Random Notes On Our Last Month of School

Written back in May:

Down to the wire with the Boy, all we are currently doing is reading some short stories and essays together – about half an hour to 45 minutes in a day, and his father is reading a chapter of Proverbs with him at night (this is in addition to the schooling he has to finish for the private international Christian school where he is a part-time student.  I have a file for the things I want to read with him in my kindle.  That file is called Last Ditch.

Short stories, two each by the same author.  The criteria is I have to have access to them- either they are already on my Kindle or in a book I have here, or they are free online.  When I began I had only two stories and authors in mind to begin – Chesterton and Tolstoy’s What Men Live By because Marvin Olasky of World Magazine says it’s Tolstoy’s best.  Another criteria is that it does have to be a fairly *short* short story.  I won’t use one that will take more than 45 minutes for me to read alous, and I prefer 30 or fewer.  Obviously, then, our selections are really somewhat random, although, as with all good stories, there is a curious cross pollination, a glimmering web of connections and relationships. Sandwiched between the two short stories I have an article or two on literature or life (Good Life and Good Literature is the theme of this short, off the cuff course).   Here are our readings:

Shakespeare and Literature Tickle the Brain (to be honest, I think we read a different article but it was about this same study)

What Men Live By, by Tolstoy (real priorities)

The Oracle of the Dog, by G.K. Chesterton (Men will believe in anything when they cease to believe in God)

Every Trip is a Quest (except for when it’s not), from the book How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

How and Why to Become a Lifelong Learner | The Art of Manliness website

Ben Franklin’s Virtue of Frugality (Art of Manliness website)

The Arrow of Heaven, by G. K. Chesterton (the same judgement for rich or poor)

Three Questions, by Tolstoy- (how to use one’s time- “Remember then: there is only one time that is important–
Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!””)

Leaf by Niggle, by JRR Tolkien (not quite finished, but so much good stuff, doing what you are called to, using your time well, preparing for the future (i.e. Heaven).  Also, I have to share this:

My son.  He’s going over the bit we read yesterday for me to help me find my place, but he left out something I thought was important.
Me: The journey. He’s going on a journey he’s known he had to take for a while, now, right?
Oh, That Boy: It’s Tolkien. There is *always* a journey in a Tolkien story. ———
He’s not wrong.

Theodore Roosevelt’s Reading Tips  (The Art of Manliness website)

There were others, these were the notes I could find at the time.  I enjoyed reading short stories with him in the morning before school.  I don’t know if he enjoyed it, but I certainly did.
I miss him.


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  1. Lisa Beth W.
    Posted September 7, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    And I’m sure that he misses you more than he probably thinks he does. 🙂 I hope you’re hearing from him!

    • Headmistress
      Posted September 8, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      Whenever he is broke.:-D

      • Lisa Beth W.
        Posted September 9, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        Haha! 🙂

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