Best of Homeschooling with the Trivium Newsletter Year 2002-Part 3

by | Articles, Trivium & Classical Education | 0 comments

Date: Sun, 28 Jul 2002
Subject: children bonding with others
From: adorehymn

>> she would realize that children with this particular sort of disability have a TERRIBLE time bonding with anyone but immediate family.

I agree that one of the difficulties with these children can be bonding. That was actually the first sign with my disgraphic, etc. child. However, in his case, remaining in a group with other children who did not understand him did NOT help him to learn to bond with others. It just left him with difficult memories. I believe that if a socially-developmentally-delayed child is supposed to learn social skills ‘naturally’ by being with others, that they very often learn things wrong. Kind of like the theory behind applying ABA therapy to a child who is older. First one must remove the old habits before new ones can be taught. Some therapists and classes may be affective, but not all children should necessarily receive therapy in a classroom environment in order for them to overcome social difficulties. May God help you find peace in the midst of your struggles. Tender affection, Lorraine
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002
From: (Angie Dunmire)
city: Spotsylvania
state: VA

message: Dear Bluedorns,
I just got my order from you two days ago (this, less than one week after placing my order!) I stayed up till 2 am reading your book (TTT) that night. I am reading it every chance I get throughout the day. I just keep weeping as I read it. I, too, after only 7 years of parenting, have always said that ALL parents home school, just to varying degrees. I thank the Lord for finding your book while our babies are just 3 and 7, and while it’s the perfect time to drop bad habits. (We’ve always home schooled, but now feel we’ve found the way to do it!) In June we went to the HEAV convention in Richmond, VA,to “fill our wells.” We ended up feeling that we were in a quagmire of curricula, styles and philosophies. I devoured your catalog I got that weekend and finally ordered your book last week. Tonight I read aloud, to my husband, your comments on standardized testing. This spring we tested my daughter, to comply with our state requirements. She was sick, in her little pink night gown (we needed to wait until baby brother was asleep), was wiping her nose and coloring in circles. I made up my mind right then and there that I’d not test her again unless she needed it for college. Your book just validated that feeling that made me cry tears all over the teacher’s test manual then. Since that testing time in the spring, the Holy Spirit convicted us to claim religious exemption to home instruct our children. We are so free now, and your book and your philosophy fit right into what we have always felt was the right thing to do. How blessed we are to teach our children to God’s standard and not the state’s standards. I keep telling my husband “This book was written for me!” It confirms what the Holy Spirit laid deep in our hearts, and I want to sing from the mountain tops the joy I feel! I keep telling myself “It’s not too late!” (I also ordered Greek materials, but want to brush up on my Latin as my daughter learns. I can’t wait!) I thank you from the bottom of my heart and ask our God to continue to bless your family as well as bless other families through your ministry. As Nat Bowditch said of Elizabeth Boardman in Carry On, Mr. Bowditch “You have eyes in the back of your heart!” Indebted – Angie
From: “rertl”
Subject: Hebrew
Date: Sun, 4 Aug 2002

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bluedorn,
My daughter is fifteen years old, and would like to learn biblical Hebrew. In an effort to do this, She bought a program called Rosetta Stone. This program does not directly teach the basic phonograms nor any of the grammar. It just helps with comprehension skills. She does not feel able to accomplish her goal adequately with what the program provides. In your catalog it appears that you have a complete program for teaching both Latin and Greek, but I do not see one for Hebrew. Would you please tell me what method you used to teach your family Hebrew. Lorrinda Ertl
Our family has only dabbled in Hebrew, but here is what we suggest: Behrman House 800-221-2755
Date: Sun, 4 Aug 2002
From: (Jeff and Shelley Skeete)
city: Tacoma
state: WA

message: I found your site from I am anxious to read your book. I am a young mother of two, currently in the Army as a Signal Officer but am planning to get out to be a full time mom and homeschool. This is a whole new world for me with a lot of information…. Shelley Skeete
From: “The Larsens”
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2002

Your website is wonderful! We have been looking at the “Classical” method of teaching for about a year now……BUT we could not agree with all the pagan reading material and the thrust to be super intelligent. We were going to try something else UNTIL we found your book at a homeschool convention in May. THANK YOU! It is mind boggling to us that someone with 5 children (adults now) could write such an encyclopedia of information. It is overwhelming to us and we feel a little lost of where to start. We have 4 wonderful children; an almost 11 yr. old boy, an 8 1/2 yr. old boy and twin girls that are 5. We look forward to your email and logic loop for lots of help. And thank you again. May the Lord continue to Bless your work. Carol Larsen
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2002
From: mmkmom

Dear Bluedorn Family,
Thank you so very much for the ministry you have to God’s people. Because of your article about discipline that I read on the internet last February, we withdrew our 7 year old son from the Christian school he had attended. And because of the encouragement that I received from you at the convention in Naperville in May, and my reading of “Teaching the Trivium” this summer, we have withdrawn all three of our children to begin our homeschooling adventure. Hallelujah! I praise God for the truth he has whispered (sometimes shouted!) into my heart and life through your ministry and teaching. Thank you for putting yourselves in a position where God uses you so well, and so many are blessed. I pray that you’ll be blessed and encouraged today as you read these words. Your Sister in Christ, Nancy Anderson
The first person to email and tell us who wrote the following paragraphs will win a free copy of The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn:

25. The universities also need a good, thorough reformation __ I must say it no matter whom it vexes __ for everything … is directed only towards the increasing of sin and error. What else are the universities, if their present condition remains unchanged, than as the book of Maccabees says, 2 Macc. 4:9, 12: Gymnasia Epheborum et Graecae gloriae,[1] in which loose living prevails, the Holy Scriptures and the Christian faith are little taught, and the blind, heathen master Aristotle[2] rules alone, even more than Christ. In this regard my advice would be that Aristotle’s Physics, Metaphysics, On the Soul, Ethics, which have hitherto been thought his best books, should be altogether discarded, together with all the rest of his books which boast of treating the things of nature, although nothing can be learned from the either of the things of nature or the things of the Spirit. Moreover no one has so far understood his meaning, and many souls have been burdened with profitless labor and study, at the cost of much precious time. I venture to say that any potter has more knowledge of nature than is written in these books. It grieves me to the heart that this damned, conceited, rascally heathen has with his false words deluded and made fools of so many of the best Christians. God has sent him as a plague upon us for our sins. Why, this wretched man, in his best book, On the Soul, teaches that the soul dies with the body, although many have tried with vain words to save his reputation. As though we had not the Holy Scriptures, in which we are abundantly instructed about all things, and of them Aristotle had not the faintest inkling! And yet this dead heathen has conquered and obstructed and almost suppressed the books of the living God, so that when I think of this miserable business I can believe nothing else than that the evil spirit has introduced the study of Aristotle. Again, his book on Ethics is the worst of all books. It flatly opposes divine grace and all Christian virtues, and yet it is considered one of his best works. Away with such books! Keep them away from all Christians! Let no one accuse me of exaggeration, or of condemning what I do not understand! My dear friend, I know well whereof I speak. I know my Aristotle as well as you or the likes of you. I have lectured on him[3] and heard lectures on him, and I understand him better than do St. Thomas or Scotus.[4] This I can say without pride, and if necessary I can prove it. I care not that so many great minds have wearied themselves over him for so many hundred years. Such objections do not disturb me as once they did; for it is plain as day that other errors have remained for even more centuries in the world and in the universities. I should be glad to see Aristotle’s books on Logic, Rhetoric and Poetics retained or used in an abridged form as text_books for the profitable training of young people in speaking and preaching. But the commentaries and notes should be abolished, and as Cicero’s Rhetoric is read without commentaries and notes, so Aristotle’s Logic should be read as it is, without such a mass of comments. But now neither speaking nor preaching is learned from it, and it has become nothing but a disputing and a weariness to the flesh. Besides this there are the languages __ Latin, Greek and Hebrew __ the mathematical disciplines and history. But all this I give over to the specialists, and, indeed, the reform would come of itself, if we were only seriously bent upon it. In truth, much depends upon it; for it is here[5] that the Christian youth and the best of our people, with whom the future of Christendom lies, are to be educated and trained. Therefore I consider that there is no work more worthy of …. emperor than a thorough reformation of the universities, and there is nothing worse or more worthy of the devil than unreformed universities.
[1] Places for training youths in Greek glory.
[2] The philosophy of Aristotle dominated the mediaeval universities. It not only provided the forms in which theological and religious truth came to expression, but it was the basis of all scientific study in every department. The man who did not know Aristotle was an ignoramus.
[5] i.e., In the universities.
From: “Donna”
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002

Some Hebrew resources:
A Hebrew correspondence course for Christians:
These Psalms in Hebrew are beautiful, by David Ison. You are allowed to copy from his site for personal use. David Ison personally used Easy Hebrew, link above, to learn Hebrew and emailed in response to my questions to him: “Easy Hebrew Phase I is a great course and I cannot say enough good about it. For a place to start one’s learning of Hebrew, I don’t think there is a better way to do it. Its only downside is that Yaffa, the course’s author, still has Phase II under construction and has been working on it for some time. In Phase I you get the basics, the complete Hebrew alphabet, nouns, pronouns, prepositions, basic grammar, basic verb forms and about 500 words of vocabulary you will need another textbook to continue. She writes good stories that you will learn to read.”
First Hebrew Primer, EKS Publishing is excellent as a second textbook, but it would be hard to start out with it. Also, it is a classical Hebrew only textbook. The First Hebrew Primer tries, but the stories are not as good as Yaffa’s stories. Also pass this on in your reply: One of the difficulties to overcome with anyone setting forth to learn Hebrew is there is a Classical Hebrew and a Modern Hebrew, which is based on the Classical Hebrew but enough different to be challenge at times. Depending on what one’s goals are, they have to be thought of separately. We have had to. But fortunately, there is a lot of similarity, many shared words and grammar, nevertheless, they are different and the language is used different as the English of the 1611 KJV is different from English used in America today. Another consideration is difficulty. In the way of credentials, I have academic experience with Old English, Middle English, Elizabethan and Modern English, German, Latin and some French, and Hebrew. My second most fluent foreign language is German and I would say Hebrew was (is) at least three times more difficult than German or Latin was. It is a semitic language and they are different. Greek, Latin, German, Spanish, French, etc., are all Indo-European. One does not just sit down and digest Hebrew like hor d’erves (sp?) served up at a party. For a traveling analogy, using some of these Hebrew courses would be like trying to ride a minibike to Alaska. Yaffa seems to have a better grasp of the difficulty of the journey and gives you better tools to work with. Also, I don’t receive any commissions from them for making sales.. 🙂 ”
This site offers The First Hebrew Primer mentioned by David and also Bible
stories for children in Hebrew:
Site of links for Hebrew studies:
Hebrew flashcards online:
Neal Walters’ CD/ROM program:
Hebrew Self-Study Course:
For enrichment: First Steps in Hebrew Prayer:

We have a winner to the quote contest!

Kim Moody
Denton, Texas

I am very surprised to say the least!! I have read the book Here I Stand about Luther’s life but have never actually read any of his writings. But somewhere in my memory bank there is a quote attributed to him that says something to the effect, “If schools do not diligently strive to teach the Holy Scriptures they will become the very gates of hell.” This quote seemed to fit very well with the paragraphs below. Thank you for your books and web site — they have been a blessing to me. Kim Moody
Creative Cardboard: Making Fabulous Furniture, Amazing Accessories and Other Spectacular Stuff by Linda Ragsdale

from the back cover: If you thought cardboard was just a packing material, it’s time to break out of the box! Transform it into everything from wall sconces and fruit bowls to show-stopping furniture, like the French Groove Rolltop Desk. You won’t believe all you can make, including a dazzling bouquet of flowers and a colorful vase to keep them in, cell phone case with an adventurous pattern that can only be described as the “call of the wild,” woven mirror frame that has a traditional, elegant appearance, and a full-size chair with casual flair. From mini-light covers to a classic room divider, these projects will inspire you to create cardboard accessories for every room in your home.

ISBN 1579902197

Try getting this book at your library by inter-library loan.
Quote for the Day

The Romans would never have had time to conquer the world if they had been obliged to learn Latin first of all. Heinrich Heine 1797-1856
There’s an excellent article on

How We Teach Changes Brain Size
By Jessica Hulcy
Philo of Alexandria The Creation of the World 24: (tr. J. M. Edmonds, LCL Greek Elegy and Iambus, p. 141)

These ages of life are given by Solon the Athenian lawgiver in the following elegiac lines: In seven years the half-grown boy casteth the first teeth he cut as a child; when God hath accomplished him seven years more he showeth signs that his youthful prime is nigh; in the third seven, when his limbs are still a-waxing, his chin groweth downy with the bloom of changing skin; in the fourth every man is at his best in the strength which men bear for a token of virtue and valour; in the fifth ’tis time for a man to bethink him of marriage and to seek offspring to come after him; in the sixth, a man’s mind is trained in all things, and he wisheth not so much now for what may not be done; in seven sevens and in eight he is at his best in mind and tongue, to wit fourteen years of both; in the ninth age he is still an able man, but his tongue and his lore have less might unto great virtue; and if a man come to the full measure of the tenth, he will not meet the fate of Death untimely.
From: René Quenneville
Subject: book, farm life
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002

My husband and I came into contact with your material for the first time this past spring at the Illinois home school conference in Naperville. We attended several of your seminars and my husband purchased your book, “Teaching the Trivium”. My husband does not usually do a lot of reading of homeschool literature and is especially not drawn to thick volumes. However, he surprised me this time and has now almost finished this one. What you suggest as things to do with your children before they are 10 years old is exactly what we have been doing since the beginning of our homeschooling, 5 years ago. These activities were all an important part of our lives to begin with and simply continued when we started to “officially” do school. However, with time I felt myself being somehow sucked into a more “schoolish” approach, neglecting our reading (which was always my favorite part) and scheduling way too many things for the year, resulting in my feeling stressed, the kids feeling stressed and all of us not enjoying our learning as much. Your book has served as sort of wake-up call to get me back to my first love, if you will. I keep repeating to myself your “motto” that there is only so much time in a day, so….. My children are 10, 9, 6, 4 and 2 and they all love our reading aloud time. They are all very eager to learn and creative, qualities which I may have been close to spoiling by focusing on the wrong things.

Your book has also helped my husband and I to better understand the classical education concept and how it can be adapted to a Christian worldview, which was always a problem for my husband. He had always believed that it’s not just because a method was used 100 or 500 or however many years ago that it is necessarily beneficial. He also thought that there was too much “educational snobbery” involved, (that it is impressive to tell others that your child is learning Latin or that he is being taught the “classical curriculum”) and this was definitely a “turn-off” for him. Now we have both learned that there is more to the concept of teaching the trivium than either of us realized.

Thank-you for an excellent, well-thought out book as well as the true-life examples. It has given us much food for thought and I hope to start the next year of homeschooling with a more relaxed approach and an agenda which includes more reading, copywork, memorization as well as time to work and create, with less emphasis on “school work”.

This may seem strange to you, but I have one question for your concerning farm life. I see from your photos and bio that you are living out in the country on sort of a mini-farm. My husband and I often think that it might be nice to move out to a place in the country with a lot of acreage mostly because of the opportunities that would be afforded to the children (also we ourselves like the outdoors and quiet country life). They would have more space to explore out of doors, there would be the chance to grow a garden, have certain animals and countless opportunities for learning new skills, new responsibilities and even developing sort of a small home business with what they are learning – like your son keeping bees, or with having a few dairy cows or chickens, etc… I think all these opportunities are excellent for building character, too. Although I realize that many of these goals (building character, learning new skills and responsibilities, etc..) could be attained without moving out to the country, this idea still interests me the most. However I fear that I may be sort of idealizing the whole farm life experience and looking at it with a romantic vision of fresh air and fun when that may be far from the case. Could you give me any advice when considering such a move or tell me any of the advantages or disadvantages that you both have experienced in your own move. By the way, we are not in the suburbs as it is. We are in a small town and semi in the country with about a 1/2 acre on a wooded lot in a small neighborhood which is also sort of in the woods, with gravel roads, etc.. So we would not have the shock of going from say downtown Chicago to life in the country. Thank-you. Alisa Quenneville
We moved into the country in 1982. We had been living in Walcott, Iowa, up till then, but the truant officer made us a visit and informed us that we could either put Nathaniel in school, go to jail, or move. We choose to move just across the Mississippi River into Illinois, which was only an hour away so Harvey could continue to work in Walcott. Then in 1986 we moved to where we now live in New Boston, Illinois, into a larger house on 2 acres. We raised goats for nine years, but now we milk Jersey cows. We have a large garden, raise lots of different kinds of fruit and flowers, and most years will can a couple hundred jars of food.

Let me list for you what I see can be the disadvantages and advantages to country life.

1. It took me about two years to adjust myself to country living. At first I didn’t like the isolation. We only had one car which Harvey took to work, so I didn’t get into town but once a week. All phone calls were long distance so I didn’t have many people to talk to.
2. If you insist on maintaining a Better Homes and Gardens home, you will not like country living, especially if you get any animals. It’s not easy to keep the dirt outside. The Lord delivered me from my perfectionism during the first few years of country life.
3. You have to plan your meals so you don’t run out of food when you need it. Trips to town are expensive and time-consuming.
4. Farmhouses can be expensive to keep up in repairs and expensive to heat, although neither of these applied to us.
5. If you move to the country when the children are older, they might not like being separated from their friends and will have a hard time adjusting. Our oldest was only six when we moved, so they love country life and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
6. Living in the country is lots of work, especially if you have animals.
But this is really an advantage, in my opinion. Kids need things to do besides academic work, and chores can occupy them for a couple hours a day.

1. Living in the country can eliminate difficulties you might be having with other children taking up too much time with your children. Over the years our children have become each others best friends.
2. You get lots more done at home when you aren’t driving here and there everyday.
3. It’s quiet — and dark at night so you can look at the stars with your telescope.
4. You can collect animals. Right now we have a raccoon (although, as of today we think he has finally decided to leave us), four cows, three dogs, a cat, and two parrots. Raising animals teaches the children
responsibility, but more importantly, in my opinion, it gives children great pleasure in life to raise a baby animal to adulthood.
5. There is lots more for kids to do in the country — if you have any amount of land, that is. Kids love to explore, climb trees, take walks, collect things, and generally just run around.

