Friday, February 4, 2011

Boys Who Read

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal by Thomas Spence titled, How to Raise Boys Who Read. I am encouraged to read something in the newspaper that is on target with classical education.  He wrote:

"Plato before him," writes C. S. Lewis, "had said the same. The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likeable, disgusting, and hateful."

The secret to raising boys who read, I submit, is pretty simple—keep electronic media, especially video games and recreational Internet, under control (that is to say, almost completely absent). Then fill your shelves with good books."

It goes along with the hard work of parenting.  The other day my youngest was complaining about listening to classical music.  "WHY DO WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS?" My eloquent, early-morning response was, 'because it is beautiful, because it cultivates your taste for things that are beautiful, and because I like it!   There's more...we are going to the symphony to hear Beethoven."  "WHY?  I don't want to go," said child replies.  I can neither confirm nor deny that one or both of us had flared nostrils and a raised eyebrow (okay the eyebrow was certainly me).  "Son, you are going and you are going to put on a happy face and not another gloomy comment!"   I am happy to report that said son survived the show and left with a smile on his face.  Baby steps, it's all I am sayin!   

Train up a child in the way he should go...Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely...think of such things.

My boys won't grab a book as their first choice during free time but they will if one is placed gently in their hands and they are encouraged to give it a whirl.  Most times out of ten they are glad they engaged in the written word.  Same goes with music, art, and food, yes try a bite, just a bite.  Baby steps, we all need them to propel ourselves on the journey. 

Faithfully Yours,

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