Teaching the Trivium – Chapter 11



I’ve fallen a little behind in my posts about this book.  However, 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 11 – The Early Knowledge Level: Ten Things to Do Before Age Ten

So far my only experience has been homeschooling my gifted 10 year-old daughter for the past six months.  As a result, I don’t know that I have thought much about or needed most of what is in this chapter.  However, as I get ready to have my 8 year-old at home in the coming weeks, I was paying close attention as I read this.  Here is what the authors said and my thoughts/intentions with regards to each:

1. Reading and Writing – I absolutely believe that developing a love of reading is the most important part of early education.  Children who love books are children who will grow up loving to learn.  They have strong imaginations and a better grasp of vocabulary.  Everything flows from making words and books enjoyable.  Writing is less important at this stage.

2. Oral Narration – Older students should be comfortable reading aloud.  Luckily both of my children have already received much practice in this through reading at church and in acting classes.

3. Memorization – Memorization for us is learning prayers.  Brilliant B has been memorizing prayers in Latin.  L will continue memorizing select Catholic prayers.

4. Hearing and Listening – This ties in perfectly with reading.  Expose children to beautiful words and beautiful language even if they don’t understand all of it.

5. Family Worship – Unfortunately, we have not spent enough time on this, but we will be incorporating it into our plans more next year.

6. Arts and Crafts – We set aside time for arts and crafts at least once a week.  They often tie into something we are doing with literature or history.  Sometimes it is just something like making  jewelry or pearler beads.  Take time to be creative.

7. Field Trips – Having one child in school and one child at home has limited field trips a bit, but I am working on this for next year.

8. Work and Service – We don’t do enough of this either, but B has been a part of making donations to a local animal shelter and serving friends who need help due to medical problems.  We all need to find more ways to serve.

9. Discipline – For the most part, this is not a problem in our home.  Our children are extremely well-behaved.  As parents we believe that much of this has to do with consistent expectations and a constant expectation of discipline.  It takes a lot of discipline and maturity for the kids to homeschool in our circumstances.  We set high expectations and let them rise to meet them.

10. Play and Exploration – It can be easy to try to stuff as much as possible into every day.  There are so many good things to read and so many interesting things to learn.  However, children learn by playing.  So, find great games and toys that let them explore and be creative.  That is also a valuable part of education!

What else do you do with children under 10??


5 thoughts on “Teaching the Trivium – Chapter 11

  1. ah0302

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on chapter 11! Hopefully my taking a break for Easter last week let you get more caught up again. I was just looking and we are about done with the book if you don’t count the Appendix.

  2. ah0302

    I’ve been asking on my blog and on social media, and a few people are interested in reading a Charlotte Mason book. I think it would be a nice choice for the summer, and then back to a classical book in the fall. What do you think? If we go with Charlotte Mason, this is the one we would do:


    Do you have another suggestion, because I’m not quite decided yet =)

  3. I like the idea of reading Charlotte Mason’s actual lectures and think her ideas are most compatible with the classical methodology. Although her focus is on children up to age 9 (making it mostly below my 10 and almost 8 year-old), I still think there are some important philosophies that carry over into the upper elementary grades as well!

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