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 week of Labor Day through the first 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.

For the Greek and Roman years, I use Roman Roads Media. The curriculum includes Lecture videos by Wes Callihan, study guides, all the readings in PDF format and the exams. Note: I normally abhor set curriculums, but this one has been surprisingly nutritive to learning because of its focus on original works and overview of history. The only thing it is missing is an enriching live discussion and a view of the Restored Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, which we will add to our discussion.
For the Early Modern and Post Modern Years, we use classic books and books that have had a major impact on civilization.

Purchasing the Curriculum: Go to Roman Roads Media and click on the current study year and add the readers and student notebook to your cart. The regular price of the curriculum is $224 for the entire year, however, if you sign up for my online class, you receive 50% off–Bringing the cost down to $112.
Research the Curriculum before you make a purchase: check out the description, book list, preview, etc. You will need to scroll down on the page and just above “Product Description” you will find tabs for “About” “What’s Included” “The Books” and “Preview.” Click on either one of those and see more information.
Roman Roads Media curriculum is not only for High School aged individuals but also for adults seeking a broad liberal arts education. After purchasing, you will not only possess the physical Lecture DVD’s but will have access to the same lectures via streaming indefinitely. Once you own the curriculum and the streaming, you will never need to purchase it again (except perhaps the student workbooks). Your scholar student, along with younger siblings and adults can use the same materials over and over again. For those who do not wish to purchase the hard copies, the Readers, Student Workbooks, and Exams come in the form of printable PDF’s, and in addition, the Readers may be downloaded on a Kindle or tablet.  Note: After having taught from this curriculum for some time now, I highly recommend ordering the Readers rather than printing them off. They are also 50% off with the code and much more desirable than printed from a printer.
For each year, please contact me for a list of books and materials to purchase.

Lecture Videos: Wes Callihan helps the student appreciate the classics and gives an overview of the history surrounding each of the books. The questions in the student workbooks are similar to the questions asked in the Liberal Arts Colleges. I feel that the only thing missing Roman Roads Media is a weekly discussion that allows the student to engage in colloquial conversation, especially adding insights from the Restored Gospel along with our studies.

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

Class Portal: Canvas 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. Once you sign up your child, I will send you a link to the Canvas Portal, which includes the classroom link.

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.