Trivium Pursuit

Free Homeschooling Ebook for These Five Days

November 21st, 2014

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Trivium Pursuit has made another chapter available in ebook form from their book Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn.

This 48-page ebook contains Chapter Twelve: Ten Things to Do — Ages Ten Through Twelve. The chapter lays out a suggested course of study and guidelines for teaching children ages ten through twelve.

You can purchase the ebook on Amazon for $1.99, but from November 25-29 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 foundational reasons for why homeschooling should be your first choice. 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 — is it really necessary to read Homer?

    –choices in language study, with an emphasis on Biblical Greek

    –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 homeschool in a classical style without buckling under the burden

    –a workable plan for every subject and for every age which avoids homeschool burnout — there is only so much time in the day

    –how to continue using other approaches to homeschooling within the framework of classical education

    –homeschooling is not alternative education — homeschooling was here first

Sign up for the Homeschooling with the Trivium newsletter. Newsletters contain such things as

• Freebies
• Book reviews
• Homeschooling Q & A
• read-aloud suggestions
• Tips on teaching Latin, Greek, and logic
• Contests with book-giveaways

Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn started homeschooling their children in 1980 and have given workshops on homeschooling and classical education for support groups and at conventions across the country. Their publishing company Trivium Pursuit produces books and curricula to help parents use classical education in their homeschool. The Bluedorns live in New Boston, Illinois, and can be reached by visiting their web site.

Here is the special offer we have for you:

On November 25-29 (these five days only) the new ebook will be free. In addition, if you download the ebook sometime during the five day period and write an Amazon review, we’ll send you one of the ebooks from our 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

Westminster and Her Sisters: A Complete Collation and Comparison of Three English Confessions of Faith by Harvey Bluedorn

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

After you download Ten Things to Do — Ages Ten Through Twelve and post your review, then email us (bluedorn @ triviumpursuit.com) with the name you wrote your review under and tell us which of the above ebooks you would like.

 

New Homeschooling Ebook Now Available from Trivium Pursuit

November 21st, 2014

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Trivium Pursuit has made available in ebook form a chapter from their book Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn.

This 48-page ebook is Chapter Twelve: Ten Things to Do — Ages Ten Through Twelve. The chapter lays out a suggested course of study and suggestions for teaching children ages ten through twelve.

You can purchase the ebook on Amazon for $1.99.

From November 25-29 you can download the ebook for free, plus receive another Trivium Pursuit ebook. Details coming soon.

Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style is not just about classical education — it gives foundational reasons for why homeschooling should be your first choice. 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 — is it really necessary to read Homer?

–choices in language study, with an emphasis on Biblical Greek

–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 homeschool in a classical style without buckling under the burden

–a workable plan for every subject and for every age which avoids homeschool burnout — there is only so much time in the day

–how to continue using other approaches to homeschooling within the framework of classical education

–homeschooling is not alternative education — homeschooling was here first

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.

Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn started homeschooling their children in 1980 and have given workshops on homeschooling and classical education for support groups and at conventions across the country. Their publishing company Trivium Pursuit produces books and curricula to help parents use classical education in their homeschool. The Bluedorns live in New Boston, Illinois, and can be reached by visiting their web site.

 

Review of The Fallacy Detective

November 19th, 2014

“Mom, that was a red herring!”

My daughter blurted this out as we were watching a news show one evening. The most interesting thing about her statement was not the fact that she had learned it from our reading of The Fallacy Detective, but that it came from my ten-year-old who had only been listening in as I read the book with my older children. And, she was right! The news anchor truly was engaging in a faulty argument.

The Fallacy Detective: Thirty-Eight Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning, written by homeschooled brothers Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn, is an engaging little book written to help young people (and adults!) learn how to recognize bad reasoning. Logical fallacies and propaganda techniques are covered, and chapters address various topics, including recognizing “red herrings,” ad hominem attacks, generalizations, and much more. The book is definitely Christian in tone, with occasional biblical references. Each short chapter covers one type of fallacy, followed by exercises that are ideal for discussion. While the book can be used independently, this is a fun book to read aloud with your children.

