Trivium Pursuit

Teaching logic — an essential subject

February 23rd, 2017

You can now purchase individual chapters of Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style.

This ebook is Chapter Six — Teaching Logic.

Teaching Logic


A Self-Taught Course in Western Civilization from Plato to 1492

February 21st, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

We’ve listed below the video lessons in Tom Woods’ Western Civilization from Plato to 1492 course which he produced for the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum. You can see samples of these video lessons here.

“These courses give students – and adults – an education they can’t get in any school. In our courses, the political and intellectual tradition of liberty is highlighted, not buried. How many high school students know who Frederic Bastiat or Ludwig von Mises were? How many can defend, or know anything about, the idea of natural rights? How many learn there’s another way to think about government – as something other than a group of wise public servants innocently pursuing the common good?” –Tom Woods


Tom Woods and Ron Paul

Western Civilization from Plato to 1492 Video Course

1. Introduction and Overview
2. Hebrew History I
3. Hebrew History II
4. Hebrew History III
5. Week 1 Review

6. Hebrew Religion and the Hebrew Contribution
7. Minoan Crete
8. Mycenaean Greece
9. Homer, The Iliad
10. Week 2 Review

11. Homer and Hesiod
12. Classical Greece: Overview
13. Pre-Socratics, I
14. Pre-Socratics, II
15. Week 3 Review

16. Socrates
17. Plato: Introduction and Overview
18. Plato’s Worldview
19. Plato and The Republic
20. Week 4 Review

21. Aristotle: The Philosopher
22. Aristotle’s Ethics
23. Aristotle’s Politics
24. Classical Greece: The Polis, Sparta
25. Week 5 Review

26. Classical Greece: The Polis, Athens
27. The Persian Wars
28. The Peloponnesian War
29. Herodotus and Thucydides
30. Week 6 Review

31. Greek Drama, I
32. Greek Drama, II
33. Classical Greece: Art
34. Greek Religion
35. Week 7 Review

36. Greece and Western Liberty
37. Alexander the Great
38. The Hellenistic World
39. Hellenistic Philosophy
40. Week 8 Review

41. Rome: Beginnings and Foundations
42. Struggle of the Orders
43. Expansion of Rome
44. Toward the Empire, I
45. Week 9 Review

46. Toward the Empire, II
47. Toward the Empire, III
48. The Augustan Settlement
49. Latin Literature: The Golden Age
50. Week 10 Review

51. The Silver Age of Latin Literature
52. Rome After Augustus
53. Second-Century Rome
54. Roman Art
55. Week 11 Review

56. Christianity: The Background
57. The Birth of Christianity, Part I
58. The Birth of Christianity, Part II
59. Early Christian Sources I: The New Testament
60. Week 12 Review

61. The Spread of Christianity
62. From the Underground Church to the Edict of Milan
63. Early Christian Texts II: Didache, Shepherd of Hermas, Apostolic Fathers, Apologists
64. The Development of Christianity I
65. Week 13 Review

66. The Development of Christianity II
67. Monasticism, Part I
68. Monasticism, Part II
69. The Church and Classical Culture I
70. Week 14 Review

71. The Church and Classical Culture II
72. Rome: Third-Century Crisis
73. Diocletian and Constantine
74. Rome and the Barbarians, Part I
75. Week 15 Review

76. Rome and the Barbarians, Part II
77. Rome: Significance
78. St. Augustine I
79. St. Augustine II
80. Week 16 Review

81. The Church and the Barbarians
82. Merovingians and Carolingians
83. The Papal-Frankish Alliance
84. Charlemagne
85. Week 17 Review

86. The Carolingian Renaissance
87. Christianity in England and Ireland
88. Christianity in Germany
89. Midterm Review
90. Week 18 Review

91. Islam
92. Byzantium I
93. Byzantium II
94. After Charlemagne
95. Week 19 Review

96. Ninth- and Tenth-Century Invasions
97. Feudalism and Manorialism
98. Medieval Art
99. England: William the Conqueror
100. Week 20 Review

101. The Gregorian Reform, Part I
102. The Gregorian Reform, Part II
103. The Church-State Struggle and Western Liberty
104. Christendom
105. Week 21 Review

