Table of Contents

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Table of Contents for Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn

Chapter One The Transformation of Classical Education: A Biblical Vision for Homeschooling

Breaking out of the Mold
What is Classical Education?
Classical Humanism
A Classical Model and Method
Christian Limits to Classical Uses
What We Mean by “Classical”
Transformation from the Inside Out
The Steps of Transformation
The Opinion of Scripture on Classical Greek Education
Distinctives of the Biblical Model of Education
1. All true education must begin with the revelation of God.
2. The family at home is given sole jurisdiction
over the education of children.
3. Education is to fully prepare children for adult life.
4. The ultimate goal of education is holiness –
separation to God for His service.
Why Follow a Classical Model and Method?
Don’t Try This at Home

Chapter Two Who Should Control Education: Parents, or the State?

The First and Great Commandment
The Whole Commandment
An Exposition of Deuteronomy 6:4-9
The Unity Commandment
The Education Commandment
The Method of Education
The Implications of this Commandment for the Family
The Broader Implications of This Commandment
Summary and Conclusion

Chapter Three Should Christians Prefer a Classroom School?

The Biblical Order
Why not Classical School?
Ten Problems with Classroom Schools
1. Classroom schools create bonds which can easily cross
and oppose the proper bonds of authority and affection.
2. Classroom schools can create an atmosphere of ungodly rivalry instead of godly challenge.
3. Classroom schools create a cross-cultural exchange outside of the parents’ control, establishing values which may conflict with those of the parents.
4. Classroom schools can be academically inferior in many cases simply because of the inefficiency of teaching the identical material to multiples of children at different learning levels.
5. The age segregation of classroom schools encourages peer groupings as the proper way of partitioning society.
6. The gender mixing of classroom schools can create situations which are inappropriate.
7. Time at school away from home, other after-school programs away from home, and schoolwork brought home from school – these all draw order and commitment to the school and away from the family.
8. There is an inherent contrast between: the tutorial-discipleship model, and the teacher-classroom model.
9. When learning is artificially separated from real life, many things are left unlearned, creating a vacuum void of things which need to be learned by daily example.
10. Resources are imprudently consumed.
The Problems with Classroom Schools – A Conclusion
The Homeschool Advantage
Some Questions
Can Parents Handle Classical Education?
How Long to Homeschool?
Our Child Doesn’t Want to Homeschool
What About Emergencies?
What About an Only Child?
Summary and Conclusion
Some Final Words

Chapter Four What is the Trivium?

The Classical Trivium
The Applied Trivium
The Trivium Model of Child Educational Development
The Trivium Method for Teaching Subjects
The Scriptural Trivium
Analogy of the Trivium to a Building: Foundation, Structure, and Use
Analogy of the Trivium to Computers: Input, Processing, and Output
The Development of Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom
Trivium Terminology
Modern Education is Dysfunctional
Harvard, 1643
Three Observations on Modern Education
1. Trivia, not Trivium.
2. Interrupting the Learning Process.
3. Regressive Education.
Trivium Based Education versus Outcome Based Education
The Whole Trivium in a Capsule
The Picture
The Early Knowledge Level (or Grammar Stage)
The Knowledge Level (or Grammar Stage)
The Understanding Level (or Logic Stage)
The Wisdom Level (or Rhetoric Stage)
The Final Finishing Level (or Stage)
How Can a Victim of Public School Remediate?

Chapter Five Teaching Languages

An Argument for Teaching Classical Languages
Why Study Other Languages?
Christians Should Have Some Overriding Considerations
Further Argument for the Study of Greek
Further Argument for the Study of Hebrew
Further Argument for the Study of Latin
Principles for Learning Languages
Which Languages to Study?
If Only One Language, Then Greek
If Two Languages, Then Latin and Greek
If Three Languages, Then How About: Latin, Greek, and Hebrew?
Levels of Proficiency
Where Should We Begin?
A General Course of Study
Level One: Focus on Lexical Skill – Learning the Sights and Sounds of the Language.
An Introduction to Ancient Alphabets
Beyond the Alphabet
Level Two: Focus on Grammatical Skill – Learning the Grammar and Syntax of the Language
A Comparison of Ancient Grammars
Three Basic Approaches to Formal Grammar Study
Some Tips and Helps
1. Alphabetics and Phonetics.
2. Readings in the Language.
3. Language Notebook
4. Vocabulary Cards
5. Reading and Memorizing
6. Student Pace
7. Reference Grammar
8. Practice, Repetition, and Hard Work is Classical.
Level Three: Focus on Fluency Skill – Learning to Translate and Interpret the Language

