Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

We’re thrilled that the Old Western Culture curriculum will be included in Cathy Duffy’s upcoming book “102 Top Picks“!

You can read Cathy Duffy’s online review of Old Western Culture here: HERE.

102 Top Picks by Cathy Duffy - Old Western Culture

The Relationship Woes of Dido and Aeneas

Advice for all men: When you mess up, fess up!

Part of what makes the Aeneid such a timeless classic is that it captures so many aspects of human nature. Wes Callihan brings these alive in the Old Western Culture curriculum.

This excerpt from The Aeneid (unit 1 of The Romans) is an example of how Wes Callihan brings the classics alive. This is learning literature re-imagined!

The Hunt of Dido and Aeneas, by Jean Raoux. AD 1730

The Hunt of Dido and Aeneas, by Jean Raoux. AD 1730

Wes Callihan LIVE? Yes please! (And a special offer)

Wes Callihan reading John of Damascus during Hill AbbeyWes Callihan, the author of the Old Western Culture curriculum, has been offering live classes through Schola Classical Tutorials since 1997. In addition to “Great Books I-IV” (corresponding to Old Western Culture years 1-4: The Greeks, The Romans, Christendom, and Early Moderns), Wes Callihan also teaches Homeric Greek, Rhetoric, Church History, and Astronomy.

A pioneer of the modern Classical education movement and a teacher of teachers, a live class with Wes Callihan is not something to be missed! He is known for his ability to bring the essence of the Great Books that shaped the Western world into story form, and create an environment of community and camaraderie among his student, who can live-chat questions during his lectures. As a generation of Schola graduates now demonstrate, the end result are students who leave his classes with the love of learning and the kernel of curiosity planted in their hearts and minds.

SPECIAL PROMOTION

Schola Classical TutorialsAs a special promotion running SEPTEMBER 1st – 7th, receive 1 unit from The Greeks  FREE with any NEW course sign-up from Schola Classical Tutorials ($56 value)! Once you’ve signed up at the Schola website, send an email to info@romanroadsmedia.com with your unit of choice from The Greeks and we’ll send you the DVD set!

Enjoy Wes Callihan live AND have his teaching in DVD form!

In what way is Old Western Culture a “Christian Approach” to the Great Books?

crossOld Western Culture is a distinctly Christian course. The creators of the course believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, the Providence of God working in history, and that all truth is God’s truth wherever it may be found.

A Christian worldview is not “taught” as an afterthought, but assumed throughout and thoroughly integrated in the approach to the material. Below are two small excerpts from the course which demonstrate how this works itself out in Old Western Culture.

 

Platonic Heresies and the Church (excerpt from The Philosophers).

The Bitterness of Achilles (excerpt from The Epics).

Does Old Western Culture present the perspective of a specific denomination?

Wes Callihan, the author, makes this statement:

I teach explicitly as a Christian and in the light of the historic, universal Christian faith. In nearly every class I make connections to that faith and to the radically
redemptive character of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection and of the church’s mission for individuals and nations. I affirm three things as most important:

  1. the Nicene Creed as a faithful summary of the Christian faith,
  2. the gospel as declared in John 3:16, Romans 10:9-13, and I Corinthians 15:1-4, and
  3. the absolute necessity of Christian unity and love in the bond of peace as expressed in Galatians 5:22-23 and throughout I John.

I am largely in agreement with the major Reformational Protestant confessions, especially the Westminster Confession of Faith and the 39 Articles of the Church of England, but am deeply appreciative of and often sympathetic to the historic Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

None of this is required of students – the only spiritual requirements are a good attitude and a willingness to learn – but it should be expected that the teaching will clearly, explicitly, and regularly reflect a historical and classical Christian perspective.

If Old Western Culture is a Christian course, why does it include Pagan literature?

More on why you should study Pagan literature:
– Q&A with Wes Callihan: Why Should we Study Pagan Authors? (10 min video)
– Course Excerpt from The Philosophers: St. Paul alludes to Socrates (2:44 min video)

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With

Reading is romanticI recently read an article about why readers, scientifically speaking, are the best people to fall in love with. I agree! I married a woman who loves to read, and loves to learn! She read all the right books while growing up! (Incidentally, she took Wes Callihan’s Great Books courses online in high school).

The article points to several benefits that reading will bring a reader. It enables them to speak to someone in a meaningful way. It allows a person to understand other people; it teaches the art of empathy. And it gives wisdom that years of actual experience could never give.

Because reading is something that molds you and adds to your character. Each triumph, lesson and pivotal moment of the protagonist becomes your own.
Every ache, pain and harsh truth becomes yours to bear. You’ve traveled with authors and experienced the pain, sorrow and anguish they suffered while writing through it. You’ve lived a thousand lives and come back to learn from each of them.

This is very similar to what Wes Callihan says when he encouraged the reading of imaginative literature, which he called “bootcamp for life.”

Stories are Bootcamp for Life

So read often, read good books, and read varied books!

If you want to be guided through the reading of the greatest books, check out Old Western Culture!

History: A Moral Requirement

Quote

The study of history is a moral requirement for Christians. 
Think of the Israelites who were required to remember the past. 
Think of Paul in the NT: ‘These things were written for our instruction.’

