Friday, July 12, 2013

Classical Mamas Read - The Well Trained Mind Ch. 10-12

Pin It

This post contains affiliate links to highly recommended products!

Welcome back to Classical Mamas Read!  I'm excited to be back here with you today to discuss chapters 10-12 (plus the epilogue) 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. 10 - Electronic Teachers: Computers and Video Games (grammar stage) 

"Reading is mentally active.

Watching a video is mentally passive.

Writing is labor-intensive.

Clicking icons is effortless."

How do you all feel about using electronic devices while teaching your children (or for entertainment for that matter)?

Honestly, I am not a fan.  We do watch TV, play video games, and use other sorts of electronic devices, but we limit them.  I was happy to see that The Well Trained Mind recommends no more than 1/2 hour per day and that is what we are doing right now (it's not that straight forward, but that is what it works out to be).

It just doesn't sit right with me that my kids LOVE everything electronic so much.  That only makes me think that those things are so easy on them that they prefer it to the thinking that is required to do real things.  "All children prefer ease to effort." (page 201)  Honestly, I do too, but I desire more for my children.

I desire for my children to have strong imaginations and be able to entertain themselves.  The more TV they watch, the more bored I see them become when the TV is not on and the more they ask to watch TV.  Have any of you noticed something similar with your kids?

Ch. 11 - Matters of Faith: Religion {grammar stage}

Does your faith play a large role in your homeschool?

I would say for my family, that the Bible is the biggest reason that we homeschool.  We desire to be the ones who 'train our children up.'  We believe that the Bible impacts every area of life, so it is definitely intertwined in everything that we learn.

The authors argue that not believing is God is still a matter of faith.  If you are someone who homeschools, but do not believe in God, do you agree?

This chapter finishes up by saying that the grammar stage is a good time to understand the basics of how different faiths have formed history and science.  I think that the nice thing about studying history chronologically is that you are most likely going to touch on those things as you go.

Ch. 12 - The Finer Things: Art and Music


  • Training in basic techniques
  • Studying great artists

For training in basic techniques, they recommend using Drawing with Children.  I have read about this book a bit and am anxiously awaiting receiving it to review!

For studying great artists, I recommend Harmony Fine Arts.  This program makes it simple to begin studying art and the thing I love is that the curriculum is by time period, designed to go along perfectly with classical education!


I think that people often make learning about music harder than it has to be.  They recommend simply listening to a classical piece.  Then listen to it again and again.  Listen while you are doing housework or eating dinner.

Harmony Fine Arts can help you with that again if you want the music you are listening to, to lineup with what you are studying (for the most part).

They also recommend at least two years of piano lessons.  I'm really itching to get a piano, so hopefully one day my kids will take lessons =)  Have your children taken piano lessons?  How about a different instrument?

Epilogue {grammar stage}

This is a great section used to summarize everything that has been talked about.  It is a perfect place to reference back to what your child should be learning in each subject each year.

Next is a section summarizing what should be in each notebook you are keeping.

Lastly is a discussion about learning to read.  They give a great argument for learning phonics for reading.  I'm guessing that most of you are on the same page with that, so I won't re-hash what they said.  Just for fun, does anyone NOT like to teach their children to read phonetically?

Next week I will be on vacation (well, really a short business trip with my husband, but I"ll take it =) so we won't discuss again until the following week.  Then we will be on to the logic stage!

Do you have children in the logic stage?  I want to make sure that reading and discussing the next part of the book will be helpful to you all, otherwise we can visit it again later.

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. Amy, the exact same thing happens in our home with any screen time! Makes me crazy!! Oh & we're starting piano lessons this end of summer/fall with my 2 oldest. I took lessons for 10 years. I'm super excited to start with them! : )

    1. I played for about that long too! Do you have a piano already? I can't wait to have one again and get the kids started !

    2. We do! Just bought it in the last few months. My heartstrings pulled me to a traditional piano, but logic pulled us towards our ultimate purchase of a digital piano.

  2. "All children prefer ease to effort." (page 201) The bible specifically the book of Proverbs speaks about laziness. I'm afraid we are raising a generation of lazy hands and feet. Instilling a "hard work" ethic is invaluable! Great post!

    1. Yes! I really want my children to learn to love working hard. I could stand to learn that more too =)

  3. Hello Amy! This is one of my all-time favorite books. I have used it for around 10 years. I am going to go back and read the previous discussions on this book. Blessings to you!

    1. I am really enjoying my first time reading through it! Thanks for following along!

  4. The older my kids get the more we incorporate technology into our homeschool. Although it is limited, they use it to research topics they are interested in. I highly discourage non-educational games, and they rarely play games of any sort. They tend to listen to audio stories and watch documentaries. Having said all that, I will always pick a hands-on game over an electronic game and a hands-on project whenever possible.

    1. I can definitely see the benefit of incorporating it more as kids get older. Thanks for sharing how you handle it with your kids!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...