First off, some definitions of terms. As I read and listened to the people on this journey who had quite a bit of a head start, I heard words I'd never heard before. But they're beautiful, and so many of them encompass a concept or idea that we don't have in English. If you've studied the Bible at all, you know this. We have one word for 'love' in English, but there are four words in Greek, depending on what kind of love you're referring to. One of the things that struck me on my Classical journey is there are ideas and concepts I knew implicitly, but had no idea there was a word for it in Greek.
Paideia is one such concept. I was completely ignorant that this was the word for my ultimate goal in homeschooling. My intent was to surround my children with the good, true, and beautiful in an effort to cultivate their minds, souls, and bodies and create in them an appetite for the good, true, and beautiful. After all, we love what we surround ourselves with and are accustomed to. But curriculum, the liberal arts, was only half of the equation. The other side was their character; their virtue. My husband and I have committed to dutifully, albeit imperfectly, raising our children up to love and fear the Lord. He is our Creator. And He created all the beautiful people and things that surround us each day. All the beauty we encounter daily, in books, nature, music, and yes, even math point to our amazing and loving Creator. Therefore, our culture is loving and serving our God, those around us, and soaking ourselves in all things that are good, true, and beautiful. This is our paideia.
Scholé is another concept that we don't have a counterpart for in English. But it is a concept that defines the tempo of our school life, before I formally embraced Classical education. Scholé means undistracted time to study those things most worth studying. Aristotle considered it the highest form of human activity. It fits nicely with the practice of sabbath rest on Sundays, in which we set aside a day to rest in the Lord. Scholé is our everyday life, and the reason I use it as the title for this blog. As a family we have shunned the fast-paced, always-on-the-go lifestyle of this world, and center things around our home and only on the things most worthy of our time. There is morning and evening prayer, Bible study and reading great literature. Our 'read' lists are not long because we've gone so deep into understanding and contemplating what we've read. We love being in nature and spend time on nature walks. We replace trips to the amusement parks with trips to National and State parks, where we camp and revel in God's creation. We have transformed our backyard into a natural habitat where we can sit on the back porch and rest amongst the song birds and other woodland creatures that come to visit. These are just a few examples; scholé truly is a lifestyle that I'll explore more here in later posts.