Author Archives: Cheryl Swope

Letter From the Editor Winter 2021

SCJ Letter to the Editor

Letter from The Editor Winter 2021 C. S. Lewis says, “the right defense against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments.” How do we inculcate just sentiments in our children’s minds? In our own minds? We can do this with good books. Good books impart just sentiments and soothe parched thinking. It is said that […]

Primrose Went to the Party

When I learned that this issue of The Classical Teacher would focus on fairy tales, I sought in-house counsel. My daughter readily climbed up on a chair, grabbed a book from her tottering stack, and produced a worn collection. Bookmarked by a thin clear “glass” wand, such as a fairy godmother might wave over one’s […]

Dappled Things

Dappled Things

“Michelle.” I whispered hurriedly to awaken her in the dark. “We must leave home earlier than planned. Snow and ice are coming.” Up she scrambled, softly so as not to awaken her twin brother in the next room. Quickly donning the travel clothes we had laid out the night before, Michelle met me downstairs. With […]

As Much of Infinity as My Intellect Could Apprehend


On the Feast of St. John the Evangelist in 1571, a baby boy named Johannes Kepler came into the world. Born prematurely, he was weak and sickly as a child. By the time he was born he had two brothers and a sister. When Johannes was five years old, his father left the family. When […]

Letter From the Editor Summer 2020

SCJ Letter to the Editor

I received a lovely note the other day thanking me for an article Cheryl Lowe—not I—had written. With two people in one publishing house named Cheryl, things can become confusing. Let there be no mistake: I was but a quiet mother of toddler twins in Missouri when Cheryl Lowe founded Memoria Press in 1998. Two […]

Little by Little, We Teach

“Above all things one should train and exercise a child’s memory. Whether children are naturally gifted with a good memory or, on the contrary, are naturally forgetful, the memory should be trained. The natural advantage will be strengthened, or the natural shortcoming made up. The former class will excel others, the latter will excel themselves.” […]

What I Learned from a Cohort


One morning a welcoming cohort gathered with me around a seminar table for the course “Difference and Human Dignity in the Great Tradition” at Templeton Honors College at Eastern University in Philadelphia. A cohort, I had learned prior to my arrival, is “a group of people who are banded together.” The intelligent faces around me […]

Why Study Western Civilization?

Why Study Western Civilization?

Once upon a time, when a person intended to learn about education, the words “Western civilization” did not offend him. Today, for reasons that elude many of us, hearers now take offense at these words and the studies they embody. I witnessed this firsthand at a recent homeschooling convention in a room filled to its […]

Letter From the Editor Winter 2020: My Child is Human

My Child is Human

A friend and I brought our children to a playground one summer many years ago. As heat, humidity, and noise intensified, one of my twins became unruly and unkempt and had a wild look in the eyes. My friend’s child quickly backed away with fearful disgust and exclaimed, “A monster!” My friend quickly chided, “That’s […]

The Liberating Arts

Liberating Arts

Some parents and educators have the misconception that classical education is only for “smart kids.” It is easy to understand why someone might think this way. Latin at age eight? Homer by fourteen? With such standards, one might reason, surely classical education is only for born geniuses—the brightest and best of our children. But what […]