How Reading the Classics Can Save Western Civilization

The Importance of Getting Our Children to Read the Classics

Literature and poetry, along with history are among the most important subjects in acquiring the best education, because through these subjects we pass on the ideals and values of traditional Western Christian culture. Not only will your child be influenced to love the good (and hate the bad), they will  learn that good wins out over evil through model characters they encounter in the past’s great literature. They will learn through poetry some of the best writings and stories of the great authors.

“The purpose of this ‘classical’ education was to pass on knowledge, values, and ideals of our culture; for to teach human beings their true nature, their dignity, their rightful place in the scheme of things.” (Martin Cothran).

 

What is Western Civilization

Western Civilization is the culture of Athens, the culture of Rome, and the culture of Jerusalem. It is what has come down to us since about the fifth century, (preserved mostly by monks) through the Dark Ages, and restored through the High Middle Ages. It helped to enlighten Europe and then was transplanted to America through the Puritans to about the 1920s. To learn of these cultures through literature, poetry, and history, was considered high education. In fact, to study these literary writings was to gain an intelligence that made one better at his profession or calling…whether accountant, welder, teacher, nurse, mechanic, or whatever.

It was only a generation or two ago that the study of history included Colonial America, the founding period, the War Between the States, both World Wars, the progressive era –in addition to some study of ancient, medieval, modern European history, and the literary classics of Dickens, Austin, Melville, Hawthorne, Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, and many others.

Are we in Danger of Losing Our Culture?

The political correctness of our modern schools does a poor job of educating along these lines. These classics are increasingly seen in our age as monuments to racism and sexism, which therefore fits the new multicultural agenda. Many classics are rewritten and abridged to avoid offending someone, or to wipe out these historical but excellent writers.  True historical figures are being lied about in school textbooks and viewed as immoral, racist, or criminal, so that they are no longer looked upon as an American hero.  These great historical writers and authors are instead replaced with dribble in order to ‘dumb down’ our culture. Some classics are rewritten to appear comical. This also accounts for the decline in class time devoted to literature and history, which gets in the way of test preparation and hands-on projects.

Some Recommended Titles Your Child Should Be Reading

High SchoolThe Divine Comedy; Hound of the Baskervilles; Julius Caesar; Romeo and Juliet; The Merchant of Venice; Henry V; Robinson Crusoe; The Scarlet Letter, Pride and Prejudice; To Kill a Mockingbird; Beowulf the Warrior; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles; Medea and Other Plays by Euripides..

Middle School: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Treasure Island; The Hobbit; The Trojan War; The Bronze Bow, King Arthur; The Wind in the Willows; Anne of Green Gables; Robin Hood; A Door in the Wall; Poetry, Prose, and Drama Book 1; Poetry and Short Stories: American Literature; Poetry and Prose Book II…

Elementary/Grade School: Heidi; Lassie Come Home; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Dangerous Journey; The Cricket in Time Square; Little House in the Big Woods; Farmer Boy; The Courage of Sarah Noble; Charlotte’s Web; Prairie School; Homer Price; Tales From Beatrix Potter; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; The Moffats; A Bear Called Paddington; Animal Folk Tales of America…

just to name a few….

..“Classical Reader:  A Comprehensive Reading Guide for K-12 Students” shown below,  takes the guesswork out of age-graded reading levels.  The sections break down the different levels into Lower Grammer (K-3), Upper Grammar (4-6),  Dialectic (Gr 7-9), Rhetoric (Gr 10-12), It also has a section for ‘College-Bound Students’.

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