Friday, January 31, 2014

What is the Trivium? Teaching the Trivium Ch. 4

Pin It
This post contains an affiliate link to the book that we are going through.

Welcome to another week of the Teaching the Trivium book club!  I am so excited to read and discuss this book along with you.  I loved the discussion last week and would love to hear from more of you!  Today we talk about the trivium.


Chapter 4 - What is the Trivium?


I always love to read a good defense of classical education.  I'm not always so good at giving a coherent defense, but I love hearing one =)  Besides defining exactly what the trivium is, this chapter also aims to show how "modern education does not measure up to classical standards." (pg. 83)

Before we get too far, I should say that I underlined/circled/bracketed a lot in this chapter.  Some of it was new information, some of it was not, but all of it was so good and worthy of remembering!  I'll do my best to not make this post too long, but restrain myself and let you add to it with your own favorite parts!


The Classical Trivium


  • Grammar - learning to accurately receive konwledge
  • Logic - learning to critically analyze and understand
  • Rhetoric - learning to wisely and effectively express information

The Applied Trivium


The modern classical movement has its beginnings in The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorthy Sayers.  She took the classical ideas of the trivium and applied them to the development and education of children.  I have not read The Lost Tools of Learning.  Have you?  We should discuss that at some point too!

I think the key point to take away here is that each subject has it's own Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.


The Scriptural Trivium


The Bluedorns, keeping with their theme of Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style, look to the Bible in defense of the trivium.  They see the words knowledge, wisdom, and understanding throughout the Scriptures and liken them to the stages of the trivium:

  • Grammar Stage - Knowledge
  • Logic Stage - Understanding
  • Rhetoric Stage - Wisdom




They site lots of verses that use these words, and it makes sense to me!  What do you think?  Do you use the Bible as a defense of the classical model of homeschooling?





Modern Education is Dysfunctional


The next section goes over a number of ways why teaching through the model of the trivium is superior to the methods used in modern education.  I honestly don't care to argue about the methods being used by anyone else, but I do love to learn more about why the method that I'm choosing to use to educate my children is so effective.  I underlined a lot of things to think about in this section and I'll share a few of them.  First a quote:

The student who masters the Trivium can teach himself anything.  But many products of modern schools need to be spoon-fed everything.  The Trivium is lifelong self-learning. Modern education is lifelong task-learning. (page 94)

That concept is so interesting to me as I look back upon my education.  I did very well in my schooling.  I also got to be a very good piano player.  You know what, though?  I never felt like understood what I was doing!

I could solve complex problems...as long as I had the formulas.  

I could excel in the science lab...as long as I had step-by-step instructions.  

I could play a piece of classical music beautifully...as long as I had the music to follow.  

The grades I got told me that I was smart, but I felt inadequate if ever a professor asked me to explain why an experiment turned out the way it did, or my math teacher gave me a real-life problem to apply my calculus knowledge to, or my piano teacher asked me to turn a simple melody into full arrangement.  I just didn't have to tools that I needed to succeed in those situations!  Now I understand what was lacking.


Ok, back to the book =)

  • "Formal education is begun too early...we should be filling our child's mind with useful facts and training his spirit in self-discipline." (pgs. 94-95)

    •  I feel like I need a little help with this one.  I think I agree, and maybe I even do this with my own children, but I'm not sure.  Hopefully the rest of the book will help me understand if I'm doing the right things with my young children!



How would you define 'formal education' and what age do you start it with your children?




  • Page 97 talks about self-expression and how children are encouraged to express themselves freely from birth on up...but without training in self-discipline.    The Bluedorns link this to the destructive ways that teenagers express themselves, because they have never been taught to express themselves creatively and effectively.  I thought that was an interesting concept.

  • Page 98 gives the example of learning to play a song on the piano by using the Trivium method and then also by the "whole music" method.  I completely agree with what they are saying, but had a question come up in my mind.  My daughter is very interested in learning to play the violin right now.  She is 3 years old.  I've heard lots of great things about the Suzuki method for teaching little kids to play instruments.  On one hand it sounds great.  On the other hand it seems to go against everything I think about education!
 


