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What actually is a ‘living book,’ and what makes them live? Living books are vital, interest-catching, windows into worlds. You can hear the author’s passion and his voice. For the Kansas Catholic Homeschooling Conference, I dug deeper into Charlotte Mason’s idea that living books are essential to authentic education. We found some surprising new ways to animate our home schools, and moved past book lists to discover more living books. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing favorites from my lifetime of reading and long home schooling experience.
It’s so important to realize that good reading stimulates prayer, conversation and creativity. We don’t just ‘read stories,’ but we ‘read life’ through books, so they really must be living books, as food must be living food. I hope that a whole Catholic revival will spring up from the roots homeschooling is sending down into such good soil. The liberal arts always have their end in the person of the learner, and so living books are critically important not just as ends in themselves, but because of their contribution to the cultivation of human personhood and freedom.
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