Trivium Pursuit

Friends in Brazil using our art curriculum — A Child’s First Introduction to Art

November 9th, 2018

Friends in Brazil are using our art curriculum — What Do You See? A Child’s First Introduction to Art, Volumes One, Two, and Three





From Quintal do Aprendizado, our Brazilian friends

ARTES – observação do quadro “Carrinho de cachorro” do artista Henriette Ronner-Knip (1821-1909)

Analisamos a obra respondendo às perguntas sugeridas no material de introdução à arte de “What do you see” volume 1 de @lauriebluedorn. Quantos detalhes, quanta percepção! É surpreendente ver isso em uma criança de 4 anos guiada à análise de obras de arte. Depois da análise e observação, resolvemos reproduzir a obra e mesmo com o receio inicial, ela persistiu. Experienciou a junção de cores para formar tons diferentes dos que existiam nas 12 cores da aquarela. Quanta riqueza em estudos assim!



ARTES – Análise da obra de arte “The Birthday Cake” do artista francês Victor Gabriel Gilbert.

Temos usado o livro “What do you see” Volume 1 da @lauriebluedorn. Tem sido uma experiência tão agradável! Parar, observar, tentar ver com os olhos do artista que pintou minuciosamente cada detalhe! Utilizamos a arte impressa e recortada para montar, idéia da @cibelescand


That restless, invisible, subtle, experienced enemy

November 9th, 2018

But there is no enemy so dangerous as that restless, invisible, subtle, experienced enemy -- the devil.

by J.C. Ryle
The Gospel of Luke, 1858

Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. Luke 22:31

We learn here what a fearful enemy the devil is to believers.
Satan was near Christ’s flock, though they saw him not.
He was longing to accomplish their ruin, though they knew it not.

The devil desires the destruction of souls, more than the wolf craves the blood of the lamb.

The personality, activity, and power of the devil are not sufficiently thought of by Christians.

This is he who brought sin into the world at the beginning, by tempting Eve.
This is he who is described in the book of Job as “going to and fro in the earth.”
This is he whom our Lord calls “the prince of this world,” a “murderer,” and a “liar.”
This is he whom Peter compares to a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
This is he whom John speaks of as “the accuser of the brethren.”

This is he who is ever . . .
working evil in the churches,
catching away good seed from the hearts of hearers,
sowing tares amid the wheat,
stirring up persecutions,
suggesting false doctrines,
and fomenting divisions.

The world is a snare to the believer.
The flesh is a burden and a clog.
But there is no enemy so dangerous as that restless, invisible, subtle, experienced enemy — the devil.

If we believe the Bible, let us not be ashamed to believe that there is a malicious devil who is ever on a deadly prowl. It is a solemn proof of the hardness and blindness of unconverted men — that they can jest and speak lightly of Satan.

If we profess to have any real religion, let us be on our guard against the devil’s evil schemes. The enemy who overthrew David and Peter, and assaulted Christ Himself, is not an enemy to be despised. He is very subtle and malicious. He has studied the heart of man for six thousand years. He can approach us under the garb of an “angel of light.” We have need to watch and pray, and put on the whole armor of God.

It is a blessed promise, that if we resist him, then he will flee from us.

It is a still more blessed thought that when the Lord comes, He will bruise Satan under our feet, bind him in eternal chains and cast him into the lake of fire. The devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelation 20:10


Lives in Print: Biographies and Autobiographies for All Ages

November 2nd, 2018

Trivium Pursuit’s new ebook

Lives in Print: Biographies and Autobiographies for All Ages — $2.99

“Men who courageously stood for what is right, women who passionately cared for those in need, Christians who sacrificed everything for what they believed, scientists who changed the world with their innovations, everyday mothers who lived extraordinary lives, statesmen who fought for freedom. . . all of these can be found in biographies and autobiographies. Lives in Print reviews over 150 biographies and autobiographies, giving a summary of each. Illustrated.”

