- Hardcover: 864 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 3 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 (219 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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“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 History of the World series, The Well-Trained Mind, and The Well-Educated 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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? And what better way to do that than to model it ourselves? If you are a lifelong learner, your children will be too.
I have the greatest respect for those deeply religious Christians who indicated that while this book has much to offer, it's lacking in religious education, and they make up for on their own with Biblical study, many of whom include Biblical languages in said study.
I have less respect for the reviewers who are worried that the lessons of "those evil Pagan Greeks" will teach their children to question. Here's my favorite quote from a reviewer below: "I pray God will open the blind eyes of those lusting after intelectualism (note the spelling error) and lead them to True Wisdom of God! What good is Homer and Shakespeare to the soul?"
What good is Homer and Shakespeare to the soul!?! Don't you actually mean What good ARE Homer and Shakespeare to the soul? I don't even know how to begin to answer that. It's a clear case of "If you have to ask..."
I begin to see why literacy rates amongst the middle class are declining, and most high school students will never take Calculus. Buy the book if you're a homeschooler or teacher interested in educating thoughtful, interesting, interested critical thinkers.
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.
Also, if the time schedules don't work for your family, don't sweat it! You can teach this method without following the authors advice to the letter! Every home school is different and completely customizable. That's the great thing about it.
I love the ideas behind this book of exploring a topic at early ages, analyzing it at the analytical age, and expressing your own genuine thought at the creative age. So different from my own education where we were not encouraged to have analytical thought until upper level high school.
It's definitely worth a read. But not a hard-and-fast rule for everyone.
About the book:
It is intended as a comprehensive guide to choose homeschool curriculum for each academic year of your child's school years. They have a few recommendations for each topic and how to approach various subjects with flexibility.
I don't believe you need to be a classical homeschooler to find this book a useful addition to your library. Whatever your homeschool philosophy it is always good to be informed about other ways of approaching teaching your children and having so many well organized resources in one place can come in handy sooner or later. You never know what will work for your child. You just have to try it and see.
I know that many times I found myself googling "reading lists for preschoolers" to then remember they have a good list in this book by age. They have whole long pages on social interactions, time you should spend with your kids doing homeschool, learning reading before writing and so on.