The 15 Minute Renaissance Man

“Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits… it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart…”

– Fisher Ames, American Founding Father

Cultivation of a sharp and able mind is not merely a benefit to ourselves, it is a duty we owe to our heritage and to our children!

Many men today understand the importance of learning, but they are affected by one or both of two common problems:

  1. They simply don’t have enough free time.
  2. They never really understood the basics, so their weak foundation makes further learning difficult.

These are both serious and common problems, but thankfully both do have relatively simple solutions.  The lack of free time really means a misunderstanding of what time is needed.  Sure, it would be great if you could spend three hours a day learning, but even fifteen minutes is plenty… when properly applied.  Work smart, not long.

The other and almost equally prevalent problem can also be conquered using a simple, if not instant, solution.  Give small increments of concentrated time to the three Rs: Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic.

15 x 312 = Strong Foundation

With the proliferation of free information through the internet, no one with internet access has any excuse for remaining under-developing their mind.  In fact, I would contend that, with just fifteen minutes per day, a normal man can move from eight-grade thinking skills to near college-level… and in only a year.

Let me show you how.

The Basic Schedule

Monday, Thursday – Reading (15 min.)

Tuesday, Friday – Writing (15 min.)

Wednesday, Saturday – Arithmetic (15 min.)

Sunday – Rest

The Plan

Reading Activities

Weeks 1-5: Read 10 Days to Faster Reading by Abby Marks-Beale*

Weeks 6-16: Read challenging, godly nonfiction or fiction

Weeks 17-19: Review 10 Days to Faster Reading

Weeks 20-30: Read more challenging, godly nonfiction or fiction

Weeks 31-33: Practice vocabulary drills at FreeRice.com

Weeks 34-44: Read more challenging, godly nonfiction or fiction

Weeks 45-47: Practice more vocabulary drills at Verbalearn.com

Weeks 48-52: Read more challenging, godly nonfiction or fiction

*If you can spare the additional time, I would highly recommend Maximum Speed Reading by Howard Berg. Its more comprehensive approach requires about 6 hours upfront, then 20 minutes per day for the next 6 weeks.  You can simply replace 10 Days here, then read it at week 15.

Writing Activities

Weeks 1-10: Read The Elements of Style by Strunk and White

Weeks 11-20: Study parts of Put That In Writing, Lvl. One by Steve and Shari Barrett*

Weeks 21-25: Read the interesting parts of The Right Word! by Jan Venolia

Weeks 26-30: Write one properly-formatted, nonfiction paragraph

Weeks 31-35: Read the interesting parts of Write Right! by Jan Venolia

Weeks 36-40: Write another paragraph

Weeks 41-45: Read the interesting parts of Rewrite Right! by Jan Venolia

Weeks 46-52: Edit your earlier paragraphs

*Work through all the general chapters about paragraphs (I believe there are about four) and as much of the writing exercises as possible.

Arithmetic Activities

Weeks 1-52: Practice using the math drills and explanatory videos at Khan Academy

Are You Up To The Challenge?

Can you afford the fifteen minutes of your day to something that can make such a major difference in your life?

Can you afford not to?

Find an accountability partner, blog about your progress, or do it on your own.

Build your foundation, and let me know how it goes!

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