Reviews from around the web
Reviews for Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
A Brief Review of Simply Classical, by Dr. Brian Phillips, CiRCE Institute
Simply Classical — A Review, by Kathy Kuhl, LearnDifferently
Three-Part Review of Simply Classical, by Colleen, SoliGratiaMom.com
What I Am Reading, by Jennifer Dow, ExpandingWisdom.com:
“Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope. Wow, just wow. I understand why Andrew Kern called this one of three most important things written on Classical Education in the last ten years. Cheryl Swope gives a clear and simple description of the tradition in a way that resonates at the heart level but in a way the mind can understand easily. Not only that, but her story is a heart touching account of the endurance and commitment of the mother-teacher fighting for her children.”
“This book is the best, clearest defense of classical education I have ever read. As a homeschooler for almost 10 years, mother of two children with special needs (ASD and dyslexia), and wife of a special education & Latin teacher, I have read stacks of books and have had thousands of conversations about classical education, homeschooling, and parenting & educating children with disabilities. After finishing this book, I understand the purpose of classical education better than I ever have before.
First, the book tells a beautiful and poignant story about hope in the midst of suffering. The author’s story of adopting twins with many disabilities and the journey of raising them and educating them while navigating a host of medical conditions will inspire any parent. I’ve read a lot of books written by parents of kids with special needs, and honestly many of them are either triumphalist (we did this therapy, or this diet, etc. and now our child is practically healed) or negative (it’s so hard to parent this child I can barely stand it). This book comes across as heartfelt and truthful. The Swopes’ twins have achieved far beyond what doctors predicted, but they still face a lot of challenges and attendant suffering. This rings true for most parents of children with special needs.
Second, this book gives a compelling defense of the true purpose of classical education that many books ignore. Classical education is about leading a child to virtue, wisdom, and eloquence, not simple academic achievement. Christian classical education goes a step further, nurturing the child’s soul and leading him to the Source of truth itself. Cheryl Swope convincingly explains why children with special needs can benefit as much if not more than typical children in being led to truth, goodness, and beauty.
Third, Simply Classical provides a serious critique of the current state of special education as is found in most public and private, therapeutic schools. “Deficit remediation” plans and “life skills” course tracks at best fail to acknowledge the full humanity of children with disabilities, and at worst, dehumanize them as unable to learn anything.
I especially enjoyed the various quotes throughout the book by classical writers explaining the benefit of a classical education for people of all intellectual abilities. Apparently this isn’t a new idea!
Fourth, this book offers a lot of practical assistance to parents who want a classical education for their special needs child. There are schedules and suggested resources for homeschooling every age from 18 months through high school. There are also many suggestions for schools looking to adapt curriculum to students with special needs.
Finally, the author is employed by Memoria Press, a classical curriculum publisher, and offers assistance to parents with specific questions through the forums on the Memoria Press website. I can’t recommend this book or this author highly enough!”
Reviews of the Simply Classical Curriculum
Memoria Press Simply Classical Core Curriculum Review by Cathy Duffy
Simply Classical Curriculum Review by Janice, Rainbow Resource
Review of Simply Classical Curriculum Readiness Levels A, B, C by Beth Watson, Pockets Full of Rocks
Review of Simply Classical Curriculum, by Michelle’s Musings
Reviews of Eternal Treasures
“The authors have done an excellent job creating this resource. The book is positive, energetic, and thorough, and the upbeat and supportive messages are healing rather than critical of those who make other educational choices (besides, you know, forgetting to teach the faith–don’t do that!). There are outstanding nuggets, both educational and theological, and I will be a better equipped parent for reading this book. Obviously, this book will benefit homeschoolers, but also anyone who considers supplementing at home, as well as pastors, Lutheran principles, deaconesses, DCEs, etc.–anyone who works with children. This will be a real tool toward facilitating family devotional life and cultivating catechesis with children of nearly any age, including those with special needs.” – from Mary Moerbe, author of children’s books Whisper, Whisper and How Can I Help?, co-author of Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood
“As a Lutheran homeschooling mama, this is an invaluable resource! It has such a beautiful message, but also very clear though out resources are provided. I also love the tidbits of personal stories from other Lutheran homeschoolers. It is a wonderful book and I am about to read it for a second time to make sure I didn’t miss anything!” by Jen, a homeschooling mother