Who will be the one to stand up and do something when we need a hero? How do you teach your kids the value of self-confidence? We are doing it with stories. Stories of their grandfather, stories of history, and stories of the ancients.
We are using a method for learning language and writing that comes down from the Ancient Greeks: Progymnasmata. Several weeks into the program I already see great progress with both children. While it is a lot of one-on-one work, systematically analyzing and working with a new ‘model’ each week. The kids analyze each week’s grammar, diagram the sentences, do dictation, copywork, and finally write their own version of the piece.
This week, the model was the Aesop fable, “Belling the Cat”.
My son wrote:
One day after losing one of their number to the Cat, the mice called a general council to discuss what to do about her. Some said this, and some said that, but after they had all explained their opinion, a young mouse stood up and said, “We all agree that the biggest problem with the Cat is that she is more stealthy then a rat. So in light of that fact, I propose that we bell her so she can not sneak up on us and when we hear her coming, we can leave the neighborhood.” This statement met with general applause until a old mouse stood up and said, “That is all fine and good, but who is to bell the Cat?” No one spoke. Then the old mouse said, “It is easy to propose impossible remedies.”
Who will be the one to stand up and do something, even if they do so alone? It is my hope that I raise both my kids with the courage to be that person and give them the tools to express themselves through a solid, classical, education.