Of course, as you mentioned, many of these advantages can be attained by living in town, but I’m wanted to share with you what country living has done for our family. Laurie
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002
From: (LTjg Richard D. Bunting)

city: Virginia Beach
state: VA
message: I enjoyed your clear and concise explanations of the Trivium. My wife and I liked the site so much that we bought your book and it has been a tremendous help in our homeschooling effort (Our children are 5 and 4 years old). I was wondering, having not been educated on the Trivium model, If you had any recommendations for adults who wish to re-train their minds on the Trivium model. Is this possible and are there any resources out there? Thank you for your time and keep up the good work…LTjg Rich Bunting, USN
What can an adult do to prepare himself and his children for a classical education? Especially an adult who was raised in the government school system? I’ll give you a few ideas:

1. Turn off the TV (of course, you knew I was going to say that).
2. Start reading. If you don’t like to read then start learning to like to read. And start reading aloud to your kids. Not just the 10 minutes before bedtime let’s read Green Eggs and Ham type of reading, but the let’s read Treasure Island (unabridged version) this week to the 6 year old type of reading.
3. Investigate the world around you with the children. When our kids were little (and even now that they are older) we explored everything from the men black-topping the road outside our house, to listening to all the visiting artists who came to town, to searching through all 10 libraries in our area. Ask questions and learn from the experts. Ask the Lord to give you an inquiring mind.
4. Talk with your kids. Argue (not in the sense of fight, but in the sense of debate) with your kids. Get involved in politics if you are so inclined.
5. Don’t talk baby talk to the children. Throw out the “grade level” mentality, in fact, forget which grade they are in. Children are capable of understanding much more than we give them credit for. Read to them books above what you think their level is. Encourage them to listen to adult conversation.
6. Make sure the children obey you. First time obedience. Don’t think in terms of “well, I need to take a course somewhere to prepare myself to give my kids a classical education.” It is in the process of teaching your kids that you will be teaching yourself.

We’ve made a bunch of mistakes in our homeschool. Here’s some of the things we have learned:
1. Children should be more than just academically prepared for life.
2. Boys and girls do not necessarily need to study the same things.
3. Homeschooling can be undermined by outside socialization.
4. Communication is the key to family harmony.
5. Discipline is a disaster if yourself you do not master.
6. Family worship is more than just a nice thing to add on at your convenience.
7. Fathers should be more than figuratively the head of your school.

Quote of the Day

Learn to say “No”; it will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin. Charles Haddon Spurgeon 1834-1892
From: “steve and cyndi braun”
Subject: apologetics and rhetoric/logic
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002

I haven’t posted on this new group yet, so this is my first letter. 🙂 I wanted to noodle around some ideas regarding classical.” I’m at a point where I am not at all sure what “classical” really means. It seems there are as many variations of “classical” and views of it as there are Christian denominations.

I’ve been part of one group, for instance, that has more of a Roman-Greco classical emphasis with a heavy logic/rhetoric approach. Due to recent developments, I’m not at all impressed at their “learned” approach which has lacked the “pattern of Christ” which we are commanded to model our lives after. There’s a mentality that nobility, virtue and truth can be “gleaned” (a word I’m becoming quite tired of) from all sources because all sources, whether pagan or Christian, contains bits and pieces of God’s truth. This, of course, goes against the Bible.

I’m part of another that leans towards Medieval classical. They, at least, aren’t as deeply into the pagan literature. My view on pagan literature is that it should be read to simply say, “too bad, was quite brilliant which was a gift of the Lord, but look at the mind of lost man………….”.

Then there’s the Bluedorn’s, which I’m becoming the most intrigued by, due to their Christ-focused direction that says no matter the topic, no matter the subject, all material must be held up to the light of Scripture.

I believe there is merit to the trivium stages, but my husband and I have decided that our emphasis will be more heavily weighted towards an apologetics-minded approach, rather than a mainstream logic/rhetoric approach. Even though my daughter is not even 7, I’ve already seen what I believe to be a great deal of “fruit” in an apologetics approach that we apply to a wide-variety of selected materials.

Bottom line is that from my experience, one must be very careful about a classical direction. Far too many supposed “Christian” classical groups are secular. I’m not even sure that people who are actively participating in such classical groups are even aware of this, unless they’ve taken the time to think everything through, testing all thoughts against Scripture.
The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans by Plutarch, Cato

Cato the Elder Educates His Son

As soon as he had a son born, though he had never such urgent business upon his hands, unless it were some public matter, he would be by when his wife washed it and dressed it in its swaddling clothes. For she herself suckled it, … When he began to come to years of discretion, Cato himself would teach him to read, although he had a servant, a very good grammarian, called Chilo, who taught many others; but he thought not fit, as he himself said, to have his son reprimanded by a slave, or pulled, it may be, by the ears when found tardy in his lesson; nor would he have him owe to a servant the obligation of so great a thing as his learning; he himself, therefore (as we were saying), taught him his grammar, law, and his gymnastic exercises. Nor did he only show him, too, how to throw a dart, to fight in armour, and to ride, but to box also and to endure both heat and cold, and to swim over the most rapid and rough rivers. He says, likewise, that he wrote histories, in large characters, with his own hand, that so his son, without stirring out of the house, might learn to know about his countrymen and forefathers….

…. he wholly despised philosophy, and out of a kind of pride scoffed at the Greek studies and literature; as, for example, he would say, that Socrates was a prating, seditious fellow, who did his best to tyrannize over his country, to undermine the ancient customs, and to entice and withdraw the citizens to opinions contrary to the laws. Ridiculing the school of Isocrates, he would add, that his scholars grew old men before they had done learning with him, as if they were to use their art and plead causes in the court of Minos in the next world. And to frighten his son from anything that was Greek, in a more vehement tone than became one of his age, he pronounced, as it were, with the voice of an oracle, that the Romans would certainly be destroyed when they began once to be infected with Greek literature; though time indeed has shown the vanity of this his prophecy; as, in truth, the city of Rome has risen to its highest fortune while entertaining Grecian learning. Nor had he an aversion only against the Greek philosophers, but the physicians also ….
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002
From (Julie White)
city: Wake Forest
state: NC
message: I’ve read Teaching the Trivium and it has totally changed my outlook on parenting and homeschooling. My husband and I are 27 with 2 boys, ages 8 and 4, and I felt like I had no direction, but your book inspired and encouraged me so much and I am so grateful to God that He enabled you to write it from your years of experience. I was raised in public school, never taught how to think, but this is my chance to teach myself and my sons! You’re my mentors and if we lived closer I’d follow you guys around like a lost puppy. Again, thanks so much, you pioneers. We are the public school refugees!
Quotes of the Day:
Don’t quote Latin; say what you have to say, and then sit down. – Duke of Wellington 1769-1852
There are only two means by which men can deal with one another: guns or logic. Force or persuasion. Those who know that they cannot win by means of logic, have always resorted to guns. – Ayn Rand
From: Don Potter
Subject: TATRAS
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002

Harvey, I am pleased to see that you have show-cased Frank Rogers’ TATRAS program on your web site. As a student of logic, you – no doubt – were impressed as I was by the brilliant logic of Frank’s program. I am very excited this year to see the program being used in a first grade class at our school. We started the program on Jan. 8 last year, and experienced incredible results. The first graders who finished the program were reading FAR above grade level. This year we started the second day of school. I have high hopes that, with the Lord’s help, we will have all the students through the program by mid year. I should love to be a part in helping a class of public school children to reach their full potential. Frank’s Phonogram Sequence Chart is posted in the front of the class for daily drill. After only two days, we already have three students who can read all Group 1 words. This is far superior to the run-of-the-mill sequential phonics program. Unlike Spalding, we do not have to wait nine weeks to begin reading words. I only work with the kids for about 15 minutes each day. The classroom teacher does the rest. We make use of student-teachers. Once a student knows the phonograms and words for a Core Word Group, we make them student-teachers. A little first grader can understand, explain, and teach the program because of the transparent logic of the program. I post a chart on the wall that tracks each students progress through the 8 Groups of Core Words. When a student-teacher instructs one of his peers, he looks at the progress chart to determine the proper Group to teach and goes to work. May the Sovereign Lord help me to teach kids to think and read so they can understand His Word. Donald Potter
From: Candace Marra
Subject: child lacks diligence–HELP!

I was wondering if anyone had any experience successfully training a child with tendencies towards laziness and carelessness. My 9-year old daughter has these tendencies in every area of her life–very strong tendencies I might add. She constantly uses the I forgot excuse. She tries to get away with doing as little as possible on her chores. She makes several careless mistakes every day on her reading aloud–even when she is reading below her ability level. Her handwriting is often sloppy, and she carelessly misspells words that she knows. She usually makes several mistakes in her copywork. Recently, I gave her some written instructions for an assignment, and she erased them with the hopes that I would forget. She hurries through everything. I am at my wit’s end. I am feeling tense and frustrated nearly all the time I am around her. I have been giving her extra work in areas where she is careless, but this does not seem to be working, and it has been making it so that she has no free time for play whatsoever (because she has so much extra work to do). Some well-meaning people have told me that it is just her temperament and I should accept it, but I see it as a character issue that could have a devastating impact on her life. I want her to experience a sense of accomplishment. I want her to have the joy of a job well done. And I certainly don’t want her to see work as a punishment. Can anyone help?
Cato the Elder (234-149 B.C.) Cato was a politician and considered the Father of Latin Prose. Rome at first tried to keep out Greek influence, and Cato was a leader in the struggle against Greek learning. He was critical of the weaknesses in Greek culture and was active in public affairs throughout his life. He was the first Roman who published speeches on a large scale. Most of his writings have been lost — his On Agriculture is all we have left. It is the oldest extant prose work in Latin. On Agriculture is easy to read, although all Greek and Roman literature should be pre-read by the parent. Laurie
Vanessa Strohmeyer
Subject: Books for 5yo
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002

Dear Bluedorn’s, Thank you so much for encouraging us to read above the level you think your child will understand. Recently we began to read Charlotte’s Web with our 5yo son because the play is coming to our area in October and we needed to know the story since we didn’t read it as children. To our surprise and amazement he is really enjoying it!! No matter what he’s doing if I say Let’s read some Charlotte’s Web. He jumps up enthusiastically and runs to the couch to read. This is such a fun adventure with him. My question is, what other chapter books would be appropriate for his age? Since he’s still young, are there unabridged versions with a few more pictures than the junior book we borrowed from the library? Thanks for your wonderful work and ministry. Sincerely, Vanessa Strohmeyer Gilbert, Iowa
How about these: The Matchlock Gun by Edmonds; books by M. Henry; books by Will James; books by L. Lenski; Homer Price; Little House on the Prairie series; The Borrowers by Norton; The Blind Colt by G. Rounds
In 1492 did Columbus sail the ocean blue to discover if the earth was round, or did others long before Columbus figure that out?

Pliny the Elder : Natural History (Excerpts)

BOOK II 1. The world and this—whatever other name men have chosen to designate the sky whose vaulted roof encircles the universe, is fitly believed to be a deity, eternal, immeasurable, a being that never began to exist and never will perish. What is outside it does not concern men to explore and is not within the grasp of the human mind to guess. It is sacred, eternal, immeasurable, wholly within the whole, nay rather itself the whole, finite and resembling the infinite, certain of all things and resembling the uncertain, holding in its embrace all things that are without and within, at once the work of nature and nature herself. That certain persons have studied, and have dared to publish, its dimensions, is mere madness; and again that others, taking or receiving occasion from the former, have taught the existence of a countless number of worlds, involving the belief in as many systems of nature, or, if a single nature embraces all the worlds, nevertheless the same number of suns, moons and other unmeasurable and innumerable heavenly bodies, as already in a single world; just as if owing to our craving for some End the same problem would not always encounter us at the termination of this process of thought, or as if, assuming it possible to attribute this infinity of nature to the artificer of the universe, that same property would not be easier to understand in a single world, especially one that is so vast a structure. It is madness, downright madness, to go out of that world, and to investigate what lies outside it just as if the whole of what is within it were already clearly known; as though, forsooth, the measure of anything could be taken by him that knows not the measure of himself, or as if the mind of man could see things that the world itself does not contain. 2. Its shape has the rounded appearance of a perfect sphere. This is shown first of all by the name of ‘ orb ‘ which is bestowed upon it by the general consent of mankind. It is also shown by the evidence of the facts: not only does such a figure in all its parts converge upon itself; not only must it sustain itself, enclosing and holding itself together without the need of any fastenings, and without experiencing an end or a beginning at any part of itself; not only is that shape the one best fitted for the motion with which, as will shortly appear, it must repeatedly revolve, but our eyesight also confirms this belief, because the firmament presents the aspect of a concave hemisphere equidistant in every direction, which would be impossible in the case of any other figure. 3. The world thus shaped then is not at rest but eternally revolves with indescribable velocity, each revolution occupying the space of 24 hours: the rising and setting of the sun have left this not doubtful. Whether the sound of this vast mass whirling in unceasing rotation is of enormous volume and consequently beyond the capacity of our ears to perceive, for my own part I cannot easily say—any more in fact than whether this is true of the tinkling of the stars that travel round with it, revolving in their own orbits; or whether it emits a sweet harmonious music that is beyond belief charming. To us who live within it the world glides silently alike by day and night. Stamped upon it are countless figures of animals and objects of all kinds—it is not the case, as has been stated by very famous authors, that its structure has an even surface of unbroken smoothness, like that which we observe in birds’ eggs: this is proved by the evidence of the facts, since from seeds of all these objects, falling from the sky in countless numbers, particularly in the sea, and usually mixed together, monstrous shapes are generated; and also by the testimony of sight—in one place the figure of a bear, in another of a bull, in another a wain, in another a letter of the alphabet, the middle of the circle across the pole being more radiant. For my own part I am also influenced by the agreement of the nations. The Greeks have designated the world by a word that means ‘ ornament and we have given it the name of mundus because of its perfect finish and grace! As for our word caelum, it undoubtedly has the signification ‘engraved,’ as is explained by Marcus Varro.
Quotes of the Day

From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

‘What is the use of a book’, thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversations?’ Lewis Carroll
From: “Steven St.Jean”
Date: Sun, 1 Sep 2002
Reply to Homeschooling a child who is learning at her own pace…

My second child learned very differently from my first. I used TATRAS with the first and he learned to read fluently without difficulty, math concepts were no problem, and an excellent memory made the recollection of things like catechism and history no problem. So, with child number two I set out to duplicate the first experience. No such luck. I tried TATRAS, AlphaPhonics and Bob Books. Friends suggested leaving a formal phonics approach altogether and using the easy-reader section at the library for alternate reading (mommy reads the first page, the child reads the second). At the start of what would have been “third” grade I took her to a good pediatric optometrist. While she is not classically dyslexic, she does not process information from the printed page as most people do. A pair of glasses and my friends recommendation to take our time has helped. I continued to read aloud above reading level and call for narrations. I ignore spelling errors when we aren’t studying spelling. A couple of more years of physical maturity have proven the idea that all children are not necessarily able to execute academic tasks on the same time table (surprise). The wonderful thing about homeschooling a child like this is she needn’t feel like she’s failing. My daughter now is an avid reader, and likes to write stories. She is 11 years old and has blossomed in the area of language this past year. NOW we need to tackle arithmetic and work on her memory. If she’d been in any school setting, public or private, she would have developed feelings of inferiority that might have doomed all her education. As it is, she knows she has work to do, but she also knows she can succeed. Two good things for us have been: three years of piano lessons which she enjoys, and is good at. So find something your child does enjoy and can become good at (even if it takes some work). Also, we used some eye-training materials to reinforce correct eye movement for reading. Make sure your child has a good physical check up, check hearing and sight with professionals other than the tests in your pediatrician’s office. I would advise against accepting any testing from your local public school. By the way, one of my friends who gave the “take it easy, be patient” advice just sent her slow student off to college as a freshman to major in mechanical engineering. Take heart!
From: “Bernhart, William H”
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002

Thank you for the loop email! I just finished reading “The Fallacy Detective” and now I am reviewing/summarizing all the definitions again. This is an excellent book to get started with in order to make logic real (applicable) in someone’s life. I also started working some “think a minutes” workbooks with my daughter (age 9). Thank you again for your good resources and for pointing me to better thinking skills. Bill Bernhart.
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002
From: (Kimberly Crawmer)
city: Lemoore
state: CA

message: I am delighted to find your site. I have been intrigued by the idea of delayed academics, especially math, since reading your article “What to do with your Child before age 10” in PHS. I have 5 children and I would love to try your method with the younger three (2-9 yrs) as math has always been a struggle in our homeschooling. I’d love to dump the texts completely in the younger grades and use only games and real-life math. However, the thought of doing that is a little scary. Does it really work or will I mess my kids up in math? I also have a teenager who is adamantly opposed to this method. She thinks her siblings should do math exactly the way SHE did it, even though it was painful and she is STILL behind in math despite plugging along in the textbooks for years. (Maybe she was forced into it too soon and so developed a mental block, making it hard to learn it.) I’d love to hear from anyone who has done this successfully, people who have older kids who’ve skipped the workbooks in the early grades and then successfully done them (or are doing them now) in the higher grades. Thank you, Kimberly Crawmer
The first person to answer this puzzle correctly wins a copy of Cattus Petasatus (The Cat in the Hat in Latin). Euclid was supposedly the author of this puzzle: A mule and a donkey were each carrying a load of sacks. The donkey groaned, so the mule said to him: “Why are you complaining? If you gave me one sack, I would have twice as many as you; and if I gave you one of my sacks, then we would have equal loads.” How many sacks was each carrying?
Some insights into what the world was like shortly after Jesus was born — a primary source for studying ancient Roman history:

The Deeds of the Divine Augustus
By Augustus
Written 14 A.D.
Translated by Thomas Bushnell, BSG

A copy below of the deeds of the divine Augustus, by which he subjected the whole wide earth to the rule of the Roman people, and of the money which he spent for the state and Roman people, inscribed on two bronze pillars, which are set up in Rome.

1. In my nineteenth year, on my own initiative and at my own expense, I raised an army with which I set free the state, which was oppressed by the domination of a faction. For that reason, the senate enrolled me in its order by laudatory resolutions, when Gaius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius were consuls (43 BC), assigning me the place of a consul in the giving of opinions, and gave me the imperium. With me as propraetor, it ordered me, together with the consuls, to take care lest any detriment befall the state. But the people made me consul in the same year, when the consuls each perished in battle, and they made me a triumvir for the settling of the state.

2. I drove the men who slaughtered my father into exile with a legal order, punishing their crime, and afterwards, when they waged war on the state, I conquered them in two battles.

3. I often waged war, civil and foreign, on the earth and sea, in the whole wide world, and as victor I spared all the citizens who sought pardon. As for foreign nations, those which I was able to safely forgive, I preferred to preserve than to destroy. About five hundred thousand Roman citizens were sworn to me. I led something more than three hundred thousand of them into colonies and I returned them to their cities, after their stipend had been earned, and I assigned all of them fields or gave them money for their military service. I captured six hundred ships in addition to those smaller than triremes.

