Monday, September 11, 2006

Christian Unschooling.

What is Christian Unschooling? provides a description of homeschooling and living and learning.

How does this fit into our Catholic home? Why and how do we justify our use of some materials?

Willa kindly provided me with this quote below. If Christian Unschooling provides, in part, a description of our unschooling, then this quote describes why we use everything, all of life, with prayer and discussion and caution, and with reference to Church teaching ~ but not just Catholic books ~ in our education.

This is from Newman's Idea of a University and is in defense of using pagan and Protestant sources according to the mind of the Church.

".....If this be in any measure the state of the case, there is certainly so far a reason for availing ourselves of the investigations and experience of those who are not Catholics, when we have to address ourselves to the subject of Liberal Education.

Nor is there surely any thing derogatory to the position of a Catholic in such a proceeding. The Church has ever appealed and deferred to witnesses and authorities external to herself, in those matters in which she thought they had means of forming a judgment: and that on the principle, Cuique in arte sua credendum*. She has even used unbelievers and pagans in evidence of her truth, as far as their testimony went. She avails herself of scholars, critics, and antiquarians, who are not of her communion. She has worded her theological teaching in the phraseology of Aristotle; Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, Origen, Eusebius, and Apollinaris, all more or less heterodox, have supplied materials for primitive exegetics. St. Cyprian called Tertullian his master; St. Augustine refers to Ticonius; Bossuet, in modern times, complimented the labours of the Anglican Bull; the Benedictine editors of the Fathers are familiar with the labours of Fell, Ussher, Pearson, and Beveridge. Pope Benedict XIV. cites according to the occasion the works of Protestants without reserve, and the late French collection of Christian Apologists contains the writings of Locke, Burnet, Tillotson, and Paley. If, then, I come forward in any degree as borrowing the views of certain Protestant schools on the point which is to be discussed, I do so, Gentlemen, as believing, first, that the Catholic Church has ever, in the plenitude of her divine illumination, made use of whatever truth or wisdom she has found in their teaching or their measures; and next, that in particular places or times her children are likely to profit from external suggestions or lessons, which have not been provided for them by herself."

What ,then, about Catholic Unschooling?

Suzie Andres has written "Homeschooling With Gentleness: A Catholic Discovers Unschooling."

She shares ~ "Unschooling came to refer more specifically to child led education. ...Some of the principles that underlie this theory are: children (in fact all of us) are natural learners; learning can happen at any age; a person will be most motivated to learn when he needs to know or use what he’s learning; and fear is a bad incentive for learning, while love is the best incentive of all. I saw these ideas in John Holt’s writing, and I had seen them before in Catholic philosophy and theology. Since grace builds on nature, what is true in nature provides a firm foundation for our life as Catholics. In a nutshell, I argue in the book that unschooling is an option for Catholics"

Andres likens Catholic Unschooling to St Therese's "Little Way" - it can be the simple method, the Little Way of homeschooling.

And it can be intense.

But worth the while, worth the time, worth the commitment. The joy.

*Each man in his own art must be given credit

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