I believe the true aim of education is to order the affections of our children. It is to teach our children to love truth, goodness, and beauty. How do we order the affections of our children each and every day as we learn together in our homeschool? The answer is in the ancient practice of schole!
Schole is the Greek word for leisure. It is the origin of the Latin word "scola" and the English word "school". Schole is restful learning. It is the life-giving pursuit of knowledge. It is the pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness in a slow and contemplative way. It is undistracted time to study and think deeply about worthwhile things. Schole is the classical ideal of education.
To me, Raphael's "School of Athens" fresco is the perfect example of schole. It is the perfect example of restful learning. It is my homeschooling inspiration.
When I look at this fresco, I am reminded that learning should be restful. It should be slow and deep. It should be about discovering and delighting in God's truth, goodness, and beauty. It shows me that we need to take the time to slow down and savor our learning. We need to take the time to dig in deeper. After all, how are we going to truly know and love anything if we just rush by it? If we want our children to know and love God and His creation, then we must let them linger in His truth, goodness, and beauty. We cannot just rush through to get it done and check it off our list.
In this fresco, I see the kind of learning I want my children to experience each and every day. I see gathering together. I see reading. I see contemplation. I see deep thinking. I see creation. I see an unhurried, relaxed, and restful learning.
It is this restful learning that I am trying to give my family... So, how do we actually do this? How can we put schole into our homeschools? How can we make restful learning our top priority?
Here are a few principles to guide us...
Here are a few practical ideas to implement...
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."