Monday, April 23, 2007

The Well-Trained Mind

I finished this recently and found it extremely compelling. It follows along the same premise as Dorothy Sayers' essay The Lost Tools of Learning that I posted here, but this is more of a how-to book than a more general book offering support of their educational philosophy (though it does that too).

A comment on my post about Sayers' essay addressed the overwhelming task of implementing a classical education, and I'll confess that I felt a bit rudderless when we were initally discussing whether or not to home school. That is, however, until reading this book which offers some excellent text suggestions and breaks things down into more manageable tasks. Instead of looking at the overall trivium and becoming overwhelming, it breaks the three different phases of the trivium into yearly, manageable doses.

Clearly this book is not for everyone. It's not really the sort of book you curl up with in front of a fire, if you know what I mean, but it's extremely interesting, and considering the growing popularity of the home school movement and, within that, classical education, it's a terribly relevant book if you're interested in keeping up with current education trends.

And, to give equal time, I am also very interesting in reading John Holt's book How Children Learn. Holt is, I think, considered the, or one of the first, pioneers of the "unschooling" movement that's also growing by leaps and bounds within the home schooling movement. I confess I know little about it, but from what little I do know, it doesn't ring as true to me as a classical education does, but I'm still interested in reading the book and seeing how another large segment of children are being taught.


terri said...

Good, I'm glad you found a good resource. I was going to comment on your previous homeshooling post that the Sayers essay was a bunch of (relatively valid) whining with no real strategies to offer anyone who agreed with her.

Looks like some good exciting beach reading for the summer. ;)

Marci said...

Hi Cait! It's Marci from JW.. Just wanted to comment that I have read some of John Holt and I find him amazing. While I was never quite bold enough to go with a total unschool approach, we did "relaxed schooling" so to speak. It just amazes me to no end the brilliance that a child will exhibit when left to discover and truely explore thier own learning style.

Liz said...

I am glad to hear a home schooler not completely dismiss unschooling. While it is not for every child, I hate it when home schoolers criticize learning techniques that are obviously working for some families. That is supposed to be the beauty of home schooling, right? Teaching your child the way they learn best. Good for you Supermom.

MOST with an attitude said...

I also read Holt's book and found it very interesting. I'm not interested in home schooling my kids, however, as a parent to four very different children, it did open my eyes to how they learn, and how to appreciate and work with their differences. Good luck to you Cait!!
I do have a contact in the kids pre-school that homeschools her kids and could get you her info if you are interested. Just let me know.

Michelle Pendergrass said...

I really liked "How Your Child Is Smart" Let me know if you try that one!