The Well Trained Mind


The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise

I first came across “The Well Trained Mind” fourteen years ago in 1999 when I was expecting our first child. I had seen our pastor’s wife carrying the book under her arm so out of curiosity I asked her what it was. After she showed it to me I decided to check out the library copy to read for myself. Since I had attended an “accelerated school” which taught classical education I was curious to see what it would look like in the home school setting.
“The Well Trained Mind” is authored by former public school teacher and homeschooling mother Jessie Wise, with additional commentary from daughter Susan Wise Bauer. The book begins with Jessie telling her own story of how she educated her three children in the early 1970’s when homeschooling was virtually unheard of. Susan adds her own commentary by giving the reader a personal look at classical education. From there the book is divided into the components which make up the foundation of classical education, the trivium and the quadrivium. The “trivium” refers to the teaching of the stages of “grammar, logic and rhetoric” also known as “knowledge, understanding and wisdom.”In the “grammar stage” the child’s head is filled with knowledge. During the “logic stage” the child orders facts into organized statements and arguments. The “rhetoric stage” is the art of communicating and expressing oneself through creative and persuasive speech. The “quadrivium” components consist of music, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and art. The book ends with the chapter on “How to Home Educated Your Child” and appendices.
“The Well Trained Mind” is an excellent, non-sectarian resource for those who would like to learn more about home educating with a classical emphasis.
Kathy Alphs


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