Trivium Pursuit

This week — nine free ebooks with any purchase

April 7th, 2014

This week, with any purchase from the Trivium Pursuit catalog, you will receive (upon request) the following ebooks:

cover for contest ebook

1. Trivium Pursuit’s List of National Contests and Exams Open to Homeschoolers

2. Ancient Literature — Significant Excerpts from the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum — Volume One: Julius Caesar — by Laurie Bluedorn

3. Ancient Literature — Significant Excerpts from the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum — Volume Two: Alexander the Great — by Laurie Bluedorn

4. Ancient Literature — Significant Excerpts from the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum — Volume Three: Augustus, Jesus Christ, and Tiberius — by Laurie Bluedorn

5. Ancient Literature — Significant Excerpts from the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum — Volume Four: Ancient Egypt — by Laurie Bluedorn

6. Ancient Literature — Significant Excerpts from the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum — Volume Five: Caligula, Claudius, and Paul — by Laurie Bluedorn

7. Ancient Literature — Significant Excerpts from the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum — Volume Six: Nero, Paul, and the Destruction of Jerusalem — by Laurie Bluedorn


8. A Review of English Grammar for Students of Biblical Greek and Other Ancient Languages: A Thorough Self-Study Program For Ages Twelve Through Adult by Harvey Bluedorn


9. Vocabulary Bridges from English to Latin & Greek by Harvey Bluedorn

After you place your order from the Trivium Pursuit catalog, please email us (bluedorn @ your request for the nine free ebooks.


Ron Paul Curriculum Tip of the Week – April 05, 2014 Common Core

April 5th, 2014


The struggle over the imposition of federal testing standards for all public school children is heating up.

Texas has the plug on this. Most states have not.

I think you should take a look at a video on Common Core. You need to know what your school district is now facing, and what your school-age children are facing.

If you have not yet considered homeschooling, now is the time.

Ron Paul


Review of The Thinking Toolbox

April 4th, 2014


Review of The Thinking Toolbox on Amazon

I am a homeschooling mom, and this school year has been very memorable because of the addition of two great books, The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox, to our curriculum. I am amazed at how much my children and I learned from reading these books a few times a week. We always gathered round to see what great lesson we would learn that day. My children have been using the logic learned in everyday situations, so I know that they have grasped the lessons.

We have never studied logic before, but my 7, 9 and 12 year old have really had a great time learning with these books. Nathaniel and Hans are very humorous and we often laugh out loud at the silly things they have included in the exercises section of the book. My only regret is that they don’t have any other books. We have decided to go back and read The Fallacy Detective once again to review and strengthen the concepts that we learned now that we have finished The Thinking Toolbox. Any Christian homeschooler looking to have fun introducing logic would benefit from these books.

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion, so I am very thankful that this was something we really got a lot out of and enjoyed.

Krista Guerrero
Intellectual Baby LLC
Creators of MonkiSee
“Teaching Babies to Read”


New Edition of Webster Speller by Don Potter

April 3rd, 2014

Don Potter just published a new edition of Webster’s 1908 Elementary Spelling Book. His title better reflects the true nature of the book, Noah Webster’s Spelling Book Method for Teaching Reading and Spelling. He has spent years investigating how the syllabary was used to teach reading and spelling and has been using it lately with children as young as first-grade. Webster had written decodable text as far back as 1829. The 1908 book is essentially the same as the 1829 edition — there were minor improvements, but no major changes during all those years.


Mr. Potter’s Spelling Book Method of Teaching Reading Reference Page has everything you wanted to know about spelling books, especially Webster’s.

Here is our article on How to Use Webster’s Speller to Teach Spelling, Handwriting, Grammar, and Vocabulary.


What the Bible says about the role of wives and why I disagree with the Pearls

March 31st, 2014

Can you clarify specifically what counsel and religious views of the Pearls that you disagree with? Emily G.

Doug Wilson outlines the theological views of the Pearls.

Tim Challies writes about the theological and training issues.

This blog post is about submission vs enabling.


