While at a convention this March, I talked with two homeschooling moms I have known for several years now–having seen them for successive years at this same convention in Ohio. A year or two ago, they attended one of my seminars on scholé (Greek for contemplation, reflection, leisure), ironically the root for our word for school. They surprised me by announcing that they and some other moms and formed a reading and support group that they called “Scholé Sisters.” I think I smiled, nodded my head and kept talking (we were talking about something else), but inside I was leaping about. Here was a group of very busy homeschooling moms finding regular time to slow down, read and talk about the things that matter most. Not only are they trying to do provide for schole in their homeschools, but they they are setting aside time to provide it for themselves.
Is this possible in America today? Can we slow down and really think–about anything? When I see 20 and 30-something moms earnestly seeking, reading, conversing and then acting to recover classical education in their homes and lives my heart does leap with hope. I see their kids too every year…and they are cause for hope and happiness. These homeschooling conventions, for these reasons, leave me exhausted and exhilarated, and remind me that I need my own regular dose of scholé.
Could there be a Scholé Sisters group in your future? Here is the recipe: Gather three or more like-minded souls and commit to meet together every two weeks for two and half hours. Select a great book (a classic, a book attested to be excellent). Read before gathering. Take notes and prepare questions (write in the book!). Prepare good food and drink. Choose a beautiful setting that is quiet, with no distractions. Discuss, converse, talk. Laugh. Go slow. Repeat.
For more on the meaning of schole, see my article “Learning and Leisure: Developing A School of Schole” and read Joseph Pieper’s book, Leisure, The Basis of Culture.