Category: Articles

Have you tried teaching?

There’s a funny story about Sir Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman. During the filming of Marathon Man, Hoffman, a proponent of Method Acting, reportedly went 72 hours without sleep to help him get inside his character. Olivier said, “My dear boy, why don’t you just try acting?” I feel the same way when I see…

Modern Classical Curriculum: Evolution of an Idea

In the Latin-Centered Curriculum, first published in 2006 and revised in 2008, I laid out an ambitious plan for educating children along traditional classical lines. While that book is out of print—and will stay that way due to the legal agreement I have with the original publisher—I have continued to ponder how best to educate…

Writing Instruction, Step by Step

For many homeschooling families, writing instruction is a perpetual source of stress. Parents may not feel competent to teach writing because, like many adults today, they were never actually taught to write themselves; their teachers simply handed them a blank sheet of paper and expected them to produce original writing without the benefit of explicit…

How I Teach Ørberg

Over the years, I’ve received many questions about how I teach Hans Ørberg’s Lingua latina per se illustrata, whether in a classroom setting or in private tutorials. Here is the method I’ve found most effective. -Andrew Campbell The key to teaching Ørberg effectively is reading the text aloud until the student internalizes the syntax and…

How to Implement Memory Work

    Memory work: the very name conjures up images of 19th-century schoolchildren hunched over their lesson books, or perhaps Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock, engrossed in his mind palace. But memorization is essential to learning. In fact, some scholars have defined learning as “an alteration in long-term memory,” and this makes intuitive sense. If you…

K-12 Social Studies Sequence

Many homeschoolers associate classical education with two things: Dorothy Sayers’ idea of the Trivium as stages of child development and the four-year world history cycle that Susan Wise Bauer describes in The Well-Trained Mind. I’ve argued that neither of those things has much at all to do with what the term classical education meant before…

How to Simplify Your Curriculum

As I write this, many homeschoolers are in the throes of planning for the new school year. I have watched on social media as parents have shared photos of towering book piles and the complicated systems they use to keep track of their curriculum choices. While I am in awe of their dedication and the…

In Praise of Textbooks

Don’t you just love a good lit-based curriculum? What could be more thrilling to the heart of a homeschooling parent than the promise of snuggling on the couch, reading all those beautiful books with your children? Imagine teaching not just literature but also history, science, and even math through engaging narratives rather than boring, dry…

Renewing the Promise of Classical Education

Classical education is facing a reckoning, and one that is long overdue. While some classical educators cling to what Jonathan Roberts describes as “a nostalgia for something that never existed” and continue to tout the false narrative of Western Civilization, others have had enough. Convinced that the classical method is nothing more than a relic…