Are you familiar with the Suzuki method?  Do you think it is a wise method or does it go against what we think is so great about the trivium?





  • I feel like the Bluedorns place their ages for the different stages a little differently than I'm used to.  Unless I'm reading it wrong, they seem to put the grammar stage from about age 9-12 when many other classical educators have it from about age 6-9.  That would put the Bluedorn's grammar stage at other people's logic stage.  




How old have your children been in the different stages of the Trivium? (as you have observed their growth)





  • The last point I'll make is that I'm always convicted when I'm admonished to put to rest the entertainment-driven mindset and to read more.  I often feel that my family is radical compared to most people around us, yet I still think that we could strive to be better.  I would love to be more purposeful with my time and more diligent with my studies, but honestly I'm often just tired.  




What about you?  Do you wish you read more?  Do you get too consumed with being entertained?  Do you have any tips for leading your family in a more purposeful direction?  Let us encourage one another!





Leave comments here on the blog post, or share about it on social media (#ClassicalMamasRead).  I'll be sharing too, so follow me on facebook, twitter, or google+ and we can chat about it there as well!  Don't forget, if you want to share your thoughts about Teaching the Trivium on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!






Next week we will be talking about chapter five of Teaching the Trivium.  If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you check your library or order one soon so you can be ready for next time!  Also, this is a 600+ page book, so I am only touching on certain points of each chapter.  There is so much great information that I am not covering, so if this discussion interests you, you are going to want to make sure to pick up your own copy so you can read more!



Classical Mamas Read Link-Up



Did you write about Teaching the Trivium on your blog?  Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)?  Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)?  I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!

I think I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions.  If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.

Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).


 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

February Fun with A Journey Through Learning


Pin It

February brings lots of fun learning opportunities!  Usually I like to stick to systematic learning, but when holidays or special times come, it's fun to break from our usual routine.  My sponsor, A Journey Through Learning, has all sorts of great products to help you and your kids have fun learning this month!





First up in February is Groundhog Day!  My son was recently looking at a calendar and noticed those words on February 2nd and wondered what in the world Groundhog Day is.  This lapbook would be a perfect way to have fun with your kids on Feb. 2nd!








Have you been in a winter wonderland like we have for the past month?  Use it as a learning opportunity!  Take a break from your normal studies and learn all about winter with this Wonderful Winter lapbook.






 I've always loved the Olympics.  I remember being sad as a little girl because I couldn't stay up to watch the best figure skaters skate their final routine.  I'm excited to be able to share the Winter Olympics with my kids this time!  Don't miss this learning opportunity!  If you need some ideas, check out this Winter Olympics 2014 lapbook.





Honestly, Valentine's Day has never been a big deal to me.  I just don't love being told that I'm loved when someone feels like they have to =)  But, I realize how much fun this kind of holiday can be for kids!  I'm hoping to make a big deal out of this year for my little ones (they've been cutting out hundreds of hearts and taping them all over our walls and windows, so how can I deny them ;)  A Journey Through Learning has a few fun Valentine's Day products to help tie learning and celebration together!






Last of all, don't forget President's Day!  One thing that I love about the lapbooks at A Journey Through Learning is that they come with pages to read out loud to your kids (or have them read themselves) to learn about the subject covered in each lapbook piece.  It makes adding in this extra activity so easy!  Don't let lack of planning keep you from teaching your kids about the presidents this year.  This America's Presidents lapbook has everything you need! 




I hope these resources help you to have fun celebrating and learning lots of fun things in February!  If you would like, check out my full review of A Journey Through Learning lapbooks!





 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

iHomeschool Studio: Feb. 11-14

Pin It

 Sometimes do you just feel like you need a little encouragement? 


 I know I do!


iHomeschool Studio is an event for homeschool parents.  It will be informative and encouraging to help you in your homeschool journey.  There are 24 (online) sessions, covering pretty much every topic you can imagine.  $25 gets you admission to listening to all of the sessions LIVE and also MP3 copies of each session.

To learn more or buy your tickets, visit iHomeschoolStudio.


Check out this amazing line-up!


