We just returned from two days at a conference hosted by the authors of The Well-Trained Mind, a book about classical education at home. This week the authors, Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, are releasing the latest edition of the book and celebrating its 10th year in publication. I now have a better understanding of how the three stages of classical education fit together, as well as where my focus needs to be during the early years of teaching our children.
The biggest surprise at the conference, though, was meeting professional storyteller Jim Weiss. He was scheduled to host three or four of the sessions and I had not heard of him or his company, Greathall Productions. I had thought we could just skip his sessions if we needed a break or if we were bored – but his skill of telling classic stories and engaging his listeners was absolutely amazing. We bought three of his CD’s and we have played the first one for our daughter – I wasn’t sure whether it would have the same effect for her, since we were watching him act out the stories. But she laughed and seemed to enjoy the story as he altered his voice to match the characters in the story of The Tortoise and the Hare.
Jim Weiss has one of the most calming voices I have ever heard. His recordings are not meant to replace parent-child storytime. I think we will probably use his CD’s in the car as well as at bedtime, after our regular bedtime routine. His CD’s have sold in countries all over the world – all of the recordings are in English, but apparently the recordings sell well overseas because they are helpful in teaching English. I am looking forward to hearing more of the stories on his other CD’s.