Trivium Pursuit

A new Bible curriculum for your family

February 21st, 2017
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.



More books teaching economics to children

January 17th, 2017
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In a previous post I recommended these four important books in which your child will learn about the principles of liberty alongside the Tuttle Twins.

The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law

The Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island

The Tuttle Twins and the Miraculous Pencil

The Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco!

Here are two more volumes in this series.

The Tuttle Twins and the Road to Surfdom

Nobel prize winning economist F.A. Hayek’s famous book The Road to Serfdom is brought to life in this book for children, showing that when people get what they wish for, they often get much more than they bargained. Ethan and Emily investigate a new road built to take travelers to a beach named Surfdom.


The Tuttle Twins and the Golden Rule (due out this spring)

Recommended reading age is 5-11, but older children, and even adults, will benefit from reading these books.


More creative freedom and less formal lessons

January 6th, 2017
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Wisdom for the day — more creative freedom and less formal lessons.


Read these to educate yourself on the topic of delayed formal academics.

School Can Wait by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

Home-Spun Schools: Teaching Children at Home by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child’s Education by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

Home Grown Kids by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

The Three R’s by Ruth Beechick

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully: Grades 4-8 by Ruth Beechick