Our guest today is the lovely and delightfully controversial Angelina Stanford. Angelina has an Honors Baccalaureate Degree and a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Louisiana. For over twenty-five years, she has shared her passion and enthusiasm for literature with students in a variety of settings — everywhere from university classrooms to homeschool co-ops to homeschooling her own three children. You can find Angelina at angelinastanford.com where she teaches online literature classes for middle school through adult, as well as webinars and short term classes. She had a big summer, launching The Literary Life Podcast with her longtime friend Cindy Rollins, and in June she married her very own poet. Angelina lives quite happily in a honeymoon cottage in North Carolina, tracking down rare books and inspiring poetry.

In today’s episode, Brandy read Angelina a quote from herself on teaching history from last time she was on the show – she caused quite a ruckus with this one. Then, Brandy and Mystie asked her to defend herself. What resulted was a truly amazing conversation!

Download Your Scholé Sheet:

Engage & think so you can learn & discuss.

We’ll help you do that with this free journal page.

    Powered By ConvertKit

    Listen to the podcast:


    Show Notes:

    Scholé Everyday:

    Topical Discussion:

    14 Responses

    • Oh, I love this the way I love all things Angelina Stanford. I think if I had a unifying principle for what I do with my kids, it would be beauty. Because we’ve been involved with more history-based programs, I started off down this path of beautiful things a few years ago like a bear after honey, but without a lot of apologetic backing. The more I read, the more bolstered I feel, and conversations like this are such an encouragement. It seems like they piece together a vivid sense of history incidentally, through savoring story, character, and the craft of words. And like Angelina said, you see that the connections come with ownership and delight. It was impossible for me to do what inspired wonder in us and stick to any kind of organizing principle (personal flaws…) and I am trusting that the joy of sing-songing Goblinade at age five and dressing as Athena every day at age 9 will instill ordered loves over many pages, many conversations, and many years. (Maybe my organizing principle is: can it be done all together on the couch?) Thanks as always for making me think!

    • Oh, she is so refreshing! And hilarious… “the babyfood version of Hell,” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that phrase. Lol.

      Letting go of history as the center of the curriculum is so freeing. I’ve felt the tension of those difficulties, without knowing quite what to do with them. I think some of the appeal of history as the center stems from our own unfamiliarity with history as mothers, and the attempt to “reclaim” our own education. Once we’ve done that, it is less frightening to let go of the pole of that merry-go-round and find a new perspective.

    • I still have 14 minutes left to listen to, but the baby elephant in the room: AmblesideOnline is a history-centered curriculum.

        • By the way, I was thinking about this (and this might be why you’re saying this): I have definitely seen some of the younger AO moms, or transfers from other curricula, treat AO like a history-centered curriculum. So, for example, they want to choose a year based upon the time period rather than whether or not it’s the best fitting for their child’s age and maturity and ability. Or they are afraid of the fact that the artist study or folk song doesn’t match the time period. That sort of thing. I think the history-centered thinking has definitely permeated some of the CM community, which is why AO always tells moms they can’t just use AO like a booklist — they have to be reading implementing the philosophy.

      • Yes, but not like other history-centered curriculum. They have a lot of age-appropriate books that don’t fit exactly with the history timeline. They also start out with fairy tales. AO is a good blend of loosely using history as a spine and doing what Angelina talks about in reading age appropriate books.

      • At first I thought so too…but then I realized AO doesn’t line up all the artists and poets and composers and literature with the history being studied that year. Some of the free reads correspond to that year’s history but not all. So I don’t really think it fits as a “history-centered” curriculum.

    • I really appreciated this discussion. I happen to be using a “history centered”. Curriculum right now. But as was mentioned — it is when we are free we can use a construct that works for our family — tweaking and adjusting as we go. Just wondering, if History is not your unifying principle, what is?

      • We’ve been discussing this exact thing over in the Sistership! (You should come join us!)

        For me, Charlotte Mason’s assertion that “education is the science of relations” has provided the unity. That the child, because he bears God’s image, is created to have relationships with as many parts of creation as possible is the unifier.

        Further, I think seeing that as my unifier actually means *Christ* is the ultimate Unifier — it is because all was created through Him and is held together by Him (Col. 1:16-17) that we who bear His image would be meant to have these relationships.

    • I had bought the Five in a Row curriculum after many suggested it. We did 3 weeks and I was just tired of it. I sold it and switched. That’s what I thought of when y’all mentioned “forced connections”. He’s learning nursery rhymes and wonder tales now. Much better. He also makes his own connections every day. It’s very interesting to see.

      • Oh interesting! I’ve heard good things about the books in that curriculum, but I don’t really know how they are used. I’m glad you felt the freedom to move on! ♥

        • The books are amazing. I kept them all. I just finished the 2nd half of the podcast(which I loved!) and you mentioned Unit Studies! That’s what it is. Weekly unit studies. You read the chosen book every day and pick a subject or 2 and do the activities. I feel like it would be a good supplement, but not the main curriculum.

    • I loved this episode! I would love to see a list from Angela’s husband of his suggested progression lining up poetry (types, authors) with the developmental stages of children. Or have him on for a discussion? I began to fall in love with poetry in high school, but my earlier introduction was spotty and disjointed. I’m not sure how to transition my kids from the easily accessible poets we read now to poets with more complex language, forms, and themes.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *