minds of history by educating according to the "trivium" of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. However, the last 150 years or so has seen the abandonment of the classical method--to our detriment.

The following links will introduce you to the trivium and the classical method:

The Trivium in a Capsule by Harvey Bluedorn
Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Book? by R.C. Sproul, Jr.
The Trivium in Biblical Perspective by Randy Booth
Inroduction to Classical Education from the "Classical Christian Homeschooling" website
Classical America A look at the influence of Classical Education on Early America

Also, CBN recently ran a feature on the Logos School, a classical Christian school that has produced many of the materials our children are and will be using. You can view that segment here.

About the Name "Sons of Liberty"

This is the official home of our family homeschool, which we've dubbed Sons of Liberty Academy. The original "Sons of Liberty" were principally formed by Samuel Adams (yes, the beer guy!) in Boston leading up to the American Revolution. The "Sons" included the likes of Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and Paul Revere--men who, to paraphrase, "feared not those who could kill the body, but rather feared Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell." We are proud to be the namesake of those lovers of freedom, but there is more to liberty than fighting "taxation without representation."

In a remarkable passage from John's Gospel, Jesus speaks about true liberty, true freedom... "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." —John 8:31-36 It is our hope to raise true Sons of Liberty as Jesus speaks of here. We hope this site will help to keep you updated on the achievements of Drew, Jacob, and Matthew as we all "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)