Trivium Pursuit

My Aching Concern

Hello dear friends,

I fell upon your blog a couple of days ago and began reading. I am truly inspired. This is my first year to homeschool my girls (ages 8, 6, and 2). I had almost no plan going in. My husband is overseas this year so I’m navigating on my own. We have mostly focused on learning to read and some math. I want to pick up on reading literature as suggested on your blog, but I have to admit I’m a very weak reader. My reading comprehension is poor, and my mathematics is sub par. My confidence level is in the gutter. I, like any other parent, want the very best for my children.

My aching concern:
How can I hope for my children to surpass my weakness when I’m their primary educator?

Thank you for your very informative blog.
Heather Morris

This is what I hear in your letter:

1. You are highly motivated.
2. You perhaps didn’t do well in school yourself.
3. You are worried that you won’t be able to keep us with your children, academically.

Because you are highly motivated, you don’t need to worry about concerns #2 and #3. Homeschooling is how we parents are given a second chance at education. You’re going to learn along with your children. Actually, the way it will come down is, you will be educating yourself, and the kids will come along for the ride.

Concerning math, start with a 5th or 6th grade textbook when your oldest is 9 or 10 and learn right along with her, lesson by lesson. You’ll only need to do that with the oldest child. Grammar, spelling, foreign language, logic, and the upper level sciences will be handled the same way — learn along with the oldest child.

Learning to read aloud takes time and patience. Start with some easy books, not necessarily the baby picture books, but the easy readers. Some examples would be:

The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
books by Beatrix Potter
The Blind Colt by Glen Rounds

You can find more suggestions in our book Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Start off by reading for 15 minutes and slowly work up to reading two hours per day (broken up into smaller sessions). Read books that appeal to you — this will help to motivate you. Reading aloud is a skill you have to develop over time.

4 Responses to “My Aching Concern”

  1. Joy Hood Says:

    That is very encouraging !!
    When i read matt. 10:24 the student will not surpass the teacher, i was very distressed thinking i would hold back my children! Then it dawned on me that the holy spirit is my teacher! Jesus is Lord of my household so the bar is set! Every revelation whispered in my ear i will impart to my girls! This act of faith leading me to a life of good works; and fruit of an unfailing holy spirit will bring about a pure education! This is my hope and my faith, that the only tether on us is His perfect love

  2. Patricia Christianson Says:

    Narrating, a concept in Teaching the trivium, really helps improve reading comprehension. After you read aloud with your children– a paragraph or two– ask, “What do you remember?” Your comprehension and theirs will increase. As you teach math, keep in and that the basic arithmetic is what most people use most–and master the least! Focus on this till age 15 or so, and then introduce the higher math concepts.
    Lean on the LORD and you can do it!

  3. Leanne Says:

    Hi really glad to hear your story..I am a Mum of 3, an 8, 6 and a 1 year old…we have that in common before I begin my story! I live I the UK where homeschooling is quite uncommon where I live! And The Lord directed me at the end of last Summer to home school…I fell upon The Trivium Method after a couple if months of fretting! And I just read up on this….I also didn’t do great in school but wow!, now I think I have learned more teaching my own children….I use to hate the idea of reading but I found about living books and I can’t get enough of them!!!! I was a dunderhead at maths(Scottish slang!) and I haven’t as yet begun a programme with my almost 9 year old but I now know everything will work out. Daddy works long hours too, but I am so happy teaching that it doesn’t hurt the same as when the kids were at school! Isn’t that weird! I know you will fret at the beginning, it is only human nature to do so! But things will work out within the next few months….I am so blessed to hear your story but also your commitment! Soldier on!

  4. Leanne Says:

    I often tell my kids and others, “this is my education, you can get yours when you homeschool your kids”. It is a bit of a joke, but there is a lot of truth in it. I love the quote: “he who is educated knows how to find out what he doesn’t know.” George Simmel. “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life”. Charlotte Mason.

    Also from my observation, the homeschool m.mums I know who seem to be the most successful are those who love their kids deeply and keep it simple – often the uneducated homely ones. You will do a wonderful job I am certain.