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Is anybody familiar with The Well Trained Mind...

(33 Posts)
Cadmum Sun 01-Jun-08 20:00:45

...or any of Susan Bauer's other books?

The title nearly scared me but I was offered the book to borrow by a mum who has been homeschooling for 17 years and I have been amazed by its contents.

I am currently homeschooling our 11 year old and so many of the ideas would suit his learning style perfectly. I am not so sure about DD1 and DS2 who may be returning home to be schooled in the fall.

Thanks in advance for any opinions.

Fillyjonk Sun 01-Jun-08 20:10:30

lol the title scared me too, I fear latin verbs and cold baths at 6am

also we are very autonomous

please say more

julienoshoes Sun 01-Jun-08 22:31:39

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home

Offers step-by-step instruction on how to enable an academically rigorous, comprehensive education for children from preschool through high school, outlining a classical educational model while providing book lists, ordering information, and Internet links.

I have come across occasional other home educators who follow a classical curriculum and who use this book. I think there are many more followers in the USA. The idea of a this type of home based education seems logical, but I have no personal experience as we are totally autonomous home educators too.

Fillyjonk Sun 01-Jun-08 22:33:46

I have been suprised at the people I have met who love it though

people who I had pegged as automomous

makes me think there might be more to it

maverick Mon 02-Jun-08 08:46:02

I think it's an excellent alternative for those who prefer a more structured approach. There's a website too:

This book is good too:

First Language Lessons for the well-trained mind. Jessie Wise. Peace Hill Press (USA) Scripted, step-by-step lessons to develop oral and written work.

Cadmum Mon 02-Jun-08 16:00:33

We have been autonomous as well...

The thing is that you needn't follow the structure but some of the ideas are brilliant. The resource lists alone are invaluable.

As I said in my original post, I would NEVER pick up a book with this title but a homeschooling mum whose children are lovely and articulate as well as being happy and balanced offered me her outdated copy.

Filly, I would also have pegged this mum as autonomous and far more unschooling than structured. Because we are in Switzerland, her poor children have to write exams at the end of every academic year. shock Recently, her son (14) had higher marks (98%) in French than most of his schooled Francophone peers. (Not that this will suprise or impress anyone.)

The fear of this process lead me to ask her for advice and she very kindly opened her doors and showed me all of her resources and said that many of her ideas came from this book.

Cadmum Mon 02-Jun-08 16:04:02

My DH loves the idea because it took until Uni for him to receive this kind of education despite his natural curiosity about history in particular. (Anything to keep him onside with HE works for me as my MIL and all of his work colleagues are endlessly harassing him about how his children are suffering without 'proper schooling'.

Thanks for your replies!

SSSandy2 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:18:22

Hi cadmum (resussitating an old thread here sorry!) but I stumbled upon this book on the internet whilst searching for something else and I thought it sounded very good. I am thinking about ordering it. Have you had a look at the book, how do you find it?

mumtoo3 Wed 06-Aug-08 15:49:00

i have just ordered this book myself,as we will be starting SOTW in september with my 5.5yr old, it is a very logical approach, and the book is supposed to help with it, we are quite structured because i am new at this and need to know were i am! we have a list of what we need to do in a day, but no times etc so its quite relaxed, but we have goals of what needs to be done iyswim

julienoshoes Wed 06-Aug-08 16:20:35


SSSandy2 Wed 06-Aug-08 16:24:10

well actually I was googling for history books for primary and found SOTW (Story of the World - history for dc in 7 volumes) from the same author and from there I found this other book.

I am thinking of ordering SOTW and maybe the CDs for volume 1. Let us know how you get on with it mumtoo3

mumtoo3 Wed 06-Aug-08 16:32:59

sorry blush should have said story of the world, i have the main book on ancient times and the activity book, i got the book from amazon and the activity book was a bargain from ebay, it is well worth looking around for a bargain on it mine cost no more than £22! i didnt get the cd, so cant say alot about that, but maybe someone on here has used it?

The books are great and it asks questions through out, so its really good for making sure they understand and keeping them engaged in the book!!!

there is another series called mystery of history, which i dont know alot about.