4. Twice I triumphed with an ovation, and three times I enjoyed a curule triumph and twenty one times I was named emperor. When the senate decreed more triumphs for me, I sat out from all of them. I placed the laurel from the fasces in the Capitol, when the vows which I pronounced in each war had been fulfilled. On account of the things successfully done by me and through my officers, under my auspices, on earth and sea, the senate decreed fifty-five times that there be sacrifices to the immortal gods. Moreover there were 890 days on which the senate decreed there would be sacrifices. In my triumphs kings and nine children of kings were led before my chariot. I had been consul thirteen times, when I wrote this, and I was in the thirty-seventh year of tribunician power (14 A.D.).

5. When the dictatorship was offered to me, both in my presence and my absence, by the people and senate, when Marcus Marcellus and Lucius Arruntius were consuls (22 BC), I did not accept it. I did not evade the curatorship of grain in the height of the food shortage, which I so arranged that within a few days I freed the entire city from the present fear and danger by my own expense and administration. When the annual and perpetual consulate was then again offered to me, I did not accept it.

6. When Marcus Vinicius and Quintus Lucretius were consuls (19 BC), then again when Publius Lentulus and Gnaeus Lentulus were (18 BC), and third when Paullus Fabius Maximus and Quintus Tubero were (11 BC), although the senate and Roman people consented that I alone be made curator of the laws and customs with the highest power, I received no magistracy offered contrary to the customs of the ancestors. What the senate then wanted to accomplish through me, I did through tribunician power, and five times on my own accord I both requested and received from the senate a colleague in such power.

7. I was triumvir for the settling of the state for ten continuous years. I was first of the senate up to that day on which I wrote this, for forty years. I was high priest, augur, one of the Fifteen for the performance of rites, one of the Seven of the sacred feasts, brother of Arvis, fellow of Titus, and Fetial.

8. When I was consul the fifth time (29 BC), I increased the number of patricians by order of the people and senate. I read the roll of the senate three times, and in my sixth consulate (28 BC) I made a census of the people with Marcus Agrippa as my colleague. I conducted a lustrum, after a forty-one year gap, in which lustrum were counted 4,063,000 heads of Roman citizens. Then again, with consular imperium I conducted a lustrum alone when Gaius Censorinus and Gaius Asinius were consuls (8 BC), in which lustrum were counted 4,233,000 heads of Roman citizens. And the third time, with consular imperium, I conducted a lustrum with my son Tiberius Caesar as colleague, when Sextus Pompeius and Sextus Appuleius were consuls (14 A.D.), in which lustrum were counted 4,937,000 of the heads of Roman citizens. By new laws passed with my sponsorship, I restored many traditions of the ancestors, which were falling into disuse in our age, and myself I handed on precedents of many things to be imitated in later generations.

9. The senate decreed that vows be undertaken for my health by the consuls and priests every fifth year. In fulfillment of these vows they often celebrated games for my life; several times the four highest colleges of priests, several times the consuls. Also both privately and as a city all the citizens unanimously and continuously prayed at all the shrines for my health.

10. By a senate decree my name was included in the Saliar Hymn, and it was sanctified by a law, both that I would be sacrosanct for ever, and that, as long as I would live, the tribunician power would be mine. I was unwilling to be high priest in the place of my living colleague; when the people offered me that priesthood which my father had, I refused it. And I received that priesthood, after several years, with the death of him who had occupied it since the opportunity of the civil disturbance, with a multitude flocking together out of all Italy to my election, so many as had never before been in Rome, when Publius Sulpicius and Gaius Valgius were consuls (12 BC).

11. The senate consecrated the altar of Fortune the Bringer-back before the temples of Honor and Virtue at the Campanian gate for my return, on which it ordered the priests and Vestal virgins to offer yearly sacrifices on the day when I had returned to the city from Syria (when Quintus Lucretius and Marcus Vinicius were consuls (19 Bc)), and it named that day Augustalia after my cognomen.

13. Our ancestors wanted Janus Quirinus to be closed when throughout the all the rule of the Roman people, by land and sea, peace had been secured through victory. Although before my birth it had been closed twice in all in recorded memory from the founding of the city, the senate voted three times in my principate that it be closed.

14. When my sons Gaius and Lucius Caesar, whom fortune stole from me as youths, were fourteen, the senate and Roman people made them consuls-designate on behalf of my honor, so that they would enter that magistracy after five years, and the senate decreed that on that day when they were led into the forum they would be included in public councils. Moreover the Roman knights together named each of them first of the youth and gave them shields and spears.

15. I paid to the Roman plebs, HS 300 per man from my father’s will and in my own name gave HS 400 from the spoils of war when I was consul for the fifth time (29 BC); furthermore I again paid out a public gift of HS 400 per man, in my tenth consulate (24 BC), from my own patrimony; and, when consul for the eleventh time (23 BC), twelve doles of grain personally bought were measured out; and in my twelfth year of tribunician power (12-11 BC) I gave HS 400 per man for the third time. And these public gifts of mine never reached fewer than 250,000 men. In my eighteenth year of tribunician power, as consul for the twelfth time (5 BC), I gave to 320,000 plebs of the city HS 240 per man. And, when consul the fifth time (29 BC), I gave from my war-spoils to colonies of my soldiers each HS 1000 per man; about 120,000 men i the colonies received this triumphal public gift. Consul for the thirteenth time (2 BC), I gave HS 240 to the plebs who then received the public grain; they were a few more than 200,000.

19. I built the senate-house and the Chalcidicum which adjoins it and the temple of Apollo on the Palatine with porticos, the temple of divine Julius, the Lupercal, the portico at the Flaminian circus, which I allowed to be called by the name Octavian, after he who had earlier built in the same place, the state box at the great circus, the temple on the Capitoline of Jupiter Subduer and Jupiter Thunderer, the temple of Quirinus, the temples of Minerva and Queen Juno and Jupiter Liberator on the Aventine, the temple of the Lares at the top of the holy street, the temple of the gods of the Penates on the Velian, the temple of Youth, and the temple of the Great Mother on the Palatine.

20. I rebuilt the Capitol and the theater of Pompey, each work at enormous cost, without any inscription of my name. I rebuilt aqueducts in many places that had decayed with age, and I doubled the capacity of the Marcian aqueduct by sending a new spring into its channel. I completed the Forum of Julius and the basilic which he built between the temple of Castor and the temple of Saturn, works begun and almost finished by my father. When the same basilica was burned with fire I expanded its grounds and I began it under an inscription of the name of my sons, and, if I should not complete it alive, I ordered it to be completed by my heirs. Consul for the sixth time (28 BC), I rebuilt eighty-two temples of the gods in the city by the authority of the senate, omitting nothing which ought to have been rebuilt at that time. Consul for the seventh time (27 BC), I rebuilt the Flaminian road from the city to Ariminum and all the bridges except the Mulvian and Minucian.

21. I built the temple of Mars Ultor on private ground and the forum of Augustus from war-spoils. I build the theater at the temple of Apollo on ground largely bought from private owners, under the name of Marcus Marcellus my son-in-law. I consecrated gifts from war-spoils in the Capitol and in the temple of divine Julius, in the temple of Apollo, in the tempe of Vesta, and in the temple of Mars Ultor, which cost me about HS 100,000,000. I sent back gold crowns weighing 35,000 to the towns and colonies of Italy, which had been contributed for my triumphs, and later, however many times I was named emperor, I refused gold crowns from the towns and colonies which they equally kindly decreed, and before they had decreed them.

22. Three times I gave shows of gladiators under my name and five times under the name of my sons and grandsons; in these shows about 10,000 men fought. Twice I furnished under my name spectacles of athletes gathered from everywhere, and three times under my grandson’s name. I celebrated games under my name four times, and furthermore in the place of other magistrates twenty-three times. As master of the college I celebrated the secular games for the college of the Fifteen, with my colleague Marcus Agrippa, when Gaius Furnius and Gaius Silanus were consuls (17 BC). Consul for the thirteenth time (2 BC), I celebrated the first games of Mas, which after that time thereafter in following years, by a senate decree and a law, the consuls were to celebrate. Twenty-six times, under my name or that of my sons and grandsons, I gave the people hunts of African beasts in the circus, in the open, or in the amphitheater; in them about 3,500 beasts were killed.

23. I gave the people a spectacle of a naval battle, in the place across the Tiber where the grove of the Caesars is now, with the ground excavated in length 1,800 feet, in width 1,200, in which thirty beaked ships, biremes or triremes, but many smaller, fought among themselves; in these ships about 3,000 men fought in addition to the rowers.

24. In the temples of all the cities of the province of Asia, as victor, I replaced the ornaments which he with whom I fought the war had possessed privately after he despoiled the temples. Silver statues of me-on foot, on horseback, and standing in a chariot-were erected in about eighty cities, which I myself removed, and from the money I placed goldn offerings in the temple of Apollo under my name and of those who paid the honor of the statues to me.

25. I restored peace to the sea from pirates. In that slave war I handed over to their masters for the infliction of punishments about 30,000 captured, who had fled their masters and taken up arms against the state. All Italy swore allegiance to me voluntarily, and demanded me as leader of the war which I won at Actium; the provinces of Gaul, Spain, Africa, Sicily, and Sardinia swore the same allegiance. And those who then fought under my standard were more than 700 senators, among whom 83 were made consuls either before or after, up to the day this was written, and about 170 were made priests.

26. I extended the borders of all the provinces of the Roman people which neighbored nations not subject to our rule. I restored peace to the provinces of Gaul and Spain, likewise Germany, which includes the ocean from Cadiz to the mouth of the river Elbe. I brought peace to the Alps from the region which i near the Adriatic Sea to the Tuscan, with no unjust war waged against any nation. I sailed my ships on the ocean from the mouth of the Rhine to the east region up to the borders of the Cimbri, where no Roman had gone before that time by land or sea, and the Cimbri and the Charydes and the Semnones and the other Germans of the same territory sought by envoys the friendship of me and of the Roman people. By my order and auspices two armies were led at about the same time into Ethiopia and into that part of Arabia which is called Happy, and the troops of each nation of enemies were slaughtered in battle and many towns captured. They penetrated into Ethiopia all the way to the town Nabata, which is near to Meroe; and into Arabia all the way to the border of the Sabaei, advancing to the town Mariba.

27. I added Egypt to the rule of the Roman people. When Artaxes, king of Greater Armenia, was killed, though I could have made it a province, I preferred, by the example of our elders, to hand over that kingdomto Tigranes, son of king Artavasdes, and grandson of King Tigranes, through Tiberius Nero, who was then my step-son. And the same nation, after revolting and rebelling, and subdued through my son Gaius, I handed over to be ruled by King Ariobarzanes son of Artabazus, King of the Medes, and after his death, to his son Artavasdes; and when he was killed, I sent Tigranes, who came from the royal clan of the Armenians, into that rule. I recovered all the provinces which lie across the Adriatic to the east and Cyrene, with kings now possessing them in large part, and Sicily and Sardina, which had been occupied earlier in the slave war.

28. I founded colonies of soldiers in Africa, Sicily, Macedonia, each Spain, Greece, Asia, Syria, Narbonian Gaul, and Pisidia, and furthermore had twenty-eight colonies founded in Italy under my authority, which were very populous and crowded while I lived.

30. As for the tribes of the Pannonians, before my principate no army of the Roman people had entered their land. When they were conquered through Tiberius Nero, who was then my step-son and emissary, I subjected them to the rule of the Roman people and extended the borders of Illyricum to the shores of the river Danube. On the near side of it the army of the Dacians was conquered and overcome under my auspices, and then my army, led across the Danube, forced the tribes of the Dacians to bear the rule of the Roman people.

31. Emissaries from the Indian kings were often sent to me, which had not been seen before that time by any Roman leader. The Bastarnae, the Scythians, and the Sarmatians, who are on this side of the river Don and the kings further away, an the kings of the Albanians, of the Iberians, and of the Medes, sought our friendship through emissaries.

32. To me were sent supplications by kings: of the Parthians, Tiridates and later Phrates son of king Phrates, of the Medes, Artavasdes, of the Adiabeni, Artaxares, of the Britons, Dumnobellaunus and Tincommius, of the Sugambri, Maelo, of the Marcomanian Suebi (…) (-)rus. King Phrates of the Parthians, son of Orodes, sent all his sons and grandsons into Italy to me, though defeated in no war, but seeking our friendship through the pledges of his children. And in my principate many other peoples experienced the faith of the Roman people, of whom nothing had previously existed of embassies or interchange of friendship with the Roman people.

34. In my sixth and seventh consulates (28-27 BC), after putting out the civil war, having obtained all things by universal consent, I handed over the state from my power to the dominion of the senate and Roman people. And for this merit of mine, by a senate decree, I was called Augustus and the doors of my temple were publicly clothed with laurel and a civic crown was fixed over my door and a gold shield placed in the Julian senate-house, and the inscription of that shield testified to the virtue, mercy, justice, and piety, for which the senate and Roman people gave it to me. After that time, I exceeded all in influence, but I had no greater power than the others who were colleagues with me in each magistracy.

35. When I administered my thirteenth consulate (2 BC), the senate and Equestrian order and Roman people all called me father of the country, and voted that the same be inscribed in the vestibule of my temple, in the Julian senate-house, and in the forum of Augustus under the chario which had been placed there for me by a decision of the senate. When I wrote this I was seventy-six years old.


Written after Augustus’ death.

1. All the expenditures which he gave either into the treasury or to the Roman plebs or to discharged soldiers: HS 2,400,000,000.

2. The works he built: the temples of Mars, of Jupiter Subduer and Thunderer, of Apollo, of divine Julius, of Minerva, of Queen Juno, of Jupiter Liberator, of the Lares, of the gods of the Penates, of Youth, and of the Great Mother, the Lupercal, the state box at the circus, the senate-house with the Chalcidicum, the forum of Augustus, the Julian basilica, the theater of Marcellus, the Octavian portico, and the grove of the Caesars across the Tiber.

3. He rebuilt the Capitol and holy temples numbering eighty-two, the theater of Pompey, waterways, and the Flaminian road.

4. The sum expended on theatrical spectacles and gladatorial games and athletes and hunts and mock naval battles and money given to colonies, cities, andtowns destroyed by earthquake and fire or per man to friends and senators, whom he raised to the senate rating: innumerable.
From: A…com
Date: Sun, 1 Sep 2002 05:49:56 EDT

Hi Harvey and Laurie, I am hoping you can offer me some support and/or advice. I am home schooling my 5 year old and my two year old will also be in the future. My daughter turned 5 in May, I am worried that I will not be able to teach her. If I can tell you a little about her, it will help clear up why I am worried. Last December I had her evaluated through the local school district, I was never concerned about her intelligence or her development, as I have always known that she is exceptional. I have been concerned about her emotional state. She began having tantrums at age 4 and a half, nothing happened in her life to trigger it (other than her brother getting older). I was hoping I could get her into counseling. Well, the district apparently does not offer that type of service, however, her scores on the tests they gave her where all in the highly superior and gifted ranges. So I felt a little pressure to kick up the level of work I was giving her. She learned how to add double digit numbers ( without carrying) and how to read simple readers in April. I feel that I may have pushed too much because now she refuses to read or do math and her behavior has gotten worse. I am a nurturing mom, I’ve always practiced attachment parenting, she nursed until she was four and slept in my bed until she was 4 and a half. I’ve never spanked her, until the tantrums and defiant behavior got really bad, however, I don’t believe spanking helps, I know I just do it out of a loss for a tactic that will work! I’m sorry to make this so long. My fear is that with all these behavior problems she won’t be open to me teaching her. I know she is still young and I still have some time before I have to get serious about lessons, but this has been going on for almost a year. I am looking into going to a discipline seminar, but it is hard to get time away from my son as he still nurses and does not sleep through the night yet. Anything you can offer me will be much help. Thank you so much for your time! Sincerely, A.
I really don’t know how to answer this question. Can you help me out? Laurie
From: Pealstrom
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002

Dear Laurie,

I have a 15 year old, who is a bright, articulate child, no learning problems we have had to deal with. We started off doing all the right things to grow him up to be a reader. I read to him in the womb and kept on reading from that point on. I read tons of books to him as a toddler, did not do early childhood school, no text books, no heavy pressure learning. When he got to the age where he was reading, I found he was not interested at all in reading on his own, although he still enjoyed me reading to him. I tried many tricks suggested to me, stopping an interesting story in the middle of something and telling him he could read it on his own until I could finish it (he said he’d wait), got him sports related books (he wanted them read by someone else!), and a friend got him a computer football game that was actually a reading program and required a lot of reading. He did play it, but it never sparked an interest in reading. He is now 15 and still enjoys me reading to him. His response about reading on his own is Why would I be reading if I could be doing something. He is very athletic and loves doing theater. He does do his reading for school work. He is the oldest of our 5 and I read them all a classic or fairly good book each day, and I usually read a Henty novel to the 15 y/o in the evening. Last year we read through the bible together, and he did do some of the reading (not necessarily by volunteering, but willingly!). My question is this: Is there any reason to force him to read on his own when he clearly does not enjoy doing it? He has in the past (not recent) read short books and done short book reports for me. My husband, his father, just took up reading about two years ago at the age of 51 or so. I had not seen him read anything in the 22 + years I had known him except for the two early Peretti book and newspapers. I, on the other hand, read as much as I could as a young person and as an adult, so I was quite disappointed that my kids don’t seem to be following that habit. I am hoping that by not forcing reading for pleasure on him he may one day actually grow to enjoy reading, and find out how much he was missing! Thanks so very much! God Bless Your Day, juli
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002
From: julie e cochran

a question that i need input on immediately…! smile. my oldest is 13 and got a little behind on your math plan so is just starting (8th grade year) the algebra 1/2. she skipped the 87 as directed since she always got an 80% or up on her 76 tests. anyway….she felt the 1/2 was a little too easy this first two weeks and asked if she could skip it also. i knew saxon had a placement test so i gave it to her and lo and behold (and she is no math brain mind you! but i did follow the moores recommendation of no formal/workbook math until age 10…when i started with the 65 and it took her a year and a half just because of my poor structuring…too many field trips etc…anyway…) she tests out to be in the algebra 1 book. amazing! my hats off to the bluedorns for discovering this plan! soooo…..i already bought the 1/2 and now am frantically looking to borrow someone’s algebra 1 but….here is my question… a friend just gave me the jacobs algebra 1 text and answer guide. it looks good. i was planning, per the bluedorns, to do the jacobs geometry after saxon algebra 1. so WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE JACOBS ELEMENTARY ALGEBRA COMPARED TO THE SAXON ALGEBRA 1? please let me know anyone out there who does know. thanks. and to YES! IT DOES WORK! I AM JUST STARTING CHILD NUMBER 3 ON THE 65. SHE JUST TURNED 10 and is SOOOOO EXCITED TO FOLLOW IN HER SIBLINGS FOOTSTEPS AND DO MATH! IT IS HILARIOUS! THEY BEG FOR IT! AND NOTE;;;;NEITHER MY HUSBAND OR I ARE MATH PEOPLE. SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. NONE OF THEM HAD ANY WORKSHEETS, TIMETABLES or ANYTHING UNTIL AGE 10. I actually made the mistake of getting a skip counting tape when they were younger 7 and down and it made the look very smart to others (counting by nines etc) but it has made the timestables a little bit harder….they cant get the skip counting out of their minds. so they tend to do it real fast in their heads instead of just memorizing 5 x 7. so that’s my two cents. i used ruth beechick’s recommendations in her little blue, yellow or pink book (those little thin ones on the three Rs) and some little games from peggy kaye’s book LEARNING GAMES. i have actually been known to stop other well meaning adults from writing out a tabulation of numbers for them on paper at a garage sale we were having so as they would not even see a row of numbers with a plus sign until they opened that 65 book! that is how obedient i am to the letter of the law! ha! well…enough rambling about math! my goodness! so many other more important things in life and yet….if you haven’t read GOD IN MATHEMATICS by Nickel you must. it is put out by ross house books. waiting to hear about jacobs vs. saxon algebra. sincerely excited about education …. for adults and children! julie c.
Quotes of the Day:

A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it. Rabindranath Tagore

Knowledge has outstripped character development, and the young today are given an education rather than an upbringing. Ilya Ehrenburg
The Plug-In Drug: Television, Computers, and Family Life
The landmark book about how children get hooked on TV
by Marie Winn

first published in 1977

This classic study of television’s impact on children and family life, now revised and expanded to include computers in the classroom, video games, and the VCR, provides powerful evidence of television’s negative effects on children’s play, imagination, family relations, and school achievement. By shifting the focus from the TV programs kids watch to how much they watch, and why, and what they are missing as a result, Marie Winn challenges parents and educators to look squarely at the basic issue: television control. My favorite quote from the book: It’s not WHAT you watch, but THAT you watch.