The Fallacy Detective is written in a humorous, readable format, with the frequent use of funny illustrations and comics like Calvin and Hobbes sprinkled throughout. Though presented in an appealing manner, the lessons are thought-provoking and definitely encourage students to think and question. For parents who were never trained in logic, it will push them as well! As a parent, I am thankful for the inclusion of an answer key for the end-of-chapter questions.

At the end of the book, there is a Fallacy Detective game students can play by crafting their own examples of fallacies. Additionally, the Bluedorns’ website has a page called The Fallacy Detective News, with examples drawn from real-life events and news stories, illustrating lessons learned from the book. With plentiful examples of bad reasoning all around in our culture, there is lots of fodder for practicing the principles learned here. This is one of my favorite middle- and high-school resources, and one I consider a ‘must-have’!

Only intelligent homeschoolers with high standards will want to purchase this book, so be sure to get yours today! (Wait, that was an example of a fallacy—“snob appeal”! I did learn something from The Fallacy Detective.

Jen McDonald

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Delaying Formal Grammar Study

November 18th, 2014

By age ten, your child can comprehend the abstract grammatical concepts of noun, verb, participle, and gerund. English grammar, or any language grammar, can be readily learned.
Some begin the formal study of English grammar in the first grade (age six). We would recommend beginning at age ten (grade level five). The abstract concepts of formal mathematics and formal grammar are best left until the child is developmentally most ready to handle them. Before age ten, memorization, oral narration, reading aloud, and copywork will build a solid foundation for the study of formal grammar later.

There is a difference between learning a language and learning grammar. Children begin to learn their native language from their earliest age, and they can develop skill in speaking several languages while they are still in their youngest years. Indeed, this is the optimal time for developing spoken proficiency in a language. Formal grammar, how- ever, is the study of the structure of a language, and such study should be delayed until the brain is developed to handle it.

One part of the brain handles the language, and another part of the brain handles the grammatical analysis of the language. The part which handles the language is well developed by age four or so. The child learns inductively that the subject comes before the verb and the direct object comes after the verb, even though he has no way of conceiving what a subject, a verb, and a direct object are. He learns vocabulary and style without any way of conceiving what a noun, a verb, a preposition, or what iambic pentameter is. He just enjoys language. The part of the brain which handles the formal grammar is developed by age ten or so. If you force formal grammar too early, then you will put the information in odd places of the brain, and it is more difficult for the brain to assimilate and to make use of the information.

Three years (ages ten through twelve) for studying English grammar are usually sufficient. Your child will be studying Latin or Greek grammar by age thirteen, which renders the study of English grammar largely superfluous.

 

Dictation and Perfect Mothers

November 18th, 2014

Question: I have tried dictation with my eleven-year-old daughter and she absolutely hates it. Not knowing where the punctuation marks go frustrates her. We have compromised by giving her hints.

Answer: Dictation is less exact than copywork. You can’t always be sure that what you are writing is correct. Some children are perfectionists who want to do things just right. Do not put too much pressure on the child to have everything perfect. We often have unrealistic expectations – especially for our first child. We sometimes wonder how they ever survived. Instead of striving for first time perfection, strive for continuous improvement. I wanted Nathaniel to have perfect handwriting, read at a high school level, write with creative wit, carry on advanced conversations with the neighbors, and draw like Michelangelo – by the age of five. I think that’s why the Lord gave us five children in eight years. It mellowed me out fast.

Notice, I am not saying we should have low standards, but that we should establish realistic standards, and realistically raise those standards with time. In our travels, I have seen many perfectionistic Mothers putting unrealistic burdens on their children. Perfectionism can break the spirit of a child.

When I would dictate to my children, I sat next to them on the couch, watching everything they wrote. If there was supposed to be a comma in the sentence and they didn’t know it, then I would tell them where it went, and we would write down that particular rule in their English language notebook. If they take dictation in pencil, then their mistakes can be easily erased. Spelling can also be taught during dictation. Dictation should be a teaching session, not only a testing session to see what they know. Later, when the child is older and more skilled at dictation, you’ll be free to back off a few steps from the immediate process.

