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Compass Classroom Blog -

Compass Classroom Blog

  • Classics Every Middle Schooler Should Read

    I recently read Winston Churchill's little volume Painting as a Pastime. Before he gets to the what's and why's of painting, he describes reading and the unique power books hold. They contain, he says, an

    "infinitely varied store of knowledge and wisdom which the human race has accumulated and preserved, pride, even in its most innocent forms, is chased from the heart by feelings of awe not untinged with sadness."

    Continue reading

  • Helping Your Kids Love The Classics

    All homeschool moms have idyllic visions of their kids sitting in a chair for hours, poring over well-worn, dog-eared hardback classics, and then immediately writing a 10 page paper about the themes found within each book and making a carefully crafted PowerPoint presentation displaying the crux of their thesis. Continue reading

  • Listen!

    Some say the first sense to develop in the womb is the sense of hearing.  I suppose we have no way to confirm that. I have a bad feeling if someone made a strong claim it would be just as dangerous as claiming you know exactly how to pronounce Latin. Continue reading

  • The Most Beautiful Christmas Music Is in Latin | Saint-Saëns' Christmas Oratorio

    Camille Saint-Saëns wrote his Christmas Oratorio in a mere two weeks before a Christmas concert in Paris in 1858. Although not nearly as well known as Handel's English-language oratorio, the lush, pastoral music of the French composer holds its own place in beauty and wonder. The selection included here is actually the middle part of the oratorio. (Skip to 22:07 in the video.) I like it because it contrasts the anger of some at Christ's birth (Herod was just the first of many) with the peace of God's incarnate love. If you want to hear the entire work, listen below, or find a recording on Amazon. It is such a lovely, lyrical composition that I find myself drawn back to it year after year to enjoy the musical delight of the nativity. Continue reading

  • The Most Beautiful Christmas Music is in Latin | Charpentier's Messe

    This piece was suggested by one of our readers, so I looked it up. Although I had heard of Marc-Antoine Charpentier (a French baroque composer), I was unfamiliar with his extraordinary Messe di Minuit pour Noel. This is the Gloria from the larger work, which you can listen to in its entirety here.

    There's not a wealth of information on this particular piece, but I believe its beauty speaks for itself. Gloria in excelsis Deo, indeed!

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