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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
“[Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer] are thorough and pragmatic, offering a detailed curriculum for kindergarten through grade 12, as well as opinions on everything from Latin (an indispensable language) to the Internet ('a mixed blessing').”
- The New Yorker
“An A for Home Schooling... a remarkable compendium of information designed to help home-schooling parents give their children a traditional liberal education.”
- City Journal
“This book would be entertaining simply as the story of how Jessie, then a schoolteacher, decided to teach Susan, who now teaches literature at the College of William & Mary, at home.... But it's so much more than a good yarn. It's a mind-stretching tome.”
- Robert Holland, Richmond Times Dispatch
“Has caused a revolution within the homeschool community.”
- The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
“Homeschooling parents on a mission to find the ultimate resource―or parents of traditionally-schooled children interested in an excellent supplement―are all well advised to peruse the pages of Wise and Wise Bauer's classy guide to classical education at home.”
- The Boox Review
“An invaluable road map.”
- The Daily Democrat
About the Author
Susan Wise Bauer is an educator and academic who has worked with parents and students for more than twenty years. She taught at the College of William & Mary in Virginia for fifteen years. Her previous best-selling titles for Norton include The Well-Trained Mind, The Well-Educated Mind, The Story of Western Science, and the History of the World series.
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But please, please, please use common sense when reading this book. Take the principles and apply it in your own way. Some of the reviewers here missed that point. For instance, don't be scared by the schedule the author recommends...it's just a recommendation! You can figure out your own schedule. The same goes for the curriculum. If you find a book that suits your family better...by all means use it. I feel certain the authors would say the same thing. They are only laying out a framework which needs to be adapted to suit your own family. I believe education is an atmosphere and this book gave me great ideas for creating an even better atmosphere for my children at home.
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.
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