Cover image for The well-trained mind : a guide to classical education at home
The well-trained mind : a guide to classical education at home
Wise, Jessie.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [1999]

Physical Description:
764 pages ; 25 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LC40 .W57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LC40 .W57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
LC40 .W57 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



An engaging, accessible guide to educating yourself in the classical tradition. SURROUNDED BY MORE BOOKS than ever, readers today are frequently daunted by the classics they have left unread. The Well-Educated Mind, debunking our own inferiority complexes, is a wonderful resource for anyone wishingto explore and develop the mind's capacity to read and comprehend the "greatest hits" in fiction, autobiography, history, poetry, and drama. Far from tossing readers into the swarming sea of classics and demanding that they swim, this book offers brief, entertaining histories of five literary genres, accompanied by detailed instructions on how to read each type. The annotated lists at the close of each chapter--ranging from Cervantes to A. S. Byatt, Herodotus to Paul Gilroy--preview recommended reading and encourage readers to make vital connections between ancient traditions and contemporary writing. Based on the same classical method as Bauer's terrifically successful The Well-Trained Mind, The Well-Educated Mind provides not only a thorough grounding in the classics but also a widely applicable foundation for self-education.

Author Notes

Jessie Wise, a former teacher, is a home education consultant, speaker, and writer. Her daughter, Susan Wise Bauer, whom she educated at home, is a novelist and teaches literature at the College of William and Mary. Both live in Virginia.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Wise, a former teacher and current home education consultant, explains that she decided to home-school her three children because the local public school "was a terrible environment socially" and ranked academically as one of the lowest in the state, and the private school she and her husband had chosen seemed unable to stimulate and challenge her children. Bauer, her older daughter and now an instructor at the College of William & Mary, adds the student's perspective. Together, they provide detailed information on a home-school curriculum for a type of classical education called the "trivium." Within each of the three stages of learning (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) are suggestions for lessons, how-to tips, and lists of resources. A common criticism of home schooling, that children have inadequate opportunity for social and emotional development, is also addressed here. For home-schooling a child or supplementing the education of one attending a public or private school, this book is a good purchase for most public libraries.√ĄTerry A. Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Home schooling has become more popular in recent years as some parents, disappointed in the quality of education delivered by public schools, have decided to educate their children at home. The Well-Trained Mind is an excellent resource for parents who are full-time home educators or who are interested in helping their children supplement their in-school classroom education. It should be of interest as well to professional educators, teacher trainers, and education students. The authors, both veteran home educators, have outlined the "trivium," the classical pattern of education. The trivium organizes learning around the maturing capacity of the child's mind and comprises three stages. In the elementary school stage, the "grammar stage," the student learns about the building blocks of information through memorization and rules. This stage is followed by the middle school "logic stage" and the high school "rhetoric stage." Examples to enrich the teaching of all major subjects are included, as are sample schedules, detailed book lists with complete ordering information, answers to common questions about home education, and advice on the practical matters of working with a local school board and preparing a high school transcript. Each chapter contains a resource section guiding the reader to additional help. G. E. Pawlas; University of Central Florida

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 15
What The Well-Trained Mind Does: An Overviewp. 17
Practical Considerations: Using The Well-Trained Mind without Losing Your Ownp. 21
Supplementing Your Child's Education: The Well-Trained Mind and Full-Time Schoolp. 23
Prologue: the Story of a Classical Home Education
1. Uncharted Territory: Jessiep. 33
2. A Personal Look at Classical Education: Susanp. 41
Part I. The Grammar Stage: Kindergarten Through Fourth Grade
3. The Parrot Yearsp. 51
4. Unlocking the Doors: The Preschool Yearsp. 56
5. Words, Words, Words: Spelling, Grammar, Reading, and Writingp. 77
6. The Joy of Numbers: Mathp. 109
7. Seventy Centuries in Four Years: History and Geographyp. 123
8. Making Sense of the World: Sciencep. 167
9. Dead Languages for Live Kids: Latinp. 199
10. Electronic Teachers: Using Computers and Videosp. 207
11. Matters of Faith: Religionp. 211
12. Finer Things: Art and Musicp. 214
Part I Epiloguep. 224
Part II. The Logic Stage: Fifth Grade Through Eighth Grade
13. The Argumentative Childp. 239
14. Snow White Was Irrational: Logic for the Intuitivep. 247
15. The Language of Reason: Mathp. 260
16. Why 1492? History and Geographyp. 272
17. Thinking Straight: Spelling, Grammar, Reading, and Writingp. 328
18. Making Deductions: Sciencep. 374
19. Looking into Other Worlds: Latin and Languagesp. 402
20. Away with Abusive Fallacies! Religionp. 414
21. The History of Creativity: Art and Musicp. 418
22. Magic Boxes: Using Computers and Videosp. 432
23. Moving toward Independence: Logic for Lifep. 440
Part II Epiloguep. 443
Part III. The Rhetoric Stage: Ninth Grade Through Twelfth Grade
24. Speaking Your Mind: The Rhetoric Stagep. 451
25. Skill with words: Grammar and Writingp. 461
26. Great Books: History and Readingp. 472
27. Comfort with Numbers: Mathp. 500
28. Principles and Laws: Sciencep. 511
29. Learning Other Worlds: Foreign Languagesp. 526
30. Mastering the Magic Box: Computer Skillsp. 538
31. Apologizing for Faith: Religionp. 545
32. Appreciating the Arts: Art and Musicp. 549
33. The Specialistp. 559
34. Some People Hate Homerp. 569
Part III Epiloguep. 573
Part IV. Coming Home: How to Educate Your Child at Home
35. The Kitchen-Table School: Why Home-Educate?p. 579
36. The Confident Child: Socializationp. 589
37. The Character Issue: Parents as Teachersp. 594
38. And Just When Do I Do All This? Schedules for Home Schoolersp. 598
39. Paper Proof: Grades and Record Keepingp. 616
40. The Yardstick: Standardized Testingp. 627
41. Where's the Team? Athletics at Homep. 639
42. The Local School: Dealing with Your School Systemp. 643
43. Yelling for Help: Tutors, Online Resources, Correspondence Schools, Cooperative Classes, and Colleges and Universitiesp. 647
44. Going to College: Applications for Home Schoolersp. 656
45. Working: Apprenticeships and Other Jobsp. 666
46. More Stuff: The Annotated Catalog Listp. 669
47. The Final Word: Starting in the Middlep. 676
1. Taking an Oral Historyp. 683
2. Home-Education Organizationsp. 687
3. National Science Competitionsp. 705
4. Sourcesp. 711
Selected Bibliographyp. 725
Indexp. 727