Typically, when we talk about the role of wives, we quote the I Peter passage:

I Peter 3:1-4
1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

But the Bible has much more to say about the role of wives.

Matthew 18:15-17
15 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

Luke 17:3-4
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.

Acts 20:35
35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Romans 12:9-10, 14, 17-21
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 13:10; 14:7, 12, 19, 21
13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

Romans 15:14
Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

1 Corinthians 5:11-13
11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. 12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

I Corinthians 10:24
Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

I Corinthians 11:3-16
3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God. 13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

I Corinthians 13:1-8
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.

Galatians 4:16
16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

Galatians 6:1
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Galatians 6: 9-10
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Ephesians 4:15, 25
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 25Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.

Ephesians 5:1-13, 22-24, 33
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Philippians 2:4
4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Philippians 4:5
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Colossians 3:12-18
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

I Thessalonians 5:14-15
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

II Thessalonians 3:7-13
7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. 10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. 13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.

I Timothy 3:11
11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.

I Timothy 5:8
8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

II Timothy 2:24-26
24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

II Timothy 4:2
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

Titus 2:3-5
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Titus 3:1-7
1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Hebrews 3:12-13
12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 10:24-25
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 12:14-15
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.

James 3:17-18
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

James 4:17
17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

James 5:19-20
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

I Peter 3:1-11
1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. 7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For “He who would love life, And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.

I John 1:6
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

I John 2:3-6
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

I John 3:18
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Jude 16-19, 22-23
16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. 22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Enabling a brother’s sin is not acting in love.


Against the Dorothy Sayers Movement

March 11th, 2014

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Dear Mr. & Mrs. Bluedorn,

I purchased your book Teaching The Trivium recently and I think it’s quite thorough and well researched. I think it’s definitely one of the top five books meant to be in the list of reference books for those seeking to homeschool.

I’ve been reading various sources on the subject of how to homeschool and yours seems to be the only one so far that addressed the issue of political correctness directly and questioning if college should be the main goal of every homeschooler. You and many other homeschooling advocates refer to writer Dorothy Sayers’ as the foundation for the classical schooling movement. However, I did come across an essay which definitely questions the validity of Dorothy Sayers’ role in improving education.

The article is by William Michael of the Classical Liberal Arts Academy.

Essentially, he says Sayers was no better for education than John Dewey as she was a progressive and would have wanted to distort education, rather than truly improve it. In your book you made mention of not necessarily needing to read “the classics” which were written by pagan philosophers, but wouldn’t Sayers fit into that category as well?

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.


Yes, if we examine all of the teachings/lifestyle of Dorothy Sayers, we will find some things we don’t like/agree with. It’s the same with Charlotte Mason, John Holt, Raymond Moore, etc.

I think the first time I addressed this issue was when studying the life of Charles Dickens, my favorite fiction author. His personal life was a mess. It kind of stunned me for a while to think that this genius of a writer wasn’t good in real life.

I really love the writings of Raymond and Dorothy Moore — but some of it I don’t agree with, specifically his religious and dietary views. But, his religious and dietary views don’t interfere with his educational views, in my opinion. The bad is gobbled up by the good.

Another example is the Pearl’s. They have written a great amount of good counsel to parents, but because some of their counsel is so bad (in my opinion) and because their religious views are so contrary to the Bible (in my opinion), I won’t recommend them at all to anyone. In their case, the good is gobbled up by the bad.

Concerning Dorothy Sayers, all I pay attention to is her essay “The Lost Tools of Learning.” I don’t care for her other writings. So when we point people to Dorothy Sayers, we’re pointing to her essay, not necessarily HER.

I’m not familiar with what Dorothy Sayers says about reading the classics. Do you have a link for that? Our view is that Christians need to be discerning when they read — whether it’s the ancient Greek and Roman classics or modern classics. Our book Ancient History from Primary Sources: A Literary Timeline lists the ancient classics which we would recommend.

Did I answer your question? Write again if not.



