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The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition) Hardcover

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The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition) + The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor, Revised Edition + The Story of the World, Activity Book 1: Ancient Times - From the Earliest Nomad to the Last Roman Emperor
Price for all three: $53.01

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Third Edition edition (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393067084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393067088
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“An excellent resource for any family.” (Educational Freedom Press)

“Has caused a revolution within the homeschool community.” (The Old Schoolhouse Magazine)

“An invaluable road map.” (The Daily Democrat)

About the Author

Susan Wise Bauer is the best-selling author of the Story of the World series, The Well-Trained Mind, The Well-Educated Mind, The History of the Ancient World, and The History of the Medieval World. She lives in Charles City, Virginia.

Jessie Wise, a former teacher, is a home education consultant, speaker, and writer. She has decades of experience as a classroom teacher, elementary school principal, private tutor, and educational consultant, and is the co-author of the best-selling The Well-Trained Mind and the groundbreaking elementary grammar text First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind. She lives in Charles City, Virginia.

More About the Author

Susan was born in 1968, grew up in Virginia, and was educated at home by pioneering parents, back when home education was still unheard of. She worked as a professional musician, wore a costume at Colonial Williamsburg, toured with a travelling drama group, galloped racehorses at a Virginia racetrack, taught horseback riding, worked in radio and newspaper ad sales, learned enough Korean to teach a Korean four-year-old Sunday school, and served as librarian and reading tutor for the Rita Welsh Adult Literacy Center in Williamsburg, Virginia.

In her less haphazard adult life, she earned an M.A., M.Div., and Ph.D. She has taught at the College of William & Mary in Virginia for the last sixteen years. Susan is married and the mother of four.

Susan's most recent book for Norton, The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade (2010), is the second in a four-volume series providing a narrative world history. Look for the first volume, The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome, as well!

Her previous book, The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had (2003), is a guide to reading the classic works of fiction, poetry, history, autobiography, and drama. Norton also published The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (with co-author Jessie Wise); originally published in 1999, this bestselling guide to education in the classical tradition was revised and updated in 2004 and again in 2009.

For Peace Hill Press, Susan has written a four-volume world history series for children, The Story of the World, for Peace Hill Press. Volume 1, Ancient Times, was published in 2002 (revised edition 2006); Volume 2, The Middle Ages, in 2003 (revised edition 2007); and Volume 3, Early Modern Times, in 2004. The final volume, The Modern Age, was published in 2006. She has also written a best-selling elementary writing program, Writing With Ease.

Susan is also the author of The Art of the Public Grovel (Princeton University Press) and many articles and reviews. Visit her blog at

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#55 in Books > History
#55 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 125 customer reviews
I am going on my second time reading this book.
Pauline K. Brewer
I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to classically educate their children at home.
Chad and Kristen
I love the great lists of useful books, texts, and methods for teaching.
Mama Kristy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 84 people found the following review helpful By gosobooksdotcom on June 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a young parent based in Lagos, Nigeria. While I have been bothered with the quality of education in my own immediate enviroment, I have always been thinking about how my kids education will be world class and alas I found TWMT on Amazon, bought and read it and eversince then I have been consulting it and I've even recommended it to friends.
TWMT teaches you how to educate your child from age zero upto adulthood and the good thing is that the methodology is borderless and alot of the recommended literature readings in the book are readily available,even in Lagos for as low as $1.
For me and my family this book as given us key information about education:
1. Rote learning is better and easier done between ages 0 to 10; 2.Short 15-45 minutes consistent classes on daily/weekly basis of any subject is enough to master a subject over a period of 12 years; 3. It intorduced the concept of developing a reader in a child by recommending a jewel of a book "The Read Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease; 4. The Authors' keep a very active online forum based on TWMT [...];5. The Authors' are very responsive to your challenges even for someone like me in Lagos, Nigeria,they still responded to my family's educational challenge by profering a solution that actually worked after i mailed them on an observation.
Lastly, for those that think the system is rigid, please you don't need to follow the methodology to detail, kindly adapt to your family's challenges. And if you think it's too Language/History focused then you can get curriculum books by "Bernard Nebel" as they are science focused to use along with this "Lost but found Treasure of a book".
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236 of 255 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Maloney on August 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've read this book twice. The older copy from my library was so helpful that I purchased the newer one and read it too. I just spent some time reading the 1-star reviews of it and find myself thinking, "These people just don't get it." First of all, you shouldn't take on anyone's homeschool philosophy whole-heartedly without researching and evaluating yourself and your kids. Also, the book does not claim to be Christian. In fact, the chapter on Bible specifically mentions that they are not going to presume to make your religious/faith-based-education choices for you.

Most importantly though, this is a how-to on classical education. The opening chapters say that yes, it's strenuous, yes, it's language oriented. It will be focused on reading, writing, and discussion. And I fail to see how anyone could say you get a shell of an education when the same topics are covered three times with increasing thought given each time. The whole purpose is to introduce ideas and then analyze them.

The authors introduce these ideas and expect you to analyze them too.

Use your own thinking here. If you want to introduce faith AND analytical thought, just teach your children about God's truth AND greek philosophy. We have been studying Egyptian gods this week with my first grader, and she completely understands that there were people with a different way of thinking and that they did not know and worship the one true God. (In fact, of her own thinking, she reasoned that they would not live again in heaven and was very sad. I wouldn't have intentionally addressed that at a young age.) Teaching the ways of other cultures does not water-down faith and it doesn't worship the Greeks, as some critics said.
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85 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Qwester on October 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you want to school your child to be an intelligent and more than competent member of society this is the way to do it. The best thing about this kind of education? No text books! The child learns out of books which have been written for the sake of learning facts and have not been polluted with some sort of agenda. The child gets a pure education the way children are designed to learn. Then when they are older they learn how to think and react logically. It's painful how children grow up and never learn how to think critically. We chose this curriculum because there are lists of resources starting from preschool aged kids all the way to 12th grade. These lists are key, however, you should not stick to them completely but use your creativity and find other books or projects that might be better. For example, I did not like their suggestion for grammar stage anatomy. The Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia. In fact, I find that I don't care for the Kingfisher series of encyclopedia's very much at all. There is a serious lack of content in them. I chose the First Human Body Encyclopedia by DK instead. But here is the beauty, you really don't even need the kids encyclopedia. There are enough resources out there that allow you to make you're own curriculum for anatomy fun. Get books like "Uncover the Human Body" by Luann Columbo, "My Body" by PATTY CARRATELLO, "Head to Toe Science" by Jim Wiese, and since kids love visuals get an adult illustrated anatomy book like "Human Body" by Martyn Page, being careful with the reproductive pictures of course. The adult anatomy book then can be used in grades 5 and 9 to give the student a more in depth study of anatomy and you save money by not getting a kids encyclopedia. This is assuming that your kids aren't squeamish.Read more ›
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