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The Well Trained Mind: Thoughts from Chapter 13

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.

Chapter 13

General Thoughts: The Argumentative Child? You might as well use that description for me or my son from day one. Impassioned, persuasive reasoning is something that is embedded in our very natures, and neither of us waited until the “Logic Stage” to deliver our viewpoint to anyone who would listen. 🙂

p 230: “Now is the time for critical thinking.” I have a fundamental problem with this statement. I really cannot understand waiting to teach critical thinking until the 5th grade. I don’t think that’s exactly what Jessie Wiese or Susan Wise Bauer really intend either. (See below.)

p 231: “But you shouldn’t consider critical thinking and fact gathering to be mutually exclusive activities.” Bingo! That’s my philosophy from the get-go. I cannot listen to Story of the World with my six year old and not encourage critical thinking at the same time, just because he would fall into the “Grammar Stage” category.

p 235: This page made me think of all of the wonderful Socratic Seminars my fifth and sixth grade teacher, Richard Gray, led us in. We used the Junior Great Books series and I still remember a lot of the stories we read and discussed.

p 235: There is an interesting line at the bottom of this page that says that homeschooling kids in the Logic Stage usually spend an hour working on their own for every ten minutes of direct instruction from mom or dad.


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