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Well-Trained Mind

Well-Trained Mind

A Guide to Classical Education

by Susan Wise Bauer, Jessie Wise
10th Anniversary Edition, ©2009, ISBN: 9780393067088
Hardcover, 810 pages
Current Retail Price: $39.95

Susan Wise Bauer's The Well-Trained Mind is not just a resource—it could very well serve as the basis for your child's education. Subtitled A Guide to Classical Education at Home, it is just that:a manual for classical education that helps you arrange, organize and implement a full curriculum from kindergarten to high school.

The first three sections of the book are based on the elements of the Trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric), while the final section is more broad and offers a compelling argument for the importance of teaching at home as well as guidelines to help you avoid getting bogged down. Everything is covered thoroughly from reading and arithmetic to history and literature. Extensive book lists are provided (complete with publisher info to track down specific editions) as well as recommendations for curricula to cover the basics.

You certainly don't need to take all of Bauer's advice or use all the resources she recommends for this to be an invaluable tool. The amount of information compiled alone makes this book a good one for any homeschool family to have on their shelf, whether their educational preference is classically oriented or not. And if you are looking to give your kids a classical-style education and don't know where to start, this is one of the best starting places we've seen (Bauer has even constructed lesson plans for every subject you'll be teaching!).

This is the third edition of the bookand is over 60% revised and updated. Every resource list has been completely revamped to provide the best and most up-to-date publication and contact information. One notable change fromthe first edition is that whereas in the first edition Bauer suggested A Beka for grammar, and in the secondand thrid her preference is Rod & Staff.New books and curricula, developed specifically to meet the needs of parents using the trivium model of education, have been added, along with internet links that provide much more information.

While Bauer comes from a Christian background, there isn't a specifically Christian emphasis to her book. She doesn't avoid the subject, but some will prefer much more attention paid to such an important topic. For those, Teaching the Trivium by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorncould bea better choice. While not nearly as extensive or thorough as Bauer's book, the Bluedorns do an excellent job integrating a Christian worldview with the academic side of your kids' education.

You can find sample chapters, and many other resources for this book at The Well-Trained Mind website.

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