Trivium Pursuit

Books for Your Homeschool

July 26th, 2014

I would encourage you to take advantage of this sale — it ends on Sunday. There are items for all grades — here’s the Charlotte Mason bundle.

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Now Available — Video Version of The Practical Trivium

July 23rd, 2014

Today we released the video of our seminar The Practical Trivium. This is a video we filmed in 2004 in Austin, Texas, but are just now releasing it. We released the audio version several years ago, but now the video is available.

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Build Your Bundle sale starts now — here is the high school bundle

July 20th, 2014
Do you have a high school student? The High School Bundle at The “Build Your Bundle” – Homeschool Edition sale is priced 82% off total retail value! It’s amazing and packed full of enough curriculum for an entire school year, INCLUDING A FULL YEAR OF MATH! But hurry – the sale ends 7-28-14!
Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

$381.68 ONLY $69.00 Save 82%

Your high school students will develop academic mastery and intellectual
maturity using our High School Bundle. This bundle features a New Testament
Bible curriculum, an introduction to psychology, a full year of math curriculum,
resources for world history and geography, philosophy, home economics, college
prep, grammar, a creative writing course that even “non-writers”
will love, an anatomy science unit study from Cathy Duffy’s Top 100
picks, and more! You will receive enough materials for a full year of high
school!

There is a product in Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 Pics in this bundle!

Buy more & save more! Purchase 2 pre-assembled bundles and get the 3rd one 50% off. See site for details.


Checkout the items in the High School Bundle:

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Expedition Earth – Retail $29.95

Grab your passport and let’s explore the people and places of our globe. Within these pages, you will discover the sights and sounds of all 195 countries of our world and learn about the people who live there, the crops they raise, the food they eat, the music they play, the religions they follow, and so much more. This is a 1 year course in world geography, good for a full high school credit.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Creation Anatomy: Study Guide to the Miracles of the Body – Retail $18.95

This study includes easy to follow lesson plans, a teaching outline for K-12, over 300 activities and experiments (including Francesco Redi’s experiment that proves life only comes from life!), the body systems, original research, human history, language information, vocabulary list, recommended reading (not necessary to complete this study), math activities,reproducible sheets and much more!

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

A+ Tutor Soft Math 1 Full Year, One Student Retail
– $149.00

This Multi-Sensory Interactive MATH Curriculum Software makes learning MATH fun and easy by using audio, computer animated visuals and text. It includes comprehensive course contents that meet and exceed State & National standards. It provides ample opportunity to learn using as many real-life situations as possible and practice problem solving with step-by-step solutions. NOT COMMON CORE ALIGNED

Click here to learn more!

Recommended for you and found at this price only at the
Build Your Bundle – Homeschool Edition Sale
in the Premium Products Section:

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!
*Not included in the High School Bundle, available for purchase individually at 60% off.

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Picture Smart Bible New Testament – Retail $30.00

Picture-Smart Bible is a comprehensive overview of Biblical history, geography, doctrine, important verses and major themes of each Bible book.

In this innovative Bible study program, an overview of an entire book is illustrated on a single page. For every book of the New Testament you study, you will have a script to follow, a Master Drawing, and a Student Sheet.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Creative Freewriting Adventure – Retail $18.95

Writing can be hard work. Good writing most often results from rewriting, and much rewriting can make a writer weary. Since Philosophy Adventure™ students create and refine one primary writing assignment over the course of several weeks (supported by clear step-by-step instructions and seven writing checklists), we created freewriting exercises to offset their hard work with play. Using these exercises, we discovered that even students who considered themselves “non-writers” produced surprisingly creative work. No prep required.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Cooking with Kids – Retail $14.95

In this 12 week course your kids will learn to make breakfast, lunch, dinner and even special treats. Each weekly lesson includes three sections: preparing our hearts, enriching our minds, and nourishing our bodies. Using a combination of hands on activities, links to instructional videos and quizzes, customized worksheets, we have designed the course so that your children will gain experience using a variety of cooking methods, be introduced to the basics of kitchen safety, learn how to correctly measure different types of ingredients, prepare a shopping list, set the table, and so much more!