Cover Lives in Print


Grammy helping with Five In a Row and The Little Red Lighthouse

October 15th, 2018

This week Grammy is helping to row The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge.

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift, illustrated by Lynd Ward



Building the lighthouse


Grammy’s all-time favorite picturebook

Five in a Row: Volume 1 by Jane C. Lambert


New magazine for homeschooling teens in Korea plus win this issue

October 13th, 2018



Samuel Chung is a 16-year-old homeschooler in Korea. He and his friends just published the first issue of a magazine for Korean homeschooling teens. The theme for this issue is “Why are you homeschooling?”

Samuel: “Today, many Korean homeschooling teenagers and their parents feel discouraged and nervous with their unclear future and the harsh, competitive circumstances in Korea. We often have doubts about homeschooling. Recently I heard one of my friend’s mother saying “Should my child have gone to public school?” and it may be the same doubt that many parents and homeschooling teenagers have in their mind. In Korea, we don’t have many options for entering college or for preparing for the entrance examinations like normal students (in Korea, people tend to ignore those who don’t graduate from college), and we feel as if we are thrown into the midst of a hurricane called the “wild, harsh world of entrance examination competition.” We are frightened before the world like Israelites before the mighty Canaanites and giants. That’s why we are asking ourselves, “Why are you homeschooling?” We need to be refreshed by remembering the purpose of homeschooling and how and why it was begun. We sought the counsel and encouragement of the Bluedorns and named the magazine Teen’s Magazine — it was born with the help of the Bluedorns — they are newborn Teen’s Magazine’s midwife!”

I’d like to get the word out about this magazine plus give away this one issue to a Korean-speaking homeschooling teen in the U.S. Here’s the offer: if you are a Korean-speaking homeschooling teen (U.S. addresses only) and would like to win this copy, post the link to this blog post on your Facebook page and send us an email ( We’ll pick one winner next week.

If you would like to contact Samuel Chung about Teen’s Magazine, you can email him at


Harvey Bluedorn with a copy of the first issue of Teen’s Magazine


The fables of Avianus and Aesop

October 11th, 2018

Ancient History from Primary Sources - Cover - Color - 1

Excerpts from Ancient History from Primary Sources: A Literary Timeline by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn

Many persons begin in classical literature with the fables of Aesop (Greek) and Avianus (Latin). These are suitable for all ages, young and old, however, each family has its own standards, and a parent should not assume that all literary selections meet their standards of appropriateness for their children.

Fl c. A.D. 400
Avianus wrote fables in Latin which were found in standard schoolbooks throughout the Middle Ages. Forty-two of his fables survive.

Avianus Fables

About the Four Oxen and the Lion
The story goes that there was onoe such loyalty of friendship among four immense oxen in the same meadows that when let out they never separated nor strayed apart, but would return from pasture together, still close friends. A great lion in the woods is said to have feared these oxen standing with their horns interlaced. Fear kept him from trying to procure prey and he shrunk from approaching them in their four-fold strength. But however reckless he was, in spirit he was still more savage in what he did; nevertheless he was not a match for such strength. Therefore he immediately begins to urge evil counsels — desiring to sever the united herd. Then after breaking their agreement by exasperating words, he falls upon the wretched oxen and tears them to pieces. One of these at the very last said: Whoever desires to lead a quiet life can learn a lesson from our death. Let him not fill his ready ears with misleading reports in too great haste nor break off friendship of long standing.

The Fir-tree and the Bramble Bush
A very comely fir-tree once made fun of a prickly bramble bush, and when they got into a quarrel about their appearance, the fir said it was a pitiable quarrel to have with those whom no title associated as equals. “For my tapering trunk rising into the clouds lifts its topmost branches straight to the stars. When I am set amidships on the open deck, on me is hung the canvas that the breeze fills. But because the thorns give you a disfigured shape, all men pass you by in scorn.” The bramble bush replied, “Now, in your joy you admit only your good qualities and you enjoy insulting me on account of my bad qualities, but when the menacing ax cuts down your beautiful branches, then how you will wish that you had my thorns!”

