Trivium Pursuit

Volume Two of Art Curriculum Now Available

August 27th, 2015

Volume Two Art Curriculum Cover1000

Trivium Pursuit’s newest curriculum is now available — What Do You See? A Child’s First Introduction to Art, Volume Two [Kindle Edition] by Laurie Bluedorn.

This 36-page ebook can be purchased on Amazon for $2.99. The pdf version will be available soon at Trivium Pursuit.

What Do You See? A Child’s First Introduction to Art, Volume Two

This curriculum is a gentle and easy introduction to art appreciation for children, ages 4-12. Our goal is to introduce children to basic concepts in learning how to look at a piece of art and evaluate it. In addition, we want to spark in the child a love for the great works of art.

Here are five benefits for your students when they study art appreciation:

1. It will stimulate them to ask questions.
2. It will cause them to try to understand why the artist painted what he did.
3. It will push them to pay attention to details the artist placed inside his painting.
4. It will make them curious and perhaps try to paint something themselves.
5. It will stimulate them to research the life of the artist and the history of the painting.

The students and teacher should spend a bit of time observing the painting and then answer the questions. Since one of our goals is to learn to love art, we recommend that you ask the child to answer the questions orally, not with pencil and paper. We want to make the learning experience enjoyable for you and the children.

This second volume will introduce only one elementary art principle — primary colors.

Some believe that the use of color is the most powerful part of a painting. With colors the artist can communicate to his audience a mood, attract attention, or make a statement. The artist can use color to make his audience feel happy or sad, angry or peaceful. All artists must learn to use color effectively.

Of course, you know that there are many, many colors in the world, but there are three colors which are called primary colors – red, yellow, and blue. These three colors are called primary colors for two reasons: 1. No two colors can be mixed to create a primary color – primary colors can only be created through the use of natural pigments; 2. All other colors can be created by mixing primary colors together.

In this volume of What Do You See? we will be studying only one aspect of color – finding the three primary colors in a painting.

Table of Contents for Volume Two

1. Le Tour Du Monde by André-Henri Dargelas
2. Teaching a Dog New Tricks by John Arthur Lomax
3. The Baptism of the Eunuch by Rembrandt
4. Arabs Crossing the Desert by Jean-Leon Gerome
5. The Blind Girl by John Everett Millais
6. The Good Turn by George Hillyard Swinstead
7. The Animals Entering the Ark by Jan Brueghel the Elder
8. The First Lesson by Louis-Emile Adan
9. Baseball Players Practicing by Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins
10. The Reading Lesson by Paul Seignac

You can also purchase of What Do You See? A Child’s First Introduction to Art, Volume One on Amazon or at Trivium Pursuit.

Table of Contents for Volume One

1. Little Red Riding Hood and Grandmother by Harriet Backer
2. The Dog Cart by Henriëtte Ronner-Knip
3. The Birthday Cake by Victor Gabriel Gilbert
4. Boy with Baby Carriage by Norman Rockwell
5. Feeding the Baby by Axel Theophilus Helsted
6. Elsie Cassatt Holding a Big Dog by Mary Cassatt
7. Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent
8. Cottage Girl with Dog and Pitcher by Thomas Gainsborough
9. A Child’s Menagerie by Eastman Johnson
10. Belshazzar’s Feast by Rembrandt


The Conversation I Almost Missed & the Future It Could’ve Cost

August 11th, 2015


“I thought it was my job to teach my children a lesson. But what I was teaching them was that I could never be satisfied. I was teaching them to confide in someone else -— someone who would be more understanding and less reactive. I was teaching them to strive for perfection, no matter the cost.” –Rachel Macy Stafford

Read the rest of the article here.


How do we teach Latin or Greek to a child when we don’t know the language ourselves?

August 10th, 2015


Question: How do we teach Latin or Greek to a child when we don’t know the language ourselves? In fact, having attended public school, we feel as if we lack a healthy grasp of the English language!

