The scholé homeschool: Guides to a liberal education

schole homeschool

Guest blog post by MPE member Lindsay R.

During the recent MPE conference I saw a myriad of experience and inexperience. New and old. Some searching for direction and others embarking on new things as homeschools had found themselves already launched.

I was very encouraged at the conference but also felt as if something was missing. The last four years I have been learning about Classical education and Charlotte Mason principles through who I call my “guides.”

Most of them are people I have never met except for online. These guides include but are not limited to Christopher Perrin from Classical Academic Press, as well as Cindy Rollins and Andrew Kern from Circe institute.

Scholé (or ‘leisure’)

Josef Pieper’s seminal work, Leisure, the Basis of Culture opens with this:

The Greek word for leisure (scholé) is the origin of Latin scola, English school. The name for the institutions of education and learning mean “leisure.”

I have discovered that what leisure in learning really means is not just doing the “subjects” that link us to a job, but refer to the virtue we aspire to through a liberal education.

When I first started homeschooling my now 8-year-old, I remember thinking that if I could coach my children to a career path that suited them, that many subjects could be left out and it wouldn’t be a big deal. I basically thought that vocational training as well as reading, writing and arithmetic were enough.

Of course, I wanted them to meet our state’s college requirements, but I wanted an effective, utilitarian approach to getting good SAT scores and a nice career without too much stress. I wanted a Christian curriculum, but the Bible part seemed awkwardly disjointed from the rest of the subjects I planned.

I have been challenged to see that all knowledge in all disciplines come from God and that it is my privilege and duty as a parent to show my children the good, beautiful and true through a generous and liberal education using the wisdom of Charlotte Mason, and many other philosophers and educators that have gone before us.

Some of the guides that I have found in this process include Brandy Vencel from afterthoughtsblog.net, Pam Barnhill from pambarnhill.com/ref/151/ and Mystie Winckler from SimplyConvivial.com.

These homeschool mothers have formed www.scholesisters.com, which include podcasts and a forum that have provided me some encouragement I needed to help create “morning time” and have changed the way that I conduct homeschooling.

I couldn’t help but share about them to fellow MPE members as I believe that these scholé resources have changed the trajectory of my homeschooling experience in profound ways.

Please consider using these links to meet some of my guides through this journey, and perhaps they will become your guides too.

Lindsay R. is a homeschool mother of four boys and one girl in Kansas and enjoys being outside, reading good books, memorizing facts and ideas central to a liberal education and singing hymns.

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