Spare Oom Humanities

For as long as I can remember, I have always wished for a place where I could step out of the world for a while and experience adventure and ponder on the greatest ideas and thoughts that have moved mountains, peoples and civilizations. My “Narnia” is within the covers of the Greatest Books. C.S. Lewis says, speaking to me, “Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?” …and I gladly answer, “Of course!” 

Now, won’t you come with me?

Course Information

Humanities: The study of the human experience and experiments. It is the investigation of how people dealt and deal with each other, how they understood and understand the philosophies of life, of who we are, where we come from, where we are going, birth, death, and of governments. It is the study of what is the Good, the True and the Beautiful.

Weekly Online Mentored Discussion

Class time: A 90-minute class discussion. See Schedule and Registration page for the current class time.

Class length: A two-semester class that runs the third week of August through the second week of May.

Class cost: Depending on your method of payment the cost will run as follows:

Semester cost:
$260 if paid per semester using Venmo
$270 if paid per semester using PayPal (to offset the fees they charge me)
Monthly cost:
$300/semester, if paid monthly using Venmo
$310/semester, if paid monthly using PayPal (to offset the fees they charge me)


Payment: I prefer payment through Venmo since Paypal tacks on some convenience fees, whereas Venmo does not.

We use the classics as our curriculum. We believe that the original words of the great men and women who moved civilizations can help move our souls toward the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Mortimer J. Adler says, “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”

Purchasing the Books:
See the book list for Humanities Greek Year. 
I strongly encourage you to please follow the three guidelines while ordering your books:
1. Order the books as soon as possible
2. Order a separate book for each enrolled student in your household
3. Order the exact edition (links are provided)
Now, I will go into more detail as to why I am strongly encouraging you in these three steps.
1. Order the books as soon as possible
Please Please Please PURCHASE YOUR BOOKS AS SOON AS YOU CAN. In the past, some students have been without the necessary books and have fallen behind quickly and have not been able to pick themselves up as they would like.  We move quickly from book to book and need to have the books well in advance if the student is planning on keeping up with the class. 
2. Order a separate book for each enrolled student in your household
I also advise you to purchase a copy for each student. In the past, siblings have attempted to share the books and they easily get lost. Additionally, sharing a book greatly limits the time the student has to read because they are sharing. Both of these circumstances has compelled the siblings to fall behind and not participate well in the classes. Last year especially was a difficult year for some students because books were misplaced or lost and because some siblings did not get to the book in time for class. I know the cost doubles when you order two of each book and that is a difficult hardship! I know because I order two each year as well—one for me and one for my daughter. Please consider, though, that each of your children, as they leave the home to start a new family can take with them their own copies of books to add to their personal libraries and cherish their own personal annotations, arguments, and thoughts they have written in the margins of each book. What a blessing to help your child build their personal libraries!

3. Order the exact edition (links are provided)
Another extremely important point: PLEASE purchase the exact edition* from the links below. It is necessary that each student is reading from the same edition so that we can use and refer certain page numbers and other standardized tools within the book to aid in our class discussions. When a student has the correct copy, they REALLY do keep up better with the class and the discussion!!

Book List Link

1. Order the books now
2. Order a copy for EACH of your children enrolled in the class
3. Order the exact editions* in the links on the book list
USED BOOKS: Please note that under each specific edition, there is an option to purchase a used book, sometimes substantially lower priced. Beware that there will be a shipping charge of at least $4 tacked on, but sometimes the price will still be much lower. I highly encourage you to purchase a good or very good copy (use the filter to find them) and read over the notes to see if there is any highlighting or marking and make sure you can find a fairly clean book.
For each year, please contact me for a list of books and materials to purchase.

Lecture Videos: Frequently I will create some videos to help the student understand key themes and to better appreciate the classics they are currently reading. Sometimes I will  give an overview of the history surrounding the author and the book.

Discussion: We meet weekly to discuss the readings and lectures using great questions that inspire hearts and minds and stimulate deeper learning.

Class Portal: Google Classroom helps the students and me to be on the same page. It is an LMS (learning management system) which allows the student to submit their work, check in daily to let me know when they have finished their daily reading and note-taking. I find that when a student is expected to return and report, they do better. Countless other benefits come from daily reporting: learning to meet deadlines, being accountable, submitting to a mentor, etc.

Method of Study

Get Ready to Read Magnificently

Great minds think great thoughts and the great thoughts require a great amount of reading in the Great Books. Whew, what a mouthful! Seriously, though, you will be reading a great deal in this class, but what you need to remember is that you will be looking for the ideas that speak to you. Those ideas that will help you become magnificent. Magna, the Latin root, means great, large, big, vast, huge, much, powerful, extensive, etc., etc., etc. You will be reading magna-ificently! Use your imagination and create what your “magnificent” reading will be like this semester.
We will focus on breadth, not depth, and that means you will be reading rather fast. There will be a time and a place when you will return to these books and go deeper, but for right now, turn the pages and stop when you see something that is interesting to you or that you can apply to your life.

Sensus Plenior

There are three methods of reading: reading for pleasure, reading for scholarly depth and reading for leadership. The first usually applies to the fun and easier literature; the second method is described in detail in Adler’s How to Read a Book and is an excellent way to go deep into the Great Ideas. You will be reading less like a student and more like a scholar.
The third method, and the one that we will focus on in this class is reading to become a servant/leader as described in Mark 10:43-44 it says, “but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister. And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.”
As you read, you will be implementing Sensus Plenior, which is the Latin term meaning to read for full meaning or multiple meanings. A servant/leader knows his potential and life’s purpose and reads accordingly to find the treasures that will meet his needs. You are the next generation of servant/leaders–what are the literary treasures and truths you are seeking?


A servant/leader owns his own books and writes in them so that he may quickly find what he needs at a moment’s notice. Mortimer Adler says that you should own a book in two ways: the first is to literally purchase your own copy, the second is to make it your own by “scribbling in it.” At Spare Oom, I highly encourage you to purchase your own books and a good set of pens and highlighters to make the books your very own tools of servant/leadership. Adler says, “books…must be absorbed into your blood stream to do you any good.” Write in the margins and make your own table of contents in the front on a blank page. Make the books your own.