I think that the best time of year, for me, is the summer. For the last few years, summer has been a time of refreshing. This refreshing comes in the form of books and conference talks.
June and July are full of classical education conferences. I can’t go to any of them but the Circe Institute and the Society of Classical Learning graciously offers free listenings to some of the talks. These conferences are a breath of fresh air to me. Many of the talks are vague, talking about classical ed principles. The joy of this is that you take these principles and apply them to your children in a way that fits them. As we know, education is not a ‘one size fits all’ creature so it is helpful to take these principles and mold them to your children. As the talks are vague this means that most of the work is up to you; the work of thinking how this principle is going to look in your learning environment, the work of self-examination (these conferences always lead to this) and the work of evaluating your children and figuring out where you go from here. I, personally, love this kind of conference. It challenges me as a teacher, mother and human.
One other thing I love about these conferences is the massive booklist you come away with. Many of the conference speaker have titles of a few books that were helpful for him/her. Well, you put all the conference speakers’ lists together and you have a hefty list of titles. That list makes my heart quiver.
This summer was no different than previous summers. I listened to many conference talks, started to feel my brain buzzing with all of the thoughts that those talks incurred and began to amass my TBR booklist.
That list came to fruition this past week as my Amazon order with aforementioned booklist came to my door. Oh, be still my quaking heart. Books! Books! And more books! Here is my list:
Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A.Smith. This was the beginning point for all of the liturgy talk during the conference talks.
Imagining the Kingdomby James K.A.Smith. This is the second book in a trilogy of Christian education and worship. The first book is the one listed above.
Art of Teachingby Gilbert Highet. This looks to be an easy read (the previous two, not so much.)
Leisure: The Basis of Cultureby Josef Pieper. Another heavy read but many classicists recommend it so I am going to give it a go.
Jacob’s Ladder: 10 Steps to Truth by Peter Kreeft
Three Philosophies of Lifeby Peter Kreeft. Kreeft was the keynote speaker at the Circe conference. Hence, the books.
The Great Tradition by Richard Gamble. This book was not mentioned in this year’s conferences but it has been mentioned in years’ past so I snagged it up this year.
I have started Desiring the Kingdom and it has made my head swim but I am determined to keep on with the swimming.
I so enjoy this time of year; times of new thinking and mental swimming.