Friday, May 9, 2014

Teaching the Trivium: Conclusion

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

Wow!  I cannot believe that we are wrapping up this 600 page book!  (Well, 450 pages since we stopped at the Appendix.)  Congrats to any of you who made it the whole way.  Thank you to all of you who read along at all or participated in any of the discussion!  I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts along the way.

In this short, concluding chapter, the Bluedorns give us some helpful questions to ask ourselves as we look upon our homeschool.  Now that you have read through Teaching the Trivium, are you motivated to make any changes in your homeschool?  Going into the summer is a great time to regroup and reevaluate.

Here are the questions that they ask (page 450):

  1. Are we building a proper foundation for our children's future education?
  2. Are we providing our children with the tools which they will need in order to continue their learning on their own?
  3. Have we instilled in our children a love for learning?
  4. Do our children respect, honor, and obey us?
  5. Is there peace in our home?
  6. Are we preparing our children for a life of devotion and service to the Lord?
  7. Are our children being prepared to marry and establish their own family?

The questions that stood out to me were numbers 3, 4, and 5.

 A love for learning is one of the cornerstones of classical education.  I really desire this to be true of my children.  I pray that I do not squash this natural love with my "planning" or by getting impatient in our daily routine.  I am going to be extra mindful of this over the next few months.  The summer months are a great time to let children explore and be curious.  We will be talking about this more in the next book we read together (I'll post about that in the next week or two!)

Obedience is something that we have always taken very seriously in my home.  With that said, it's easy to let things slide when I am tired or distracted.  My daughter is in need of some extra guidance in this area right now.  Perhaps it is developmental, or maybe I just wasn't being diligent, but she is choosing to not obey throughout the day lately and needs some reminders to make good decisions =)

Respect and Honor are two things we have probably not taken seriously enough in my family.  I think our culture downplays the respecting (and honoring) of elders, and so my husband and I just haven't been accustomed to thinking in that way.  This is an area I would really like to ponder more.

I desire a peaceful home.  Our home is by no means crazy =) but I admit that I am often overwhelmed and easily irritated.  I do not always feel peace within myself, but oh do I desire it!  I was encouraged and challenged by Andrew Kern (from the CiRCE Institute) about teaching from a state of rest.  God is at rest.  The Holy Spirit brings peace.  I have the Holy Spirit within me.  That is something I need to reflect on more.  I was inspired by Dr. Perrin (from Classical Academic Press) to incorporate purposeful times of restful learning into my day.  Taking time to contemplate "the good, the true, and the beautiful" is ever important and a often unrealized aspect of classical education. 

Let me leave you with a final quote from Teaching the Trivium:

The particular type of curriculum you choose is not as important as the need to develop your child's mind with that curriculum.  Christian teaching by the Trivium is more than Latin and Logic.  It is a way of life.  It is about developing proper appetites.  It is developing imagination and creativity.  It's having time to play and explore in the old fashioned way.  It's encouraging a love for learning.  It's building a firm foundation in the child's mind with memorization and narration.  And it's about learning to obey and serve our heavenly father. (pgs. 451-452)

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Bluedorn, for writing this book.  Thank you for all of the encouragement and great ideas!  Thank you for giving us so much to ponder and discuss!

Has this book changed or challenged your thinking about classical education?

What are your big takeaway points from Teaching the Trivium?

Thanks for reading along this week!  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!

If you don't have your own copy of Teaching the Trivium,  I still recommend getting your hands on one!  Check your library or order one soon.  Feel free to comment on any past book club posts, because I'm always happy to keep the conversation going!  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).

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  1. I really agree with the quote about the choice of curriculum not mattering as much as the development of the child. While I wholeheartedly believe in the ideals of a classical curriculum, I read post after post about people worrying more about the textbook than what they are teaching. It is an important point. There were a lot of places where the Bluedorns' views were far more extreme than my own, but I still learned a lot that I can apply in my own way.

    I've finished the book as well and will finish up with my own posts over the next two weeks. I've been dealing with the end of the year at the university and now a broken knee that will require surgery next week. :(

    1. I agree! I didn't necessarily agree with every line in the book, but there was so much to learn! It's a whole new way of thinking when you focus on what you are teaching instead of which materials you are using. I'm definitely learning that more as time goes on! Thanks so much for reading along! (I hope your surgery went well!)


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