Thursday, September 10, 2009

Classical Current Events

On Tuesday, President Obama spoke to the nation's public school children. Before the speech, some parents protested what they saw as an attempt to indoctrinate children.

Someone asks you - you're a home schooler; what do you think?

This week, I've seen a lot of news coverage about the President's speech. It has reminded me that current events are a great tool for practicing dialectic - processing and reconciling information - and rhetoric - sharing your knowledge with others.

Give it a try! I've used this story for an example, but you could do the same with any news story.

1. Start with some basic information: read or watch the speech.

2. Ask yourself (or your older children) some questions:
  • Does Obama's speech have relevance for home schoolers?
  • Did you follow the controversy surrounding the speech?
  • If so, what did you think about it?
  • Were parents "silly" (to quote the Secretary of Education) to be concerned?
  • Is there something unique about a speech directly addressed to children in school?
  • Should parents have the right to opt out of school events?
  • If you were going to give this speech to your children, what would you change about it?
3. Read what other commentators have said. Here are a few to get you started:
4. Chew on these perspectives for a little while. Integrate some, reject others.

5. Finally, formulate your own opinion, and share your conclusions (and the process you used to get there) with someone else.

This topic may not interest you; however, unless you study, practice, and prepare, when you are faced with an issue that does matter, you won't be ready to respond. (1 Peter 3:15)

...because everyday adventures can be classical opportunities too...

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