Friday, May 30, 2008

Thanks, I Needed That

Tim's Mom posted this quote (except her quote was the modern paraphrase) on one of the AO lists today. Boy, do I need to read something like this! I haven't made it all the way through Volume 5 yet. It needs to go on my summer reading list.

This invective discovers a mistake in our educational methods. From the time a child is able to parse an English sentence till he can read Thucydides, his instruction is entirely critical and analytic. Does he read "The Tempest," the entrancing whole is not allowed to sink into, and become a part of him, because he is vexed about the 'vexed Bermoothes' and the like. His attention is occupied with linguistic criticism, not especially useful, and, from one point of view, harmful to him because it is distracting. It is as though one listened to "Lycidas," beautifully read, subject to the impertinence of continual interruptions in the way of question and explanation. We miss the general principle that critical studies are out of place until the mind is so 'throughly furnished' with ideas that, of its own accord, it compares and examines critically. (emphasis mine)

--Volume 5, p. 293-294

(I can remember reaching "critical mass" and beginning to do this sort of comparing on my own. It was only a few years ago. Hopefully, my kids will reach it earlier than in their thirties.)

1 comment:

Willa said...

Oh, my! I needed to hear that, too! What a great quote. A couple of my older kids are at the point where they are doing this. I need to remember that and keep faith it will happen with the younger set, too.