Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"The Well-Trained Mind" Then vs. Now Pt. I

I first read The Well-Trained Mind when my oldest, Miss Scarlet, was 4 1/2. Being the Type A personality that I was (and still am, albeit to lesser extent), I read the entire 764-page first edition cover-to-cover. That's right, I read not only the "grammar" (elementary) section, but also the "logic" (jr. high) and "rhetoric" (sr. high) ones as well.

In retrospect, that probably wasn't the best idea because I felt rather overwhelmed and intimidated. My oldest wasn't even starting Kindergarten for several months, and I was reading about classical rhetoric; studying the Great Books (only some of which I had read myself); algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; high school science including reading original sources like Hippocrates, Archimedes, Copernicus, Kepler, Gallileo, Harvey, Darwin, Newton, Einstein, etc.; and studying both a classical and a modern foreign language. Yikes! It was akin to a couch potato reading about a training regimen for a double Ironman ultra-triathlon. Very inspiring, but completely intimidating.

It didn't help that in the first edition of TWTM, the authors listed a 6 hour daily schedule for 1st grade. I have since learned that it was the publisher's idea to include the schedule; in the 2nd and 3rd editions of the book, it has been replaced by more general guidelines.

I sat there having just finished TWTM, thinking to myself simultaneously "WOW! What an amazing educational philosophy!" and "How on Earth am I going to be able to pull this off?"

To be continued...

No comments: