Classical or Hebraic

As you journey into homeschooling, you’ll probably hear about Classical education.  Classical is a predominant homeschooling technique.  Many groups add Christian to Classical.  Its roots originated in the 300’s BC with Greek philosophers.  The men in Plato, Aristotle and Socrates’ era were trying to build quality servants of the state.  Men who would understand the foundations of government and serve it well.

In the Classical mindset,  Grammar stage, little guys until age 12, is where children are only capable of memorization.  They are given memory verses, facts, songs and more, all to help them memorize.  Classical educators believe that making links, developing thoughts, etc. is not possible or at least should not be encouraged until the child is filled with facts.  Memory for the sake of intelligence and empowerment for success.  At age 12, the child is encourage to start using the memory work he has learned.  Dialectic classes are geared toward discussion and connection.  Rhetoric classes, high school level, are geared toward encourage maturity and growth and finally the student teaching and commanding the work.

“Stick in the sand” is a common Classical phrase.  The thought is that young children do not need to explore or discover, they simply need a stick, sand, and a teacher telling them what to memorize.  Latin is the predominant language in Classical co-ops or schools.  Latin offers complex structure and numerous origin words for the English language.  Students can read Cicero in the original language.  Unfortunately, many students learn Latin but neglect languages that could be of practical use to them. Spanish, Mandarin, Farsi, there are so many languages that would be helpful for God’s purpose in our children’s lives.

Classical co-ops are best for children who can sit still and memorize.  Many add in Christianity.  Some add science activities and art.

In Genesis, God formed Adam and breathed His Spirit into him.  After, God commanded Adam to go out and take dominion over the animals and land and name the animals.  This is so significant.  God, the Creator of the Universe, gave Adam naming rights.  God then walked with Adam in the cool of the day.  I wonder what they discussed.  Did they laugh at the length of the giraffe’s neck?  Did God gently redirect Adam when he made incorrect assumptions?  Roughly 4000 years before the advent of Classical education, God was allowing Adam to explore, make connections and discover.  God built a relationship with Adam and he encouraged Adam to seek Him.

Hebraic education is about seeking God first.  Education is to discover God’s universe, His plan for our lives, to edify others, and bring us closer to Him.  Children at Eden Hope explore, discover, experience, and touch.  We use all of the senses God gave us to explore His world.

We have memory work, but it is never random.  Each week’s history sentence is connected to the timeline, geography, science and most importantly the bible.  For example, when we study the Fall of Rome, we make cement, a Roman discovery, in science and discover reinforced concrete, we memorize the causes of the Fall, such as the rapid decline of morality, taxes, military expansion… and relate it to Jeremiah 44.  Little ones’ moms read them the passage and they draw out what they have heard.  Their drawing, or recreation, cements (pardon the pun) the information in their minds.

Our LINKitTOme! section is a lesson that relates the history, bible, science and geography to today.  In LINKitTOme for this page, we relate Jeremiah 44 to latter day Romans.  The people sneered and screamed at Jeremiah that while they gave offerings to the Goddess of Earth their lives were well.  Jeremiah responded that God’s patience had finally ended and He would restore the people after cleansing the land.  The bible states that God prunes those whom He loves, he chastens those who are His.  When we are pruned by God, when those difficult times bring us grief or hardship, we should thank God for his hand of correction and redirection.

Eden Hope is about building relationships.  We honor the bible by finding passages that relate to our work.  Our goal is to make God and the bible the go-to place for our children for the rest of their lives.  Hebraic education is about learning God’s plan for our children’s lives. We believe that this life is our training ground for our new life after death.

Eden Hope’s history cards are my children’s “reward” activity!  Pearl tapioca can be painted grey for stones, blue for bubbles or left white for snow.  I know this because one of our students creates his history cards using so many creative mediums.  Students recreate the history by drawing, making pop-ups, sculpting or using their mom’s tapioca on the font of the card.  On the back, students link the history.  This is always a small trial for our little ones at first.  By the end of the first month they are shouting out connections as you drive, as you shop. It is so much fun!  For example, we studied King Herod the Great this year.  We linked him to his on King Herod Antipas, who was linked to John the Baptist.  King Herod the Great built Masada, so we linked him there and then turned to card 70 where we discuss the siege of Masada.  The children are thrilled when they finally get to Masada and see a little picture or the name King Herod.  Little guys use lots of mommy’s help, but if you look at the pics on the blog you’ll see how much fun even three-year-olds love presenting their cards.

Eden Hope’s History CD is a great way to memorize history in order.  It is a funny, catchy song that engages the children and moms can’t get out of their mind at 3am.

We learn Spanish because it is a beautiful, practical language.

Strumming the ukulele builds mirror neurons and is an excellent crossing-the-midline activity.  Ukuleles are also a small, fun instruments that are a wonderful precursor for playing all stringed instruments.

Hebraic education points students to God.  It is experiential, fun and teaches students to seek answers for themselves, rely on the Bible and serve Jesus.


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