(all times are eastern time zone)
  • 2:00-3:00pm - Kathy Kuhl - Homeschooling a Child with Learning Challenges
  • 3:30-4:30pm - Terri Johnson - Homeschooling through High School
  • 5:00-6:00pm - Kendra Fletcher - Organization for a Peaceful Home
  • 6:30-7:30pm - Jen Lilienstein - Why Personality Type Matters in Learning
  • 8:00-9:00pm - Monica Irvine - Manners Matter & Mean Success
  • 9:30-10:30pm - Colleen Kessler - Managing Intense Kids



(all times are eastern time zone)
  • 2:00-3:00pm - Sarah Pinnix - Cultivate a Heart for Missions While Weeding put the Guilt
  • 3:30-4:30pm - Wendy Rondina - Creativity Builds Character
  • 5:00-6:00pm - Jeannie Fulbright - If I Could do it Over
  • 6:30-7:30pm - Mary Prather - Teaching Music in your Homeschool
  • 8:00-9:00pm - Debra Bell - Your Child's Brain and God's Design
  • 9:30-10:30pm - Sade Tagbo - Overcoming the Mommy Anger



(all times are eastern time zone)
  • 2:00-3:00pm - Tyler Hogan - Loving Geography: Even if you can't Fold a Map!
  • 3:30-4:30pm - Jennifer Janes - Time Management for the Special Needs Mom
  • 5:00-6:00pm - Kim Kautzer - The Lazy Student: What's a Mom to Do?
  • 6:30-7:30pm - Lynn Schott - Budget Basics for Kids and Teens
  • 8:00-9:00pm - Leah Nieman - Guiding our Kids through Social Media
  • 9:30-10:30pm - Heidi St. John - The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance



(all times are eastern time zone)
  • 2:00-3:00pm - Devin Dabney - You are not Alone: Collaborative Homeschooling
  • 3:30-4:30pm - Karen DeBeuse - Discover the Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool
  • 5:00-6:00pm - Vicki Dincher - Science and Math: End the Struggle!
  • 6:30-7:30pm - Affording the Homeschool Life
  • 8:00-9:00pm - Cindy West - Loving Living Math
  • 9:30-10:30pm - Melanie Wilson - How to Guide the Gift in Your Child

What do you think?  Sounds like an amazing line up to me!  Do you know what else is extra special?  I am so excited and privileged to be the host for a few of these sessions!


If this sounds like what what you need to encourage you to finish this year strong, take a look at the iHomeschool Studio website for more info or to get your tickets!


 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #92


Pin It

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.




Don't forget to follow my Pinterest boards that are a part of the All Things Classical List!

 photo AllThingsClassical-titlepic_zps4a3485e7.png


Also, please remember to only link up posts that have to do with homeschooling using the classical model of education.  Thank you for understanding this link-up's theme.



Featured Post from Last Week



I loved this post from The Crafty Homeschool Mama and the video she shared of Jim Weiss talking about teaching history through stories.  What he talks about really is the method of classical homeschooling in a nutshell.  If you didn't click over last week, you definitely will want to take a minute to watch the video!  Thanks, Joanna, for sharing it with us!


Most Clicked Post from Last Week


We're not a super-hero family here, and I suspect you aren't either since Classical Education for the Average Homeschool Family was the most clicked post from last week =)  If you missed it, take a minute to check it out!  Enjoy!


This Week's Link-Up


Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!


I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         

If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Writing Road to Reading Review

Pin It

The Writing Road to Reading was one of the first purchases I made when I began to teach my son.  It was recommended on classical-homeschooling.org as being a great resource for teaching reading to children.  It really is a great resource!

Today I am reviewing this great book over at The Curriculum Choice. Check it out!


 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png

Friday, January 24, 2014

Should Christians Prefer a Classroom School? Teaching the Trivium Ch. 3


Pin It
This post contains an affiliate link to the book that we are going through.

Welcome to the third week of the Teaching the Trivium book club!  I am so excited to read and discuss this book along with you.  I loved the discussion last week and would love to hear from more of you! This is the last week of the more general homeschool defense and next week we will dive into what classical homeschooling is!