You can probably find The Plug-In Drug at your library.
The following are just a few of the responses we received to the attachment parenting question. More responses next time.

Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002
From: Heidi A Triska
First, let me say that I have practiced attachment parenting with great success. However, the type of discipline that is generally promoted along with attachment parenting is unbiblical and, in my experience, ineffective.


From: D
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002

Dear A:
I have a son who exhibited many of the same problems as your daughter. He, too, is gifted. The burdens of discipline and schooling fell entirely upon me, since my husband is out of town a great deal and we have almost no extended family.

My son is high-strung and can be difficult to be around. He is stubborn and wants his way far more than he fears punishment. He is also lazy! On many occasions he would spend the entire day at the kitchen table refusing to do his work. He would fall screaming out of his chair if I attempted to make him work. I was torn between trying to work with him and watching over his very active younger brother. As you can imagine, I became a nervous wreck in short order.

We finally put our son in a private school for gifted children. There, he was forced to pay the natural consequences for years of unsociability and bad habits. The other children were high achievers and hard workers; our son could scarcely remember to write down his assignments. He had little to contribute to conversations and class discussions. Because of his bad attitudes, he had trouble befriending others.

By the end of last year, we realized that he needed to come home. He was severely humbled by his experience in the world. God Himself had to break this stubborn child’s will. He is now a grateful, happier person, and he does his schoolwork diligently now.

I’m not trying to give you advice, but simply telling our story. Hope it helps you in some way! A Thankful Mom
From: PiersonK1
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002

Dear A.,
I am also an attachment parenting parent of an exceptional child. Although your daughter is an exceptional child, she is also a child. Understanding that she may be able to add double digits may add to her frustration, instead of making things easier for her. I would say to back off almost completely on any formal learning, and to let this exceptional child play. I mean imaginative play, outside play, and mommy time. Check the Bluedorn’s list of 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before 10. The one thing I love about homeschool is that it forces you to deal with the issues in your family instead of sending those issues away to school so they don’t have to be addressed. This problem is worthy of your fixing it! Kim Pierson
From: NHay728201
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002

We practice attachment parenting but also believe the bible has clear instructions on disciplining children – including the use of the rod. I would highly suggest reading Douglas Wilson’s Standing on the Promises which does a good job of explaining why we need to discipline our children. If you haven’t already, I would also start a daily bible reading with her and a catechism. Also, when she is disciplined, pray for her and with her and give her your forgiveness. I think this will go a long way in beginning to change her behaviour and you will probably see an improvement in her school work. Nickey
From: GLIsaac
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 13

My comments will no doubt echo those of most anyone who responds to your note. I recommend you read Ted Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart. He confirms what the Bible says (and others who will quote it to you) about disciplining your child. Very simply put, God has put you in charge of keeping your child safe, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You may think you are nurturing your child by not spanking her and only offering her warmth and affection, but that is not true love, for you are failing to teach her the basics of human and spiritual behavior. Your child is a sinner like the rest of us and our own children. She needs to be brought under the safety of her mother and father who will not let her sinful will guide and direct her life – and yours. Tripp will help you do this without losing control, without getting angry, but you must try to remain consistent and loving throughout. Pain never feels right to us, and inflicting it certainly does not. But when we discipline we are not attempting to hurt; we are attempting to teach and train. If you apply Tripp’s scriptural principles, and remain consistent, you will very shortly see the results. It is not behavior alone that we are trying to change – it is the heart of the child. This has nothing whatever to do with her intelligence. Indeed, if she is a gifted child, it is all the more imperative that you embrace the truth about her nature and attend to it in the way God has set out for us. I have a very strong-will 7 year old daughter who was 3 months prematurely born and has mild cerebral palsy as a result. After nurturing her for a number of years and not dealing with her temper tantrums, my husband and I realized we were doing her no favor. Tripp’s book called me back to a scriptural and common sense approach. Now, when my daughter behaves in a fashion which we have decided warrants discipline, she receives a spanking, quickly and unemotionally. Before the tears are gone from her eyes, her attitude is already changed as she is reminded of her need to honour her father and her mother and to obey her parents, for this is right in the Lord. We are all happier, and so is she! Blessings on you and your dear daughter! B. Isaac
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002
From: David L Schmidt

Dear A…com,
My husband I are youth ministers we both taught in the public schools (7th 8th grade). I’m sure you say attachment parenting from the words Dr. Sears. others use to refer to breastfeeding allowing a child to wean themselves. We, too, believe in this style, however, it sounds more like your daughter needs to be told she is not in charge. Her demands to nursing should not be allowed to apply to her world. A great book to suggest you read is What the Bible Says About Child Training, by Richard Fugate
He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Prov. 13:24

Seek the counsel of your Heavenly Father, but we have 3 angels ourselves. (4, 3, almost 2) we know the battle we fight with their little sin natures….to have their own ways. More than a mental problem your daughter has a sin problem. May God direct your paths may I suggest you pray over with this child because ultimately they’re His children not ours. As parents we set the boundaries then try our best to be consistent with helping them live them out. Col. 2:3, My purpose is that you be encouraged in heart united in love. Another concerned mother…
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002
Subject: A’s Bright 5 year-old
From: Eugene B Sedy

Well, I really believe that you are dealing with discipline issues with your really bright 5 year-old daughter. It sounds like she has figured out just how to push your buttons! (I can say that, because we learned the hard way with my oldest son when he was about that age!) Please read Richard Fugate’s book, What the Bible Says About Child Training. It is probably the best book about how to discipline children in a manner that is in accordance with God’s word.(Skip the seminar–save your money and your time). Like it or not, God’s word is truth, and sometimes we have to give up our invented notions about things (like spankings), and yield to what God says is the best way–His way. Read the book and you will discover that spankings are not what you think they are. A spanking is a very controlled, loving device to cause children to remember to obey (the Bible also says that it drives out rebellion from the heart of child. That is our true goal when disciplining children, not just gaining obedience). When my husband or I give a spanking, the spanking is given, child and parent prays together, and within minutes we are reconciled to one another again. I think reconciliation is what is missing with the methods of discipline espoused in many circles. A child sent to time out only stews in anger and rebellion, plotting how not to get caught the next time. When you have a very bright child, they become very crafty and deceitful, and are ingenious manipulators. Again, I can identify with your frustration. I’m thankful for that frustration, because it pushed my husband and I to ask the Lord for wisdom, and He certainly gave it! Then we had to ask for faith to turn from our own ideas to using God’s truth. Changing our ways have brought innumerable blessings; kids doing what we ask is just a very small part. We still are not out of the woods with that particular son–it seems we’re going through a resurgence of his will against ours as those hormones are revving up, but with God’s help I am confident that son will be a useful adult in God’s Kingdom! May God bless you as you seek Him, Janet Sedy
From: MamaStitch
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002

Laurie and Harvey,
We would like to thank you for mentioning John Abbott’s little book The Mother at Home in your book Teaching the Trivium. We have searched out a copy along with other titles by Abbott. What a joy they have been to read. We wanted to let you know both The Mother at Home and The Child at Home are available electronically at Maybe this will be a source of help for those who have questions concerning child training. The Child at Home is meant to be read by the child with the parent to assist in the application. I thought it was a wonderful book. My oldest daughter is 7 and I am going to start reading it with her soon. I also have The School Girl which is for slightly older girls, I think around 10. In The Mother at Home, Rev. Abbott refers to a boy who died at 8 after a long illness at peace because he had long since made the decision to serve the Lord. I have the biography of this boy, Nathan Dickerman, written by Gordon Abbott but I have not read it yet. Abbott also wrote The School Boy, but I haven’t found a copy of that yet. He was also well known for his biographies of, if I remember correctly, Daniel Boone, Napoleon and others. Abebooks has a pretty extensive collection of Abbott books for sale. Again, thank you so much for all you and your family have done. In His Love, Rusty and Heather Vermazen, Woodland, CA
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002
Subject: 10 year-olds and Artes Latinae
From: Eugene B Sedy

There was a question about whether a 10 year-old could use Artes Latinae. I think it’s a good idea if the child already has a background in basic English grammar before beginning the program. They should already know about tense, verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, and also have an understanding about the subject and object of a sentence. I tried to begin the course with my almost 10 year-old, and realized that she did not have a working understanding of these grammar concepts. I have not yet begun a formal English grammar course with her, so she has some understanding, but not enough to keep from getting confused while pursuing Latin. If one really wants to begin Latin with a younger child, it may be better to pick a program that puts more stress on acquiring Latin vocabulary (for example, Wilson’s Latin Primer), then switch to Artes Latinae as the child’s understanding of English grammar matures.
You’re probably right — I think 11 is a better age to start Artes Latinae. That’s when I started it with my kids. Laurie
From: n
Subject: Fathers role
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002

Dear Harvey and Laurie,
I am enjoying the email loop and am thankful for your book and the freedom this brings to homeschooling. My question is, how can a father be the head of the homeschooling effort? How can he be involved, other than in our daily lives as the head of the household? My husband tends to put A LOT on himself, as far as leading us in the schooling arena and as the spiritual leader. Right now he is under a tremendous spiritual attack, I believe, as a result of unreasonable expectations he puts on himself. Consequently, Satan is bombarding him mentally and emotionally. This is a time of great testing for him, and us as a family. Where is the balance for a man in all his responsibilities? If a man is doing his part leading the family spiritually, isn’t delegating the actual teaching and choosing curriculum OK? Thanks
There are CEO’s who micro-manage everything, not allowing anyone to be in control of anything, and there are the CEO’s who keep their hands off, trusting their managers to do a good job, while they just monitor the overall operation. Micro-managers wear themselves out while frustrating those who work under them. Hands-off managers become out of touch with the real business. Both of these examples need to develop a better balance in communication and in accountability. It sounds like, perhaps, you think your husband may be on the micro-managing side, and you believe a better balance for your family would involve trusting you to carry out some of the details in submission to him. I don’t know of a better way for a wife to learn to practice submission than for her to be delegated responsibilities, nor a better way for a husband to learn to practice communication than to hear her reports as to how things are going, and to communicate his will while encouraging her in the good work. Harvey
From: “heart4home”
Subject: Help! Need Counsel
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002

Dear Bluedorn family,
I just received your book “Teaching the Trivium” last week, but my husband and I have been pouring over your web site, trying to read every article for weeks. For the first time in years, we are really excited about home education again! We have been homeschooling for about 16 years without any knowledge of Christian Classical Education. We are now convinced this is the right direction for our family. However, we have no idea where or how to start from here. Our children are 20, 16, 10 and 8. They are all still at home and under our authority and guidance. We want our older children to enjoy the benefits of Classical Education as well as our younger ones. Is it possible to go back and fill in the missing gaps in their education? Our 20 year old daughter is still being educated at home. We call it “Life Preparation”, and she is basically doing college level work at home while also learning the skills needed to manage a home and family. Our girls desire to be well educated in order to be informed, intelligent, future helpmeets and well-equipped educators of their own children. We would really appreciate any counsel you could give. Thank you. In His Service, Nan Keen
If it’s possible to fill in the gaps in your own education, then it’s possible to fill in the gaps of your children. Homeschooling is for parents as well. Just pick up wherever you can, and get going. Maybe the 20 year old can assume some classical homeschooling responsibilities by tutoring the 8 and 10 year old in Greek and Hebrew alphabets — while learning them herself. Maybe mom or dad and older daughter can work together to begin Latin or Greek or Logic with some of the other children. It seems like you have the right vision, all you need to do is work out the plan. Harvey
From: OrtegaPerez
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002
Subject: History time-line

I am starting the classical education with my son who is 5 yrs old. I would love to introduce history and the time-line to him, but I am unsure how to do this. I was planning on putting the paper around his room and mark off the dates, as suggested in your book. Is he too young for this or is this appropriate for his age? What kind of history books or literature is recommended for this age? Thank you so much for any insight into this. Amber Ortega-Perez, San Antonio, Tx
I don’t see anything wrong with starting a time-line now. It will take you a while to figure out exactly how you want your time-line to look. It’s a trial and error process. Linda Lacour Hobar in The Mystery of History Volume I has an interesting idea for making a time-line. I think the best way to study history in the grammar stage is by reading aloud biographies and historical fiction. You can also do history projects, costuming, and historical field trips. Christine Miller has a list of books that are organized according to historical time periods — it’s called All Through the Ages. Laurie
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002
Subject: thank you…
From: godsbudee

I just received Johannah’s book, My Mommy, My Teacher. What a fantastic book! Just wanted to thank you for writing such a beautiful book……both in text and in illustration. I am amazed and awe struck! What an encouragement for my own daughter who is gifted both in writing and drawing. God bless your gift and calling! Dodi Wall
From: Colin Hedges
Subject: Re: Modest Clothing
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002

Dear Marty,
There is a wonderful site called Ladies Against Feminism that has a whole section devoted to modesty and feminine dressing. They have some links to patterns and even some seamstresses if you would like to have someone else do the sewing. I hope you will find the site a blessing. Kim H
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 09:31:12 -0400
From: Martin and Kimberly Eddy
Subject: patterns/Marty

Hi Marty!
Here are two patterns we use….for nursing moms, a very comfy pattern that is modest and EXTREMELY easy to sew (it took me 15 minutes for the skirt!!) is Simplicity’s It’s So Easy number 9277, for a blouse and skirt (I did mine in sweat shirt material–very practical for the homeschooling mom’s everyday wear) and for girls, there is a nice culotte pattern that looks like a skirt, again Simplicity # 7055, but we added length to the flared shorts and I had to enlarge the pattern for my older daughter, also 10. Blessings, Kimberly in Michigan
From: Lynn Henckel
Subject: Modest clothing
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002

There are several companies that specialize in feminine modest clothing. One I know if is Lilies of the Field. They have a catalog with pictures of their fabric choices and styles. I’m not sure about a source for just patterns. Try just searching the web for modest clothing. It is difficult, I know for mothers of pre-teen, young teen girls especially to find suitable clothes. Sewing will be a big help to you as your children grow!

I struggle a bit with the practicality of young girls in dresses as they can be just plain dangerous when the girls try to climb a slide ladder for instance. At the same time I know it’s important for them to be accustomed to wearing dresses and modest clothing. Lynn Henckel
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002
From:(Laura Boswell)
Country: Canada

My kids just began reading really fluently and have come up with a game entirely on their own which is really fun to play. You pull out 20 or more of your favorite books and spread them across the living room floor. You select a few to be upside down and some right side up. Using a die, you roll the number of spaces to move (we used farm animals as game pieces) and if you land on a book which is upside down you must read from it. Maybe a page, maybe a sentence, or maybe a word. (My 5 would read a page, my 7 would read a sentence and my 2 would find a letter that he knew.) The first one to the end wins! You can make this more challenging with library books. I find this to be a great way for extra reading practice. Happy reading! Laura
From: medrsch
Subject: Look at Johannah’s art
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002

Dear loop readers:
I just received “My Mommy, My Teacher.” It is a lovely illustrated book. I can see how one can become interested in taking art lessons after looking at all these colorful drawings. I am tempted to explore water color and acrylics on a beginner level with my children. On page 6 of this book Johannah has created a lovely frame of soft roses and green leaves. This is a nice place to begin exploring painting with your children. This could make lovely stationary paper for your children. Are there any other mothers on this loop that have become inspired to pick up a filbert brush and instruct their child? Thank you, Johannah, for stimulating us through your fine art work to think on things that are lovely. Maribel
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002
From: S <m…@e>

Our son is now almost 14 and I am in the midst of beginning Ancient history this year. We obtained Greenleaf’s guide to Greece and found it difficult to sort out who was a real person and who was a myth. I called them and the person on the phone couldn’t help me. I then called Veritas Press and they helped somewhat but were not totally sure either. It must be a difficult time period since men were made gods as well as the myths.