Chapter Six Teaching Logic

An Argument for Teaching Logic
What is Logic?
Words, Sentences, and Meaning
Why is it Important to Study Logic?
Logic and Morality
Logic and A-morality
The Spiritual Power of Logic
What is Our Responsibility?
What is Logic Useful For?
The Rejection of Logic Leads to the Rejection of God
Principles for Learning Logic
Defining and Describing Logic
Formal Logic
Informal Logic
Overall Observations for Learning Logic
Logic Materials
Pride, Sarcasm, Cynicism and Logic
Logic Notebook
Study Logic Together
Before Age Thirteen – Focus on Elemental Logic Skills
Age Thirteen and Beyond
A General Course of Study
A Three-Step Curriculum
Step One: Beginning About Age Thirteen – Focus on Informal Logic
Step Two: About Age Fifteen or Later – Focus on the Practice of Logic
Step Three: About Age Sixteen or Later – Focus on Finer Details of Logic

Chapter Seven Teaching Rhetoric

An Argument for Teaching Rhetoric
Principles for Learning Rhetoric
Defining and Describing Rhetoric
The Five Parts of Classical Rhetoric
Some Overall Observations for Learning Rhetoric
A General Course of Study
Before Age Ten ­ Focus on Vocabulary
Ages Ten Through Twelve ­ Focus on Spelling and Grammar
Ages Thirteen Through Fifteen ­ Focus on Composition, Argumentation, and Speech
Ages Sixteen Through Eighteen ­ Focus on Research and Debate
A Word About Political Correctness

Chapter Eight Principles for the Study of Literature

Cultural Principles
Cultural Values
Cultural Goals
How Should We Deal with Other Cultures?
Paul at Athens
Lessons to Learn from Paul at Athens
What Are the Classics?
How To Classify Literature
Four Categories of Literature
Choosing What to Read
To Burn or Not To Burn?
Ten Principles for Choosing What to Read
Where to Draw the Line
Appropriate Ages
Reading Critically
1. Don’t Godly Men in the Bible Pursue the World’s Wisdom?
Examples or Exceptions?
Paul’s Example
2. Don’t We Need to be Culturally Literate?
Cultural Response
Literature and History
Cultural Acquaintance
Mythologies: Ancient and Modern
3. How Should We Approach Classical Literature?
Raiders of the Lost Arts
1. New Covenant Use.
2. Practical Use.
3. Apologetic Use.
4. Educational Use.
4. How Do We Maintain a Proper Separation?
How Do We Stay Pure?

Chapter Nine An Application of Principles for the Study of Historical Literature

Three Underlying Principles For the Study of History
1. Knowledge Level: “History repeats itself.”
2. Understanding Level: “The past is key to the future.”
3. Wisdom Level: “He who does not study history is doomed to repeat it.”
An Introduction to the Study of History
An Outline for Evaluating Historical Documents
The Value of Primary Sources
What is a Primary Source?
What is Important About a Primary Source?
What is a Secondary Source?
Biases, Interpretations, And Other Distortions
Criteria for Critical Evaluation of Sources
More than One Point of view
Historical Fallacies
A Sample Model for Combining History and Literature: Ancient Greece and Contemporary Civilizations

Chapter Ten Different Methods and Approaches to Homeschooling in the Light of the Trivium

1. The Scope and Sequence Method
2. The Habitual “Charlotte Mason” Method
3. The Environmental “Unschooling” Method
4. The Unit Study Approach
5. The Formal Classical Approach
6. The Principle Approach
7. Formal Versus Non-Formal Early Academics
Research, and You Will Find
A Moral Foundation for Academics
Against Indulgences
Brain Strain
The Downside-Up Solution
Filling Buckets Versus Lighting Fires
Preparation for Academic Progress
The Ideal and the Real
Don’t Bring the Classroom Home
Each Method and Approach Has Its Place

