The Question, Chapter 1

I'm slowly reading The Question by Leigh Bortins this summer and have managed to finish chapter 1 in bits and spurts. This book is a discussion of the dialectic stage of education - the stage where the child is naturally questioning anything and everything set before him. I admit, I am struggling with this stage of parenting. The constant debate that this age child needs to have about every. single. conversation. can be wearying. Being reminded that this is a completely natural stage that children go through (which exhausting for me!) is encouraging ... and I'm looking to this book to encourage me that I can parent and teach through this stage.

Here's one such quote that encouraged me ... in the foundation stage of CC, the emphasis is to memorize, memorize, memorize! My kids do great with this - me, not so much. Leigh points out:
We adults often feel bored by repetition because our business does not afford us time to find the loveliness. I do not want my children's education to be so fast-paced and so abstract that there is no time to meditate on the fantastical. I do not want them to treat glorious facts as mundane.
On the surface those sentences may not look like much but they are encouraging to me ... one who feels like she has passed the point of really being able to memorize like her kids ... and know that's not true! To slow down, take my time, really work at the art of memorization. I know when I spend time with a verse or passage of Scripture and think on it and let it roll around in my head for a longer period of time, it becomes so much more meaningful to me. Truthfully though, I don't spend lots of time doing that. To eager to finish the study, check off the lesson, move on to the next thing. Point taken: slow down for better and longer lasting learning.

Another point that stuck with me:
Modern educators often want their children to like learning. In contrast, classical educators want to prepare children to work hard at learning until the skills become enjoyable.
Most skills that are worth learning are hard and it should be that way. Its a good reminder to me ... when I struggle, it's not so much that it's an "old dog learning a new trick" as much as it is moving the muscles when I am stretching and learning something that is new.

Not quite a book review, this is more of a reader's diary as I work my way through The Question by Leigh Bortins with my friend Amy this summer. More soon, I hope!


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only mama struggling with the dialectic phase of parenting! And I'm with you on memorization, too. Whew!


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