So, here's how the conversation unfolded.
I am snuggled on the couch, reading D'aulaires Benjamin Franklin to my DD(7). I finish the reading with Franklin's famous line, "We must indeed hang together, or most assuredly we shall hang separately." She narrates the reading and then asks me what that last part meant. I give her a brief explanation.
From the next room, DS(11) says,"Shakespeare does that all the time.The pun Franklin used was on the word hang and in The Comedy of Errors Shakespeare does that with words like marks.
Where is the thousand marks thou hast of me?
I have some marks of yours upon my pate,
Some of my mistress' marks upon my shoulders,
But not a thousand marks between you both."
DD (7)then says, "I was thinking about that Aesop's Fables story with the dad and his fighting sons. He uses sticks to show them that only one would break easily, but a bunch of sticks can't be broken."
DD (9) then relays a fairy tale about a king trying to teach his sons to work together in order to receive the best inheritance.
DH (?) happened to be home working on his computer. He chimes in with "And don't forget that if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken!"
So, we started out with politics, then went to literary devices, moved on to fables, fairy tales and the Bible. Some of the things quoted were read months ago. Mason says the following about this type of education:
The response of the young students to such a scheme of study is very delightful. What they write has literary and sometimes poetic value, and the fact that they can write well is the least of the gains acquired. They can read, appreciating every turn of their author's thought; and they can bring cultivated minds to bear on the problems of the hour and the guiding of the State; that is to say, their education bears at every point on the issues and interests of every day life, and they shew good progress in the art of becoming the magnanimous citizens of the future. Vol. 6 p. 194Having just read about Mason's plans for oral language skills, in particular narration/composition ( Vol. 6, p. 190-209), and how this can benefit the student down the road, I enjoyed the exchange between everyone and realized that they are building the foundation for what she describes above. I guess I just wanted to encourage those of you with young children who are pursuing this method to keep at it. After a few years, your children develop this wonderful reservoir of ideas from which to draw from and you will see a large, diverse forest.