Goods of the Mind: Our Children’s Education

by Brenda on August 30, 2007

To read or not to read, YOU are the answer!

I have set aside the blog entry that I had prepared for today to address an issue pressing on my mind. I saw a video clip on YouTube that made me angry. Now anyone who knows me is aware that I’m not the sort of person who angers easily. The clip was an episode of John Stossel’s 20/20 show called ‘Stupid in America’. What made me so angry is the betrayal of the taxpayers, parents, and most of all the children. These children were denied their education, through governmental incompetence.

But what can be done? Local school boards and lawmakers can be petitioned to develop school choice programs and to hold bad teachers and bad schools accountable. Parents can take charge by choosing private or home school options.

Hey, this is the HealthWise Living blog. What can you do personally to help your family maximize the Goods of the Mind? Studies have indicated that parents who have books in the home and read them raise children who read and succeed best in school, regardless of economic status. Do you want your child to be an educated, cultured person? To have a rich intellectually fulfilling life, and to be eligible for any course of study she/he wants to do?

So you want your child to read great works of literature like Aristotle’s Ethics or Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Have you?! If you read the great books and talk about them with your children, they may or may not read them. However, if they never see YOU read books that challenge you and expand your mind, then chances are that they never will either. Parents are children’s greatest teachers. The time you spend on your own Goods of the Mind is not time taken away from your kids. Instead it gives them the real-life example of a full intellectual life!

If you don’t know where to start, a good place to begin is How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. Perhaps look for a discussion group in your area. But do get started on your own reading program, and talk to your kids about issues raised in the book on a level they can understand. They will surprise you at how much they are capable of! Take charge of your family’s education today.


How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren

Gateway to the Great Books, published by Encyclopaedia Britannica (meant for your older kids, but you will also enjoy)

Great Ideas From the Great Books

To find a Great Books discussion group in your area, see

For fantastic lectures by award-winning teachers, I recommend The Teaching Company.

And, lastly, that video clip that started this:


To purchase an official dvd of the show,

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