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The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition) Hardcover – May 4, 2009

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Frequently Bought Together

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: $60.08

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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: 6.5 x 1.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,155 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 and The Well-Trained Mind, among other works. She lives in 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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#65 in Books > History
#65 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to classically educate their children at home.
Chad and Kristen
It provides great detail about homeschooling using Classical education but it can be a great guide and resource for all homeschooling families.
Tamara R.
It is a large book and if you read fast you may need to go over it again ( no harm there) or if you are a slower reader, take your time.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Lit_Goddess on December 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow... some funny reviews below. I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend whose homeschooled Kindergartner loves learning and has been reading for close to two years. I've been an English teacher for ten years and have grown increasingly disenchanted with both public and private schools; I've watched bright, creative, passionate young people have the love of learning sucked out of them by a flawed and over-burdened system, or, worse, fall between the cracks because they have learning differences, despite the fact that they have amazing minds.

To the readers who assert that this book is for rigid, obsessive parents, I would urge them to read it again. It's not about rigidity, but about fostering excellence, which does take some hard work. I'm sure that this style of homeschooling is not for every child and every family, but it provides hundreds of resources, and I think there's something here for everyone. Granted, if you're not interested in a Classical approach, you may want to look elsewhere. But I would urge you to consider it, even if it sounds foreign or daunting.

And now for my snotty asides: the reviews that are rife with spelling and grammar errors, and insist that the methods in this book are too demanding for children, are a bit hard to take seriously, you know? Other reviews are clearly written by parents who are intimidated because of how little education they themselves have... but the wonderful thing about homeschooling is that you get to learn WITH your children. It should be exciting to you, and if it's scary to confront all of the science, math, history and literature that you don't know, so much the better! Don't we want to teach our children to seek knowledge, and to try things that are difficult?
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114 of 118 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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268 of 290 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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