Teaching the Trivium – Chapter 9

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This post continues the discussion of Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn along with the Classical Mamas Read group led by Amy at Living and Learning at Home.

Chapter 9 – An Application of Principles for the Study of Historical Literature

The three underlying principles for the study of history are that
1. History repeats itself.
2. The past is the key to the future.
3. He who does not study history is doomed to repeat it.

A key tenet I try to remember and follow when teaching history is that history is the teller of stories. It is not just about memorizing a bunch of facts and dates but trying to experience that time through the eyes of another. When you understand the people and their stories, you understand the history and how it applies today.

As in the previous chapter, this one discusses the difference between primary and secondary sources as well as bias and credibility of sources.  The discussion of credibility and bias are extremely important ones not only in the study of historical manuscripts but also in every day news reporting.  It is impossible for something to be without bias or completely balanced.  We can’t help but view the world through our own history and set of beliefs, but it’s okay as long as we recognize that.

The chapter ends with a thorough timeline of history and recommended Biblical and secular readings to go along with each section of ancient history.  For me, this was the most useful part of the chapter.  At the same time, I felt like it was most useful for a high school or adult study of history.  Other than the Bible readings, there was nothing really appropriate for my elementary and early middle school students.  I will hang onto it for my own study until they hit high school.

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