In 2012 when I attended my area's Classical Conversations parent practicum I slid in late and sat next to complete strangers. As I looked around I noticed several people within eye-shot had this book laying next to them. Always on the hunt for my next read, I was intrigued. It must be good because A LOT of people had it. So, at lunch I marched over to the book sale area and bought myself one. I still haven't gotten around to reading it.
This year, as I arrived on time to the practicum, I was handed a program, a name badge and a copy of a book, Anthony Esolen's, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. Only then did it hit me, come to a Classical Conversations parent practicum and you get a free book. I wish someone would have told me!
This one has not collected dust. I've been feasting on it each evening for the past couple of weeks and finished it last night. Although his tongue-in-cheek approach took some getting used to (he writes as though he really is trying to convince us to destroy our child's imagination), I found it infinitely more readable than other books popular among classical educators like Norms and Nobility and Beauty for Truth's Sake. It's classified as a "parenting/education" book, but it's just as much a mightily opinionated commentary on our culture.
The book has given me plenty to think about regarding both parenting and education. In some instances, it's given me confidence to stay the course. In others, it's caused me to reevaluate what we're doing or simply left me puzzling and pondering.
Over the coming weeks, I plan to address some of the points in Esolen's book that struck a chord with me.