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.
This is a great idea! I’m hoping to get such a group started in my area.
And just a note, I don’t think its ironic at all that _schole_ would be used as a name for both a school and a conference – perhaps you meant coincidental? 🙂
Catherine, most of our schools have little to do with schole anymore, thus the irony I find. But I do think that schole is a great name (and concept) worth recovering for school, conferences and small groups!
Dr. Perrin! I have a bone to pick with you! You have ruined me! With one phrase in your Schole` webinar you ruined me: Shrunken Soul. It has haunted and taunted me ever since. It pokes and prods me: are you trying to find all the answers? Are you only seeking the practical? What’s your hurry? Why are you doing that? Shrunken Soul. Thank God you juxtaposed it with the ideas of a full or whole soul. A boundless universe expanding with questions, at rest, at peace with knowing the unknown. Always learning, always contemplating, sharing.
Now, everywhere I look there you are and there are these schole` ideas! I am just going to have to stop what I’ve been doing for a while and think about these things. Water my shrunken, pruned soul with good books, good, conversation, and lots of peaceful contemplation.
My children and I are going to break away from our current curriculum to seek that which is good, true, and beautiful. I’m going to contemplate and try to conceptualize Jenny Rallens ideas on liturgy in education. To do good work like attend to drawing, nature, to cultivate earth and mind and heart and soul, to acquire skills in thinking, attending, contemplating, conceptualizing, and re-presenting.
I am going to apply to the Circe Apprenticeship to understand these things more and to be mentored as well as held accountable so I can mentor my children.
All because you created a power-point on Schole` which included: Shrunken Soul.
Well I am only passing on the same devastating message I received from others like Josef Peiper and A. G. Sertillanges… and through them Aquinas and Aristotle. They undid me, and I must undo others. But our kids will be the better for it, and stand the chance of being whole.