Short of our son studying the classics like Shakespeare we are wanting primary sources. In your book you mention very thoroughly an ancient time period as an example and list just what to read, etc. Do you have anything like that for the whole of the Ancient? You seem to have such wisdom and experience knowing just what sections and books have the proper information and we are totally ignorant at all this! I have visited some of the web sites that you suggest in your book (they are great) but how do I know what is going to be ok for a Christian and not ok nor what portions out of something quite large would be appropriate and profitable.
You have pretty much described our new book on primary sources. Lord willing, we would like to have this book ready sometime this year. Laurie
From: “c”
Date: Sun, 1 Sep 2002

I read an article in Practical Homeschooling, a magazine from 1999 a friend gave me, and find the things talked about, 10 things to do with your children before age 10, very appealing. This is my first year of homeschooling my children. I have 4 children, ages: 8, 7, 5 (son) and 22 months. I was not raised in a Christian home and struggle with some of these things myself. Do you believe this method of teaching, The Trivium, can be done by someone who has to basically learn from scratch anyway? Does that make sense? This sounds so wonderful but I get down on myself because I still have so much to learn and while I know God is guiding me I wonder if I, someone who did not go to college and who struggles with sin, who came to Christ late in life, can teach this method. I know we all struggle in sin to a certain degree but I have some real problems with being easily frustrated myself, although I want to do so much better it just is very slow coming around, it seems to me. I was not taught discipline. I could go on and on about my life I just have so many things to learn and change still but I want to make my children’s homeschooling pleasing, mostly to God, but also to my children. I am not a very creative person and was not taught at all to use my mind in a positive way….I guess to wrap it up…sometimes I read these books like, Teaching The Trivium (which I have ordered), and others and I think “Well, that is great for them…they grew up in a Christian family and are not still struggling with some of the “sins” I am….I place myself on a different “level” and think I could not do it. I had ordered all my “workbooks” through Abeka and am trying to sell a lot of it. Trying to do that has been very frustrating to me and my children. My 5 year old son has a very hard time sitting still and I just don’t feel like I am doing them any kind of service when we are all frustrated. I am also wondering about a comment on the website about making the Classical Education a Christian Education. Is the Classical approach done in a way that could compromise Christian values or God’s Word? That is the last thing I want to try and “figure out” since I, myself, have a lot to learn. I don’t know if this is an appropriate question for this email address, I just know I am excited about the idea of reading “real” books and I get excited when I read about the Charlotte Mason method of learning…but, I am also very confused so…if this is inappropriate, please forgive me. Thank you!
Everything we ever learned WELL, we learned by the Trivium, whether we knew it or not — we learned the facts, we learned how the facts fitted together, and we learned how to express them and put them into practical use. I think we can safely say that most of us are starting from scratch, and we’re learning how to apply this Trivium to all of our own learning and to how we teach our children. I know in my own education I think I went from the grammar stage (I was good at memorizing facts to repeat for tests) directly to the rhetoric stage, skipping logic totally. And my rhetoric level skills I learned as an adult. Your children are still quite young, so you have plenty of time to learn right along with them. That’s what most of us are doing. It took me five kids, five times going through the logic book, before I finally understood formal logic. Homeschooling is really for the parents — the children are just coming along for the ride.

I’ve always said that there’s only one thing worse than a disobedient child, and that’s a parent who doesn’t see that his child is disobedient. The fact that you SEE your sin (which only the Lord can show us) is a sign that He is working in your life and drawing you to Him. Struggling with sin will never end in this life. The closer we get to our Father — the closer He draws us — the more we see our weaknesses and faults. It’s those who don’t seem to worry about sin in their lives that we should be concerned about.

I believe it is in the PROCESS of homeschooling our children that the Lord sanctifies us. Over the years, He teaches us patience, endurance, trust, love, gentleness and more. Some people may have some of these qualities in a natural form, but the Lord does not give these qualities in their spiritual form to us on a silver platter, all made to order, fully functioning, and ready to go. And we don’t earn them either. But, rather, He has us go through troubles and trials, often carrying burdens for many years, while at the same time planting inside us the seeds of these fruits to be watered, nourished, and blossoming in due time. I shudder to think of how impatient a person I was in my early days of homeschooling. May the Lord mercifully overlook it.

There are numerous adaptions of classical education to homeschooling — some are Christian adaptions, some are secular adaptations, some are part secular and part Christian hybrids. We need to investigate and evaluate these different approaches and come to our own conclusions as to what we can use. Harvey and Laurie
It’s time for another CONTEST!!!

The first person to email me the name of who wrote this description of the first “postal system” wins a copy of our new book My Mommy, My Teacher.

“While Xerxes did thus, he sent a messenger to Persia with news of his present misfortune. Now there is nothing mortal that accomplishes a course more swiftly than do these messengers, by the Persians’ skillful contrivance. It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey. These are stopped neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed. The first rider delivers his charge to the second, the second to the third, and thence it passes on from hand to hand, even as in the Greek torch-bearers’ race in honor of Hephaestus. This riding-post is called in Persia, angareion.”
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002
From: Pilgrim South
Subject: Time lines…

Dear Laurie,
We love time lines and searched and searched for Richard Hulls Wall Chart of the World. Sadly it is out of print. After much time searching on the internet we found a little book store that has just a few of them left. A few means only 3 or 4 but thought someone might want to know. Their number is 706-896-3333. We first ran across the time line years ago in a hotel in Granbury Texas. It was hanging on the wall of the hotel. It had been done in the 1800’s and was beautiful! Cloth I think and beautiful! We bought a copy of it that someone had done that was in a long roll but we sadly lost it in a flood a few years ago. When we found Richard Hulls it was the same thing only it had been brought up to date. Richard Hulls is in book form that accordions out of the book. You could hang it on a wall if you took it out of the book and had a long wall! We really love it and are thankful to have found it again!

Also, we saw a family at a home school conference that makes time lines. Their company name is Parthenon Graphics. Their time lines are beautiful and not so large as Richard Hulls they are 9″ tall by 44″ wide. You also can order them by topic…Ancient History, World History,US History, Religion, Invention and Discovery, and Histories. Each of these topics has several time lines to choose from. For example, under Ancient History you would have Ancient Civilizations, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Roman Republic, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire and Alexander the Great. Each of the topics above have several choices. They are 12.95 each or if you buy 10 at a time there is a discount. They are just what we need! They are working now on time lines for the Classical Approach. No, we don’t sell them nor have any affiliation with them we just love them!
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002
From: Tim and Tori

My questions do not pertain specifically to homeschooling, but since we have been on the subject of modest clothing, I thought this would be a good place to ask a few questions regarding sewing. Anyone may answer me privately if desired so as not to distract from the newsletters original intent. I was wondering if any of the seamstress’ out there could give me some advice. My oldest daughter is 6 1/2 years old and is wanting to learn how to sew (I’m so glad!) However, this is something that I have never learned to do (other than basic hems, buttons and pillows). I could use some suggestions as to what the best way for my daughter and I to learn together is? What has worked for others who didn’t learn until adult age? Should I take a class somewhere and if so where is a good place to do this? Are there good teaching books out there? Also the only sewing machine I have is an antique singer (one of the first electric ones that they made but still works fine) which has only the basic stitch capability. Would this be feasible for sewing simple clothing or do we need to look for something else and if so, any suggestions? Thank you in advance for your help! Have a sunshiny day! Tori
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002

I found a local appliance store that will give dishwasher, refrigerator, etc. boxes to anyone who asks. I got a couple of dishwasher boxes and cut off the top and bottom. Then I cut all the way down one edge. This makes a very long piece of sturdy cardboard with four panels. It folds really nicely. I gave it a coat of white paint front and back then made a large timeline with it. We can lay it out on the floor or the kids can sit in the middle and be surrounded by time. When finished, I fold it accordion style and store it behind the bookcase. I posted our large (48 x 37) wall maps on the sides of a dishwasher box as well. I cut off the top and bottom and down one side as before. Then I cut the four-panel piece into two two-panel pieces. I put a world map on one piece and a US map on the other piece. These pieces also live behind the bookcase. Because my children are 5 and 6, I liked the idea of having maps and timelines they could crawl on to look at things close up. I also love that they can be put away when not in use. Katy Have a little fun, make a little mess!
From: Tami Waring
Subject: Questions about teaching multi-levels
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002

Dear Harvey and Laurie, Greetings! Thank you for sharing the wisdom the Lord has given you on homeschooling. I have been so refreshed reading your book Teaching the Trivium. Our family (eight children ages 13 to one) just began a classical education last year. We used primarily things from Veritas Press. This year we began the same curriculum, but have switched to take advantage of a unique opportunity. We are in an academic environment for one year where there are 89 international army officers (we are also in the military) from 79 countries. We are studying the world (continent by continent) and taking advantage of having internationals into our home. As I have been reading your book (I am about half way through the book). I have felt encouraged in some areas, but discouraged in others. I feel slightly overwhelmed with the prospect of teaching several levels at the same time. I am encouraged that my 10 year old need not frustrate me, but that she is probably not quite ready for formal grammar (I have been using Shurley Grammar). How do you handle teaching several students at the same time? I think that I have too often tried to have the 13 and 12-year olds at the same level when they probably are not. How do I not become overwhelmed with it all? Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. The three oldest are girls (ages 13, 12, and 10). The next two are boys (ages 8 and 6). Then there are three little ones (ages 4, 2 and 1). The 8-year old does primarily math, reading, spelling and some grammar. He sits in the history/geography lessons with us. He is more ready for grammar than the 10-year old. The six year old is learning phonics and addition/subtraction. He sits in most history lessons with us and listens. The youngest three play and wander in and out of the school room. Thanks for your time. Sincerely, Tamara Waring
I think one of the keys to successfully homeschooling several children at different levels is to keep all the children together as much as possible. When the children are below age 13 (in the grammar level) this can be done successfully in the subjects of Bible, history, geography, literature, science, Greek and Latin root word studies, art, and music. Now, when I say keep them together, that doesn’t mean you expect the same from each child, but that you all study the same general topics. Everyone is in the same historical time period, but the older ones will be given harder assignments than the younger ones. The older ones might study 3 Latin roots a week while the younger ones will study one. Everyone studies the same Bible passage, but the older ones will have more difficult assignments. Also, one rule I made early in our homeschooling life and always enforced was that if I am reading anything aloud, then everyone must listen. If I was going to expend the effort in reading aloud then everyone will benefit from it. Math and grammar are the two subjects where children will need to be at their own level. Another key to successfully homeschooling several children at different levels is to help the children become self-motivated. The goal is to get to the point where the student is able to teach himself as much as possible and to be able to do many of his subjects on his own. This will free you up to work with the younger ones. Right now in your life, with your children the ages that they are, will be the most time intensive period. As your older ones advance they will need less and less of your attention (that is, if you help them to become self-motivated). I would definitely take advantage of your unique situation this year — perhaps you might need to drop some of the typical subjects in order to do this. Laurie
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2002
Subject: Re: reply to art questions plus my own two cents’ worth
From: Barry White

Dear Maribel and others interested in teaching or becoming more adept in the visual arts,

I am a fine artist, trained in Medical Illustration. I hope I can help by responding to some art-related questions in a recent loop (or recent for me here in remote SE Asia!) and then add some comments concerning integrity in art instruction.

To answer Maribel’s questions:
> 1. Does anyone know of any good “mediums” that retard the acrylic paints that Windsor Newton puts out?

Any acrylic medium will work. It would be good to have one of the same quality as your paint, though, as you will lower its quality to the level of your medium. The “Golden” mediums sold by Cheap Joe’s (info below) would do quite well. They have three mediums (polymer, fluid matte, and matte), a retarder and “acrylic flow release.” If you tell them what you’re looking for, they will be able to help you decide which one you need.

> 2. When painting with acrylics, which one is the best professional quality paint? And why?

Winsor & Newton is a good brand. So are Rembrandt and Da Vinci. It’s been some 20 years since I’ve bought acrylics, but Liquitex was considered a good student grade back then.

The finer grade paints (whether oil, acrylic or watercolor) will use true pigments which are finely ground, and binders that do not tend to yellow or otherwise distort the color over time. Lightfastness will be graded and marked on each tube. Good quality paints will last longer without fading, mix more cleanly (the colors are unadulterated, so mixing them results in true secondary and tertiary colors instead of “mud”), and will act as they should in going from palette to brush to ground. (I’m not sure how to explain that last item, but paints should have and maintain the proper consistency to do what you want them to. Some people think they can’t paint, not realizing that using the materials they have, no one could!)

> 3. Is there any Canvas paper I could use that WILL NOT buckle?

Maribel, Maribel! Using canvas paper is like playing Fur Elise on the kazoo. Something will be lost in the translation through that medium! It also will crumble to dust in about 20 years. Cheap Joe’s sells pads of real, sized canvas in sheets if that’s the kind of thing you like. I prefer applying gesso to good (100% rag), heavy, pre-stretched watercolor paper. It’s a great way to use up your failed watercolors – just gesso them out of existence after you’ve learned all they have to teach you and paint away again. For fun, try watercolor on gesso. If you keep loose, the effects are quite beautiful.

I’m wondering why your canvas paper is buckling so anyway. Are you thinning your acrylics with a lot of water and using them transparently like watercolors? If so, you should be on a watercolor paper ground anyway, hot-pressed or gessoed if you don’t like the texture of cold-pressed. Here’s the info on the supplier I use. I’ve been very pleased with their service and quality, and their prices are GREAT. Their “Starving Artist” line of supplies would be ideal for supplies for your beginning artists, being of good quality and inexpensive.

Cheap Joe’s
374 Industrial Park Drive
Boone, NC 28607

Here comes my two cents’ worth…
Copying works of masters and illustrators is a fine way of extending one’s visual “vocabulary,” discovering how certain effects can be achieved, and honing one’s draughtsmanship somewhat. The first lessons in _Drawing With Children_ makes excellent use of this exercise. However, copying is only an exercise, and does not produce original artwork. I understand how thrilling it is to look at your child’s paper and see for the first time a veritable masterpiece of drawing copywork. How did he do that?! No one in our family has ever had any talent in art! It’s WONDERFUL!

To respond to those exclamations in order:
He visually analyzed a picture and drew what he understood. Drawing is a learned skill as much as a natural talent. (Compare music.) Yes, it is indeed wonderful. Rejoice! THEN… Make sure he signs and dates his work, adding “from _________” to note the source. This vital act of integrity is often overlooked, I am afraid. A copy is just that, a copy. Someone else has done the work of creating, and the student has copied the result. We may be amazed at their craftsmanship, but we must be careful not let it cloud the issue of originality and end up encouraging plagiarism. When your child copies the Gettysburg address, you don’t show it to all your friends and claim that it is an original composition, do you? Of course not.

How do we move on to original work, then? Let’s take an example. If your child, as someone suggested, copies a foliage border by Johannah Bluedorn, have her sign and date the work, acknowledging as well her indebtedness to Miss Bluedorn for reducing the subject to two dimensions and making the multitude of decisions entailed in any illustration. (There’s a handy Latin phrase for this, much better than the English “from” or “drawn from.” Does anyone recall it?) Then encourage her to do her own border. Perhaps she could use the sweet potato vine growing from the jar in the kitchen for reference, or the ivy by the front door. She may need to refer often to Johannah’s work as she discovers difficulties and ask, “How did Johannah make that work? Could I do the same thing, or the same thing with a slight variation?” Your child’s self-created work may seem much inferior to the copy at first, but nevertheless the original work is the one to frame, to reproduce for stationery, or to decorate a book she’s making in school. I think that as we are diligent to make the distinction between copies and original works, we will find that our child’s artwork improves, and that they also appreciate and respect the work of others.

To answer Maribel’s question about art instruction and the Trivium model, copying is a grammar stage exercise, the original work based on the same idea as the copy, where the student is figuring out on his own how to accomplish what he envisions would be the logic stage. This is where most people stop. Only when the process has become a tool of expression is the rhetoric stage reached, and this will only happen with lots of practice and drawing from LIFE, not two-dimensional references… but that’s fuel for another letter.

May all our creative efforts be committed to and guided by the Creator of all,

With His love,
Katherine (still in Cambodia)
Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002
Subject: Re: The Fallacy Detective

Dear Nathaniel,

I am a pastor in Yugoslavia, and professor at the seminary in Yugoslavia. I am certain that the book that you coauthored (The Fallacy Detective), would be valuable for the people in my country.

I come across your ad in World magazine which I found here in California. At the moment I am staying with my friends in Sacramento who have given me an opportunity to collect materials and do a research in the area of Christian Apologetics. I have a doctoral degree from the Fuller Theological Seminary, and since my graduation in 1995 I have been teaching theology at the theological Seminary in Belgrade. In addition to my teaching I found ministry called “The Quest” with the main purpose to promote Christian World View and its values. It is composed of number of ministers and teachers from different denominational background (Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Pentecostals etc). However, we are faced with many challenges. Because the Protestants are in the minority, we do not enjoy an equal treatment with predominant and many times politically oriented Serbian Orthodox Church. Our public crusades and lectures are often hindered and many times forbidden.

One of the most recent examples is of a friend of mine who, after his conversion in 1994, decided to study paleontology at the Belgrade’s University in order to be better equipped as a Creationist. He graduated first in his class and was awarded the state scholarship for his post-graduate work. However, he was expelled from the University, because he appeared on the government run television station and argued the case for the intelligent design. The producer of the show was also fired. We have translated many popular Christian books with the emphasis on at the Christian living, apologetics and controversy Creation versus Evolution. I myself have authored the book Atheism versus Christianity in which I tried to present rational basis for the Christian belief. It was well received and I published the second, expanded edition. Although the 97% Serbs are confessed Orthodox Christian, most of them are at core atheists with only loose connection to the Orthodox Church. This is due to the Communism which reigned for over 50 years in our country, after which it collapsed. Those who were once Communists left the Party and joined the Orthodox Church, but have not change their worldviews. The Church does little, if anything in that regard.

We live in economically impoverished country, and we are forced to finance the ministry with our own personal funds and a few contributions from others. I wish I could get as many relevant materials for our ministry as possible, but it is financially impossible. Thank you and may God bless you.

Jovan Ilijev
Sacramento, California
Quotes of the Day:

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight. Robertson Davies

My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. A. A. Milne
Date: Fri, 04 Oct 2002
From: Gary Heskje
Subject: comparing Latin programs

Harvey, Laurie, or anyone else on the Loop,

I would like some information on The Latin Road to English Grammar and the Latina Christiana programs as compared to Artes Latinae. Can you really study grammar/Latin simultaneously? LREG recommends 4th grade level grammar work completed before beginning their program. Latina Christiana recommends following phonics with Latin instruction or 3rd grade on? Why is Artes Latinae not discussed on their websites? Am I missing something here? Or is this just a classic case of good old competition of products?

We have just begun our 2 oldest daughters (11 and almost 13) in Latin (with 5 others to follow).
Any help in understanding the differing approaches would be most helpful. ML
Our seminar tape Learning Classical Languages (see our online catalog) discusses the three different approaches to learning a language: deductive, inductive, and programmed interactive. In the index of our book Teaching the Trivium we list the different Latin curricula and note which approach is used.

