Trivium Pursuit

Free public domain audiobooks, read by volunteers from around the world

March 19th, 2017

Untitled design

LibriVox — Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain

LibriVox volunteers make audio recordings of books which are in the public domain. You are free to copy these recordings onto a CD or your electronic device.

Here are some my favorites recordings.

At the Back of the North Wind
by George MacDonald
Read by Meredith Hughes

Men of Iron
by Howard Pyle
Read by Laura Caldwell

Otto of the Silver Hand
by Howard Pyle
Read by Arctura

The Thirty-nine Steps
by John Buchan
Read by Adrian Praetzellis

The Pilgrim’s Progress (version 3)
by John Bunyan
Read by various

Little Lord Fauntleroy
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Read by Mary Anderson

The Dragon and the Raven: Or The Days of King Alfred
by G. A. Henty
Read by Mike Harris

The Wind in the Willows (version 2)
by Kenneth Grahame
Read by Mark F. Smith

Black Beauty (version 2)
by Anna Sewell
Read by Cori Samuel

Pollyanna (version 2)
by Eleanor H. Porter
Read by Phil Chenevert

The Adventures of Pinocchio (version 2)
by Carlo Collodi
Read by Mark F. Smith

by Booth Tarkington
Read by Jonathan Burchard

Penrod and Sam
by Booth Tarkington
Read by Jonathan Burchard

Treasure Island (Version 4)
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Read by Mark F. Smith

The Prince and the Pauper
by Mark Twain
Read by John Greenmail

Michael Strogoff
by Jules Verne
Read by David Leeson

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Read by various

….and many, many more.


The ambiguous and the false, the unworthy and mean, will ere long overthrow and confute themselves

March 19th, 2017

C.H. Spurgeon
Morning and Evening
April 2 Morning

He answered him to never a word. –Matthew 27:14

He had never been slow of speech when he could bless the sons of men, but he would not say a single word for himself. “Never man spake like this man,” and never man was silent like him. Was this singular silence the index of his perfect self-sacrifice? Did it show that he would not utter a word to stay the slaughter of his sacred person, which he had dedicated as an offering for us? Had he so entirely surrendered himself that he would not interfere in his own behalf, even in the minutest degree, but be bound and slain an unstruggling, uncomplaining victim? Was this silence a type of the defencelessness of sin? Nothing can be said in palliation or excuse of human guilt, and, therefore, he who bore its whole weight stood speechless before his judge. Is not patient silence the best reply to a gainsaying world? Calm endurance answers some questions infinitely more conclusively than the loftiest eloquence. The best apologists for Christianity in the early days were its martyrs. The anvil breaks a host of hammers by quietly bearing their blows. Did not the silent Lamb of God furnish us with a grand example of wisdom? Where every word was occasion for new blasphemy, it was the line of duty to afford no fuel for the flame of sin. The ambiguous and the false, the unworthy and mean, will ere long overthrow and confute themselves, and therefore the true can afford to be quiet, and finds silence to be its wisdom. Evidently our Lord, by his silence, furnished a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy. A long defence of himself would have been contrary to Isaiah’s prediction, “He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” By his quiet he conclusively proved himself to be the true Lamb of God. As such we salute him this morning. Be with us, Jesus, and in the silence of our heart, let us hear the voice of thy love.


Is the Ron Paul Curriculum compatible with classical education?

March 15th, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.



My family and I are very new to your teaching program, Mr. and Mrs. Bluedorn. We have only just recently finished reading your book, Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style. We are slowly starting to implement your specific teaching plan, though we have always, instinctively I guess, approached learning and critical thinking in a way somewhat similar to the Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric paradigm you recommend.

In any case, we receive your newsletter, and are intrigued by the Ron Paul Curriculum — in particular, that it is self-taught. You see, we have seven children, and we both work fulltime (though Mom works from home). So, needless to say, the logistics of actual teaching is very much a concern. Your suggested teaching schedules are a little out of reach for us. However, the Ron Paul curriculum seems to us quite a ways from what we like so much about what your book emphasizes (a family-oriented culture in the home, together-time, spiritual emphasis). Nevertheless, you do recommend it. I guess I want to ask, where is the middle ground between these two approaches? How, if at all, could a family get the best of both worlds?

I might add that our oldest is 14, and he, moreso than any of the others, is the college-type. And so, in that respect, it would seem that time is of the essence. Thank you, T.S.


On our Trivium Pursuit web site we talk about what classical education is and how we can implement it in our homeschool. One question people ask is, “What do we hope to accomplish by giving our children a classical education — what educational results will we see when they are grown?”

