MIC-badgeMentoring in the Classics has a new home, but for those already enrolled following our original schedule, here is the list, in order, of monthly readings:

Year One

MONTH 1: Introduction

Gatto’s Dumbing us Down is a fitting introduction, describing in uncompromising terms the need for the type of education we’ll pursue in this series.

MONTH 2: Orientation

Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea simply cannot be read incorrectly; it is all about pondering, applying it to your life, thinking creatively, intuitively, authentically. Careful thought has gone into the succession from Gatto to Lindbergh – the former being an exposition of what is wrong, the latter, a “healing” book; first the “tell”, then the “show.”

The Audio Mentoring and Study Guide for Lindbergh are important, as they establish the unique and effective methodology by which this course will progress.

Please take special care to familiarize yourself with the 5 Levels of Engagement with the Classics outlined in the audio mentoring and the Study Guide. This will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the rest of the titles we cover, and help you to glean and apply from them in meaningful ways.

MONTH 3: Austen

As Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a longer work, the months previous and following are less time-consuming. It’s a favorite – both familiar, and worthy of repeat reads. Is there a book out there that Hollywood has adapted more times? There must be a story there, LOL. You’ll have time to get into this lengthier title early, as Lindbergh is sweet, profound and actually quite concise, and a great backdrop for this insightful and witty work.

MONTH 4: Lowell

“The Present Crisis” (link downloads PDF) by James Russell Lowell is a profoundly beautiful (and short!) work, which Oliver will give a line-by-line treatment – thus reinforcing the participants’ ability to appreciate and comprehend the language of the classics. This provides a great segue-way to next month’s Shakespeare, which some have avoided because of the unfamiliar language, and which is so beloved by readers and theater-goers for generations.

MONTHS 5 – 6: Shakespeare & Potok

The progression from Two Gentlemen of Verona (the Shakespeare play on homeschooling) and Potok’s The Chosen is especially poignant, as they have similar plot elements. Both address the power of education, especially Scholar Phase education; both consider the affect of education and upbringing on the individual outcomes in adulthood.

MONTH 7: The Declaration

This month’s selection, The Declaration of Independence, (link downloads PDF) is a freedom classic that articulated for the world, then and now, the nobility of the human soul, and the inestimable worth of liberty. As this is a shorter title, you’ll have time to get started early on next month’s reading!

MONTH 8: Hugo

After 6 months of MIC, you’re ready for some deep and moving stuff! In our original rotation, this was our August selection – a month when many gear up for school again – and yet straddles the “summer/fall” line. Les Miserables does double duty as a great beach read and a serious scholarly challenge. Life changing! If you’ve read it before, you know; if you haven’t, you know you’ve been meaning to….

MONTH 9: Lewis

Again, the selection preceding the monumental Hugo is short, as is this month’s: Lewis’ “The Inner Ring.” This one is perfect to help define Why We Do What We Do. Originally our September 2014 reading, it is timely, as the advent of fall and “serious” school often puts our goals and methods under the scrutiny of measuring up to others’ expectations, and demands that we have clarity of vision and purpose, to follow our inspired–and inspiring–path.

MONTH 10: Schneider

Our October 2014 content first debuted in the season when many of our participants are in the thick of home or classroom studies, and so we introduce our first math classic (if you don’t count The Chosen – and maybe we should!). Schneider’s A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe is an easy read and tends to turn math haters into math lovers, and math lovers into serious math students.

MONTH 11: Bronte

This month brings another perennial favorite: the courageous Jane Eyre. Bronte’s beleaguered and faithful heroine always inspires such meaningful discussions. The Debriefing Audio for this title featured more than one serious about-face from our participants with regard to their love or hate of this book. Lively and penetrating, you’re sure to enjoy this one!

MONTH 12: Wilder

Our December 2014 reading highlighted a time when many of our participants suspend their normal routine to focus on family, traditions, worship and celebrations. In this spirit, we have chosen a great family read: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. If you find this a strange choice, trust us. It’s chock-full of amazing content – especially on the topics of family culture, education and community. Oh–and it’s not a “girl” book. Seriously. There are bears, whittlin’, and all sorts of manly fare.

