Trivium Pursuit

New Tiny Grand

July 24th, 2015

Daughter Helena just had a baby! Due to a burst appendix at 27 weeks, little Violet Tamzon Auberg decided she needed to make an early appearance. All is well with mother and babe.


at 27 weeks, 2lb 1oz


a few drops of liquid gold for Violet


named after her great-grandmother


tiny hand


The Tutor for Charlotte Mason & Classical Educators — free until August 15

July 24th, 2015


THE TUTOR is a 9 volume library of Classical & Charlotte Mason style educational treasures, including:

Outdoor games & activities
Nature projects and stories
Great Literature & Poetry
Music & Art History and Appreciation
Character Building Stories & Activities
Famous Speeches and Letters
Communication, Rhetoric & Logic Skills
Biographical sketches of famous men of long ago
Bible verses in Latin (with the English alongside) for copywork
Lesson Plans, Schedules and helpful Teaching Tips
…and much, much more.

Over 1300 content-rich pages of classic teaching materials, readings, lessons, full color art prints, activities & more.

The TUTOR PDF library will have a price tag of $69 in September, but you can get ALL NINE VOLUMES free when you join the Homeschool Freebie of the Day subscriber list by August 15th.


Speech and Debate Resources

July 13th, 2015

Speech — A short introduction

Debate — A short introduction; how to get started in debate; how to research a topic; and general rules for debate

National Homeschool Speech and Debate organization

Homeschool Speech and Debate Discussion Loop — archives of group email exchanges from 1997 when homeschool speech and debate was just starting

Bibliography for Speech, Debate, and Interpretive Reading — books, videos, audio tapes, and articles

Pieces That Have Won Prizes — pieces for oral interpretation

Speech & Debate Internet Resources

Here’s a good introduction to your speech and debate study —


The Fallacy Detective



A Child’s First Introduction to Art now available as a PDF

July 13th, 2015

What Do You See? A Child’s First Introduction to Art, Volume 1 is now available on our web site as a PDF. You can order it here, or you can order the Kindle version on Amazon.

“Excellent Manner to Awaken the Budding Scholar(s) in your Life — An outstanding book for introducing children ages 4 -12 to an appreciation of art. This volume contains ten works by various artists. The time period is from the 1600’s to the 1900’s. There is even a Rockwell painting in this book. At the end of the book the author has included suggested answers for the questions posed after each painting….” Read the rest of this review here.

template art curriculum cover volume one


On Controversy

July 5th, 2015

A minister who was about to publish an article criticizing a fellow minister for errors in his theology, wrote to John Newton of his intention. Newton’s reply was meant to reference controversies in theology, but I find it to be helpful for many of life’s controversies.

Dear Sir,

As you are likely to be engaged in controversy, and your love of truth is joined with a natural warmth of temper, my friendship makes me solicitous on your behalf. You are of the strongest side; for truth is great, and must prevail; so that a person of abilities inferior to yours might take the field with a confidence of victory. I am not therefore anxious for the event of the battle…. Read the rest of the letter here.


…If you write with a desire of being an instrument of correcting mistakes, you will of course be cautious of laying stumbling blocks in the way of the blind or of using any expressions that may exasperate their passions, confirm them in their principles, and thereby make their conviction, humanly speaking, more impracticable….

…If our zeal is embittered by expressions of anger, invective, or scorn, we may think we are doing service of the cause of truth, when in reality we shall only bring it into discredit. The weapons of our warfare, and which alone are powerful to break down the strongholds of error, are not carnal, but spiritual; arguments fairly drawn from Scripture and experience, and enforced by such a mild address, as may persuade our readers, that, whether we can convince them or not, we wish well to their souls, and contend only for the truth’s sake; if we can satisfy them that we act upon these motives, our point is half gained; they will be more disposed to consider calmly what we offer; and if they should still dissent from our opinions, they will be constrained to approve our intentions….

…There is a principle of self, which disposes us to despise those who differ from us; and we are often under its influence, when we think we are only showing a becoming zeal in the cause of God….

…Whatever it be that makes us trust in ourselves that we are comparatively wise or good, so as to treat those with contempt who do not subscribe to our doctrines, or follow our party, is a proof and fruit of a self-righteous spirit….

…Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature and the riches of free grace. Yea, I would add, the best of men are not wholly free from this leaven; and therefore are too apt to be pleased with such representations as hold up our adversaries to ridicule, and by consequence flatter our own superior judgments. Controversies, for the most part, are so managed as to indulge rather than to repress his wrong disposition; and therefore, generally speaking, they are productive of little good. They provoke those whom they should convince, and puff up those whom they should edify. I hope your performance will savor of a spirit of true humility, and be a means of promoting it in others….

