Teaching My Baby To Read

My six year old and I are venturing onward with my SLE inspired reading list by reading Plato. As you might imagine, it was exceedingly difficult to find a kiddie version of The Symposium. In fact, there is only one option currently in print, and it was written in 1894. Surprisingly, Mary E. Burt’s Stories from Plato and Other Classic Writers is actually pretty good.

Here are the Learning Goals for my SLE Inspired Reading List:

  • Understand that people from other countries, cultures and religious traditions might have different core beliefs and thoughts about the world than we do.
  • Identify, explore and evaluate those beliefs, and consider how they influence action and practice.
  • Become well versed in Greek mythology, and understand the connection between ancient stories and the Western values we prize today in the modern world.

Here is what I would like Bruce to take away from reading Stories from Plato

  • Name recognition with Socrates and Plato
  • The highlights of Aristophane’s story of the three sexes from The Symposium

Mary E. Burt was a teacher of literature in Illinois when the Kindergarten Association of Chicago asked her to write up some books that were more interesting for teachers to read to children. Stories from Plato is broken into 27 chapters that are each based on ancient writing. Usually the stories are sandwiched in between Mary’s own didactic lesson. She doesn’t spell out for you what the source is for each story, so I’ve been piecing this part together on my own. Here’s an example, including hyperlinks that show the actual text so you can read part of the stories for yourself:

Chapter 2: The Goodness That is Within (Protagoras, by Plato)

Chapter 3: For the Little Boy Who Will Not Say “Please” (The Symposium, by Plato)

Chapter 4: The Gift of the Muses (Phaderus, by Plato)

Chapter 5: Why the Quarrelsome Men Were Locked Out of Bird City (“The Birds” by Aristophanes)

Bruce and I have enjoyed reading this book together at bedtime. But actually, puzzling together what story goes with what has been the best part for me. I’m going to continue plodding away, and try to put together a complete list. Stay tuned for updates! On a final note, I’d like to mention that Mary Burt uses the Roman version of the god’s names, instead of the Greek versions, in case that matters to you.


  1. Just_me_thoughts says:

    I find your blog inspirational. I used to think I was smart when I was little, but I think your little one has me beat — reading Plato at the age of Six is amazing!

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