– Wesley Callihan, Porch of our Fathers

History: A Moral Obligation

Summer Unit Study + Review = Free Curriculum!

The Greeks - Old Western Culture by Wes CallihanEach year of the Old Western Culture curriculum is neatly divided into quarters. Because of this every unit can stand alone as its own unit study.

Between July 1st and July 15th, purchase any 1 unit from The Greeks (year 1 of Old Western Culture), send an email to reviews@romanroadsmedia.com letting us know you’re planning on doing a review, and submit your review of that unit by August 30th. You will then be able to choose a second unit of your choice from The Greeks or The Romans, and we’ll send it to you for free!

Already own Old Western Culture? No problem! Between July 1st, and July15th, send an email to reviews@romanroadsmedia.com, and let us know you plan to submit a review, let us know which unit you’ll be reviewing, and we’ll add you to the list. If you already own The Greeks (good for you!), you may choose a unit from The Romans.

TERMS:
Review must be submitted to reviews@romanroadsmedia.com by midnight, August 30th. To qualify as a review, it must be a minimum of 150 words (500 would be ideal), use generally correct grammar (we reserve the right to correct typos and basic grammar, but please write carefully), and represent a basic knowledge of the course. The use of screenshots, photos, and other graphics or media are highly encouraged, but not required. Your review will be posted on the Roman Roads Media website with your first name and the initial of your last name. If you blog, you may post the review to your own blog (in fact, this is the preferred method!), and send us a link to the relevant page at reviews@romanroadsmedia.com. After your review has been received, we will send your second unit of choice from either The Greeks or The Romans. 

John Adams to his son: Read Thucydides

Thucydides by William Smith, AM

Thucydides, translated by William Smith, A.M.

John Adams wrote to his son, John Quincy Adams, soon after the Declaration of Independence, exhorting him to read Thucydides as a way to be best prepared for the days ahead of him as a leader. Here is the full letter:

My dear Son,

As the War in which your Country is engaged will probably hereafter attract your Attention, more than it does at this Time, and as the future Circumstances of your Country, may require other Wars, as well as Councils and Negotiations, similar to those which are now in Agitation, I wish to turn your Thoughts early to such Studies, as will afford you the most solid Instruction and Improvement for the Part which may be allotted you to act on the Stage of Life.
There is no History, perhaps, better adapted to this usefull Purpose than that of Thucidides, an Author, of whom I hope you will make yourself perfect Master, in original Language, which is Greek, the most perfect of all human Languages. In order to understand him fully in his own Tongue, you must however take Advantage, of every Help you can procure and particularly of Translations of him into your own Mother Tongue.
You will find in your Fathers Library, the Works of Mr. Hobbes, in which among a great deal of mischievous Philosophy, you will find a learned and exact Translation of Thucidides, which will be usefull to you.
But there is another Translation of him, much more elegant, intituled “The History of the Peloponnesian War, translated from the Greek of Thucidides in two Volumes Quarto, by William Smith A.M. Rector of the Parish of the holy Trinity in Chester, and Chaplain to the Right Honourable the Earl of Derby.”
If you preserve this Letter, it may hereafter remind you, to procure the Book.
You will find it full of Instruction to the Orator, the Statesman, the General, as well as to the Historian and the Philosopher. You may find Something of the Peloponnesian War, in Rollin.
I am with much Affection your Father,
John Adams

The translation of Thucydides mentioned is available as a scanned document from Google Books! You can see and read it HERE.

Wes Callihan guides students through Thucydides’ great work, “History of the Pelloponnesian War,” the same book mentioned above, in The Histories unit of Old Western Culture.

Preparing Younger Kids for a Great Books Education

Preparing Younger Children for a Great Books EducationOne question that often comes up as we talk to parents of younger children is “How do I prepare my younger children for a Classical (Great Books) education?”

What a great question! There is a lot to consider: do my kids need to learn Latin and Greek, do they need to be learning ancient history now, do we need to study the Trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic) in elementary?

To help families with younger children, we’ve published a wonderful e-book by one of the top thought leaders and teachers in the world of classical, Christian education today – Wes Callihan of Schola Classical Tutorials, as well as the author of the Old Western Culture curriculum.

The e-book is called “How to Prepare Younger Children for a Great Books Education” and we would love to share it with you for free.  

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Summer Reading Program from Exodus Books

summer-reading-programOscar Wilde once said, “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

Summer is the time of year that students have the most leisure. Encourage them to spend that time reading good books!

Exodus Books is hosting a 2014 Summer Reading Program, and is giving away a bunch of prizes. One of the prizes for the high school level is a complete year of the Old Western Culture curriculum!

Here is a brief explanation of the reading list offered:

The Outside of a Dog Book List offers 50+ titles for each grade. Full of genuine classics and family favorites, it doesn’t promote a liberal agenda, cater to the lowest common denominator, or present books designed to make anyone look smart. It’s a list meant simply to open the wide doors of reading to kids turned off by more standard fare, to help kindle a love of reading.

So sign up your reading kids of all ages, and win some great prizes!

Blessings,
Daniel Foucachon

Related: hear what Wes Callihan has to say about imaginative literature: