#04: The Homeschool as Monastery

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Welcome to The Classical Homeschool Podcast. At the Classical Homeschool Podcast, our heart is to take on the work of wrestling through the, sometimes difficult and philosophical, ideas presented throughout the classical education movement and bring them down to earth, specifically and practically for the classical homeschooling mom.

We begin this episode discussing our metaphors for education. Ashley shared that her metaphor for education is a monastery. We spend the rest of the episode discussing the idea and place of a monastery and what we can learn from this metaphor to help us in our classical homeschools.

First, Ashely teaches us about the different kinds of monasteries, what kind of work and worship the monks participate in at the monastery, and what the purpose of monastery life was and is. Much of the purpose centers around worship, becoming whole, and living a life of repentance in everyday life.

Next, we discuss the physical structure of a monastery and how the various parts of the monastery reflect the different kinds of things we can know. This ultimately helps us connect with God, others, and creation in a unified community.

Ashley then helps us to understand how she translates these ideas about a monastery into what she calls A Domestic Monastery. Ashley compares the vows monks make to the vows we make in marriage and contemplates how the foundation of a home, and therefore a homeschool, is the marriage. In addition, we talk about how we need to remember that, in a domestic monastery, there is a shared community, heaven and earth meet in the daily liturgies of the home, and there is a pursuit of real education oriented towards virtue.

Lastly, we get practical and consider the specific practices during “homeschool time” that are embodiments of the ideas above, including, the practice of lectio divina for lessons, taking the time to prepare and center ourselves in the morning, and what liturgies we each use to order our day and our loves.


“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV


Resources Mentioned in Today’s Episode

The 5 Elements of Classical Homeschooling

The CiRCE Apprenticeship

Norms & Nobility: A Treatise on Education by David Hicks

The CiRCE Atrium

‘A Garden, a Table, a Museum, a Church: That is to say a Monastery’ by, Mt Hope Chronicles

Beauty for Truth’s Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education by, Stratford Caldecott

Leisure and the Basis of Culture by, Josef Pieper

The Liturgical Classroom and Virtue Formation with Jenny Rallens

The Medieval Craft of Memory: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures, by Mary Carruthers


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Today’s Sponsor


This episode is sponsored by Between The Linens and The Online Scriptorium. Have you been able to join in the Online Scriptorium yet? If you haven’t, it is a fun hour on Crowdcast where a group of ladies get together to share our love of commonplacing and reading. Last month, we shared and read several favorite poems in between discussing how we would capture them in our commonplace books. This month we are diving into an excerpt of Plutarch’s essay, “On the Virtues of Women”. We would love to see you there even if you have no experience with Plutarch or commonplacing. It is really about building a community to practice the process of Lectio Divina as it was meant to be practiced, in community and with all types of literature! The next scriptorium is on October 19th at 9:00 pm EDT.


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