Chapter 3 - Should Christians Prefer a Classroom School?


Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4 (ESV)

 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.  Colossians 3:21 (ESV)

This chapter is all about why the home is more conducive to the Biblical method of raising children than a classroom setting is.  The Bluedorns argue that a classroom setting puts children in an environment that is more like a factory, which is not how children are designed to learn.

"Fathers are to nurture their children to full maturity, not drive them there."  (pg. 63)  This is a good reminder for me!  I know this in my head, but I am such a "get-it-done" kind of girl that it is easy for me to just want to push onward and upward.  A nurturing spirit is something that I need to be consciously working on!


Problems with Classroom Schools


The bulk of the rest of the chapter is devoted to discussing ten problems with classroom schools.  I'll comment on some of the problems that resonate with me.

Time away from family.  When a child is away at school (public or private) it inevitably means that they are spending a large amount of time with other people.  Personally, I have a hard time with the idea of my children being away from me more waking hours in the day then they are with me.  I am not saying that it is easy to be with my children all day.  I am an introvert and would have a hard time being with any person all day, but I know it is still good for me and for them.  I heartily agree with this quote from page 65:

We parents need the sanctification which comes from teaching our children, and our children need the same from us.

Exposed to things before they are ready.   When your children are away from you for any amount of time, you don't know what they are being exposed to.  First of all, I think that children are exposed to way too much at an early age than is healthy for them.  I want to help keep this from happening.  Second, I have no problem with kids being exposed to things (when they are ready), but I want to be there to help them think through it.  Young children do not have the maturity to come to good conclusions and I don't want to force my kids to make decisions they are not ready to make.

It is the job of the parents to instruct them and to test them in controlled situations, not simply sprinkle them with a few choice words of advice, then immerse them in an adverse world.  (pg. 67)



"Boys and girls from different families should only mix together in controlled environments fully under the authority of their parents."  (pg.68)




The above quote is one of the reasons the Bluedorns give against a classroom setting.  I completely understand what they are getting at.  I also know that it is a position that would be looked at as antiquated and possibly extreme.  What do you think?  Are you careful about your children spending time with children of the opposite gender?  My kids are 3 and 5 years old, and so far I have not let them be with other children when I'm not around, but I know that this would get harder as they get older.  Do you think this is a concern or is it not something you are worried about?


Some Questions


The last few pages of the chapter are spent answering common questions that people have about homeschooling.  I am blessed to have many supportive people around me who are happy that we are homeschooling.  Even so, I've heard my share of questions about homeschooling.  Sometimes I even have questions of my own!



What questions have your heard (or have you thought yourself) about homeschooling?




Can parents handle classical education? (pg. 75)

If we parents value a classical education for our children, why should we not value it for ourselves as well?  Just because we did not learn these things in our youth does not mean that we should not learn them now.

Our child doesn't want to homeschool. (pg 76)

Children don't know what's best for them - that's why God placed them into the care of parents...God bless those wise parents who make their children do things which children do not want to do.

I love both of those quotes!  I love the idea of teaching my children, but I am just as excited about learning everything for myself.  I think I had a good education, but honestly I don't remember many things.  Learning and understanding things better is something I am looking forward to as the years go on.

Many more points and questions are discussed in the chapter.  I have only highlighted some subjects that really stuck out to me.




What did you think of this chapter?  Any comments on the parts that I highlighted?  Any different parts stick out to you?  Some of these issues are not so popular to talk about, but I'd love to hear your thoughts! 





Leave comments here on the blog post, or share about it on social media (#ClassicalMamasRead).  I'll be sharing too, so follow me on facebook, twitter, or google+ and we can chat about it there as well!  Don't forget, if you want to share your thoughts about Teaching the Trivium on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!






Next week we will be talking about chapter four of Teaching the Trivium.  If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you check your library or order one soon so you can be ready for next time!  Also, this is a 600+ page book, so I am only touching on certain points of each chapter.  There is so much great information that I am not covering, so if this discussion interests you, you are going to want to make sure to pick up your own copy so you can read more!



