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By Always On Watch
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Tales from the Classroom

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On Fridays, via Zoom, I teach a small English class of rising Ninth Graders who are in the Gifted and Talented Program in Fairfax County Public Schools. Yes, they truly are advanced students! 
I soon discovered, however, that these students are remedial when it comes to their study of classical literature — even the study of American Classical Literature, which is, comparatively speaking, easy to read and understand. 
We have in our literature book Of Places, an Abeka Book that I chose for these private classes, a selection titled “Adapted from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, the Father of the American Short Story.  When I made that assignment, I discovered that my students knew absolutely nothing about Washington Irving and his works.  Indeed, they had never even heard of Rip Van Winkle!
Recently, during class time, I introduced my students to the video below of an abridged version of “Rip Van Winkle.”  All of the students loved it!

Public schools are making a grave mistake in neglecting to have students study classical works. A deliberate neglect? Yes! After all, classics of literature often teach valuable moral lessons — such as the moral lessons stated at the end of the above video.


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