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Rising Trend of Classical Education Offers Hope for Civic Renewal

Jul 11, 2024

Rising Trend of Classical Education Offers Hope for Civic Renewal by Jason Bedrick at The Daily Signal. On the most recent National Assessment for Educational Progress, American students’ history scores hit an all-time low. Only 13% scored at or above proficient in history, while two-fifths of eighth grade students performed below basic proficiency—meaning, they “likely cannot identify simple historical concepts in primary or secondary sources.”… But there is yet hope for the nation Lincoln called “the last best hope of earth.” American parents are in the midst of a great educational reawakening, in which they are rediscovering the form of education—classical education—so treasured by our Founding Fathers. Read


Work, Courage, & Love: Meaning in American History by Andrew J. Zwerneman at Cana Academy. Meaning for a society rests largely in the same categories that matter most for individual persons: work, courage, and love. Not all events in history are meaningful; but the ones that are meaningful teach us what we ought to know and move us in ways we ought to be moved. In light of this, history is vital to our culture and to the life we have together in our society. Read


History250: Telling America’s Story, One Film at a Time by Cana Academy. The Cana Academy team is excited to announce their latest initiative: History250, a three-year film project established in anticipation of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026—the semiquincentennial—and intended to provide American history teachers with the most exceptional resources for leading their students. The central work of History250 is a collection of 250 original 5-minute films on the most important and engaging events in American history. Each of the 250 films introduces viewers to a formative change in the life of American society, and all of the films together form a continuous narrative of the American story. Read


Vade Mecum: “Go with me.” by Leigh Lowe at Memoria Press. Repetitio Mater Studiorum. “Repetition is the mother of learning.” In our classical tradition we exalt repetition as a valuable tool for learning. But beyond prizing repetition as an aid in memorizing individual goals (Latin grammar forms, multiplication tables, Shakespeare soliloquies), a connected classical curriculum offers valuable repetition about important truths over the long course of an education. Read


The Summer Reading List by George Weigel at First Things. Along time ago (but not in a galaxy far away), Baltimore’s St. Paul Latin High School had us reading six or seven books every summer. I confess that I never finished some of them; Thackeray’s The History of Henry Esmond comes immediately to mind. Others continue to give me (re)reading pleasure many decades later. Read


8 Favorite Bible Resources for Kids by Katie Warner at National Catholic Register. Here is a list of some of my favorite Scripture resources for kids to help you pick some new Bible study gems and dive into God’s Word with your kids this coming academic year. These resources include Scripture-based storybooks, the children’s Bibles we use the most, Scripture-based music, audiobooks, curriculum, activity books and more. Read


The Story of a Saintly Scientist, for Children by Theresa Civantos Barber at Aleteia. Venerable Jérôme Lejeune was a French physician who discovered the genetic underpinnings of Down syndrome. A new picture book about his life, Jérôme Lejeune: The Saintly Geneticist by Ana Braga-Henebry, shows children that faith and science are both gifts from God. Read


Catholic School Files Claim After Wisconsin School District Refuses to Sell Vacant Building by Kate Quiñones at Catholic News Agency. A Catholic school has taken legal action after a Wisconsin school district refused to sell it an elementary school building that has sat empty for two years. The former Garfield Elementary School building in the Marinette School District in northeastern Wisconsin has not been in use since it closed in 2022. The district listed it for sale at about $300,000 but later rejected a full-price offer from St. Thomas Aquinas Academy (STAA), saying that it could create competition for the public school district and citing declining enrollment. Read


Oklahoma Catholic Charter School to Appeal to Supreme Court in Public Funding Dispute by Kate Quiñones at Catholic News Agency. A nascent Catholic charter school managed by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that it could not be funded using public taxpayer dollars. St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, a joint project between the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa, was set to launch in August as an online, tuition-free, Catholic K–12 charter school based out of Oklahoma City. Read


Throwback Thursday


The Bookshelf: Thinking Out Loud by Matthew J. Franck at Public Discourse on May 4, 2023. Being read to, and then reading aloud ourselves, are how we learn to read in the first place, and the practices of speaking and hearing the written word can continue to be both pleasurable and instructive. When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher, Mrs. Perry, read The Hobbit aloud to our class in its entirety over several weeks. In retrospect, this seems to have been unusually late in my education for this sort of thing, and I don’t know whether a teacher would be permitted to carve out the time for it today. But it was wonderful. It led me to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy on my own a few years later, and it helped to shape my ear for the music of prose. Read

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