And that wraps up our first year with Mentoring in the Classics!

If you want to look ahead to the upcoming titles, here you go:

Year II Schedule:

Year III Schedule:

Year IV Schedule:

Year V Schedule:

Year VI Schedule:
  • VI-1: Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind
    (Find out what all the fuss is about in one of the most quoted books of the 20th Century and the most influential book on education since John Dewey. Learn how to truly get off the conveyor belt!)
  • VI-2: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    (The highly acclaimed modern novel written in the Pride and Prejudice Universe; beautiful writing, truly memorable characters, and a new “Elizabeth” and “Darcy” for modern times. Not a rehash at all–new and powerful.)
  • VI-3: Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
    (Considered the great American classic on What makes a good community?, What is a real friend?, and What is true leadership? A Pilgrim-Age exploration of choices, secrets, and the power of integrity.)
  • VI-4: Shakespeare, Macbeth
    (One of the greatest plays ever written; mentored, so you get as much real depth as possible from reading it.)
  • VI-5: Moliere, Tartuffe
    (Title sounds strange, but this is one of the most excellent and important plays ever written on “What Is a Real Man?”, by Moliere, considered by many to be France’s Shakespeare.)
  • VI-6: Robinson, Intelligence
    (A dystopian novel worthy of sitting beside titles like The Hunger Games and The Giver, Intelligence tells a story that is crucial to our rising generation. ~J. Martin)
  • VI-7: Austen, Northanger Abbey
    (Considered by many the funniest and most relaxed/enjoyable of Austen’s six novels, and completes the Austen cycle. Discussion will include the pattern of all six classics.)
  • VI-8: Jung Chang, Wild Swans
    (Widely acclaimed as the best modern classic from China; beautiful, challenging, fun, and extremely memorable. Once you’ve read it, you’ll never forget it.)
  • VI-9: Coelho, The Alchemist
    (The internationally bestselling parable of happiness and finding/living one’s true life purpose. A true modern classic.)
  • VI-10: Sanderson, The Rithmatist and Euclid’s Elements, Book I
    (Fall in love with math [again?] and learn how to greatly teach geometry and other mathematics to youth. Fun, unique story.)
  • VI-11: Wister, The Virginian
    (The American response to Europe’s question: “What is a Real Man? And a Real Woman?” A moving early American romance, full of deep questions and important lessons that still apply today–perhaps now more than ever.)
  • VI-12: L’Amour, Education of a Wandering Man
    (Louis L’Amour’s non-fiction masterpiece on how to get a great education by teaching yourself with great books and great mentors; fabulous!)

Year VII Schedule:

  • VII-1: Elizabeth Gaskell, North & South
    This English classic was published in 1854 and compares the culture of the aristocratic British upper class with the rise of a new industrial-age merchant middle class. The results are explosive, fun to read about, and full of intrigue as well as amour. One of the great romances of English literature, North & South led the next generation of  Austen/Bronte-style romantic commentaries on culture, family, society, happiness, human frailty vs. inner nobility, and human nature. A truly great read.
  • VII-2: Shakespeare, Henry V
    How does a boy become a man, especially when he is suddenly raised to the status of King of England? Young Henry faces his own need to mature, overcome mistakes, and rise to the role of a true leader, while also engaged in a major war with France. The challenges along the way teach him, and all of us as readers, numerous lessons on growing up, becoming leaders, and knowing how to face the greatest challenges of life. One of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.
  • VII-3: Bronte, Wuthering Heights
    One of the great Engish classics, this work by Emily Bronte was published in 1847 and tackles some of the most challenging issues of human relations: class divisions, romance between people from different social classes, the treatment of women in English aristocratic society, and different views of morality in differing socio-economic classes. Above all, it addresses the dangers of religious hypocrisy, putting class position above love, putting love above making wise choices, and the wrong versus right kind of romance.
  • VII-4: DeMille, We Hold These Truths
    Current events in our times happen quickly, chaotically, and intensely. We Hold These Truths to Be Self Evident outlines and explains 12 key principles that will help you analyze everything that happens in current events