Monday, October 27, 2014

How To Know

I LOVE the Mormon Channel! Love it! 

I just finished listening to a fabulous program on Gospel Solutions for Families entitled 

 It was what I needed to hear today - have a listen if you get a chance!

The Well-Educated Mind

Many years ago I read The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and absolutely loved it. The Well Trained Mind outlines a systematic approach to classical education that resonates with my personal educational philosophy. The Well Trained Mind has become a well worn reference book for our family in augmenting and supplementing my children's education.

One of the things I loved the most about my years of obtaining my degree at Brigham Young University was all of the marvelous literature I encountered. It was tremendously satisfying to read a well written book and then engage in thought provoking discussion. I received my degree in American Studies and then went on to teach elementary school until my first kiddo was born. Through all of the years that have followed (and they have been many!),  I have always wished I was more familiar with the classics of literature. I just didn't know where to start.

To my delight a few years ago I came across another book by Susan Wise Bauer entitled The Well Educated Mind - A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had. In it she outlines a method for studying various works of literature based on the trivium of classical education. I knew that, someday, this was something I wanted to pursue. I also knew that, while I was in the midst of newborn twins, two elementary age children and a husband in residency, now was not the time. :)

This fall, with a seventh grader, a fifth grader, three year old twins who take great naps, and a husband still in residency, I am happy to say that now is the time! I have carved out a few hours here and there during the week to study more in depth than I have been able to in the past.

My book list at the moment is pictured above. I am reading and analyzing Pilgrim's Progress according the The Well Educated Mind and am studying the others through notes, outlines etc. I am always amazed at how deeply I am enjoying this study.

I only wish I had someone to discuss what I am learning with who happens to be reading the same material! For the moment I have been, with greater enthusiasm then my children might appreciate, starting dinner off with, "Guess what I learned today!" Oh well, hopefully someday my children will remember that their mother loved to learn. And hopefully someday my husband will finish residency so that we can read and discuss together. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Piano Lesson

I have taught piano lessons in my home to supplement our income for many, many years while my husband has been furthering his education.  Our piano was older than I am and over the last year or so was falling apart at a rather alarming rate. We could hardly keep up with the repairs and upon our last visit our piano technician let us know that he would do his best, but our piano was on her way out. We certainly didn't have any money for a new piano, so we tried to maintain the piano the best that we could.

During all of this, my husband was offered a position to stay on at the hospital where he was finishing his residency. Part of the contract included a small salary advance my husband would receive in order to help our family out financially during his last 14 months of residency. We were thrilled with the contract and I was especially excited about the prospect of having a little cushion, something we haven't ever really had during our almost fifteen years of marriage. As we were looking at the numbers we decided that we would have just enough extra to purchase a new piano. We became overly excited and started piano shopping. Our contract had been signed after all, so we thought the salary advance was a guarantee.

One morning, when we were planning on going piano shopping, I had the thought that we shouldn't purchase a piano yet, we needed to wait. Unfortunately, I did not heed that prompting. A few hours later we purchased our new piano.

Well, when all was said and done, the salary advance did not come when we thought it would, and when it did come, it was not as much as we had thought it would be. Instead of the cushion we needed, we now have a piano.

There are many lessons we have learned from our stupidity. :) I will share just one today.

One of Satan's tactics is to try and convince individuals to do a good thing at the wrong time. And when you do a good thing at the wrong time, it is no longer a good thing. For example, dating is a good thing. Dating before you are sixteen is not a good thing. Intimacy in marriage is a marvelous thing, intimacy before marriage is not. This has been Satan's tactic from the beginning - starting with Eve. Partaking of the fruit of the tree of life is a good thing, partaking of the fruit of the tree of life at the wrong time is not. The list goes on and on.

This is one of the piano lessons I have received. Every time I look at our beautiful piano I think of how wanting a new piano was a good thing, but purchasing a new piano at the wrong time has not been such a good thing.

I love my piano and I am grateful for it. It is a good thing too, because I have now had the privilege to take on several new piano students to help cover our last year of residency. ;) Oh well, I am truly grateful that the Lord is merciful and forgiving and that He always lovingly helps us to try again.