Moms, have you ever wanted to read a Great Book?
Classics are the foundational texts of Western Civilization. Why should we leave them behind in college?
wanted agreed to read Paradise Lost with a friend on Facebook. But my schedule, three kids, a house, friends, and life reminded me why I’ve read so few of the Great Books since I got married.
It’s hard. And by the time the kids are in bed, and the day is over, my brain cannot appreciate or engage difficult literature on a meaningful level.
Is Paradise Lost even worth it?
Susan Wise Bauer’s book The Well-Educated Mind lays out a meticulous plan for adults to self educate through the Great Books. A few years ago, I perused her book and thought I’d give it a try.
I’ve gotten almost nowhere.
But something happened today and I wanted to share three helpful tips I used to read Paradise Lost today while my kids were playing.
Tip #1: Make Progress By Starting Small
Climbing a mountain begins with small steps.
Today I had thirty minutes. My son was finishing up homework and I decided to read Paradise Lost until he finished.
Maybe you only have ten or fifteen minutes. That’s enough to begin. And progress can be a great motivator.
Tip #2: Find a Decent Audiobook of Your Selected Title
Audiobooks are excellent tools for tackling difficult grammar and syntax. Understanding is key to gleaning all the richness from difficult books.
I lucked out on a free LibriVox recording.
Tip #3: Play the Audiobook and Read Along
The kids were playing. They interrupted. But this changed everything. By engaging my brain on two levels, I was able to read and comprehend in spite of significant distractions.
And now I feel encouraged to read more tomorrow. I hope you will too.
(Happy Bonus: Your Kids Will Listen to Great Literature With You)