…Be upon your guard against admitting anything personal into the debate. If you think you have been ill treated, you will have an opportunity of showing that you are a disciple of Jesus, who “when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not.” This is our pattern, thus we are to speak and write for God, “not rendering railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing; knowing that hereunto we are called.” The wisdom that is from above is not only pure, but peaceable and gentle; and the want of these qualifications, like the dead fly in the pot of ointment, will spoil the savor and efficacy of our labors….

…If we act in a wrong spirit, we shall bring little glory to God, do little good to our fellow creatures, and procure neither honor nor comfort to ourselves. If you can be content with showing your wit, and gaining the laugh on your side, you have an easy task; but I hope you have a far nobler aim, and that, sensible of the solemn importance of gospel truths, and the compassion due to the souls of men, you would rather be a means of removing prejudices in a single instance, than obtain the empty applause of thousands. Go forth, therefore, in the name and strength of the Lord of hosts, speaking the truth in love; and may he give you a witness in many hearts that you are taught of God, and favored with the unction of his Holy Spirit.

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My Politics

July 4th, 2015

from Letters of John Newton, 1778

The whole system of my politics is summed up in this one verse, The Lord reigns. Let the nations tremble. –Psalm 99:1

The times look awfully dark indeed, and as the clouds grow thicker, the stupidity of the nation seems proportionally to increase. If the Lord had not a remnant here, I would have very formidable apprehensions. But He loves His redeemed children — some are sighing and mourning before Him, and I am sure He hears their sighs, and sees their tears. I trust there is mercy in store for us at the bottom, but I expect a shaking time before things get into a right channel — before we are humbled and are taught to give Him the glory.

The state of the nation, the state of the churches — both are deplorable. Those who should be praying are disputing and fighting among themselves. Alas! how many professors are more concerned for the mistakes of government than for their own sins.

Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns! Revelation 19:6



Teaching our children “empathetic assertiveness”

July 4th, 2015

By Lena Aburdene Derhally

“…I have seen anxious people do things that make them uncomfortable because of guilt. I have seen people let others push and bulldoze their boundaries because they felt bad about saying “no” to someone or didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Again, while it is of the utmost importance to be able to take the perspective of another and see where they are coming from, it should not go too far to the point that we can’t speak up for ourselves, say no, or set appropriate personal boundaries….”

Read the rest of the article here.

Le Tour Du Monde


How to Make Sure Everyone on Facebook Knows You’re the Perfect Christian Parent

July 4th, 2015

“This Christian parenting social media scorecard has everything you need to insure that YOU, yes YOU are the holiest parent on the social media scene. After all, how will people know unless you show them repeatedly? #Hilarious….”

Read the rest of the article here.



He deals in flour by day and in soot by night

June 25th, 2015

C.H. Spurgeon
Morning and Evening

June 23 Morning

Ephraim is a cake not turned. –Hosea 7:8

A cake not turned is uncooked on one side; and so Ephraim was, in many respects, untouched by divine grace: though there was some partial obedience, there was very much rebellion left. My soul, I charge thee, see whether this be your case. Are you thorough in the things of God? Has grace gone through the very centre of your being so as to be felt in its divine operations in all your powers, your actions, your words, and your thoughts? To be sanctified, spirit, soul, and body, should be your aim and prayer; and although sanctification may not be perfect in you anywhere in degree, yet it must be universal in its action; there must not be the appearance of holiness in one place and reigning sin in another, else you, too, will be a cake not turned.

A cake not turned is soon burnt on the side nearest the fire, and although no man can have too much religion, there are some who seem burnt black with bigoted zeal for that part of truth which they have received, or are charred to a cinder with a vainglorious Pharisaic ostentation of those religious performances which suit their humour. The assumed appearance of superior sanctity frequently accompanies a total absence of all vital godliness. The saint in public is a devil in private. He deals in flour by day and in soot by night. The cake which is burned on one side, is dough on the other.

If it be so with me, O Lord, turn me! Turn my unsanctified nature to the fire of thy love and let it feel the sacred glow, and let my burnt side cool a little while I learn my own weakness and want of heat when I am removed from your heavenly flame. Let me not be found a double-minded man, but one entirely under the powerful influence of reigning grace; for well I know if I am left like a cake unturned, and am not on both sides the subject of your grace, I must be consumed forever amid everlasting burnings.