Communication Time-bomb

March 6th, 2014

Here is a recipe for a communication disaster — four ingredients:

1. Excessive Negative Talk

“Some people constantly complain and find fault. They seldom affirm or talk about positive virtues of other people. They rarely acknowledge the good things happening in the world or in the church or in their family. They are experts at excessive negative talk. The gloom and doom that pours from the mouths of these people fosters a depressing atmosphere in the family.”

2. Excessive Heavyweight Speech

“Some people …want to turn every conversation into a discussion of deep … problems, weighty subjects, and ultimate concerns.”

3. Lethal Exaggeration

“Exaggeration is a more subtle, but equally lethal form of lying. It occurs when we blow things out of proportion. Sometimes we exaggerate about a person’s behavior…Sometimes we exaggerate concerning our own conduct….Exaggeration encourages people to become defensive or suspicious of the speaker. Although intended to get the listener’s attention, exaggeration usually fosters disbelief or disregard for what is said….The listener begins to feel abused and mistreated, having lost confidence in the speaker and his words….”

4. Misrepresentation

“Misrepresentation, a close cousin to exaggeration, is part of the falsehood family. Perhaps there is no more common form of lying than when the facts about a person and his behavior are rearranged. The truth is so twisted and distorted by additions or omissions or slanting of facts that the result bears little resemblance to reality.

Mix well and wait for the explosion.

Taken from Your Family God’s Way by Wayne A. Mack.



Please don’t wait till the kids have all moved out before you implement these suggestions

March 6th, 2014

Suggestions on how to treat your adult children.

1. The majority of the time that you are talking with your adult child, you should be doing the listening, not the talking. Real and attentive listening. Respectful listening — not appearing to be listening or thinking about what you need to be doing next or what you want to say next, but real listening.

2. Talk to your adult children in the same way which you would talk to any of your peers. Your body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, language, and level of respect should be the same as what you use with your peers.

3. There must be trust. The members of a family must trust each other. Without mutual trust there can be no family peace, order, fellowship, respect, or communion.

4. Address the concerns of your adult children in a timely manner. Don’t continue to put off resolving issues or acting on matters, but have enough respect for your adult children to move forward, making decisions promptly on issues which are important to them. Don’t be eternally saying, “Well, I’m praying about it.”

5. Avoid exaggeration — it undermines trust and respect. Exaggeration is a learned behavior and your children will most certainly adopt the behavior if they see it in you.

6. If children are exposed to a steady stream of negativity and criticism, leveled against them or against others, it will undermine their trust and confidence in you, and it will interfere with their ability to respect you. When the parent is negative and critical, his intended result is that the child will become more discerning and careful. But in actuality, the effect of steady negativity and criticism is usually the opposite — it serves to pull down and inhibit growth, and causes the child to not take the parent seriously.

7. It is most likely that at some time in his life and in some area of his life, your adult child will disagree with your views on different issues, be it politics, how to handle money, nutrition, music, dress, courtship, or (gasp!!) theology. Have enough respect for your adult child to discuss these differences in the same way that you discuss differences with your peers.



Teaching Math Informally

March 4th, 2014


My 10 Most Useful Reference Tools for Homeschooling

March 3rd, 2014

The Wall Chart of World History: From Earliest Times to the Present

Wall Chart 4

The Reese Chronological Bible — I would prefer it wasn’t the KJV, but it doesn’t come in any other version.


Trivium Pursuit’s List of National Contests and Exams Open to Homeschoolers — this is a list I started compiling back in the 80′s.


Building Thinking Skills Books 2, 3 Figural, and 3 Verbal — our first introduction to logic


Your Family God’s Way: Developing and Sustaining Relationships in the Home by Wayne A. Mack — the best family counseling book EVER


Hand That Rocks the Cradle by Nathaniel Bluedorn — my list of classic read-alouds, compiled from 1981-2001

HTRTC - 2008 - Cover - 29.indd

Audio Books — a life-saver for Mother


Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think And What We Can Do About It by Jane M. Healy — read this before you start homeschooling

endangered minds

McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers — I prefer the Christian School Edition


A Child’s History of England by Charles Dickens — get your children hooked on history with Dickens

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