This is a series of posts I am writing about The Well Trained Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. Although the WTM has a decidedly homeschooling bent, it is an excellent reference book for any parent who is interested in taking an active role in their child’s education.
Over the next few weeks I am reading the WTM again for the second time and blogging about my thoughts chapter by chapter. I invite you to read along with me, and chime in your own thoughts in the comment section below.
General Thoughts: This was the chapter on teaching religion in the Grammar stage. The WTM is written from a secular perspective, although the author Susan Wise Bauer is I believe married to a Christian pastor. I thought that chapter 11 was written quite well. For me, the key sentence is on page 203 when the authors write: “We’re not arguing that religion should be “put back” into public schools. We’d just like some honesty: and education that takes no notice of faith is, at the very least, incomplete”.
Memorization of Bible verses, Talmud passages, etc. is often a big part of early religious education in many faith backgrounds. This fits in nicely with the structure of the Grammar stage in the Classical Education model.
Our own family is from the Methodist faith, and we have been introducing world religions to my son (6) by reading kiddie versions of ancient religious texts. For more on this, please see here.