Here are four desirable outcomes which can be accomplished with a classical method of education:

1. Enable our children to think for themselves (not be ruled by peer pressure or tied to educational systems, such as the government schools);
2. Enable our children to logically think through arguments and to speak and to write with clarity and force;
3. Enable our children to read and to understand the great and worthy literature of past years (the definition of worthy is another topic for discussion).
4. Enable our children to master a new subject on their own.

Yes, I think the Ron Paul Curriculum is compatible with our book Teaching the Trivium and can help you develop the four outcomes listed above. In addition, the RPC is advertised as self-teaching, which, in your situation, would be helpful, but a family can use it as they wish — participating with the children by learning along with them or allowing the children to learn independently (please note — the RPC is considered self-teaching after Grade 3).

If I was homeschooling my children today, I’d be using it for Grades 6 and up, although if I was in a situation where I had to work outside my home, I would consider it for the lower grades also. I would also add to the RPC subjects and activities as needed, such as Bible, reading aloud, logic, and Greek.

Ron Paul Curriculum courses I would consider for my children

The Academic Basics Course (ABC) should be taken by students ages 14 and up. Parents will also benefit from taking this course on preparing for high school and college by learning how to study. You can read a review of the ABC here.

6th Grade English, Instructor Bradley Fish
6th Grade History, Instructor Bradley Fish

7th Grade English, Instructor Bradley Fish
7th Grade History, Instructor Bradley Fish

8th Grade English, Instructor Bradley Fish
8th Grade History, Instructor Bradley Fish
8th Grade Personal Finance, Instructor Timothy Terrell

9th Grade Public Speaking, Instructor Bradley Fish
9th Grade Business I, Instructor Gary North
9th Grade English 1: Classic Autobiographies, Instructor Gary North

10th Grade English 2: Western Literature I, Instructor Gary North
10th Grade Western Civilization I, Instructor Tom Woods
10th Grade Business II, Instructor Richard Emmons

11th Grade English 3: Western Literature II, Instructor Gary North
11th Grade Western Civilization II, Instructor Tom Woods
11th Grade Government 1A, Instructor Gary North
11th Grade Government 1B, Instructor Tom Woods
11th Grade Computer Science (This course is offered free of charge by Udemy. A student who takes this course should be able to pass the Advanced Placement exam in computer science. This will count for college credit.)

12th Grade American History, Instructor Gary North
12th Grade English 4: American Literature, Instructor Gary North
12th Grade Economics, Instructor Gary North


Since your oldest has college in his future, the RPC can be especially helpful. By taking AP (Advanced Placement) exams and CLEP (College Level Examination Placement) tests, a student can receive college credit and can reduce the cost of the first two years of college. The RPC encourages students to participate in these programs.


Fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety

March 12th, 2017

J.R. Miller
Intimate Letters on Personal Problems

Whoever humbles himself like this child, is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:4

It is very sweet just to nestle down in the bosom of Christ, to be as a little child with Him. Those who come otherwise do not get near to Him, but the child-like always find a close place in His heart. So the more like children we can be in our trust and in the simplicity of our faith, in humbleness of disposition, in willingness to do His will and to learn of Him, the nearer to Him shall we get, and the more shall we enjoy of His love.

Some years ago, as I was passing along one of our streets one afternoon, I heard a fluttering of birds over my head and, looking up, saw a little bird flying wildly about in circles, chased by a hawk! The bird flew down lower and lower, and then darted into my bosom, under my coat. I cannot quite express to you, the feeling which filled my heart at that moment — that a little bird, chased by an enemy, had come to me for refuge, trusting me in time of danger. I laid my hand over the bird, which nestled as quietly and confidently under my coat, as a baby would in a mother’s bosom. I carried the little thing along for several blocks until I thought the way was clear of danger, and then let it out. It flew away into the air again, but showed no fear of me. Ever since that experience, I have understood better what it is to fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety in time of danger, or in time of distress.

All this helps me to understand better what it means to Jesus when we, hunted and chased by enemies, or suffering from weakness or pain, fly to Him and hide ourselves in His love.

That is all we need to do — just to creep into the bosom of Christ, and lie down there, with no fear, no anxiety, but with simple trust.

The lines of Wesley’s old hymn have meant more to me ever since:

“Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.

Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.

All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.”




In response to the mother who feels she needs something more formal in the way of curriculum

March 9th, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

From Amber B.

