The Well Trained Mind

well trained mindMany years ago when my husband and I made the decision to home school people would ask us about it with mild interest.  As time has gone on it seems I am asked about home schooling more than ever.  No longer is it with mild removed interest.  Parents want to know exactly how I do it because they are seriously unhappy with their school options and are considering home schooling their children.  If I were to recommend just one single book it would be “The Well Trained Mind” by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise.  They are mother and daughter and have written one of the finest, most comprehensible books on home schooling I have read to date.  I reference it constantly.  It is just as valuable to me today as it was when my kids were toddlers.   This book has been so instrumental on my home school journey I felt a little nervous writing about it because I value it so highly.  I am an elementary school teacher by trade however I also write curriculum for schools.  For that reason developing my own children’s curriculum was very important to me.  This book was instrumental in choosing each of my children’s journeys subject by subject.

“The Well Trained Mind” is a step by step guide and at the same time arranged to be an excellent reference book.  The difference between “The Well Trained Mind” and other home schooling books is that it teaches you how to home school without being dogmatic about what to teach.  The authors describe all the various curricula available and leave it to you to choose a curriculum that best suits your child.  As an educator I believe this is so important.  Every child learns differently.  I believe they key to successful educating is finding a curriculum that works best for that individual child.  The beauty of home schooling is that unlike traditional one size fits all education you can tailor curriculum to suit your children.

Another reason I value “The Well Trained Mind” is the fact that Susan Wise Bauer is a college professor.  I like the fact that she has a her finger on the pulse of current higher education.  She has the vision of what children need to know to be successful in the future.

This book is never far from me.  If you look closely at my photograph you will see scrap paper sticking out of the top of the book.   I am always writing notes, marking pages and looking back to make sure I’m on the right track.  I have a hard copy and a second copy on my kindle so I can reference when  traveling.   Whether you are about to start home schooling or have been home schooling awhile and have questions I can not recommend this book too highly.