I feel deep gratitude for Andrew Kern and the work he is doing with the CiRCE Institute. Several years ago, we attended a conference where Andrew spoke in California and I came away a little stunned. He didn't fill in any blanks for me; if anything, he created a few. He made me think, HARD, for years after that week-end. Our three oldest came with us to that conference, and later I found this above my son's desk:
Classical education is the cultivation of wisdom, virtue and taste through
meditation on the good, the true and the beautiful.
If I could take one thing away from a conference for the rest of my life's thinking, that would do. To know that my thirteen or fourteen-year-old son took that away from a conference, and kept it on his wall for posterity, was a strange and wonderful thing. This man speaks in a way that resonates.
Andrew is not the man I go to for a list of ten things to do at any particular age in a child's life. He is the man I go to for an understanding of the enormity and awe-inspiring task it is to teach whole, made-in-God's image, people. He won't give you an easy answer; he will respect you and expect you to THINK and ASK and WONDER and THINK some more. Andrew is not brain candy. He is soul food.
I am sure that CiRCE is not the only organization to wonder at the end of the fiscal year how they will make it much further. If I could be their generous benefactress, I would, but instead I want to let you know about a great offer they have going right now. From their website:
If you are in a position to donate even a little, please consider doing so. Your generosity will go a long way towards enabling us to fulfill our mission and accomplish our goals.
In return, we promise to continue teaching, training, and researching. We promise to keep on spreading the word. We promise to continue providing inspiration. We promise that, if you will stand by our side, we will continue to stand by yours. Together we'll take this mission, this vision, this calling further up and further in!
As thanks for your generosity, we are offering downloadable materials for anyone who makes even the smallest donation. No gift is too small. No gift is too large. Whether you donate $1 or $100 or $1000 there is a gift waiting for you.
In return for your help, you will be able to download talks like Debbie Harris's popular talk Understanding and Instilling a Love of Beauty, and Andrew Pudewa's useful and inspiring, Teaching Boys and Other Kids Who Would Rather Be Playing In Forts. You can also download Ken Myers' talk on how to Re-educate Oneself As An Adult, or Laura Berquist's insightful talk about Assessing Student Performance.
To get these talks, and others like them, just go here and make a donation of whatever amount you feel
comfortable giving. For even $1 these talks are yours.
With our sincerest thanks,
The CiRCE Institute
Contemplation of Nature by Andrew Kern is on that list of available downloads. I cannot recommend it enough. It is great fodder for discussion, even if the only person you have to discuss it with is yourself. Ask my how I know! Support CiRCE: expand your thinking and do your children, your family, your soul a favor.