Friday, July 5, 2013

Classical Mamas Read - The Well Trained Mind: Chs. 8-9

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Welcome back to Classical Mamas Read!  I'm excited to be back here with you today to discuss chapters 8 & 9 of The Well Trained MindIf you want to take a look back at our previous discussions, click the picture above to take you to a list of each chapter we have talked about.

Ch. 8 - Making Sense of the World: Science (grammar stage)

I found this chapter extremely helpful because we haven't really done much with science yet.  We observe lots of things and read living nature books, but haven't really started on any sort of 'plan.'  Now I have some ideas for next year!

Here are some of my thoughts and notes that I took on this chapter...

  • In classical education, science subjects roughly correlate with the history period being studied. 

    • This is one of the things I love most about classical education.  I think it is so valuable to connect subjects like that.

  • Explore and have fun!

    • Science is great to learn in the grammar stage, but it is not of most importance.  If you have limited time, always choose reading and writing over science.

    • You want to give your children a great taste of science so when they enter the dialectic stage they are excited to learn more!

    •  1-2 days a week of science is plenty for the grammar stage

How often to you study science?

  • Subjects covered:

    • Grade 1 - Animal life, the human body, and plants

    • Grade 2 - Earth and sky

    • Grade 3 - Chemistry

    • Grade 4 - Physics and computer science 

  • Make a Science Notebook (just like for writing and history)

    • Narration page (Answering the question "What did you learn about..."

    • Experiment page (Explaining what they did and what happened)

    • Definition page (sharing any new words they learned)

    • Extra resource narration page (visit the library and have your child make a narration for one of those books once or twice a month)

Do you follow these Well Trained Mind recommendations or do you use something else?

Ch. 9 - Dead languages for Live Kids: Latin (grammar stage)

Here are some of my thoughts and notes on the subject...

  • They recommend starting Latin in 3rd or 4th grade.

    • That was my intention until I found out about Song School Latin.  We've been using this and LOVING it.  I've got a review of it coming out later this month, so look out for that! 

  • Why study Latin?

    • It trains the mind to think in an orderly fashion

    • It improves English skills

    • It prepares your child for the study of other foreign languages

    • It guards against arrogance (shows your child that there are other ways of life, speech, etc.

  • They give a nice little quick intro about how Latin works that I found very helpful.  Check it out if you have no idea about the Latin language.

They recommend starting with Latin.  What language do you (or plan to) start with your children?


Next week we will be discussing chapters 10 and 11 10-12 plus the grammar stage Epilogue.  Hopefully it won't be to much for one week, but I don't want this book to take all year to go through, so we will try!  It looks like a lot of pages, but a good chunk of it is resource suggestions, so I think we should be ok.

If you don't have the book already, you can look for it at your library or get it on amazon. (The Well Trained Mind)

If you are behind, feel free to still comment on the previous discussions.  If you want to be emailed when someone makes a comment, make sure to click "Subscribe by Email" right under the comment box (right hand side), so you won't miss out on any discussion!

Classical Mamas Read Link-Up

Did you write about these chapters 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).


  1. i'm so glad you're sharing by one chapter or two. : ) there is SO much to learn from TWM!

    1. Oh good! I'm trying to balance taking my time with trying to not take a year to get through the book =)

  2. I planned to start with Latin, but my (then 5 year old) child reminded me that he doesn't sing "little kid" songs. He then informed me that Greek would be a much cooler language to learn, because it's written in "code". LOL I plan to keep going with Greek and start Latin in 3rd or 4th grade. Oh, and we do science twice per week, roughly following the first edition WTM recs.

    Great post, as usual.

  3. That's so funny about Latin and Greek!

    Do you do history (or something else) on the days you don't do science? I think I got a little overwhelmed this past year because I was trying to do some of those things everyday. Next year I'm definitely going to take their advice and try rotating a few things.

    I'm glad you are enjoying this series! Thanks for commenting!

  4. I agree that reading, writing and math are the most important subjects. With a good foundation any direction is possible. Science and history both exercise these fundamental skills.

  5. We are all very drawn to Science here in our family, maybe because Apologia makes is so much fun (??), maybe because at this age (mine are 7,5,3,1) their minds are so naturally inquisitive of the world around them...maybe just because each family is drawn to certain areas of study?
    I am thinking now of the Herschel family...their brilliant father (himself a musician) homeschooled the children and as a family, they were naturally drawn to focus on music of course, but they also deeply loved math and science...later it was his (now grown) daughter Caroline and son William who first discovered Uranus with a telescope they themselves constructed. I love that story so much and I think it's neat to see how different families have a passion for different subjects, and how many of those interests (if encouraged and developed) can carry right on into adulthood.
    I like to "dive into" science for about 2 hrs twice a week...history on the other days. only Science one week, and only History the next. It's hard for me to do them both (well) on the same day.
    I'm enjoying your Well-Trained Mind Series...
    Blessings, Joanna

    1. Awesome story! I'm going to make science more of a priority this year. I didn't get Apologia for this coming year, but I keep eying it!

  6. We have done science the WTM way since the beginning - we'll be starting 4th grade physics next month. It has been wonderful and I highly recommend this method for the grammar stage!

    1. Did you use the Kingfisher animal book and make a notebook? I just got that book and am going to use it as a slow intro into science. If you used it, I'd love to hear how you put together a 'notebook' to go with it!


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