Yes, you can study English grammar along with Latin grammar. In fact, many people remark that they learn English grammar better while studying Latin grammar, or any language grammar, for that matter. Laurie
Taken from The Wonders of Bible Chronology by Philip Mauro

“It is safe to say that, if Genesis 5 were not in the Bible, and if a tablet were exhumed, say in Assyria or Egypt, bearing the same concise statistical statements, it would be hailed as the most wonderful and valuable relic of antiquity. And not only so, but many who attach little or no importance to the statements as found in the Bible, would give full credence to the very same statements, if recorded by some unknown Egyptian or Babylonian sinner.”

Ain’t it the truth!
From: Mommyhood
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002
Subject: Questions about teaching multi-levels/Walk of Faith

<<How do you handle teaching several students at the same time? >>

I have the SAME AGES and number of children! (8 under 13 years) What Laurie said about keeping them all together is true and very helpful, but we still needed to scale back even FARTHER. Most because I was SOOO unprepared for this adult life! BUT, the Lord chose my upbringing so His grace and mercy will prevail! I feel so at odds and asking at times… How do I do this in pregnancy? What’s a truly “good” diet for my family? What about spelling? That’s a fruit, what is it? Are they getting enough protein? How can I get 12 hours more in the day? I feel as if I LEARNING about being a biblical wife, mother, homeschooling teacher, dietitian, cook, maid, farmer, health care professional, beautician, parent, etc., etc., etc., all at the SAME time! Get the picture! Oh, BTW, that “learning” didn’t include fumbling about trying to DO them all daily. 🙂 Now, I KNOW the Lord had a better plan than this and the last thing I want for my children is to be as unprepared for adult life as I was… I went to school, went to college and did it prepare me for this…SOME! I would say 1/4 of what I learned I use now. SAD. I want them to know LIFE skills FIRST. Why have another generation trying to play “catch up”? EVEN, if it does SEEM to slow them down a bit by the world’s standard’s, are we all the same and why should they set the standard anyway! Shouldn’t our children have a good base in basic SURVIVAL SKILLS before or along with academic learning?

Now, there may be those of you out there that have been brought up in this way of life that it comes so natural for you. But, I would guess that many of us have no clue about this home making, homeschooling stuff! Meaning, there are those of you that can fly and really get into the nitty gritty of Latin, for example, but there are those of us that are wanting to get there and still taking baby steps. BUT, we WILL be there someday! And… it just might take a generation! 🙂

So, where do we begin when it seems the things we are doing are ALL important and we’ve already cut back? What’s left to go when there’s no more? We’ve had to ask ourselves… What’s most important for the children to learn? What most important for us to learn as a family? What’s most important for me to learn as a homemaker? What’s most important for my husband to learn? Can you tell this has been my husband’s and mine main topic lately? 🙂

My husband’s answer for me… Stop departmentalizing and put it ALL together! So, that’s what we are doing! To quit departmentalizing and specializing in children we are not “home schooling” using spelling books, math books, geography books, etc., right NOW. BUT, we are doing TONS of study. Yes, this includes all those academic subjects but this is a BYPRODUCT not the goal! Nice byproduct I might add. 🙂 Hey, we are HOME schooling! How about that!

We also have reached a point that we cannot go on without being SERIOUS about doing spiritual warfare and prayer. I don’t mean just intellectually learning about it but PRACTICING it as individuals and families. The family is under SOOO much attack and stress being pulled all different directions these days. We “fight not against flesh and blood” and this is what we often get sidetracked doing in larger families. Stuck in the cares of this world … and then accomplishing nothing of lasting value even if it meant multiple hours “beating the wind” in book work or whatever else. (Not that it’s bad to use them as tools but there are other ways to learn too.) In prayer is where we get direction on what our daily needs and goals should be. If we don’t start here what foundation are we really building our family on, our lives on, our children’s FUTURE lives on, OR our children’s lives on? Now, is that looking down the road enough for you? When it comes to actually practicing serious prayer and fasting I find very FEW home schooling families doing it… Sadly, I would also have to admit that the ONLY reason I’m here is there is no other hope, but GOD! There is nothing left of me in this flesh and no other way to do it! (I don’t mean with the cancer, I’m doing great guys! Thanks for your prayers! God is still a HEALER! We were going through this BEFORE the cancer.) But, then isn’t that when the Lord moves? God does not like to share credit. All glory MUST be truly His. I’m sooo excited to see what the Lord has in store for us!

So, where are WE at? Remember, each families immediate needs and what they will be learning will be different. For example, we are learning about nutrition as a family. This effects EVERYONE, not just the children. How to eat, shop, cook, garden, and etc. Our family has learned volumes here and we practice it too! Remember, “trivium method.” Yes, it does fits like a charm even here! Experiencing God IN creation and getting back to nature. Oh WOOOOOW!!!! Have I been doing writing … nope. BUT, it happens. Have I done reading … nope. BUT, it happens. (BTW, micro cassettes work well here for documenting and keep a camera around. We also keep writing, dictation, etc. papers.) Get the idea… Now, before you go off thinking I’m an unschooler… in the sense of not having a plan for home schooling… NOT!!! Learning doesn’t just happen. We do have to learn to discover, to look at the lessons God has place right in front of our eyes. To pick them apart and ask questions… This has to be learned. The hardest thing to learn even for us parents is LISTENING. Are we having problem with little Johnny listening? How often do we take time to just listen for God’s voice? Ok, this is convicting for me too!

Now, if we are in serious daily prayer about “what” the Lord wants us to learn as a family for the day, is God going to give us a stone when we ask for bread? “Give us this day our DAILY BREAD…” Doesn’t that mean ALL our daily needs, including the lesson plan? Yes, He can give us unit studies to follow for months at a time but I hope we are using them as HE directs and not relying on them instead of God as our SOURCE and GUIDE. See the difference? He could change at anytime. And yes, over the months you will be able to look back a see a wonderfully woven fabric plan that no educational publisher could have ever tailored WITH your family in mind. Again, doesn’t it come down to a walk by faith and not by sight issue? But, you see in family prayer this is where it ALL happens… You get guidance, the children begin to learn to seek God’s guidance for THEIR individual lives and THEIR individual learning in their teens… We’re not going to be around forever… Life is sooo fragile…

Well, I could go on and on but I’ll quit!

Love you and I hope I have been some help to you large families out there…

Mrs. John B.
From: “pns”
Subject: learning disability?
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002

Can anyone give me any input on how to correct reversing letters and numbers?

My daughter is 8, and randomly reverses letters and numbers. She’s never had an interest in writing on her own. She does write as she plays. She creates books, cards, letters, etc., but not very often. It’s very hard to distinguish if it’s laziness (which she is prone to), or if she’s just not there yet.

She’s doing well reading, but there again doesn’t take the initiative on her own. We did TATRAS phonics, and tried the finger clock to practice letter formation. That didn’t help. She definitely favors auditory learning. Loves books on tape, listening to me read, singing and whistling ALWAYS (suppose I should treasure that while she’s this age and at home).

I have a friend who also homeschools that has a child with several learning disabilities, trouble reading, reversing letters and numbers, and various other things. She told me that reversing the letters and numbers is a sign of a learning disability. The reason she thought of my daughter is because she also still sucks her thumb, which goes along with the signs of learning disabilities also. Does anyone have any experience with any of this learning disability stuff? Pam
From: AwwGee
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002
Subject: Re: Latin w/Grammar

Grammar and Latin at the same time has made the study of both MUCH easier for my son in 2nd grade. He blew through Matin Latin 1 by April while doing Easy Grammar. Question: When he finishes Matin Latin 2, is it wise to start Latina Christiana 1? I was considering spending the rest of the year translating Cat in the Hat and Fairy Tales, he’s getting good at translating but is tired of the subject matter he translates in Matin Latin (farmers and forums, forums and farmers). In His Love, Audrey Hussey
From: “drjl”
Subject: When Should A Student Be Expected to Study Independently?
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002

My son is 11 years old and has trouble calming down well enough to do quality work. He is in constant motion and reads very rapidly (missing a great deal of the message of what he is reading). I try to read aloud with him (we’re reading through the Landmark books together now as we study history) and read textbooks, directions, etc. with him also. Very few of the homeschool moms I know work as closely with their older children. Am I doing him a disservice by not demanding that he settle down and pay attention? He is very intelligent and he doesn’t eat much sugar at all. He’s the type of child a teacher might think needed medication, but of course I wouldn’t go that route.

Thanks in advance for any and every answer!
From: JimNan77
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002
Subject: Teaching the Trivium

I purchased your book at our local Christian bookstore this week and am having a hard time putting it down! What I have found most helpful are the balanced approach, practical suggestions, and the scriptural and historical context you provide for this method of education. We are 16 yr. veterans of homeschooling and have 4 children from 11-21 yrs. old. I have used many methods over the years and just haven’t seemed to find a “home” in any one. What you have written has helped to confirm what I have concluded on my own : there is no one RIGHT way, but there are some tools that work better than others to accomplish what we as Christian parents desire for our children. The more I learn, the more I see the shabbiness of my own “government school” education. Another book I am reading along with yours is Gatto’s “The Underground History of American Education”. While written from a secular perspective, it gives clear insight into things we have determined were wrong but hadn’t the information to know how they came to be and why. I am looking forward to applying myself to a more classical way of learning along with our children.
Sincerely, Nan Haines, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002
From: (Mrs Kirsty Swears)

city: Hamilton
country: New Zealand
message: As a state-trained secondary school teacher and now full time homeschooling wife and mother, I am learning and unlearning so much – Romans 12.2. Thank you for this website, and for your book Teaching the Trivium, you are helping me greatly in the process of “transformation”. The hardest thing is finding the time to digest and apply all I am learning.
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 21
From: “Kendra Fletcher” <
Subject: Comparing History Guides

Dear Loop,

Though not an expert on the subject, I am quite a history buff and have spent time using several of the guides mentioned in Mary Lou’s e-mail requesting feedback. Before reading what follows, please understand that what I have written is simply a compendium of Fletcher Family opinion, and you can take it or leave it as such. We make great use of our county’s well-stocked library, often reserving stacks of books via the Internet and then arriving at the library to find them ready to check out at the front desk. Next to the crock pot, this is the homeschooling mother’s greatest help. When embarking upon a period study, I use Christine Miller’s book All Through the Ages as if it were the only guide I own. I open to the appropriate section, sit down at the computer, and then reserve everything that appeals to me. It is worth the cost, saving me many hours of browsing the library catalogue or trying to entertain toddlers while rummaging through the shelves of books there. We are native Californians, and thanks to our California-centered public school education, are rather familiar with our state’s history. When beginning a unit study of sorts on California history at the beginning of last summer, I originally turned to the Beautiful Feet guide entitled Our Golden California. While we enjoyed each of the historical fiction selections recommended by Beautiful Feet for this study, we were turned off by what we thought to be a presumptuous approach to California history. We tend to struggle with the premise that all of American history has an underlying Providential plan that includes a wholly Christian nation; we do not doubt God’s ordination of the events in our state’s (or country’s) history, but we do not subscribe to the presumption that His purpose here was to necessarily create a Christian state, or that our state’s founders had God’s will in mind. If this is not a hurdle for your family, and especially if you do lean toward a Providential approach to history, then Beautiful Feet guides may be what you’re looking for. In addition, you will probably also like the Peter Marshall/David Manuel series for children (The Light and the Glory, Sounding Forth the Trumpet, From Sea to Shining Sea), especially in the grammar stage. While my grammar-stage boys have loved the format of these books (the stories are very exciting), I cannot agree with everything written. In the first book, the statement is made that Columbus had God’s great glory in mind; I tend to subscribe to the idea that he had the Roman Catholic church’s great glory in mind, as he was a Catholic and was funded by a government that systematically cleansed all Protestants from their empire. I realize that what I wrote here may incite great argument, but that is not my intent. I merely feel that clarifying approaches might be helpful to those considering history curriculum. Susan Wise Bauer’s guide entitled The Story of the World and its accompanying activity guide are a breath of fresh air. The planning is done. You will need (want) to add historical fiction, but if you want a good grammar stage text with something for the children to color, create, and remember while you read, this might certainly be the book for you. I have not used it yet as we will be back at the beginning of Creation next year, but I am really looking forward to using it for my little ones. I did not love the Usborne Book of World History, as suggested in The Well-Trained Mind, and I am happy that Mrs. Bauer has given us something in lieu of the Usborne. Have you considered the Veritas Press history cards? They are lovely, laminateable, and can be laid out all over the house in order. Someday I hope my children will remember the order of world events by where the corresponding card was in our home. I imagine a conversation going like this: “Dad, was the Battle of Little Big Horn before or after the Spanish American War?” “Well, son, the Battle of Little Big Horn was in the hall next to my bedroom door, and the Spanish American war was next to the bathroom, so Little Big Horn came first”. Finally, I am so grateful to have heard Mr. and Mrs. Bluedorn speak here in Modesto several years ago because they emphasized reading great historical fiction aloud. I am convinced that seeing historical sites firsthand and reading historical fiction will leave an indelible mark on the minds of our children, and I am already so pleased to see them “turned on” to history in a way I did not know until I discovered historical fiction as a child myself. Certainly, watching Monty Python’s Holy Grail in my high school sophomore World History class didn’t do it. I’m not making this up. Yet another reason to educate at home. Blessings, Kendra Fletcher
From: AwwGee
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002
Subject: Re: Guerber Histories

I have been using the Guerber History “The Story of Rome” with my 8 yob at the same time as the Greenleaf Guide to Famous Men of Rome. Although it seems repetitive, it highlights small differences in the telling of scantily evidenced historical fact in early Rome (minor factual differences, to be precise). The Guerber book provides a much better literary style, more interesting to my son, while the Greenleaf book gives us exercises to put to use. He prefers days when i read from Guerber, of course, because there are no writing assignments. However, I get most of his vocabulary words from Greenleaf.

I bought the Hillyer book, but found myself only reading a couple of chapters that pertained to the time period we were studying. I think with my 5 yog I will read it all in 1st grade to give a nice overview of history, it’s cute style really pulls them in. I skipped the chapter on cave men and the big bang, and read Adam and His Kin by Beechick first.
From: “T. Courtney”
Subject: Timelines
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2002

Parthenon Graphics Timeline Poster

New Release: The first in a set of four, from the Classical Education Timeline Series. Timeline of The Ancient World 5000 BC to 400 AD. The Classical Education Timeline series is designed specifically for the needs of the Classical Educator, with time periods and topics reflecting the suggested methodology. The Classical Education set is an overview of world history, and can be used in conjunction with our more specific timelines, such as The Timeline of Ancient Egypt, or The Timeline of Christianity. All of our timelines are designed to support existing books and teaching material. Using our timelines with your lesson plan will help the student visualize history in a way that will not only create interest, but spark curiosity and wonder. All of our timelines are laminated for durability (and dry erase markers),
and come with mounting pads that will not damage your walls. $12.95 ea.
Parthenon Graphics Timelines
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002
Subject: American History
From: kathy_terry

For your highschoolers I recommend Clarence Carson’s A Basic History of the United States. It is published by the American Textbook Committee. Their mission is to “provide books that will illuminate the American heritage, make clear the connection between constitutionally limited government and individual liberty, and describe as accurately as possible the background, developments, principles, and moral and spiritual framework within which freedom is most likely to exist.” My 17-year-old is reading this along with Joy Hakim’s A Story of Us, which provides easier reading, short vignettes, snippets of interest and a contrasting viewpoint. Grateful for learning about the Trivium, Kathy Terry
From: “Meko E White”
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002

As an historian and a book addict I have bought (and discarded) numerous history curricula. Greenleaf Press Famous Men series was my first purchase, it has some value but it seems incomplete compared to other curricula – we will use it as a supplement. I like Ancient History: Adam to Messiah by Robin Sampson but my children (4, 4, 4, and 2) are too young for it. The one I really like and find very easy to follow and adapt for my little ones is the “Life in America” series. I tried the Noah Plan but it was seriously labor intensive. The Life in America Series is a gem and a keeper without compromising biblical principles. In Christ, Meko White
I’d like to add to the above discussion that you can get Clarence Carson’s books on audio tape at Blackstone AudioBooks ( One year we listened to A Basic History of the United States, and just this week I ordered the tapes of Basic Government and Basic Economics. Laurie
From: “Jeannie Fulbright”
Subject: History
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002

I have: A Child’s History of the World, All through the Ages, Truthquest and Tapestry of Grace, and A World of Adventure. I enjoyed a Child’s History of the World for a entertaining briefing through the major happenings of world history, though it barely touches on American History at all. It is fun to read for children and adults. I recommend it as a ‘spine’ if you will, though you would need a good filled in timeline to add in other relevant facts and information about concurrent, people and civilizations in order to get a more complete picture of world history. We’ve used All Through the Ages some. They have decent book selections. I think they make excellent choices for the dialectic or rhetoric student, but their grammar stage literature selections leave much to be desired. We are currently using Tapestry of Grace. It is great for rhetoric and good for dialectic. It goes too rapidly through each phase in history. But one could slow down and take two years to do the one year curriculum. It’s nice because she has all the relevant information written out for you in the teacher notes, so you don’t have to study in other text to learn what your child is going to learn when they read. Also it gives great assignments that are challenging and help retention and reasoning out the facts they learned. I’ve heard some complain that the pace was keeping their child from really retaining anything. So, again, one year should probably be spread out into two. We have not actually used Learning Adventures (A World of Adventure), though it sits on the shelf. I did notice that, for each time period studied, only one book is required reading. I am assuming they use the information in the book as a jumping off point to study different aspects of life during that time period. It’s a unit study, so has everything included except math. Science is even studied in this curriculum. I looks like fun, but not highly rigorous. Our favorite so far would definitely be the Truthquest guides. They are simply wonderful. Her book suggestions I’ve found no where else and they have been delightful. However, I do have the benefit of living in a city that is almost 300 years old and the library has every out of print book one could ever hope to check out. Most of her book suggestions are, indeed, out of print. But they are simply precious and enjoyable. I wouldn’t be without a Truthquest guide for supplemental reading. Warmly, Jeannie
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002
Subject: Re: Truthquest History
From: Karen Glass

I’ve worked through a couple of Truthquest History guides with my children, and read several more on my own. This is probably the single finest history resource available to the homeschooler, unless you happen to be a history scholar already. These guides contain commentary and book suggestions, but can be used with *any* set of appropriate books–the ones you own, or the ones available at the library. This is a huge advantage, from my perspective, because it allows you to incorporate out-of-print treasures if you have access to them, but doesn’t absolutely require you to track them down. The guide is not full of hands-on projects or busy-work, but contains commentary that is written to the student. Very important philosophical and worldview issues are presented in simple, matter-of-fact language. The author (Michelle Miller) encourages us to look for God’s principles as he deals with nations. Children learn to ask two simple questions about each culture/country–what do they believe about God, and what do they believe about man? This can be discovered as you read about each culture, and once you figure it out, you can discover how their beliefs affected their country. The guides are very comprehensive, taking you through the major events in each time period, but you are free to spend as much or little time as you like as you move along. This isn’t a “day by day” curriculum with assignments laid out for you. This could be a strength or a weakness, depending upon your personal needs, but I prefer it this way. There are “ThinkWrite” questions throughout the book which can be the basis for oral or written work. So many of us, as homeschooling parents, are approaching ancient history or medieval history for the first time. It’s easy for us to get caught up in learning about things we missed as children–pyramids, swords and armor, and so on–and overlook the deeper principles that make history important. In my opinion, no matter *what* curriculum or resources you are using with your children, the Truthquest Guides make a wonderful supplement for the *parent*. Would it be worth $20 and an evening or two of reading for you to get an overview of a time period, and have a deeper grasp of what your children could be learning and looking for as you work through your material? You will get a quick overview of time period, but more importantly, a deeper look at the principles and ideas that fueled the events. And Truthquest Guides are so easy to read–like a friend chatting over coffee and donuts–that your introduction into philosophy will be virtually painless. (And you’ll have no trouble reselling the guide if you decide not to keep it after reading it yourself. <g>) One of the nicest advantages of Truthquest is that the guides are already available from ancient history to…almost!…the present. The last guides, going through the 20th century, are nearly finished though. Karen Glass
I want to say “Amen” to what Karen Glass has written above and add a few comments. I have two of Michelle Miller’s guides, “Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece” and “Ancient Rome.” I love the cautions that Michelle gives us. At numerous points she suggests that we be careful in our study of ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilization, and she shows us which books would not be appropriate for young children or even some older students. There is just enough commentary throughout the books to guide us and keep us on the correct path so that we won’t leave out any important historical events or people. A family is free to spend as long or as little time at each stop on the timeline as they wish. If you are studying ancient civilizations you will probably want to get these two guides. I wish I had had these when my children were young. Laurie
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002
From: Pilgrim South
Subject: History Curriculums….