SSSandy2 Thu 07-Aug-08 09:44:08

this one

How do you find the activity book? I was thinking of just getting the textbook because the comments on the activity book by amazon were quite negative on the whole.

mumtoo3 Thu 07-Aug-08 10:48:31

yes, thats the one were using the first one, i found the activity book on ebay, i think the activity book is great, because it gives you cross references, review questions, narration exercises, activity projects, colouring pages, and lots of maps, so that helps with geography as well

i think it depends how old your child is and how much you want to do, i was not going to get the activity book at first but decided that it was worth it after talking to others and reading other threads

hope it helps.

SSSandy2 Thu 07-Aug-08 11:05:52

yes it does. People had written the making a mummified chicken and a model of the nile were good activities but that the book had too much colouring in (my dd has never taken to that , just scribbles wildly in crayon over the edges in 2 seconds kind of thing) and not enough in the way of comprehension questions and reading/writing extension activities (workbook type thing).

I suppose they are just ideas really and the trick is not to do itall but just choose the occasional thing that works. On I found audiobooks for that series too so they can just listen to them over and over whilst playing which might be good, in addition to the book. Not sure. I wondered if the books weren't a bit too detailed (covering so many ancient cultures etc) but actually I (as an historian) find the history books for dc I've seen in the shops too basic and I did want something more thorough so I think we'll have a go with this one too.

SSSandy2 Thu 07-Aug-08 11:08:13

Nile (sorry about all the tipos)

mumtoo3 Thu 07-Aug-08 12:00:31

thats good, i think you can adapt them to your own needs, and as its for a lot of age groups, you can add what you like and take out what you dont need, let us know what you decide. how old are your children?

SSSandy2 Thu 07-Aug-08 12:03:01

Just have the one (she's 7)

mumtoo3 Thu 07-Aug-08 12:33:21

mine are 5.5, 2.5 and 9 months, my 5.5 yr old is looking forward to starting sotw in a few weeks time, and i plan on doing two twenty minute lessons a week and my 2.5 yr old will listen in and colour pictures, whilst my eldest will talk about the story and we will write little bits about the story and do map work etc.

well thats the plan but will see what happens!

powpow Thu 14-Aug-08 15:07:07

i used the Ordinary Parents Guided to Teaching Reading by jessie wise (who is co-author of the well trained mind) when my dd was learning to read and i found it invaluable.
i am NOT an everyday sit down and drill type of home educator but it was full of ideas and lessons that really helped.
she was reading so quickly.
I also have the well trained mind and use it for it's resources.
I sometimes dip into the grammar book.
A fellow home edder uses the story of the world and swears by it. she has also bought the cds.
really worth a look IMO.

BeNimble Wed 05-Aug-09 10:59:14

can anyone report back about the susan wise-bauer books?

they sound interesting.

christine smile

2kidzandi Wed 05-Aug-09 15:28:29

I have the WTM the SOTW main text and activity book. Just today have received First Language Lessons. I my opinion TWTM is very good with ideas for structured "moments" if like me you're not entirely structured and very good for those mainly structured following Classical or maybe Charlotte Mason. Good either way actually. Perfect if you're in the structured category with younger DC's and you're able to start at the Grammar stage.

I'm still not sure about the SOTW. I haven't used it with DC's yet. I like the idea of doing History sequentially, but in reality I also just like to follow DC's interests. E.g. we saw paintings on greek myths recently, and DC's asked questions which we're following up by looking at greek civilization, and customs, facts etc. As opposed to starting with Babylonians and working through. Activities book is excellent though, well worth having.

The only thing is some of the resources TWTM suggests are difficult to get hold of in the UK.

Yurtgirl Sat 08-Aug-09 18:28:24

A very interesting thread!
I am confused by it though - what is so great about these books?
I have just looked at the SOTW on Amazon using the look inside facility - I dont really get what is so great about them

What do they offer that all sorts of history books readily available in uk bookshops/library - for far less money

The well trained mind looks interesting, daunting though - the contents list was rather overwhelming! Plus it is £26!!!!!!!!!!!

I am sure these are great resources but I am lost at the moment - please enlighten me!

2kidzandi Tue 11-Aug-09 14:09:55

Buy an earlier (cheaper £26 is too much I don't care how good it is) version of TWTM yurtgirl, you'll either love it hate it. If you love it, you'll be addicted and go grabbing all the resourcesgrin

Yurtgirl Tue 11-Aug-09 20:04:57

Thats good advice 2kidz!
I think I would find TWTM very interesting but I still dont get what is so great about SOTW

(But I did my degree in history so perhaps I am biased...........)

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