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective – Retail $24.99

Most college majors require Psychology. It is good to have a Christian foundation in psychology particularly before experiencing it at college (perhaps secular) level. This comprehensive text from a Christian worldview will help students appreciate God’s handiwork and also be prepared for college settings. This user-friendly curriculum may be completed by a homeschooling high schooler with or without parental support.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

A Review of English Grammar for Students of Biblical Greek and Other Ancient Languages – Retail $8.00

Students who know and understand well their own language grammar are better prepared to study the grammar of other languages. A Review of English Grammar takes this principle one step further, providing a review of the basic categories of English grammar, but written from the point of view of Greek grammar.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Uncover Exciting History – Retail $13.00

What is history anyway? It is the story of real people who did real things. For history to be fun for everyone (even those who think they hate history), it must go beyond hard facts and meaningless dates to the real people who made the significant events happen. In this book you will meet some of America’s most famous people like George Washington and some of her not so famous people like Daniel Webster.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

World History and Philosophy – Retail $34.99

Christian teens need to understand the philosophies that have driven world culture and politics since ancient times. This prepares them to help create new philosophic ideas that can change the world! This course earns 1 credit and helps homeschoolers discover the ways that philosophers have impacted their world since before the ancient Greeks – and the ways the world has impacted the philosophers.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

15 Secrets to FREE College – Retail $9.95

Unfortunately, going to college today can be extremely expensive and a student can incur long-lasting debt that can follow him or her for many years. The truth is, 50% of college is paid for by loans, 40% by grants and about 10% actually comes from scholarships. The good news is that college can be within the reach for just about everyone. There are many ways students can receive scholarships as well as FREE College!

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Plant a Seed, Grow an Entrepreneur – Retail $10.00

A fun-filled, comprehensive unit study designed to motivate and prepare students to be successful entrepreneurs. In this book, your students will learn to plan ahead, be encouraged to study entrepreneurship, study successful business models, and more using the thought-provoking assignments that are included.

Click here to learn more!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Reach for the Stars – Young Adult Fiction Workbook
– Retail $18.95

This workbook for budding young authors includes sections on: creating characters, how to "show-don’t tell" their feelings, beginnings that "hook" the reader, creating scenes, plotting stories and much more! Students can work at their own pace and independently. Includes a parent/teacher guide with hints for expanding the lessons if desired.

Click here to learn more!


BUY MORE & SAVE MORE!

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

*Lots of ways to save!

  1. When you purchase ANY 2 pre-assembled bundles you will get the 3rd
    pre-assembled bundle of equal or lesser value for 50% off!
  2. When you purchase ANY 2 “build your own” bundles you will get
    the 3rd “build your own” bundle of equal or lesser value for
    50% off!
  3. Tell your friends about the "Build Your Bundle" – Homeschool
    Edition
    Sale using our referral system that is found on the top
    of the website
    ! When 10 of your referrals visit our site using your
    unique link, we will give you a code to save 10% off your total purchase!

*The B2G1 50% off offer applies to pre-assembled or “Build Your Own
Bundles only.
Discount taken off the lowes priced bundle. See site for complete details and FAQ.

Prefer to pick and choose what you want?
Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

 

Study Guide to Accompany The Fallacy Detective

July 20th, 2014

FREE download of a study guide to accompany The Fallacy Detective at Six More Summers. Also, six copies of The Fallacy Detective to be given away over the next ten days.

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Four Approaches to the Study of Ancient Literature

July 18th, 2014

The purpose of this article is to help Christians to develop their own Biblical approach to evaluating literature. We cannot describe every possible approach, but we will briefly describe three common approaches to the study of classical literature, then we will explain our own distinct approach.

Nobody has appointed us judge over what others think or do, but we do have to judge what we ourselves think and do, and others may be able to use our opinions to help them explore the issues themselves.

1. A Secular-Intellectual Approach
Secular literally means of the generation or age, and refers to temporal and worldly matters to the exclusion of spiritual matters. The idea, or thesis, of a Secular-Intellectual Approach is that everyone should be intimately familiar with the standard collection of classical literature in the Western tradition – a collection often called the Western canon. Canon is a Greek word meaning a measuring line, a standard for measurement, a rule, a basis for judgment.

This Western canon – or standard literature in Western culture – includes such works as those of Homer, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Dante, Shakespeare, Gibbon, and so forth. The Harvard Classics or the Great Books philosophy represents this approach.

Robert M. Hutchins describes this approach in terms of engaging in “the great conversation:”

The tradition of the West is embodied in the Great Conversation that began in the dawn of history and that continues to the present day. . . . No dialogue in any other civilization can compare with that of the West in the number of great works of the mind that have contributed to this dialogue. The goal toward which Western society moves is the Civilization of the Dialogue. . . . The exchange of ideas is held to be the path to the realization of the potentialities of the race. (Robert M. Hutchins, “The Tradition of the West,” published in The Great Conversation: Substance of a Liberal Education, Vol. 1, The Great Books of the Western World [Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1952], 1-6)

The idea of “the great conversation” is that Western man is perfecting himself toward an understanding of intellectual truth, moral virtue, and aesthetic beauty, by means of an historical dialogue with his cultural past.

