Educational Philosophies: Classical Education

Unlike Charlotte Mason education, classical education is a philosophy without a founder.  Classical education takes inspiration from Greek and Roman civilization, encouraging the study of rhetoric, logic, Greek, Latin, and “great books”.  It’s a highly formalized and rigorous form of education mostly found in in homeschools and Catholic universities.  Although a classical education probably appeals more to hardcore autodidacts than unschoolers, anyone can take inspiration from the philosophy.  Here are a few suggestions for getting started.
-Study ancient languages.  
Although we may not speak ancient Greek or Latin, we still use the languages every day.  Anyone interested in history, sciences, or religion should consider spend a few hours a week with a Latin or Greek grammar text.  (Linguina Latina worked best for me.)
-Study rhetoric and logic.  Rhetoric (clear and persuasive reasoning) and logic are both understudied subjects.  The two arts can help you learn to write, think, and argue more clearly.  For a fun introduction, find The Fallacy Detective or The Thinking Toolbox.  Memoria Press, a classical publisher, carries texts for both subjects.
-Read the Great Books.  
“The Great Books” are the writings that Western Civilization is based on.  It’s impossible to pin down a definitive list of these greats, but most compilations include The Iliad, The Odyssey, selections from the Old Testament and Qur’an, works by Plato, Aristotle, and Ovid, and more recent texts by Geoffery Chaucer, Dante, James Joyce, and Mark Twain.  Critics often claim that classical education focuses on “dead white males”, but with a self-styled education you have full flexibility with your selections!

For more information about a classical education, read The Well-Trained Mind or The Well-Educated Mind, both by Susan Wise Bauer.