Answer: When we first learned English, did we construct sentences based upon a conscious knowledge of subject-verb agreement? No. Such categories of grammar were beyond your understanding. Nevertheless, in a short time, we mastered the art of constructing understandable sentences which were usually grammatically correct. Mastering a language is not the same as mastering its formal grammar. Many persons communicate quite well in English who have never mastered textbook grammar.

Imagine yourself in a classroom where you must at the same time master both the basics of a language and its formal grammar. Not a good idea. Yet that is exactly what is done in seminaries. The seminary student is required to master Greek grammar before he has any familiarity with the Greek language. There are a few sharp and diligent students who can handle this, but most students half-fake their way through it, then promptly forget most of what they temporarily planted in their short-term memory.

Here is a better course to take — one which will work for everyone. First, learn to read and to write the language. Spend a good long time mastering the alphabet and the phonetics. Use an interlinear text and practice reading. (The interlinear will show you what each word means in English.) Memorize portions in Greek (or Latin or Hebrew) and in English. Become familiar with the look and the sound of the language. This way, when you begin studying the grammar, it won’t all be Greek to you even if it actually is Greek!

When it comes to studying a foreign language grammar, it will be to your advantage to know English grammar. If you don’t know English grammar, then you’ll have no choice except to learn it right along with the foreign grammar.

In summary, it’s best not to try to master both the language and its formal grammar at the same time, and one cannot master a foreign grammar without mastering English grammar, so it’s best not to try to master both at the same time. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what most grammar texts require. You’ll probably do much better if you adapt the text to the reality of how we learn — first knowledge (the basics), then understanding (the logical structure), then wisdom (the polished practice).


New Tiny Grand

July 24th, 2015

Daughter Helena just had a baby! Due to a burst appendix at 27 weeks, little Violet Tamzon Auberg decided she needed to make an early appearance. All is well with mother and babe.


at 27 weeks, 2lb 1oz


a few drops of liquid gold for Violet


named after her great-grandmother


tiny hand


The Tutor for Charlotte Mason & Classical Educators — free until August 15

July 24th, 2015


THE TUTOR is a 9 volume library of Classical & Charlotte Mason style educational treasures, including:

Outdoor games & activities
Nature projects and stories
Great Literature & Poetry
Music & Art History and Appreciation
Character Building Stories & Activities
Famous Speeches and Letters
Communication, Rhetoric & Logic Skills
Biographical sketches of famous men of long ago
Bible verses in Latin (with the English alongside) for copywork
Lesson Plans, Schedules and helpful Teaching Tips
…and much, much more.

Over 1300 content-rich pages of classic teaching materials, readings, lessons, full color art prints, activities & more.

The TUTOR PDF library will have a price tag of $69 in September, but you can get ALL NINE VOLUMES free when you join the Homeschool Freebie of the Day subscriber list by August 15th.


Speech and Debate Resources

July 13th, 2015

Speech — A short introduction

Debate — A short introduction; how to get started in debate; how to research a topic; and general rules for debate

National Homeschool Speech and Debate organization

Homeschool Speech and Debate Discussion Loop — archives of group email exchanges from 1997 when homeschool speech and debate was just starting

Bibliography for Speech, Debate, and Interpretive Reading — books, videos, audio tapes, and articles

Pieces That Have Won Prizes — pieces for oral interpretation

Speech & Debate Internet Resources

Here’s a good introduction to your speech and debate study —


The Fallacy Detective



A Child’s First Introduction to Art now available as a PDF

July 13th, 2015

What Do You See? A Child’s First Introduction to Art, Volume 1 is now available on our web site as a PDF. You can order it here, or you can order the Kindle version on Amazon.

“Excellent Manner to Awaken the Budding Scholar(s) in your Life — An outstanding book for introducing children ages 4 -12 to an appreciation of art. This volume contains ten works by various artists. The time period is from the 1600’s to the 1900’s. There is even a Rockwell painting in this book. At the end of the book the author has included suggested answers for the questions posed after each painting….” Read the rest of this review here.

template art curriculum cover volume one


On Controversy

July 5th, 2015

A minister who was about to publish an article criticizing a fellow minister for errors in his theology, wrote to John Newton of his intention. Newton’s reply was meant to reference controversies in theology, but I find it to be helpful for many of life’s controversies.

