Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Thomas Jefferson Education

I am reading an excellent book right now, A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver Van DeMille. It's about using classics to educate your children. But the emphasis is on educating yourself first. One of my favorite quotes is, "In reality, you are unlikely to pass on to your children a better education than you have earned yourself. ... The most effective way to ensure the quality of their education is to consistently improve your own."

Another point the author makes repeatedly is that the purpose of education should be to help people be good. In other words, it should give them the wisdom to discern what is right and what is wrong in any situation, and the courage to do what is right regardless of the personal cost. Classics help in this endeavor by providing examples of people choosing right or wrong, and what the results of those choices are. By studying these examples, we can develop our ability to see situations in our own lives more clearly. And the examples of those who chose to do what is right can help us make those same choices.

I've been inspired to read and study more classics now, and I'm hoping I can inspire my family to join me!

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