10th-century manuscript of Avianus’ fables — The Frog Physician and The Mischievous Dog

The Mischievous Dog
A Dog used to run up quietly to the heels of those he met, and to bite them without notice. His master sometimes suspended a bell about his neck, that he might give notice of his presence wherever he went, and sometimes he fastened a chain about his neck, to which was attached a heavy clog, so that he could not be so quick at biting people’s heels. The Dog grew proud of his bell and clog, and went with them all over the market-place. An old hound said to him: “Why do you make such an exhibition of yourself? That bell and clog that you carry are not, believe me, orders of merit, but, on the contrary, marks of disgrace, a public notice to all men to avoid you as an ill-mannered dog.” Those who achieve notoriety often mistake it for fame.

c. 620-560 B.C.
Aesop was a semi-legendary Greek writer and/or collector of 350 fables. He was a slave from Phrygia, or Lydia, and he served on the island of Samos before being freed.

Aesop Fables

The Frogs & the Ox
An Ox came down to a reedy pool to drink. As he splashed heavily into the water, he crushed a young Frog into the mud. The old Frog soon missed the little one and asked his brothers and sisters what had become of him. “A great big monster,” said one of them, “stepped on little brother with one of his huge feet!” “Big, was he!” said the old Frog, puffing herself up. “Was he as big as this?” “Oh, much bigger!” they cried. The Frog puffed up still more. “He could not have been bigger than this,” she said. But the little Frogs all declared that the monster was much, much bigger and the old Frog kept puffing herself out more and more until, all at once, she burst. Do not attempt the impossible.

Belling the Cat
The Mice once called a meeting to decide on a plan to free themselves of their enemy, the Cat. At least they wished to find some way of knowing when she was coming, so they might have time to run away. Indeed, something had to be done, for they lived in such constant fear of her claws that they hardly dared stir from their dens by night or day. Many plans were discussed, but none of them was thought good enough. At last a very young Mouse got up and said: “I have a plan that seems very simple, but I know it will be successful. All we have to do is to hang a bell about the Cat’s neck. When we hear the bell ringing we will know immediately that our enemy is coming.” All the Mice were much surprised that they had not thought of such a plan before. But in the midst of the rejoicing over their good fortune, an old Mouse arose and said: “I will say that the plan of the young Mouse is very good. But let me ask one question: Who will bell the Cat?” It is one thing to say that something should be done, but quite a different matter to do it.


The Town Mouse & the Country Mouse
A Town Mouse once visited a relative who lived in the country. For lunch the Country Mouse served wheat stalks, roots, and acorns, with a dash of cold water for drink. The Town Mouse ate very sparingly, nibbling a little of this and a little of that, and by her manner making it very plain that she ate the simple food only to be polite. After the meal the friends had a long talk, or rather the Town Mouse talked about her life in the city while the Country Mouse listened. They then went to bed in a cozy nest in the hedgerow and slept in quiet and comfort until morning. In her sleep the Country Mouse dreamed she was a Town Mouse with all the luxuries and delights of city life that her friend had described for her. So the next day when the Town Mouse asked the Country Mouse to go home with her to the city, she gladly said yes. When they reached the mansion in which the Town Mouse lived, they found on the table in the dining room the leavings of a very fine banquet. There were sweetmeats and jellies, pastries, delicious cheeses, indeed, the most tempting foods that a Mouse can imagine. But just as the Country Mouse was about to nibble a dainty bit of pastry, she heard a Cat mew loudly and scratch at the door. In great fear the Mice scurried to a hiding place, where they lay quite still for a long time, hardly daring to breathe. When at last they ventured back to the feast, the door opened suddenly and in came the servants to clear the table, followed by the House Dog. The Country Mouse stopped in the Town Mouse’s den only long enough to pick up her carpet bag and umbrella. “You may have luxuries and dainties that I have not,” she said as she hurried away, “but I prefer my plain food and simple life in the country with the peace and security that go with it.” Poverty with security is better than plenty in the midst of fear and uncertainty.