Mortimer Adler describes it this way:

People who scorn the study of the past and its works usually assume that . . . we can learn nothing worthwhile from the past. . . . But, although social and economic arrangements vary with time and place, man remains man. We and the ancients share a common human nature and hence certain common human experiences and problems. . . . The ancient poets speak across the centuries to us, sometimes more directly and vividly than our contemporary writers. And the ancient prophets and philosophers, in dealing with the basic problems of men living together in society, still have something to say to us. . . . Exclusive preference for either the past or the present is a foolish and wasteful form of snobbishness and provinciality [sic]. We must seek what is most worthy in the works of both the past and the present. When we do that, we find that ancient poets, prophets, and philosophers are as much our contemporaries in the world of the mind as the most discerning of present-day writers. Some of the ancient writings speak more directly to our experience and condition than the latest best sellers. (Dr. Mortimer J. Adler, Great Ideas from the Great Books [New York: Washington Square Press, 1961], 127)

This approach highly esteems the traditions of Western civilization. It is humanist in principle because it implicitly measures all things by human standards. We are reminded of Paul’s expression in II Corinthians 10:12, “they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” Humanism implicitly rejects all absolute standards, and replaces them with man’s ever-changing and progressively evolving standards. Man’s supposed progress leads us ever upward to as close to a god as man can get.

2. A Religious-Devotional Approach
This approach is the opposite, or antithesis, of the Secular-Intellectual Approach. The Religious-Devotional Approach holds to a smaller, more denominational canon consisting of religious and devotional literature, which may include confessions and catechisms, theologies and commentaries, devotional and practical works. The religious tradition or denomination will determine what particular literature is included. Many of those who follow this approach will discourage reading outside of the canon of their own denomination. They tend to withdraw from the secular world into their own private circle. They particularly fear the defilement which can come from reading much worldly literature, particularly the Western canon of classical literature.

William Penn serves as an example of this approach.

Have but few books, but let them be well chosen and well read, whether of religious or civil subjects. . . . Shun fantastic opinions; measure both religion and learning by practice; reduce all to that, for that brings a real benefit to you; the rest is a thief and a snare. And indeed, reading many books is but a taking off the mind too much from meditation. . . . Reading yourselves and nature, in the dealings and conduct of men, is the truest human wisdom. The spirit of a man knows the things of man, and more true knowledge comes by meditation and just reflection than by reading; for much reading is an oppression of the mind, and extinguishes the natural candle, which is the reason of so many senseless scholars in the world. (William Penn, Advice to His Children [1699])

It would be unfair and uncharitable to brand this approach with the uncomplimentary label of “anti-intellectual,” for many of these men are great thinkers. Nevertheless, the contrast is between the first approach, which has a secular outlook and focuses on the abstract, academic, and intellectual, and the second approach, which has a religious outlook and focuses on the devotional and practical.

3. A Religious-Intellectual Approach
This approach uses the identical Western canon of classical literature of the Secular-Intellectual Approach, to which it adds some religious literature, although the religious literature is much broader in perspective than the denominational canons of the Religious-Devotional Approach.

Os Guinness explains his perspective:

We can be assured that the classics have an intrinsic human, cultural, and spiritual worth. . . . Their value far transcends such commonly claimed benefits as adult education or personal self-improvement – let alone such false motivations as “culture snobbery.” . . . The classic works are a “great conversation,” the Western contribution to the ongoing discussion of the primary themes of life and death, right and wrong, triumph and tragedy, which we all confront in being human. . . . [I]t is time and past time for a new championing of the great literary classics of our Western civilization. . . . [W]ith endless controversies swirling around the Western masterworks, individual followers of Christ and the church of Christ as a whole have a unique responsibility to guard, enjoy, and pass them on. (Louise Cowan and Os Guinness, editors, Invitation to the Classics [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1998], 14)

If the Secular-Intellectual and the Religious-Devotional Approaches were opposites to each other (the thesis and the antithesis), then the Religious-Intellectual Approach is the compromise between them (the dialectical synthesis). By blending the two more extreme approaches, more territory is covered and a broader balance is thus achieved – or so it seems.

However, the Religious-Intellectual Approach uses the same Western canon as the Secular-Intellectual Approach, which places Humanism in the driver’s seat, and improperly exposes the young to graphic descriptions and clever justifications of the degeneracies of men. We believe the authority of the Word of God must be brought forward as the absolute standard by which to measure all literature. So we propose yet a fourth way.

4. A Distinctively Christian Approach
What we need is a distinctively Christian approach. By distinctively Christian, we mean identifiably and unmistakably built upon Christian principles and absolutes.

A Secular-Intellectual Approach obviously is not Christian. A Religious-Devotional Approach is too narrow and truncated and withdrawn. A Religious-Intellectual Approach compromises distinctive Christian principles in order to gain the broader perspective. Christians should step outside of this dialectical atmosphere of extremes and compromises, and into the world of real principles, and of moral absolutes, and of ultimate accountability to God. We should begin with the principle of the absolute authority of the Word of God, and we should stand upon this principle alone, reason carefully from it, apply it everywhere, defend it always, and never back down from it. The authority of God’s Word will never change. The Word of our God is a Rock. Whatever falls upon it will be broken, and whatever it falls upon will be crushed (Matt. 21:44).

