The Brothers Karamazov: Tackling the Intimidation

By Emily Shirley “Some of Dostoevsky’s most intriguing and teasing fugues of obsessive reflection… explore the balance between the liberty to say what we like, protesting about the reduction of language to mathematical clarity or certainty, and the necessity to say what can be heard[1].” Few authors move the hearts and engage the minds of readers like Dostoevsky. In addition to thrilling storylines, he offers an intellectual journey that is sure to please readers of all ages and backgrounds. Out of Dostoevsky’s works, The Brothers Karamazov is generally considered his most significant. This novel explores the relationships between a forgetful father and his three remarkably diverse sons. Filled with suspenseful sections, convicting passages, and timeless truths, The Brothers Karamazov is guaranteed to please any reader who is willing to commit to a thorough reading. To the reader who is having a hard time committing to such a long novel, allow me to make the following suggestions: Do not read alone. No matter how interesting the material, if we do not have friends or classmates reading alongside of us, we will often lack consistency in our reading. This is especially true when you are first beginning a novel as long as The Brothers Karamazov. Schedule a time for reading. Reading, much like other leisurely activities, is often pushed aside or forgotten during the course of our day. Because of this, many novels collect dust on our shelves with a bookmark comfortably resting between the 20th and 21st page. Setting a time each day (or each week) for reading helps to promote consistency. Combine reading with other enjoyable activities. When I began reading The Brothers Karamazov, I discovered that I was...

Book of the Month – Classical Christian Education Made Approachable

Are you looking for a great place to start learning about a Classical Christian education? Start here! As a modern parent, are you intimidated at the prospect of building a classical, Christian education for your family? Let this booklet show you a blueprint for the tools of learning! Learn how you too can build your family’s home-centered, classical education using the building blocks of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Purchase here >    ...
From Triangles to Tattoos?!?

From Triangles to Tattoos?!?

Each week, I have the privilege of gathering with a group of 16 and 17 year olds where we learn math and more about the God behind the language of math! This week, we were once again learning even more about triangles. Let me just say, I love triangles! Triangles are so important in measuring and relating to God’s creation that there is a whole course called Trigonometry devoted to them! And guess what, my God is a triune God.  Interesting that He would choose the triangle as a corner piece in understanding so many aspects of His creation. Very interesting, isn’t it?!? So this week, we were contemplating triangles. Formulas for triangles, similar triangles, right-triangles, congruent triangles, … and I stopped! “Students. What do the words congruent triangles mean?” A student replies reading the bold text from a lesson, “Congruent triangles are similar triangles with a scale factor of one.” “Good!” I replied. “So you could say congruent triangles are the same. They have the same side lengths and same angles.” Frustrated and forlorn, one student states, “Well then! Why don’t we just say that then! Why do we have to use strange words!” YES!! The moment had come! You see, I have been waiting, waiting for this fated pivotal moment. The moment when the stars aligned, and I could share a secret I learned seven years ago – a learning secret. “Every subject has a language that we have to learn! This is called the grammar. Do you feel stupid when someone keeps using a word as if you should know what it means? I sure do!...
Christianity – Science’s Cultivator or Crippler?

Christianity – Science’s Cultivator or Crippler?

Where and when did scientific thinking rise on the canvas of God’s landscape of history? What was the scenery like? What was to soil composed of? For hundreds of years, civilizations rose and fell without the benefit or discovery of scientific philosophy.  Historians divide history into three stages: The ancient world – regarded as brilliant though limited in its scientific understanding The medieval world – dismissed as a time of intellectual and cultural desolation (the dark ages) The modern world – heralded as a time when reason and enlightenment arose to dispel the myths of medieval superstition. History is not a pond, it is a stream, and in recent years this simple outline has been challenged, particularly the negative characterization of the medieval period and its role in providing the fertile soil for modern science. Following the stream of history, we find modern scientific thought sprung forth in western, christianized Europe. People in pagan cultures who see nature as alive and moved by mysterious forces are not likely to develop the conviction that all natural occurrences are lawful and intelligible. (Soul of Science p26) The world does not have its own inherent rationality, but it is intelligible because it reflects God’s rationality. (Soul of Science p 33) God’s creation, set in the proper context of a biblical world view,  is reality and revelation. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20) Creation could be studied and in that study men could be pointed back...

Summer Book-Camp | The Soul of Science (Part 1)

As a homeschool parent, every summer becomes a "boot-camp" or should I say "book-camp" of sorts for me! I compile books to be read – digested – and ideas to be apprehended. This summer The Soul of Science subtitled Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy by Nancy Pearcy and Charles Thaxton is now in my portable book bag with tattered pages and highlighted in a multitude of colors. So let’s begin – "Why?" is this book on my "book-camp" list? Because it reviews the history of people, culture and ideas that shaped the modern science we have today. In Christian circles, modern science tends to be viewed as pagan or an enemy to our faith. In fact, "modern" science indeed has many presuppositions that are anti-Christian or anti-God. So, as a Christian, how do I teach "true" science, which reveals God’s created order and beauty? As Romans 1:20 says: 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Good question! This will be the my the topic of my posts over the next few weeks – Stay tuned! Purchase Soul of...
Algebra and the Classical Model ?!?

Algebra and the Classical Model ?!?

Here we are! In the middle school and early high school years, where algebra is now an everyday reality! I love teaching my children to conquer new challenges while utilizing the tools of learning – classical model.  Employing grammar and utilizing dialectic skills brings me great joy but it brings me the greatest joy when my children "get it". Now algebra is all about equations, equations, equations.  Representing problems in an abstract equation and then finding solutions through the use of operations and laws. Check out my Algebra 1 – Classically under my download folders to the right.  You may find these notes, clearly marked grammar elements and problem-solving dialog helpful in your own algebra...