Trivium Pursuit

The Trivium and Charlotte Mason

August 16th, 2016

Are the Classical Approach and the Charlotte Mason Approach two homeschool approaches so opposite from each other that they cannot be reconciled? Or is it possible to use a combination of these two approaches? Let’s look at each of these approaches separately and see what are the similarities and differences. ….

Read the rest of the article here.

by Laurie Bluedorn (1999)

eric-in-July-2010 (1)


Infinite wisdom directs every event

August 16th, 2016

John Dagg, 1857

The Lord does whatever pleases Him in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. Psalm 135:5-6

It should fill us with joy that God’s infinite wisdom guides the affairs of the world.

Many of its events are shrouded in darkness and mystery, and inextricable confusion sometimes seems to reign.

Often wickedness prevails, and God seems to have forgotten the creatures that He has made.

Our own path through life is dark and devious, and beset with difficulties and dangers.

How full of consolation is the doctrine, that infinite wisdom directs every event, brings order out of confusion, and light out of darkness, and, to those who love God, His infinite wisdom causes all things, whatever their present aspect and apparent tendency is, to work together for good.

We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28


Kindle Ebook Free for Three Days

August 16th, 2016


Homeschool Basics: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style

FREE for 3 Days

This 43-page ebook is an excerpt from the book Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn

The ebook lays out a suggested course of study and guidelines for teaching children below age ten.

You can purchase the ebook on Amazon for $1.99, but from August 17-19 you can download the ebook for free, plus receive another Trivium Pursuit ebook. See details below.

Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style is not just about classical education — it gives a workable plan for every subject and for every age which avoids homeschool burnout.

Some of the distinctives of Teaching the Trivium include:

–an emphasis on reading aloud to your children
–studying logic from ages ten through high school, rather than using it as a one or two year supplement
–ancient literature from a Christian perspective
–why INFORMAL math or grammar before age ten may be a better choice
–how to give your children the tools they need to teach themselves
–how to continue using other approaches to homeschooling within the framework of classical education

Sign up for the Homeschooling with the Trivium newsletter — each newsletter contains freebies, book reviews, Homeschooling Q & A, read-aloud suggestions, tips on teaching Latin, Greek, and logic, and contests with book-giveaways.

Here is the special offer:

On August 17-19 (these three days only) the ebook will be free. In addition, if you download the ebook sometime during the three day period and write an Amazon review, we’ll send you one of the ebooks from the Trivium Pursuit catalog (in PDF format). You can choose one ebook from the following:

Vocabulary Bridges from English to Latin & Greek by Harvey Bluedorn

A Review of English Grammar for Students of Biblical Greek and Other Ancient Languages by Harvey Bluedorn

Cómo Enseñar el Trivium — Educación Cristiana en Casa en un Estilo Clásico by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn

Ancient Literature — Significant Excerpts From the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum — Volume One: Julius Caesar

Ancient Literature — Significant Excerpts From the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum — Volume Two: Alexander the Great

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

Ancient Literature — Significant Excerpts From the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum — Volume Four: Ancient Egypt

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

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

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

What Do You See? A Child’s First Introduction to Art, Volume One by Laurie Bluedorn


After you download Homeschool Basics: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style and post your review on Amazon, send an email to with the name you wrote your review under and the title of the ebook you would like.


Why Study Logic?

August 9th, 2016

Why Study Logic? Perhaps the most important thing to give your child to prepare him to confront this world is a firm grasp of logical thinking skills. Without this refined skill — the ability to reason correctly — his thinking is not firmly anchored, but is “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” Children who can logically understand what they believe will hold fast to the truth and will be able to defend it throughout their lives.

Logic is necessary to analyze other people’s beliefs. Logical fallacies are everywhere in our society. If your child cannot detect the logical mistakes he hears, then how will he discern who is right? The study of logical fallacies (common mistakes in reasoning) is important to critically reason through the arguments of others.