History Curriculum
We have spent the 2 years researching and gathering materials for a Classical Approach to home schooling for our 14 year old son (last child at home) as well as all our grandchildren that are up and coming. What makes it easier is that we all live on approx. 12 acres in our own houses so we can easily share materials. Our two daughters (home schooled) are now grown, have gone through beautiful courtships, married and are now wonderful mothers and homeschoolers themselves. I would like to share what we are using with our son (for Ancient History) and then ask that if anyone else has used the same materials all the way through with older children? I would be very interested in hearing their opinion of how it all actually worked out in the final test of the pudding 🙂

We have:
The Bluedorn’s Book
Susan Wise Bauer’s Book
All the Henty books for our study this year and next (they are all marked with the year’s so we read them in the right place.
Diana Waring’s Ancient Civilizations and the Bible Vol. I Book A
What in the World’s Going on Here Vol. I (audio tapes)
True Tales from the times of Ancient Civilizations and the Bible
More True Tales from the times of Ancient Civilizations and the Bible
Parthenon Graphics Time Lines (we have 12 of them including the new one and love them)
Wall Chart of the World by Edward Hull
V.M. Hillyer’s A Child’s History of the World
V.M. Hillyer’s Young People’s Story’s Set with Teachers Guide
Susan Wise Bauer’s History materials,
The Veritas History and Bible Cards
A Christian Survey of World History by Rousas John Rushdoony
All Through the Ages C. Miller
Western Civilizations Textbook
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
Unborne History of the World
Greenleaf Guide to Ancient Egypt
Streams of Civilization Text.
The Time Tables of History by Grun
Understanding the Times by David A Noebel
How Should We Then Live by Francis Schaeffer
Repairing The Ruins by Douglas Wilson
Building a Christian World View Vol. I Hoffecker Smith
Plus oodles of resource books from Veritas Press Catalog suggestions (I went looking for many of what they recommend used to save money) Plus other wonderful used resource books suggested by Diana Waring from sales at Libraries, used on the internet etc. We love them all and I emphasize ALL. We incorporate all of them in some way. We use Diana Warings materials and V.M. Hillyer’s as our backbone and pull from everywhere. Diana’s materials and tapes for an older child are wonderful. The first day our son didn’t seem too interested but by the next day he didn’t want it turned off! We know that one person wouldn’t need all the materials that we have gathered. You could probably give a child an adequate education with one major back bone but….we are laying a heritage for our grandchildren with our library to be used by all ages. And, our son is able to then have the advantage of all of these wonderful things. Both Hillyer and Susan Wise Bauer do not begin with creation but Diana Waring does and she is very grounded and strong on creation. We obtained several resources on the topic suggested by her as well as her breathtaking tapes! We just love these! I would not throw out Susan’s book because she isn’t strong on Creation (and we are firm creationists) or V.M. Hillyer’s books either for the same reason. They both have many redeeming points. Actually, we used Hillyer’s A Child’s History with our 2 older daughters years ago and had they been small now we would use it and Susan’s again! And they are here for our Grandchildren! With Hillyer’s you just skip the first part and read Genesis! They loved Hillyer. As for Susan’s you just begin with Creation and her book and you have a great beginning for a young child. My favorite backbone would include Diana Warings materials, however. With all this said however, we began (and we think this is critical with a child our son’s age) with Building a Christian World View. We started with Building a Christian World View Vol. I. The first week alone our son was taught more than we ever learned in school as a foundation. I could hardly put the book down myself! We also are teaching out of Understanding the Times but it is very large and will take quite some time to work through it so just a little at a time is giving our son food for thought and laying a great cement foundation of truth. Hope this helps someone and if someone has used these and has wisdom for us, please do write back Blessings, Pilgrim South
From: “White Oak Classical Academy”
Subject: Re: History/literature curricula
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002

Dear Harvey and Laurie,
Thank you for the opportunity to introduce a new history curriculum just completed last month. Home-Made History: 400-1600 AD is a chronological, classically rich, cross-curricula study of the Middle Ages, Renaissance & Reformation for grammar and logic stage students. The student text contains 32 weekly summaries written at two levels (upper grammar and logic) and vocabulary/discussion questions for each topic. The teacher’s guide contains background information on each topic in a question/answer format, writing assignments, excerpts from historical literature, poetry, Scripture and primary writings for copywork, narration and creative writing assignments, a thorough world geography study, literature suggestions appropriate to each topic, word puzzles for painless review, quarterly review quizzes and various templates for scheduling and writing activities, and a wide selection of art/culture-related activities for enrichment. HMH is easy to use and requires minimal preparation and outside resources. Warm regards, Vicki Hensel, HMH co-author
The Endurance by Caroline Alexander (Books on Tape, Inc. 800-541-5525)
Ernest Shackleton’s attempt to become the first to cross Antarctica on foot.

The Brownies and other stories by J. H. Ewing (first published late 1800’s) Sweet short stories for children (and adults)
From: Katy
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002

reversing the letters and numbers

Don’t know about learning disabilities, but we have had terrific success with Handwriting Without Tears in stopping reversals. Also, my younger child wouldn’t hold a pencil at all and three weeks into HWT he was writing his name. Now after about 2 months he’s doing copywork. Can’t say enough good things about that program! Katy
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002
Subject: Letter Reversals and Learning Disabilities
From: Eugene B Sedy

Dear Pam,
How I hate that term, Learning Disabilities! I strongly believe that there are truly few Learning Disabled kids. It is a new term, invented in the last 30 years as public educators try to cope with kids who have not learned proper phonics, and are not learning in the pace or manner agreed upon by the conventional system. Thank goodness Thomas Edison’s mother did not believe the public school system when they labeled her son an idiot. (That was a term popular at that time.) Okay, enough harping–now about letter reversals. I think this a completely normal developmental thing. All of my children have reversed numbers and letters to one degree or another. My 13yo will still reverse numbers on occasion, and she’s definitely not learning disabled! It sounds to me that you have made an issue of it with your daughter, and now whenever she encounters the issue, she gets stressed out and thinks Auggghhh! All further learning just stops. I say this because I remember doing this myself in school. My mother finally pep-talked me over my mental wall that I had erected. If I were you, I would just ignore the problem for awhile. Here’s how I have handled it with my kiddos: When I encounter reversals in their work, I just say, Oops, you need to turn that ‘b’ around–remember, when the bee comes at you, the stinger comes first. Have them erase the letter and write it correctly as you give the clue. For ‘d,’ we say, When the dog comes to you, the dog face comes first, then the tail. Letter ‘p’ is, Ponytail Polly, and ‘q’ is Queen’s lovely face. You can think of your own reminders if you need to. My 12 yo had trouble with the mechanics of writing until he was around ten. I used to write numbers on stickers which he could then stick on his math worksheets to answer the problems. He had no problem at all learning math concepts, but writing was very frustrating for him, and I didn’t want that hurdle to block him from learning the math he enjoyed. We didn’t avoid handwriting practice, but I kept it separate from his other subjects. I can’t say what happened to help him get over that writing hurdle–one day I noticed that his penmanship was looking very nice! I have noticed that my 9 yo’s reversal problem has disappeared in the last year. She also has been taking a drawing class for the past year–maybe the drawing class has helped her pay attention to detail. (I’m not going to fall to the fallacy of Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc –look it up in the Fallacy Detective!) Since your daughter is auditorily inclined, perhaps verbal cues as she makes her letters would be helpful, like when you make a ‘b,’ you say or whistle, whip (as you draw the line), whew (as you draw the circle). If you put it in a way that suits her learning method, she’ll be more successful remembering. I have a hard time remembering phone numbers, I am a kinesthetic learner–I remember phone numbers better as I memorize the pattern the numbers make as I push the buttons on the telephone! (I’m glad the rotary dial is a thing of the past!) Just because I learn better in a hands-on way does not mean that I am learning disabled–I just do not learn in the way prescribed by most conventional schools. I coped because I found my own ways of learning what I needed to know. I was successful in college, and enjoyed a fulfilling, if not short (!), career as an NICU nurse. I thank God that I had parents who believed in my intelligence and coached me in ways to remember and learn.

Continue to enjoy your daughter’s abilities, and use them to help her over the hurdles. We’re not all Einsteins–some of us are Yoyo Mas or Thomas Edisons!

From: “Frank Rogers”
Subject: “phony” or indirect phonics
Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002

Tacoma, WA
Hi, Mrs Bluedorn, Lorraine and Mr. Hunsburger.

In the article “Eight Tips for Helping First Graders to Read” I made the comment that indirect phonics was considered “phony phonics” by direct phonics advocates.

Lorraine (In HWTT #292) gently made the comment that maybe “indirect phonics” might work for some children and suggested that the parents of “special education students…who ‘will not read,'” should consider the work of Mr. Tom Hunsburger of Little Sparrows Ministries. Mr Hunsburger was a 20-year or more special education teacher in the public schools.

Like her, I encourage people to contact Mr. Hunsburger and become acquainted with the products of his company. What makes me feel her comments require an answer is that she is making very specific claims that are similar to many made by public school special ed teachers, “occupational therapists” and some on-line resources for parents of severely handicapped children. Claims that I feel are erroneous.

That is the claim that “phonics does not work with these children” and that “letter groupings that are larger than phonetic groupings do work.”

For “special ed” students, few homeschooling parents that have pulled their children out of a public school would doubt the value of direct, systematic phonics. The “special ed” problems are usually created by lack of systematic, effective phonics in schools, Christian and public, in the early grades.

The true tragedy comes not with most “spec ed” students but with those children with specific neurological deficits. Parents of these children must make the choice: Do we start with “phonics” or “whole word memorization?” With such children the first time must count because they may not have a second chance.

Such children can often demonstrate very good word memorization skills for a limited number of words and read text with the words they’ve memorized. But in the long term whole word memorization for such children is a dead end. The time of their life when they would have been most effective in learning the phonics habit, left to right decoding of words, will have passed. And most did not have the intuitive skills required to learn “indirect phonics.” The child’s very slow learning capacity made intuitive learning of phonics a baffling activity. He got conflicting messages from many English words such as: of and off, have and gave.

As you start a whole word memorization program for your very slow or autistic child you will measure progress by the words he learns. You can only hope that a year or 18 months later he will have intuitively learned the phonics facts and that now, as he is finally told about left to right decoding, he will be able to apply this most difficult skill of all.

TATRAS on the other hand, using direct vertical phonics, will teach a child the sounds of four phonograms, one at a time, using as much time as it takes and using multisensory techniques. Not until the child can say the sounds of these phonograms five times in half a minute will he start learning the phonics habit of left to right decoding. His first word will be at. Several times a day the child will demonstrate his ability to provide the sounds of the first four phonograms. Once a day you will give him a half minute timing and log the results. You will be able to document long term progress on his phonics “facts.” Each day he will go from left to right and decode at. Later he will use the same technique on sat. The most often occurring words in the English language will follow. After he has decoded at maybe 200 times he will know it instantly and no longer use phonics. (The normal child will probably do it after 40 decodings) Some students may be able to place flash cards in a wood rack to spell words he is also learning to read.

All the elements are now in place. With much repetition a student can learn the phonic facts. With much repetition he will start acquiring a sight word vocabulary of the most frequently used words in English. Progress can be assessed by the number of phonograms for which he knows the sounds, by the number of words he can decode and by the number of words he know instantly. Very early on parents will be able to sense the long term benefits of TATRAS for a slow learning child.

If a visual processing impairment exists, he may never learn very many instant or “sight words.” He may for the rest of his life process most printed words by sounding out words quickly. But he will be able to read. Phonics will have been a lifesaver. Whole word memorization would have been disastrous for a child who could not memorize the required “sight words” required by a non-phonics method.

There are some children that will never learn how to read. Some children will learn by any method of instruction. But if your child is have a reading problem we urge you to consider the TATRAS logic of (1) vertical phonics (2) sequentially teaching the phonograms based on the frequency with which they occur in English, and (3) teaching the 500 most often occurring words to the point where they are instantly known.

I talked to Mr. Hunsburger on the phone and found him a very nice individual. We both served in Vietnam. He was there with the U.S. Army infantry during the Tet offensive, I was in the Air Force and arrived in-country about a year later. I am forwarding him information on TATRAS. (His address, email address and tel nr are in HWTT #292)

Thanks, Lorraine, for indirectly arranging our introduction. Hopefully future discussions between these two vets will result in schools and homes turning out better readers.

R’spy, Frank Rogers, TATRAS
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002
From: “Linda Trumbo”

KONOS and Classical Education

When we began homeschooling in 1987, my husband and I wanted to teach our children in the best way possible. Our convictions and experience led us to adopt a book-centered, rather than text centered, approach in our home that was mindful of the developmental progress of our children. Discussion, writing, fine music and art were important in our daily lives. At that time, I wasn’t aware that there was a term “classical” which encompassed what we believed and how we taught. KONOS provided a good vehicle for me as it allowed me to teach everyone together while still tailoring reading and activities to the individual needs of my children.

Over the past few years, “classical” education has become the focal point of much discussion and seems to be the preferred method for homeschooling. However, as I’ve talked with many, many families about homeschooling, I’ve discovered that I need to have folks define what they mean when they ask me what I think of a classical education.

Here are the definitions I’ve seen over the years:

1. Following the developmental model of the Trivium, with an emphasis on the written word, reasoning, and written communication at each stage. (This happens to be my personal understanding of classical education.)
2. Using old books that someone has designated “classics”.
3. Using school textbooks from the 19th century exclusively.
4. Following a rigid chronological approach to history.
5. Including Latin and/or Greek in a student’s course work.

In recent years, The Well Trained Mind has offered a structure and sequence that many families find appealing. Since I’ve worked with KONOS for so many years, many folks have asked me to compare WTM and KONOS.

In so far as WTM utilizes real books instead of textbooks, it is very much in keeping with the classical model. Children learn to read as soon as they are able and books are a natural part of daily life. Reading is a source of pleasure as well as information. Communication is important, with WTM emphasizing early development of writing and composition skills. KONOS also relies on real books for pleasure and information. Communication skills are emphasized through a variety of methods. Dialog is an important component of KONOS. This isn’t the parent standing up delivering information; this is a family model of sharing ideas, seeking clarification, challenging one another’s thinking, and encouraging concise and gracious language. Writing is a part of daily instruction, but younger ones are encouraged to develop their thinking skills with dialog and dramatization while they’re working on their budding writing abilities.

The area that concerns me most with the WTM model is the lowering of the age for the grammar stage. In the original contemporary classical model (“The Lost Tools of Learning”) the grammar stage was considered to begin at the age of 9 or so. The Bluedorns advocate this same starting point, I’m happy to say. The WTM, however, would have our 6 yr olds trying to perform at grammar level before it’s developmentally appropriate. In the book Repairing the Ruins, edited by Douglas Wilson, Tom Garfield states, “…grammar elements, once learned, are often best reinforced through the integration of material.” (from an essay entitled “The Trivium Applied in the Elementary) He then goes on to recommend using guided discovery learning, lots of tactile instruction (sensory integration), drama, “hands-on” projects like models and collections, and story-telling. All of these recommended methods are the framework for KONOS! Along with the reading aloud we do and the narration/dialog, the types of activities listed above plus our timeline give a very full and challenging education.

What we don’t do is impose note-taking and hours of workbooks on our younger children. By the time they’re moving out of the grammar stage, their KONOS work becomes more strongly oriented toward research. However, hands-on is still a part of the day for many families because these children who are now moving into the dialectic stage will often be found helping younger siblings work through those activities that were so meaningful for them when they were younger.

What about chronology? I’m not entirely sure where the idea of a chronological approach as an essential element of classical education came from. I haven’t come across it in reading any of Dorothy Sayers materials or reading in the history of education in classical times. It makes a lot of sense for older children who are ready to think in a linear way. Again, the dialectic stage is the perfect time to move into a chronological approach if you so desire. In fact, at the rhetoric stage, KONOS History of the World offers an excellent approach to chronological study with students reading from primary works and developing thinking and writing skills at a more sophisticated level. However, our young ones learn in a more “integrated” way and they must grow into linear thinking through their experiences with family life (the pattern of our days), reading good literature aloud and silently, and communicating effectively with others. To impose a linear approach and expect them to understand and retain seems pretty futile.