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Math and Pencils

November 18th, 2014

Question: I have a ten-year-old boy who has done very little formal academics. He is very creative by nature, devours books (although he did not “learn” to read until nine years old), draws continually, has an inventor’s mind (like his beloved daddy), can recite anything he has read from a book, is fascinated by history, but despises using the pencil! He is very obedient, and will do whatever I ask, but is growing to despise math because of the continuous demand for writing. We have done much mental math over the years, and I write plenty of word problems out on the board, and he will do them. But we began with Saxon 54 this year. When he sees me pull out the book, his face does these strange contortions! He will complete the pages and arrive at the correct answers, but he loathes it! Any suggestions? Is it time for him to just buckle down and do it?

Answer: It’s nice to know our boy is not alone – there are other boys who hate holding a pencil. Perhaps someone at a university should do a study to discover why. On second thought, that would only mean more taxes and more government programs – and we’d probably never find out the real reason. Forget I ever mentioned it.

Little boys are wired to jump, roll, and chatter. Perhaps they are uncomfortable holding the pencil “just so,” or maybe they are discouraged because their letters do not look “just like” in the books, or possibly just sitting completely still through all of this is beyond their control capabilities.

Your son sounds like a delightful laddie who is willing to please his mommy and daddy in most anything. Help him out with his weaknesses. A ten-year-old should be doing some writing every day, no matter how little, but you may allow him to do as much of the math orally as is reasonable. In another year or so, he will be ready to write out his math exercises without a hitch. In fact, he’d probably be embarrassed if you offered to do it for him. In other words, don’t make too much of a fuss. He’ll grow out of it.

 

One Learns Best When He Pursues His Interests

November 18th, 2014

One of our goals for the study of history is to give our children the tools for learning a new subject on their own. The subject of history is perfect ground for learning these tools. We want them to be able to study history, even when they are grown and have children of their own. We hope to give them a survey of all of history at least once. We hope to give them the tools to fill in the spaces which are between the lines of history. Only if they learn to love the study of history will they pursue the study of history on their own. This is where following a strict chronological study of history might interfere. We’ll give you an example.

Suppose you plan to spend the first year of your chronological plan studying the ancient Greeks and Romans. Now, suppose your children are wired for a different plan. Your lads spend all of their spare time making swords, armor, and castles, or your lassies are busy sewing Civil War costumes. Ancient history can be a bit boring to young children who are interested in mediaeval times or civil war times. You may be able to redirect your children’s interests to ancient history, but should that fail (or you clearly see it failing before you have tried it), then you may choose instead to strike while the iron is hot, and interrupt your own studies to meet their interests. As a general rule, one learns best when he pursues his interests. You can’t do that with a classroom of thirty children, but we homeschoolers have the flexibility to do this. Will you force the child to study ancient history for a year when his heart is really with the knights in shining armor? I think a good teacher will combine discipline and structure and schedule with sensitivity to the needs and desires of the student. We will return to ancient history later. There are limits to this, of course. No, we’re not going to study World War II for twelve years straight, like Hans would like, but we will keep in mind his love for this subject as we plan our study of history.

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Please Read This Book

November 12th, 2014

Excerpts from Your Family God’s Way: Developing & Sustaining Relationships in the Home by Wayne A. Mack

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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.

Living and Learning at Home

 

The Tone of Voice

November 12th, 2014

It’s not so much what you say
As the manner in which you say it;
It’s not so much the language you use
As the tone in which you convey it;

“Come here!” I sharply said,
And the child cowered and wept.
“Come here”, I said – He looked and smiled
And straight to my lap he crept.

Words may be mild and fair but the tone may pierce like a dart;
Words may be soft as the summer air
But the tone may break my heart;

For words come from the mind
Grow by study and art –
But tone leaps from the inner self
Revealing the state of the heart.

Whether you know it or not,
Whether you mean or care,
Gentleness, kindness, love and hate,
Envy, anger, are there.

Then, would you quarrels avoid
And peace and love rejoice?
Keep anger not only out of your words –
Keep it out of your voice. –Author Unknown

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Solve This Mystery

November 12th, 2014

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Solve the . . . Mystery of the Missing Mask: a ten minute mystery.

Last night, Sir Gibbsley’s prized possession, his Tribal Tooth Mask, disappeared. Can you help him find it? Sir Gibbsley used to hunt elephants in Africa till a rogue elephant took out his right leg. Now he loves to terrify his nephew Horatio with fearsome tales of the Serengeti. Use your critical thinking skills to find Sir Gibbsley’s Tribal Tooth Mask and return it to its case.

 

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