Fourteen years ago, I found myself an unexpected homeschooler. I had no idea what I was doing or where to start. The one thing I knew was that I did not want to replicate school at home.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein recognized that generalized schooling often leads to the suppression of learning and curiosity. I want my children to love learning. I want them to be in awe of the Truth, Goodness and Beauty that is all around them.
School as Scholé
Dr. Perrin at Inside Classical Education states, “The classical tradition of education regarded a “school” as a place of schole” (σχολή), which is the Greek word for leisure and the root for our word school.
Leisure is not the cessation of work but work of another kind, work restored to its human meaning of celebration and a festival.Roger Scruton, Leisure: The Basis of Culture (1998), p. XII
Scholé very accurately describes what I hoped for on the day I began this journey. It is what I hope and pray the atmosphere in our home and school will be each year. Practically speaking, the idea of scholé sounds wonderful. With no reference on how to implement scholé at first, I found myself struggling with what it looked like. Should we throw out subjects we dislike? Do we have parties and celebrate all day? Obviously that is not the case. So how do we go about attaining this day-to-day? Mystie Winkler poses this question:
Is our focus in our day-to-day homeschools about achieving our own ends or about encountering Truth, Goodness and Beauty? It might look exactly the same in method but it is the motives and priorities—the heart—that is differentMystie Winkler
Not only is the day-to-day different when thinking of scholé, but the goal is different. Education becomes not just about the end result. Instead as a family, we are being educated, not as a means to an end living for someday, but living for today and seeking the Truth, Goodness and Beauty in the things we encounter each day. It is seizing each and every day for the Lord; carpe diem pro Dominum (Col 3:23).
Scholé Sisters Retreat
As I am educating my children and learning alongside them, ironically, at times I lose sight of the goal for myself. I become stressed and bogged-down in the daily grind. I forget that the idea of scholé applies to me as much as it applies to my children. Maybe even more so.
Scholé is the opposite of stress.Scholé Sisters
The Scholé Sisters Retreat is such an encouragement to me year after year. It is an opportunity to take a deep breath, spend a day with other like-minded mothers while being encouraged and refreshed. Each year they focus on a different theme which always seems to be just the right “word” for the moment (Proverbs 25:11).
The Scholé Sister’s Retreat ladies do a wonderful job of sharing from their own personal experience while always grounding what they share in the Word of God. The fellowship time with guided questions between each session allows time to reflect and internalize what we are learning while also providing opportunities for connection and time to listen and learn from others.
A couple of years ago, the retreat focused on the theme of Laughter. I tend to take myself, others and, quite honestly, anything and everything way too seriously. At the retreat I found myself challenged and encouraged. I was reminded to Laugh at the Days to come, to Pray, and that Grief and Happiness can co-exist. As I have gone back through my notes this week reflecting, I have been brought to tears, refreshed and encouraged yet again as we take the step back into another new school year.
As Heather shares in her post, “our mission here at Paideia Southeast is to host enriching local events for mamas. It’s our hope that these events not only are encouraging but also help you make connections with other Christian families.”