Part Two The Practical Trivium

Chapter Eleven The Early Knowledge Level: Ten Things to Do Before Age Ten

A Suggested Course of Study
1. Reading and Writing
Artificially Induced Dyslexia
English Language Notebook
How Much Writing is Enough
2. Oral Narration
How to Develop Narration
3. Memorization
4. Hearing and Listening
Three Do Nots:
History Notebook
Abridged Versus Unabridged Books
Non-Christian Books
I Cannot Keep Up With My Child’s Reading
Quiet While Reading Aloud
Books Recorded on Tape
5. Family Worship
6. Arts and Crafts
7. Field Trips
Protecting a Child in the Library
8. Work and Service
9. Discipline
Socialization and Young Girls
Does Not Want to Work
Peace in the Home
Irritated Obedience
Wait Until Daddy Gets Home
Unmotivated Son
10. Play and Exploration
A Mom for all Seasons
A Suggested Daily Schedule For Families with Children All Under the Age of Ten

Chapter Twelve The Later Knowledge Level: Ten Things to Do With Children Ages Ten Through Twelve

A Suggested Course of Study
1. Family Worship
2. Literature and Reading Aloud
Memorization and Interpretive Reading
3. History
The Chronological Study of History
Principles for Choosing and Using a History Textbook
The Interest-Directed Study of History
History Notebook
History Fairs and Contests
Learning to Use the Library
4. Composition
Copywork and Dictation
Journals and Letters
Simple Outlining Skills
Using a Composition Curriculum
Hates to Hold the Pencil
Math and Pencils
5. Spelling and English Grammar
Two Methods for Studying Grammar and Spelling
Using Old Spellers
English Language Notebook
Using Webster’s Speller
Why Sentence Diagramming?
6. Latin and Greek
Latin and Greek for Young Children
Suggestions for Studying Greek
Beginning the Formal Study of Greek and Latin
Creating & Maintaining a Greek or Latin Language Notebook
7. Early Logic
8. Arithmetic
Beginning Arithmetic (Math) At Age Ten
Our Research On Early Informal Math
What We Recommend For Math (and Grammar Too)
The File Drawer Analogy
The Computer Analogy
Time Better Spent
Eighteenth Century Attitude Towards Math
Math Before Age Ten
Math By Age Ten
Math at Ages Eleven and Twelve
Textbook Math
John Quincy Adams and Math
Math Underdeveloped?
Math and Testing
Hard Work Versus Exasperation
Sitdown Math
9. Science
10. Art and Music
Classical Cowboys
What Do I Do With This Boy
How Much Time to Spend On Academics
A Suggested Daily Schedule For Families with One or Two Children In the Later Knowledge Level (Ten through Twelve) And Some in the Early Knowledge Level (under Ten)

Chapter Thirteen The Understanding Level: Ten Things to Do With Children Ages Thirteen Through Fifteen

A Suggested Course of Study
1. Family Worship
2. Reading Aloud
3. History and Literature
1. Chronological Versus Interest-Directed
2. Suggestions for Combining History and Literature
3. Example of a History and Literature Lesson
4. Composition
1. Written Narration.
2. Written Summaries
3. Essays, Creative Writing, and Beyond
5. Speech and Debate
Oral Interpretation and Speech
The Benefits of Debate
Speech and Debate Resources
6. Languages
7. Logic
8. Mathematics
9. Science
Science Fairs and Contests
Creation Science
10. Art and Music
Father’s Role
A Suggested Daily Schedule For Families With At Least One Child In the Understanding Level

Chapter Fourteen The Wisdom Level: Ten Things to Do With Children Ages Sixteen Through Eighteen

A Suggested Course of Study
1. Family Worship
2. Reading Aloud
3. History and Literature
Example of a History and Literature Lesson
4. Rhetoric (Includes Composition, Speech, and Debate)
How to Write a Research Paper
5. Government, Economics, and Law
Government at Age Sixteen
Economics at Age Seventeen
Law at Age Eighteen
6. Languages
7. Logic
Logic at Age Sixteen
Logic at Age Seventeen
Logic at Age Eighteen and Beyond
About Using Logic Materials
How to Use Introductory Logic, by Wilson and Nance
8. Mathematics
9. Science
Other Ideas for Studying Science
10. Art and Music
Beyond Academics
Preparation for Marriage
Gaining a Livelihood and Managing a Home
A Suggested Daily Schedule For Families With at Least One Child in the Wisdom Level