We do help our young ones get oriented to the linear nature of history, though, by using a very graphic timeline (pictures, not just a list of names and dates.) We meet their need for concrete material by designing the characters for the timeline to reflect both personality and content pertaining to their significance in history. This fits right in with Dorothy Sayers’ recommendation in her essay “The Lost Tools of Learning” – “The grammar of History should consist, I think, of dates, events, anecdotes, and personalities. A set of dates to which one can peg all later historical knowledge is of enormous help later on in establishing the perspective of history. It does not greatly matter which dates: those of the Kings of England will do very nicely, provided that they are accompanied by pictures of costume, architecture, and all “every-day things,” so that the mere mention of a date calls up a strong visual presentment of the whole period.” [Italics mine]

This describes our KONOS timeline to a “T”!

Classical education is, at the heart, a master-teacher mentoring, or discipling, a younger student. It has to be a mentoring relationship because communication is at the core, both in terms of desired outcome and ongoing methodology. This will not happen if we plop our young ones down with a stack of notebooks and ancient stories and simply run them through a particular syllabus. It was this relational aspect coupled with a commitment to excellence that drew me to KONOS so many years ago. Time and experience have only confirmed that this is the best tool for classical education in our home.
We will soon be putting up pictures of the newest member of our family. This is a very large member — larger than the cows, but not as useful as the cows, but more fun than the cows. I have progressed from being in stark terror of this new member, to allowing her to eat cookies with her velvet lips from my outstretched hand. Tomorrow I am being required to ride this beast, so I want to quickly send this message out today. It will probably be difficult to work on the computer with a broken arm. If you don’t hear from me for awhile, you’ll know why. Farewell. Laurie
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002
From: (William Dicks)

city: Elarduspark x7, Pretoria
country: South Africa

message: I love your website. I just recently discovered Classical Education (CE) and homeschooling with the Trivium. Being from South Africa we never hear about CE and most people nod very knowingly when I bring up the subject but their blank stares give them away. Unfortunately home schooling is in its infancy in South Africa and our governmnt does not want to relinquish their right to be in control of every aspect of South African education. The thoughts in our government is currently that they want to specify to every school (private or not) exactly the curriculum they need to teach. They also are firmly against home schooling. You see, if they allow home schooling they ill have no way of indoctrinating the children of society. Even though South Africa is a democracy, it is a democracy with underlying socialist principles. My interest in the Trivium is to supplement my children’s education with it. I just recently read the book “Recovering the Lost Art of Learning” by Douglas Wilson. It really opened my eyes. Thanks again for your website! God bless!
From: SelahDream
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002

>Does anyone know anything about homeschooling an ADD or ADHD child using the Trivium or any homeschooling curriculum?

I have home schooled for 14 years, and my two oldest sons have ADD and ADHD. My youngest two sons have autism.

The programs that have worked the very best for us are KONOS, and simply reading good, whole books. Before I became familiar with THE TRIVIUM, I was an avid Charlotte Mason fan, and her pointers worked great for my busy, wiggly boys. I find that if I can keep the lessons short–no longer than 15 – 30 minutes — they do best. And when I read to them out loud, an hour or so at a time, I always allow them to draw or work on a puzzle or LEGOs, etc.

We work on etymology with games such as Rummy Roots and “Athens vs. Sparta” that the Bluedorns created years ago. We do a lot of games for drill in all subjects. And we read a LOT!!

KONOS takes a lot of prep time — at least it did when I used it. Now I think they’ve revised it, and I haven’t seen the revisions. Also, my boys seem to focus better if I keep things very visual and rhythmic. We sing a lot of songs for our drills, etc. And there are just dozens of programs out there that set rudimentary skills to music! Grammar Songs is one that comes immediately to mind.

We use Spelling Power for spelling because this eliminates drilling words they already know. We journal daily. Sometimes if they need a topic, I will give it to them, but generally I want them to do their own thinking.

I’m certainly not an expert on the Classical method, yet, but I’m hoping to get there! I think of all the “canned” curriculums I’ve used, KONOS is probably my favorite for kids who have a hard time focusing and sitting still. One thing to think about is that what appears to be ADHD or ADD could actually be giftedness. My children are also considered “gifted” by “the world.” However, I think most children when nurtured 1:1 with Mom and exposed to excellent books, in our culture, could be classified as “gifted.” Just my opinion, of course. Gifted children often need a multi-sensory approach to learning. (On the other hand, ALL children benefit from this approach!) This is another reason I love KONOS so much. It is definitely that and more!

Hope this helps!
Karla Akins
From: MJSSeattle
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002
Subject: Re: Universal History

Dear Laurie,
A couple of months ago, someone wrote briefly about Universal History, by Katherine Dang, and you mentioned that you had just received the book. Have you had a chance to look through it, and to give your opinion? It sounds like a tremendous book, but I wanted to hear from someone who had a copy.
I look forward to hearing from you.Thank you very much, Blessings, Merle (Smith)
Here is a list of history curricula and texts which could be used with our new book. Please note that we may not agree with some of these curricula concerning choice of primary source literature to read.

Beechick, Ruth. Adam and His Kin: The Lost History of Their Lives and Times. Pollock Pines, CA: Arrow Press, 1990. This important book gives children a biblically accurate overview of the book of Genesis, told in a narrative style. We suggest that you read this book to your children before you begin your study of ancient history.

Bloom, Jan. Who Should We Then Read: Authors of Good Books for Children and Young Adults. Cokato, MN: Books Bloom, 1999. This 250 page reference guide contains titles of 140 biographies of authors of great books for children and young adults, and it contains alphabetical lists of quality series such as Landmark, “We Were There,” Vision Biographies, and Childhood of Famous Americans.

Dang, Katherine, ed. Universal History: Volume 1, Ancient History, Law Without Liberty. Oakland, CA: Katherine Dang, 2000. This large, beautiful volume, which matches the other “big, red books” published by the Principle Approach people, is a chronological compilation of excerpts from 18th,19th, and early 20th century history textbooks. Included are numerous detailed timelines, maps, and genealogical charts. This text is the Principle Approach application to ancient history.

Grun, Bernard, based upon Werner Stein’s Kulturfahrplan. The Timetables of History: The world-famous reference that tells who did what when from 4500 B.C. to the present day A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster, first published in 1946, reprinted in 1991. This book lists what happened in the world for every year since Creation. It covers politics, literature, theater, religion, philosophy, learning, visual arts, music, science, technology, growth, and daily life. You will find listed the titles of works by well known and lesser known scientists, historians, and fiction and nonfiction writers.

Guerber, H.A. The Story of the Romans. Ft. Collins, CO: Nothing New Press, originally published 1896, reprinted 2002. If you could judge a book by its cover, then this reprint of Guerber’s Story of the Romans would get an A+. But that’s not the only great thing about this book it’s the literary value that makes me love it. Mrs. Guerber has turned dry history textbook facts into a fascinating, yet accurate and pleasing story that children and adults of all ages will enjoy. I don’t believe in talking down to children, and that’s another reason why I like the Guerber books the vocabulary and sentence structure are complex enough to grab older kids and adults, yet younger children will be perfectly capable of understanding them.

Guerber, H.A. The Story of the Greeks. Ft. Collins, CO: Nothing New Press, originally published 1896, reprinted 2001. Here’s another one of the great Guerber reprints. This one tells the history of the Greek culture in a way that everyone can understand. The black and white illustrations are lovely and can be used for copywork.

Hobar, Linda Lacour. The Mystery of History: Volume I Creation to the Resurrection. Dover, DE: Bright Ideas Press, 2002. The Mystery of History combines a detailed historical narrative with lesson plans, tests, and projects. I love the Biblical emphasis, the thoroughness, the ease of use, and the lay-out of this curriculum. The narrative is both historically accurate (she doesn’t get into speculation or mythology) and entertaining. This curriculum is recommended for grades 4-8, but I think K-3 could also use it.

Hulcy, Jessica, Sarah Rose, and Carole Thaxton. KONOS History of the World: Year One, The Ancient World. Anna, TX: Konos, 1994. KONOS is the earliest model of the unit study curriculum from which all other unit study curricula have been patterned. History of the World consists of Bible study, timeline events, lists of noted people, map study, related vocabulary lists, and activities all taught chronologically beginning with Creation and ending with early Rome. Research, dialog, reading classical literature, and writing are combined with creative and challenging activities to make the study of history light years away from the tedious way we studied history in our public school days. This curriculum says it is geared to students in grades 9-12, but I’m sure some seventh and eighth graders could benefit from it as well.

Hull, Edward. The Wall Chart of World History. U.S.A.: Dorset Press, 1988. Large fold-out timeline. Follows the chronology of Archbishop James Ussher. This is my favorite timeline.

Miller, Christine. All Through the Ages: A Guide to Experiencing History Through Literature. Fort Collins, CO: Nothing New Press, 1997. Extensive compilation of books arranged chronologically and geographically. For all ages.

Miller, Michelle. TruthQuest History. Traverse City, MI: ThinkWrite, L.L.C., 1997-1999. Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece Ancient Rome These study guides, which can be used by students of all ages, contain short, concise historical commentary along with exhaustive book recommendations (both in-print and out-of-print) for every key person and event covered. Also included are writing exercises placed throughout the commentary. I love the cautions that Michelle gives us. At numerous points she suggests that we be careful in our study of ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilization, and she shows us which books would not be appropriate for young children or even some older students. There is just enough commentary throughout the books to guide us and keep us on the correct path so that we won’t leave out any important historical events or people. A family is free to spend as long or as little time at each stop on the timeline as they wish.

Poland and Haaren. Famous Men of Greece. Eds. Rob and Cyndy Shearer. Greenleaf Press.

Poland and Haaren. Famous Men of Rome. Eds. Rob and Cyndy Shearer. Greenleaf Press.

Somerville, Marcia. Tapestry of Grace. Derwood, MD: Books ‘N Kids, Inc., 2001. This comprehensive unit study curriculum combines the subjects of history (studied chronologically), literature, geography, writing, vocabulary, government, fine arts, and church history. Each week the student will read history and literature, discuss what he reads, and communicate what he has learned through writing projects, displays, activities, and oral presentations. This curriculum is THOROUGH and DETAILED, and is an excellent application of the trivium approach, with the student activities divided into four levels: lower grammar, upper grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric.

Stanton, Mary and Albert Hyma. Streams of Civilization: Volume One. Arlington Heights, IL: Christian Liberty Press, 1992. Good all-round history text from a Christian perspective.

Walton, John H. Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994. Dozens of charts which help us understand the history, literature, archaeology, theology, and chronology of the Old Testament.
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002
From: (Rita Johnson)

city: Bolingbrook
state: IL

message: I’m on your loop & read about your new book coming out–would that replace Streams of Civilization? It sounds like a great resource. My oldest of four is 7. I had Usborne Book of World History and have been using that. I went to your workshop in May in Naperville, IL and got your book Trivium Pursuit, and it made the classical model “doable” with 4!!!!!!!

I had just finished reading your book, and our Pastor was just starting a Hebrew class in July. In a million years I would have never given that a second thought. Now I understand and can read Hebrew!!!!! My kids sing the alphabet. I love it and it’s inspired me to do Greek and Latin. We now play Rummy Roots and my son has painlessly learned some Latin roots already. I have the Hebrew Tutor by Parsons and it’s been great. I’d love to see you offer Hebrew in your catalog:) I guess it’s toooo intimidating for most of us. The Hebrew class was free (I paid $200 for required texts though).

I so appreciate your ministry! Your workshop on 10 things to do before 10 was just what I needed. I’m in awe at how God leads/guides us feeble moms to conquer the task of homeschooling. Rita Johnson
Our new book won’t replace a history text or curriculum, but it will supplement it. It can be used as a reference tool.
From: OrtegaPerez
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2002
Subject: Teaching The Trivium to ADD or ADHD children

First I have to say that it is very important that a correct diagnosis of ADD or ADHD be given. There are so many other conditions that have similar characteristic of ADD/ADHD, but can be other diagnosis.

We pulled our son out of school because he was being labeled as having ADD tendencies and there was some pressure and a whole lot of stress put on us and our son because of his active/alertedness. We have since found that our son does not have ADD, but has some sensory integration difficulties that do not require medication. Though, I still hear people say, “that kid needs some ritalan to calm him down”.

Anyway, that being said homeschooling our son gave us peace of mind and took the stress out of “going to school” for our son. Many people choose homeschooling for there children who have ADD or are spirtited/difficult children. This way they can modify the education or change the approach to suit their child’s needs.

We chose a classical education because it is the only one that makes sense and has a logical approach and also because its foundation lies in literature/reading/writing. What better way to instruct our active/alert child than reading to him and having him exercise his active mind by retelling stories and drawing them, playacting and allowing him to hyperfocus on stories and events in history. In a classroom setting he would not be allowed to hyperfocus and the over stimulation from the number of children in the classroom, the many gadgets, toys, pictures on the walls, the constant changing of subjects and activities would drive him up the walls, literally! Homeschooling also allows me to notice when he needs a break or needs to run outside to get his energy out, in a school setting this would not be possible.

I used to look at our difficult son and say “Lord why me?”, but now I see it as a blessing, for if it was not for our son’s unique difficulties and giftedness, we would never have chose homeschooling or the classical approach. If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to homeschool your child who has ADD or ADHD, it will open your eyes to the intricacies of the human brain and marvel at the uniqueness of each child as well as allow you to see each child as unique and possessing gifts and talents instead of seeing some children as good, bad, obedient or disobedient. Having a child who is “more” than other children allows me to see each child through love and acceptance and allows me to see that some children need to be approached from a different path.

May God Bless You,
Amber Ortega-Perez
San Antonio, Tx
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002
Subject: any suggestions?
From: Nancy Anderson

Dear Bluedorn brothers (I’m sorry I don’t know your first names, and I thought ‘hi guys’ might be a bit too informal),

I really enjoy the logic loop e-mails that you’ve sent. I read your parents’ book last summer, and it really opened my eyes. I also read “The Well Trained Mind,” and realized that I don’t have one. I hope to do better for my own children.

Anyway, I am a new home schooler this year. My children are 6, 8, and 11. My son, the 8 year old, particularly loves thinking games, chess, and math. Are there any logic books that you could recommend for someone his age?

My college degree and professional experience were in the field of interior design, which has absolutely nothing to do with anything even remotely logical! My mind does not easily run along these lines, but I’m learning. (My thoughts are less like a logical thread and more like a shotgun blast. Inclusive, but not very targeted!)

I’d really appreciate any and all advice that you could send along. Thank you in advance, and I pray that God blesses you in your work and leisure.

Sincerely, Nancy Anderson
In our opinion, 11 years old is too young to start learning formal logic. Playing chess and learning math sounds like excellent things to do. We recommend starting formal logic with our book “The Fallacy Detective” at about age 13. There are a few pre-logic books out there. You could look at the Building Thinking Skills books from Critical Thinking Press. These books teach some basic pre-logic skills. We recommend Book 2 for 10 year olds, Book 3 Figural for eleven year olds, and Book 3 Verbal for twelve year olds. Lots of kids find them fun to do.

Did that help out?
Hans Bluedorn
From: “Hardin, Christina”
Subject: Men of Iron
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2002

I have enjoyed your website!

I am a Christian school teacher in Oklahoma. I am teaching Men of Iron, and I am not able to find any curriculum. I LOVE the book. I believe in teaching these classical writings. If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate it. I have been writing my own to this point. I would prefer to have something more professional. Thank you for your help.

Christina Hardin
Grace Christian Fellowship
Tulsa, Oklahoma
I don’t know of a curriculum to teach Men of Iron (one of my most favorite books — try Otto of the Silver hand, too), but I will post your question on our Trivium list. Actually, just reading the book to the children and having them take turns narrating it would be a start. Laurie
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2002
From: (Joanna)

message: I’ll try to keep this short. 🙂

I first heard of you in an article that I believe was in Practical Homeschooling-it was several years ago. It was about “10 things to do with children under 10” and I can still remember how excited I was. Your article mentioned my three favorite methods of hs’ing-the Moore Formula, the Principle Approach, and Charlotte Mason. I was having trouble deciding between all three, and I couldn’t believe you could combine them. Your article had a huge impact on my life.

I read all the Moore’s books in the late 80’s, before having children. I started out hs’ing in that methodology. Then I heard of the Principle Approach, which was opposite of the Moore’s ideas, but it sounded right so I switched over. It was too difficult so when I heard of classical hs’ing I switched to that. It was too stressful. By this time I had 5 children and my boys cried when we had lessons. Then I heard of Charlotte Mason. I LOVED what she had to say so I sold my PA stuff and my classical stuff and began enjoying hs’ing for the first time. However, I kept coming back to classical thoughts.

Basically, my point is that when I read through your book (which I do periodically) I feel a sense of peace. It blends my favorite methods in such a balanced way. I keep coming back to your book. 🙂

I just wanted to thank you for your wise counsel, and for the impact you have had in my life. I believe if I follow the plan you lay down in your book that my children will receive an excellent education, and that I will enjoy them, instead of stressing out over curriculum choices and the gaps in their education. Your book has blessed me tremendously, and I just wanted to thank you again for taking the time to write it.

Many blessings to you and your children.
Joanna in Ca.
Harvey just finished reading to us L’Abri by Edith Schaeffer. It is the story of how Francis and Edith Schaeffer and their children moved to Switzerland as missionaries of their Presbyterian church and set up a sort of study center called L’Abri. After reading the book we watched the video “Christian Manifesto” by Francis Schaeffer. In this video philosopher Francis Schaeffer explains how the rise of a humanistic, evolutionary worldview has increased selfish and lawless behavior and lack of respect for human life. This seminar was presented 2/21/82 at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. You can rent this video from Midwest Creation Fellowship (with membership). Their address is Box 479, Gurnee, IL 60031 (847-244-4373). A few years ago we watched the video series How Should We Then Live? by the Schaeffers.

You can buy this from CBD. Here is the information from their web site:
How Should We Then Live?
Video Curriculum
By: Francis Schaeffer
Type: Video
Vendor: Gospel Films Inc.
UPC: 0780701090035
CBD Stock Number: WW9002
Dimensions: Bo X is 14 X 8 1/2
Retail Price: $99.95
CBD Price: $79.99
Description: Now you can own Francis Schaeffer’s incisive film series on the rise and decline of Western thought and culture! Each of 12 half-hour segments focuses on a significant era of history and presents biblical, workable answers to modern problems. Featuring Dr. Schaeffer’s crowning work of scholarship, this set also includes a study guide. Three slipcased videocassettes, 6 hours total.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *