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The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home Hardcover – 26 May 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 3rd Revised edition edition (26 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393067084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393067088
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.3 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 as well--The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome.

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.

Product Description

Review

"An excellent resource for any family." "Has caused a revolution within the homeschool community." "An invaluable road map."

About the Author

* SUSAN WISE BAUER teaches literature at the College of William & Mary. Her mother, JESSIE WISE, a former teacher, is a home education consultant, speaker and writer.


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Anomalous Monist on 13 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is very impressive, and I have found it extremely useful. I homeschool my children in English, as we live in Europe and they go to school in another European language. With the help of this book's comprehensive presentation of the resources available by subject and age, I found the writing course I teach my children from. I also found great critical thinking materials. She gives a guide to materials in each subject for each year.

Susan Bauer's homeschooling programme is very ambitious. It would yield a far, far better education than almost any school. However, I think it's possible. It wouldn't require expertise, because there are resources available (some better than others), and she covers the field and points you very specifically to the ones she likes; but it would be most of a very demanding full-time job and require self-discipline and commitment. However, it's possible to take aspects of her approach and apply them. This is what I've done.

I also got an incredibly useful insight from this book, which transformed my understanding of my children's learning processes. She presents a child's education as a succession of three developmental stages: first, up to age 11, when children absorb data, lots of it, and are learning to reason from the particular to the general (which is intuitive and easy); second, age 11-c. 14, when they should be taught to manipulate what they've learned and to analyse, play with structure, in other words to think down from the general to the particular (which is much harder, and which they aren't capable of when younger); and third, age c. 14 upwards, when they learn to manipulate arguments, to write, to persuade, to write from a point of view. I think this is absolutely, totally right.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. Mullins on 13 July 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I originally borrowed it from a friend and then bought the latest edition. Its a very inspirational book. We have never planned to home educate in a school at home manner and its unlikely we ever will, but discovering this book has given us a very usable spine to keep in the back of our minds and also some great ideas and lists of resources. I really like the passion with which the book is written. It is very thorough and I have now invested in some of the other titles by the same author such as Story of the World and Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading.

I would recommend this to all home educators, its a great read even if you don't plan to follow it exactly or at all. The reviews of resouces are very helpful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By katehunt on 7 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would recommend anyone who is considering homeschooling their child(ren) to read this book, which is why i gave it the maximum star rating available, because although it is based around the American education system it still gives really useful information. This book will give the reader some ideas of what they can use for the kids when their homeschooling and I know that I will be using some of the things when I am homeschooling my son. From reading this book I have seen that once I start homeschooling my son I have realised that I will be an eclectic homeschooler because I will draw things from all different schooling theories as well as curriculums etc..
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ramunas on 12 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love it. I just started reading through it, but already see how much value is in the book. Planning to homeschool my children and this book is exactly what I need for it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was really helpful in seeing the big picture for my 5 year old (she's around first grade level) and two younger children. I had never really looked into the 'why?' behind a classical education but read this book because of the popularity and reviews.

It has given me an excellent idea of what to expect at each stage, how to manage studies of many different periods, literature and science topics in a way that is manageable and helps develop their language and writing skills at the same time.

Although I only have one at homeschool age right now, I want to start as I mean to go on to ensure I don't burn out with all three of them at school age. The plan laid out in this book will allow me to do one on one tutoring for the necessary subjects and then bring the children together for the others in a way that allows us to explore together without rushing, while also knowing what to ask of each child through the three stages of the trivium outlined in the book.

One note, however, is that even the authors themselves (on the website) state that the recommended times per subject are really high and only put in there because the publishers wanted it. I think this may come from the U.S perspective of having to meet certain hours for homeschooling. The same goes for the amount of notebook pages suggested. Fortunately in Scotland we don't have such a requirement, although I will be implementing the notebook pages with narration/dictation. I will definitely not be covering three hours of science per week at first grade level!

The ideas for using certain books as a 'spine' for our learning was really useful and I feel it has given me a way to do some interest-led learning while actually having a systematic plan (which the kids don't even need to realise!).
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