We started homeschooling my son when he was four. 
We love the Bluedorn’s approach and have stuck to it because it fits
 our ideal of what a homeschool should be. My son is now soon to be nine
 and he has yet to do formal math or grammar. For me personally, there
 are several reasons we like to do math and grammar informally. It frees up 
our time for reading great books, nature journaling, and field trips. 
Too much sit-down work can be frustrating for a young child. Focusing on
 reading, narration and copywork/handwriting to us at this age is more
I am sure everyone does this differently, but what we did was just to
 naturally teach our son about math through our daily interaction with
 it. Living Math is
 a website that has book lists for 
teaching children math through literature, reviews of math curricula, and dozens of articles on all aspects of learning math through living.

We have also not studied grammar formally yet, but we have chosen to focus 
on phonics, reading aloud with gusto, narration and
 copywork/handwriting. We have informally touched on grammar by 
simply coming across it in our Latin studies. Just this year our son is learning parts of speech simply by doing his Latin every
day. Most Latin books will touch on grammar, and it is a great way to
 kill two birds with one stone. We also have chosen this method of
 teaching grammar through Latin when our children reach the logic stage. We 
will probably not purchase a grammar curriculum. Not everyone chooses to do this, there are some
 great grammar texts and curricula out there to choose from when your 
child is ready for it. And by the way, we used to study Spanish as a
 separate subject, but we have come to the realization that so many
 languages, including Spanish, are so closely knit to Latin that we dropped
 Spanish as its own subject and we just study Latin instead. When
 the kids are older we will allow them to focus on reading and writing in
 other languages. For now they get exposure to other languages
 through audio CDs, talking with family, easy reader books, and videos

If you have not read Teaching The Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style, I encourage you to do so. The
 Bluedorns go into great length about when to teach grammar and math. 
They have some great articles and references for this argument. 
I have had the pleasure of
 learning how others have experienced success through the method of waiting
 till age ten for formal math and grammar. It is amazing how much
 children will learn and understand by simply living and participating in
 everyday tasks. They learn without a formal textbook or
I hope this helps you.

The Sir Cumference Series by Cindy Neuschwander — teaching math with children’s fiction

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi

Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens

Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland

Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone

Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter

Sir Cumference and the Roundabout Battle


I used to like homeschooling, now I love it — relax and start slowly

March 7th, 2017
Post may contain affiliate links to materials I recommend. Read my full disclosure statement.

From Helen

This is a response to Linda who is struggling with putting together her own
 curriculum. I was there two years ago (which is when I read first Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style).

was using a very structured curriculum with my then 6 and 5-year-
olds. I was trying to push all of the school subjects 
that I thought were best. After I read your book, I then started to adjust slowly. I 
cut out math first (my kids were so thankful). I stopped doing any math
 that included writing on paper. This was the best decision I have 
ever made. I was thinking about starting Saxon Math 6/5 this year with 
my 8-year-old (she passed the test for Saxon Math 5/4 without any formal math), but I
 will be taking Laurie’s advice and wait a bit longer.

I focused on 
teaching the girls to read (using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons) and also to have great handwriting, using Handwriting Without Tears. My oldest is
 now reading at a 4th grade level so she reads anything I give her. 
My 7-year-old is still in a basic phonics reader (she is a late 

The next thing I can’t encourage enough is exposing them to
 different languages. This is the time. We have chosen this as
 our main focus. We sing our ABC’s in English, Greek and Hebrew
 daily. My 3-year-old can almost say all three by himself. We
 practice our Latin prayers and vocabulary, too.

So, be of good courage. You can do it. 
I used to like homeschooling — now I love it. I never thought I would
 enjoy this as much or more than my children. My best advice is to
 RELAX and start slowly.

I used to like homeschooling, now I love it


Philosophy Adventure — New, Unique, and Thorough

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


You might think that a course in philosophy would be too complex to work into your homeschool, but not so with Philosophy Adventure by Stacy Farrell.

Philosophy Adventure can be used as your primary curriculum — that’s what I would do if homeschooling today. I’d use it with all my kids ages 12-18, adding on science, math, foreign language, and logic.

If fact, if I had found this at a conference back in those ancient days of homeschooling, we’d all be looking forward to the coming year. Philosophy Adventure is new, unique, and thorough — sure to become a classic in the world of homeschool curriculum.

Would you like to sample this curriculum? You can sign up for their newsletter and receive a free Study on Thales – The Father of Western Philosophy. This study includes: Thales Lesson, Notebooking Page, Freewriting Assignment, Memory Cards, and more.


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.