Dear Sir,

As you are likely to be engaged in controversy, and your love of truth is joined with a natural warmth of temper, my friendship makes me solicitous on your behalf. You are of the strongest side; for truth is great, and must prevail; so that a person of abilities inferior to yours might take the field with a confidence of victory. I am not therefore anxious for the event of the battle…. Read the rest of the letter here.


…If you write with a desire of being an instrument of correcting mistakes, you will of course be cautious of laying stumbling blocks in the way of the blind or of using any expressions that may exasperate their passions, confirm them in their principles, and thereby make their conviction, humanly speaking, more impracticable….

…If our zeal is embittered by expressions of anger, invective, or scorn, we may think we are doing service of the cause of truth, when in reality we shall only bring it into discredit. The weapons of our warfare, and which alone are powerful to break down the strongholds of error, are not carnal, but spiritual; arguments fairly drawn from Scripture and experience, and enforced by such a mild address, as may persuade our readers, that, whether we can convince them or not, we wish well to their souls, and contend only for the truth’s sake; if we can satisfy them that we act upon these motives, our point is half gained; they will be more disposed to consider calmly what we offer; and if they should still dissent from our opinions, they will be constrained to approve our intentions….

…There is a principle of self, which disposes us to despise those who differ from us; and we are often under its influence, when we think we are only showing a becoming zeal in the cause of God….

…Whatever it be that makes us trust in ourselves that we are comparatively wise or good, so as to treat those with contempt who do not subscribe to our doctrines, or follow our party, is a proof and fruit of a self-righteous spirit….

…Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature and the riches of free grace. Yea, I would add, the best of men are not wholly free from this leaven; and therefore are too apt to be pleased with such representations as hold up our adversaries to ridicule, and by consequence flatter our own superior judgments. Controversies, for the most part, are so managed as to indulge rather than to repress his wrong disposition; and therefore, generally speaking, they are productive of little good. They provoke those whom they should convince, and puff up those whom they should edify. I hope your performance will savor of a spirit of true humility, and be a means of promoting it in others….

…Be upon your guard against admitting anything personal into the debate. If you think you have been ill treated, you will have an opportunity of showing that you are a disciple of Jesus, who “when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not.” This is our pattern, thus we are to speak and write for God, “not rendering railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing; knowing that hereunto we are called.” The wisdom that is from above is not only pure, but peaceable and gentle; and the want of these qualifications, like the dead fly in the pot of ointment, will spoil the savor and efficacy of our labors….

…If we act in a wrong spirit, we shall bring little glory to God, do little good to our fellow creatures, and procure neither honor nor comfort to ourselves. If you can be content with showing your wit, and gaining the laugh on your side, you have an easy task; but I hope you have a far nobler aim, and that, sensible of the solemn importance of gospel truths, and the compassion due to the souls of men, you would rather be a means of removing prejudices in a single instance, than obtain the empty applause of thousands. Go forth, therefore, in the name and strength of the Lord of hosts, speaking the truth in love; and may he give you a witness in many hearts that you are taught of God, and favored with the unction of his Holy Spirit.

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My Politics

July 4th, 2015

from Letters of John Newton, 1778

The whole system of my politics is summed up in this one verse, The Lord reigns. Let the nations tremble. –Psalm 99:1

The times look awfully dark indeed, and as the clouds grow thicker, the stupidity of the nation seems proportionally to increase. If the Lord had not a remnant here, I would have very formidable apprehensions. But He loves His redeemed children — some are sighing and mourning before Him, and I am sure He hears their sighs, and sees their tears. I trust there is mercy in store for us at the bottom, but I expect a shaking time before things get into a right channel — before we are humbled and are taught to give Him the glory.

The state of the nation, the state of the churches — both are deplorable. Those who should be praying are disputing and fighting among themselves. Alas! how many professors are more concerned for the mistakes of government than for their own sins.

Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns! Revelation 19:6