Logic is necessary to understand and communicate our own beliefs. The Scripture commands us to prove our doctrines and practices. (Ephesians 5:10) We are to reason and dispute from the Scriptures with persuasive and convincing arguments (Acts 17:2) If we are able to think through and clearly reason from the Bible, then we will be better equipped to give a proper defense of our faith. (I Peter 3:15)

Logic is necessary. The study of formal logic should be considered foundational to every educational curriculum. In the past it was. The roots of logic stretch into every other subject. The construction and programming of computers, for example, is based entirely upon the application of the laws of logic. The proofs of algebra and geometry rely upon the laws of logic. The laws of logic, in one way or another, are fundamental to every academic discipline.

Unfortunately, the study of logic is dispensed with in the modern curriculum. Social skills are considered more important than thinking skills. Children do not learn to think for themselves. The study of formal logic will give your child life-long skill in proper reasoning. The study of logic should be considered indispensable to every Classical Education.

Harvey Bluedorn



Ancient history ebooks free with purchase from our catalog

August 9th, 2016

This week you can receive FREE (upon request) these ancient history ebooks with any purchase from our catalog.

Ancient Literature

Significant Excerpts From the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum

All Six Ebooks for $25 — free this week with any purchase from our catalog

Published by Trivium Pursuit

Use primary sources to enhance your study of ancient history.

811 pages total

These ebooks can be used to supplement any ancient history curriculum and are suitable for ages ten through adult. For these volumes, we combed through the books of dozens of ancient authors to find numerous significant excerpts concerning the different time periods. We then arranged the excerpts chronologically and provided the text and citation for each.

Included in this package deal is Ancient Literature — Significant Excerpts From the Books of Classical Authors Which You Can Use to Supplement Your History Curriculum

Volume One: Julius Caesar
Volume Two: Alexander the Great
Volume Three: Augustus, Jesus Christ, and Tiberius
Volume Four: Ancient Egypt
Volume Five: Caligula, Claudius, and Paul
Volume Six: Nero, Paul, and the Destruction of Jerusalem.

After you place an order on our web site, email us with your request for the ebooks.

PicMonkey Collage


A Logic Lesson; or, How Desperate People Argue

August 5th, 2016


Have you ever heard the word “fallacy?”

A fallacy is the use of wrong moves in the construction of an argument — when you’re trying to convince someone of something. These wrong moves render your argument unsound.

There are dozens of types of fallacies.

Some fallacies are committed
1) intentionally to manipulate or persuade by deception, while others are committed
2) unintentionally due to carelessness or ignorance.

Personally, the fallacy which makes me cringe is the Ad Hominem (“against the person”) — it falls into group #1. It’s also called “The Fallacy of Personal Attack.” Ad Hominem is the most familiar logical fallacy of them all, and I’ve seen it used by people as a tool to deceive their audience. In my opinion, using an Ad Hominem argument is a sign of desperation used by desperate people.

Ad Hominem arguments can take the form of attacking somebody or casting doubt on his character in order to discredit the person making the argument. The result of an Ad Hominem argument can be to undermine someone’s case without actually addressing it.

The Ad Hominem fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack is made against the character of the person making the claim. Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim which the person in question is making. The Ad Hominem argument looks like this:

Person A makes claim XYZ.
Person B makes an attack on person A.
Therefore, Person A’s claim XYZ is false.

Example of an argument where an Ad Hominem fallacy is used:

Jane: “I believe that the county should require cats to be registered and vaccinated against rabies.”
Jack: “Why should we listen to you — you’re a chronic liar.”
Jane: “What about the arguments I gave to support my position?”
Jack: “Like I said, you always lie. Furthermore, you’re a crook, and you want the state to control everything. Next, you’re going to want to have my parakeet vaccinated.”

The Ad Hominem argument leaves an impression on the mind which is hard to spot. Although the personal attack that has been made on the opponent might not have any truth in it, it somehow makes the audience biased and has the power of persuasion. Once an Ad Hominem is used against someone, it smears his reputation — the audience, instead of evaluating it on logical grounds, takes it to be true.