The Wolf & the Crane
A Wolf had been feasting too greedily, and a bone had stuck crosswise in his throat. He could get it neither up nor down, and of course he could not eat a thing. Naturally that was an awful state of affairs for a greedy Wolf. So away he hurried to the Crane. He was sure that she, with her long neck and bill, would easily be able to reach the bone and pull it out. “I will reward you very handsomely,” said the Wolf, “if you pull that bone out for me.” The Crane, as you can imagine, was very uneasy about putting her head in a Wolf’s throat. But she was grasping in nature, so she did what the Wolf asked her to do. When the Wolf felt that the bone was gone, he started to walk away. “But what about my reward!” called the Crane anxiously. “What!” snarled the Wolf, whirling around. “Haven’t you got it? Isn’t it enough that I let you take your head out of my mouth without snapping it off?” Expect no reward for serving the wicked.


Illustrated Bible Excerpts The Book of Esther — Free for five days

October 11th, 2018

Cover for Book of Esther

FREE through October 16

Illustrated Bible Excerpts: The Book of Esther

Illustrated Bible Excerpts is a series of short ebooks telling the Bible stories we all know and love so well. Each ebook contains an excerpt from the Bible with numerous illustrations inserted into the text. The second book in this series, The Book of Esther, has 65 illustrations — some familiar, but many will be new to you. As you read the Bible passage with your children, the many amazing and unique images will solidify the story in their minds.

Also in this series of Illustrated Bible Excerpts are

Illustrated Bible Excerpts: David & Goliath

Illustrated Bible Excerpts: The Book of Daniel in Chronological Order with Dates

You can purchase the ebook on Amazon for $1.99, but from October 12-16
you can download it for free, plus receive the other two books in the series.

Here is the special offer:

On October 12-16 (these five days only) the 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 the other two books in the series.


After you download Illustrated Bible Excerpts: The Book of Esther and post your review on Amazon, send an email to with the name you wrote your review under.


Words to liven up your October

October 10th, 2018

a mythical dragon

• affiance = to promise somebody or yourself in marriage to somebody else
• apotheosis = the highest point of glory, power, or importance; the best or most glorious example of something; the supposed transformation of a human being into a deity
• bucolic = relating to or characteristic of the countryside or country life; relating to or characteristic of shepherds, herdsmen, or flocks
• castigate = severely criticize or rebuke someone or someone’s behavior
• celerity = quickness in movement or in doing something
• comity = a harmonious state of things in general and of their properties (as of colors and sounds); congruity of parts with one another and with the whole; an atmosphere of social harmony; mutual civility; courtesy; in law: The principle by which a court in one jurisdiction defers to a court in another jurisdiction where either would have legal power to decide the case, or gives effect to the laws, executive acts, or legal decisions of another jurisdiction.
• dalliance = a flirtation or flirtatious episode, or an affair; the frivolous or idle wasting of time
• entourage = a group of special employees who go with a high-ranking or famous person on visits and engagements
• genre = category of artistic work, one of the categories, based on form, style, or subject matter, into which artistic works of all kinds can be divided. For example, the detective novel is a genre of fiction.
• gimp = difficulty in walking, caused by injury or stiffness
• hap = NOUN a happening or occurrence; VERB to happen or occur
• hoosegow = slang for jail; from Mexican Spanish jusgado prison, from Spanish: court of justice, from juzgar to judge, from Latin judicāre, from judex a judge
• imprimatur = approval, authority to do, say, or especially print something
• indigent = extremely poor, lacking the necessities of life, e.g. food, clothing, and shelter; NOUN: an impoverished, destitute person
• litany = a long and repetitious list of things such as complaints or problems; in a Christian service, a series of sung or spoken liturgical prayers or requests for the blessing of God, including invocations from a priest or minister and responses from a congregation
• Lysenkoism = the tendency to silence scientists with inconvenient opinions, named after Trofim Denisovich Lysenko who maintained that environmental characteristics acquired by an organism during its lifetime can be inherited by its offspring, whose views were politically enforced – and opposing views suppressed – in the Soviet Union in the 1930s.
• mendicant = ADJ: begging for and living on money given by strangers; NOUN: a beggar, especially somebody who begs in the street
• opprobrious = scurrilous, deserving opprobrium
• opprobrium = scorn, contempt, or severe criticism; shame or disgrace that stems from disreputable behavior
• parley = VERB: confer, to talk or negotiate, especially with an enemy; NOUN: discussion, a round of talks or negotiations, especially between opposing military forces
• parochial = relating or belonging to a parish or parishes; concerned only with narrow local concerns without any regard for more general or wider issues
• perspicacity = acuteness of discernment or perception
• qualm = feeling of unease, uncertainty or apprehension, especially a misgiving about an action or conduct
• reconnoiter = to explore an area in order to gather information, especially about the strength and positioning of enemy forces
• retinue = a group of people who travel with and attend an important person
• (crossing the) Rubicon = a phrase referring to any individual or group committing itself to a dangerous, decisive, and irrevocable course of action, comparable to “passing the point of no return” – Julius Caesar is reported to have uttered the famous phrase ālea iacta est “The die has been cast” (referring to a roll of dice), as he crossed the river Rubicon in northern Italy with his army, in violation of the orders of the leaders in Rome, who feared his power. A civil war followed, in which Caesar emerged as ruler of Rome.
• snallygaster = a mythical dragon-like beast said to inhabit Central Maryland, the Washington, DC metro area, and particularly Frederick County, Maryland.


