Trivium Pursuit

Chorean War and Early Formal Academics

I was interested in the source for the section “The Chorean War” in Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style. I just recently was reading the book as suggested by a friend of mine in preparation for homeschooling my first-grade grandson. He began having physical problems about two to three months into the school year. The section at the top of page 549 really describes him. My grandson is “twitching” for lack of a better term. It is like he is over-stressed and just jerks. Since we started homeschooling, it is better. The article said it would take three months of being out of the classroom before the symptoms would go away. The “twitching” occurs mostly when he is too intense about something. He says he can’t help it but when I ask him to stop, he does so I don’t feel it is uncontrollable. I want to give this a little more time before we see a physician. I am afraid a physician will want to medicate the symptoms. He was “labeled” AD at school and no one had the time to spend with him to get him to do his work. I asked for the work to be sent home and let us do it at home, even if they didn’t grade it. They wanted him to spend all week on it, assign an F when he didn’t get it done on Friday and then maybe send some of it home on Friday. He was beginning to hit himself and call himself “stupid” when he even just lost a board game we played at home. It was pretty easy to see where this was going. He seems to be intelligent, just has some trouble focusing. I am hoping that by removing him from a negative situation, easing the pressure and using more memorization and reciting while in a home environment where I can see that the work is done, that his symptoms will disappear with time and that his behavior will return to normal. He no longer hits himself or calls himself names so that is an improvement. The “twitching” didn’t start until he had been in school for two or three months so I feel like that was a built up of pressure. It is better so, hopefully, with a little more time……

I want to tell you what a blessing your book has been to me. Time and again in reading the book, I have had an “aha” moment or an “I know exactly what you mean but didn’t know how to say it” moment. So much of it has struck home for me. You have made so many things so simple and clear for me. I rely on it so much. It’s interesting that I am a nearly 60-year-old grandmother who feels that way and have a friend with a 28-year-old daughter who feels the same way. Thank you!!

Thank you.
Debra

That article in our book on pages 548-550 comes directly out of The Cyclopedia of Education. It is an actual quote from an article there — “Arithmetic, Hygiene of.” That encyclopedia is around 100 years old, so it is an old article. The purpose of quoting the article was to show that many people back then didn’t recommend teaching FORMAL math to children below age 10. The article talks about the dangers to SOME children of teaching too much math, too early. I think the author was using the term “chorea” in a general way — this was before specific diseases were known about.

I’m happy our book has been useful to you. Call us if you need to.

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