Learn About C.S. Lewis: A Parent's Guide to Self Education

For parents, the gift of homeschooling is self-education.

Reclaiming my own education has been a tremendous blessing. I love discovering with my children - discovering authors, composers, artists - I could go on and on!

If you are like me, you weren’t exactly immersed in the life and thoughts of C.S. Lewis when you were young. I vaguely remember reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Beyond that, I thought Lewis was for intellectuals - certainly NOT me!

I was intimidated by all things C.S. Lewis for many years. I wish I would have started this sooner, but I have to believe NOW is the perfect time for me.

What a gift it is now to dive into his world now and discover for myself so many of his writings - to learn about one of the greatest Christian thinkers in history.

It all started with one of my favorite books last year…

Learn About C.S. Lewis - a Parent’s Guide to Self Education - includes book suggestions, and how to learn alongside your children

A Gentle Beginning to learn about C.S. Lewis

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to slide into a deep subject gently.

There was a lot of buzz about Becoming Mrs. Lewis - the story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis’ unlikely friendship and eventual marriage. I listened to the book and was drawn into their world.

A logical place to go after listening to this book was to read A Grief Observed - this was the book Lewis wrote after his wife died. The book is short, but is so full of wisdom. I read it through quickly the first time, and then really sat with it a second time - highlighting and making notes in the margins.

I love how books just “find” you sometimes, don’t you?

After A Grief Observed I kept hearing about A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War , which is about Tolkien, Lewis, and the influence their involvement in World War I had on their faith lives and ultimately the Christian world of the 20th century (and beyond). This book was an EXCELLENT listen for both my teenage son and me.

A Plan to Learn More about C.S. Lewis

After this enjoyable introduction into the life and thoughts of C.S. Lewis, I found myself wanting to know more.

I get easily bogged down by too much “intellectual” reading (just being honest).

I have to keep it short and interesting.

First, a comprehensive biography about C.S. Lewis.

Second, the box set of C.S. Lewis signature classics (these are SO approachable - and the covers are beautiful, too!).

Third, Surprised By Joy - the shape of C.S. Lewis’ early life.

(If you want to include your children in this endeavor, I HIGHLY recommend C.S. Lewis, Master Storyteller - one of the Christian Heroes Then and Now biographies. We listened to this on a long car trip last year and all learned so much! )

Don’t you love this quote from A Grief Observed - “The best is perhaps what we understand the least.”?

I’m not trying to “understand” all of C.S. Lewis’ writings - I’m simply trying to immerse myself in his world and let the Holy Spirit work in me.

If you’d like to join me in learning about C.S. Lewis, here are the books I’m using:

Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. LewisA Grief ObservedThe C. S. Lewis Signature Classics (8-Volume Box Set): An Anthology of 8 C. S. Lewis Titles: Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, Miracles, The ... The Abolition of Man, and The Four LovesA Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)Jack: A Life of C. S. LewisThe Complete Chronicles of Narnia ( Boxed Set 7 Books )


Do you know much about C.S. Lewis?

Tell me in the comments below!

What We've Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

Re-entry after a restful holiday break can be hard.

Or, it can be a welcome return to the routine.

Ours has been a little of both. There may have been some groans and sighs as everyone headed back to their respective classes and homeschool groups, but there has also been a certain comfort in the familiar routine and productivity that naturally follows.

Our homeschool word this year is intentional - so I’m keeping tabs on myself through these blog entries. Have I been INTENTIONAL about everything in our homeschool and life in the past week?

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

I have been relentless about claiming reading time for myself. I consider it therapy and education all wrapped up in one!

Sunday afternoon (after church and some house cleaning), I sat down with my latest read, Harry’s Trees, and relaxed a bit. My husband was doing the same thing, and we chatted while we relaxed. Having that time to strategize for the week was extremely helpful.

(Harry’s Trees is the selection for the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club this month. I love my book club membership!)

I’ve decided that little things can bring me a lot of joy - I bought this mug at a cute coffee shop and it just makes me happy.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

Sunday evening we had company for dinner.

I would like to be a better at hospitality in 2019 - not anything fancy - just opening my home and heart to others.

Interestingly enough, a sweet reader of Homegrown Learners sent me The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard, and the book has been inspiring me.

We had simple baked tacos for dinner and enjoyed a lovely evening. (Plus, inviting people over gives me a kick in the pants to clean things up a bit!)

If you want the recipe for these EASY and YUMMY tacos, you can find it in my Plan to Eat.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

Back to “school” Monday morning consisted of all of the usual subjects.

(I won’t talk much about my senior because she is cruising through to graduation and pretty much controls her own schedule now!)

Grant is preparing for a piano competition in March, so he’s back to his regular practice schedule each day. Piano has been one of my homeschool requirements for both children. I know it builds concentration, attention, discipline, and musicality. It is a gift they will always have with them - and I just love having a house with the sound of music.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

A reader asked me last week about what our morning time looks like with a middle schooler.

One thing we ALWAYS include in our morning time is reading aloud. Our current read-aloud is Jefferson’s Sons. I had read Sally Hemings and America’s First Daughter last year and was intrigued with Thomas Jefferson’s story. Jefferson’s Son is the YA version of that story and we’re both enjoying learning about Jefferson - who was great in the eyes of men - but maybe struggled with being great in the eyes of God because of the slaves he owned.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

One of the most difficult subjects in Grant’s Challenge B coursework is Intermediate Formal Logic.

He began reading, highlighting, and creating a Quizlet set this week. The key to success is going to be staying on top of the assignments, memorizing the vocabulary, and not giving up!

(Do you know about Quizlet? It’s one of our favorite online flashcard tools!!)

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

A cute aside - Grant has always loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and I have nothing against them!

He began reading them in Kindergarten, and shortly thereafter starting writing in his own journal using dialog! I was amazed at how such a little boy could use quotation marks and punctuation appropriately, and then I realized he was imitating the writing he was seeing in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Brilliant.

He owns every book and I gave him the new one for Christmas. You will often catch him rereading them for fun.

I’m sure some people would call them twaddle, but I don’t care - I believe there is room for a certain amount of twaddle in our lives, don’t you?

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

Finally, we’ve been back to our basketball schedule.

Nearly every afternoon or evening (other than Wednesday and Sunday) contains basketball. It’s a good thing the private school where he plays is close to our house, and that he LOVES this team. We’re fortunate to have found a school that welcomes homeschoolers!

I can’t imagine what Grant’s attitude would be like if he didn’t have this physical activity each day.

He plays HARD and it’s been fun to watch the young man he is on the basketball court. Of course the emphasis is on playing good basketball and winning games, but the greater emphasis is on playing as a Christian.

I am thankful for this opportunity. We waited many years for an organized sports group with this focus.

What We’ve Been Up To Lately: Re-Entry

All in all I think re-entry is going well.

Only one more semester and I will have a HOMESCHOOL GRADUATE (yikes!) and a high school freshman. Where DOES the time go?

What have you been up to?

Are you back to the routine after the holidays?

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