All About Reading in the treehouse today

October 10th, 2018

Doing All About Reading in the treehouse. Am enjoying helping daughter Johannah and the grands with this curriculum.




From How to Make Reading and Spelling “Stick” by Marie Rippel — author of All About Reading

“…Short-term memory is a system for temporarily storing, managing, and recalling the information necessary to carry out particular tasks. It keeps track of things like where you parked your car an hour ago or what you plan on having for dinner tonight. For your kids, facts stored in short-term memory might include the spelling for the word stationery or the new grammar rule they learned this morning.

…Long-term memory, on the other hand, is a system for permanently storing, managing, and retrieving information for later use. Long-term memory helps us remember and recall things like proper spelling, punctuation rules, and vocabulary words. Items of information stored as long-term memory may be available for a lifetime. And that is what you want for your child—permanently ingrained learning….” Read the rest of the article here.


We need internal illumination

October 4th, 2018

Archibald Alexander

When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. John 16:13

A genuine Christian is not only taught out of the Word, but by the Holy Spirit. External teaching, however correct, is not sufficient. We need internal illumination by the Spirit. Not that this divine Instructor teaches anything different from the Word. No! He takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto us. He is the Spirit of truth, and will guide the disciples into all truth.

What are some of the lessons which the Spirit teaches?

1. The Spirit teaches us the worth of the soul.

2. The Spirit teaches us the value of time.

3. The Spirit teaches us to venerate the holy Scriptures as the infallible rule to guide our faith and practice.

4. The Spirit teaches us of our ruined and condemned state. He gives the soul a glimpse of indwelling sin, by which it is convinced of its total depravity. Oh, what a multitude of evils. What a fountain of impurity. What a mass of corruption. The heart is found to be deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. There is found nothing in it truly good.

5. The Spirit teaches us to prize Christ above all. To you who believe, He is precious. The disciple treasures Jesus as . . .
his infallible Prophet,
his sovereign King,
his sin-atoning Priest.

6. The Spirit teaches us to roll all our burdens on the Lord, and to live outside of ourselves by daily desiring vital supplies from Christ.

7. The Spirit teaches us the beauty of holiness.

8. The Spirit teaches us the reality and sweetness of communion with God. While many are contented to worship in the outward court, the Christian desires to penetrate into the holy of holies, where he can hear the words, and see the resplendent face of Immanuel.

The Spirit teaches us