All right, my friends, settle in, because I have something very cool for you today.
As I mentioned in last week’s post, Center for Lit‘s amazing family members, Adam Andrews and his son Ian, are going to be speaking at the Home Educators Association of Virginia Convention June 8-10. And I am totally going to be there.
You know what a crazy lit lady the Lit Mama is. I can’t wait to attend these workshops. Even better? I got the chance to speak with Ian and ask him a few questions about his workshops and I’m even more stoked than I was last week.
But make sure you read All The Way To The Bottom, because I’m giving away a FREE FAMILY REGISTRATION to the HEAV Convention PLUS Center for Lit is giving away a FREE K-12 LITERARY SCOPE AND SEQUENCE: READING ROADMAPS to celebrate their participation!
Center for Lit
Let me tell you a bit about Center for Lit and the truly incredible family who founded it.
Adam and Missy Andrews, the husband and wife team who created Center for Lit, developed an amazing method for teaching lit called Teaching the Classics. With this method, students read an entire work of literature and are introduced to the structural elements of the story. The Online Academy provides classes with the opportunity to chat with fellow students and teachers, a 90-minute Socratic discussion with teachers once a month, and videos of the teachers for students to watch.
7 of the 10 classes offered are taught by Adam and Missy. The remaining three are taught by their daughter, their son, Ian, and his wife, Emily.
Here’s the cool thing. Missy and Adam homeschooled their kids. And two of them have gone on to graduate from college then come back to work for the family business.
I mean, can you even? This family really speaks to the power of homeschooling. And that rocks.
The Online Academy offers these year-long classes:
- Elementary Literature
- Junior High Literature
- High School American Literature
- High School British Literature
- High School World Literature
- High School Understanding Poetry
- Writing Academy – All Ages
Classes start in August, but enrollment is open now and if you enroll early you get 25% OFF! I mean, you can’t beat that. Seriously, I want to take all these classes myself.
But there’s more
Center for Lit also offers podcasts, a blog, a video blog, a free audio library, and a store full of good stuff that you can use to teach lit to your littles yourself. With curriculum bundles, Reading Roadmaps, and Classics Club, you’re all set for a year of literature with your kids. But that’s not everything in the store, so be sure to visit their website and take a look.
They also offer membership to the Pelican Society, a program for parents and teachers to help you feel comfortable with teaching lit to your littles and having all the necessary tools. Plus membership gets you discounts on the other good stuff. Score!
Center for Lit at the HEAV Convention
I mentioned last week that I will be attending the HEAV convention this year June 8-10, and that Adam and Ian Andrews will be speaking at the convention. I am practically dancing with anticipation to see these workshops.
Adam’s workshops will include
- Raising a Worldview Detective – Three Steps to Thinking Critically About Books, Movies, and More
- The Socratic Method for Dummies – Become a Great Teacher the Easy Way
- Education in an Hour – Teaching Life’s Most Crucial Lesson in One Sitting
- Building the Perfect Reading List – A “DIY” Scope and Sequence Workshop
Ian’s workshops will cover
- Symbolism: Mastering Literature’s Most Powerful Device
- “But What Good Is an English Major?” – A Homeschool Graduate Reflects on the Benefits of a Literary Education
Obviously, you can see why the Lit Mama would be stoked. I feel like I must somehow be related to this awesome family. Since I’m not, I’ll settle for hearing them speak.
Ian Andrews on HEAV
As I said, I got the chance to get to know Ian a little (he rocks) and ask him some questions about his role at Center for Lit and the upcoming convention. If you haven’t been enticed to attend yet, take a look at what he had to say.
Center for Lit is definitely a family company, which is so appealing to homeschoolers. Can you tell me a bit about your role in Center for Lit and how you got involved?
When my wife and I graduated college (from my parents’ alma mater), we both wanted a career that allowed us to continue working with the ideas that had delighted us throughout our own education. My parents were looking to hire like-minded individuals, and we were a clear match. You might say I was raised to participate in the family business; but I would choose this job over another even if I weren’t an Andrews! My role at present is to handle customer service and marketing, but everyone does a little bit of everything around here, and I spend as much time teaching and reading as I do answering email.
My homeschool is lit-based, and I try to help my readers accomplish the same. What is it about literature that gets you excited and makes you believe it’s such an important part of education?
The more I read, the more I think the role of a fiction writer is profoundly different from the role of a philosopher, historian, or poet. All these thinkers deal in truth, but the novelist bears a special responsibility: to deal graciously with his characters. A dear friend of mine, a novelist himself, told me once that as he reads, he can tell if an author exposes his characters, or covers them. I think what he meant is that the process of writing fiction is the process of articulating the human condition and suggesting a solution. That solution can be either harsh and judgmental, as in the taut realism of Hemingway, or deeply compassionate, as in the equally raw fiction of Dostoevsky. In either case, the author necessarily says, “this is what it means to be a person” and presents, to a greater or lesser degree, a vision of both the ugliness and the beauty of human nature. This process excites me more than any other precisely because in identifying the common flaws and foibles of humanity, he has the power to identify with his readers and so present them with an invitation to likewise identify with their neighbor. Literature creates a vast community, in which all of us find understanding and companionship in the most important questions of all: who am I? Who is God? Where is Hope to be found in all this difficulty? The best authors present us with a stark, but gentle answer to these questions, and by giving us characters who share our fears and joys they tell us a crucial truth. We are not alone.
One of your workshops covers symbolism in literature. Can you give my readers some examples of symbolism and the topics you’ll cover in the workshop?
A symbol is generally an object or idea that stands in for another object or idea—think of it like this: if I were to tell you that a field was “an ocean of grain” you would know a few things about that field, right? You would know that it billows and rolls, that it waves, and that it is vast. How would you know these things? Because you know instinctively what an ocean is like. By telling you that a field is an ocean, I describe the field in such a way that you can feel and understand what it looks like all at once. This is the power of a symbol—to contain a deep and wide idea in a concrete, more easily graspable thing. In literature, an understanding of this crucial idea can help us to unlock the meaning in even the most difficult novels. For more on that, come to the workshop . 🙂
Your other workshop covers the benefits of a literary education (and believe me, I’m with you). Without giving too much of your plans for HEAV away, can you tell my readers some of those benefits?
As a companion to what I said in question 2, I’ll say this: learning to read carefully and well is learning to participate in human-ness. As we learn to understand an author, we learn to humble ourselves and put another person’s ideas first—practically speaking, we learn compassion. The more you think about it, the more this trait makes you a healthy intellectual, an understanding spouse, a faithful friend, a diligent employee, and a kind person.
Can my readers expect any one-on-one time with you at HEAV? Will you be available after or outside your workshops for them to meet you and chat?
Absolutely! We love nothing better than talking about these ideas with anyone who is interested. Come find us! Let’s chat 🙂
- One, I love that he ended with ‘Let’s chat’ since that’s how I approach homeschool consultations.
- Two, I have made a solemn promise to myself that I am not going to act like a raving superfan when I get the chance to speak with Ian or his dad. Solemn.
I mean, I’m going to try.
You know I love ya, so I have 2 super cool giveaways for you. Enter either one or both, but you only have a week. I’ll announce the winners next Monday, April 24.