Classical Mamas Read Link-Up



Did you write about Teaching the Trivium on your blog?  Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)?  Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)?  I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!

I think I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions.  If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.

Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).


 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Classical Mamas Read - Teaching the Trivium

Pin It

 This post contains an affiliate link.

Here you can find a link to each discussion we have had about Teaching the TriviumFeel free to go back and comment about previous chapters if they are ones you happen to be reading of thinking about right now.  I'd love to continue the discussion!

Teaching the Trivium - Introduction

 

Chapter 1 - The Transformation of Classical Education: A Biblical Vision for Homeschooling

 

Chapter 2 - Who Should Control Education: Parents, or the State?

 

Chapter 3 - Should Christians Prefer a Classroom School?

 

Chapter 4 - What is the Trivium?

 

Chapter 5 - Teaching Languages

 

Chapter 6 - Teaching Logic

 

Chapter 7 - Teaching Rhetoric

 

Chapter 8 - Principles for the Study of Literature

 

Chapter 9 - An Application of Principles for the Study of Historical Literature

 

Chapter 10 - Different Methods and Approaches to Homeschooling in the Light of the Trivium

 

Chapter 11 - The Early Knowledge Level: Ten Things to Do Before Age Ten

 

Chapter 12 - The Later Knowledge Level: Ten Things to Do With Children Ages Ten Through Twelve

 

Chapter 13 - The Understanding Level: Ten Things to Do With Children Ages Thirteen Through Fifteen

 

Ch 14 - The Wisdom Level: Ten Things to Do With Children Ages Sixteen Through Eighteen

 

Ch 15 - The Fishing Level: Education Never Stops!

 


Stay tuned as we continue working through Teaching the Trivium!


 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #91


Pin It

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.




Don't forget to follow my Pinterest boards that are a part of the All Things Classical List!

 photo AllThingsClassical-titlepic_zps4a3485e7.png


Also, please remember to only link up posts that have to do with homeschooling using the classical model of education.  Thank you for understanding this link-up's theme.



Featured Post from Last Week



I really liked Sola Gratia Mom's take on being creative with the classical method.  Classical education is often questioned because of it's rigor and lack of creativity.  What do you think?


Most Clicked on From Last Week


I think everyone has some insecurities.  I also think that everyone feels a little bit better about themselves when they can see other people's insecurities.  I guess that is why The Crafty Homeschool Mama's post, The BAD & the UGLY of our Homeschool Year, was the most clicked last week =)  Congrats and thanks for the encouragement, Joanna!

This Week's Link-Up


Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!


I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         

If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png

Friday, January 17, 2014

Kindergarten Arts...Take Two

Pin It

This post contains affiliate links to products we use and love!

This week I am taking the time to talk about how I teach each subject and also what changes I am making for the rest of the year.  If you didn't read the Classical Kindergarten...Take Two intro post, take a minute to read that first so you understand why I am making some changes for the rest of the year.


 How we have been incorporating the arts


This is one subject that isn't so concrete in our homeschool, so we are not really making any specific changes.  What I do want, is to try to spend more time with all aspects of the arts.  This is especially important to me because my daughter shows strong interest in art and music and I want to make sure to give her ample time and resources to do these things.  She is just 3 years old now, but she loves to watch YouTube videos of people playing classical music, which has caused her to be obsessed with the violin =)  It's pretty much all she talks about and she walks around most of the day with two red sticks pretending to play.  I told her that if she shows a little responsibility with a toy guitar we got her for Christmas that we could get her a violin for her birthday.  Here is a video of her playing her 'violin' and singing Hark! the Herald Angles Sing...


So for the sake of my music-loving daughter (and because I know it's good for everyone), we include all kinds of art in our homeschool.  I've written about most of it before.  Here are some of the posts:



I haven't written anything about it yet (a review is coming!) but we been learning to draw with Mona Brookes' Drawing with Children.





How do you teach the Arts to your kids? 


This series is a part of the iHomeschool Network - How I Teach - blog hop!  Click the picture below to learn how other homeschool moms teach Fine Arts...



 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png