Weakness in character may constitute the greatest barrier in the reorganization and conservation of our modern civilization.
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Price, 1939
So neither ought you to attempt to cure the body without the soul; and this is the reason why the cure of many diseases is unknown to the physicians of Hellas, because they are ignorant of the whole, which ought to be studied also; for the part can never be well unless the whole is well.
Charmides, Plato, circa 380 BC
As Socrates told us long ago, we can’t cure the body without the soul.… Continue Reading -->
Mammon (said he) thy godheades vaunt is vaine,
And idle offers of thy golden fee;
To them, that couet such eye-glutting gaine,
Proffer thy giftes, and fitter seruaunts entertaine.
The Faerie Queene, Spencer, 1590
As we saw in a previous post, universal public school was not designed with human excellence as a goal, but rather to create an large obedient class of workers without artisan skills who would drive the factories and make money for those who own the means of production.
Every worker a cog in motion.
This true goal of schooling is achieved through diverse means, a major strategy being wasting time, another the ignoring or glossing over the great works of history and literature.… Continue Reading -->
When the Greek women married, they disappeared from public life; within the four walls of their home they devoted themselves to the care of their household and family. This is the mode of life prescribed for women alike by nature and reason. These women gave birth to the healthiest, strongest, and best proportioned men who ever lived, and except in certain islands of ill repute, no women in the whole world, not even the Roman matrons, were ever at once so wise and so charming, so beautiful and so virtuous, as the women of ancient Greece.
Emile, Rousseau, 1762
The suggestion that traditional gender roles for women may be linked to positive outcomes for child development will undoubtably disturb some readers.… Continue Reading -->
We have so far discussed educational viriculture through the child’s seventeenth year, designed to maximize his human value. Although by this age the child should be plenty able to make his own decisions, in our modern world college age children are still typically dependent on their family for support (government loans having inflated the price of college beyond the budget of most 18 year olds). Our curriculum gives the child the prerequisites necessary to attend college, but we should assess whether college is actually worthwhile.
I see two good reasons why a child might attend college. The first reason is to gain access to a restricted profession.… Continue Reading -->
Remember this is just an example! You will want to make your own.
Spoken Language: From age zero to age eight, immersion language tutoring for about one hour a day per language. Culture rich languages recieve priority. My personal choice in order of importance: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish.
Socialization: Age three to age eight, “pre-school,” playgroups, or chruch groups as a way to meet children and make friends.
Etiquette / General Behavior:
The American instructor, or Young man’s best companion
Ladies’/Gentlemen’s book of Etiquette
Art: Age two to eight, piano and guitar, one hour daily each.… Continue Reading -->
Many of the ideal traits of men and women can be controlled through education. Here I outline a curriculum for educational viriculture, and in the next post provide a detailed example of such a curriculum.
The informal immersion in spoken language is a child’s first education. Mothers instinctively speak to the baby, as does everyone else. Before a child can crawl, she is learning to communicate. We have amazing ability to learn language in this way. Babies simply pick it up through frequent exposure.
Above all see that the child’s nurse speaks correctly. The ideal, according to Chrysippus, would be that she should be a philosopher: failing that he desired that the best should be chosen, as far as possible.
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Guidelines of Educational Viriculture for the Parent
But as they moved into ever clearer vision, along their historical path, the ever present aim of their life came to be more and more vividly defined. It was the creation of a higher type of man. They believed that education embodied the purpose of all human effort. It was, they held, the ultimate justification for the existance of both the individual and the community. At the summit of their development, that was how they interpreted the their nature and their task.
Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, Jaeger, 1944
A viriculture education will differ greatly from the contemporary norms of school.… Continue Reading -->
Educate your sons.
This series of posts is my prescription for how best to develop our children using education. In the previous series we saw how environmental factors early in a child’s life can affect physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development. These factors have a powerful effect. We cannot, however, develop an optimal human adult without a comprehensive system of education as well.
The greatest work of art they had to create was Man. They were the first to recognize that education means deliberately moulding human character in accordance with an ideal. ‘In hand and foot and mind built foresquare without a flaw’ – these are the words in which a Greek poet of the age of Marathon and Salamis describes the essence of that true virtue which is so hard to acquire.
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Early exposure to “Close Work”
Here again the environmental explanations are discounted as old-fashioned and unsophisticated; the genetic factor is all important. The finding that more educated, highly academic populations have more myopia leads to what conclusion? That those who spend more time reading have more genes for myopia!
How Anthropology Informs the Orthodontic Diagnosis of Malocclusion’s Causes, Corruccini, 1999
Viriculture Prescription #51: Avoid exposing young eyes to anything closer than 6 feet whenever possible. Use projectors, distant screens, wireless keyboards and mouses, easels, etc. as aids to achieve this goal. Delay reading and writing on paper until after age 6, and keep it to a minimum amount per day, with frequent breaks to look at distant objects.… Continue Reading -->