106. The Great Schism
107. France: Capetians to Louis IX
108. The Medieval Church: Sacraments and Liturgy
109. The Medieval Church: Popular Piety
110. Week 22 Review

111. Crusades: Background
112. The First Crusade
113. Later Crusades
114. The End of the Crusades
115. Week 23 Review

116. The Albigensian Crusade
117. The Mendicant Orders
118. England: Magna Carta
119. France: Philip the Fair
120. Week 24 Review

121. The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century
122. The Rise of Universities
123. Scholastic Philosophy
124. Thomas Aquinas: Biography and Overview
125. Week 25 Review

126. Thomas Aquinas and the Quinque Viae
127. Thomas Aquinas and the Divine Attributes
128. Just War Theory
129. Later Scholasticism
130. Week 26 Review

131. The Cathedrals
132. The Rise of Towns
133. Economy in the High Middle Ages
134. The Medieval Contribution to Western Prosperity
135. Week 27 Review

136. The Holy Roman Empire I
137. The Holy Roman Empire II
138. Medieval Literature
139. Dante and the Divine Comedy
140. Week 28 Review

141. Philip IV vs. Boniface VIII
142. Marsilius of Padua and the Attack on Papal Power
143. The Avignon Papacy
144. Fourteenth-Century Crisis
145. Week 29 Review

146. England in the Fourteenth Century
147. France in the Fourteenth Century
148. The Hundred Years’ War
149. The Great Western Schism
150. Week 30 Review

151. The Fall of Byzantium
152. The Renaissance: Ideas
153. Petrarch and the Renaissance
154. Renaissance Humanism I
155. Week 31 Review

156. Renaissance Humanism II
157. Machiavelli
158. Renaissance Art I
159. Renaissance Art II
160. Week 32 Review

161. Renaissance Art III
162. Renaissance Art IV
163. The Northern Renaissance
164. The Renaissance Popes
165. Week 33 Review

166. Renaissance Italy: The Key Political Units, Part I
167. Renaissance Italy: The Key Political Units, Part II
168. Fifteenth-Century France
169. Fifteenth-Century England
170. Week 34 Review

171. The Holy Roman Empire to the Fifteenth Century
172. The Church on the Eve of Reform
173. Centralization in Spain
174. The Age of Discovery, Part I
175. Week 35 Review

176. The Age of Discovery, Part II
177. The Age of Discovery, Part III
178. Concluding Remarks
179. Preview of Western Civilization II
180. Week 36 Review

Find out more about the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum here.


A new Bible curriculum for your family

February 21st, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

Biblical Foundations for the Christian Faith is a five-volume series of Bible study workbooks by Paul David Washer, published by Media Gratiae. “Media Gratiae is a multimedia ministry focused on creating film, print, and electronic media for the glory of Christ and the edification of His Body.” Each workbook can be used as a 13-week study for individuals, families, Sunday school classes, small groups, and churches.

Book One: Knowing the Living God — $18
Book Two: Discovering the Glorious Gospel — $18
Book Three: Discerning the Plight of Man — coming soon
Book Four: Understanding the Discipline of Fasting — coming soon
Book Five: Studying the Holy Scriptures — coming soon


Read about Paul Washer and his Bible curriculum here.

Read Paul Washer’s doctrinal statement here.



A Self-Taught Course in U.S. Government

February 13th, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

Here’s a list of the video lessons in Tom Woods’ Government course which he produced for the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum. You can see samples of these video lessons here.

