One of the items that often shows up on the monthly calendar and in my weekly summary/look ahead emails is Bite-Size Great Books. For years, there has been a rumor of this clandestine operation that happens in high school classrooms every CHA morning. Unless you have a child who has braved the tempest and forded the raging river that separates 8th and 9th grade at CHA, Great Books might forever seem a mysterious realm inhabited by people who have been initiated into some secret society, dwelling on a higher plane of being.
Let me pull back the curtain a little. We don’t. Oh, it is true, we talk about timeless ideas related to virtue, vice, life, death, time, eternity, war, peace, democracy, monarchy, suffering, love, and more. And we use the best works of literature that Western Civilization has produced as our teachers. It’s really beautiful.
But there are no secret handshakes or codes and the people who teach these classes are learning right alongside our students. It is understandable if it is a little foreign to some. And so we have a couple of opportunities for you to see what this looks like for yourself. First-any parent is welcome to shadow a Great Books class at any time (just ask the tutor for a good day(s) to come in). I promise you’ll love it! If you teach during that time, we can work on getting you a substitute. We want you to stay for high school and the doors are wide open for anyone to come and visit and see what it is like.
One of the other ways to get familiar with what we do is to join just for Bite Size Great Books once per month. We meet from 11:45-12:30 in the lower school devotions room. There are usually about five or six of us-but we would love for this group to grow!
I try to give some notice of what we will read and the goal is for everyone who attends to read the short (hence bite-size) excerpt or article we will discuss together prior to arriving. However, if you didn’t have a chance to read, just come be a part of the discussion anyway! It gives us a chance to talk about one or two of the high ideals listed above.
All by itself, it is a deeply satisfying time. After all, the old saying goes that “small minds talk about people, average minds about events, and great minds about ideas.” But the bonus is that if you are confused or unsure about whether high school at CHA is for you and your children, you can come and get a taste of what it is like. My promise: you’ll leave feeling both filled and hungry for more.
This is part of the Board Bits: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks series. Is there a question about CHA or homeschool that you would like answered? Submit inquiries to Tracey at firstname.lastname@example.org