Monday, October 27, 2014

The Well-Educated Mind

Many years ago I read The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and absolutely loved it. The Well Trained Mind outlines a systematic approach to classical education that resonates with my personal educational philosophy. The Well Trained Mind has become a well worn reference book for our family in augmenting and supplementing my children's education.

One of the things I loved the most about my years of obtaining my degree at Brigham Young University was all of the marvelous literature I encountered. It was tremendously satisfying to read a well written book and then engage in thought provoking discussion. I received my degree in American Studies and then went on to teach elementary school until my first kiddo was born. Through all of the years that have followed (and they have been many!),  I have always wished I was more familiar with the classics of literature. I just didn't know where to start.

To my delight a few years ago I came across another book by Susan Wise Bauer entitled The Well Educated Mind - A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had. In it she outlines a method for studying various works of literature based on the trivium of classical education. I knew that, someday, this was something I wanted to pursue. I also knew that, while I was in the midst of newborn twins, two elementary age children and a husband in residency, now was not the time. :)

This fall, with a seventh grader, a fifth grader, three year old twins who take great naps, and a husband still in residency, I am happy to say that now is the time! I have carved out a few hours here and there during the week to study more in depth than I have been able to in the past.

My book list at the moment is pictured above. I am reading and analyzing Pilgrim's Progress according the The Well Educated Mind and am studying the others through notes, outlines etc. I am always amazed at how deeply I am enjoying this study.

I only wish I had someone to discuss what I am learning with who happens to be reading the same material! For the moment I have been, with greater enthusiasm then my children might appreciate, starting dinner off with, "Guess what I learned today!" Oh well, hopefully someday my children will remember that their mother loved to learn. And hopefully someday my husband will finish residency so that we can read and discuss together. :)

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