Donald Trump is quite practiced in the Ad Hominem argument. Senator Marco Rubio’s height is irrelevant to anything political and Trump’s tweet “Truly weird Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. He was terrible at DEBATE!” is classic Ad Hominem.

Learn to recognize the Ad Hominem fallacy and call out the person making it. Evaluate arguments on the basis of merit, not on personal attacks made by desperate people.


Reviewers Needed

August 5th, 2016


Looking for reviewers for the new edition of The Fallacy Detective. If you are a book reviewer with a well-trafficked blog, message me if you’re interested.


Harvey’s 66th Birthday

August 5th, 2016


Eric knows what Grampa likes.


Bourne on his birthday


The dull, and the slow, and the stupid, and the doubting

June 21st, 2016

by J.C. Ryle, The Gospel of John

Then He said to Thomas: Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side. John 20:27

We see here, how kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers. Nowhere, perhaps, in all the four Gospels, do we find this part of our Lord’s character so beautifully illustrated, as in the story before our eyes. It is hard to imagine anything more tiresome and provoking than the conduct of Thomas, when even the testimony of ten faithful brethren had no effect on him, and he doggedly declared, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side I will not believe.”

But it is impossible to imagine anything more patient and compassionate, than our Lord’s treatment of this weak disciple. He does not reject him, or dismiss him, or excommunicate him. He comes again at the end of a week, and apparently for the special benefit of Thomas. He deals with him according to his weakness, like a gentle mother dealing with a froward child, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side.” If nothing but the grossest, coarsest, most material evidence could satisfy Thomas — even that evidence was supplied. Surely this was a love which surpasses knowledge, and a patience which surpasses understanding.

A passage of Scripture like this, we need not doubt, was written for the special comfort of all true believers. The Holy Spirit knew well that the dull, and the slow, and the stupid, and the doubting, are by far the commonest type of disciples in this evil world. The Holy Spirit has taken care to supply abundant evidence that Jesus is rich in patience as well as compassion, and that He bears with the infirmities of all His people. Let us take care that we drink into our Lord’s spirit, and copy His example. Let us never set down men as godless because their faith is feeble, and their love is cold. Let us remember the case of Thomas, and be very compassionate and of tender mercy.

Our Lord has . . .
many weak children in His family,
many dull pupils in His school,
many raw soldiers in His army,
many lame sheep in His flock.

Yet He bears with them all, and casts none away.

Happy is that Christian who has learned to deal likewise with his brethren. There are many in the Church, who, like Thomas, are dull and slow, but for all that, like Thomas, are real and true believers.


Reading list for ages 7-12

June 21st, 2016

I’ve labeled this list for ages 7-12, but, reality is, all ages will enjoy reading these books or hearing them read aloud. Plus, there are many more important books I could list here, but, we’ll save the rest for another time.

The Matchlock Gun

The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds


The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Winnie-the-Pooh by A A Milne

Charlotte’s Web and other books by E B White

Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder


The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

Narnia series by C S Lewis

The Borrowers series by Mary Norton


Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome

Anne of Green Gables and other books by L.M. Montgomery


Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

The Secret Garden and other books by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Little Women and other books by Louisa May Alcott


Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter


Misty of Chincoteague and other books by Marguerite Henry

The Witch of Blackbird Pond and other books by Elizabeth George Speare

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

Sounder by William H. Armstrong


Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

The Door in the Wall and other books by Marguerite de Angeli

Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry

Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong


Strawberry Girl and other books by Lois Lenski


Hitty, Her First Hundred Years and other books by Rachel Field

All-of-a-Kind Family series by Sydney Taylor

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith


I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Treviño

The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly

Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes

Smoky the Cow Horse and other books by Will James


Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Gray Vining

The White Stag and other books by Kate Seedy

Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis

The Dark Frigate by Charles Boardman Hawes


Gay Neck: The Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji

The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace