This new initiative serves as an extension of our classical model, encouraging students to seek out and discover the good, true, and beautiful in their lives outside of the classroom. We hope to build in our students a robust cultural literacy that will undergird not only their educational careers but their lifelong journey of learning.
Immersed in Great Works
Over the coming months, we will be working to create comprehensive lists at each grade level of the classic literature that we believe every child should read. But we want to expand our horizons beyond just books. We will also include important pieces of art, music, and even film that integrate into our curriculum at each level. It is our hope that this list will be helpful to you as parents and serve as a guidepost each time you go to the library or visit the art museum. It will become one more piece of our partnership with you in the education of your children.
We will also make these works available to your children here at school, stocking our classroom libraries with important books and providing teachers with access to art and music that can be integrated more fully into the school day.
The Practice of Commonplacing
Additionally, we will be introducing a practice called commonplacing. This is a discipline that has been used by men and women throughout history, from Marcus Aurelius to Mark Twain. Simply put, it is the act of collecting beauty.
“We seek to stand against the trend of busyness and hectic pacing so prevalent in our lives today and teach our students how to practice true rest, reflection, and contemplation.”
A commonplace journal is a special book in which to record the true, good, and beautiful quotes that one hears or reads. We will be providing a commonplace journal to each child who enters Covenant, which will travel with them throughout their years with us. This journal becomes a beautiful record of a child’s growth and development, as they record the truths and bits of wisdom that have impacted them.
The process of intentionally searching out the true, good, and beautiful is a wonderful way to cultivate a child’s taste for these things. We want to give our students such good books to read and mull over that they are entirely ruined for reading anything but. We want a good book in the hands of every child.
Moments of Schole
The final piece of this initiative is the devotion of time in our school week to schole. These moments of rest will take various forms, such as time to read for pleasure, contemplate a beautiful piece of art, or record quotes in our commonplace journals. In so doing, we seek to stand against the trend of busyness and hectic pacing so prevalent in our lives today and teach our students how to practice true rest, reflection, and contemplation.