Chapter Fifteen The Finishing Level: Ages Nineteen and Onward

Sorry, School Never Ends
Knowledge Level: How We Came to Where We Are
Understanding Level: Principles for Making Decisions and Setting Goals
What about College
Ten Reasons to Go to College
Seven Reasons Not to Go to College
Objection: I think college is the best path.
Things to Remember when Preparing for College
College and a Classical Liberal Arts Education
Wisdom Level: Homeschooling is for Life
The Next Step in Homeschooling
The Third Step in Homeschooling
For Further Study

Chapter Sixteen Conclusion: Life’s Goals Begin at Home

A Definition for Education
Our Mistakes
Some Questions
Too Little or Too Much?
Is it Too Late to Begin the Trivium?
A Final Prayer
Singing the Praises of Homeschooling: Psalm 127

Appendix One Articles on Education

Article One The Lost Tools of Learning, by Dorothy Sayers

Article Two The Trivium in Scripture

Article Three Ancient Education: Hebrew, Greek, and Roman

Article Four Mediaeval Education: The Seven Liberal Arts

Article Five Education of the Clergy

Article Six The Metalogicon of John of Salisbury:A Twelfth Century Defense of the Trivium

Article Seven A Sixteenth Century Course of Study

Article Eight A Comparison of Ancient Alphabets

Article Nine On Christian Doctrine, by Augustine

Article Ten The Christian Use of Logic

Article Eleven History and Research on the Teaching of Math

Article Twelve Outcome-Based Education Versus Trivium-Based Education

Article Thirteen Contests in Your Curriculum
Trivium Pursuit’s List of National Contests and Exams Open to Homeschoolers 570

Article Fourteen Family Bible Study by the Trivium

Article Fifteen Beginning A Homeschool Speech and Debate Club

Article Sixteen Pointers for Public Speaking

Appendix Two Resource List

1. Classical Education
2. General Homeschooling
2A. General Preparation
2B. Discipline
2C. Unit Studies
2D. Principle Approach
3. Language Arts & English
3A. Phonics
3B. Readers
3C. Copywork
3D. Spelling
3E. English Grammar
3F. Sentence Diagramming
3G. Outlining
3H. Composition
3I. Research
3J. Oral Narration
4. Rhetoric
4A. Textbooks
4B. Composition
4C. English Handbooks and Style Manuals
4D. Oral Interpretation
4E. Speech
4F. Debate
5. Literature
5A. Reading Aloud
5B. Booklists
5C. Classics
5D. Books Recorded on Tape
6. History
6A. Histories and Textbooks
6B. Reprints of Old History books
6C. Catalogs
6D. Primary Sources
6E. Timeline Materials
6F. Geography
6G. Miscellaneous
7. Government, Law, and Economics
8. Languages
8A. Vocabulary Studies Curricula
8B. Selected Latin Bibliography
8C. Selected Greek Bibliography
8D. Selected Hebrew Bibliography
8E. Other Resources
8F. Interlinear, Interleaf and Intercolumnar Texts
8G. Selected Latin texts
8H. Selected Greek texts
9. Mathematics
10. Logic
10A. Pre-Logic Curricula – Knowledge Level
10B. Logic Curricula – Understanding and Wisdom Levels
10C. Other Resources
11.Bible and Theology
11A. Bible Study Helps
11B. Family Worship
11C. Theology
11D. Devotional
11E. Confessions and Catechisms
11F. Catalogs
11G. Bible Versions
13A. Textbooks
13B. Microscopes and Other Science Equipment
13C. Nature Study
13D. Creation Science
14. Art and Music
14A. Art
14B. Art Appreciation
14C. Art Curricula
14D. Music Appreciation
14E. Music Theory
15.Miscellaneous Resources

1 Comment

  1. Christine Masloske

    This is the book that the Lord sent to me years ago when I cried out to Him to direct our homeschooling. It completely changed our lives, put things into perspective and has taken the burden, cost and guessing out of our homeschool. I can’t speak highly enough (especially in the 2 minutes I have in between nursing the new baby!) of this book. Don’t let the length or scope intimidate you – it’s definitely a “MUST READ” for homeschoolers!

    Love in Christ,


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