1. Introduction
2. Natural Rights Theories: High Middle Ages to Late Scholastics
3. Natural Rights Theories: John Locke and Self-Ownership
4. Natural Rights Theories: Argumentation Ethics
5. Week 1 Review
6. Locke and Spooner on Consent
7. The Tale of the Slave
8. Human Rights and Property Rights
9. Negative Rights and Positive Rights
10. Week 2 Review
11. Critics of Liberalism: Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the General Will
12. Critics of Liberalism: John Rawls and Egalitarianism
13. Critics of Liberalism: Thomas Nagel and Ronald Dworkin
14. Critics of Liberalism: G.A. Cohen
15. Week 3 Review
16. Public Goods
17. The Standard of Living
18. Poverty
19. Monopoly
20. Week 4 Review
21. Science
22. Inequality
23. Aid to Developing Countries
24. Discrimination
25. Week 5 Review
26. The Socialist Calculation Problem
27. Working Conditions
28. Child Labor
29. Labor and Unions
30. Week 6 Review
31. Health Care
32. Antitrust
33. Farm Programs
34. War and the Economy
35. Week 7 Review
36. Business Cycles
37. Industrial Policy
38. Government, the Market, and the Environment
39. Prohibition
40. Week 8 Review
41. Taxation
42. Government Spending
43. The Welfare State: Theoretical Issues
44. The Welfare State: Practical Issues
45. Week 9 Review
46. Price Controls
47. Government and Money, Part I
48. Government and Money, Part II
49. Midterm Review
50. Week 10 Review
51. The Theory of the Modern State
52. American Federalism and the Compact Theory
53. Can Political Bodies Be Too Large?
54. Decentralization
55. Week 11 Review
56. Constitutionalism: Purpose
57. The American Case: Self-Government and the Tenth Amendment
58. The American Case: Progressives and the “Living, Breathing Document”
59. The American States and the Federal Government
60. Week 12 Review
61. Monarchy
62. Social Democracy
63. Fascism I
64. Fascism II
65. Week 13 Review
66. Marx I
67. Marx II
68. Communism I
69. Communism II
70. Week 14 Review
71. Miscellaneous Intervention: Postwar Africa
72. Public Choice I
73. Public Choice II
74. Miscellaneous Examples of Government Activity and Incentives
75. Week 15 Review
76. The Industrial Revolution
77. The New Deal I
78. The New Deal II
79. The Housing Bust of 2008
80. Week 16 Review
81. Are Voters Informed?
82. Is Political Representation Meaningful?
83. The Myth of the Rule of Law
84. The Incentives of Democracy
85. Week 17 Review
86. The Sweeping Critique: Robert LeFevre
87. The Sweeping Critique: Murray N. Rothbard
88. Case Study: The Old West
89. Economic Freedom of the World
90. Week 18 Review


Homeschool Life Coloring Book

February 13th, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

Cartoonist Jim Erskine just published his first coloring book… for homeschoolers only.

The Homeschool Life Coloring Book (put together especially for you moms to use)

This is the first and only coloring book actually about homeschooling. It’s a mix of both real-life humor and genuine wisdom that will remind you how truly wonderful this thing called “homeschooling” really is. You’re gonna love it.

Click here to take a look at a PDF collection of sample pages from the book.


O when will you beware of Satan’s devices?

February 5th, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

Saint Indeed or the Great Work of a Christian in Keeping the Heart in the Several Conditions of Life

by John Flavel

…Remember how much needless trouble your vain fears have brought upon you formerly: “And hast feared continually because of the oppressor, as if he were ready to devour; and where is the fury of the oppressor?” He seemed ready to devour, yet you are not devoured. I have not brought upon you the thing that you. feared; you have wasted your spirit, disordered your soul, and weakened your hands to no purpose: you might have all this while enjoyed your peace, and possessed your soul in patience. And here I cannot but observe a very deep policy of Satan in managing a design against the soul by these vain fears. I call them vain, with reference to the frustration of them by Providence; but certainly they are not in vain as the end at which Satan aims in raising them; for herein he acts as soldiers do in the siege of a garrison, who to wear out the besieged by constant watchings, and thereby unfit them to make resistance when they storm it in earnest, every night rouse them with false alarms, which though they come to nothing yet remarkably answer the ultimate design of the enemy.—O when will you beware of Satan’s devices?…

Keeping the Heart


Children can be more creative if they are given large chunks of unscheduled time to 

February 4th, 2017

When your children were young, did you take breaks from schooling during the school year or in the summer? 


Yes, we took off school for the summer. We did a
 lot of gardening and animal work in the summer, plus we were in 4-H for 
many years so we needed extra time for projects. If we had lived in town
 and didn’t have as much work occupying us, we might not have taken the
 summer off. 
During the school year we often took breaks from schooling, but then, we
 must define “schooling.”

