“Once upon a time, there was a mother and a father who wanted to provide an education for their child. Ideally, their education would encompass the old fashioned elements of reading, writing and arithmetic, along with science, history and foreign language. Perplexed in how to acquire this opportunity for their child, the mother began
checking out books from the local public library. One of these books happened to be The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer.
While the mother began to read, she was transported back to her academic experience in Grades K-12 during the time period of the 1970’s and early 1980’s. She noted majority of the precepts and principles she herself had been taught were contained within the pages of The Well Trained Mind. In the end, the parents decided to follow the map outlined in this book for their child’s education. Their journey began sixteen years ago, and continues to this very day.”
As I sit here with my latest copy of The Well Trained Mind, I can’t believe it has been sixteen years since I read through the first edition. I became acquainted with The Well Trained Mind courtesy of our children’s pastor and his wife. They were enthusiastic in regard to the educational precepts and principles presented in the book. I figured if they were this excited about a book on education, then perhaps I should check it out too.
I procured a copy from our local public library, and began to read voraciously. As I turned the pages, I realized this was the education I had received myself. In the evenings when my husband came home from work, I would share insights I had gleaned from the book. I also perused other books on the topic of home education at this time. In the end, we decided to utilize The Well Trained Mind as our spine for home education journey.
In reality, our child’s educational experience has been eclectic. The word eclectic comes from the Greek word eklektikós meaning chosen, select, to pick out. During our sixteen year journey, we have integrated the educational philosophies of Classical Education, Charlotte Mason, Ruth Beechick and Un-Schooling into our child’s educational experience based on the way she thinks and learns.
Currently, summer is beginning to wind down. The sounds of nature have changed, and you can sense fall is in the air. As we enter the 2016-2017 academic year, I will be sharing our thoughts and experiences of using The Well Trained Mind with you.
In closing, I would like to leave you with a quote from Jessie Wise which has encouraged and sustained me through our home education journey thus far:
“The elderly couple who adopted me never went more than 50 miles from the subsistence farm, except for driving me to college. Yet because of their diligence in my early education, their influence is reaching a third generation of my own family…and their sphere of influence has spread to parts of the world quite distant from their little Virginia farm. As you work with your child, you cannot know what effect your work will have on the life of your child and on generations to come!”
Kathy Alphs Classical Education 101