Saturday, February 11, 2006

Praiseworthy Review: Teaching the Trivium

"Teaching the Trivium"
by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn

Having come to Christianity late in life I have always been put off by what I like to call “Christianese” that being any number of stock phrases that Christians use to communicate complex ideas to each other. These are phrases such as “fed” or “washed in the blood.” I’m so pleased to find Christian authors who have intelligent minds and use them without relying on a lot of Christian lingo to get their point across. The Bluedorns believe that educating our children is a mandate of God. They spend an entire chapter of this expounding, arguing and providing proof for this argument. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book. I found it so thought provoking that I often read portions aloud to my husband and we had many interesting discussions based on this. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. What the Bluedorns continue with in the book is a systematic approach for teaching our children in a manner that glorifies and honors God. They show us how to teach our children to not only love God with their whole heart and soul but also with their whole MIND. This is the great strength of this book.

If you are interested in Classical Education I strongly urge you to get this book. I, and many others I know, consider this a handbook or a manual if you will for how to classically educate your child. Once it has been read and understood then you can put it on the shelf close at hand to turn to again and again for answers to questions you encounter along the way. The how and the why of their plan is clearly laid out in a format that is easy to understand.

There are also chapters devoted to helping parents to use the Trivium with other methods such as Charlotte Mason as well as a discussion of some methods that do not fit well with the Trivium such as Unschooling. These chapters contain discussions and explanations of each method. This would be very valuable for those approaching educating their child for the first time as they investigate what method they will use.

Part two of the book is titled “The Practical Trivium” and contains valuable, hands on information for how to teach your child. All areas of study and ages are covered. Finally lists of specific resources and where you can obtain them are given. This is the part that I turn to again and again. The information here is extensive and exhaustive. The explanations and reasons are clear and easy to understand.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who home educates their child. The information is intelligent and thought provoking. You will come away well educated on the subject of homeschooling in addition to having valuable tools for carrying out homeschooling.