In my mind, schooling encompasses much 
more than books and curriculum. When you go to the library, that is schooling because the
 children are learning how to categorize and organize; when you go to the 
nursing home, you are teaching them compassion, and that is schooling; when 
you go to Hy-Vee grocery store, you teach them thrift, and that is 
schooling; when you go to Crazy Girl Yarn Shop or The Cotton Shop to pick
 out materials for the next project, you teach them to love simple things,
 and that is schooling. 
In addition, we would often take off from formal schooling for several days at a
 time if we were working on a science fair or history fair project. I think
 children can be more creative if they are given large chunks of unscheduled time to 
think, experiment, and produce things, rather than just small segments of time, here 
and there.




Raccoons Helping in Garden


How much should I read aloud?

February 1st, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

Question: I have been thinking about this (following your recommendations more closely) and asked my children today (daughters ages 7 and 8) what they would think if we set aside math and spelling instruction for the month of January and I read aloud two hours a day (interspersed, not all at once) with periodic narrations instead. They said OH NO!

Now I don’t want to waste my breath and time and thoughtful selection of hopefully living books only to have it unappreciated or unlistened to. I told them they could do some work with their hands while I read but that didn’t seem to make much difference. We already read about an hour a day, probably 1/2 them reading aloud and 1/2 me reading aloud. I have let them crochet or draw while I read. Playing with dolls is out because their dolls always have conversations. (Really playing with dolls is no fun unless they are constantly carrying on imaginary conversations, I remember that well from my own girlhood). They like to do projects out of the A Beka Art books but these require a bit of concentration. They can read the directions and do them themselves but if it were me I couldn’t make projects like that and listen to someone reading. What does someone else think (about doing those kinds of projects during read-a-louds)? And they don’t want to do any more narration than they already do. I only have them narrate for history (we are doing Early American History — A Literature Approach for Primary Grades) and art (we are doing picture study and they have to tell about one picture every week or two). I encourage voluntary narration of other things but don’t require it. How much more narration should we go for if I increase read alouds another hour? Also I have read to them at bedtime since they were babies but if I read so much more during the day I don’t want to have to do it again at bedtime. We have been doing copywork and dictation using Learning Language Arts Through Literature. Should I even drop that for the month that we are trying out Teaching the Trivium recommendations? –Kathy

Response: I think doing short narrations twice a day is plenty, unless the child loves to do it and wants more. Maybe your girls are worried that they will have to do more narration if you read more.

Doing full fledged projects where you must read directions and concentrate would be hard to do while listening to Mom read. Just plain drawing and coloring with colored pencils or crayons and playing with clay or sewing and other handiwork are more adaptable to read aloud times. I used to buy sacks full of matting board scraps from the local art store, and those with tape and scissors and markers would keep children busy for quite a while. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting into the habit of doing things. Reading aloud is important, and two hours a day of read-alouds doesn’t seem overly much. Perhaps you could read aloud one and a half hours during the day and your husband could read half an hour at night. I would keep up the copywork. Of course, these times are just suggestions. Adjust these as your family schedule requires. I personally could never read aloud at night. I was just too tired to do it. –Laurie


The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer fetched the angel

January 31st, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

Excerpt from All Things for Good (aka A Divine Cordial) by Thomas Watson

Get the ebook free here.

The prayers of Saints work for good to the godly.

The saints pray for all the members of the body mystical, their prayers prevail much. They prevail for recovery from sickness. ‘The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up’ (James 5:15). They prevail for victory over enemies. ‘Lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left’ (Isaiah 37:4). ‘Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote, in the camp of the Assyrians, an hundred and fourscore and five thousand’ (Isaiah 37:36). They prevail for deliverance out of prison. ‘Prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And behold the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison, and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, and his chains fell off’ (Acts 12:5-7). The angel fetched Peter out of prison, but it was prayer fetched the angel. They prevail for forgiveness of sin. ‘My servant Job shall pray for you, for him will I accept’ (Job 42:8). Thus the prayers of the saints work for good to the body mystical. And this is no small privilege to a child of God, that he has a constant trade of prayer driven for him. When he comes into any place, he may say, ‘I have some prayer here, nay, all the world over I have a stock of prayer going for me. When I am indisposed, and out of tune, others are praying for me, who are quick and lively.’ Thus the best things work for good to the people of God.