Ask Andrew: August 1st

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From JoAnn in South Carolina,

In May, I attended a homeschooling conference in Greenville, SC where Andrew Kern was the speaker. At the conference, he mentioned that he did not like the book, Sophie’s World. Due to the fact that …the book is [my daughter’s] philosophy class book, I read through it and agree wholeheartedly with him for many reasons. I was wondering if he could recommend a good philosophy book(s for young teens (13-14) that I could replace for Sophie’s World?


JoAnn, 13 and 14 year old children should not read philosophy as they are not capable of working it out. They learn it through their narratives, so I would read things like the Bible, Homer, Virgil, Spenser, Milton, Jonathan Swift, Shakespeare, CS Lewis, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dante, and Shakespeare. Lewis and Tolkien are probably best for a 13 or 14 year old.

You also teach philosophy when you teach formal grammar, Latin, logic, and rhetoric.

And music. Bach is our best musical offering.

I would allow for some shorter Plato, like the apology, because it’s dramatic, but truly kids that age can’t process philosophy. It tends to make relativists of them when we ask them to.

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