Christians should focus neither upon the academic and the intellectual, nor upon the religious and the practical, nor upon a compromise – a synthesis – between the two, but upon the God of both intellect and of practice. A mature Christian intellectual is someone who is thoroughly familiar with the Scriptures and who knows how to apply practically the truths of Scripture to every facet of human culture. So Christians should hold to Scripture alone as their canon – their rule of measure – and they should use this canon to judge all other literature: the Western canon of the Secular-Intellectual, the private canon of the Religious-Devotional, the hybrid canon of the Religious-Intellectual, and any other literature.

Everything which we need to know is found – at least in seed form – in the Scriptures. As John Wycliffe put it, “There is no subtlety, in grammar, neither in logic, nor in any other science that can be named, but that it is found in a more excellent degree in the Scriptures.” The Bible alone is the best foundation for culture, and the only foundation upon which to build a civilization. Again, John Wycliffe said, “The Bible is for government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Christians should not necessarily shun nor should they necessarily embrace other literature until they first determine from where it comes, and to where it leads. Whatever will not measure up to the standard of Scripture we must either transform for use in service to God, or else we must confine to the catalogue of historical relics. We recognize that Western civilization has been influenced by a Biblical culture, but we also recognize many other influences upon Western civilization, not the least of which is the pagan humanism which received its thrust forward with Homer and the Greeks.

As Michael Kelley writes:

[Should] the older traditionalists who believe in the goodness of Western culture . . . be heeded who suggest that the ideals of classical man need to be recovered in order to revive the lost vision of culture that made the West what it is . . .? Should we accept the argument of those who wish to restore . . . the medieval synthesis of Christianity and Humanism? . . . From a Christian perspective, each and every cultural endeavor of man . . . must be subjected to a careful scrutiny based upon what . . . does not derive from man in any sense. . . . [T]he Christian perspective on all human life and endeavor must ultimately rest upon . . . the Divine point of view, in other words, on revelation! (Michael W. Kelley, The Impulse for Power: Formative Ideals of Western Civilization [Minneapolis, Minn.: Contra Mundum Books, 1998])

We should not blindly accept any work of literature. Each family is accountable to God for what they choose to use. So, in submission to the Word of God, each family should determine for itself whether something meets the standards which they have established for their family under God.

If we are mature in our faith, then we will neither blindly accept, nor blindly reject, but we will test and prove all things, and we will hold fast to that which is good (I Thess. 5:21), proving what is acceptable to the Lord (Eph. 5:10). There is often more than one way to apply Biblical principles, especially in different situations. What one family cannot use, another family may have the skill and the resources to be able to transform and use. But to press some classical standard beyond a family’s ability to handle it is to cause that family to stumble, which is not Christian at all (Matt. 18:7; Rom. 14:13,20,21; Rev. 2:14). We must each apply the principles of Scripture in proper balance to our own situation, recognizing that exceptional situations may call for exceptional applications. It is nevertheless perfectly appropriate for each of us to establish such rules within our own home with our own children.

The proper balance between Christian principles and any literature – classical, religious, or whatever – is that Scripture always wins, and literature always submits. We can call ourselves both classical and Christian as long as we understand that the classical must always submit to the Christian.

In summary, the Secular-Intellectual Approach ends up making man the master; the Religious-Devotional Approach ends up throwing out works of man which may be made to serve the true Master; the Religious-Intellectual Approach ends up attempting to serve two masters. We think a more mature approach would put everything in its proper place: God’s Word is master, and man’s works must either be made to serve the true and living God or else be set aside – lest they serve the gods of humanism.

Some persons may find much use in certain classical authors. We find most of the ancient histories useful. But though these writings may supply us with some practical information, we nevertheless know that we cannot properly evaluate them apart from the Scriptures. We must maintain a proper balance between Christian principles and our appetites.

However, it may be quite inappropriate to impose upon others our passions for certain things. If someone can consume a quart of strawberry cheesecake almond fudge ice cream a day and maintain a healthy nutritional balance, that’s fine. But most people may have difficulty in maintaining that same balance, and we would be causing them to stumble if we should urge them to try it. We are not judges of other men’s uses. They must answer for their own uses. There may be things which they can use but which we cannot, and vice versa, simply because of the differences in our constitutions, abilities, and experiences.

The presupposition with which we approach the subject of literature is that we should employ cautious reserve and prudent discretion.

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14 k.j.v.)

There is such a thing as age appropriateness, and there are also some things which are not ordinarily appropriate for any age and therefore must be approached with the highest discretion.

Harvey Bluedorn

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Ancient History from Primary Sources: A Literary Timeline

 

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