Why Our Students Write in their Books

Petrarch, the fourteenth century Italian monk, sometimes referred to as the “father of humanism”, famously wrote a series of letters to classical writers such as Cicero, Seneca, Homer, and Socrates. These writers having been dead for more than a thousand years at the time, Petrarch didn't expect a response. But he wrote nevertheless because he… Continue reading Why Our Students Write in their Books

Lancelot Plays Football

One of my favorite features of the Hillsdale College-affliated schools is that there is an equal focus on teachers educating both the minds and the hearts of their students.  The curriculum we teach is ripe with opportunities to discuss virtue and how the choices of different people affect their lives and the lives of those… Continue reading Lancelot Plays Football

Caldecott on How Fiction Shapes the Imagination

Here and below, illustrations from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, by the Brothers Grimm, and illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. Every Kindergarten teacher knows that at some point in the year, when the class is reading a story together, someone is going to raise a hand and ask, "Did this really happen? Is it… Continue reading Caldecott on How Fiction Shapes the Imagination

William Kilpatrick on Choosing the Best Children’s Books

Here and below, two of Robert Ingpen's illustrations from The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame. It is so important to choose the right books for our students. But how do we know which ones to choose? William Kilpatrick’s Books that Build Character (1994) is one good place to start. Here’s some of his… Continue reading William Kilpatrick on Choosing the Best Children’s Books

On Teaching the Virtues through Literature

Education, to be real education, must train both the minds and the characters of students. But how can we teach young people to be virtuous? Setting an example is the first step, but at some point the virtues must be explained and defended. This is a very difficult thing to do well: we run the… Continue reading On Teaching the Virtues through Literature

Rehearsals for Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Under the guidance of Mrs. Panzica and Ms. Hamm, our theater department is really taking off this year. The fall play, Shakespeare's The Tempest, is one of my favorites, and I stopped by rehearsals after school today to take a look at the opening scene in its very early stages. It's a really impressive scene--a shipwreck… Continue reading Rehearsals for Shakespeare’s The Tempest